Things to see around Gökova
There aren’t any major sights in Gökova itself but the town is surrounded by beautiful countryside that is great for walking and cycling, and rich in wildlife. The coastline of the Gulf of Gökova is one of the most unspoilt stretches of the entire Turkish Mediterranean.
Akyaka’s colourful weekly market is every Wednesday. It’s a great experience with loads of local colour along with the fantastic fruit, vegetables and other fresh local produce.
The small public beach in Akyaka itself is gently sloping and ideal for young kids. There are many other local beaches that can be reached by local minibus, on foot or by boat, such as the beach at Cinar, just west of the town.
Marmaris is one of Turkey’s largest package resorts and is particularly popular with British tourists. Stretching around a beautiful bay surrounded by mountains, the old town centre has a covered bazaar, with stalls selling local crafts, carpets and fake designer gear, if that’s your thing. There’s a tiny castle built by Ottoman sultan Suleyman the Magnificent before he conquered Rhodes and a long waterfront promenade lined with restaurants, bars and hundreds of tour boats. The marinas are Turkey’s largest with thousands of yachts, gulets and gin-palaces. Hotels stretch around the bay to Içmeler, which has a better beach than the town itself. Marmaris has everything you’d expect from a major package resort including plenty of shopping, varied dining and lots of lively nightlife.
Köyceğiz is a small market town beside a large lake about 40 minutes drive from Gökova. Tour boats take tourists across the lake to the hot springs at Sultaniye and the mudbaths at Dalyan.
The riverside town of Dalyan has a lovely beach, popular with nesting turtles as well as tourists, which is reached by boat from the main square. The local mud baths and the ruins of ancient Caunos can also be visited on a daytrip from Gökova.
The provincial capital of Muğla is a wealthy administrative and university town. Aside from a few historic buildings in the old quarter there isn’t much of interest for tourists, except the bus station, which is an important stop for buses heading along the coastal highway.
Efesus and the Virgin Mary’s house
The sprawling ruins of the ancient city of Efesus are one of the top tourist attractions in Turkey and can easily be visited on a day-trip from Cesme. Nearby, the Chapel of the Virgin Mary is built on the site where Mary is supposed to have lived following Christ’s crucifixion.
Greek island of Rhodes
Ferries cross from Marmaris to the Greek island of Rhodes. The crossing takes about 45 minutes, so it’s possible to visit for a weekend or even a day-trip.
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