Muğla, Turkey Guide

Last Updated on July 7, 2022

Capital of the Turkish province of the same name, Muğla(map) is a nice small city that gets its wealth from farming and tourism.

Not many tourists come to Muğla, (MOO-lah, alt. 655 meters/2149 feet, pop. 70,000) but they throng the neighboring tourist meccas of Bodrum and Marmaris(map), and a tidy portion of the money flows to government coffers in Muğla.

Should your itinerary take you through this inland town you can change buses, have a meal or find a bed.

If you have an hour or two between buses you can spend it pleasantly enough wandering Muğla’s shady streets, exploring its Ottoman-era bazaar, or sipping a hot glass of tea in one of its tea gardens.

There has been a town here since about 1200 BC, when it was known as Alinda. The Emir of Menteşe took the town in 1261, and the Ottoman armies took it from him in 1390, but Tamerlane tore through in 1402 and restored it to the emir’s control. The great Ottoman sultan Mehmet the Conqueror brought it into the Ottoman Empire definitively in 1451, the year before he conqueredIstanbul.

Muğla’s Great Mosque (Ulu Cami) dates from the Menteşe era (1344), its Kurşunlu Mosque from Ottomantimes (1494). The Vakıflar Hamamı (Turkish bath), dating from 1258, will still give you a steam, wash, dry and nap.

The closest airport is Milas-Bodrum (77 km/48 miles W), the next closest (100 km/62 miles SE) is Dalaman.

Distances & Travel Times

Aydın: 101 km (63 miles) N, 2.25 hours

Bodrum: 110 km (68 miles) W, 2 hours

Dalaman: 100 km (62 miles) SE, 2 hours

Ephesus (Selçuk): 146 km (91 miles) NW, 2.5 hours

Fethiye: 160 km (100 miles) SE, 3 hours

Istanbul: 794 km (493 miles) N, 13 hours

İzmir: 228 km (142 miles) N, 4 hours

Kaş: 270 km (168 miles) E, 5 hours

Köyceğiz: 65 km (40 miles) SE, 1.5 hours

Marmaris: 55 km (34 miles) S, 1 hour

Milas-Bodrum Airport: 77 km (48 miles) W, 1.5 hours

Pamukkale (Denizli): 174 km (108 miles) NE, 3 hours

—by Tom Brosnahan

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