Marmaris, named “Physcos” by the Carians in 300 BC., is a world renowned tourist destination on the south coast of Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean. Marmaris offers long sandy beaches bordering pristine pine forests and beautiful weather in which to enjoy both. This fertile coastal region is ideal for sailing and many other water sports like windsurfing, diving, and swimming.
Marmaris is a large tourism resort with a selection of accommodation starting from small, laid-back pensions to big holiday villages or 5 star hotels. Marmaris restaurants offer all kinds of cuisine from British, Chinese, French, Hindi and Italian as well as traditional Turkish cuisine. With over 300 days of sunshine each year Marmaris is an ideal holiday desination. There are many areas between Marmaris and İçmeler where water sports facilities are available - from sea bicycling to canoeing, windsurfing to water skiing. Everything from banana rides, parasailing, and water parks are available. Recently Marmaris began hosting volleyball, basketball, triathlons, tennis and wrestling activities. The yacht competitions - which are organized each year in November are another highlight which adds colour to the life of Marmaris.
There are traditional pazars (street markets) in Marmaris where the producers sell directly to the public. The biggest of the region is conducted by the municipality and is held every Thursday. There are also open-air pazars in İçmeler on Wednesdays, Armutalan on Thursdays, and Beldibi on Sundays. At the pazars, the famous Turkish pine honey, hand-made carpets, all kind of herbs, gifts, vegetables and fruits are on sale.
Çetibeli forest area is located 20 kilometers down the Marmaris-Muğla road. A 5 hectare area is covered in red pine, sweetgum and plane trees. There is an open air cafe in the Muğla style architecture and a fountain with fresh drinking water. Besides water and land sports and nature walks in particular, Marmaris offers a rich selection of trekking opportunities. Such as the Marmaris-Fürth Friendship Walking Road which is a 22km walking path covering Marmaris, İçmeler and Armutalan. This path is named after Fürth in Germany which was declared as a sister city to Marmaris.
Jeep safari tours which pass over streams, climb over hills on dusty and stony roads is where a different Marmaris can be discovered. Jeep Safari tours start early in the morning forming a convoy. The tours usually end in secluded bays after driving through forests, villages and streams. After swimming and a picnic lunch with drinks, the tour returns in the evening. Jeep safari participants have the opportunity to observe villages still untouched by the technological era.
There are bars and night clubs to appeal to all tastes located in the city center between the marina and the old town square on the old shopping area and in the ‘bar street’ area. Wooden piers stretching into the sea serve as a sundeck by day and turn into food and entertainment areas by night. These are referred to as “beach bars".
Marmaris is becoming well known as a center for culture and arts, hosting festivals, public celebrations and sports activities in certain periods of the year. The International Yacht Festival is held in the Municipality Marina in early November every year. The International Marmaris Yacht Competitions Week is held in The Marmaris Yacht Harbor in early November as well.
The traditional ‘Blue Journey’ was first realized as a culture trip on the sea by a group of intellectuals in the 1960’s. They named it “Blue Journey”. During those trips, stopping at small bays on the Aegean and the Mediterranean coasts, they used to do all the work on the boat themselves, such as cooking, cleaning in turn and naming this cooperation “imece” traditionally. They disembarked often in order to see the ancient ruins and remains. They had long talks and discussions on history, mythology, poetry, painting etc. With the development of tourism in the region, the blue journey of the intellectuals became popular. They started to organize one-day, seven day or longer trips.
Both large and small, hundreds of boats depart from the main dock in the shopping area and from different points in Marmaris. many are organized daily tours to the islands and bays nearby. To Paradise Island (Nimara) opposite to Marmaris, Turunç, Kumlubük, Çiftlik, and Phosphorus Cave are the most popular destinations for daily tours. There are also moonlight tours which are conducted at night. While some boats dock at stops with restaurants, some serve meals on the boat. Some of the tours go over to Dalyan İztuzu shore. These tours offer entertainment, drinks and the pleasure of swimming at night.
The bed capacity in Marmaris is over 100,000. Hotels and holiday villages with large capacities have been opened in recent years. These big hotels and holiday villages are open throughout summer and winter and have excellent rooms, meeting halls and conference facilities.