With its simple, white houses adorned with bougainvillea, and its fantastic location at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and the Aegean seas, Bodrum has been the hottest holiday destination for visitors to Turkey for the last three decades. The Bodrum peninsula takes its name from the central town of Bodrum, and there are different towns around the peninsula: Göltürkbükü, Gümüşlük, Torba, Yalıkavak and Turgutreis.
Bodrum, Wilhelm Rosenkranz
Central Bodrum is known for its streets packed with vibrant bars, souvenir and clothing stores, and its wonderful marina. Must-see attractions in town include the Castle of the Knights of St John built in the 16th century, and the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology located inside the Castle.
If you’re looking for local flavours, try the ubiquitous shawarma with vegetables, and the çökertme kebab with French fries and yoghurt at Sünger Pizza, one of the classic pizza joints near the marina.
When you’re out shopping, remember that some stores may be selling counterfeit goods, so it’s always best to shop at brand stores. If you’re looking for a souvenir, you could take a look at unusually-shaped brooms, fashionable sandals hand-made from genuine cowhide, exotic gourd lamps and colourful glass objects.
Beaches in the town centre are not ideal for swimming: we recommend the beaches at Torba, Bitez, Yalıkavak or Türkbükü. Kocadon Restaurant is a great choice if you’re in town for dinner. Enjoy the delectable mezes and raki in Kocadon’s verdant garden.
Sünger Pizza: Eskiçeşme Mahallesi, Tel. +90 252 316 08 54
Kocadon Restaurant: Saray Sokak No. 1, Tel. +90 252 316 37 05
Yalıkavak Palmarina, www.palmarina.com.tr
There was a buzz of anticipation about Yalıkavak Palmarina long before it finally opened in 2013. From then on countless visitors have been enjoying watching the mansion- size mega-yachts moored in the marina, browsing famous Turkish brands such as Nusret, Hiref and Chakra, eating delicious food from local and international favourites Hünkar and Ciprani, and dancing to the music the DJ is spinning at the Bodrum branch of Flavio Briatore’s Billionaire Club.
Billionaire Bodrum, open May - September, Merkez Mah. Çökertme Cad. Yalıkavak 48990 Bodrum, Tel. +90 252 385 43 56/+90 252 385 43 65 www.billionairelife.com
The best options for accommodation are the luxurious Bodrum classic Divan Bodrum, the young crowd’s favourite OttoFlamm and World Luxury Award winner Kuum Hotel & Spa at the other end of the bay. For evening entertainment, Bodrum’s crème de la crème prefers either Ship Ahoy, where they can get off their yacht and walk straight in, or the perennial classic 29 (this season relocating to a Yalıkavak venue), the Bodrum branch of Ulus 29 in Istanbul.
OttoFlamm: Yalı Mahallesi 30 Sokak No. 3/1, tel. +90 252 357 80 11, www.ottoflamm.com.tr
Ulus 29, ulus29.com
Ship Ahoy: Yalı Mevkii, Türkbükü, tel. +90 252 377 50 70, www.shipahoyturkbuku.com
Kuum Hotel and Spa: Atatürk Cd., 48400 Bodrum, Tel. +90 252 311 0060, www.kuumhotel.com
Mimoza, source: www.balikneredeyenir.com
At the westernmost corner of Bodrum peninsula is the beautiful village of Gümüşlük, habitually frequented by intellectuals and artists. It is famous for its sunsets, and one of the best panoramic viewpoints is Limon. Sip delicious cocktails as you relax in comfortable hanging chairs in Limon’s jungle-like garden. Go for a stroll on Gümüşlük’s little sandy beach, take a look at the works of the local artisans and whatever you do, dine at the town’s finest seafood restaurant, Mimoza.
Limon: Kardak Caddesi 10, Yıl Sokak No. 7, Tel. +90 252 394 40 44, www.limongumusluk.com
Mimoza: Gümüşlük Yalı Mevkii, Tel. +90 252 394 31 39, www.facebook.com/Mimoza
Casa dell’Arte Hotel of Arts & Leisure, Torba
Torba was one of the quietest towns of Bodrum up until this summer: all this will change when the worldwide phenomenon known as Nikki Beach hailing from Miami’s South Beach comes to town. Located only 7 kilometres from Central Bodrum and with two stretches of sand, Nikki Beach will be the hottest spot not only in Bodrum but perhaps in the entire Aegean this summer. Another great place to stay is the artistically inclined Casa dell’Arte Hotel of Arts & Leisure.
Nikki Beach Resort and Spa: opening summer 2015, www.nikkistyle.com