Hilly landscapes, whitewashed towns, and beautiful bays – Bodrum is a relaxing and stunning corner of Turkey, with charming resorts adored by sailors and beach-lovers alike.
Ancient Bodrum with its narrow streets and huge castle is the sailing centre of Turkey. A world-class marina with its international buzz is bordered by boutiques and restaurants. Meanwhile Gumbet next door offers beach life by day and party times by night. Elsewhere on the peninsula, there are dozens of long sandy coves ideal for windsurfers, swimmers and sun-lovers.
Looking for hotels that love families? Bodrum has plenty – from small lodgings to larger complexes. Meanwhile there’s a wide range of self-catering accommodation to suit couples and friends alike.
Once an important part of ancient Greece, the Bodrum area is so crammed with ruins that many haven’t even been properly excavated or preserved. One of the most impressive is a Greek theatre at Bodrum dating from the 2nd century BC.
For exclusive hotels, fine sea-front restaurants and trendy bars, try Turkbuku. If you want to escape the crowds, head to Bitez which attracts older and more upmarket holidaymakers – its sloping beach with coarse sands has wooden piers to swim from. Meanwhile Gumusluk is very popular for its secluded setting and unspoilt appearance, protected from development by building regulations. And if you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids, Akyarlar has one of the safest and sandiest beaches around.
No trip to Bodrum would be complete without a visit to its 15th century castle. Dominating almost every view in the town, it was built by the Knights of St John and now houses a huge collection of underwater discoveries from ancient shipwrecks. Easily accessible from Bodrum is Ephesus. A historian’s dream, the ruined city was once home to 225,000 Romans. Wander among its magnificent ancient temples and monuments, some two storeys high.
If you’re after a traditional market, try Turgutries – it’s an old town but now has a stylish new marina and exclusive boutiques too. Or if you fancy some sea breeze, take a day trip on one of the many gulets – wooden sailing ships moored all along the coast. More active holidaymakers can explore the enormous Aqua Park Dedeman Bodrum.
All corners of the former Ottoman Empire influence traditional Turkish cuisine. Look out for European, African and Western Asian touches. Besides fish, Bodrum’s local dishes are steak or chicken with potato, garlic and yogurt sauce. Regional desserts are pastries stuffed with almonds and sesame seeds or semolina and ice cream. And if you want to drink like a local, try ayran – a mixture of yoghurt, cold water and salt. Due to Turkey’s popularity with tourists, you’ll also find chic places offering cuisine from round the world.
Bodrum’s got it all. Check out its traditional high-end souvenirs. You’ll find beautiful carpets, leather goods, copper and bronze wares, and silver and gold jewellery, but also browse the designer fashion boutiques and high quality outdoor shops that appeal to the jet set and international sailing crowd.
Gumbet is the hotspot when it comes to nightlife, thanks to its numerous clubs. Meanwhile at open-air Halikarnus in Bodrum town you may spot a celeb – Jay-Z and Beyoncé are said to have graced its dance floors. But if you’re after good Turkish cuisine and a sea view, almost any resort town will fit the bill, offering quayside drinking and dining.
Stretching out into the Aegean Sea, the Bodrum Peninsula is surrounded by 32 islands, including the Greek island of Kos just 21 kilometres away.
The nearest airport is Milas-Bodrum, 25km south of Milas and 58km north of the town of Bodrum.
Time differenceGMT +2 hours
Beerfrom 10 TL a bottle
3 course mealaround 30 TL