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Marmaris - Muğla - Turkiye

Marmaris, TürkiyeMarmaris is a port city and popular tourist resort on the Mediterranean coast, located in Muğla Province, southwest Turkey, along the shoreline of the Turkish Riviera.

Although Marmaris is known for its honey, its main source of income is international tourism. It is located between two intersecting sets of mountains by the sea, though following a construction boom in the 1980s, little is left of the sleepy fishing village that Marmaris was until the late 20th century.

In 2010, the city's resident population was 30,957, although it peaks at around 300,000 to 400,000 people during the tourist season.

As an adjunct to the tourism industry, Marmaris is also a centre for sailing and diving, possessing two major and several smaller marinas. It is a popular wintering location for hundreds of cruising boaters.

Dalaman Airport is an hour's drive to the east. Ferries operate from Marmaris to Rhodes and Symi in Greece.

During the period of the Beylik of Menteşe; the city became known as Marmaris, a name derived from the Greek màrmaron (marble; Turkish: mermer.

This was in reference to the rich marble deposits in the region, and the prominent role of the city's port in the marble trade.

Marmaris, TürkiyeIt is not certain when Marmaris was founded but in the 6th century BC the site was known as Physkos, also Latinised as Physcus.

It was in a part of Caria that belonged to Rhodes and contained a magnificent harbour and a grove sacred to Leto.

According to the historian Herodotus, there had been a castle on the site since 3000 BC. The area eventually came under the control of the Persian Empire.

In 334 BC, Caria was invaded by Alexander the Great and Physkos Castle was besieged. The town's 600 inhabitants realised that they had no chance against the invading army and burned their valuables in the castle before escaping to the hills.

Aware of the strategic value of the castle, the invaders repaired the destroyed sections to house a few hundred soldiers before the main army returned home.

In the later Middle Ages Marmaris formed part of the Beylik of Menteşe. Then in the mid-fifteenth century, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror conquered and united the various tribes and kingdoms of Anatolia and the Balkans, and acquired Constantinople.

The Knights of St. John, based in Rhodes, had fought the Ottoman Empire for many years and managed to withstand the onslaughts of Mehmed II as well.

Marmaris, TürkiyeWhen Süleyman the Magnificent set out to conquer Rhodes, Marmaris served as a base for the Ottoman navy; Marmaris Castle was rebuilt from scratch in 1522 to accommodate an Ottoman army garrison.

In 1798 Admiral Nelson assembled his fleet in the harbour at Marmaris before setting sail for Egypt and the Battle of the Nile which put an end to Napoleon's ambitions in the Mediterranean.

In 1801, a British force of 120 ships under Admiral Keith and 14,000 troops under General Abercromby anchored in the bay for eight weeks, using the time to train and resupply ready their mission to end the French campaign in Egypt and Syria.

The two earthquakes of 1957 that struck Fethiye almost completely destroyed the city. Only the castle and the historic buildings surrounding it were left undamaged.

Renovation work on the castle started in 1979. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, it was converted into a museum with seven galleries - the largest of them used as an exhibition hall.

The courtyard is full of seasonal flowers. Built at the same time as the castle, there is also a small Ottoman caravanserai built by Süleyman's mother Ayşe Hafsa Sultan in the bazaar.

Marmaris is now a major package-holiday destination popular in particular with British visitors. Although adjacent İçmeler is theoretically a separate resort, these days the two more or less blend into each other.

Marmaris, TürkiyeMost visitors to Marmaris come for the beaches and watersports. There are also popular cruises that take in the islands of the surrounding bay, including Sedir Island (Turkish: Sedir Adası), commonly known as Cleopatra's Island.

Cleopatra Island is famous for its protected soft, white sand. During the summer visitors can also take day trips to the Greek islands of Symi and Rhodes.

In 2018, archaeologists discovered the 2300 year-old pyramid-shaped tomb of the ancient Greek boxer Diagoras near the city of Marmaris.

The following words were inscribed on it in Greek: “I will be vigilant at the very top so as to ensure that no coward can come and destroy this grave,”

The structure had been believed mistakenly to be the grave of a saint and was visited by locals seeking answers to their prayers. But once it was determined that it was not a holy site, the mausoleum was looted.

Nimara Cave is located at the highest point of Heaven Island near Marmaris. Since ancient times, it was used as a place of worship.

According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, human presence in the cave dated back to 3000 BC but excavations carried out by the Municipality of Marmaris in 2007 pushed this back by almost 12,000 years.

