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Whereas typically referred to as the “Saint Tropez of Turkey” as a consequence of its posh superstar hideaways and sapphire blue waters, the glittering resort city of Bodrum affords far more than seashores.
I shortly fell in love with its alluring mixture of historic archeological websites, pine-scented inland villages and culinary points of interest.
And I’m not alone in appreciating Bodrum’s distinctive mix of recent comforts and conventional charms. It’s one of many wager locations to go to in Turkey, formally the Republic of Türkiye.
Time Journal even chosen Bodrum as one of many World’s Biggest Locations 2021!
What makes it such an ideal place to go to? Right here’s my checklist of essentially the most superb issues to do in Bodrum, Turkey and why you must add it to your journey bucket checklist:
1. Stroll the Waterfront Promenade and Marina
To get oriented, one of many first issues to do in Bodrum is head to the marina. Take a gradual and scenic stroll alongside its waterfront promenade and also you’ll shortly acquire an appreciation of the town’s strategic location as an vital port for commerce.
Set between two sheltered bays on the Aegean coast southwest of Istanbul, previous to Ottoman rule, what’s now Bodrum was the Greek metropolis of Halicarnassus. In trendy occasions its promenade is a beautiful a part of a fun-filled day.
The pedestrian zone is lined with distributors, outside eating places and bobbing fishing boats, cruise ships and yachts. Invoice Gates typically jets in to take pleasure in a while on his mega yacht.
Within the night, the promenade affords spectacular views of the neon sundown, illuminated stone partitions of Bodrum Fort and star-lit skies.
2. Journey Via Historical past at Bodrum Fort
The center of a stroll alongside the promenade stroll is Bodrum Fort. Lately reopened after intensive renovations, this UNESCO World Heritage Website just isn’t solely stunning however packs a robust historic punch.
Also referred to as the Fort of St. Peter, it was in-built 1402 by the Knights Hospitaller also called the Knights of St. John. They’d a base in Rhodes and castles in strategic places similar to Paphos (Cyprus) and Akko (Israel).
Because the Order of the Knights of St. John was a multinational group, every Order had its tower with its personal type. Consequently, guests can see these French, Italian, German, and Italian influences within the total structural fantastic thing about the fortress.
Insider Tip: Earlier than you go, take in the traditional ambiance of thirteenth century costumes, sword-fighting and Turkish horsemanship in Resurrection: Ertuğrul the favored Turkish sequence based mostly on the lifetime of Ertuğrul the daddy of Osman 1, the founding father of the Ottoman Empire.
Often referred to as the Turkish Recreation of Thrones, this 5-season sequence depicts battles with invading Crusaders and Mongols. Whereas Karacahisar Fort depicted within the sequence is in ruins, Bodrum Fort is a positive instance of structure from the Byzantine Empire.
3. Delve into Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology
Inside Bodrum Fort, you’ll discover the Underwater Archeology Museum, which options an interesting choice of lagan, which is a nautical time period used to explain ship cargo that has sunk to the ocean flooring.
The Museum itself was established in Bodrum Fort in 1964 and the thought, because the identify suggests, is to showcase underwater artifacts in addition to the historical past of the traditional metropolis of Halicarnassus.
The museum itself has 14 exhibition halls, which embrace numerous items forged overboard or misplaced cargo later discovered throughout underwater excavations. Exploring the mysterious tales of the previous on this museum is a enjoyable factor for households to do in Bodrum.
One in all these exhibitions is the Glass Corridor, which shows objects made out of glass that date again as early as 1400 BC, discovered from shipwrecks within the area.
Insider Tip: You should definitely see the Carian Princess exhibit. It affords insights right into a feminine who lived 2,400 years in the past and whose sarcophagus lay hidden till 1989 when it was unearthed throughout excavations. From the cash and jewelry within the burial chamber, it seems she was a girl of nice wealth.
4. Study About Turkish Music at Zeki Müren Arts Museum
One of many extra uncommon issues to do in Bodrum is get immersed in in style tradition on the two-storey museum devoted to legendary Turkish star Zeki Müren (1931-1996).
