15 Unmissable Things To Do In Marmaris 

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Written By Louisa Smith

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The sun-kissed coastal gem of Marmaris is a popular destination in Turkey, known for its warm turquoise waters, ancient historical landmarks, boat tours, and beautiful landscapes. Needless to say, there are plenty of things to do in Marmaris for any traveler, no matter what your age or who you’re traveling with.

Although Marmaris is well known for its all-inclusive resorts and beaches, we implore you to get out and explore. In this guide, we’ve shared some of our favorite attractions in Marmaris, from incredible day trips you can take to more relaxing experiences.

Whether you’re visiting as a family, a couple, or by yourself, don’t miss out on these things to do in the area for an unforgettable time in Turkey’s southwestern coast.

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:

  1. Private Airport Shuttle From Dalaman Airport To Marmaris (Best way to get to your hotel!)

Here are our recommended tours in Marmaris:

  1. Dalyan River Boat Cruise + Lycian Rock Tombs (Best historical attraction)
  2. Full-Day Trip to Ephesus (The best day trip from Marmaris)
  3. Marmaris Turkish Bath and Spa (Great for relaxing!)

Here are our recommended places to stay in Marmaris:

  1. Motto Premium Hotel&Spa (Cute beachfront hotel near the town center!)
  2. Liman Deluxe Hotel (Beautiful boutique hotel in the center! Not too expensive!)
  3. L’Olive Homes (Nice apartments in Marmaris!)

Things To Do In Marmaris

1. Go Back in Time and Visit Marmaris Castle and Museum

One of the most popular things to do in Marmaris is to visit the small and charming Marmaris Castle. Rumoured to have ancient origins dating back to a mind-blowing 3000BC, various civilizations have utilized this incredible fortress over the years including the Persians, Romans, and most recently, the Ottomans. 

One of the most striking features of the castle, and perhaps why it was so vital to various armies, is the fact it is strategically positioned on a hill overlooking Marmaris Bay. Not only would this have been ideal in the event of an invasion, but it provides a commanding view of the surrounding area. 

A bonus of visiting Marmaris Castle is that it includes a visit to the Marmaris Museum located within the castle complex. It houses a huge collection of various artifacts and exhibits from the ancient Greek, Roman, and Ottoman eras including gorgeous pottery, sparkling jewelry, ancient coins, and even stoneware and tools.

The Ottoman section of the museum was the most impressive exhibit, in our opinion, with a wide variety of weapons, uniforms, and naval equipment on display.

2. Explore the quaint streets of Marmaris Old Town (Marmaris Carsi)

Marmaris Old Town, known locally as Marmaris Carsi, is a wonderful place to simply wandering around and explore all the nooks and crannies, shop for boutiques, or relax in a cozy cafe.

These narrow, other-worldly cobbled streets are the epitome of the Mediterranean with the majority of buildings reflecting a stunning blend of Greek, Ottoman, and traditional Turkish influences. It makes for wonderfully picturesque backdrop for photos to capture on a summer holiday. 

As you explore the Old Town, you’ll notice how the streets are lined with a lovely selection of local shops selling handmade jewelry, clothing, and souvenirs, and even small markets where you can haggle for sweet treats and spices.

In the evening, the once quiet streets become a buzzing center point of the city. This is when the best atmosphere for Marmaris’ Old Town can be found, once people have returned from lazying around on the beach, freshened up, and ready to roam the quaint streets in search of some fresh seafood and sip on some tasty cocktails. 

3. Marvel at the Yachts at Marmaris Marina

If you’re looking for things to do in Marmaris at night, then be sure to take an evening stroll around Marmaris Marina and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in the South of France.

The luscious tree-covered green mountains nestled in front of a deep orange sunset create a picturesque scene, and a super-impressive display of luxury yachts and boats docked up showcase why this beautiful region of Turkey is a popular favorite amongst the wealthy.

Once you’ve finished dreaming about what you will do with your lottery winnings, you can take a break at one of the many waterfront cafes and restaurants that line the Marina.

Sip on a refreshing Turkish Tea during the day, or sink an Efes or two of an evening, all whilst taking in the Marina’s unique atmosphere.

