province of Mugla belongs to one of
the best holiday regions of Turkey. Beautiful holiday villages,
comfortable hotels and motels, cosy pensions, impressive ruins of past
civilizations, and landscape like paradise are the attributes of this
region. The famous holiday cities of Bodrum, Marmaris, Datca, Koycegiz,
and Fethiye are all in the borders of this province. Mugla, the province
centre, with its traditional houses, is a picture of a typical South
Bodrum: (See our "About
on a bay, backed by rugged pine clad mountains with an elegant palm lined
promenade leading to a busy marina, Marmaris is one of the most attractive maritime parklands, ideal
for water sports and sailing. Marmaris also makes an excellent starting
point for the "Blue Voyage" tour of the Aegean coastline. In
May, the Marmaris Yacht Charter Show offers the opportunity to meet
captains and their crews and to sail with the craft of your choice to
explore the spectacular beauty of southern Turkey.
clear sea is warm enough for swimming from early May to late September.
Horseback riding and tennis are also available. Sample some typical
Turkish cuisine, "meze", in
one of the marina restaurants and drink Raki the traditional Turkish way,
over ice and diluted with water. Later, stroll along the brightly lit
promenade and indulge at one of the colourful ice cream vendors. Energetic
entertainment at a lively bar or dancing until dawn at a sophisticated
disco will end a perfect day. Shoppers should be aware of the many good
buys in the boutiques, the colourful bazaars and markets. You will find
excellent leather or suede goods, copper and brassware, jewellery, and onyx
objects. Turkish carpets, textiles and embroidery make a good handcrafted
souvenir, and the locally produced pine-scented honey called "Cam
Bali" is excellent.
Physkos is the ancient name for Marmaris
which was on the important Anatolian- Rhodes- Egypt trade route. Suleyman
the Magnificent had the 1 6th century citadel built, the remains can still
be seen today.
The pleasure-seeker should not miss Ataturk Park, to the east of Marmaris, where a shallow beach, extending to
the bay provides safe swimming. This is one of the few places in the world
where you can find the Frankincense tree and delight in its heady aroma.
Environs of Marmaris
Tourists have developed the strip
between Marmaris and Golenye Icmeleri into a vacation land of their own
style. The scenery at Golenye Icmeleri is magnificent, as the hazy
mountains of the interior slope down to sandy beaches. Under blue skies,
the sea is clear and ideal for all types of water sports. Many find this
area so irresistible that they stay longer than planned. Driving down from
the high mountains into the village of Turunc the scene opens out onto the
spectacular blue waters beyond this natural harbour. The village itself is
small and scattered around the bay, with most of the restaurants bordering
the beach. There are a few bars and restaurants farther back from the
water's edge with superb views and fresh fish which is always available.
Turunc Bay offers the perfect mountain where sea combines for a holiday
surrounded by rich, natural beauty. At Kumlubuk, you can find secret
treasures and a turquoise paradise on the southern side of the bay, while
the ancient city of Amos is located on the northern slope above the bay.
Loryma, at the tip of the Bozburun Peninsula, where the ruins of the
ancient harbour and castle can be seen, can be reached by boat. The
northern shore of the peninsula is deeply indented with natural quiet bays
and the waters are dotted with islands, ideal for those who want to"
get away from it all". Sedir Island, in the Gulf of Gokova is the
ancient Cedrai. There are old city walls, a theatre and temples, which can
be visited by taking a car from Marmaris north to Gelibolu Bay and then by
boat. While stretching on the golden strand, lift your eyes to the
panoramic mountain scenery across the bay, an unforgettable view. Located
in the inner most point of the gulf is the village of Gokova with houses
that extend up the mountainside. Restaurants built over bubbling, fresh
water streaming from the mountains make the perfect setting for holiday
repose. Gokova Park provides a break from the sun with its towering pine
trees and cooling breezes.
and beautiful in setting, the Datca
Peninsula, bedecked with breathtaking scenery, provides a natural division
between the Aegean Sea Gokova Gulf) on the north and the Mediterranean Sea
Hisaronu Gulf) on the south. Along all the 75 km from Marmaris to Datca
the road winds among trees, with lovely views over the deep blue sea.
There are many places for campers to stop amidst lovely scenery, or for
the less adventurous, comfortable holiday villages. At Datca you will find
whitewashed buildings hung with bougainvillea. The marina is on the
northern bay, while the southern bay is preferred by swimmers. A tourist
will find it hard to be bored as around the marina are bars, cafes and a
wide selection of shops. Take your time browsing for your special "
take home" gift. Some shops stay open well into the evening to
prolong the temptation to purchase one more item. Relaxing over a
pre-dinner drink and then a delicious meal in a friendly restaurant is a
popular way to spend the evening hours.
course there is fresh fish and classical Turkish cuisine. With your
remaining energy walk a bit and find a disco to your liking, continuing
one day into the next.
