One of the latest travel trends is to go where few have been, to explore the unknown. Although that is certainly is an enjoyable adventure, the most popular destinations have become so for good reason. One of them is Bodrum, not a hidden treasure of Turkey, but a treasure all the same.
This south-western city, located in the Aegean region, is known locally and internationally as one of Turkey’s most popular summer holiday destinations with its beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, exciting nightlife and tempting restaurant scene.
Bodrum is located on the promontory that juts out between the Gulf of Madalya and the Gulf of Gökova, both of which make an excellent starting point for a sailing trip. Bodrum includes the city centre, as well as several municipalities, the most famous of which are Yalikavak, Türkbükü, Yalıkavak, Gümüşlük, Torba and Turgutreis.
What to see
Formerly known as Halicarnassus, Bodrum was once home to the Carians, the Greeks, and the Ottomans before becoming a part of modern Turkey. As such, the region features many ancient ruins that are well worth a visit. These include the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, also known as the Tomb of Mausolus; Iassos, an ancient city of Caria; Euromos, another ancient city in Caria which now contains the ruins of the Temple of Zeus; Miletus, an ancient Greek city where the ruins of the Theatre of Miletus still stand; and Didyma, home to the ruins of Temple of Apollo.
If you’re interested in history, one of the principal attractions of the region is Bodrum's famous castle. Built in the 16th century, the building, previously known as the Castle of St. Peter, now houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. The museum’s collection includes a Turkish bath, torture rooms, Byzantine ships, and much more.
Although visiting historical locations may be a part of your Bodrum trip, the main activity here is certainly relaxing on the beach and swimming. Travellers will find a variety of options when it comes to picking a beach. Those who want a peaceful getaway even during the peak of summer can enjoy a sense of tranquillity in Akyarlar, whereas those who want to mingle with the jet-setters during a day-long happy hour could go to one of the trendy beaches in Yalikavak or Türkbükü, such as Xuma or Maki.
Xuma Beach Club: Kudur Mevki Yalikavak, Bodrum, Bodrum City 48990, Turkey, www.xuma.com.tr/
Maki: Keleşharımı Mevkii Mimoza Sokak No:10, Göltürkbükü, Bodrum, Tel: +90 252 377 61 05, www.makihotel.com.tr
Dining and clubbing
Bodrum offers a vibrant restaurant and nightlife scene, with new venues opening up each season. Diners will always find something that caters to their tastes, as the region offers both luxury and budget options, as well as Turkish and international cuisine. Seafood and fish are obvious winners here, and recommended restaurants are Orfoz, Komodor and Mimoza. If you want to experience a local classic, Körfez is a must-try.
Speaking of classics, Küba and Barlar Sokağı have become highlights of Bodrum’s nightlife. One of the latest additions is Billionaire Club, where dancing takes off around midnight and goes on until the small hours of the morning. Ottoflamm is another recent addition where local and international bands take the stage for those who want to enjoy live music. Xuma is known for entertaining with great DJs, while Maki 29, the Bodrum counterpart of Istanbul’s Ulus 29, is a great spot to go for sumptuous food followed by a great party.
Orfoz Restaurant: Kumbahçe Mh., Cumhuriyet Cd No:177, 48400 Bodrum, Tel.+ 90 252 316 4285, www.orfoz.net
Komodor Meze Evi: Ulusca Mah., Rasat Tepe Sk 11/A, Bodrum Merkez/Muğla, Tel.+90 252 313 7555, facebook page
Mimoza: Gümüşlük Yalı Mevkii 44/1, 48400 Bodrum/Muğla, Tel.+90 252 3943 139, www.mimozagumusluk.com
Körfez: Neyzen Tevfik Cad. No:2, Bodrum City 48400 , Turkey, Tel. + 90 252 313 8248, www.korfezrestaurant.com.tr
Billionaire Club: Merkez Mah. Çökertme Cad. Yalıkavak, Bodrum / MUĞLA / 4899, Tel: +90 252 385 43 56, www.billionairelife.com. Open May to September.
Ottoflamm: Yalı Mahallesi 30 Sokak 3/1, Göltürkbükü, Bodrum, Muğla, Tel. +90 252 3578 011
Where to stay
Plenty of options line the shores, and a charming address is Divan Bodrum in Göltürkbükü, where simplicity, comfort, and luxury are beautifully combined in a boutique-hotel-type format. Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay is a five-star hotel that offers a dramatic view of Bodrum with a location that is just far enough away to offer peace and quiet, but also close enough to offer easy access to the city centre. The Marmara Bodrum is a luxurious option located close to the centre, with a variety of rooms and suites that cater to all hospitality preferences. Mejor Costa in YalÄ±kavak is a recent addition that guarantees relaxation, with a boutique hotel feel but resort-style amenities.
Divan Bodrum: Keleşharim Caddesi No:22 Göltürkbükü 48483 Bodrum Muğla, Turkey, Tel. +90 252 377 5601, www.divan.com
Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay: Kizilagac Koyu Gerenkuyu Mevki Bodrum Merkez, Yaliciftlik, 48400, Tel. +90 252 3110 303, www.kempinski.com
The Marmara Bodrum: Yokusbasi Mahallesi, Suluhasan Cad. No:18, Bodrum City 48400, Tel. +90 252 313 8130, bodrum.themarmarahotels.com
Mejor Costa Hotel: Kudur Mevkii Sehit Engin Buyuksoylemez Caddesi , No:9 , Yalikavak-Bodrum 48890, Muğla, Tel. +90 252 3853 765, www.avantgardecollection.com
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