Here’s a list of the 15 best things to do in Marmaris in Turkey, along with famous landmarks, museums, and other points of interest.
Marmaris is one of the most popular places to visit in Turkey. The city is located in the Mugla province on the Mediterranean coast. Tourism is the main contributor to the local economy, which has transformed Marmaris from a small fishing village to a flourishing resort town.
The area has been inhabited for a long period of time and Marmaris features an interesting and rich history, which includes influences from various cultures and time periods.
In this article, I’m sharing some of the best places to visit in Marmaris as well as attractions and activities that shouldn’t be missed while visiting.
Marmaris Castle and Archaeology Museum
The Castle of Marmaris is one of the main landmarks of the region. The first city walls were built in 3,000 BC and the castle was later extended and used as a military base in the 16th century.
The castle also houses the Archaeology Museum which offers a display of historic artifacts found in the area, including weavings, furniture, kitchen tools, and guns. The castle was declared a monumental structure in 1983.
Sedir Island (Cleopatra Island)
One of the most popular destinations for day trips from Marmaris is Sedir Island, which is also known as Cleopatra Island. It is located 18 km north of Marmaris.
The island is famous for its beautiful bays and turquoise water, as well as the ruins of the ancient city of Cedrae, which is today a historic landmark and well protected.
Sedir Island is also home to the Cleopatra Beach, which is a small, but marvelous beach. Don’t miss taking a walk to the ancient theater that is located a few meters away from the boat dock.
The Dancing Fountain of Marmaris is a great spot to spend the warm Turkish evenings. During the summer, there are live performances taking place here every night.
The fountain is beautifully lit, which creates a great atmosphere in the evening. A great way to experience the Dancing fountain in Marmaris is to have dinner in one of the restaurants situated along the square.
The beach of Turunç is located in a bay next to Marmaris and is considered one of the best beaches in the region. It has been awarded the blue flag for its cleanliness, making it a great place for children to play in the sand.
The beach is around 300 meters long and has all amenities needed. Moreover, the Turunc bay itself is surrounded by untouched nature and beautiful scenery.
The city beach of Marmaris offers clear waters and beautiful sand. It comes as no surprise that the beach is very lively due to its scenic beauty and location. The beach attracts tourists from many countries and is a truly cosmopolitan place.
You can use the beach to relax during your city tour of Marmaris or just come here to spend a day relaxing. There are many restaurants close to the beach that offer great local food.
The little town of Dalyan is a very popular destination for excursion boats from Marmaris. The main draws of the town are the atmospheric ruins of Caunos and the fascinating waterways of the surrounding countryside.
Dalyan has managed to preserve much of its relaxed charm. Lake Köyceğiz and the turtle sanctuary are also not far from here and are worth visiting as well. It’s a scenic area with pristine nature.
Carian Rock Tombs
The imposing Carian Rock Tombs are located close to Dalyan and are often featured in the popular Dalyan excursions. The rock tombs are carved into a vertical cliff and resemble the front of Lycian temples, an incredible sight.
The ancient tombs were used for the former kings of Caunos. The best view of the Carian Rock Tombs is from the water and taking a boat tour is highly recommended.
Marmaris Atlantis Waterpark
Water-lovers should not miss the Marmaris Atlantis Waterpark, the biggest park of its kind in the region. The waterpark promises a full day of fun for the whole family.
There is an impressive variety of water slides on offer, as well as a wave pool, a kid’s pool, and a mini-golf course. Guests can make use of free sunbeds and umbrellas to relax. Visiting the Atlantis Waterpark is one of the best things to do in Marmaris with kids.
Turgut Falls is a great place for nature-lovers. The waterfall is located around 30 kilometers to the east of Marmaris and can be reached on a private trip or as part of a planned excursion.
It is surrounded by trees and offers the possibility to swim in its refreshing waters. The blue and green colors of the water are truly beautiful. Don’t miss the rest of the Turgut when visiting the waterfall. This little village also offers a castle, ancient city ruins, and a beach.
Marmaris is home to a large community of sailors. The marinas of the city offer the right landing spots for all types of boats and yachts and are an inviting place for boat-lovers. Marmaris’ main marina is the Netsel Marina, located right in the center of the city.
The marina features a floating docking system and spacious berths and guarantees all-weather safety for up to 750 yachts. The marina is often considered as one of the best in the entire Mediterranean Sea.
Even for visitors without a yacht, it is worth it to come here as the marina is a great place for taking relaxed walks in a scenic environment.
Icmeler Beach is located a few kilometers to the south of Marmaris and is another great place for beach-lovers. The beach and the town Icmeler are surrounded by beautiful green hills and the view towards the island of Keci makes the scenery even more impressive.
There is a very large variety of accommodation options available here and on top of that also a great selection of restaurants and bars. Many boat trips are available from Icmeler Beach.
These tours will take you to the islands located just off the coast. A boat excursion is a great way to experience the natural beauty of Icmeler and Marmaris and to discover secluded bays and beaches.
Marmaris Bar Street
For party lovers, Marmaris Bar Street is the best place to spend a night in the city. Guests have the choice of spending the night in bars, nightclubs, or live-music venues.
No matter if you like Hip Hop, Pop, Rock, Reggae, or EDM, Marmaris Bar Street has something for everyone. Some of the discos also offer foam parties and laser and dance shows, making it a popular destination for European youths who come here to enjoy the nightlife of Marmaris.
Right in the center of the city of Marmaris lies the Grand Bazaar, one of the best places for shopping. Visitors can spend hours here by exploring the variety of products that are on offer here.
The Grand Bazaar Marmaris is particularly well suited for people that are bargain hunting, many products (especially clothing) are much cheaper here than in western Europe.
But even if you aren’t interested in clothes, bags, and other accessories you can find a lot of interesting products in the Bazaar. There are plenty of shops here that sell souvenirs and traditional Turkish food. The Grand Bazaar is also a fascinating place because of its well-maintained historic decorations and atmosphere.
Day trip to Rhodes in Greece
Day trips to Rhodes are very easy to make from Marmaris and vice versa. Rhodes is a Greek Island, that is located only about 20 kilometers away from the Turkish coast, which makes it a great place for cross-country excursions.
The old town of Rhodes, as well as the other cultural monuments, are some of the main attractions in Rhodes. Most of the excursions from Marmaris start at around 6 am in the morning.
The speed boat trip to Rhodes only takes around 45 minutes, which means you will have plenty of time to explore before departing back to Marmaris later in the evening.
The Nimara Cave is located on the so-called Heaven Island south of Marmaris. The island is connected to the mainland with a causeway that leads to one of the marinas of Marmaris, a marvelous place of incredible beauty.
The caves are relatively small but are a great natural attraction due to the tranquility of the area. A trail through a beautiful forest leads from the parking area to the caves.
Interestingly, the caves of Nimara were used for worship in the past. It is believed that the cult of Mother Goddess Leto used the caves for rituals. If you avoid coming here during the weekends, you will likely enjoy great solitude here.
Interesting facts about Marmaris
- Around 400 000 tourists visit Marmaris during the summer months
- It has one of the largest natural harbors in the world
- The site of modern-day Marmaris was previously known as Physcus or Φύσκος in Ancient Greek
- Marmaris has a population of around 30,000 residents
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