An impressive medieval castle built by the Knights of Rhodes guards the entrance
to Bodrum's dazzling blue bay, in which the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas
meet. The town's charm is well-known, attracting a diverse population of
vacationers who stroll along its long palm-lined waterfront, while elegant
yachts crowd the marina.
Not far from town, you can swim in absolutely clear, tideless, warm seas.
Underwater divers, especially, will want to explore the numerous reefs, caves
and majestic rock formations. The waters offer up multicolored sponges of all
shapes and sizes, octopi and an immense variety of other aquatic life.
The reputation of Bodrum's boatyards dates back to ancient times, and today,
craftsmen still build the traditional yachts: the Tirhandil with a pointed bow
and stern, and the Gullets with a broad beam and rounded stern. The latter,
especially, are used on excursions and pleasure trips, and in the annual October
Bodrum has gained the reputation as the center of the Turkish art community with
its lively, friendly and Bohemian atmosphere and many small galleries. This
community has encouraged an informal day-time life style and a night-time of
excitement. The evenings in Bodrum are for sitting idly in one of the many
restaurants, dining on fresh seafood and other Aegean specialties. Afterwards
night clubs (some with cabaret) and superb discos keep you going until dawn.
Bodrum, known in the ancient times as Halicarnassus which was the capital of
Caria, was the birthplace of Herodotus and the site of King Mausolous' Tomb (4th
century B.C.), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. In the harbor, the
Bodrum Castle, or the medieval castle of St. Peter, is a fine example of 15th
century crusader architecture, and has been converted into the Museum of
Underwater Archeology, with remains dating as far back as the Bronze Age. The
stunning panoramic view from Goktepe, nearby, is much photographed by visitors
to the Museums' 2nd century theater.
The beautiful Bodrum Peninsula suits holidaymakers interested in a subdued and
relaxing atmosphere. Enchanting villages, with guest-houses and small hotels on
quiet bays, dot the peninsula. On the southern coast, Bardakci, Gümbet, Bitez,
Ortakent, Karaincir, Bagla and Akyarlar have fine, sandy beaches. Campers and
wind-surfers enjoy Gümbet, and at Bitez colorful sail boards weave skillfully
among the masts of yachts in the bay. On shore you can enjoy quiet walks through
the orange and tangerine groves bordering the beach. Ortakent has one of the
longest stretches of sandy beach in the area and offers an ideal place for
relaxing in solitude. One of the most beautiful beaches on the Bodrum peninsula,
Karaincir, is ideal for lively active days by the sea and relaxed, leisurely
evenings with local villagers. Finally, Akyarlar enjoys a well-deserved
reputation for the fine, powdery sand of its beach, it's also considered as one
of the best beaches in the world. Turgutreis, Gumusluk and Yalikavak, all with
excellent beaches, lie on the western side of the peninsula and are ideal for
swimming, sunbathing and water sports. In Turgutreis, the birthplace of a great
Turkish Ottoman admiral of the same name, you will find a monument honoring him.
In the ancient port of Myndos, Gümüslük, you can easily make many friends with
the hospitable and out-going local population. In Yalikavak white-washed houses
with cascading Bougainville line narrow streets. Small cafes and the occasional
windmill create a picturesque setting.
See the north coast of the peninsula - Torba, Türkbükü, Gölköy and Gündogan - by
road or, even better, hire a boat and crew to explore the quiet coves, citrus
groves and wooded islands. Little windmills which still provide the energy to
grind grain crown hills covered with olive trees. Torba, a modern village with
holiday villas and a nice marina is located 8 km north of Bodrum. Gölköy and
Türkbükü are small and simple fishing villages with a handful of taverns
overlooking a lovely bay.
After a boat trip to Karaada, half an hour from Bodrum, you can bathe in the
grotto where the warm mineral waters flowing out of the rocks are believed to
beautify the complexion.
The translucent and deep waters of the Gulf of Gökova, on the southern shore of
the Bodrum peninsula vary from the darkest blue to the palest turquoise, and the
coastline is thickly wooded with every hue of green. In the evening, the sea
reflects the mountains silhouetted against the setting sun, and at night it
shimmers with phosphorescence.