Marmaris has been a quintessential summer escape for millions of people for centuries and has all the essential ingredients of a wonderful beach holiday destination in Turkey.
With its crystal-clear azure waters, fine golden sands, and an incredibly picturesque rugged coastline, the beaches in Marmaris and the surrounding region are some of the finest on the Turquoise coast.
There is a reason why Marmaris is always, quite rightly, one of the most visited coastal destinations along the Turkish Riviera.
But with so many beaches to choose from, and to help you get the most out of your time in Marmaris, I’ve written this article outlining the best beaches in the region, from remote paradise island beaches to rustic hidden gems, there’s a stunning Marmaris beach for everyone!
Planning a trip to Marmaris last-minute?
Make sure you book your tours, places to stay, and airport transfers ahead of time to ensure availability!
Here is our recommended airport transfer in Marmaris:
- Private Airport Shuttle From Dalaman Airport To Marmaris (Best way to get to your hotel!)
Here are our recommended tours in Marmaris:
- Dalyan River Boat Cruise + Lycian Rock Tombs (Best historical attraction)
- Full-Day Trip to Ephesus (The best day trip from Marmaris)
- Marmaris Turkish Bath and Spa (Great for relaxing!)
Here are our recommended places to stay in Marmaris:
The Best Beaches In Marmaris
1. Icmeler Beach
The first on my list of the best beaches in Marmaris is just a short 8km journey south of the sunny town of Marmaris to a smaller resort town called Icmeler.
Surrounded by stunning scenic mountains covered in a forest of native pine trees and overlooking Keci Island, Icmeler Beach is one of the best beaches to come to if you want a clean beach to relax on for the whole day. It has everything you could need for a wonderful day out on the beach since it’s backed by a small town with restaurants, markets and shops.
As with most beaches in Turkey, there are tens of hundreds of sun loungers and parasols which you can either rent (usually around 100 Turkish Lira for an hour) or you can use them for free as long as you purchase a drink or some food at the same bar (yes, there’s always a catch when things are advertised as free!).
The beach is sandy, though it’s not completely soft since the coarse golden sand has been trampled flat by the number of visitors, however, it’s clean and doesn’t leave marks on your towels – something you don’t often find on the beaches in and around Marmaris.
The clean and clear waters of the bay are also beautiful and nice to swim in, though it is not picture-perfect turquoise like many other beaches you may find in Turkey. It’s relatively shallow and the shoreline slopes gradually, so it’s safe for young children to paddle and swim in.
In terms of water sports, there’s not a great deal of choice partly because of the beach’s size. It’s more of a bay, which means activities like parasailing and banana boats become a bit of a hazard for other beachgoers.
There are however several jet-skis you can rent if you fancy, as well as being a good place to snorkel and see some of the tropical fish that have made Icmeler Beach their home.
If you’re feeling hungry or thirsty, there’s a lovely long row of restaurants and bars just behind the beach that you can dive into for a spot of lunch or a cooling cocktail. Perhaps best of all, this is all within just a short 15-minute bus ride from Marmaris making it quick and easy for a day trip.
You can catch the bus from the main strip in Marmaris (just look for the orange bus with the Icmeler sign on the front to get there, and the green bus to get back). The bus runs regularly, about every 10-15 minutes (sometimes more frequently in peak season), and costs a measly 2.50 TL per person. You can get a taxi but the bus is very convenient.
2. Cleopatra Beach (Sedir Island)
Another beach that is an absolute gem within the Marmaris region is Kleopatra Plaji, or Cleopatra Beach as it’s commonly referred to in English. This is not the same Cleopatra Beach that you find in Alanya near Antalya, which is the famous one that Queen Cleopatra used to swim at.
This Cleopatra Beach is located on a tiny island called Sedir Island, in the Gulf of Gökova of the southeastern Aegean Sea. This spectacular beach is one of the best day trips you can do from Marmaris.
After a short 35-minute drive from Marmaris, you’ll reach the Cleopatra Beach Pier where a boat will take you to the small island off of the coast of the Turkish mainland. Don’t worry if you aren’t booked on to a tour, it’s incredibly easy to find yourself.
One of the reasons that makes this particular beach fascinating is that according to local legend, this tiny island was given to Queen Cleopatra of Egypt as a wedding gift from her lover Mark Anthony, however, being somewhat of a diva, Cleopatra wasn’t a fan of the sand that came with it.
So, Queen Cleopatra had special sands brought over from Egypt, and that is the reason for the soft, fine golden sands you see today. It’s rare to see sand this golden and soft anywhere on the Eastern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, so be sure to check it out while you can.
If you are in the Marmaris region and want to find the most picturesque beaches, this may just be the number one spot. Not only are the sands gorgeous, but the water is a mesmerizing turquoise color as well as crystal-clear.
