Situated on a bay, backed by rugged pine-clad mountains,Marmaris is one of the most attractive maritime parklands,ideal for water sports and sailing. It makes an excellent starting point for the “Blue Voyage” tour of the Aegean coastline. In May, the Marmaris Yacht Charter Show provides an opportunity to meet the yachts captains and crews. With plenty of provisions aboard you set sail in the craft of your choice and languidly explore the spectacular beauty of southern Turkey.
In Marmaris, sample the typical Turkish cuisine in one of the marina restaurants and drink raki, anisette, the traditional Turkish way, over ice and diluted with water. Later stroll along the brightly lit and palm-lined promenade and indulge yourself at one of the ice cream vendors. Energetic entertainment at a lively bar or dancing until dawn at a sophisticated disco can end a perfect day.There are many good buys in Marmaris’s boutiques, colorful bazaars and markets. You can find excellent leather and suede goods, copper and brassware, jewelery and objects carved of onyx. Turkish carpets, textiles and embroidery make good handcrafted souvenirs, and the locally produced pine-scented honey called cambali is superb.
Ancient Marmaris, Physkos, was an important stage on the Anatolia-Rhodes-Egypt trade route. In the 16th century Suleyman the magnificent had a citadel built on a hill, the remains of which can still be seen today.
Swimmers should not miss Ataturk Park, to the east of Marmaris, where a shallow beach, extending to the bay leads to safe waters. The clear sea is warm enough for swimming from early May until late September. Marmaris also has horseback riding and tennis centers for the sports enthusiast. This is one of the few places in the world where you can delight in the heady aroma of the frankincense tree. Weekly ferry lines run between Marmaris and Venice during the summer season.
Near Marmaris at Icmeler, the hazy mountains of the interior slope down to sandy beaches. Under blue skies, the clear see is ideal for all types of water sports. Many find this area so irresistible that they stay longer than orginally planned. And there are some excellent accomodations here, in which you can prolong your contact with nature. As you drive down from the high mountains in to the village of Turunc, the scene opens out onto the spectacular blue waters beyond the natural habor. The village itself is small and scattered around the bay. Most of the retaurants border the beach. A few bars and restaurants farther back from the water’s edge offer fresh fish and superb views.
Kumlubuk, a turquoise paradise, lies on the southern side of the bay. On the northern side, above the water, stands the ancient Rhodian city of Amos. Loryma, at the tip of the Bozburun Peninsula, where the ruins of the ancient harbor and castle remain, can only be reached by boat. Natural quiet bays and scattered islands punctuate the northern shore of the peninsula, ideal for those who want to get away from it all.
Sedir islands in the Gulf of Gokova, is the ancient Cedrai. Its old city walls, theater and temples can be visited by driving from Marmaris north to Gelibolu Bay and then crossing by boath. This voyage also offers an unforgettable panaromic view of the mountain scenery across the bay. At the head of the gulf is the village of Gbkova whose houses seem to cascade down the mountainsite. Restaurants built over bubbling,f resh water streams that fall from the highlands create an unforgettable setting. The towering pines and cooling breezes of Gokova Park are often a well come respite from the hot sun.