Usually referred to as a cross between Liberace and Elton John, he’s well-known as a singer, composer, songwriter, actor and poet. Along with his automotive nonetheless parked within the storage and atmospheric music enjoying, the museum feels extra like his dwelling and that he’s simply stepped away from it for a second.
5. Take a Turkish Cooking Class in Bodrum
Turkish delicacies is a novel melting pot of various traditions and cultures that makes Turkey is likely one of the world’s nice culinary vacation spot.
In case you’re a foodie on the lookout for a completely immersive Turkish expertise then you must positively spend a while with Chef Asli Mutluat at Cooking Courses Bodrum.
The number of courses this well-established college affords features a one-day cooking class plus a market go to, a foodie day in Karaova, which features a winery go to, and even a category to show you the way to make baklava.
The corporate focuses on Aegean Turkish delicacies, so is based on olive oil dishes, greens, and herbs with specialties similar to mastering eggplant.
Time your go to for November and you’ll even take part in harvesting olives in a village orchard!
Test costs for a Farmer’s Market Go to and Turkish Cooking Class on Viator.com.
6. Study Olive Oil at a Turkish Olive Oil Manufacturing unit
To pattern Turkish olive oil straight from its supply head inland to the Bodrum Peninsula’s inside. There you’ll find a timeless panorama dotted with olive bushes and distinctive white-domed water cisterns used for amassing rainwater.
As soon as there, be sure that to pattern some extra-virgin olive oil on the family-owned Bekiroğlu Olive Oil Manufacturing unit. They’ve been producing olive oil for 4 generations and supply excursions and tastings that share each the historical past and tradition of their journey.
7. Get Your Adrenaline Pumping with Watersports
Bodrum is situated on the junction of the Aegean and Mediterranean sea and is dwelling to 67 totally different seashores. There’s a seashore for each want, a lot of them ultimate for watersports.
If you’re seeking to go kite or windsurfing then Fener seashore is the proper spot as a result of it’s situated simply reverse the island of Kos and due to this fact is a bit windier.
Another choice is Gümbet Seashore which is in style for individuals who wish to scuba dive, windsurf, water ski, jet ski, and even parasail. Among the finest diving websites in Bodrum is situated proper in entrance of Gümbet Seashore.
With its golden sand and calm waters, Camel seashore is particularly in style amongst households. Bitez Seashore is one other stunning Bodrum seashore to think about when you’re on the lookout for clear waters, comfortable sand and solar beds set proper on the water’s edge.
As soon as referred to as the Greek metropolis of Halicarnassus, Bodrum was dwelling to the Carians, the Greeks, and the Ottomans earlier than changing into a part of trendy Turkey. The city itself options many historic ruins which might be nicely value a go to.
A very good place to start explorations into these ruins is west of Bodrum’s city heart on the spectacular Myndos Gate. This monumental construction was constructed within the 4th century B.C. by King Mausolos.
Stroll within the footsteps of Alexander the Nice as you step by means of the big gate that after fashioned a part of the traditional metropolis wall that surrounded Halicarnassus.
9. Marvel at One in all Seven Wonders of the Historic World
One of many main points of interest in Bodrum is the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, thought-about one of many Seven Wonders of the Historic World. The Tomb of Mausolus was constructed between 353 and 350 B.C. by Artemisia in honour of her husband.
Whereas the unique ornamental sculptures are housed within the British Museum, the rostrum and column fragments remaining on the archeological web site present a way of its spectacular scale and dimension.
10. Catch a Live performance at Bodrum Amphitheatre
One other must-see vacationer web site is Bodrum Amphitheatre, a coliseum that after hosted gladiator fights and theatrical performances. Also referred to as The Theatre at Halicarnassus and the Bodrum Vintage Theatre, it dates to 4th-century BC and the reign of King Mausolos.
Right now, it’s a well-liked venue for summer season music concert events, theatre, and creative performances.
Insider Tip: On the prime of the amphitheater’s viewers seating you may catch panoramic views of Bodrum, the harbour and the shoreline.
11. Get pleasure from Eating and Nightlife at Bodrum’s Eating places, Bars and Nightclubs
Bodrum has lengthy been a magnet for celebrities. After an extended day, these A-listers typically head out for some sundown eating and cocktails at their favorite nightclub.
