Marmaris is just over an hours’ drive from the international airport at Dalaman and is a favourite place to start a Turkish coast cruise because it is just so central and close to some of the most spectacular bays on the coast.
The drive into Marmaris takes you along a scenic road that winds through pine covered mountains and through a series of valleys where fragrant sweet gum stretch out to form a leafy green canopy. The most attractive part of this busy tourist town is the marina area and the adjacent town quay with its line of shops and restaurants backing on to the town’s original settlement area. In amongst the tiny two-story Greek-style houses of the old town, you will find the renovated walls of Sultan Suleyman’s castle, built at the time of the Ottoman army’s assault on Rhodes, and now home to the local museum.
In ancient times, Marmaris was known as “Physkos” and was established as an important stage on the Anatolia – Rhodes – Egypt trade route. There are ruins to be found along the side of a small rocky outcrop close to the harbour as well as a small acropolis on the hill above the town.
Marmaris is great for young people with its variety of all-night discoes and places to party. There are quayside restaurants and shops open until at least midnight, as well as cafes, bars and street vendors.
Departing Marmaris harbour through a narrow passage between Goat and Star Island, is an amazing experience. The scenery as you leave the harbour is nothing short of spectacular. . . adding to the thrill, is knowing that you are following an ancient sea trade route where the coast is dotted with the ruins of long forgotten trading centres.