a sleepy fishing village, Marmaris has ballooned into one of the
largest resorts on the Aegean coast, if not Turkey. Little of its
history remains, as the town is now a modern development with
tourism at its heart and soul. The population swells to a massive
200,000 in the summer, with most hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and
shops catering to low-cost package holidays, although there are
facilities for all budgets.
development which reaches around 10km along the west of the bay,
Marmaris is also well-known for its expanse of green, present the
whole year round thanks to the pine-covered hills which surround the
town. There are many beaches around the bay, and there are ancient
cities and seaside villages close by for day trips. The yacht harbor
is the biggest and newest in Turkey, and therefore the busiest
charter port especially for trips along the Turquoise Coast. In
addition to the climate, beaches and facilities of the town, the
transportation infrastructure is a definite plus for attracting
visitors. It has easy connections to the nearby airport Dalaman,
ferries to Rhodes, and on the road to Datca and Fethiye. The harbour
has attracted private boats from around the world, with yacht
maintenance and production in the workshops on the Yalanci Strait.
With the climate being comfortable even in winter, and the nearby
impressive mountains and pine forests, Marmaris is likely to remain
a popular and practical holiday spot for a long time.
It is thought that the
first settlement in Marmaris, whose history dates back to 3400 BC,
began with the arrival of a tribe to the region, whose leader was
called Kar. The area was then called Karla after him, and its
location around the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas always made it an
Suleyman the Magnificent assembled a force of 200,000 in 1522,
whilst launching the siege of the Knights of St Johns base in
Rhodes (Rodos). Soon afterwards, he made the city more powerful with
the rebuilding of the tiny castle overlooking the town. Lord Nelson
and his entire fleet sheltered in the harbor in 1798, en route to
Egypt to defeat Napoleons armada at the Battle of Aboukir.
Marmaris therefore became a place where different civilizations
reigned over time, and there is architectural and historical
evidence of Egyptian, Asdur, Ion, Dor, Persian, Macedonian, Syrian,
Roman, Byzantium, Seljuk and Ottoman presence.
Summers are extremely hot
and dry, with daytime temperatures reaching up to 35 degrees, and
winters are warm and wet, plunging to 5 degrees at night. The area
is quite typical of a Mediterranean climate.
is situated on the Loryma peninsular 23 km west of Marmaris. Approx
1.5 hrs from Dalaman Airport. Always popular with the yachters
Orhaniye has been described as one of the prettiest bays in the
Mediterranean. Dream of that perfect Mediterranean fishing village,
a place to relax and enjoy beautiful surroundings Orhaniye could
be the place of your dreams. Deep blue sea, tall green mountains,
fishing boats jostle amongst the yachts. Along the water front are a
few hotels, restaurants and traditional market shops, tea house and
barber shop. Strolling through the village you will see
families working in the fields and leading their cattle to pasture.
Orhaniyes people are very friendly, they grow their own vegetables,
make their living from sheep farming, bee keeping, gathering herbs
and harvesting olives and citrus fruit from ancient groves that dot
the hillside. Day trippers visit Orhaniye to see the Kizkumu, a long
sand bar where tourists can really walk on water. Other local
attractions include a waterfall and a traditional carpet factory.
Hire a car or a boat and visit the other villages on the peninsular
- Turgut, Selimiye, Bayir, Bozburun and etc.. Orhaniye is only
35 mins away by dolmus from Marmaris the local buses run every
half an hours.
KIZKUMU = (Maidens
Beach) = GIRLSAND
According to legend, pirates shattered the small world of a young
girl who lived all alone. When the pirates came ashore, the young girl
was terrifed and decided to run for her life. She decided she could not
escape by running along the shore. She saw the opposite shore as her
chance of escape and wanted to reach it in a hurry. She made a pouch
with her skirt and filled it with sand, then headed into the sea, but
the sand in her skirt only got her half way to the opposite shore. Since
that day, much has changed but still many people walk the red shingle
road left behind by the young lady. The other interesting aspect about
Orhaniye is the castle situated on a little island in one corner of the
bay. This quiet bay is a lovely spot for boats.
