Discover Muğla Province. Muğla Province is home to many of Turkey’s most popular holiday resorts including Gökova, Bodrum, Marmaris, Datça, Milas, Dalyan and Fethiye. In ancient times, the area was known as Caria. The inhabitants were Carians and Leleges. In his Iliad, Homer describes the Carians as natives of Anatolia, defending their country against Greeks in collaboration with the Trojans. With this long history Muğla is rich in ancient ruins, with over 100 excavated sites including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Letoon, near Fethiye.
Muğla Province sits at the southwestern corner of Turkey where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean. Neighboring provinces are Aydın to the Northwest, Denizli to the Northeast, and Antalya to the South.
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Muğla is one of eight provinces located in the Aegean Region: Afyonkarahisar (03), Aydın (09), Denizli (20), İzmir (35), Kütahya (43), Manisa (45), Muğla (48), and Uşak (64). Each province has a unique code license plate code. The license plate code for Muğla is the number 48.
Points of Interest
Muğla includes the districts of Bodrum, Dalaman, Datça, Fethiye, Kavaklıdere, Köyceğiz, Marmaris, Menteşe, Milas, Ortaca, Seydikemer, Ula, and Yatağan.
Muğla is known to have been occupied by raiding parties of Egyptians, Assyrians and Scythians, until eventually the area was settled by Ancient Greek colonists. The Greeks inhabited the coastline building prominent cities, including Knidos, Halicarnassos (Bodrum), Telmessos, Xanthos, Patara and Tlos. Eventually the coast was conquered by Persians who were in turn removed by Alexander the Great, bringing an end to Caria.
In 1261, Menteshe Bey, founder of the Beylik (principality) that carried his name established his rule over Muğla. The Menteshe held the city until 1390. During this time, the province also became a significant naval power, trading with the Aegean Islands, Crete and as far as Venice and Egypt.
In 1390, Muğla was taken over by the Ottoman Empire. However, just twelve years later, Tamerlane and his forces defeated the Ottomans in the Battle of Ankara, and returned control of the region to its former rulers, the Menteshe Beys. Muğla was brought back under Ottoman control by Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror in 1451. One of the most important events in the area during the Ottoman period was the well-recorded campaign of Süleyman the Magnificent against Rhodes, which was launched from Marmaris.
With this long history Muğla is rich in ancient ruins, with over 100 excavated sites including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Letoon. In 2018, archaeologists unearthed a 2,300-year-old rock tomb (believed to be the resting place of the ancient Olympic Greek boxer Diagoras of Rhodes) on a hill in the Turgut village near Marmaris. The shrine is inscribed with words: “I will be vigilant at the very top so as to ensure that no coward can come and destroy this grave.”
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
The mild climate and rich soil make the Aegean one of Turkey’s most fertile regions. Known for olive orchards and vineyards, the Aegean Region produces some of Turkey’s most prestigious olive oils and wines. Additionally, the Aegean is famous for an abundance of fresh produce including artichokes, grapes, pears and sweet melon.
Although Muğla has easy access to seafood from the Aegean and Mediterranean, many common dishes feature meat and olive oil (including döş dolması and çöketme kebab). Additionally, the region is well known for tarhana soup (made from a fermented mixture of yogurt, vegetables, yeast and flour). Featured seafood dishes include ekşili balık (fried fish with tomato, garlic, and lemon) and kefal dolması (fish stuffed with vegetables). Other regional specialties include oğlak yahnisi (lamb stew), kabak çiçeği dolması (stuffed zucchini blossoms) and keşkek (wheat or barley stew).
The Aegean Region has a Mediterranean Climate at the coast (with hot, dry summers and mild to cool, wet winters) and a semi-arid continental climate in the interior (with hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters). Rainfall averages 645 mm (25 inches) per year; temperatures range from -8°C (18°F) to 43°C (109°F), with average humidity of 69%. Likewise, Manisa has a Mediterranean climate with long, hot, dry summers and short cool winters. Likewise, Muğla has a Mediterranean Climate. It is characterised by long, hot and dry summers with cool and wet winters.