The Marmara region of Turkey gets its name as it surrounds the Sea of Marmara, the body of water lying between the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus straight. This small yet highly populated region has a mixed oceanic and Mediterranean climate making it perfect for producing wine, fruits, sunflowers and other grains. Istanbul and the WWI battlefields of Gallipoli are both situated in this region making it one of the most visited in Turkey.
Places to visit in the Marmara region
Bursa: The formation of the Ottoman Empire began in Bursa in the late 1200s, the city was officially made the Ottoman capital in 1326 before it was overtaken by the Byzantines in 1365. The 4th largest city in Turkey, Bursa offers a wonderful display of Mosques, Ottoman Sultan tombs, Ottoman buildings, Thermal pools and Hamams (Turkish Baths) and museums. Uludağ is one of Turkeys highest mountains, the perfect winter playground for snow enthusiasts.
Gallipoli: The Battle of Gallipoli during WW1 is one of the most important battles in Turkish History. Unfolding at the entrance of the Dardanelles, the straight that connects the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara, the Ottomans stood their ground and didn’t lose this important place of land. Here you can see the battle ground of the French and the British, in particular Cape Hellas, however this area in increasingly popular with Australians and New Zealand. On the 25th April 1915 the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) landed on the shores of the peninsular, making it their first ever battle as a nation.
Edirne: Briefly the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Edirne proves to be a wonderful stopover for those traveling overland to Greece or Bulgaria. A full day of visiting the neo-classical architecture without a large number of tourists will provide great pleasure to the independent traveller. Selimiye Mosque, Old Mosque and the Macedonian Tower and places not to miss.
İznik: Iznik, also known as ancient Nicea, is a small town surrounded by ancient city walls with four main gates. The city nowadays is popular for producing fine tiles but holds great religious significance as being both the 1st and the 7th ecumenical councils of Christianity. The AyaSofya (smaller than the one in Istanbul) still stands although it is badly damaged, was the site of the 7th council in 787 AD.
Tekirdağ: Situated about 2 hours from Istanbul, Tekirdağ sits on the edge of the Sea of Marmara and is surrounded by sunflower and wheat farms. A perfect stop for breakfast if you are on your way to Çanakkale or Gallipoli. Tekerdağ ismost famous for Raki (Turkeys national drink) and Köfte (Turkish Meatballs).
Yalova: Although small on the touristic scale, Yalova is a great summer weekend getaway from Istanbul. Easily reached by ferry from the city, Yalova is also the gateway to Bursa. Yuruyen Köşk (Walking Mansion) is worth a visit, once the residence of Atatürk (The founder of the Turkish Republic) this house was thought to be placed too close to a sycamore tree and was ordered to ‘walk’ closer to the shoreline. The thermal pool is also a nice play to enjoy at authentic spa experience.