Selimiye is a traditional boatbuilders village, backed by craggy
mountains with a beautiful bay. There are wonderful restaurants
providing good food and an excellent point to swim from in the crystal
clear water. They also provide a good point from which to watch the
local shipbuilders transform rough hewn pieces of wood into beatuiful
sea vessels. Selimiye is 22 kms away from Orhaniye and can be reached by
dolmus from Marmaris, or at any point along the route. From a distance,
Selimiye appears as two small bays lying side by side with small islets
jutting out of water. Selimiye is an old Greek village and durind these
times was known as Losta. It s said that the two castles which once
stood atop the hills above the present day town were from Hellenistic
times. Further down the hill, there is a small fortification that was
also built by the Greeks. Like most of the villages in this area, the
majority of the population in Selimiye is "Youk" (nomads). Fishing and
almond cultivation are the major sources of income for the village
although in recent years, yachting tourism has also developed to quite
A road heading uphill takes you from the coastal plains and into the
village of Sogut. Sogut is the oldest village in the area. In year past,
in this village, sponge fishing, thyme cultivation, fishing and goat
herding were of major importance but now, the main source of income for
the area is tourism and yachting. There are two roads leading from the
village centre to the shore, one of which leads to the Cumhuriyet
District (Saranda) and the other of which leads to the Kizilyer
District. These two districts are separated by a headland. You can take
a boat to the islands close by and certainly the little church on Sogut
islands is worth seeing.
DATCA - KNIDOS
According to geographical expert Strabon, Knidos was a city built on
the must beautiful of peninsulas for the most beautiful of godesses.
Knidos is located on Resadiye Headland on the western end of the Datca
Peninsula. According to Heredotus, colonists from Sparta established
Knidos, which was built from the shore to the acropolis on terraced
earth and resembled an amphitheatre. Knidos has two ancient harbours on
opposite sides of the headland although these days a large amount of
these former harbours are filled with sand the result of very strong
winds. Among the ruins of the ancient city of Knidos, one can find a
theatre which seated 4,500 people, The Temple of Aphrodite, Roman age
Bouleterion (council hall), a Sanctuary of Demeter, an ancient sundial,
city walls and houses from Roman and Hellenistic times.
Once a tiny farming and fishing village, Turunc has developed since
the late 1980s into an upmarket tourist resort, with hotels, villas and
restaurants. The village, on the east coast of the Hisaronu peninsula,
is 21km from Marmaris and accessible by road and sea. Its main
attraction for Turkish and foreign tourists is its stunning location,
and 500m beach of course sand with a backdrop of pine-tufted cliffs.
You will find Turunc a peaceful and relaxing escape from the bustle
of Marmaris, a clean uncrowded beach, pleasant waterside restaurants,
interesting friendly shops and a relaxed, laid back attitude to life.
Market day in Turunc is tradfitionally Monday, although much smaller
than Marmaris or Icmeler markets; Turunc has a pleasant little market,
situated on the hillside by the Amos road at the southern end of the
bay, which is only a ten minute walk up from the harbour. After your
mornings bartering try lunch at the Antik restaurant or for something
different a barbecued lunch at the remodelled Turunc restaurant, both
are situated just below the market place, quiet retreats just out of
town. A day in Turunc makes a delightful interlude in your holiday but
be careful, you may fall victim to that Turunc magic and find yourself
returing there year like so many visitors who have gone before you.
Make a day out in Turunc by taking the water taxi from Marmaris
quay, a lovely cruise across the bay passing Icmeler along the way,
about a forty minut boat ride. For land lubbers take the Turunc Dolmus
from Marmaris through Icmeler and over the spectacular corkscrew
mountain road, the views over Turunc bay are simply spectacular,
breathtakingly beautiful at every turn. For the best of both worlds
combine the water taxi and the Dolmus for the perfect round trip, you
won't regret it.
The bay appears as an arch, with the two ends being bent well back.
It is surrounded by green hlls, tapering off to join the coast on the
southeast side. Kumlubuk is a quiet place of immense natural beauty
offering modern acommodation. You can find every kind of establishment,
from modern hotels to little restaurants frequented by daytrip boats.
Kumlubuku as a destination is lots of fun, not only because of its
wonderful beaches but also on account of the numerous trekking
opportunities in the nearby hills. A walk in the hills to the southeast
is especially interesting, as you will discover a surprise cave. You can
only enter this cave by bending and once you are in, the front gallery
is three or four metres high. The cave has stalagmites and stalactites
and in this way, resembles the Damlatas cave in Antalya. As this cave
has only recently been discovered there are as yet no amenities in place
for visitors. Research has shown that this cave is 5,000 years and
narrow channels take you through into different galleries.