As well as treating yourself to a tasty meal or some drinks, the Marina also serves as one of the main hubs for various boat trips and excursions where you can book yourself onto a day cruise for the following day.

4. Relax on the Beaches of Marmaris

Icmeler-Beach-Marmaris

It’s not a holiday to Marmaris without spending a few days relaxing on the golden sands. There are many beaches in Marmaris and its surrounding areas, but if you want to find the most beautiful, you should opt for a day trip to Cleopatra Beach on Sedir Island.

Admittedly, Marmaris’s beaches aren’t the most picturesque beaches in the world, or in Turkey for that matter, but they are still incredibly popular during the summer months and you’d be crazy not to indulge in some sun, sea, and sand when you’re there. 

Marmaris Beach is the closest to the town center, and as a result, is heaving pretty much for the entirety of summer. The sand is soft, and the waters are clear, though you will be hard-pressed to find a decent spot any time after 11 am.

If you’d like a beach that is a little more idyllic yet still close to Marmaris, then Icmeler Beach is a great choice. Set within a relatively small bay, Icmeler Beach is a hub for water sports and makes for a great day out from Marmaris itself.

Jump on a jet ski and ride the waves, gather up the troops and head out on a banana boat, or even splash the cash and parasail through the deep blue skies with unbelievable views of the beach down below. 

5. Take A Dalyan River Cruise

Dalyan Delta Carian Rock Tombs Turkey

If you’ve explored pretty much all of what Marmaris town has to offer, then why not jump on a day trip along the Dalyan River? It’s a superb way to see a lesser-visited part of the Dalyan region and you’ll see some incredible sights along the way.

The Dalyan River is a beautiful and quiet reed-lined river that provides a unique opportunity to witness several ancient Lycian rock tombs carved into the cliffs. These tombs date back hundreds of years and are the final resting place of Kings and Queens of the Lycian era, and showcase the incredible workmanship of the ancient civilizations here. 

After sailing past the rock tombs, you’ll be taken to Dalyan’s iconic mud baths where you’ll be able to indulge in an incredibly therapeutic experience – covering yourself in mineral-rich mud and then letting it harden on your skin. Once the healing properties of the mud have worked their magic, take a dip into the warm thermal springs to wash away the mud and feel how soft your skin has become. 

Turtle Beach Dalyan Turkey

Following the mud baths, you’ll come across Iztuzu Beach, also known as Turtle Beach, because it’s a significant breeding ground for loggerhead turtles, which sometimes make an appearance by the boats if the captain throws some squid into the waters – this would arguably be the highlight of any trip along the Dalyan River, but it’s not guaranteed. We saw one for all of three seconds and it didn’t come back for another bite.

Most of the Dalyan River cruises also include a lunch on the boat or at one of the riverside restaurants where you’ll be able to enjoy a traditional Turkish meal with your new friends, savouring the delights of fresh seafood.

6. Go On A Day Trip to Rhodes, Greece

If you want to get out of Marmaris for the day, then why not head out of the country altogether and go on a day trip to the Greek island of Rhodes? Marmaris’s proximity to the island makes this entirely possible within a day. 

The best way to visit Rhodes for the day is on a day tour, since they can whisk you around the highlights of the island and take you back to your hotel after.

Your adventure begins by being picked up from your hotel and then enjoy the scenic ferry journey across the Aegean, relaxing on the deck and enjoying the sea breeze. Upon arriving in Rhodes, you’ll usually have around six hours of exploration time before it’s time to head back, which is plenty of time to see the main sights. 

Rhodes’ medieval old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and should be the first thing on your itinerary. The Palace of the Grand Master is up next, serving as the residence of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes. Its medieval architecture is incredibly unique and offers panoramic views from the palace grounds. 

For a spot of lunch, indulge in one of the many Greek tavernas that line the cobbled streets and sample the unique dishes of the region like moussaka or souvlaki. Mandraki Harbor is also a unique stopping point on any trip to Rhodes, with its iconic windmills and the Fort of St. Nicholas an imposing building of the island. 

