Trip to Marmaris was my first encounter with Turkish coast. At that time Turkish was very popular, and I remember that the reason I’ve chosen Marmaris was that the city and the beach were all in one – you don’t have to rent a car, you can go everywhere by foot or minivan. We have stayed at the Emre beach hotel, in part of Marmaris that is closer to Icmeler. This town has a large beach, which starts from port, includes whole bay, and right before Marmaris is a smaller town, with maybe more beautiful beach – Icmeler.

Marmaris harbor
Marmaris harbor

Beach in Marmaris

The part of the beach that is closer to the old part of town is not that good, so it is better to choose hotels that are away from port (which is just 20 minute walk). The beach in Marmaris is narrow, which I personally don’t like. It seemed to me that hotels are occupied the whole beach with their deckchairs, and I don’t know what guests whose hotel doesn’t have their part of the beach are doing, or people that came from somewhere else to swim here.

Along the harbor there are many cafes and restaurants, and in the old town is a Bar Street, so that the city is very much alive. Also along the main street, you can sit down for dinner or a drink, which is good if you’re not in the mood to walk to the harbor and the old town.

Excursions from Marmaris

Given that Marmaris is indrawn into the bay, the water is calm and no waves. Another advantage of Marmaris is that excursions, such as Ephesus and Pamukkale, are a lot closer than going from Alanya. Also, given that the city is located right across the Greek island of Rhodes, there are daily tours.

Alanya gave me a completely different experience from Marmaris. First, the city is much larger than Marmaris, and it’s made of two large bays, one half of Alanya is on Cleopatra’s beach, and the other one at Keykubat beach. In the middle is center of the city, and the beaches are divided by rocky peninsula.

Cleopatra’s beach

Cleopatra beach
Cleopatra beach

We were staying at the Cleopatra’s beach, which I chose after I read the various forums where almost everyone wrote about some rocks in the water at the beach Keykubat and praised Cleopatra’s saying that it is much better for swimming. Since I haven’t visited Keykubat, I can´t say if it is true. We chose the hotel at Cleopatra’s beach. Just cross the street and you are at the beach. The hotel is decent, average, 3*.

As for Cleopatra’s beach, I can say that this is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. First of all, it is very long and wide enough to be able to place all visitors without the impression that someone is sitting over your head or that the road / cafe / promenade are just above the head (the impression I had in Marmaris). Entrance to the beach is free, and you can rent parasols and sun loungers, if you wish.

Unlike Marmaris, where you are moving slowly into the deep, here you’re in deep water almost after first step. The slope is really big, so when there are a stronger waves, it is not that easy to get out of the water, because your feet are perishing in the sand, and waves are pulling you back. It was a couple of days with strong waves (and the red flag), which was expected because this is the open sea.

The same and wonderful sea

Also, I liked better the sea in Alanya, it's clear, beautiful color and you feel the width and immeasurably sea. You can go on various excursions from Alanya. We have booked everything in local agencies, which you will find at every step. While walking at night, agents will usually approach and offer you tours.

High humidity is one of flaws of Alanya compared to the humidity in Marmaris. At the time when we were there (late July-early August), in addition to really high temperatures, humidity is overwhelming. This is manifested by T-shirt that is, after 10 minute walk, completely wet. Also, I  tried stay longer on a beach last day to swim and sunbathe because I thought, "Now I am tanned, I will not get sun burn and it is not terribly hot," but it is simply impossible to be on the beach after 11am , even under an parasol because it is really hot in the sun. Maybe it's a bit nicer in Alanya in June / September.



The food in Marmaris and Alanya

Food in both places was excellent. I often hear complaining of my friends that in Turkey “there is not enough meat," but I have not noticed that. Buffet in a hotel is rich, there are enough meat, salads and vegetable dishes, even more than you can imagine. Not to mention sweets, we know everything. After all, do you really need a large amount of meat at +40 degrees? I think the cuisine is fully in line with climate, temperature and way of life. In addition, you can always take a kebab on the street, if you want.

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