Advantages cheap, plenty to do, nice weather!
Disadvantages can get unwanted attention! see op....
Last summer was host to the most exciting and most different holiday I have ever taken. Bored of years of holidays with parents, always staying in the same place, always visiting the same places, I decided this time to go away with friends. My boyfriend managed to secure us a cheap holiday sailing around the Turkish coast, so naturally, I went - partly because of the price, partly because of the company...and partly because I'd heard so much about Turkey and yet had never visited.Marmaris was our last port of call, so to speak. We spent two days moored there, but two days is nowhere near enough if you really want to do everything you possibly can in the area. However, I will tell you about my experience, including the parts which we would have liked to, but sadly didn't have the time to see.
Marmaris is one of the most important yachting centres in the Mediterranean, and it is hard to believe, looking at it now, that it once used to be a sleepy village visited only by sailors who were cruising the Mediterranean coasts. Its history dates back to 3400 B.C., and since then it has grown steadily in both size and importance. Described as a "paradise for tourists", you'll never be stuck for things to do - be they more city-centred or in the natural surroundings.Firstly, a note about the weather. Travelling in mid-summer is not to be advised if you are averse to temperatures of above 42 degrees Centigrade - the sun can be unbearable and it is advised that you stay out of the sun between about 12 and 2pm when it is at its highest. Even in winter the temperature is reasonable, being 15 degrees Centigrade today (8th January).
At the moment, one English pound translates to about 2 million Turkish lira - highly amusing when at the travel agent and changing your money! You will find that visiting anywhere in Turkey is cheap, as you will see later...Now more about the town itself:
***BEACHES***If you're planning on visiting Marmaris for its beaches, I would advise you not to: you'll find better. The sand is black sand, and is slightly gritty, making it a little uncomfortable for walking on barefoot or for sunbathing. However, you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas for a small fee which should make you more comfortable! Despite the beaches not being amazing, the sea, on the other hand, is. The water is perfectly clear and fairly warm, making it ideal for a relaxing swim - take my word for it!
***SHOPPING***Sorry to put this so high on the list, but Marmaris is a great centre for shopping. Visit the authentic Turkish bazaar, where leather goods, Turkish carpets, clothing and gold jewellery are all reasonably priced. However, you have to watch out for traders trying to catch your attention so they can lure you into their shops - it gets irritating at times, but they're only doing their job!
On Fridays there is also an outdoor market, which I found to be cheaper than the bazaar, especially if you stay right till the end - the market traders are usually looking to get rid of their unsold goods so you can buy them cheaper still.Shops in Marmaris tend to stay open pretty late - a lot of them until around midnight, so late night shopping trips are a must! Bartering is another must - with most shops and market stalls, if you haggle you can end up getting your goods for a good deal cheaper - be prepared! Duty free goods can also be bought, so stock up! (I'm trying to give up smoking now, but over there I bought 200 cigarettes for £10 - a saving of at least £30 on what I would have paid in England.)
***FOOD AND DRINK***Food usually ranges between extremes - it is either really good or really bad. If you're catering for yourself, take your pick of products from the local supermarket, you should have no problems. If eating out, check a restaurant guide for recommendations first.
If you eat out, you'll probably either choose a restaurant or a kebab house. Turkey is renowned for its kebabs, and they come fairly cheap - don't expect to pay more than around £1.50 for your meal.Restaurants are difficult to choose - but I recommend sticking to Turkish food. Some places try and "recreate" English dishes for the tourists, but this generally isn't done very well, or with much enthusiasm. A lot of the restaurant food is kebab-style, and quite often served with chips, but you will have a variety of other dishes as well, particularly fish dishes. I recommend the stuffed vine leaves and stuffed peppers, normally filled with rice and a variety of other ingredients. You'll probably be paying around £4 for a main course, a small enough amount to sample to some traditional Turkish dishes and not complain if you don't like them.
As far as drinking is concerned, the Turkish "raki" has to be tried - an alcoholic aniseed drink diluted with water. Turkish apple tea will also be offered - try it, it's amazing!***THINGS TO DO***
Whilst in Turkey, try a Turkish bath! This costs £8 per person, and includes a rubbing and soap massage, a sauna, a towel(?!) and insurance, just in case something goes wrong. An experience not to be missed!We also took a tour up the Dalyan River, to experience mud baths, a trip to the Turtle Beach and a visit to the ancient city of Caunos. The Turtle Beach is huge with breathtaking views, the mud bath is great fun, and the city of Caunos is amazing - there are rock tombs carved into the cliffs that just take your breath away. Prices are £16.00 per person, and include lunch, river boat transfers, entrance fees, a guide and insurance.
Diving is another widely-enjoyed activity in Marmaris, whether you are a beginner or more experienced. You are always under the supervision of licensed diving instructors, so there is no need to worry. Prices for a full day, with two dives, all equipment, travel, lunch, instructor and insurance are around £20 per person.There are also two water parks in Marmaris, which I do not know much about, but entrance is £6 for adults for the larger one and £4 for the smaller one.
Nightlife is thriving in Marmaris: ever heard of the world-famous Bar Street? It is exactly as it says: a whole street filled completely with bars and nightclubs. All tastes of music are catered for, and places stay open until around 4am. And they're cheap!***ACCOMMODATION***
As we stayed on the yacht, I have no experience of Marmaris hotels and guest houses, but they range from very basic to 5* hotels. To save money, book the hotel separately from the flight, as it will most likely be cheaper. Shop around before you book, to make sure you get the best possible hotel for your purposes.***FLIGHTS***
Flights go to and from nearby Dalaman - I say nearby, but the transfer time will be around an hour and a half. Transfers are usually organised by your hotel/travel company, but check this before travelling.A quick note about travelling to Turkey in general. Firstly, you will need a Visa to enter the country. This is obtained in Turkey for the cost of £10. We got ours at Dalaman airport (a small stamp in our passports) but be warned: they accept £10 notes only. Visa charges vary depending on which country you are arriving from.
Finally, enjoy! There's so much to do in Marmaris that you will most definitely not get bored - there are activities for the whole family, and if these don't appeal, try a walk or horse ride around the countryside - it is an amazing area.Thanks for reading.
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