Before it’s time to return back to your ferry, shop for souvenirs to surprise those back home with something unique and unexpectedly Greek. On your return journey, you’ll be able to witness the gorgeous sunset dip beyond the Aegean which makes for the cherry on the cake of a busy but memorable day trip from Marmaris. 

7. Splash Around Atlantis Water Park

If you’re looking for things to do in Marmaris with the kids, then a visit to Marmaris Atlantis Water Park would make for an excellent, fun-filled day out. It’s the largest water park in the city and features a wide selection of thrilling water slides, a wave pool, soft play areas for the younger ones, and even a mini golf course. 

The water park is only open during the summer months from the beginning of May right through to the end of October. If you’re visiting Marmaris and haven’t rented a car, don’t worry, the water park also offers visitors free shuttle service to and from your hotel.

It’s worth noting that the slides close for 30 minutes from 1pm – 1:30pm, but luckily, the water park is virtually located on a beautiful sandy beach which you also get access to while you wait for it to reopen.

It’s not an issue to leave for the beach and then come back into the park for more slides or even a bite to eat at one of the onsite restaurants. 

8. Marvel at Amos Ancient City

One of the most impressive historical sights local to the Marmaris region is the ancient city of Amos. Situated along the Bozburun Peninsula just a short 20km drive away from Marmaris center, Amos and its crumbling ruins date back to the Hellenistic period with the city thought to have been founded in the 6th century BC by ancient Greek settlers. 

Being thousands of years old, the archeological site is just ruins, however, some are better preserved than others and provide a valuable insight into the city’s past.

The city walls are the most notable, along with a small amphitheater that would’ve been used for performances and events, a temple, and several towers and tombs. Following examination of several inscriptions found in the ancient city, it is believed that the early inhabitants of Amos had originated from the Greek island of Rhodes just a short boat ride away. 

Visitors can reach Amos by car from Turunc town or Marmaris which is a little further afield but still within a short driving distance. It’s free to enter the ruins however it is possible to get a knowledgeable guide who can provide you with expert information on the ancient city. 

9. Take A Day Trip to Ephesus

Ephesus-Tour-From-Izmir
Izmir-to-Ephesus-Tour

Perhaps one of Turkey’s most iconic landmarks is the Ancient City of Ephesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to one of the Ancient Wonders of the World.

The city of Ephesus dates back to the 10th Century BC, where it was first settled by the Greeks and used as a port city known for its trading links.

Today, it’s one of the largest and best preserved archaeological sites in the country, and where you can marvel at some grand works of Greco-Roman architecture.

The Temple of Artemis, Library of Celsus, and nearby House of the Virgin Mary are notable landmarks in the complex worth seeing.

Visiting Ephesus from Marmaris is a full day activity, since the ruins are 190km away (2.5 hours drive by car), but fortunately the trip can be made easy by booking onto a day tour.

10. Go Scuba Diving

scuba diving

Diving is another popular thing to do in Marmaris and is one of the main reasons why people flock to this part of the Turkish coast.

With its stunning underwater caves, vibrant reefs, and intriguing shipwrecks, Marmaris has diving sites that have intrigued divers for many years.

One of the most popular diving sites is Baca Cave, also known as Chimney Cave, which is a sea cave that lies between 5-50 meters below the surface.

Another popular site is Kadirga Cove, where you’ll find the shipwreck of a sunken ship from the Hellenistic period.

The crystal-clear waters of Marmaris and the diverse array of marine life and underwater landmarks to explore make it one of the best destinations in Turkey to go diving.

Whether you’ve scuba dived before or it’s your first time, diving in Marmaris promises an immersive journey into the Mediterranean’s treasures.

11. Take A Buggy Safari

Looking for more adventurous things to do? Then perhaps a buggy safari would pump some adrenaline through your veins!

The buggy safari is not only an off-road experience for the adventurous and thrill seeking, but a bonding experience for you and your travel mates.

As you explore the lush landscapes of Marmaris from your 4×4 buggy, passing through pine forests and rivers, you’ll get to battle your mates in a water fight game! That’s right, they give you water pistols so you can turn your experience into a water fight.

