The Mediterranean is home to some of the most popular beach destinations in the world.
It is a region that boasts a fantastic year-round climate, sandy beaches, and turquoise seas.
You will also find towns and cities with tons of ancient ruins and awe-inspiring art to explore meaning that the Mediterranean is an ideal destination for culture vultures.
The most well-known Mediterranean countries are Italy, Spain and Greece. But in fact there are 22 countries in the Mediterranean Sea, including underrated destinations such as Montenegro, Albania, and Slovenia.
Here’s why Americans should discover this lesser-known Mediterranean beach destination:
Why Visit Mugla?
Mugla is a beautiful region of Turkey along the Mediterranean coast.
It is hugely popular with visitors from the UK, Russia, and wider Europe but not as popular with American travelers. Yet.
In the first 9 months of this year a huge 2.9 million tourists visited the Mugla region. The majority of these visitors were from the UK, with 1.12 million traveling to the area.
This was followed by 311,000 Russian visitors, 187,00 German visitors, 157,000 Polish visitors, and 92,000 arrivals from the Netherlands.
The region is relatively undiscovered by American travellers, but there are many reasons why you should consider exploring this lesser-known part of Turkey.
The beautiful beach resorts of Marmaris, Gümbet, Turgutreis, and Bodrum are all in the Turkish region of Mugla and these beaches are a big draw for visitors.
But there are plenty of heritage attractions in the province of Mugla too. These include the ancient city of Knidos, the domineering castle in Bodrum, and the ancient settlement of Stratonikeia.
Bodrum is one of the most fascinating cities in Mugla. The siege of Alexander the Great took place here and the ruins of one of the 7 Ancient Wonders of the World are here. Although they are just remains now, it is possible to explore the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum.
It also sits in the heart of the Turkish Riviera with the other popular hotspots of Antalya, Dalyan and Marmaris along the same coastline.
Marmaris is one of the most popular vacation resorts on the Turkish Riviera. Its incredible coastlines and intense nightlife are the main attractions of this resort town.
Marmaris boasts a beautiful Old Town with its own castle that was originally built in the 11th century. It is also perfectly positioned for taking day trips to other popular locations in the Mugla region.
Icmeler is around a 15-minute drive away, and the beautiful coastal town of Turunc is just a little further away.
Because Marmaris is a port town, it is also a great spot for taking boat trips to many of the surrounding islands dotted just offshore in the bay. Many of these sites are ideal for divers of all abilities.
Where Are American Travelers Going
Though you may not have heard of Mugla, Turkey is certainly not an undiscovered Mediterranean destination.
At its peak, some 51 million foreign tourists visited the country, and in 2022 6.1% more American tourists visited Turkey than in the pre-pandemic peak.
The top Turkish destination for American travelers is the city of Istanbul. Tourists are attracted to Istanbul for its beautiful blue mosque, covered bazaars, and the Hagia Sophia Mosque which is the most visited attraction in the city.
Americans are also attracted to the iconic hot air balloons of Cappadocia.
This is in the Anatolia region, and the temples, delicious vineyards, and rock-cut houses here also make Cappadocia a popular destination for American tourists.
But perhaps the beaches and ancient architectural wonders of Mugla will soon be on this list too.
↓ Join Our Community ↓
The Travel Off Path Community FB group has all the latest reopening news, conversations, and Q&A’s happening daily!
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR LATEST POSTS
Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path’s latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.
This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com