Three top day trips from Marmaris
While Marmaris* and beach holiday are practically synonymous, day trips from Marmaris can be just as invigorating as working on that tan.
A part of the Turkish Riviera, which stretches from Antalya* in the east to Bodrum* and beyond in the west, it combines the waters of the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea and offers a coastline dotted in beaches - some white, some dark - with pine forests and dramatic rocks formations.
Start close to home by exploring downtown Marmaris from the marina to Icmeler Beach, a long stretch of coast lined with pine trees, sunbeds and umbrellas as well as numerous bars, restaurants and cafés in between.
As enticing as the lively atmosphere and wonderfully clear water, which make the place such a popular destination are, after a few relaxing days of swimming and sunbathing you'll be tempted to look for day trips from Marmaris to locations further afield. Luckily, there are so many, you'll be spoilt for choice.
Getting to Marmaris: check out the latest deals on holidays to Marmaris and other resorts along the Turkish Riviera with First Choice*, which promises something for every budget.
A boat trip not to be missed is an outing to Dalyan*. You'll be channelling Humphrey Bogart or Katharine Hepburn for a few hours as all the boats that offer river cruises are replicas of the African Queen.
Expect to see the tombs of the Phrygian kings carved high into the mountainside and nesting sites of loggerhead turtles while drifting along the reed-lined Dalyan river before dipping into the mud baths near Caunos. Don't forget to take your camera and swimsuit.
Turkey is a country full of history and legends, and the area around Marmaris is no exception. One story goes that Marc Anthony fell so in love with a tiny island that he imported white sand from Egypt and gave it to Queen Cleopatra as a wedding gift.
Step into her shoes on a trip to Cleopatra Island, which has exceptionally white sand, so rare and beautiful that you aren't allowed to take even a grain home with you. Apart from sunbathing and enjoying the beach, you can visit an ancient amphitheatre and Byzantine city walls on this day trip from Marmaris.
Ephesus & Selçuk
The longest but most rewarding day trip from Marmaris you might want to take is to the world-famous ancient site of Ephesus and the town of Selcuk where it's located.
Sitting roughly 130 miles north of Marmaris, you have two options: you can either go on an organised trip or hire a car and go it alone. There's a lot to be said for going on your own. The highway to Izmir is ruler-straight and easy to navigate, while driving time is about three and a half hours.
Given its popularity, naturally, it's very busy all year round, and if you opt for a guided tour you can feel quite rushed. It's much easier and more enjoyable to do your homework and walk around on your own, looking at the ancient Roman streets and houses, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the amphitheatre.
Afterwards, return to Selçuk proper and continue your travel through history. No visit to Selçuk would be complete without a stop at the Archaeological Museum, which houses many of the artefacts excavated in Ephesus.
Among them, you'll find the famous statue of the Anatolian goddess Kybele. Reconstructions of Roman villas give an insight into the life at the time and massive statues from the Hellenistic period are also displayed in this fabulous museum.
There is more to discover on this trip, though. Walk from the museum to Ayasoluk Hill, crowned by a massive castle and fortress from the Ottoman period. After extensive excavation and renovation, the castle is now open to visitors again.
Just below it you will find the Basilica of St. John, erected in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian, supposedly over the tomb of the apostle.
Go on a bit further to the Isa Bey Mosque. Constructed in 1374, it's a masterpiece of architecture of the Anatolian Beyliks. You can visit, just don't forget to take off your shoes and to cover up.
Lastly on this day of history, at the bottom of the hill you come across a single, broken column which is all that's left from one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Temple of Artemis.
Once an imposing sanctuary, it was destroyed and rebuilt three times before being dealt a final blow by raiding Goths in 268 AD.
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Planning to discover these attractions? Book your next great value holiday to Turkey with First Choice and you can choose from a number of departure points and accommodation types.
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