Bodrum

Bodrum is one of the most important and beautiful tourism destinations across the Mediterranean Peninsula. Bodrum Peninsula is full of nature, tourism attractions, beautiful resorts and five star hotels. Bodrum Peninsula has its own airport (Milas Bodrum Airport) other than Dalaman Airport which is also located within Mugla metropolitan area. Bodrum Peninsula has several important towns, including the town center, Gumusluk, Yalikavak, Torba, Turgutreis and Golturkbuku are distributed around nearly 400 km^2 of area. With its yacht marinas, beautiful hotels, historic monuments from the Ancient ages, islands, shores and sport options, Bodrum is one of the most notable travel destinations across the world.

Bodrum

Bodrum

What to do in Bodrum Peninsula

Bodrum Peninsula is worldwide famous for its resort towns, infinite beaches, chilly waters, impressive restaurants and world class hotels. A holiday of several days is never enough in Bodrum. In daytime you can travel across Bodrum city center, Gümbet, Bitez, Turgut Reiz, Yalıkavak, Göltürkbükü and Torba. You can swim and enjoy the wind surfing. In the night Bodrum is full of world class night clubs, restaurants including tasty fish restaurants. Climbing to forests or diving are some other activities you can do in Bodrum.
Bodrum is full of history. Bodrum Castle and Underwater Museum are some of the important historic places to visit (see below).

Bodrum Castle

Bodrum Castle

Town center of Bodrum

Town Center of Bodrum is the most crowded part of the Bodrum Peninsula where many tourism related attractions are also gathered. The Havas shuttles carry the airport passengers to the bus terminal in the town bazaar. In the bus terminal you can find how to go to other parts of the Peninsula with mini-buses (dolmus) with prices like 1-2 euros. There’re also many taxis to carry you across the peninsula.
Bodrum Town Center is famous for its hotels, Historic Castle and Museum, beaches like Gumbet, Bitez or Kumbahce, nightlife and yacht marina.

Bodrum Castle

Bodrum Castle is the most important historic structure in Bodrum. The Castle includes “Museum of Underwater Archaeology” (see below). To enter to the castle you need a “museum card” which is valid in most museums across Turkey, which is 30 TL (2014). Because of its rich historical and archaeological content, it may take 1-2 hours or more to walk across the castle.


Bodrum Castle was constracted by “Knights Hospitaller” between 1404 – 1437 to be protected from the Seljuk Turks’ military power. Knights Hospitaller were actually located in Rhodes Island. When the construction began, papa promised the workers to be located to heaven for their service. The workers used stones from Mausoleum of Maussollos. Spanish Knights converted the castle into a more Gothic structure.

After 1453, Ottoman Army attacked to the castle twice but couldn’t be successful to take over. In 1482, Cem Sultan has been the refuge of the Castle. After Ottoman attacks, Knights decided to fortify the castle in 1494. Ottoman Army was using powerful cannons and knights decided to built  stronger walls. Between 1505 and 1507, some sculptures and art works were carried from Mausoleum of Maussollos into the castle. Some of the sculptures you may see in the castle are related to Mausoleum and Greek Myths actually.
In 1522, Sultan ordered to attack Rhodes with more than 200.000 soldiers from Marmaris Bay and Bodrum Castle was also under attack. After the Ottoman Rule, the chapel was converted into a mosque. You can see all flags of the Knights and Ottoman times at the top of the castle. The castle has been used as a military base by Ottoman Army in some periods.
For more information about the castle, please read more in Underwater Archaeology Museum and Halicarnassus Mausoleum.

Bodrum Castle Flags

Bodrum Castle Flags

The Castle is at the center of Bodrum town center behind the yacht marina and bazaar. If you’re coming from the bus terminal, you should follow Cevat Sakir Street, which will directly take you to the Castle. If you stay in Gumbet area, you should first go to the bus terminal with a mini-bus. If you stay behind Bodrum Marina, you need to follow Neyzen Tevfik Street.

Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology

In 1962, government decided to add a museum to the castle structure. The Archaeology Museum is the largest underwater museum of its kind. Museum has many ancient shipwrecks dating back to 16th century BC from many periods of history including Ancient Egypt, Byzantium, Hellenistic or Ottoman.
List of shipwrecks in the museum:

  • Finike-Gelidonya shipwreck (12h century BC)
  • Bodrum-Yassiada shipwreck (7th century AD)
  • Bodrum -Yassiada shipwreck (4th century AD)
  • Bodrum-Yassiada shipwreck (16th century Ottoman)
  • Ṣeytan Deresi shipwreck (16th century BC)
  • Marmaris-Serçe harbour shipwreck (glass, 11th century AD)
  • Marmaris-Serçe harbour shipwreck (3rd BC)
  • Kaṣ-Uluburun shipwreck (14th century BC):
  • Tektaṣ glasswreck (5th century BC)
Bodrum Castle

Bodrum Castle

Bodrum Amphitheatre

Bodrum Amphitheatre started in the King Mausolus era but was not fully completed untill the Roman era. [1]  The Amphitheatre is on the Bodrum – Turgutreis Road or in other words, on the road between Bodrum center and Gumbet. Theater has a capacity for 13000 visitors and still used as a concert area sometimes [2]. The entrance fee is 8 TL.