What’s more is that you don’t need a driving license for this experience since you’ll be driving around inside a private area, and full instructions are given upon arrival.

If you’re looking for a fun way to kill a couple of hours, this is certainly up there as one of the most fun activities you can do in Marmaris.

12. Relax In A Turkish Bath

turkish bath for women
turkish bath for women

If you’re finding Marmaris to be overcrowded and chaotic, then you might want to experience some relaxation instead. A Turkish Bath is the ultimate way to wind down and rejuvenate your body – especially if you’re visiting in the winter.

If you’ve never had a Turkish Bath before, allow me to enlighten you. The Turkish Bath experience is a combination of massage, body scrub, steaming, and washing.

You begin by sitting in a steam room on a marble slab (like the one pictured above), where the steam opens your pours and cleanses your body.

After that, you will be scrubbed down by a natir with a corse mitten, and then massaged with foam on a hot slab. After you have been steamed and washed, you will be taken to a separate area for an oil massage to lock in the moisture.

The result is you feel relaxed, and incredibly clean.

13. Take A Boat Trip From Marmaris

Marmaris Beach

Being a coastal destination, most of the attractions in Marmaris revolve around being on the water. A stroll along the promenade in the evening will show you just how many boat trips and excursions you can take – the choices can be overwhelming.

One of the most popular boat trips you can take is on the huge galleon pirate ships, in which 100+ people all gather on the huge boats and sail around the coves, beaches and islands.

We personally find these ships overwhelming, but some people really enjoy the lively atmosphere. They are known to play really loud music, encourage excessive drinking with an open bar, and are filled with people from all over the world, so you can meet with other travelers and share in the good times.

There are several companies offering boat trips, but they all visit the same destinations, usually secluded beaches and coves where you can go snorkeling and sun bathing on the beach.

The boat trips from Marmaris are a full day activity and include lunch (often a BBQ), and usually have a bar where you can buy soft drinks or alcoholic drinks.

They also include hotel pick up and drop off.

14. Take A Day Trip To Pamukkale

Pamukkale-Travertine-Pools-Visiting

Another day trip you can take, and quite possibly the furthest day trip we would recommend, is to Pamukkale. This natural wonder, also known as Cotton Castle, is a unique phenomenon formed by mineral waters cascading over the white terraces.

The white terraces, complete with several bathing pools, have been a tourist attraction for centuries. Legend has it that people traveling the old Silk Road through the ancient city of Hierapolis(located at the top of the hill), used to bath in these mineral rich waters as they believed them to have healing properties.

Today you can still swim in the pools, as well as check out the ancient ruins of Hierapolis and its grand amphitheatre.

Pamukkale is located 203km away from Marmaris and takes around 2 hours 45 minutes to drive. We highly recommend you visit Pamukkale by day tour or hire a car and drive yourself, as it won’t be possible to visit for a day using public transport.

15. Head Over to Oludeniz & The Blue Lagoon

the blue lagoon in turkey

If you’re thinking the beaches in Marmaris aren’t really living up to your expectations, then I recommend you drive over to Oludeniz to see the world-famous Blue Lagoon.

This lagoon is famous for its bright, turquoise waters and picturesque scenery, backed by the Babadağ mountain which is known as being one of the highest paragliding jump points in the world.

The beach is a protected nature reserve and since it’s protected by a bay, the waters are calm and gentle, perfect for young kids to go swimming in or to explore on a peddle boat.

Though it’s a 139.9 km journey and takes about 2.5 hours to drive, it’s worth the effort. It’s one of the most photographed scenes in Turkey and features on the postcards you find in souvenir stores.


Map Of Marmaris Attractions

To help you plan your visit, here is a map that show the locations of the attractions mentioned on this list.


Final Thoughts

Marmaris is a bustling and vibrant place with so many places to explore, things to do, and experiences to have. It’s not one of the best coastal destinations in Turkey for no reason, and we hope this guide gave you some inspiration for what to do there.

Have you been to Marmaris? What was your favorite thing to do there? Let us know in the comments.

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