Things to do in Marmaris

What to do in Marmaris

The beautiful city of Marmaris, set between stunning coastline and epic pine forest, has a wealth of beaches, leisure activities and inland adventures to discover. Discover what to do in Marmaris with this inspiring list.

  1. Explore the city’s impressive castle
  2. Spend a day by the harbour
  3. Make a splash
  4. Take in the greenery
  5. Relax on the city’s best beach
  6. Travel these spectacular routes
  7. Bathe like an Egyptian
  8. See the sights

Whether it’s a visit to the city’s picturesque old town, a revitalising bike ride through pine-covered hills or relaxing on an award-winning beach, there’s never been a better time to explore this amazing part of the world – and there’s never been an easier way to do it, thanks to these great Marmaris holiday packages.

In collaboration with
Rough Guides

1. Explore the city’s impressive castle

According to Herodotus, the foundations of the castle were first constructed in 3,000 BC. While there’s no archaeological evidence to support this, the castle has an unshakeable sense of antiquity and intrigue about it. The castle as it exists today was brought into being by Suleyman the Magnificent (not a bad name, as it goes) as a military base during his expedition against Rhodes. The next notable chapter came during the First World War, when a French cannon caused huge devastation to the venerable building. This is one of the most interesting things to do in Marmaris, but if you still need convincing, the castle offers spectacular views out to sea and the surrounding pine-forests.

Insider info: It is one of few castles in Turkey to possess a museum.

2. Spend a day by the harbour

The historic harbour and marina form part of the city’s delightful old town – a picturesque little quarter in the heart of the modern city. There’s nothing better than losing yourself in the narrow streets and beautiful old buildings, which date back to the 16th-century. The harbour and marina are among the most popular attractions in the city, known for their lively selection of bars, pubs, shops and restaurants, clustered together on Kordon Street, Barbaros Street and the Promenade.

Insider info: The nearby stretch of shore, known as long beach, is perfect for a paddle after a hard day exploring.

3. Make a splash

This historical city also has its exciting side – best experienced at one of its massive water parks. If you fancy a break from exploring, head over to one of the city’s fantastic water parks, where there’s plenty of adrenaline-fuelled distractions for kids and adults alike. Atlantis Water Park offers a great array of slides and pools as well as mini golf, bowling and several bars and restaurants. Aqua Dream Water Park offers a similar selection of gravity-defying slides and great restaurants and bars.

Insider info: Atlantis Water Park has its own private beach while Aqua Dream Water Park is set among beautiful green hills.

4. Take in the greenery

The city’s unique location, set between the glittering sea and lush pine-hills, means that visitors can spend one day sunbathing on the beach and the next walking through verdant trails. The best place to do this is Marmaris National Park, a national gem with cool, green forests and its own private beach. The park provides a perfect change in tempo from the bustling city.

Insider info: The best way to visit the park is by bike but you can also get public transport right to the front gate.

5. Relax on the city’s best beach

Just up the coast from Marmaris centre is the idyllic Icmeler beach resort. Set against the dramatic Taurus Mountains, there’s no better place to soak up the sun and enjoy a lively nightlife than this strikingly beautiful inlet. Icemeler offers a perfect balance between relaxation and activity, with its immaculate beach on the one hand and its vibrant bars and restaurants on the other. If that wasn’t enough, it’s also a hub for water-sports, with the jet ski and infamous banana ride being the most popular…

Insider info: Icmeler is home to one of the world’s best oxygen-producing plants. Its forests and beach have been given an eco-award.

6. Travel these spectacular routes

Thanks to its thick pine forests, Marmaris is a biking and hiking paradise, with an extensive system of routes and paths running across the mountainous landscape. If you want to stretch your lungs, hire a bike and explore the purpose-built cycling routes, all the while enjoying beautiful panoramas, fascinating local flora and blossoming orchards. It goes without saying that these countryside tracks are just as enjoyable on two feet… This is definitely one of the best things to do in the city and a good way to blow away the cobwebs.

Insider info: There are also horse riding safaris available in nearby Hisaronu.

7. Bathe like an Egyptian

North of Marmaris, Sedir Island (more commonly known as Cleopatra Island) is a mini paradise with stunning views back to the mainland, ancient ruins and, yes, a beautiful sandy beach. Legend has it that the fine-grained sand on Cleopatra Island – found nowhere else along the Turkish coast – was imported from Egypt, at the behest of Mark Antony, to make the Queen of the Nile feel more at home.

Insider info: The ruins are part of the ancient city of Cedreae, which was once an important trading hub in the region.

8. See the sights

If you’re itching to explore the surrounding towns and cities, there are a wide range of boat trips available from the marina. If you only go on one tour during your stay, a day trip to Ephesus is well worth it. One of most visited sites in the country, this amazing city has a wealth of fascinating historical buildings to discover. It is most famous for the amphitheatre where St Paul once preached and the House of the Virgin Mary, believed to be the location of Mary’s last home.

Insider info: If you’d rather party than visit historical sites, there are plenty of party boats!

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