Marmaris is a popular holiday destination, for both beach holidays and yacht charter. Arriving by sea the view isn’t promising with high rise hotels lining the beach. Fortunately the town centre and the main marina are at the far end so you need not see any more of the “Costa del” style development for the rest of your stay.
The town focuses around the harbour front which loops around the small castle. The promenade offers a seemingly endless chain of restaurants, all offering pretty much the same fare, but some with drinks cheaper than the supermarkets!
Behind the front is the large market, looking a little more like a shopping mall since it’s recent renovation but still a fascinating place, whether you’re looking for clothes, leather, jewellery, souvenirs, or fake just about anything (sometimes proudly advertised as such)!
Don’t be afraid of the market. Some traders may try to tempt you with their wares but a polite no thank you works fine; they’re not as aggressive as in many middle eastern markets and you may still be offered a cup of tea.
If you are buying, don’t be afraid to haggle, even if the traders tell you they don’t do that any more!
If you’re not sure what you’re buying do be aware that fake jewellery and clothing isn’t usually declared as such and you will see a lot more brand names on display than true brand goods.
I’m told by those more clued up than me that there are some jewellery bargains to be had but it’s probably not a good place for the unaware to part with large sums of cash.
Similarly, there is some good clothing – Turkey is a major manufacturer – but I’ve also had guests surprised that their 3 for £5 brand name T shorts dripped colour the first time they got wet!
Also behind the front is Bar Street. (There’s a street for everything in Marmaris, tyre street, electronics street etc). Depending on your taste, this is either a great place to party or a source of irritation as the music booms out in to the small hours. They do at least provide some good laser displays to light up the night sky.
There’s not much you can’t get in Marmaris. A hypermarket in the far side of the town centre supplements many smaller mini markets and the many diverse shops offer all you can imagine – you can even buy individual keys for your mobile phone!
There’s a good hospital, dentists, doctors, bakeries, butchers, fishmongers, banks, ATM’s, money changers, pharmacies, chemists, Tukish baths, even a Burger King (or is it a McDonalds, I avoid the places) and an Indian restaurant.
If you want to eat with the locals, head behind the town. Most of the offerings are delicious, though as a treat(?) my hosts once took me for a meal of sheep’s brains and testicles which was perhaps not memorable in the way they intended.
Marmaris is a marmite town – most people love it or hate it, but for my money, it’s well worth putting up with the noise from the bars for all the other things to see and experience. And if all you or the kids want is to relax on a sandy beach, then there’s several miles of the stuff, though you’ll have to share it with a few thousand others.