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Marmaris

You will soon realise that Marmaris caters mainly for mass tourism, however it does have some jewels; head for the Netsel Marina and take a stroll around the Knights Castle and through the bazaar. The Netsel Marina has some sophisticated shops and restaurants and its peace and quiet is a long way from the hustle and bustle of the main town. The marina has a car park which can be reached through the back road past the Otogar station). Along this road is also the terminal for the Rhodes Catamaran which does day trips to Rhodes Town commencing 08:00 and returning around 17:00. Street parking is charged at 5tl / 10tl depending on the area once a ticket is purchased it can be used at any other zone within that price range on the same day.

East of Marmaris, over the wooden bridge, is Günnücek Park, a picnic spot within a grove of rare frank- trees. You can swim off the small platform here. For better swimming, go to the islet of Sedir on the side of the peninsula in Gökova Bay. The islet is only half a mile long but very popular for its unusual snow white sand with perfectly round grains, shipped to the islet from the Red Sea some 2,000 years aE0 far Cleopatra. Then, a city called Cedrea stood on the islet; the ruins of walls and a theatre remain.

Marmaris has a weekly market on a Thursday, with smaller markets in İçmeler on a Wednesday Turunc Monday and a large produce market in Mugla, also on Thursday.

Hisaronu

Not to be confused with the mass market resort of the same name near to Fethiye. Hisaronu sits at the point of the Bozburun peninsula breaking off from the Datca peninsula. Originally refered to by it’s Carian name of Erine. There are the remains of a temple between Orhaniye and Hisaronu, situated a good climb up above to give the temple and theatre some of the best views at sunset. Hisaronu has a handful of simple restaurants, a couple of small food shops and a small weekly market every Thursday in the main village. You can travel further in to the peninsula or back to Marmaris by the local dolmus service. Local places to visit are Orhaniye for restaurants and the ‘walk on water’, experience of the sandbar. Turgut for the waterfall and Selimiye or Bozburun for a pretty harbour and delicious lunch. For any major shopping or banks you will need to go to Marmaris.

Bozburun peninsula

The Bozburun Peninsula is a particularly unspoilt and attractive part of the south west coast of Turkey. Conservation laws have meant that development has been strictly limited and so the style of life has changed little over the years. The area is ideal for those who like to enjoy a scenically stunning area, perfect for walkers, which tourism has pretty much passed by, even in the peak of summer. The Peninsula itself stretches for 53kms and has a number of small, attractive and traditional villages including Saga, famous for its calamari, Selimiye, for its fresh fish restaurants and Bozburun for its gulet building. You may even be lucky enough to see a traditional gulet under construction.

Orhaniye is an interesting stopping point with its sand spit extending almost half way across the bay. Over the last 10 years this small community has built up around the Kizkumu Beach, which is a sandbar along which you can walk into the sea. Legend has it that a girl who wanted to meet with her lover on the other shore, walked through the sea with her skirt filled with sand. Where she dropped the sand the sand spit was formed. There are plenty of restaurants in Orhaniye and a couple of sophisticated ones down by the new Marina.

Bozburun is one of the furthest points on the peninsula and is about 18kms from Marmaris. For the best seafood take the boat out to the Orfoz restaurant which is only accessible by sea (0252 4562209). The ancient towns of Saranda, near Söğüt village, and Bybassios, on the road to small but teeming Bozburun, have scanty remains, likely to appeal to specialists only. Saga has two bays, the busier of these has a couple of nice fish restaurants. The Deniz Kizi in Sögüt is very popular amongst the Istanbul set!

Bayir is a central part of the peninsula and gets daily visits from tourist buses to see the 300 year old plane tree.

Kumlubuk has a large beach with a couple of swish ‘club’ style restaurants which are worth a visit. The next village of Amos has a lovely pebble beach, great for snorkeling below the remains of ancient Amos: fragments of some walls, a theatre and a temple. There is a more traditional restaurant behind the pebble beach serving grills and meze.

Turunc has become somewhat deserted in recent years, although its main street suggests a busy tourist

centre. Amongst the many restaurants there are a few good ones and the long pebble beach is a good place to swim from, with good snorkeling at the far left side. Try Fidan for some of the best calamari in the area.

Turunc has water taxi services to Marmaris taking approximately an hour.

Cash points can be found in Orhaniye, Selimiye, Turung and Bozburun. There are petrol stations in Turunc, Bozburun and on the approach to the peninsula in Değirmenyanı.