Marmaris, TürkiyeResearch conducted in the cave revealed the existence of a cult of the Mother Goddess Leto, the mother of God Apollo and Goddess Artemis, in the ancient city of Physkos.

Worship took place around the main rock which is surrounded by stone altars in a semi-circle raised about 30 centimeters from the ground.

Offerings in the form of cremations, glass beads, terracotta, and sculptures of Leto were placed on these elevated stones. The cave was also used during the Roman period.

Nimara Cave was declared a protected area in 1999. It shelters trogloxene butterflies, identical to those living in Fethiye's Butterfly Valley.

The Marmaris peninsula is the westernmost habitat for Tulipa armena, which normally grows in Eastern Turkey, Iran, and Transcaucasia at much higher altitudes. The plants may have been introduced during the Ottoman period.

Marmaris has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa) characterised by hot dry summers and mild rainy winters. Showers and rain are very unlikely between May and October.

Summers are hot and dry, and temperatures are especially high during the heatwaves in July and August. Temperatures start to cool in September and October is still warm and bright, though with spells of rain.

Marmaris, TürkiyeWinter is the rainy season, with most precipitation falling after November. Annual rainfall can reach 1,232.7 millimetres or 48.531 inches.

There are heavy cloudbursts can cause flash floods in flood prone areas. Winter temperatures are usually mild.

The Final Four matches of the 2013 Men's European Volleyball League were held in the Amiral Orhan Aydın Sports Hall in Marmaris from July 13th to the 14th of the month.

The Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (Turkish: Cumhurbaşkanlığı Bisiklet Turu) is a professional road bicycle racing stage race held each spring.

Every year in late October Marmaris hosts a regatta attracting domestic and international boats and crews.

Süleyman the Magnificent launched his successful attack on Rhodes from the wonderful natural harbour of Marmaris, and today his castle looks down on the large, thorough-going, tourist resort.

Souvenirs and cafes fill the Hafsa Sultan Caravanserai, built in 1545 for Suleymein's mother. Surrounded by mountains of pines with slopes of olive trees, the town is called Yeşil Marmaris - or Green Marmaris.

It is famous for its honey, though it takes its name from the local marble. A small museum of archaeology and ethography in the castle has artefacts from the area, including Datça and Knidos.

Marmaris, TürkiyeAround the castle is the Old Quarter where a few houses abandoned by the population exchange have been handsomely restored, and beside it more than 700 boats are moored in Netsel Marina.

The harbour is large enough to have embraced Admiral Nelson and the English Fleet before it set sail to defeat the French at the Battle of the Nile, which ended Napoleon's ambitions in Egypt and the Mediterranean.

Leto, the mother of Apollo, was worshipped in the Nimara Cave on nearby Heaven Island, where there are cave-loving butterflies.

To the west is the Bozburun Peninsula, with attractive villages and quieter beaches that make Marmaris a centre for gulet sailing holidays.

The largest of the ancient sites to be tripped over around the coast is Loryma, in today's Bozuk Bükü, a fortified harbour described by Freya Stark when her boat moored here when she was researching The Lycian Shore.

Maramaris is 120km from Dalaman airport. Ferries run regularly to Rhodes, taking about an hour - www.directferries.co.uk

Mass tourism in Marmaris started in the 80’s because it was the meeting place of the Turkish jet set. If you wanted to see a famous Turkish film star or singer, you were in the right place here.

But further back in the past, before the tourism started the town was a sleepy fishing village on the Mediterranean Sea.

Marmaris, TürkiyeWalking about Marmaris nowadays you'll find numerous cafes, taverns and restaurants with good cuisine in the centre and around the harbour area.

The boulevard is car-free and has a fantastic sea view. Besides the beautiful beach and idyllic harbour, you will find many plenty more places to enjoy there when on holiday.

The old historic Grand Bazaar is located in the central bazaar and is still used as a marketplace. After 10 kilometers on the Mugla road, you can see the Tashan & Kemerli Bridge which was built in 1552 by Suleyman the Magnificent.

The tomb of Sariana was built in Ottoman style for the memory of Sariana because she helped the Ottoman troops with her prophecies.

On the south coast of Turkiye, Marmaris has acquired a reputation of being a party town for visitors that want bars, restaurants and nightlife into the wee hours of the morning.

Although it is fairly centrally located to many southcoast holiday destinations that have pretty much every holiday amenity anyone could desire, so it remains a top choice of travelers wanting a wide choice of options.


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