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Marmaris harbor
Marmaris harbor
Official logo of Marmaris
Location of Marmaris within Muğla Province.
Location of Marmaris within Muğla Province.
Marmaris is located in Turkey
Location of Marmaris
Marmaris is located in Mediterranean
Marmaris (Mediterranean)
Coordinates: 36°51′N 28°16′E / 36.850°N 28.267°E / 36.850; 28.267Coordinates: 36°51′N 28°16′E / 36.850°N 28.267°E / 36.850; 28.267
Country Turkey
 • MayorMehmet Oktay (CHP)
 • District878.09 km2 (339.03 sq mi)
7 m (23 ft)
 • Urban
 • District
 • District density95/km2 (250/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+3 (EEST)
Postal code
Area code(0090)+ 252
Vehicle registration48

Marmaris (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈmaɾmaɾis]) is a port city and tourist resort on the Mediterranean coast, located in Muğla Province, southwest Turkey, along the shoreline of the Turkish Riviera.

Marmaris' main source of income is international tourism. It is located between two intersecting sets of mountains by the sea, though following a construction boom in the 1980s, little is left of the sleepy fishing village that Marmaris was until the late 20th century. In 2010, the city's population was 30,957,[3] and peaks at around 300,000 to 400,000 people during the tourist season.

It is also a centre for sailing and diving, possessing two major and several smaller marinas. It is a popular wintering location for hundreds of cruising boaters, being also served by Dalaman Airport which is an hour's drive to the east.


Beaches of Marmaris

Marmaris has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen: Csa) characterised by hot dry summers and mild rainy winters. Showers and rain are very unlikely between May and October. Summers are hot and dry, and temperatures are especially high during the heatwaves in July and August. October is still warm and bright, though with spells of rain, and many tourists prefer to visit in the early autumn, especially in September, because the temperatures are not as hot. Winters are mild and wet. Winter is the rainy season, with major precipitation falling after November. The annual rainfall can reach to 1,232.7 millimetres (48.531 in); the rainfall is concentrated during scattered days in winter falling in heavy cloudbursts which cause flash floods sometimes in flood prone areas.[4]

Climate data for Marmaris
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 21.0
Average high °C (°F) 15.1
Average low °C (°F) 7.0
Record low °C (°F) −2.4
Average precipitation mm (inches) 230.7
Average rainy days 13.7 11.9 9.4 7.7 4.4 2.7 1.9 1.0 2.1 5.5 9.1 13.6 83
Mean monthly sunshine hours 127.1 137.2 192.2 222 285.2 324 344.1 328.6 273 217 144 111.6 2,706
Source: [5]


Map of Marmaris by Piri Reis
Karaca in Marmaris

Although it is not certain when Marmaris was founded, in the 6th century BC the site was known as Physkos (Ancient Greek: Φύσκος or Φοῦσκα), also Latinized as Physcus, and was in a part of Caria that belonged to Rhodes, contained a magnificent harbour and a grove sacred to Leto.[6][7]

According to the historian Herodotus, there had been a castle on the site since 3000 BC. In 334 BC, Caria was invaded by Alexander the Great and the castle of Physkos was besieged. The 600 inhabitants of the town realised that they had no chance against the invading army and burned their valuables in the castle before escaping to the hills with their women and children. The invaders, well aware of the strategic value of the castle, repaired the destroyed sections to house a few hundred soldiers before the main army returned home.

The city became known as Marmaris during the period of the Beylik of Menteşe; the name derives from Greek màrmaron (marble), in Turkish mermer, in reference to the rich deposits of marble in the region, and the prominent role of the city's port in the marble trade.

Sehir Island in Marmaris

In the mid-fifteenth century, Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror conquered and united the various tribes and kingdoms of Anatolia and the Balkans, and acquired Constantinople. The Knights of St. John, based in Rhodes had fought the Ottoman Turks for many years; they also withstood the onslaughts of Mehmed II. When sultan Suleiman the Magnificent set out for the conquest of Rhodes, Marmaris served as a base for the Ottoman Navy and Marmaris Castle was rebuilt from scratch in 1522.

In 1801, a British force of 120 ships under Admiral Keith and 14,000 troops under General Abercromby anchored in the bay for eight weeks, training and resupplying for their mission to end the French campaign in Egypt and Syria.[8]

The 1957 Fethiye earthquakes almost completely destroyed the city. Only the castle and the historic buildings surrounding the fortress were left undamaged.

Since 1979, renovation work has been continuing at the castle. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, the castle was converted into a museum. There are seven galleries. The largest is used as an exhibition hall, the courtyard is decorated with seasonal flowers. Built at the same time as the castle in the bazaar, there is also a small Ottoman caravanserai built by Suleiman's mother Ayşe Hafsa Sultan.