This makes for excellent snorkeling opportunities, especially as the island is quite remote and the marine life has therefore been relatively untouched. You won’t find any commercial water sports or activities on this beach solely because it is part of the government’s plan to make a national park.
📚Read more: Which Is Better? Antalya or Marmaris?
3. Turunc Beach
The next beach on our list is the fabulously secluded Turunc Beach, which is just a 25-minute drive from Icmeler Beach, and 35 minutes from Marmaris.
If you’ll be heading to this beach from Marmaris, once you pass Icmeler town, you’ll climb up into the mountains and follow an incredible winding mountain road that has seemingly been carved right through the region’s pine forests. It’s a magical way to enter the small former fishing town before a long stretch of sand emerges which is Turunc Beach.
The sand on this beach is much coarser than the sand you’ll find on Cleopatra Beach, but it is in keeping with the area so it is nothing out of the ordinary. The waters here at Turunc Beach are again crystal-clear and full of marine life, making it so inviting and an extraordinary place to forget about your troubles, relax on a free sun lounger, and just enjoy the majestic scenery you find yourself in.
Compared to many of Marmaris’ beaches, Turunc Beach is also extremely clean with very few cigarette butts and rubbish to be found unlike on Marmaris Public Beach. Turunc Beach has even been awarded coveted ‘Blue Flag’ status, meaning it is part of a select few of Turkey’s beaches that meet strict criteria for water quality, environmental management, safety, and services.
If you think you’ll be heading to Turunc Beach at some point on your trip, why not coincide your visit with the weekly market, held every Monday from 8 am until 4 pm close by Turunc’s harbor? You’ll find all the hallmarks of an excellent Turkish market including locally grown fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, dried fruit, and honey, as well as clothes, leather goods, and souvenirs.
4. Amos Beach
If lounging around with hordes of other people isn’t your thing, then our next beach is the perfect solution, providing you will enjoy somewhat of a rustic, back-to-basics beach. Amos Beach is a tiny little bay that is located right next to the ancient city of Amos.
Entrance to the beach is only accessible via a small road leading to a popular restaurant right on the beach itself. Many people choose to dine in the restaurant and then spend an hour or two relaxing at the beach, however, this is not necessary for you to enjoy the delights of this rugged beach.
You’ll find a small, secluded bay which, to be honest, is rustic, to say the least, but these can often be the beaches that are the most enjoyable, away from the hordes of tourists in the nearby towns. If you bring a towel and some snacks, you won’t need anything else to have a quiet, relaxing day on a tiny beach on Turkey’s spectacular coastline.
Naturally then, there are certainly no water sports to be found on Amos Beach, however, if you find yourself wanting something to do in Marmaris for an hour in between cooling off in the sea, you can take a walk up to the fascinating ruins of the ancient city of Amos.
The ruins are super unique and certainly worth the effort if you will be in the immediate vicinity. You’ll see remnants of the city walls, the crumbling Amphitheatre, and the foundations of various buildings.
5. Kumlubuk Beach
If Amos Beach is a little too rustic for you or you struggle to find it, just around the corner is the small coastal commune of Kumlubuk.
Here, you’ll find a long stretch of pebbles which is the public beach. With practically no modern-day amenities, this is again a back-to-basics beach but to be honest, that’s all you need when you are in a stunning location like this.
Due to its location (a 45-minute drive from Marmaris) and the fact it is a pebble beach, Kumlubuk Beach is relatively quiet in comparison to other beaches in the Marmaris area so is an excellent choice if you want a large beach feeling with a secluded beach crowd.
In addition, this is also one of the very few beaches in the area which you won’t need to pay to park your car, and even better, pay for an umbrella or sunbed.
The deep blue waters are crystal clear and are superb for swimming due to the small waves that run ashore. It’s also a very clean beach too, virtually free of any plastic or general rubbish, and few cigarette butts which unfortunately can be a common sight on Turkish beaches.
6. Turtle Beach (Dalyan Iztuzu Beach)
Although not close to Marmaris, Turtle Beach is easily accessible from Marmaris and is a great, unspoiled beach in the region.
We visited Turtle Beach as part of a day tour to Dalya Rock Tombs and were pleasantly surprised by how clean and well-maintained it was.
It’s quite a busy beach – it seems to be popular by boat tours, so it can get crowded around the same time each day (roughly 3pm to 4pm), but if you wander further down the beach you can find a quiet spot away from the crowds.
As you might suspect from the name, this beach is famous for being home to loggerhead turtles, who come up to the shore to nest at night.
Although a nesting beach, there doesn’t appear to be any fenced-off sections where the nests are, which is surprising, but do be careful about where you lay your beach towel in case it looks like it may be home to turtle eggs.
