These days, Marmaris is top-heavy with cheap tourism, and it shows. But a short drive out of town reveals the original appeal that drew visitors in the first place. Leaving their mark along the peninsula is a slew of ancient civilizations, some woven into the daily fabric of humble villages, tourist marinas, and magnificent beaches. North of Marmaris on the road to Mugla is Gökova, another stop on the yachting trail, dotted with clusters of picturesque wooden houses built in the two-story Ottoman style.
Just outside of Marmaris is the lovely resort of Içmeler, magnificently situated in a sheltered cove at the base of rippling pine-covered mountains. The fit and ambitious may want to sample a portion of the scenic trail that runs all the way from Içmeler to Degirmenyani, about 19km (12 miles) west. The village of Turunç, farther south, sustains the charm of tradition and the comforts of modernity. A popular stop for yachts, it accommodates its visitors with handcrafted products such as honey, garden thyme, and sage tea. The long and winding road southwest to Selimiye is well worth the effort. Frozen in time, this settlement is an ideal spot for enjoying local fish, village wine, and magical sunsets following a day on Siliman Beach. Take your time traveling south from Hisarönü, though: You can walk on water at the beach of Kizkumu in Orhaniye, just beyond Hisarönü, where a lengthy sandbar extends 800m (2,625 ft.) into the bay. In the heat of summer, you may want to stop off at the waterfall near Turgut village, stroll through the Carpet Weavers Corporation, and relax over gözleme (a crepe filled with cheese, spinach, or both) and ayran (a Turkish yogurt drink).
It wouldn't be fair to finish off this section without mentioning the Marmaris Castle Museum (tel. 0252/412-1459), in the fortress in the old section of Marmaris. Perched above the harbor, the best access is through the bazaar behind the Atatürk statue; follow the signs through the narrow streets up the hill to the museum entrance. The exhibit isn't terribly interesting, but the views of the harbor and castle itself might be worth the 3TL admission fee. The museum is open daily from 8am to noon and from 1 to 5:30pm.
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