A romantic spot to wine and dine is Ayana Mes, the place you may take pleasure in catch of the day seafood (grilled, baked in salt), lamb kebabs and conventional Turkish mezes set proper on the water’s edge.
When you’ve wrapped up dinner, one of many prime issues to do in Bodrum is to occasion till the solar comes out. And there’s no higher place to start out than on Bodrum Bar avenue, which is the nickname for Cumhuriyet avenue.
This lengthy avenue that begins within the sq. in entrance of Bodrum Fort goes east alongside the coast. It’s full of a variety of nightlife spots together with Veli Wine Bar, identified for its dwell music. It’s additionally reportedly the oldest bar in Bodrum.
Another choice for nightlife is Gumbet Bar avenue, one in every of Bodrum’s greatest occasion streets stuffed to the brim with spots to bop and drink the night time away.
It’s secure to say that it doesn’t matter what course you head, you’ll most likely come throughout a nightclub to fit your tastes.
If you’re into exhausting rock, try Kule Rock Metropolis whereas whisky drinkers ought to attempt the Gekko Cocktail and Whiskey Bar. These seeking to dance ought to shimmy on over to Membership Temper Bodrum. For a very distinctive expertise, head out to sea on the Membership Catamaran.
To rub shoulders with celebrities head an hour outdoors Bodrum to MaçaKızı, a classy lodge in Türkbükü with sky excessive costs and an eclectic vibe that pulls an unique clientele.
12. Picture Op at Bodrum’s Stone Windmills
One of many main landmarks to see is situated on a hilltop overlooking Bodrum and Gumbet Bays. Right here you’ll discover a assortment of 18th-century stone windmills, which had been in use till the Nineteen Seventies and confronted northwest to catch the breezy coastal winds.
Though the windmills are simply shells of their former superb selves, they do present a novel sprint of ambiance to the panorama particularly throughout dawn and sundown.
13. Store for Souvenirs on Bodrum’s Winding Streets and Bazaars
In case you love procuring domestically, then one of many prime issues to do in Bodrum is wandering the winding streets and popping your head into each close by store. Maintain a glance out for celebrities! Mick Jagger, Kate Moss, Invoice Gates, Beyoncé and lots of different A-listers frequent Bodrum by yacht or personal jet.
The native markets, indoor and outside bazaars and small outlets are full of handcrafted Turkish treasures like blown glass Nazar (amulets for keeping off the Evil Eye), cotton hammam towels, handwoven pillows and olive oil cleaning soap.
If you’re on the lookout for one thing really distinctive to the city, why not purchase a pair of handmade Bodrum leather-based sandals.
14. Cruise the Turquoise Coast on a Luxurious Gulet (Wood Boat)
One other memorable expertise contains crusing on a luxurious gulet (wood boat) by means of the Aegean Sea and south alongside the zig zag shoreline to the Mediterranean.
Generally known as the Turquoise Coast, it options pristine seashores, hidden coves and translucent waters. Whether or not you go for a multi-day cruise or week lengthy cruise, these “Blue Cruises” are unforgettable personal yacht charters.
Whereas gliding by means of Turkey or the Northern and Southern Dodecanese Islands of Greece, you’ll pattern fresh-caught seafood, kebabs and fabulous Turkish delicacies stopping at islands, small villages and seashores accessible solely by boat.
You possibly can even take a ferry from Antalaya to Cyprus and revel in just a few days absorbing the solar and having fun with Cypriot delicacies. The journey takes round 1.5 hours.
15. Expertise a Turkish Bathtub Ritual at a Bodrum Hammam
Whereas it may not be the commonest vacationer attraction, a Turkish hammam or hamam is a novel cultural expertise nicely value including to your bucket checklist of issues to do in Bodrum.
This well-known Turkish ritual begins with the bather soaking in a steam room, sauna or pool. A hammam attendant then rinses, vigorously exfoliates and massages your total physique with a foam scrub. The scrub is then adopted by a therapeutic massage with oil, a face masks and relaxation within the tiled hamam sipping tea or water. Your entire course of takes 1.5 to 2 hours.
