5 Famous Mugla Province Destinations to Visit
The long list of Mugla province destinations includes a colourful array of towns, villages and cities for any avid explorer or property buyers. Each place has something unique to offer whether this is gorgeous beaches, historical sites, modern Turkish trends or merely a peaceful ambience encompassing the more delicate side of life. In this article, we talk about the best places to visit or buy a home, but here are some facts to know about the Mugla province.
Facing the Aegean Sea, the Mugla province covers a large section of Turkey’s southwest coast. Much international fame stems around its tourism market that includes Turkey’s top-visited destinations and attractions. Locals also work in agriculture and grow delights like delicious olives, of which the trees covering the landscapes thrive because of ideal soil and weather climates.
Many tourists come in via Dalaman and Bodrum airports which host millions of passengers every year. However, Mugla is also a major sailing hub and part of the Turkish Riviera. Avid explorers can enjoy two lakes and the abundance of seaside resorts. Additionally, Mugla’s rich historical history has left behind ruined cities, of which some sit on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
So, if you have limited time, which destinations should you head to for the best experiences? Both the Milas and Mugla areas sit at the northern point, but we recommend Bodrum first.
5 Famous Mugla Province Destinations to Visit
1: Bodrum Peninsula
Ah, the magnificent Peninsula jutting out into the Aegean captivates all who visit her. Comprising popular towns like Gumbet, Torba and the city centre, it perfectly accommodates budget and luxury holidaymakers. Places like Torba and Turkbuku that the New York Times called Turkey’s Saint Tropez maintain an upmarket, luxurious vibe. However, the star player of them all is Yalikavak. Don’t be surprised to see the odd celebrity or Saudi prince who have dropped by on their mega luxury yacht.
The Peninsula makes a roaring trade in beach tourism, sailing, and the major centre’s landmark of Saint Peter’s castle earns its international fame in major travel publications. Our favourite spot though is Gumusluk, especially at night time because of the ambience in seaside restaurants serving fresh catches of the day. While in Bodrum, a blue voyage cruise, lasting three nights, will emphasise what the region is all about. More about the Bodrum peninsula of Turkey.
2: Marmaris and Icmeler
These two resorts sitting side by side are another tourist hotspot, with people flocking from all around the world to enjoy the stunning beaches, and in Marmaris, the lively nightlife. Heading from the Aegean into the Mediterranean Sea, its most notorious moment in history was when Ottoman sultan Suleiman the magnificent went to Marmaris so he could launch his war on nearby Rhodes. For many years, Marmaris’s low-key reputation kept it shut off from the outside world. However, when mainstream tourism came to Turkey in the 1980s, it bloomed into a fully fledged destination.
Although luxury hotels make a roaring trade, Marmaris is more known for budget holidaymakers who find great value for money when eating out and shopping. The best place to explore is Marmaris marina and old harbour district. This old part of town, where the castle stands, is home to the bazaar which is a great place to shop for souvenirs. Otherwise, enjoy a laid-back atmosphere of heaps of sun, sea, and sand.
3: Datca Peninsula
For somewhere secluded, oozing of rustic, luxury charm, head to the Datca peninsula that maintains an exclusive reputation within Turkey’s tourism and property market. It is more pricey than other destinations, but the charm of this old fishing peninsula and its boutique hotels easily wins you over. Don’t think you have to forgo the modern comforts to enjoy this rustic destination because old and new blend perfectly together.
The major landmark of Knidos ancient city ruins encourages some yachts sailing the turquoise coast to stop by for exploration of its ancient mosaics and 8000-seater theatre. Otherwise, jump on board a daily boat cruises to explore scenic coves and bays. Some holidaymakers do this via car hire so they can stop off in local restaurants to enjoy regional cuisine dishes. The picturesque Datca peninsula splits into the old and new part, and everyone who visits falls in love with it.
Many people visit Dalyan on a day trip from surrounding resorts, but if you can, stay overnight to enjoy the low key and atmospheric nightlife scene. Some foreign house buyers also choose Dalyan, so they can spend summers enjoying old-world charm, but if you want to get busy, there is much to do. Major attractions include Iztuzu beach that in the 1980s became famous when David Bellamy campaigned against the construction of a hotel there. The reason being is the nesting of the endangered Caretta turtles.
Also, jump in a small tug boat and sail up the Dalyan delta. On the way, witness a dramatic view of ancient Lycian rock tombs carved into the hillside. These were of former royalty from the ruined city of Caunos, of which some tourists explore these days. Otherwise, participate in Dalyan’s biggest attraction, the mud baths. Ticket sellers often say they will leave you looking ten years younger. We refute this claim, but your skin gets a refreshing boost thanks to the high amounts of sulphur.
5: Fethiye Region
Heading further around the coastline, we come to the Fethiye region that includes the smaller towns of Oludeniz, Calis beach, Hisaronu, Ovacik and the major town centre. Like its above counterparts, Fethiye is a centre of excellence on the Turkish riviera, and budget backpackers head there for a cabin cruise to Olympus, Antalya. Fethiye’s roaring travel market invites people from around the world, but it has especially garnered favour with the Brits, of which many now live there all year round.
One reason for its popularity is the natural landmarks of beauty which include Butterfly Valley, the Blue Lagoon and Saklikent Gorge. Kayakoy ghost village, another major tourist attraction is a must-visit, and Fethiye is also the start of the famous Lycian way. Otherwise, head to the back of the city centre for breath-taking views from the Lycian rock tombs. Eating out and the nightlife scene is a delight in Turkey. Start at the Fethiye fish market. Here, choose your meal and let surrounding restaurants, cook and serve it with a range of Turkish mezes. Find out more about the Fethiye region here.
Best Time to Visit: The Mugla province largely relies on tourism for income, so the best months to visit all destinations are from May to October, especially for beach lovers, when sunbeds, umbrellas and water sports are available to rent. Otherwise, people who enjoy exploring historical sites and towns, should avoid August when temperatures peak and can often reach the mid-40s. Also remember, January through to the beginning of March is the rainy season.
Offbeat Places in Turkey: The above Mugla province destinations host millions of visitors every year, yet some people like to get off the beaten track and explore the lesser-known towns and villages. In this article, we list eight places to visit that provide equally the same amount of Turkish charm, yet are largely ignored by western tourism.