USING THIS FORUM
This forum is full of all the knowledge you need for a great holiday in Marmaris. It is simple to use and the other forumites will go out of their way to help you. However, almost every question you can think of has already been asked and the answers will be contained in the thousands of posts already here.
Before asking a question try a search for yourself. Just above the “Ask A Question” button is a small green panel containing the words “Search In”. In the empty panel to the right type your question, keeping it as simple as possible. Click on the small green square and wait whilst the page loads. It is unlikely that you won’t get a “hit”. In fact some questions will have several hundreds of replies.
If all else fails add a question to the forum. Click on “Ask A Question” and fill in the form that appears. With the heading, try to be as specific as possible. It is no good asking if a hotel has safety deposit boxes if you forget to add the name of the hotel! Many forumites daily gloss over the new posts and will often only open those that they have knowledge of.
If you want details of a specific hotel or restaurant then go to the review section where you can read the considered opinions of many others.
A TIP ON READING REVIEWS
If a hotel/restaurant has generally good reviews and then just one or two horrendous ones, then read the bad ones with just a pinch of salt. It often happens that one or two individuals will cause trouble in a hotel and when brought to task over their behaviour will retaliate by writing poor or even bogus reviews. Likewise it is not unknown for the proprietor of an establishment to write glowing reports about his own business. It has even been known for owners to enlist the aid of others to write good reviews of establishments they have never even visited. So read with caution and in the end make up your own mind.
It is vitally important to remember that when you visit Turkey you are going as a guest of the Turkish people and, at the same time, you are representing your country. If treated with respect Turks will repay it tenfold. A smile will win you friends. If you have a problem always speak to the person in charge but do so in a calm, quiet manner. Shouting, being rude, threats and waving your arms about will get you nowhere. It is an old but true saying that you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar! Also, if possible, learn a few words of Turkish. Especially please = lütfen and thank you = teşekkür ederim. These will always be welcomed by the locals. Getting drunk in public, behaving badly, being abusive and causing offence to others (stay away from politics and religion) will certainly not endear you to the Turkish people… or anyone else for that matter.
ARRIVAL AT DALAMAN
The arrival at Dalaman airport is, in comparison to many airports, relatively simple. Some aircraft will be brought right up to the terminal and you will walk off along an “air bridge” straight into arrivals. Other aircraft will be met by coaches which will bring you to the terminal.
Whichever happens, it is unlikely that everyone will be a “first timer,” so follow the crowd. The first queue will be for you to pay for your visa. There are usually several desks open and things move swiftly. Once at the desk give your passport with a crisp £10 note (English) to the customs officer. He/she will place a paper stamp in your passport. There have been several posts with arguments to say that you can or cannot pay for two people with a £20 note. Be on the safe side and have a £10 note each! They WILL NOT take credit/debit cards!
Once through you will join another queue. Once again give your passport to the officer and he/she will check the stamp and “flash” your passport into the computer.
You are now through to the baggage claim area. This area is the same as most others with several carousels bringing the bags up from the bowels of the earth. If you want a trolley there is a man who has the trolley concession and they will cost you £1 per trolley. Pay with an English £1 coin.
Once you have reclaimed your bags leave the arrivals lounge by the well-marked doors.
Before you do this however, or whilst you await your bags, there is a duty free shop where you can “top up” your drinks and tobacco allowances. Imported alcohol is very expensive in Marmaris and many travellers bring in duty free so that they can have a drink in their room before going out of an evening. Tobacco products in Marmaris are generally fake or of poor quality.
Outside of baggage reclaim you will see a ramp. Go down this ramp and at the bottom on the left you will find an array of kiosks. These kiosks bear the logos of the tour operators. Go to the one for the company you are traveling with and they will direct you to your transport. If you have booked transport privately, the drivers will also be in this area.
The road to Marmaris is being upgraded all the time and transfer times reflect this. However, transfer times are rather contentious. The basic coach transfer provided with most package holidays can be slow for many reasons. The coach will not leave until everyone has arrived, even if this means awaiting the arrival of delayed aircraft. Drivers vary and many like to make a “comfort stop” half way to Marmaris. The location of your hotel and the number of drop offs will have a bearing on times. The first drop off could be as little as 75 minutes after you board the coach but the last could be after a 3 hour, or longer, journey!
