Surrounded by pine-clad hills, Marmaris is located on the site of ancient Phykos of which nothing at all remains since the modern town sits atop the ruins. There are however numerous examples of Ottoman architecture from the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent since Marmaris was taken by him as part of his campaign against the island of Rhodes nearby. Among the buildings that may be seen are the castle built in 1521; a caravanserai built-in 1545; Tashan, also built in the 16th century; and the Mosque of Ibrahim Agha, dated 1789.
Marmaris is deservedly better known for its natural beauty: the lace-like coastline is embellished with coves and inlets where one may go swimming, diving, or fishing. The sheltered bay is excellent for windsurfing. Accommodations, restaurants, and cafes are plentiful and tours are available to coves like Icmeler, Kumlubuk, Turunc, and Kadirga. Nearby is a sea cavern called Fosforlu (Phosphorescent). The forests of fragrant storax trees around Marmaris offer tempting picnic spots. Marmaris is a calling place on the Blue Voyage and boats may be hired here to go to Bodrum and Fethiye. Boat tours are also available to the nearby ruins of ancient Caunos. Good highway connections make it easy to visit more distant places like Knidos, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, and even Ephesos. The Marmaris marina is amply provided with everything a yachtsman might need.