MUĞLA, capital of the province and containing several of the biggest resorts on the Aegean, is something of a showcase town and an exception to the Turkish rule of blocky urban architecture. It’s also the closest town to Akyaka, the first coastal settlement you encounter at the bottom of the winding grade descending south from Muğla’s plateau.
Muğla’s well-planned modern quarter incorporates spacious tree-lined boulevards and accommodates some hillside Ottoman neighbourhoods that are among the finest in Turkey. The bazaar, encompassing a grid of neat alleys nestling at the base of the old residential slope to the north, is divided roughly by trade. South of the bazaar is the Ulu Cami, built in the fourteenth century by the Menteşeoğlu emir, İbrahim Bey. The serene Yağcılar Hanı, a restored kervansaray located on Kursunlu Caddesi, contains carpet shops and çay stalls, while a second restored kervansaray, Konakaltı Hanı, on General Mustafa Muğlali Caddesi, is in use as an art gallery. Meanwhile, the town’s museum, on Yatağan Eskiser Caddesi, houses a collection of locally found dinosaur fossils, including prehistoric rhino, giraffe, horse and elephant.