If you’re lucky, you might even see a loggerhead turtle swimming in the ocean. We saw one swimming around the boats in the waterways, though it only appeared for a brief second to eat some squid a boat driver through in for it.
It’s also worth noting that the waves here are quite strong and rough. We didn’t swim for too long because the waves were knocking us over, but some people do enjoy jumping over the waves and feeling nature’s force.
7. Kizkumu Beach
Kızkumu Beach, which is just a 35-minute drive from Marmaris, is a must-visit destination for families looking for a shallow beach for their young kids to swim in.
This unique beach is a pebble beach and is known for having shallow, mid-calf deep water that’s ideal for small children to paddle in (though adults won’t be able to swim, it’s too shallow).
In fact, some locals call it Jesus Beach because it can look as though you’re walking on water. The beach is protected by a sand bar, which means the water stays shallow all year round.
The cover is surrounded by pine forest and there are lots of cafes and restaurants around the cove. Be sure to check out the woman sculpture for a scenic photo to capture the memory of your visit.
8. Icon Beach
Icon Beach is more a beach club than a beach for lounging on, but it’s a great place to sit and relax with a cocktail whilst catching the sunset.
The beach is rather small and is full of loungers, so you don’t really get to see much in the way of sand, but it’s clean and the water is calm and clear.
There are some swings in the water which make for the perfect backdrop for Instagram photos, and you’ll find a DJ playing live music in the bar which adds to the ambiance.
9. Çiftlik Beach
Ciftlik Beach is a small and secluded beach that’s almost an hour’s drive south of Marmaris, but it’s definitely worth the trek as you can avoid the crowds of beach goers here.
The bay is quaint and picturesque with clear and calm waters. Sometimes the waters can be docked with boats, but there are still places where you can swim without being disturbed by them.
It has a few restaurants nearby but you can expect more “European prices” since there isn’t much else around it.
The only downside to this beach is it lacks facilities like a market where you can buy drinks, so if you don’t want to visit the pricey restaurants you will need to pack a picnic.
There is also no public restroom nearby.
Worst Beach in Marmaris
Although Marmaris is a beach destination, there is one beach that we really didn’t like and recommend you avoid. And that beach is…
Marmaris Public Beach (Halk Plaji)
This beach is probably the one you thought was going to be in the first place. Well, personally, I didn’t like Marmaris Public Beach too much to be honest.
It was extremely crowded, to the point where there were no sunbeds and space on the sand was extremely limited. It was also fairly dirty as well with lots of discarded rubbish flying up and down the beach and an incredible amount of cigarette butts poking out of the sand.
The sand isn’t really your typical beach sand either, it’s really hard, almost to the point where it resembles clay and is a dark brown color which isn’t particularly appealing and even stained my brand-new Turkish towel.
With that being said, the water is warm and gentle, so if you have little ones who like to paddle but don’t want to worry about huge waves knocking them over, you don’t need to worry about that here. The beach faces into a bay and the water is always calm and gentle.
Although not the clearest water in the region, it still provides the swimmer with a nice opportunity to cool down and take respite from the heat. It’s also one of the few where you can book water sports such as parasailing, jet skiing and more.
Being the beach closest to the center of town, the facilities are good here with showers, toilets, and changing cabins for people to use free of charge. I’d only recommend using this beach if you are limited on time and don’t have enough time to visit the beaches further out of Marmaris Center.
Map Of Marmaris Beaches
To help you plan which beaches to visit, here is a map of the best beaches (and worst) in Marmaris…
FAQs About Marmaris Beaches
Here’s what people usually ask us about beaches in Marmaris…
Does Marmaris have nice beaches?
To be honest, Marmaris doesn’t have the nicest beaches in Turkey. We found the beaches in nearby Fethiye to be much nicer, and we also preferred the beaches in Antalya. However, if you are willing to travel outside of Marmaris, you can find some nicer, more secluded beaches than the ones in the town.
Is it safe to swim in the Marmaris Sea?
Yes, it’s safe to swim in the Marmaris Sea. The water is usually shallow from the beaches, and the waters are protected by a bay which means the waves are gentle and calm. There are said to be sharks in the waters, but the chance of seeing one is very small. There is no reason to be afraid of swimming in the waters in Marmaris.
Is Marmaris cheap?
We were surprised by how expensive Marmaris is compared to other cities in Turkey. The Turkish Coast is a popular region for tourists to visit, so you can expect higher prices in terms of accommodation costs, food costs, and prices of attractions. You can expect prices in Marmaris to be comparable with most European destinations.
So, there we have it. Those are the best beaches in Marmaris and the surrounding region, as well as ones to avoid. As a beach destination, there’s no shortage of beaches to visit, and we’re sure there’s a beach for every type of traveler on this list.
Whether that be rustic and rugged, close to all of the action, or far enough away that it feels like you’ve got your private island, don’t miss out on the beaches on this list!