Gemlik is a city at the eastern end of the Gulf of Gemlik, in the Southern Marmara.
Gemlik was once the site of the ancient Greek city of Kios/Cius.
Gemlik is sandwiched by the Samanlı Mountains to the north, and the Katırlı Mountains to the south, with the Gulf of Gemlik, a southeastern inlet of the Sea of Marmara, widening towards the open sea westwards from the town. It's because of this particular topography that you will briefly and unexpectedly see the sea in Gemlik while travelling between Yalova and Bursa. This gave life to the three-liner of the Turkish poet Orhan Veli Kanık (1914–1950), "Towards Gemlik / You'll see the sea / Don't be surprised", which is much celebrated locally.
Today, Gemlik strives to be yet another smoggy, characterless industrial suburb of Bursa, and has already taken a lot of ground in achieving that, which is unfortunate, given its wonderful setting, which could provide it with more environmentally-friendly sources of income.
Asking directions to the locals will seldom provide meaningful answers here, even if you speak Turkish.
There are buses or minibuses from Istanbul, Yalova and Bursa. These buses either head for Gemlik itself, or head for one of the aforementioned cities and pass through Gemlik. In any case, you can buy a ticket for Gemlik and get off there.
There are fast ferry services between Istanbul’s Yenikapı Pier and Gemlik. These services are only for pessengers (no cars accepted) and also call at some other towns nearby. See İDO’s homepage.
If you are arriving overland, to shorten total travel time you may consider taking car ferries between Yenikapi (European side) or Pendik (Asian side) or Eskihisar (Asian side, about 30 km to Istanbul) and Yalova. Then there remains a road which can be taken in about 30 minutes.
- Kios. Ruins of an ancient Greek city near Gemlik.
The town is known for the oliveyards surrounding it. So you can buy locally-produced stuff that are olive-related, like olive oil, castile soap, or brined olive.
Along the seaside you can find various pubs and cafes. Mostly tea species (black tea, herbal teas) are around 1 TL.
The area code for Gemlik is 224.
- Armutlu, which is about 25 km west of Gemlik, on the coast of the Sea of Marmara, is known for its thermal springs.
- İznik to the east is a historical town on a lake shore, with city walls and the church in which were convened first and seventh ecumenical councils of early Christianity.