It’s extra of a deep cleaning ritual fairly than a leisure ritual so don’t anticipate to float off to sleep. Somewhat, you’ll come away invigorated. Your pores and skin will probably be glowing, rid of impurities and useless pores and skin, and your muscle groups absolutely relaxed.
Bitez Hamam (extremely rated amongst first-time guests), Bardakci Hammam (historic), Queen Hamman and Sensum Spa are just some of the various hammams in Bodrum.
Value of Conventional Turkish Bathtub at Bitez Hamam: Non-public sauna, Turkish bathtub, full physique scrub, hair wash, full physique therapeutic massage with cleaning soap, face masks, tea and water. 30 Euros or with full physique oil therapeutic massage 55 Euros
16. Marvel on the Rock Tombs of the Kings of Kaunos
Shorter cruise choices embrace day journey crusing excursions that embrace stops in Dalyan to view the weathered facades of rock tombs minimize from the sheer cliffs in historic Kaunos circa 400 BC.
As soon as an vital sea port for service provider ships travelling between East Mediterranean and Aegean Sea, Kaunos has been cited by UNESCO for its historic ruins and cultural background.
The cruises typically embrace time for a therapeutic mud bathtub and a swim at a hidden seashore.
Insider Tip: The Greek island of Kos is simply 14 kilometers away by boat.
17. Sip Wine at Karnas Vineyards
You should definitely plan a go to to Karnas Vineyards to take pleasure in a tour and tasting of Turkish wine amid picturesque vineyards.
The vineyards are situated round 25 minutes from the town of Bodrum and their distinctive calling card is that they’re the house to the first winery to plant the Zinfandel selection in Turkey.
You can too tour the wine cellar of the historic constructing, find out about their fastidiously crafted wines and pattern domestically produced cheeses, olives and dried fruit .
18. Store for Real Turkish Kilims (Rugs) at Etrim Hali Carpet Cooperative
A kilim is a flat tapestry-woven carpet or rug they usually fluctuate in dimension, color, and artistry, drawing inspiration from the climate’s creativity, nature, and basic motifs.
One of many prime issues to do in Bodrum is go to the Etrim Hali Carpet Cooperative is situated within the village of Etrim, about 24km from Bodrum. It’s identified for producing stunning hand-knotted and woven carpets.
Engin Başol, proprietor of Etrim Hali Carpets has roots within the space courting again 500 years. The cooperative works immediately with artisans within the space, thus slicing out the costly intermediary. You possibly can find out about weaving strategies, pattern native delicacies and buy a kilim.
You’ll really feel good figuring out your cash goes straight into the palms of the individuals who made your stunning carpet. Your murals may even be safely shipped to your private home.
19. Pattern Regional Delicacies at a Lokantasi
One of many prime issues to do in Bodrum for meals lovers is to pattern conventional Turkish delicacies.
Whereas there are numerous eating places to select from, Ana Oğul Lokantasi (restaurant) in Turgutreis (Tel: 0252 382 80 03 ) is a incredible spot to pattern genuine native dishes at very affordable costs. You possibly can eat indoors or outdoors on the terrace.
The menu varies day by day however typically contains specialities similar to kabak çiçeği dolması (stuffed squash blossoms), zeytinyagli dolma (stuffed grape leaves) in addition to stews and seasonal greens.
In case you’re unsure what to order, take a peek on the steam desk within the open kitchen.
Don’t miss tasting tel kadayif, a dessert of shredded dough baked in syrup and topped with nuts.
20. Take a Jeep Safari into the Rugged Backcountry
If you might want to take a break from the seashore, then why not take a Jeep Safari Day Tour within the hills above the coast of Bodrum?
Spend the day within the solar exploring the realm surrounding the coast, swimming in rivers, adventuring into caves, and having fun with a scrumptious conventional Turkish lunch.
21. Soak Up Some Tradition with Kumda Kahve – Sand Espresso Ritual
In Turkey, consuming tea and low is a lifestyle. All through the small cities and cities throughout the nation, you’ll see males sipping tea at an outside tables, perhaps enjoying a recreation of backgammon or playing cards.
