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A view of the landscape of Port Marmaris Turkey

Marmaris, Turkey

Marmaris, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, is a popular international sailing port and busy all-inclusive-holiday destination for northern Europeans. Once a sleepy fishing village, the town transformed into a tourism hotspot in the 1980s, catering to everyone from backpackers and resort lovers to families and hedonistic partygoers. Its influx of foreign guests means Turkish culture can get somewhat lost, though a stopover will introduce you to the history, people, landscape and unique ecosystem of the area. The first sight on arrival is the town’s natural harbor, lined by the mountainous Marmaris National Park. It’s this landscape and proximity to the Aegean and Mediterranean seas that sustained the town as an ancient trading port and safe haven for history’s greatest armies, including those of Alexander the Great and Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. Once docked at the cruise terminal, walk to the old town where you’ll find the Grand Bazaar, Marmaris Museum and most restaurants lined up by the superyachts and Turkish gulets (wooden sailboats) of the encircling marina. Sunbeds by the beach are within walking distance, though the more attractive Içmeler Beach is just a quick trip by taxi or public bus.