If you have paid to upgrade to a taxi or have gone for a private transfer you will certainly be at your hotel much faster. You can ask the driver to stop at a “comfort” stop or not. Most taxi and private transfers will take from 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes. Journeys of 50-55 minutes have been reported!
Your tour operator (coach/taxi) will deliver you to the area in front of the doors of the departure zone. At busy times of the season and on certain days the first queues will be spilling out into this area. Join a queue and be patient. These queues are for the x-ray machines and move reasonably quickly.
Once your bags have been x-rayed there are screens telling you which desks are dealing with which flights. Find your desks and once again be patient. From here on in it will be just like any other airport.
Be aware that the cost of food and drink at Dalaman departures is considered by many to be exorbitant. Where possible try to bring food from outside. Many bars, restaurants and hotels will make up packed meals for you to take to the airport. This food will not be taken from you and can be consumed in the airport or on your plane. Drinks however may be removed at the last customs check before boarding so drink them in the departure lounge. You can buy, on-line, small (100ml), empty plastic bottle which can be filled with water or juice for children and carried on the aircraft.
It is generally agreed that it is best to change your sterling to lira in Marmaris. Take about £50 worth of lira with you to tide you over for the first night/day or so.
Take English pounds. Scottish ones can be changed but often a poorer rate is obtained.
Change your £s in the small supermarkets, bars, restaurants, banks, trip agencies and some shops. These are safer and will give you a better exchange rate. Change in multiples of £100 as it will then be easier for you to work out what you should receive back. These exchanges should be free of commission. If commission is mentioned then go elsewhere.
Do NOT use the change shops. They often charge bogus “commissions” and “taxes”. Also there have been many instances of people being short changed.
No matter where you change your money… count it in front of the staff before leaving the premises. Do not be shy about doing this as the staff will certainly count your money in front of you before making the exchange.
Many bars, shops and restaurants will accept £s in payment. In fact many will display their prices in £s. However, be aware that you may not be getting a good exchange in these places. Especially if the rate is fluctuating. If it is a large purchase ask for the price in both currencies and work out which is to your advantage.
Apart from hiring a car or using “Shanks’s Pony”, there are three main ways to get around Marmaris.
These are mini-busses that follow set routes about the town; there are several routes and you can get to and from most places with ease. They are numerous, cheap and simple to use. Each route has a different colour scheme (white with orange or blue stripes for example) and the destination and fare are displayed on the front of the vehicle. The fare will vary from route to route but remains the same no matter what the length of your journey. If you travel 100 yards you will pay the same as you would traveling the full length of the route.
Whilst there are set stops, the drivers will usually stop anywhere to pick up and drop of a fare. All you do is stand by the road and flag them down. Once on board you can either pay immediately or at the end of the journey, by just passing your change forward to the driver. Try to give the exact fare if you can and do not try to give the driver large notes as he will have limited change. When you see your destination approaching just shout out to the driver. A simple “teşekkür ederim” (thank you) will suffice.
Taxis are also relatively cheap and plentiful. They are easy to spot being bright yellow. There are taxi ranks near most of the big hotels, restaurants and supermarkets. At these ranks there will be a board with the basic prices for many of the regular journeys, this is for information only. Make sure that the driver switches on the meter in the cab as he is legally obliged to do so. Some drivers will try to con the unwary by saying the meter is not working. If this is the case make them stop and get out of the cab and pay him NOTHING! If he argues tell him you will call the police. He is breaking the law.
The only exception to this is for trips outside the bounds of Marmaris. The longer trips (Airport etc.) can be done on a fixed price basis which you should agree before entering the cab. If you find a good driver it is sometimes possible to hire him for the day and have him take you on a trip around the area. His local knowledge will take you to places that you would not otherwise see.
These run from the Ataturk Statue area in Marmaris to Icmeler and Turunc. Some of them also stop at the jetties in front of some of the hotels. Whilst these are more expensive than the dolmus and take longer than regular taxis, they are great fun, being as they are, a mini boat trip! You get more room and fresh air than in the other forms of transport.
In Marmaris you will find the same eclectic mix of tastes, flavours and dishes that you can in most major European cities. All tastes and most dietary requirements are catered for. International, Turkish, Asian, Vegetarian, Halal and fast foods are available in abundance. Remember that many restaurants will let children eat for free or for ½ price if you ask them. It is worth haggling for a price, especially if you are a large party with several children.