Asclepius's son, Podalerius, who was doctor to the Greek armies
during the Trojan War, married the King of Caria's daughter, Syrna
during the time of Carian sovereignty in the area. The king bestowed a
gift to the groom, that being the Loryma Peninsula. Afterwards,
Podelerius set up two cities in the area and named one of these after
this wife. There is not much left of Syrna today, the site being
situated near present day Bayir. Bayir is one of the biggest villages in
the area and is know for its industrious village folk and the massive
plane tree found in the village square. You can reach Bayir through
steep forested hills. While here, you can sit at one of the cafes in the
centre and rest in the shade of a 2,000 year old plane tree, or you can
buy some of the area's famous thyme, pine and flower honey from one of
the stalls in the same square. The community spring gushes with cool
refreshing water through the heat of the summer, so take the opportunity
to cool off and relax.
After passing Bayir, turn right at the Bozburun turn off. After
approximately one kilometer, turn right again onto an unsealed road and
this will take you to the waterfalls. At the restaurants set beneath the
liquidambar trees you can dine on trout raised in the pools right in
front of you. The fact that the flour used in making the "gozleme"
(pan-fried filled pastries) you eat was ground at the small watermill
alongside the falls will surely draw yur interest. Towards the top, you
will see small ponds of water sitting below plane, pine and liquidamber
trees. On hot summer days, the waterfall is a favourite place of respite
with its clean, ice-cold water. If you continue to walk uphill the
pretty melody of the flowing water will lead you to the source of the
stream. The liquidambar trees found along this watercourse are of a
species that is slowly dying out they are found in only a few places in
Bozburun is a beautiful seaside village where the day can be spent
wandering around the souvenir shops, swimming from the rocks (there is
no proper beach) or relaxing in one of the waterfront cafes, watching
the ship builders make stunning boats and gulets. Every Monday there is
a market which sells everything from fruit and vegetables, to clothes to
toys, all at very reasonable prices. Bozburun is 30kms away from
Orhaniye and can be reached by dolmus (public minibus) which leaves from
Marmaris and can be picked up anywhere along the route.
Turgut is a small village 5 kms away from Orhaniye. Its main
attraction is a beautiful waterfall cascading over the rocks. It is
possible to walk to the top, or simply sit in the cafe and enjoy a
Turkish tea. Turgut can be reached by Dolmus, or if you're feeling a bit
more adventurous, it is possible to reach by foot or bicycle.
Hisaronu is 6 kms away from Orhaniye and is the nearest town with a
doctors surgery and police station. Like Orhaniye, Hisaronu has a
beautiful bay backed by pine clad mountains, offering a great sense of
tranquility. It can be reached by Dolmus, car, bike, or for the
energetic, by foot!
The ancient ruins of Cedrae in the island of Saray, date back to the
Hellenistic Roman era. What is known as the City Islands is comprised of
Orta Island and Kucuk Island. The remains of the ramparts can be easily
seen from the distance.
The island took its name from the rumour that Cleopatra swam with the
locals in a small bay at the northwest of the island. Furthermore, she
was supposed to have entered the sea with Mark Anthony, the sands of
which were transferred from Northern Africa via ships by Anthony which
may be true as this type of sand is only seen in Egypt.
The remains of buildings surrounded by ramparts on the east of Saray
island date back from the Roman and Hellenistic period, and the small
amphitheatre is in the best condition. The Christian Basilica was
constructed over the pedestals of the Apollo Temple, belonging to Dors.
There is an Agora on the west of Saray with inscriptions suggesting that
athletics festivals devoted to Apollo were organised in the region.
There are Necropolis ruins at Kucuk Island, as well as column reliefs.
Thought to have been
constructed by the Ionians, this small castle on the hill was
repaired during the time of Alexander the Great. It was widened and
repaired again by Suleyman the Magnificent 1522, during
which time his 200,000 troops attacked and seized the island of Rhodes.
The castle opened as a museum in 1991, after restorations that took ten
years. It has seven galleries, and has a collection of archaeological,
historical, ethnographic and nautical exhibits. The views of the city
are wonderful, with a wonderful panorama day and night.
The bay of Ciftlik is accessible via a two hour boat journey from
Icmeler. This once-isolated village and beach is now being developed for
tourism, with a holiday village and hotels. It is especially favoured by
sailors as a good spot for their yachts, and its course-grained sands
and waterside restaurants are increasingly popular. The village has a
small island within the bay, is also a favourite with jeep-faring safari
The mausoleum, in the district of Sariana, has a bird's eye view of
the city and has a new mosque adjacent to it. Before the Rodos
expedition, it was here that Kanuni (Suleyman the Magnificent) had
visited Fatma Ana (Sariana) who was famous for her predictions,. After
she gave him a positive response, he commenced the siege. Before his
departure from Marmaris, thousands of Ottoman soldiers left on their
journey after a nourishing breakfast of the milk from Sarıana's cow.