4/9/20232 min read

The town of Marmaris is located at the meeting place of the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the largest natural harbors in the world surrounded by pine-clad hills. Today Marmaris is an important start or return point of gulet boat cruises, known as Blue Cruise, similar to the ports of Gocek and Bodrum.

Situated in the south-west of Anatolia, in Mugla province, Marmaris is one of Turkey's biggest holiday resorts. To the north lies the Gulf of Gökova; to the south, the Mediterranean. Datca Peninsula falls to the western side and to the east is the Lake of Köycegiz. The hills running into the sea and the beautiful bays make Marmaris the jewel she is. Many foreigners, especially Scandinavian nationals, have bought properties in and around Marmaris for holidays or for their retirement.

The town is 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the provincial capital of Mugla and the mountainous nature of the surrounding countryside means that forestry plays an important part in the area's economy. The town boundaries are enclosed by 65,000 hectares of forest area.


It is not known for certain when Marmaris was founded. However, as Marmaris previously known as Physkos, was part of the Carian Empire in the 6th century BC before she was overrun by the Lydians. Another invasion by the Lydians in 334 BC led to the partition of the Roman Empire after the rule of Alexander the Great.

According to the historian Herodotus, the Carians coming from Crete, settled in the area which is now known as the province of Mugla. They also took over the town of Physkos with its natural harbor and used it as a military base and to enhance trade between Rhodes and the other Aegean Islands. The Carian civilization entered a dark period after 300 BC, coming under the reign of the Egyptians, Assyrians, Ionians, and Dorians successively. The Dorians colonized the Carian province and divided the region into 9 cities, two of which were Halicarnassos and Cnidos. These two cities later on became an active trade center and seaport of Anatolia specializing in handicrafts.

In 138 BC Attalos the 3rd, King of Pergamon, whose predecessors had ruled Caria for 90 years, ceded Physkos to Rome and the city was ruled from Rhodes by Roman generals. The city became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1425, and the castle was built in 1521 AD for use in a planned assault upon Rhodes. The Ottoman Sultan at the time, Kanuni Sultan Süleyman, changed the name of the town to Mimaras, which then became Marmaris according to historian Evliya Celebi.