This trip required an early start from our hotel (6:30am), but it was worth it. We departed by hydrofoil from Mandraki Harbour on the 2-hour crossing and then were taken in a small air-conditioned bus to the town.
We had a guide from the Turkish Tourist Board called Omar, who told us a bit about Turkey and then took us on a guided tour of the bazaar. Omar owns a carpet shop (with air-con) and informed us that we were welcome to sit in his shop drinking free cold drinks all day if we liked - no pressure to buy a carpet, and what's more, he meant it.
Lunch was a pita, kebab and salad at a nearby restaurant before venturing out of the bazaar to visit the castle. The temperature was about 40C and stifling. We managed to walk around the castle, which is incredibly impressive, before staggering back to the bazaar to collect some clothes we had purchased but were being altered. The bazaar sells so many things - be careful not to be ripped off; there are some con men amongst them. Fortunately, Omar had pointed them out earlier and we steered clear of them - as a rep from the Turkish tourist board, it's his job to sort problems for you, and when one couple were ripped off in a jeweller’s, Omar argued until they got their money back.
On to Omar's store to sit in the cool with some free apple tea - something Turkey drinks a lot of and it's very tasty. We did buy a small carpet purely because we actually wanted one. They took us to the local exchange to show us the exchange rate before accepting any money and then issued lots of paperwork to take it back into Greece without paying tax on it. What was particularly good was the carpet was folded into a small (and included in the price) hold-all which made carrying it much easier.
Marmais Harbour is spectacular, with green mountains in the background and crystal-blue sea. The road alongside it has many cafes and restaurants for relaxing in, and outside of the bazaar we found no pressure to buy as you can in similar countries.
The heat was a bit much, but the trip was worth it for the brief experience of Turkey.