After a short trip to Rhodes, I took the scenic ferry to Marmaris to begin the second leg of the vacation. I part of me was worried that Marmaris could not hold a candle to the dreamy island of Rhodes but as soon as I disembarked the ferry, I realized, girl you were wrong.
I took a taxi to my new home for the week which I must admit was the scariest part of the trip. The taxi driver was living out some sort of real-life Mario Kart dreams, driving on the highest difficulty but on Rainbow Road! When approaching turns you would think one would slow down but oh no, not him. I was also treated to a symphony of impatient honking and unintelligible shouting at other law-abiding vehicles and pedestrians. Through bouts of closed eyes and clenched fists, I was surprised at how developed and quite honestly luxurious the homes were. There are so many unfortunate headlines regarding Turkey and the media had trained me to think that the entirety of the country was… well not what it was. So shame on me. Undoubtedly there is poverty and ongoing turmoil in Turkey but Marmaris was very comfortable and safety was not a concern (except for the taxi).
Green Nature Diamond Resort
I somehow made it to the resort in one piece without soiling my pants and began my stay at the Green Diamond Nature Resort nestled on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a 5 star resort with a zillion activities to keep you busy.
WARNING the food is a never-ending buffet, so set back your scales and bring your stretchy pants because this is not a drill! There were so many different types of food from all over the world. There were heaps of Turkish food to try and try I did. I’m still trying to work off the amount of baklava that now lives in my thighs. So it’s safe to say that the food was top notch. But I would recommend arriving just as the dining room opens to have all the best options.
There is also an entertainment show of some sorts every night. Some of the acts were phenomenal and others not so much. One night an acrobatic group performed and every single audience members jaw was on the floor. But another night the entertainment staff put on a sort of lipsync dance show that left a lot of us scratching our heads and searching for more alcohol, so it was still a good night.
The resort has a spa, sauna and gym were spacious, clean and enjoyable. Another gem was the indoor pool that can only be accessed through the gym and spa facilities which were often empty!
There is also a full salon and a small mall inside of the resort. I got eyelash extensions for 40 euros at the salon and I must say I am quite happy with them! The mall was filled with tchotchkes and knockoffs that aren’t worth the luggage weight.
Besides sitting by the pool and sweating in the sauna, I spent a lot of time on some of the excursions offered through the resort.
I went parasailing which is a great experience for about ten minutes but involves a lot of waiting around. I had to wait about 20 minutes for the boat to come to shore to get on the boat that takes you to the parasailing boat, which was full so we had to wait 20 minutes or so to get on the boat. Whilst on the boat with a group of parasailers you have to wait your turn and for the entire group to finish which was about an hour and 15 minutes. Which is not all that bad because you are on a boat in amazing weather in an amazing place. But of course, no one informs you how the parasailing process goes down so it is a lot of waiting without the anticipation of waiting which makes me want to jump into shark-infested waters…but that’s just me.
Sight-Seeing Boat Excursion
The following day I went on an all-day boat excursion that takes you to do a mud bath, ancient tombs and to Turtle beach. Be prepared, y’all this trip was a little over 10 hours. First you need to take an hour bus ride then an hour boat ride to get to the mud bath. Once you arrive you have an hour to take a dip. Although I wish we had more time I still found the mud bath really relaxing and it left my skin feeling and looking great. After that you get back on the boat then head to the Carian rock tombs, which is actually a drive-by but still fascinating.
Then you continue to the Turtle beach which coincidentally has zero turtles. When we asked a man that worked at the beach where the turtles were he said about 5 kilometers away. Which I suppose you could walk to but the tour only allows an hour and a half of
turtle beach time. After turtle time you have a 2 hour-ish boat ride back to the bus then an hour bus ride back to Marmaris. So for the 3 hours of actual site seeing time the 7 hours of travel was too much for my nonexistent attention span.
Fun, fun and just so much fun! The scuba groups are small and very relaxed. The instructors take you one by one or in pairs and guide you through the entire process. They even allow people that don’t know how to swim to go diving… doesn’t sound too safe but do you! The boat takes you out to clearer waters and where there are some underwater ruins. When it isn’t your turn to dive you can lay out at the top of the boat or jump off into the water yourself. This was a relaxing day of exploration that did not feel like you were being herded around like cattle which is why I highly recommend it!
The old town of Marmaris is about a 20-minute walk along the shore from the resort. The weather was about 35 degrees so a beer & water stop was necessary. But once I got to the old city I was blown away by the architecture and old stone. But I was also surprised that it was a huge tourist location. Inside these old buildings were dozens of shops filled with counterfeit merchandise. It was an interesting juxtaposition but eventually, I paid it no mind and explored the phenomenal architecture that the beach city had to offer.
There is a large cluster of bars and pubs offering drag shows along the shore but I must recommend the Blackpool Bar for The Greatest One Man Show featuring Roxie Tart! I went two nights and fell absolutely in love!
At the end of each day, I returned to the resort which really started to feel like home. Some minor notes about the Green Nature Diamond are as follows
– The front desk staff seemed too busy to be bothered with timely service and or eye contact.
– The showers were insanely slippery as though you were bathing on a bed of banana peels.
– The quality of alcohol is naturally poor since it is unlimited but y’all the wine was to be avoided. There are hundreds of glasses filled with white, red and rose ready for the taking. The rose was the most similar to wine but the other two tasted like sour water with food coloring. I thought it was just my taste buds but once the meals were underway I noticed that both the white and red wine glasses were left right on the counter where they belonged.
All that aside the people were friendly, the beds were cozy, the food was bomb and I had an absolutely fantastic time! If you were on the fence about traveling to Turkey, hear me when I say “Girl, do the damn thing!”
Would you ever visit Turkey? Let me know what you think!