Last Updated on 20 July 2022
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Wondering what excursions to do in Marmaris, Turkey?
Surrounded by forested mountains and lapped by clear waters, Marmaris is one of the most walkable cities in Europe and best summer city break destinations, located in the southwest of Turkey. A hotspot for water sports lovers, sun worshippers and sightseers alike, there are many wonderful things to do in Marmaris, but the popular port resort is also perfectly situated to see more of what Turkey has to offer. To date, I’ve been to Marmaris twice and on each occasion I have exploited this by going on various Marmaris excursions. From Marmaris boat trips to adventurous activities to visiting another country, I’ve compiled my list of the very best day trips from Marmaris you can take so you don’t miss out on any of the good stuff!
Tip: I booked all of my Marmaris excursions through my hotel rep (yes, I did visit Marmaris all inclusive a long time back, but I tend to book my trips myself now, not via an agent). You should be able to book any of these through tour agencies in Marmaris or online beforehand.
1. Marmaris to Dalyan Boat Trip
One of the must-do Marmaris excursions is to take a Dalyan River Cruise for the day. Departing from Marmaris Marina, you will have the opportunity to cruise down Turkey’s Turquoise Coast before changing onto a smaller vessel to continue your journey down the Dalyan River. Before you change onto the emerald waters of the Dalyan River, you will likely stop by at Iztuzu Beach which is the breeding ground for turtles and also home to blue crabs.
As you cruise further along the Dalyan River, you will pass by reeds and mountains, with the whole experience being quite a serene affair. You will see the Ancient Lycian Tombs cut into the cliff face, before reaching the natural mud baths and thermal pools. Although a tiring day, this is one of the must-do Marmaris boat excursions and an abundance of tour operators offer this trip so it won’t be hard to book.
2. A day trip from Marmaris to Rhodes
If you’re anything like me, then the opportunity to take an excursion from one country to another during any holiday is welcomed with open arms – it’s a great way to see more of the world in a short period of time. And when I found out that a Marmaris to Greece day trip was easily doable, I jumped at the opportunity. When in Marmaris, you are in the prime location to take a day trip to Rhodes and (hopefully) get another stamp in your passport.
It is around a one hour ferry ride from Marmaris and the boat docks just outside of the Old Town Walls. There are many lovely things to do in Rhodes, and it has a perfectly preserved and picturesque old town – its network of cobbled streets, quaint lanes, sociable squares and fortifications are certainly worth exploring for the day. Plus, if you’re led by your stomach like me, Rhodes has some scrumptious ice cream parlours and places to enjoy traditional Greek Gyros, like Pita Fan!
Tip: Check the entry requirements for Greece before you book your trip, and take your passport on the day – you will require this at the port upon departure and arrival.
3. Pamukkale day trip from Marmaris
Another of the Marmaris excursions I highly recommend is a day trip to Pamukkale, which is one of the natural wonders of Europe. Located in the southwest of Turkey, Pamukkale has been formed over thousands of years by calcium oxide rich waters flowing over the up to 200 metre high cliffs, and leaving their white deposits behind.
For reasons I need not explain that will become evident when you are in its presence, Pamukkale is nicknamed ‘Cotton Castle’. The mineral rich waters are perfect for an afternoon bathe, or you can take the opportunity to immerse yourself in Cleopatra thermal pools at the top of the white travertines. Like with the Dalyan River Cruise, this day trip from Marmaris is a long day but is a bucket list worthy experience anyone travelling to Turkey should take advantage of!
4. Go Diving
I’ve always wanted to have a go at diving, and Marmaris seemed like the perfect place to sample life beneath the deep blue sea. My particular diving experience was with a company called Divers Delight and departed from a town called Icmeler which is a stone’s throw from Marmaris. We spent the day out on the water and got to dive a couple of times, and use snorkelling equipment in between. Plus, it included a lovely lunch on board. Diving is one of the must-do Marmaris tours and excursions for water lovers, and being amongst the abundance of sea life below is a moment which will stay with me for the rest of my life.
5. Go Quad Biking
Adventure junkies assemble, because there are many adrenaline-filled Marmaris daily excursions on offer, including Quad Biking. I spent one morning Quad Biking just outside of Marmaris, and it is one of my favourite memories of my time in Turkey. There tend to be options to share a Quad Bike (usually cheaper) if you are travelling as a duo or with a group, or to have one of your own. My trip took me along bumpy tracks, around trees, through water, and covered me in a whole lotta dust, so be sure to wear something you don’t mind getting ruined (and I wouldn’t bother to much with your make-up)!
Tip: If you’re going to do something venturesome like Quad Biking (or Horse Riding, see best Marmaris day trips #7) then be sure that your travel insurance covers these activities. You can usually find this in the small print of your policy documentation.
6. Marmaris Moonlight Cruise
When I visited Marmaris, it seemed customary for tour agencies to throw in a complimentary evening dinner cruise when you purchased a few different Marmaris excursions with them (psst… this may not be the case anymore). Therefore, on both visits I ended up going on evening dinner cruises on the house!
But whether free or not, I’d actually recommend this as one of the best Marmaris boat trips because it’s quite an idyllic experience. You will usually depart from Marmaris Marina late afternoon and cruise around the bay, watching on as the sun sets and the lights of the buildings and boats start to twinkle. As day turns to eve, you will be indulged with a lovely dinner, some music, and the option to have some drinks.
7. Go Horse Riding
Another of the best Marmaris excursions is to do a spot of horse riding. Like with Quad Biking, I spent a morning on a Horse Safari near Marmaris riding around the countryside and through rivers. The horses on my particular trip looked well cared for which is super important to me and will be to many other animal lovers – I booked through a tour agency in Marmaris, but in hindsight I’d suggest taking a look online at reviews of different firms and booking with one based on these to try and ensure it’s ethical. I even saw a wild tortoise roaming through the grass in the middle of nowhere, which is an absolute novelty for me because the closest we get to tortoises in the UK is in the local Zoo!
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