Travelling out of Datca by road or boat
you can find unspoiled bays and golden sandy beaches all to yourself.
Kargi is one of the most popular ones.
to the end of the peninsula (38 km from Datca) and visit the ancient Carian city of Knidos, described by
Strabon as "a city that was built for the most beautiful of
goddesses, Aphrodite, on the most beautiful of peninsulas." Knidos is
especially famous for its Aphrodite of Praxiteles, which was one of the
most beautiful sculptures of antiquity. Once famous as a centre of art and
culture in the 4th century BC, the city had two harbours: one on the
Aegean and the other on the Mediterranean. Overlooking these two harbours
are the remains of a circular temple dedicated to Aphrodite and in the
arcaded way are white marble heart-shaped columns.
The town of Koycegiz, beside a lake of
the same name, is in a nature and wildlife preserve. The lake is joined to
the Mediterranean by a natural channel, along which the tiny village of
Dalyan can be reached by a road shaded with aromatic frankincense trees.
The maze of waterways is easily explored by boat and you can immerse
yourself in this peaceful dream world. Fresh fish is a specialty on the
menus of the restaurants that line the waterways. Sunset and the fading
light over the grasslands are followed by the moon to embrace the solitude
of the evening. High on the cliff face, at a bend in the river above the
fascinating ancient harbour city of Caunos, are some unique, magnificently
carved rock tombs. The Dalyan Delta, with a long, golden sandy beach at
the mouth, is a nature conservation area and the natural preserve for sea
turtles (Caretta Caretta) and blue crabs. Ekincik a turquoise bay, is a
delightful yacht stopover. Enjoy the peaceful, breathtaking beauty of this
unspoiled area and the open, friendly hospitality of its people. Only a
half-hour drive from Dalaman Airport is Sarigerme with its wonderful sandy
beaches, and a delightful holiday village discreetly situated in the
surrounding pine forest.
the way to Fethiye, the road winds up
and down hills through a heavily wooded region giving occasional glimpses
of the sea with an islet or two basking in total serenity. The Gulf of
Gocek with a friendly marina, is one of the best sailing spots in Europe.
Dotted with islands and indented with many bays, it is irresistible.
Arymaxa, at the most southerly point of the bay, is an ancient city. Its
ruins lie at the edge of the blue waters creating an atmosphere of
timeless beauty. Opposite, on Tersane Island, are Byzantine ruins
including those of the ancient shipyards.
Fethiye, 135 km southeast of Marmaris,
has an important marina and overlooks a beautiful bay strewn with islands.
This popular resort has great charm and beauty. The houses look down on
the little port from a hill crowned by the ruins of the fortress built by
the Knights of Rhodes. At Fethiye, ancient Termessos, there are numerous
Lycian rock tombs cut out of the cliff face, with carved facades
reproducing the buildings of those far-off times. The most remarkable is
that known now as the Tomb of Amyntas, which probably dates from the 4th
century BC. Swimmers will find themselves on the popular Calis Beach, 4 km
west of Fethiye, or on Sovalye Island, opposite the town, which is a blaze
of blooms in the springtime.
through the mountains on the way to Belcegiz Bay you will find cosy guest houses sure to please those who
long for natural mountain scenery. Explore the Belcegiz Bay and the
beautiful Blue Lagoon (Olu Deniz). The calm, crystal clear water is ideal
for swimming and other water sports. The Blue Lagoon is one of the best
places in the world to do absolutely nothing except soak up the sun in
incredibly beautiful surroundings. For those who prefer camping, Belcegiz
Beach is recommended. Kidirak has a beach surrounded by intoxicating
scenery and a shady park, while on Gemiler Island, there are Byzantine
ruins tucked among the pine trees. To the south of Kidirak Beach lies
Koturumsu Bay, reachable only by boat. A marvellous natural wonderland
awaits anyone who travels here. Beyond a lovely beach, there is a forest,
waterfalls and a valley, filled with hundreds of varieties of butterflies.
65 km from Fethiye, in a southeast
direction near Kinik are the ruins of Xanthos, an important Lycian capital
in a splendid natural setting. Letoon, nearby, was formerly an important
religious cult centre There are three temples dedicated to Leto, Artemis
among remarkable ruins of ancient times, sailing in a fresh breeze over
the blue waves, or just lazing idly on a beach of golden sand, however you
dream of spending your holiday, you will find what you are looking for on
this, the loveliest stretch of the Turkish coast.