The majority of restaurants offer a large variety of steak, chicken and lamb dishes. Sometimes the menus are a bit too big! Many will have special offers such as set price meals. Some will be as cheap as five courses for £7 – 9! English/Scottish breakfasts as cheap as £2, however this often does not include the drinks which can increase the price considerably. Be aware that if you order a main meal from the menu there will often be free extras such as the local bread with garlic butter and sometimes a selection of dips. So unless you are a big eater, be wary of ordering a starter. In general the food provided by these restaurants is excellent and very good value for money.
There are traditional Turkish restaurants in Marmaris, although not as many as the international ones. However, they can be found and it is certainly worth the effort of visiting them. The food is always of a good quality and in general on the cheaper side, catering as they do to local people. Most have an English version of their menu and the owner, manager or waiters will be only too happy to take the time to explain each dish to you. It would be a shame to visit Turkey and go away without sampling some of the delightful local dishes.
For those that need their “fix” of spicy food there are several, well thought of, Indian restaurants. As for lovers of Chinese food you will not be disappointed. Several of these Asian restaurants offer buffet meals at budget prices.
Many hotels offer an entertainment programme. But if yours does not then don’t worry as many restaurants and bars put on small shows of an evening. Also many will have things to keep the children happy. Playgrounds, toys, computers and computer games are available at some. Also the Turkish people love children and will often keep them entertained for you whilst you enjoy a drink or a meal. Keep your eyes open whilst you walk around during the day to see what is on offer at the literally dozens of cafes, bars and eateries.
This is a subject that often appears in questions.
Obviously it is not something that can be treated as an exact science.
It is dependent on many factors such as the basis of your holiday (S/C, B&B or A/I), your drinking habits, what type of food you like, the number of trips you intend to do and how much shopping you want to buy.
It is generally reckoned that for people on a S/C basis who like to eat moderately well. Breakfast in apartment, sandwich or kebab for lunch and a decent sit-down dinner. Have a couple of drinks a day, two or three trips per week and a little shopping then about £50 each per day should cover it. Obviously if children are involved you could add about £25 per day per child. This may seem high for the children buy soft drinks and ice creams are expensive. This would need to be adjusted for B&B and A/I!
For those that wish to self-cater, the markets and supermarkets are stocked with many varieties of breads, dairy products, fresh fruit and vegetables in abundance and many packaged foods, such as crisps, cereals and biscuits, that will be instantly recognised by the average British consumer. There are many small supermarkets and these are fine for the odd purchase but for a bigger buy, the larger supermarkets such as Tansas, Migros and Kipa are cheaper.
TOILET TISSUE (GENERAL)
Due to the fact that the Turkish people are, in the main, Muslims and wash only in running water and do not use toilet tissue, the drains in most areas are small. Consequently, in your hotel and restaurants, you will be asked to place USED toilet tissue in little bins provided next to the toilet pedestal. No toilet or other kinds of tissue should be “flushed” as this may block the drains. Some of the more modern hotels do have a disposal system that will allow the flushing of tissues but they are few and far between. The little bins will be emptied daily by the room maids. Please DO NOT decide to ignore this request or you may end up “getting your own back” as it were!
TOILET TISSUE (FOR S/C)
If you are Self-Catering do not expect more than one or two toilet rolls to be provided by the Hotel/Apartments. If you get more, think of this as a bonus, but do not expect or demand more. You are Self-Catering and this means providing everything for yourself! They are easy to obtain from most supermarkets, large and small, and do not cost much! You would not expect soap, shampoo, washing up liquid or cosmetics to be supplied on a S/C basis so why would you expect toilet rolls!
For those that opt for B&B I would recommend checking with you holiday provider as to what type of breakfast will be supplied. In the better hotels the breakfast will be international with items from many cultures. With the cheaper hotels however, the breakfast will be Turkish. The traditional Turkish breakfast consists of bread, hard-boiled egg, cheese (of the feta type), olives, yogurt, honey and tea. Whilst there are many variations on this theme it is not to everyone’s taste.
Once again this is something that does not suit all tastes. It is ideal for those with children (soft drinks and ice-creams are expensive in Marmaris) and for those who wish to spend all day around the pool. However I would recommend that before booking you make sure exactly what you are getting for your money. For example, some hotels have a 24 hour bar, but many do not and limit the times that the so called unlimited food and drinks are available. Also some of the hotel bars will limit you as to the number drinks that one person can collect from the bar at one time. So be absolutely sure what you are going to get for your money!