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was built in the 4th century as a tomb for the king and queen of Caria. Today there’s a small museum and ruins of the Mausoleum.  The structure – which was originally 45 meters height was accepted among the “7 Wonders of the Ancient World”.  The architect of the tomb was Styros, who previously constructed Temple of Artemis at Ephesus [3]. The building destructed by several earthquakes across the history and today we only have the ruins. During the construction of Bodrum Castle, the stones of the ruins have been used to fortify the castle in different times. There’re many modern buildings across the world which have been inspired by the structure and architecture of this Mausoleum, including National Newark Building in Newark or The Shrine of Remembrance in Australia.

Myndos Gate

Myndos was a Dorian colony of Troezen. Today the historic ruins of the colony can be find in Gumusluk (Gümüşlük) district of Bodrum.

Bodrum Bazaar

Bodrum Bazaar is a very large bazaar in which you can find many stores of internationally well known brands as well as local brands.  In Bodrum Bazaar you can find stores to buy carpets or jewelry as a symbol to remember Bodrum and gifts to your friends. You can find amulets, plates painted with Bodrum scenes or paintings of Bodrum. There you can find also some artists who can draw your sketch or the pictures you provide them. They’re very talented.

Hotels in Town Center

There are many hotels and resorts across the town center, as well as Gumbet and Bitez areas. We created a small list of hotels in the area as an example, please note that there’re many other hotels in different sizes and with different features.

Aegean Gate Hotel: Aegean Gate Hotel is located on the east side of the Bodrum City Center.  The hotel is a small boutique hotel [4].

Beyaz Hotel: Another hotel in Kumbahce area. It’s a boutique hotel with deluxe and standard room options.

El Vino Hotel: El Vino is very close to Mausoleum, it’s in the center of the city. You can check for reservation in hotels site. Hotel has “standard room”, “comfort room” and “suite room”.

The Marmara Bodrum is a 4-star hotel at the center of Bodrum. Hotel is the section of the Marmara Hotel chain.

Voyage Hotel is a 5-star hotel in Bardakci Koyu. Voyage group has many departments in different parts of Bodrum.

Grand Yazici Bodrum is the Bodrum branch of Grand Yazici hotel chain. Hotel also has a branch in Torba.

Azka Otel Bodrum has a beautiful panorama and location. Azka is also in Barcakci Koyu

Restaurants and Nightlife in Bodrum Town Center

According to Tripadvisor’s restaurant list [5], Restaurant La Pasion, Scala, Demeter Bar & Restaurant, Chinese Inn Restaurant, Avlu Bistro Bar, Eviniz, El Vino restaurant, Adams Pub, Antik Akdeniz are among notable bars and restaurants in Bodrum. There are nearly more than 300 options for restaurants and bars across Bodrum for all kind of taste.
If you are an American, you may like OX Wine and Burger Bar, Meat Burger and Steakhouse, Kosem Pub and Cafe, Dr. No, Numero Uno Ristorante and Garden Orange Restaurant. But we strongly suggest you to try Turkish food which is mostly red-meat based.
There’re tens of options for breakfast in Bodrum. Musto and Marina Yacht Club Restaurant are among the bests we can suggest.
There’s a bar street in Gumbet, 300-400 meters above the beach. There’s always a non-stop live music during the summer season, crazy nightclub parties as well as rock-bars. Many famous singers (local or international) stars visit this strest during the summer time. Peters Palace, Annalivia Restaurant, Babylone’s Restaurant, Konya Ugurlu and Family Door are some popular restaurants in Gumbet. Remember that Gumbet is in the other side of the Bodrum center. You can get to Gumbet with a dolmus from Bodrum bus terminal.

Bodrum Marina

Milta Bodrum Marina provides services related with Reception, Port Services, Yacht Technical Services and Fuel Services. For reservation, you can apply official site of the marina. [6]

Yalı

Yalı is one of the small towns in Bodrum Peninsula, close to Bodrum town center. Yalı has a 3 kilometers of beach. Yalıhan Hotel, Eskiyalı Otel, Çavuş Hotel, Dream Apart Bitez, Toloman Otel are some of hotels you can find around Yalı beaches. Yalı is available for sea sports like surf.

On the 5km west of Yalı, you can find Akyarlar. Akyarlar is a small town between Yalı and Turgutreis. This is a very small town in which mostly there’s summer resorts of Turkish people. There’re few hotels and relatively short beaches.

Bitez

Between Yalı and Gümbet, Bitez is a beautiful small bay, which is covered with a kilometer long beach. Toloman Bitez, Ministar Hotel, Manuela Otel, The Corner Boutique Hotel area some of the hotels in Bitez.

Turgut Reis

Turgut Reis is one of the important towns in Bodrum Peninsula. With its 5 km long beach, Turgut Reis is a beautiful option for the ones who look less crowd. You can go to Turgut Reis using the mini-buses from the Bodrum central bus terminal. The main street of Turgut Reis has a large Migros store where you can find wide range of food and other needs. Turgut Reis has its own Marina.

