The meeting point of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, Datça is another remote town unspoiled by the touristic masses and mammoth resorts. As such, its weekly market, set up every Saturday, is as local as you can get. All the produce is freshly picked from the trees, gardens, and fields about two or three hours before the market is set up. Apart from the ridiculously fresh produce, you’ll find fantastic village bread that smells like cinnamon, Datça’s pine and flower honey, ak badem (white almond), and local herbs that you won’t find anywhere else.
Ula Organik Pazarı
Located in one of Muğla’s lesser-known districts, where there are more locals than visitors, as well as a beautiful bay and historic homes, Ula hosts an organic market every Friday. Truly immersed in the regional and local philosophy, the sellers offer freshly picked herbs, dried vegetables, and handmade textiles and straw products. Of course, the highlight is Ula’s famous garlic, which people use in almost every home-cooked meal. Small but powerful in terms of aroma, the Ula garlic is just as noteworthy as its idyllic town. Also, unlike most organic markets, the prices here are very affordable.
With more than 30 years to its name and more than 500 stands, the Muğla Pazarı (in the city of Muğla rather than the province) is also a point of interest for gourmets. Fresh produce, a large spectrum of Aegean herbs, as well as specialties such as Beylerce grapes, highland melons, and purple tomatoes are all sold at this market. Set up every Thursday, the sellers only offer what they have grown or made themselves, so you’ll know that the dried peppers, okra and eggplant, green olives, olive oil, and goat cheeses are all excellent.
The Yalıkavak Market near Bodrum has taken place every Thursday for the past 43 years, and it is a favorite among tourists as well as locals. You’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the province’s gardens, charcuterie items, spices, desserts, and dried fruits. The market also has a large section for textiles, accessories, toys, and souvenirs, as well as prepared foods such as delicious and homemade gözleme or börek. More than 1,000 sellers arrive from Milas, Yatağan, Aydın, and Denizli to sell their excellent goods, so make sure that you don’t buy more than you can carry.
Set up ever Saturday, this huge market stretches across the Hacıilyas and Gümüşlük neighborhoods with more than 1,600 sellers presenting their goods. Every week, visitors arrive by bus to take part in this food spectacle, and so the vendors have also made room for English signs for their items. However, the market has retained its local feel entirely with Aegean herbs, samphire, the famous Kese yogurt, cheeses, olives in oil, pine honey, local flowers, and handmade Milas carpets.
Even though Marmaris is a tourist haven, its weekly market is anything but foreign. Every Thursday, the market is set up in the city’s modern municipality building, and traditional and local goods make their beautiful appearance all at once. You’ll find Marmaris’ famous pine honey and stores that only sell this liquid gold alongside honey products such as bee pollen. Apart from the fresh produce, there’s a lot of souvenir shopping available so that you can take a piece of Marmaris home with you.