This is not a rude comment from the Turkish people but stands for Buy One Get One Free! You will see this advertised outside of many restaurants and bars in Marmaris. It usually covers such drinks as local beer, local spirits and cocktails. However there are many variations so check with the barman before ordering. Also, remember that the basic price of the drinks may have been altered to make this a more realistic proposition for the bar. Still, it is often a very good deal. For example, many bars will sell beer at 4 – 6 lira a pint. The BOGOF bars will have it at 7 – 8 lira. But this will be for two… so a good deal if you want more than one drink.
As said above, Muslims wash only in running water. Therefore many hotels will not have sink plugs. Take a universal plug with you. These can be obtained from most hardware stores or on-line.
Tips are very much down to personal choice but in Turkey they are by no means obligatory. The tip culture is catching on but is something the Turks have learnt from us!
However, a little bit of change left after a meal or the small change from buying a drink will always be appreciated and make you remembered if you intend to return.
Some like to tip the room maid on a daily basis and some like to give a small tip at the start of the holiday and a little more at the end if the service has been up to standard.
Taxi drivers, hotel porters and reception staff will always appreciate a small tip.
Wages in Turkey are generally very poor and hours worked are long. The tourist season is short and workers in the industry have to make enough to last them through the off-season months. If you can afford it be generous.
There is no shortage of ATM machines.
Check with your card provider before going as to what they charge for usage abroad. Also, to avoid embarrassment, inform your provider that you will be using your card in Turkey otherwise they might “stop” the card for illegal usage. Security is so important these days that they may think your card has been stolen or cloned, if you do not let them know you are travelling abroad. All the usual precautions should be taken when using them.
More and more hotels, bars and restaurants are installing Wi-Fi. If it is not available in your hotel it is not hard to find a bar, restaurant or café that has it. Usually it is free if drinks or food are purchased.
Make sure that you have the roaming facility switched off on your phone as recent reports have highlighted the problems of huge bills (up to £2,000) on return to the UK.
It is better to buy a local phone card and use a public phone. A 10 lira card will last up to an hour.
In many situations it is expected that you will haggle over a price. When buying an item ask the price. Have in mind what you would happily pay and offer about half that amount. This gives you both room to manoeuvre. Do not offer ridiculously low prices as this would insult the seller. Do not haggle if you have no intention of buying as this is also an insult. If you are thinking of buying several items or booking trips then do it all at once and try for an overall deal as this will help you to get a lower price.
Do not haggle in the bigger supermarkets or bigger restaurants. However many restaurants will offer you special deals, free drinks or children’s meals if you are a good sized party.
There are many great trips to be had in and around Marmaris. In general these will be cheaper if booked through the small agencies and NOT through your hotel or Tour rep. It will certainly be MORE expensive if you book your trips on-line from the UK!
I won’t go into details of individual trips or make recommendations of agencies. What I will suggest though is that if you are going to book more than one trip, book them at the same time and haggle. You will get a better price and may well get a free trip if you are booking a few trips at once or if your party is large.
There are several markets in the Marmaris/Icmeler areas. Goods for sale vary from fruit and vegetables to clothing and household items. They are held on several days in the week at various locations. Check out the forum for details.
There are several water parks in Marmaris and they each have their devotees so once again check out the forum for details.
Many holidays do not include the cost of air-conditioning and this has to be paid for on arrival to the hotel. This can be as much £40 per week and is certainly a necessity in the hotter months. Safe deposit boxes are usually provided, either in your room or in reception. However, once again these are usually NOT included in the price of your holiday and can be as much as £15 per week. Once again they are a necessity for your own peace of mind. Check with your holiday provider when booking as to what is included. Then budget for these “extras” as it might be as much as £100+ per room for a two week holiday.
Baggage allowance can be a bit of a problem, especially on the way back after buying all those bargains in the markets.
If you feel you may have trouble on the way out then consider leaving your beach towels at home and buying new ones in Marmaris. They are of good quality and cheap, as little as £10 -15 for two large towels. When you have finished with them give them as a gift to your room maid or anyone who has looked after you on your holiday. Many of your favourite cosmetics, soaps, shampoos and toothpastes can be bought in the local supermarkets, so consider buying them on arrival and leaving any unused items for your room maid. Once again, they will be appreciated.
Whatever you do, remember that a holiday is what YOU make it.
I hope that you will enjoy the pleasures of Marmaris as we do.
Peter & Jean. :o)