Turkey has so much to offer holidaymakers, thanks to its interesting historic sites, family-orientated resort towns and glorious sunshine. For those looking for a holiday that has it all, Marmaris and Bodrum are two of the country’s best picks.
The lively resort town of Marmaris is bursting at the seams with bars, restaurants and family-friendly entertainment, so if you have children, this is a great town to make your base. However, if you like your holiday peppered with a bit more than just the evening entertainment, it also has plenty of interesting landmarks to explore.
The popular Marmaris street market is held on Thursdays, where you’ll find everything from fruit and vegetables, to textiles, leather goods, pottery and clothing. It’s a great place to pick up a bargain or two, but keep in mind that haggling is expected, so make sure you negotiate with the friendly locals. Marmaris Old Town is a lovely place for a wander, with its white-washed walls, cobbled streets and plenty of cafés and souvenir shops to explore. You’ll also find Marmaris Castle, with its museum. The castle dates back to 1522 and boasts mesmerising views of the bay where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean Ocean.
If you want to get out and explore further, there’s no better place than the beautiful Dalyan for an interesting day out. Travel by boat and enjoy some time at İztuzu Beach - also known as Turtle Beach, as it's where the loggerhead turtles lay their eggs. If you’re lucky, you might spot some turtles swimming while you’re there.
Then, take a water taxi to visit the Lycian Rock Tombs, which are the last resting place of the Kings of Kaunos, and are encased in caves. Finally, you’ll stop off at the mud baths which is great fun. Get covered from head to toe in the mud, or even better, dunk the children in and make sure you get some good photos. You can then go for a soak in the hot sulphur pool - it does smell, but if you can handle that, your skin will thank you for it.
With the impressive castle and ancient ruins, Bodrum is packed full of historic sites for those who want a break from the beach. Visit one of the Seven Wonders Of The Ancient World - the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. The ruins date back to the 4th century BC, when the grand tomb was built as an elaborate resting place for King Mausolus, so it is a great landmark to tick off your travel bucket list.
Nearby, is the Bodrum Amphitheatre, built during King Mausolus’ reign. It remains intact and still stages concerts and productions today, so it’s well worth checking to see what’s on during your holiday if you want to really appreciate the history of the place.
Bodrum Castle was built between 1402 and 1437 by the Knights of St John, and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in this destination. It overlooks the harbour and you can still see hundreds of painted coats of arms and carved designs on the walls above its gates, including those of grand masters, countries, religious figures and the knights' coats of arms.
No matter where you visit in Turkey, make the most of the children’s club at your RCI-affiliated resort and head off for some pampering in a Turkish Bath. It really is a must-do experience, and honestly, you’ll probably never feel more invigorated than when you walk out! It’s a great way to kick start your holiday.
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