In 2018, archaeologists discovered the 2300 year-old tomb of the ancient Greek boxer Diagoras near the city of Marmaris. They announced that a pyramid-shaped structure was the mausoleum of the Greek boxer. The following words were inscribed in Greek on the mausoleum: “I will be vigilant at the very top so as to ensure that no coward can come and destroy this grave,”[9] Until 1970, the structure was believed to be the grave of a saint and was visited by locals seeking answers to their prayers, but upon discovery that it was not a holy site, the structure was looted.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16]

Natural history[edit]

Heaven Island in Marmaris
Marmaris National Park is a popular tourism destination.
Marmaris Marina

Nimara Cave is a cave on Heaven Island near Marmaris.[17] Since ancient times, the cave was used as a place of worship. According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, human presence in the cave (as well as the old city of Physkos, today called Marmaris), dates back to 3000 BC. However, excavations carried out by the Municipality of Marmaris in 2007 extended this period to almost 12,000 years back.[18] The research conducted in the cave has revealed the existence of a cult of Mother Goddess Leto, believed to be the mother of God Apollo and Goddess Artemis, in the ancient city of Physkos. The cave is located at the highest point of Heaven Island and was used as a place of worship by the ancient residents of the town of Nimara. The worshipping took place around the main rock that exists even today. This main rock is surrounded by stone altars in a semi-circle raised at about 30 cm from the ground. Offerings to the Mother Goddess Leto were placed on these elevated stones. The offerings were made in the form of cremations, glass beads, terracotta, and sculptures of Leto. The cave was also in use during the Roman period. Nimara Cave has been declared a protected area in 1999. It shelters trogloxene butterflies, identical to those living in Fethiye's Butterfly Valley (Turkish: Kelebekler Vadisi).[4]

The Marmaris peninsula is the westernmost habitat for Tulipa armena, which normally grows in Eastern Turkey, Iran, and Transcaucasia at much higher altitudes.[19] The plants may have been introduced during the Ottoman period.


The Final Four matches of the 2013 Men's European Volleyball League were held at the Amiral Orhan Aydın Sports Hall in Marmaris from July 13 to 14, 2013.[20]

The Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey (Turkish: Cumhurbaşkanlığı Bisiklet Turu) is a professional road bicycle racing stage race held each spring.

Every year in late October Marmaris hosts an annual regatta attracting international as well as Turkish boats and crews.

From 2018, Marmaris is scheduled to host a round of the FIA World Rally Championship.

International relations[edit]

Twin towns/sister cities[edit]

Marmaris is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Area of regions (including lakes), km²". Regional Statistics Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. 2002. Retrieved 2013-03-05.
  2. ^ "Population of province/district centers and towns/villages by districts - 2012". Address Based Population Registration System (ABPRS) Database. Turkish Statistical Institute. Retrieved 2013-02-27.
  3. ^ " Marmaris". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Climate of Marmaris". Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  5. ^ "Meteoroloji Genel Müdürlüğü: Marmaris En Yüksek Sıcaklık (°C)". Archived from the original on 2 April 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  6. ^ Strabo, Geography, xiv; Stadiasmus Maris Magni § 245; Ptol., Geography 5.2.11.
  7. ^ Public Domain Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "Physcus". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray.
  8. ^ Mackesy, Piers (1995). British Victory in Egypt, 1801: The End of Napoleon's Conquest. p. 16.
  9. ^ "Turkish locals stunned to find out sacred tomb belongs to ancient Greek boxer". Archived from the original on 2018-05-25. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  10. ^ "Turkish locals stunned to find out sacred tomb belongs to ancient Greek boxer". Archived from the original on 2018-05-25. Retrieved 2018-05-24.
  11. ^ Smith, John. "Turkey 'Shrine' Turns Out to be Tomb of Ancient Greek Boxer | Greek Reporter Europe". Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  12. ^ "Yıllarca türbe sanıldı; mozole çıktı". Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  13. ^ "Shrine in Turkey uncovered as tomb of ancient Greek boxer | Neos Kosmos". English Edition. 2018-05-22. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  14. ^ TM. "Previous holy site in Turkey's Marmaris revealed to be tomb of Greek boxer - Turkish Minute". Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  15. ^ Team, G. C. T. "2,300 year old shrine in Turkey turns out to be tomb of ancient Greek Boxer Diagoras". Greek City Times. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  16. ^ "Aegean villagers mistook Greek boxer's tomb for Islamic holy site, archaeologists discover". Ahval. Retrieved 2019-09-02.
  17. ^ "Marmaris Heaven Island". Archived from the original on 28 November 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Nimara Cave, Marmaris". Archived from the original on 28 November 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  19. ^ Anna Pavord, The Tulip (London, Bloomsbury 1999) 289
  20. ^ "CEV Avrupa Ligi eşleşmeleri bell oldu". Hürriyet Spor (in Turkish). 2013-07-09. Retrieved 2013-07-14.
  21. ^ "MARTAB: "Kardeş şehir Fürth'de Marmaris Meydanı"". Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  22. ^ Belediyesi, Marmaris. "Marmaris Belediyesi Resmi Web Sitesi". Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  23. ^ "MARTAB: "Marmaris - Ordu kardeş şehir"". Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  24. ^ "Municipality of Ashkelon: "ערים תאומות לאשקלון "". Archived from the original on 2014-12-20. Retrieved 2014-12-06.
  25. ^ "Дзержинский О городе" (in Russian). Archived from the original on 2018-10-09. Retrieved 2019-06-04.

External links[edit]