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Things to Know
If you are looking for a destination in Turkey that is both hip and beautiful at the same time, Bodrum is the place for you. This port town on the Aegean coast of Turkey was in fact discovered many decades ago by Turks seeking a picturesque but lively seaside escape. As its popularity grew, so did the number of international travelers looking to spend their holidays in Bodrum and over the years the once sleepy fishing village has transformed into a bustling resort town. But beyond its beautiful scenery, large scale resorts, and exciting nightlife, Bodrum also boasts a long and rich historical past. In fact, Herodotus himself who is widely regarded to be the world’s first historian and is known as “the Father of History”, was a native of Bodrum or Halicarnassus as it was known in antiquity. Combining a vibrant social life with a wealth of fascinating cultural treasures in a stunning setting, it’s easy to see how Bodrum has become one of Turkey’s premier holiday destinations.
Things to See
The Castle of St. Peter
Built by the Order of the Knights of St. John in the 16th century, the castle of St. Peter is doubtless the most impressive structures in Bodrum. Inside you will also find the remarkable Museum of Underwater Archeology.
The Museum of Underwater Archeology
Located inside the Castle of St. Peter, this museum houses the world’s most important collection of finds from sunken ships dating from the 16th century BC to the 16th century AD. Its exhibits include an exquisite collection of ancient amphoras, glassware, bronze and iron ware to name a few.
The Amphitheater
One of the most impressive vestiges of ancient Halicarnassus. While Mausolos is said to have started building such a theater, the remains that can be seen today date back to the Hellenistic Age of the late 4th century BC. In its time, it could accommodate up to 13,000 spectators.
The Ancient City Walls and Myndos Gate
Located on the western side of Bodrum town, the Myndos Gate was one of two main gates in the monumental fortified walls that once encircled the ancient city of Halicarnassus. Originally, there was said to have been a large deep moat in front of the gate, which was crossed by the troops of Alexander the Great via a makeshift wooden bridge during the Siege of Halicarnassus in 334 BC.
Things to Do
Stroll Through Bodrum City Center
With its cozy white houses, deep blue crystal sea, rich history and busy social life, heavenly Bodrum has inspired poets and writers for decades. After visiting the castle, and the Museum of Underwater Archeology, head to the promontory and the Bodrum marina to enjoy a leisurely walk surrounded by the wonderful scenery. Later in the day, as you venture through the narrow pedestrian streets, among the many alleys you will find what is locally known as ‘Bar Street’ (Barlar Sokagi), where you can shop and enjoy the various night clubs that offer entertainment through the night. All shops on Bar Street are also open till late at night, so you can enjoy shopping to your heart’s content.
Upscale in Tџrkbџkџ
Tџrkbџkџ, also known as Gљltџrkbџkџ, is frequently referred to as the Saint Tropez of Turkey. Although it is rightfully famous as a quality vacation spot ideal for upscale travelers and the Turkish elite, Tџrkbџkџ surprisingly does not feature wide-spread sandy beaches. Instead, docks are used as sunbathing platforms, where you can enjoy wonderful food and drinks right by the sea. During the evening, some of these docks become venues for dining and partying. In Tџrkbџkџ you may find numerous luxury boutique venues that belong to Turkish designers, upscale hotels, luxurious private villas, as well as some of the most refined restaurants and bars in all of Turkey. If you are in a party mood, do not miss out on one of the many sunset parties that take place in Tџrkbџkџ during the summer months.
Take a Day Trip to Bitez
With its big tangerine gardens, Bitez is the “green” region of the peninsula and being just 5 miles from Bodrum, it is easy to reach by car or other means of transportation in roughly 10 minutes. One of the strongest assets of Bitez is its beautiful beach, where you can enjoy swimming or lounging on one of the sun chairs shaded by the umbrellas that are scattered around the beach. The Bitez beach is ideal for families, since a large portion of the waters is shallow even at some distance from the shore, while it is also a popular beach among surfers. Right next to Bitez you will find the beaches of Aktur with different areas catering to families and single travelers alike. Some of the beaches require a fee, and hence are considered to address more of an upscale crowd.
Explore Provincial Bodrum
With its rustic atmosphere, Gџmџşlџk is the perfect location for visitors who desire to experience the village-like appeal of provincial Bodrum. Sunsets in Gџmџşlџk are an extraordinary sight, lighting up the sky in a beautiful spectacle of colors in shades of orange gold and blue. Gџmџşlџk is also the ideal place to enjoy a day of complete relaxation at one of the beaches in front of one of the many restaurants and cafes around the area. If you like, you can also make the trip to Rabbit Island (Tavşan Adasi) which you can reach by walking through the sea at knee-level water. The 400-year old Gџmџşlџk Eklisia Church is another must-see, especially in the month of July when the International Classical Music Festival takes place. Finally, the Gџmџşlџk Art Academy that is situated at the entrance of Gџmџşlџk offers ceramic, music, and sculpture workshops, making it definitely worth a visit if you are interested in any of those activities.