The Marmara region is the smallest of the seven geographical regions of Turkey, but the most densely populated, largely due to the presence of Istanbul, the country’s most populated city. Istanbul offers a huge amount for any visitor, with monumental architecture and fantastic shopping just some of the many draws. The remainder of the region is an eclectic mix of industrial towns, historical cities, unspoilt countryside and picturesque coastal villages, an immense amount of diversity in such a small region.
Whatever the purpose of your holiday, you are sure to be able to find something in the Marmara region of Turkey. Many people choose to start their holiday with a stay in city centre apartment in Istanbul, and discover the delights of the big city before heading outside of its borders.
Much of the surrounding region could not be any more different from the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, with peaceful holiday rental found in the most relaxing of countryside resorts, with swimming, hiking and climbing all to be enjoyed, - with the opportunity of a traditional Turkish bath as your reward at end of the day.
Istanbul is the most obvious place in which to start a holiday in the region and few visitors leave here disappointed. The city has two sides to it, a bustling modern European tourist area, with many shopping malls, cafes and bars, and a historic and more traditional Asian area. There are a number of architectural centres to visit, including the Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) and the Aya Sofya church, as well as the bazaars which the city is famous for.
There are so many other attractions in Istanbul that it is hard to do it justice in such a short space. Needless to say, whether you visit for one week or one month, you will have been unlikely to even scratch the surface during your stay.
Do not make the mistake of only visiting Istanbul during your stay in the Marmara region. The Balikesir Province borders both the Marmara Sea and the Aegean Sea, and is home to a number of holiday towns and beaches, including Akcay, Altinoluk and Ayvalik.
Much of the Marmara region is heavily steeped in industry and agriculture, and heading off the beaten tourist track will allow you to discover an area that is vastly different, with the natural beauty and the National Parks of Edremit Bay, and the important ottoman province of Bilecik just waiting to be discovered.
The Marmara region has a temperate climate, with the busiest tourist season (June to September) hot and humid, with average temperatures around 28°C. Winter temperatures drop to around 10°C and snowfall is quite common during this period.
Istanbul has recently become a destination for budget airlines, meaning a large number of operators fly from the UK every day. Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (SAW) serves the Asian side of the city, and Ataturk international Airport (IST) serves the European side. The best method of getting to your accommodation around the Marmara region is to hire a car from your destination airport.