It’s time to take a break from the azure waters of the Mediterranean and explore the narrow streets of the pretty coastal gem Marmaris. My journey into the world of souvenir hunting is about to begin and I have to say, although I’ve lived here for many years, I am rather excited.
Table of contents
Shopping in Marmaris: Beldibi Market
My first stop is Beldibi market. Located in a quiet residential area, I find it has more charm than the larger, busier market in Marmaris town. It operates every Sunday and is where local farmers sell their fresh produce. You can pick up an array of tasty vegetables and fruit as well as a wide range of cheeses and olives.
Today, I am looking for spices. They are abundant and cheap and as I approach the stall, colourful piles of saffron, cumin, sumac and paprika embrace the air with their fragrance.
Souvenirs in Marmaris: Covered market kapalı çarşı
The covered market – kapalı çarşı – in Marmaris is my next shopping stop. It comprises a warren of narrow streets, shaded from the sun and closed to traffic apart from the occasional moped which may whizz past. Among the typical tourist shops which sell all manner of fake designer goods, you’ll still be able to find some genuine handicrafts.
Hurrying past the bewildering array of shops with their owners outside noisily boasting the ‘very cheap price’ of their wares, I’m drawn to quaint looking open door which leads into a dimmed room housing an exquisite range of handmade Turkish carpets. I have always been a fan of the carpets from Milas, with their vibrant colours and geometric designs. Milas is a large town, a couple of hours from Marmaris so it makes perfect sense to choose one of these intricate pieces to serve as a memory of the region. Turkey is renowned for its handwoven carpets and rugs. They come in various designs, sizes, and colours and make beautiful and authentic souvenirs. However, before you buy, do your research, talk to the shop owner in depth and remember to bargain hard!
What else can I take with me as a reminder of this intriguing place? Venturing further into the market, I encounter a treasure trove of hand-painted ceramics. Turkish pottery is celebrated for its vivid hues and intricate designs. The work on show is quite enchanting and although tempted to purchase the entire shelf, I carefully select a set of small bowls, each a unique piece of art.
As the sun starts to slip behind the pine clad hills, I am thirsty, so buy a çay from a street stall. Gazing down at the tiny glass, I decide it’s time to replace the depleted tea set at home so pop to the shop next door to pick up a few more of the uniquely shaped glasses. You can find them everywhere; they are reasonably priced and nowadays you’ll find interesting modern interpretations of the traditional tulip shaped design.
Don’t leave Türkiye without this talisman!
My last stop before I head home is the boncuk shop. The Nazar Boncuk is ubiquitously found in almost every home, shop and business in the land. It is used as a talisman to ward off bad luck and negative energy and even if it doesn’t, its clear glass or ceramic design makes for a beguiling ornament.
So how is shopping in Marmaris?
Even after living here for many years, I am still impressed by the warm hospitality of the Marmaris folk. Shopkeepers take the time to share the stories and traditions behind their goods and will often invite you in for a glass of apple tea.
As I return home, I think about the day. Shopping in Marmaris can be about much more than hunting for souvenirs. It can be a meaningful journey into a world of culture, history and art.
Looking for an all inclusive hotel in Marmaris?
Right on the beach within walking distance of the centre