What is Cleopatra Island?
Cleopatra Island is a famous tourist haven near Marmaris. Its azure waters, striking landmarks, countless species of marine life, and of course, the silky smooth ivory sand are some of the reasons that make this Mediterranean island a destination worth checking out.
Did we mention the sand here can only be found on a handful of beaches in the whole world?
It is roughly 18kms away from the coast of Marmaris. Getting there might be a bit tricky, but normally you can expect to reach the island within an hour from Marmaris city centre.
Transfers and daily tours to Sedir Island are a dime a dozen in the city centre, so you can expect to get there pretty easily should you choose to check out the famous beaches.
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Why Visit Cleopatra Island?
There’s much more to check out in and around Cleopatra island for visitors. The village of Camlik, for example, is a great place to hit up during your visit. Camlik village is a quaint little settlement located 3kms from Cleopatra Island. It rocks a buzzing main street with many cafes, restaurants, and souvenir shops.
The main street in Camlik is incredibly lively during summers, with visitors from all corners of the world, and many local travelers too. The bars and cafes are quite packed at noon, so it’s best to book beforehand or get to the village before 11 to make sure you’ll find a good place to wait out the noon sun.
There are also many tour agencies that you can check out if you wanna try some of the other amenities on the island, like parachuting, para-gliding, jet skiing, and much more!
Ancient City of Kaunos
Kaunos was a busy port city near Dalyan. The city gets its name from its founder, King Kaunos, the grandson of Apollo. Today, its ruins serve as a popular tourist attraction for history lovers. The ruins are in pretty good condition, as ruins go anyway.
What’s more, the whole site has been undergoing excavation since the 1960s. So you never know, you could be there to see the discovery of ancient relics! With all that in mind, it’s definitely worth checking out during your visit to Cleopatra Island.
History of Cleopatra Island
It is said that the history of the island dates back over 2000 years. The legend goes that Marc Anthony gifted the island to Queen Cleopatra as a show of affection. The island’s natural beauty was, unfortunately, not enough to win over her heart, however.
Being unimpressed with the sand, in particular, Queen Cleopatra sent a fleet of over 100 vessels to her homeland of Egypt to ferry over tons upon tons of sand. That pristine white sand covers the entire island to this day.
The story continues, with Cleopatra becoming mesmerized by the island’s new makeover so much that it became a frequent getaway destination for the two lovers. In the records of Suetonius, a renowned Roman historian, he notes down that the couple visited the island frequently, and especially enjoyed swimming in the sapphire waters around the island.
The eroded limestone sand found here is incredibly rare and can only be found on a handful of beaches in the entire world!
And it is for this very reason that visitors are expected to be ultra-careful when spending a day out on the island. Under no circumstances is it possible to take sand away with you from any of the beaches.
Visitors are not allowed to wear shoes or bring towels with them to make sure not a grain of sand leaves the beach. Shoes may be understandable, but admittedly, not being able to bring a towel may come off a bit outrageous to many holidayers.
Keep in mind however, that the sand here can only be found in a handful beaches around the world, so it’s surely worth the sacrifice to ensure that centuries from now, people can still enjoy the exquisite beauty of this incredible Mediterranean island.
How to Get to Cleopatra Island
Cleopatra Island is one of the most popular daily excursion packages offered in Marmaris, so you can find tours from the city center pretty easily. Some of these even offer hotel transfers, which may be perfect if you’re staying a distance from the city center. They usually leave the city center at around 9-10 and return between 6-8.
Prices for these tours vary considerably depending on extra options you may wish to select, but you can expect to book a standard Cleopatra tour for around £15.
There are many more extras as well, such as VIP transfers, massage, drinks, and extra locations. The more expensive tours also hit up some of the off-the-beaten-path locations, such as dive holes and underwater caves.
For those planning their own trip, you can take the Gokova bus from the city center and get off at the Camlik stop. From there, follow the many signs pointing toward Camlik village where you can take the time to rest and enjoy an ice cream.
The ‘turunc’ flavor is a local flavor made from ‘turunc’ fruit, a citrus fruit found commonly here, and it’s definitely worth a try!
Prices & Recommendations
The prices in Cleopatra island and Camlik village are considerably higher than in the city center. The bars, cafes, and restaurants have similar prices to those in the city center, but the shops may not be the best if you’re keeping an eye on the budget.
There is an entrance fee of 50 TRY per person for the island itself, but those with a museum card can enter without paying this fee.
The museum card is very useful if you’re planning to visit some of the many castles, ancient cities, burial sites, and many more around Marmaris. Keep in mind that some of these only accept payment through museum cards.