Hotels in Turgut Reis

Lagina Hotel, Hotel Yasmin, Galindo Apart Hotel and some other hotels are in the right side of the Turgut Reis center. At the center of Turgut Reis, Yıldız Motel, Bio Mianco, Kortan Hotel, Oasis Apart are some good options but you can find more hotels around the center of Turgut Reis. In the left side of Turgut Reis, you can find Aydem Hotel, La Blanche Resort and many others.

At the end of Turgut Reis, in Kadıkale you can find many 4 and 5 star hotels with beaches behind.

Restaurants in Turgut Reis

Turgut Reis has many qualified restaurants and cafes. Uncles Restaurant, Cool Breeze Restaurant, Anatolian Restaurant, Nazar, Can Restaurant are some of many good restaurants and cafes.
On the main street, you can find a “Teknosa” an electronic retailer store, a Tansaş branch which is a walmart like store. In the center of Turgut Reis, you can also find a middle size Migros.

Gumusluk

Gumusluk (Gümüşlük) is the westmost point of Bodrum peninsula.With its protected nature Gümüşlük is peaceful part of Bodrum Peninsula. Gümüşlük is more like a fishtown on the north side of Turgut Reis. In the eastern part of Gümüşlük you can see Karaköy, which is a small village mostly abandoned. This village is small version of Kayaköy in Fethiye.

Hotels in Gumusluk

Hotels, beaches and fish restaurants are close to each other on the seaside. Otel Gümüşlük, Club Zembda are some of the hotels in Gümüşlük Bay.

Yalıkavak

Yalıkavak is the eastnorth part of Bodrum Peninsula. Yalıkavak is well known with its windy nature. Some of the surf tournaments are planned around Yalıkavak. What would you do in Yalıkavak? You can visit the bazaar, yacht marina or the long beach. Yalıkavak Bazaar is a classical Turkish bazaar with organic vegetables or carpets.

Hotels in Yalıkavak

Palmalife Bodrum, Highlight Otel, Artsuits Bodrum, Avant Garde Hotel, Elite Hotels Bodrum, Delta Beach Resort Hotel, Princess Artemisia Hotel, Yalıpark Hotel and Şamdan Hotel are among some good hotels in Yalıkavak.

Restaurants in Yalıkavak

Sofie’s Restaurant and Bar, Elma, Secret Garden Restaurant, Dede Restaurant or Minor Cafe are among beautiful cafes and restaurants you can find in Yalıkavak.

Torba

Torba is a very small town in the north part of Bodrum Peninsula. Torba has an outstanding nature. Torba is covered with olive groves and pine forests. You can go to Didim and Milet from Torba with motors. Torba is ideal for people who want to be close to city center without the crowed. Torba has a kilometer long beach.

Hotels in Torba

Torba Voyage, Omar Hotel, Sina Hotel, Torba Han are some of important hotels in Torba.

Golturkbuku

Göltürkbükü is another seaside town with beautiful forests around. Göltürkbükü beaches are famous for its chilly water. Göltürkbükü was a village 30 years before. It was developed very quickly and many villas have been constructed across Göltürkbükü.

Hotels in Golturkbuku

Göltürkbükü has many beautiful hotels including internationally famous brands. Kuum Hotel, Hilton Hotel Göltürkbükü, Divan Bodrum Palmira, Panorama Hotel Bodrum, Macakizi Hotel Bodrum are some of many beautiful hotels across Göltürkbükü.

Comparisons

Bodrum vs Ibiza: Climate of Ibiza and Bodum are similar to each other. Bodrum is based on a peninsula and Ibiza is based on an island. Population of Ibiza is 4 times more than Bodrum. Ibiza lived under the rule of Assyrian and Carthage while Bodrum lived under Greek and Ottoman rules. Both have a very colorful night life. In both of these travel destinations there’re different kind of hotels from boutique hotels to five star lux resorts.

Bodrum vs Santorini: Santorini is a small Greek island. Similarities between Bodrum and Santorini are architecture, history, nature and climate since they share the same historic background. Houses in both Bodrum and Santorini are painted to white and it’s an historical method to adapt warm summers. Unlike Bodrum, Santorini has a decade volcano.

Bodrum vs Saint Tropez: Saint Tropez is a tourism related town in Marseille, France. As an internationally known seaside resort, Saint Tropez has less population than Bodrum. Both cities are similar for their climate and have an historical dept.

What’s Around Bodrum?

Bodrum is part of Muğla city. Muğla has many beautiful tourism resorts. Marmaris, Didim, Fethiye are not far away from Bodrum.

References

[1]”Ancient Amphitheatre in Bodrum” in Bodrum Turkey Travel Site
[2] “Bodrum Antique Theatre” in bodrum-gumbet.com.
[3] “Mausoleum at Halicarnassus” in Wikipedia.
[4] “Aegean Gate Hotel
[5] “Bodrum City Restaurants“, in Trip Advisor
[6] Milta Marina official site.

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