Icmeler is a family-friendly beach resort on the beautiful Turquoise Coast of Turkey. The resort offers a more relaxed alternative to its bustling neighbouring resort, Marmaris, with its traditional Turkish village charm owing to its roots as a fishing village. While many of the other popular tourist resorts in Turkey have a sense of the local culture being pushed aside to make way for tourism, Icmeler has stayed true to its heritage and culture. Icmeler has golden sands, warm waters and busy street markets, as well as plenty of good restaurants and bars. If you’re considering Turkey for a family holiday in 2017, Icmeler is an ideal place for fun activities and relaxed days at the beach.
The resort has been a popular choice with holidaymakers for many years, and continues to attract people from across the globe with its beautiful weather and welcoming locals. Thanks to its well-connected location, Icmeler is within easy reach of Marmaris and its main attractions as well, such as the Atlantis Waterpark. If you choose to stay in Icmeler itself, you’ll find that the busiest areas are the markets that sell jewellery, clothing and, of course, traditional Turkish delight.
Most popular hotels in Icmeler
Mirage World Hotel
Grand Yazici Marmaris Palace
Marti Resort Hotel
Club Aquarium Apartments
Oren Hill Apartments
At a glance
- Language: Turkish
- Time Zone: GMT +3
- Average flight time: 4h 20m
When to go
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One thing’s for sure, you’ll never be bored in this area of Turkey. Whatever you’re looking for in a Turkey holiday, versatile Icmeler has it. You can spend days lounging around at one of the gorgeous beaches, or take a boat trip to one of the gorgeous nearby islands such as Rhodes or Cleopatra Island. One of the main draws of Icmeler is its bustling shopping scene, with numerous street markets to explore in search of souvenirs and many a bargain to take home. If you’re feeling laid-back, staying in Icmeler is a great way to relax and unwind from the stresses of everyday life by taking strolls around the picturesque village and getting plenty of sun, sea and sand. If you’re in the mood for exploring, you can head to nearby Marmaris to follow the Lycian Way walk or head to the Phosphorous Caves with the family. If you take the hydrofoil to Rhodes, you’ll be able to find out more about the rich and long heritage of both Turkey and Greece in one very informative and fun trip.
Wine and Dine
Thanks to its roots as a traditional fishing village, Icmeler offers some incredible seafood dishes in the quaint restaurants and cafes around the village. In the village itself you will find mostly Turkish restaurants that serve Turkish, Halal, European and Mediterranean cuisine. Turkish food is mostly based on the dishes that were served in the Ottoman Empire, with Persian, Mediterranean and Caucasian influences. Common dishes include lamb, spinach, bread, spices, yoghurt and aubergines. There’s also plenty of friendly little places to grab a burger, fish and chips and other traditional British dishes. For a more bustling culinary scene and greater number of options, head to Marmaris and enjoy the dazzling array of food and drink there. It is fair to say that overall, Marmaris has excellent cafes and restaurants. Most of the restaurants and cafes in Marmaris are situated by the seaside and around Marmaris Castle. Nestel Marina is a lovely place for both a romantic dinner with your loved one and a family meal, with beautiful scenery and more upmarket places to eat and drink. Many restaurants in Marmaris have live entertainment with music, couples and family events to enjoy all-year round.
Icmeler and its surrounding area are famous for great beaches, with three Blue Flag beaches close by that offer pristine gold sands and peaceful waves. For a more scenic setting that’s great for kids, make a day excursion to Olu Deniz and indulge in a spot of sunbathing by the Blue Lagoon. Owing to its location on the Turquoise Coast, there are plenty of quiet little coves dotted along the coastline which are great to explore with your children. Most of the attractions for families in the area are situated around nearby Marmaris, including Marmaris Castle, Marmaris Kalesi, Marmaris Milli Parki and Marmaris National Park.
Action and Adventure
With warm and clear waters, the sea around Icmeler provides the perfect venue for water sports. As Icmeler village itself has a traditional Turkish village vibe and laid-back ambience, water sports are the main active thing to do in the resort. This lovely Turkish resort is a great place to try out water sports for the first time, with calm waters and pleasantly warm weather. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned water sports aficionado, head to Marmaris Diving Centre for beginner courses and refresher courses for all experience levels. If you fancy something more thrilling, you could try white-water rafting on the Dalaman River, jet-skiing, water-skiing or windsurfing. Wakeboarding is also getting more and more popular and while it used to be a more specialist sport, there’s an increasing number of wakeboarding schools to help you get started or rent equipment from if you’re already experienced. To experience unforgettable views of Icmeler and the surrounding area, try parasailing, giving you a bird’s eye view of this beautiful region.
Life's a Beach
Icmeler Beach itself is quite small and is a mix of sand and shingle, but it’s pleasantly long and relatively uncrowded. Marmaris has one of the biggest natural harbours in the world, with an expansive bay that has welcomed iconic historic figures including Mark Anthony and the Crusaders. The area continues to attract the yachting community to this day. Marmaris Beach has incredible views and a stretch of bustling sands that are popular with tourists and locals alike. One of the most beautiful beaches in the Icmeler area is Cleopatra Island, an offshore beach that was given as a wedding gift from Mark Anthony to Cleopatra. The beaches stretch along the whole bay and are the ideal venue for a range of water-sports, including scuba diving, swimming and boating.
Icmeler’s nightlife is varied, with a choice of more sedate and family-friendly bars as well as some buzzing clubs and restaurants that stay open well into the night. The bars in Icmeler have a welcoming, friendly atmosphere and welcome visitors of all ages. One of the best bars for a vibrant nightlife experience in Icmeler is the Aqua Jungle Bar, close to the waterfront. Other good options for nights out include the Canary Bar, Scotia Bar, Sport Inn Café Bar and the Ace Bar. When you’re looking for a wider choice of clubs and bars, or want to celebrate a special occasion, nearby Marmaris is the ideal venue for unforgettable nights out. Marmaris’ aptly-named Bar Street has plenty of nightclubs and bars and has a decidedly party-friendly ambience, making it the best place for a buzzing night out and a place to avoid if you prefer a quiet night. Other exciting nightlife venues include the Crazy Daisy, which has been voted the top disco in Marmaris many times and has a large dancing stage. Club Arena has a huge sound system and laser shows, making it the ideal place to see out your holiday in Turkey.
Icmeler’s peaceful ambience and laid-back, welcoming locals make this an ideal place for couples that are looking for a relaxing place to go on holiday in Turkey. There are plenty of great attractions in the area, making it a good fuss-free holiday destination for you and your loved one. You can impress your significant other with a boat trip to the stunning Cleopatra Island and tell them the romantic backstory, the legend being that Mark Anthony had the white sands of the island imported for his new wife, Cleopatra. Other romantic sights to see with your partner include the 16th century Ottoman Castle at Marmaris, the Lycian Way walk and the gorgeous Greek island of Rhodes.
Icmeler began as a small fishing village, much like many others on the Aegean Coast of Turkey. A holiday in Icmeler puts you in touch with the heritage of Turkey and its people, making it an ideal choice of holiday destination if you value history and culture in your holidays. The small town feeling and intimate ambience make you feel a real part of the culture here, rather than just a visitor. Local cultural attractions include Marmaris Castle, which was built by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in the 1500s, although the iconic historian Herodotus said that the first city walls in Marmaris were constructed as early as 3000 BC. The castle is steeped in history and culture, having been partially destroyed during World War I by a French warship and now serving as a historical monument and museum. Some of the best historical attractions in the region can be enjoyed in day trips from Icmeler, including the Caravansarai, one of the earliest hotels in Marmaris and the ruins of Ephesus.