Close to Bodrum, within the resort city of Turgutreis you may expertise a standard Ottoman espresso ritual of espresso made by the new sand. (It’s situated at nook of 7016 sk and 7015 sk Turgutreis)
This distinctive methodology of constructing Turkish espresso entails brewing espresso in a metallic pan full of sand, heated by hearth. The warmth for brewing is adjusted by the depth of the espresso immersed within the sand.
Ceaselessly Requested Questions About Bodrum
The place is the Greatest Place to Keep in Bodrum?
There are a number of posh hideaways dotted all through the peninsula. That includes personal plunge swimming pools, overwater bungalows and unmatched private service, the facilities at these lodges simply rivals these yow will discover on the famously in style Greek islands of Mykonos and Santorini.
We stayed at Be Premium, a 5 star resort, that includes 134 suites and unique Maldivian-style villas with butler service, ta personal personal swimming pool, unique use of an overwater seashore cabana in addition to many different perks.
It’s situated on Zeytinlikahve Cove on Torba Bay a brief distance from Bodrum Metropolis. Beyoncé additionally stayed in Torba Bay, at Resort Rixos Bodrum, one other personal white sand seashores with azure waters.
New lodge choices embrace Bodrum Loft, modern upscale villas with creative aptitude. Additionally new is Radisson Assortment Resort set by itself seashore on Aspat Bay.
Test charges and availability at Be Premium Resort in Bodrum ( previously The Bodrum by Paramount Resorts & Resorts) on Reserving.com
Official Turkey Tourism web site
Methods to Get to Bodrum
Happily, it’s very straightforward to get to Milas-Bodrum Airport. A member of the Star Alliance community, Turkish Airways affords flights to 248 locations, together with direct flights from Toronto, New York and Boston to Istanbul. It’s attainable to switch the identical day to Bodrum. A direct flight from Istanbul through Turkish Airways takes an hour and 10 minutes.
Nevertheless it’s nicely value overnighting in legendary Istanbul to absorb its charms. Get pleasure from views of the Bosphorus, keep in a historic palace lodge, discover its bazaars and witness its unimaginable structure. Relying in your departure metropolis and vacation spot you could qualify for the Turkish Airways Free Stopover Lodging Service. It’s topic to availability.
Turkish Airways Enterprise Class passengers take pleasure in connoisseur meals, precedence check-in, entry to the award-winning Turkish Airways Airport Lounge, the newest in-flight leisure system, fully-reclining seats and lots of different perks.
By Automotive: You can too get to Bodrum by automotive (8 hours) or bus (11-13 hours). In case you’re driving from Istanbul and serious about historical past, it’s nicely value making a cease on the historic ruins of Troy, close to the village of Tevfikiye on the Turkish Aegean coast close to the Dardanelles Strait.
This text was initially revealed in 2021 however was considerably up to date in 2023.
Different High Issues To Expertise in Turkey
Bodrum is 283 kilometres from Istanbul. It’s nearer than Antalaya, one other in style seashore vacation spot.
Sure, very like different superstar sizzling spots like St. Barts and Saint Tropez, Bodrum can be an costly vacation vacation spot. Invoice Gates reportedly spent 80,000 TL ($10,000 USD) on dinner with associates!
However you don’t should be a billionaire to take pleasure in a trip in Bodrum. It’s attainable to eat economically at native eating places. And attempt to plan your trip for outdoor the height summer season season.
Look into three-star and mid-range boutique lodges as they value a lot lower than the ultra-luxury lodges.
In three days you may see the key points of interest, however 5 days is the proper period of time to spend in Bodrum. The additional two days will give you time to loosen up on its stunning seashores and take a ship tour.
Sure, US, UK and Canadian residents (in addition to many different nations) want a legitimate visa to journey to Turkey. Get an e-visa simply and shortly on-line PRIOR to journey at www.evisa.gov.tr/en
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Dividing her time between Canada, Guatemala and Mexico (or the closest tropical seashore), Michele Peterson is the founding father of A Style for Journey. Her award-winning journey and meals writing has appeared in Lonely Planet’s cookbook Mexico: From the Supply, Nationwide Geographic Traveler, Fodor’s and 100+ different publications.
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