On Turkey’s southwest coast, Icmeler comes with a first-rate setting. It’s in a sweeping bay that’s surrounded by pine-forested mountains. The resort has a canal running through it, and there’s a traditional old village here, too. The place is purpose-built, but there are plenty of restaurants serving up authentic cuisine. And location-wise, it’s close to bigger and bubblier Marmaris.
Icmeler comes with a wide sand and shingle beach that curves around the entire bay. Palm and eucalyptus trees provide plenty of shade, and the promenade – which runs all the way to Marmaris – is lined with shops, bars and restaurants. There’s a full quota of watersports here – pedalos, banana boats, jet-skis, paragliding – and it’s a top place for snorkelling and diving, too.
Icmeler really comes into its own when you explore on foot. A walk into the old village takes about 15 minutes from the centre, while an evening’s stroll along the beach gets you a sunset view over Keçi Adasi, the island out in the bay. Or strike out into the hillside for the scent of pines, jasmine and eucalyptus growing wild.
It’s about 10 minutes by dolmus to Marmaris. It’s full of restaurants and bars but there’s also an Ottoman castle to explore and an upmarket marina for waterfront dining. From here, a high-speed catamaran can get you over to the Greek island of Rhodes in less than an hour. Rhodes Town is packed with Medieval heritage and has an acropolis and Roman amphitheatre. You’ll need your passport