Marmaris is a port city and a tourist destination on the Mediterranean coast, located in southwest Turkey, in the Muğla Province.
Marmaris' main source of income is tourism. While little is left of the sleepy fishing village that Marmaris was just a few decades ago after a construction boom in the 1980s, Marmaris still retains its charm due to the exceptional natural beauty of its location. The town's population is 28,660 (2000) and is estimated to reach 300,000 - 400,000 people during the tourism season, when the flow of people reaches critical levels. Marmaris' nightlife rivals anything on the Turkish coast.
It is also a major centre for sailing, possessing two major and several smaller marinas. It is a popular wintering location for hundreds of cruising boaters. There are regular ferry services to the Greek island of Rhodes, and large cruise ships call at the port.
Marmaris has a Mediterranean Climate characterized by a hot and humid summer and cool, rainy winter. Showers and rain are very unlikely between May and October.
Summers are hot and humid,temperatures can reach over 40 °C sometimes as a heatwave in July and August. October is still warm and bright with spells of rain, many tourists prefer to visit at this time of year, especially in September, because the temperatures are not as hot.
Winters are very mild and frost occurrence is rare.
Winter is the rainy season, with major precipitation falling after November. The annual rainfall can reach to 1181,8 millimetres (46 in) ; the rainfall is concentrated during scattered days in winter falling in heavy cloudbursts which cause flash floods sometimes in flood prone areas.
Although it is not certain when Marmaris was founded, in the 6th century BC the city was known as Physkos, and considered part of Caria.
According to the historian Herodotus, there was a castle in Marmaris since 3000 BC. During the Hellenistic Age, Caria was invaded by Alexander the Great and the castle 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 next important event during the history of Marmaris was almost two thousand years later, in the mid-fifteenth century, when the Ottoman Empire began to rise after the efforts of Sultan Mehmet II, who succeeded in conquering and uniting under one banner the various tribes and kingdoms of Anatolia. Some of his greatest difficulties came from the Knights of St. John, who occupied the Dodecanese Islands. Based in Rhodes, the Knights had fought for many years; they were able to withstand the onslaughts of Mehmet II until a succeeding and more powerful Sultan came on the scene.
Beaches of Marmaris on the Turkish Riviera
Marmaris castle was rebuilt from scratch in 1522 by the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent when he had set out for his campaign on Rhodes, for which Marmaris served as a base. Since 1979, renovation work has been continuing at the castle, in order to restore it back to original condition. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture, the castle was converted into a museum. There are seven galleries, of which the largest is being used as an exhibition hall and 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 Süleyman's mother Ayşe Hafsa Sultan.