The next cove down the coast from Marmaris, İçmeler is slowly becoming as crowded as its more famous neighbor. The full-blown concrete conglomerate of tall luxury hotels and neon-signed restaurants now runs all the way down to the beach. It’s possible, however, to overlook the package-tour feel of the place and discover İçmeler’s superior beach and watersport options. You’ll also find some quiet, laid-back pensions a pleasant distance from the beach-front, resorts. Frequent dolmuş service to Marmaris, only 10 to 15 minutes away, makes İçmeler an alternative to lodging in Marmaris while staying within reach of its bars and clubs.
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- Dolmuş run to Marmaris from the beach on Kayabal Cad. or from İnönü Cad. (every 15min. 7am-lam, $.75).
- Dolmuş boats travel to Marmaris (30min.; in summer every 30min. 7am-7pm, depart when full) and Turunç beach (30min.; in summer 10, 11am, 1, 3pm; return 1:30, 3:30, 4:30pm; ).
ORIENTATION AND PRACTICAL INFORMATION.
Pamukkale and Kamil Koç offices are on Kayabal Cad. Dolmuş and buses enter İçmeler via Atatürk Cad. (later İnönü Cad.), passing Agua Life water park on the left and turning left down Kayabal Cad. and Cumhuriyet Cad. Visitors in search of a pension should ask to be let off on İnönü Cad. to reduce walking. Farther toward the shore, both run parallel to the beach. Any street to the left off Kayabal Cad. leads first to the residential area with a few pensions then to the huge hotels, and finally to the beach. Kenan Evran Cad., which ends at the beach, links Kayabal Cad. and Cumhuriyet Cad. Streets are very’ poorly marked, so you’ll want to get a map from the Marmaris tourist office.There is no tourist office in İçmeler, but maps are available in the Marmaris office and from vendors in Marmaris. A more than adequate number of currency exchanges and ATMs dot Cumhuriyet Cad. and Kenan Evran Cad. There is a pharmacy on Kenan Evran Bul., one block from the beach. A small health clinic, Sağlık Ocağı, is on the right hand side of 51 Sok., off İnönü Cad., around the comer from the PTT. ( Open M-Sa 8:30am-noon and 1-5:30pm.) The police station is at Kayabal Cad., 72 Sok. No. 3. The PTT is on İnönü Cad. ( Open daily 8am-10pm.)
The pensions located in the residential section between Kayabal Cad. and Cumhuriyet Cad. are the most quiet and cost-effective options in İçmeler. To reach the Bellevue Hotel O, turn onto Cumhuriyet Cad. off İnönü Cad., making a right at the bar and another right at the first block (68 Sok.). Bellevue will be on your left. A beautiful pool and garden bar are visible from the outside, while modern rooms with carpet, A/C, phone, and bath await within. Breakfast is included. ( 455 26 96; fax 455 40 07. Singles $8; July-Aug. ) To find the Onat Apart O, make a right off Kayabal Cad. just before the Tansaş Center, and a left when the road ends at a schoolhouse. Duplex rooms with kitchens, A/C, balconies, phone, and bath. Look for the owners in the pharmacy next door. To get to Leydi Pansiyon O, turn left off İnönü Cad. (when heading toward Kayabal Cad.) onto 49 Sok. and make a left after two blocks; the pension will be on your right. Surrounded by a garden, the Leydi provides communal bath, kitchen, and very rustic rooms. Little English is spoken.
FOOD AND ENTERTAINMENT.
Along the beach, İçmeler’s dining tends toward the pricey, but there are some smaller restaurants that offer good food at a much lower cost. Take a seat at the Yorkshire Lass Restaurant, a.k.a. Captain Bullshit’s Place , 33/A Kayabal Cad., about 300m from the intersection of İnönü Cad. and Kayabal Cad. Join locals Dr. Jimmy and Captain Bullshit for an entertaining and tasty meal. The restaurant serves a smorgasbord of Turkish, English, and Chinese food. (. Burgers ; 3-course Chinese dinner. Open daily 8am-4am.) The Küçük Ev , or “Little House,” 36 Kayabal Cad., on the right leaving the dolmuş stop, is a popular restaurant dishing out delicious kebaps , veggie pizzas, mezes and desserts to outdoor tables. (Open daily 8am-midnight.) To reach the Erdem Café and Bar , head from the bus station down along the shore toward the channel about 75m; the Erden will be on the left. This popular hangout offers great views and simple, cheap food. Open daily 9am-1am.İçmeler’s nightlife is not as mighty as Marmaris’s, but there are a few popular places well worth checking out. Be aware that the music has to be turned down at lam. The buccaneer’s dance bar of choice is Korsan. Follow the shore with the water to your right over a bridge at the Channel. Make a left after the bridge, walk 150m, and Korsan will be on your right. A tropical fantasy, this wild bar is filled with waterfalls, life-sized pirates, and a stylish crowd nodding to dance music. (Open daily 5pm-3am.) One block farther away from Marmaris, on Osmangazi Cad., the Heaven Bar features European music and a relaxed clientele. There’s a summer happy hour from 7:15 to 10pm. (Open daily 8am-2am.) To reach Deniz Kapısı, walk straight along the beach out of İçmeler. Immediately before the sharp curve in the road, Deniz offers cocktails karaoke, free use of its beach during the day, and a Full Monty Show (Th and Sa) during the summer. It. also features Tom, the charismatic bartender ranked first in Europe in 2001. Watch in wonder as he hippy-hippy shakes you up a delicious “Pink Dream” .
İçmeler’s beach tends to be cleaner and slightly less crowded than those at Marmaris, although you’ll have to pay $1 for your seat. Water sports include the perennial favorites: parasailing banana boats and paddle boats .Equipment is available on the beach or by calling Mar-Bas Water Sports , in the Mar-Bas Hotel in front of Deniz Kapısı bar. Boat lovers can rent a high-powered speed boat . Diving centers, including the European Diving Centre (»455 47 33; fax 455 47 34), near L’Etoile Hotel, one block to the left when headed for the beach on Kenan Evran Bui., offer underwater recreation for all ages and skill levels.Boat trips run to Dalyan and Kaunos (daily 9am-7pm, lunch included), and, closer to home, the bays around İçmeler (10am-5pm,). Ask at the harbor for details.