Marmaris, on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, also referred to as “paradise” by locals is the perfect place to visit when you need to destress.
I flew with Pegasus Airlines – a low-cost Turkish airline. It was the first time I fly with Pegasus and it was a great experience. I loved their marvel themed in-flight safety video. Usually I stare out the window or sleep when they play the security video but with this video was different – I was intrigued. It’s the most creative video I’ve ever seen. Wish I could find a link online.
I flew from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen International Airport to Dalaman airport in Turkey (55minutes). I arrived and rented a car from Avis and I drove for a while to explore the area. I ended up in an area called Akyaka and stopped to ask someone to recommend a restaurant. I was told that Kordon Resturant, Dalyan is the best.
The restaurant is based next to a river and you can feed/watch ducks while you eat. The weather was amazing on this particular day. Probably the warmest it’s ever been since I arrived in Turkey.
One thing I’ve noticed in Turkish fish restaurants is that they never have a standard menu or price. They tell you what kind of fish is available on that specific day and you choose your own side dishes but in between they walk around and bring small plates of other types of food to your table – In this case they brought a plate with octopus and another plate with calamari and then they charge you for everything. If you are on a budget it’s best to be really specific.
After eating I continued with my journey and 45 minutes later I was in Marmaris. I arrived and parked at a petrol station, googled hotels and then I decided to stay at D-Resort Grand Azur.
The staff were friendly and they spoke english (very rare in Turkey), food was great, everything was spotless. I notice everything even stains on cutlery and thankfully I didn’t find any fault with this hotel. They have a gym, in-door pool, steak house, water activities in summer.
I was exhausted so I just showered and slept.
The second day of my trip started off on a positive note, I had breakfast and I headed out to discover Marmaris.
First stop was the Marmaris Castle – It used to be an Ottoman castle and now it’s a museum. It’s interesting how the castle was actually built (or rebuilt from an earlier attempt) by modestly named Suleiman the Magnificent, the longest reigning Sultan of the Ottoman empire.
I decided to just drive around and explore the “country”/farm areas.
Turkey is beautiful ❤
I also learned that the Greek island of Rhodes is less than an hour away by boat but I decided not to go. Perhaps that would be a trip for another weekend.
That evening I went out to the Marmaris Marina for dinner and I somehow lost my bag at the restaurant. Yes my whole bag 😨 My bag went missing from the table – I don’t even understand how because I didn’t move all evening. I asked at the waiters and they didn’t even speak English. I was petrified because I had all my cards, international driving permit and passport in my bag, thankfully I had cash in my pocket and I could pay for my meal.
I walked back to the hotel (about 10 minutes) and sat down in the lobby. A security guard came up to me to ask if I was okay and I said, “Yes. I’m fine,” in what must have been a very unconvincing voice.
I sat there for like an hour struggling to pull myself together. He came back with a handful of tissues and said you can tell me anything, did you fight with your boyfriend or something what’s wrong. We ended up speaking for like 3 hours
After he left I just started crying harder than before. His kindness was exactly what I needed. It was such a small thing to do, but I felt so overwhelmed with the sense that everything will be okay. I just want him to know how much I appreciate his kindness. I don’t even know his name but he was such an amazing person.
I went back to my room to sleep and at 8am I got a call from reception, someone found my bag and saw the hotel room key and they brought it to the hotel. It was unreal, nothing was taken. In South Africa if you lose anything, there’s 99% chance that you will never see it again.
I’m so grateful my passport was found. I can’t imagine what I would’ve done. I always carry my passport especially when I drive. When the police stop me they always ask for my passport and not licence. A friend told me if you don’t have identification on you; you can be arrested, it’s best to be safe than sorry – Living in a foreign country is exciting but also terrifying.
On the 3rd day my mood had improved and I was looking forward to going to Datça – about 90kms from Marmaris.
I ended up in Knidos. Founded by Greek settlers, Knidos was an important cultural and political centre by the 5th century BC and, with its large natural harbours, the city was also an ancient trading hub for wine and oil. Today you can see the remains of the ancient Greek city perched upon a steep hilltop, looking out over its natural harbour, Knidos boasts stunning views alongside its ancient ruins.
Marmaris is heavenly and I will definitely return in Summer.
Have you been to Turkey? What’s your favourite city?