What is Bodrum in Turkey like?

Bodrum is on the balmy south-west coast of Turkey. It is one of the most beautiful regions on the Aegean Coast and is known as the playground of the rich and famous. Bodrum has become a popular destination for the rich and the famous. Celebrities such as model Kate Moss, footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and Hollywood actress Catherine Zeta-Jones are just a few who have become fans of Bodrum. This has launched Bodrum's reputation to rival luxurious hot spots like St Tropez.

Marinas in Bodrum

With three yacht lined marinas, great restaurants, buzzing nightlife, fabulous shops and numerous hidden bays and beaches, where you will also find some luxury villas for sale in Bodrum, it’s hardly surprising that it’s attracted so many tourists and superstars over the years. Having said that, Bodrum is not only about buzz and lights, there are so many hidden little escapes within this compact geography that you will be discovering Bodrum even after several years of living there.

History of Bodrum

Originally known as Halicarnassus, the capital of the kingdom of Caria, Bodrum boasts a wealth of history with recent years changing the landscape significantly. Thankfully modernisation has been kind and Bodrum still remains the picture postcard setting we see in the travel brochures. The photos of pretty pink bougainvillea cascading down the white washed houses and into the sea really are apt, the Castle of St Peter separating Bodrum’s two bays is a stunning spectacle!

Bodrum Castle

The castle is a firm favourite with tourists. During the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent, the castle was given to Turkey and a mosque was built inside. Today many of the vast halls inside the castle display the exhibits of Bodrum's Museum of Underwater Archaeology. This must-see museum has a range of dazzling artifacts including the Glass Wreck Hall displaying a 16 m ship that sunk in 1025 AD. Yachting is a favourite pastime in Bodrum and the marina is crammed with yachts offering excursion day trips to visit islands and hidden coves.

Bodrum may be a place where traditional sits next to modern, where the atmosphere and beauty lures you in. Bodrum has a diverse foreign and Turkish community. Many wealthy Turks from Istanbul and Ankara have chosen to buy holiday homes around Bodrum Peninsula. Bodrum has an ever changing tapestry with strict laws regulating the building and development in the area ensuring it remains idyllic.

Bodrum beaches

Some of the most stunning beaches are situated just outside the centre of Bodrum. Beaches worth visiting are Gumusluk, Yalikavak, Ortakent and Bagla.

Shopping in Bodrum

Bodrum is the perfect place for any shopaholic. From weekly markets to luxurious boutiques, Bodrum has it all! Bodrum's Milta Marina Shopping Centre is located west of Bodrum Castle, here you will find an array of luxury shops and boutiques selling designer clothing and all accessories. Just behind the Castle of St Peter you will find the Old Town which hosts a great variety of stylish stores. If you are shopping on a budget then head over to the Bodrum Market where you will find fake designer brands of clothing, handbags, jewellery and leather goods, which people are referring to as 'super fakes' as the leather looks like the real deal.

Restaurants in Bodrum

Bodrum offers some of the best cuisine in Turkey. The resort is filled with fantastic eateries from waterfront restaurants to dining at more bustling night spots. There are some wonderful restaurants over in Turkbuku situated on the north side of the peninsula. There are also some nice cafes set along the waterfront in Bodrum town.

There are in excess of 20 small towns and villages scattered along the peninsula, mostly on the coast and with superb sea and island views.

GULLUK - originally a small fishing village, now Gulluk attracts tourists with its pretty traditional houses and an abundance of green surrounding nature. Gulluk does offers a wide variety of fish restaurants serving locally caught sea bass and bream, cafes and eating houses. There are also several supermarkets, hotels, and banks plus a multitude of local shops and businesses. Located in Gulluk Bay is the fabulous marina, Port Iasos located right in the heart of this truly beautiful area. Here you can enjoy the blue crystal waters, stunning bays and glorious hidden beaches. There is plenty to do in Gulluk. You can visit the ruins at Bargilia, or enjoy the Hidirellez Festival in May celebrating spring or why not travel into Guvercinlik where you can watch the dolphin show.

GUMUSLUK - on the south west coast of the peninsula is home to the oldest settlement in the Aegean, Myndos. Excavations are constantly ongoing around the protected Rabbit island cove area, where the antique sunken city is located. Gumusluk has a distinctly bohemian feel to it as well as a fairly developed real estate market. It is well known for its waterfront fish restaurants and its low-key coffee house culture.

GUNDOGAN - is found on the north side of the Bodrum Peninsula, it is very upmarket and one of the most expensive areas to purchase around the area. The resort itself is small, more Turkish, but in the summer months a bustling resort to be in. There is a lovely seafront, with beach area, where you can sit during the day, looking out to sea watching as the stunning yachts visit the bay for the day or just a few hours. Behind the beach area, are small beach bars and restaurants, just enough to take care of your daily needs.

IASOS - is a very beautiful area of Bodrum located on the North West Coast overlooking the Aegean Sea and beyond. There are plenty of taxis and a Dolmus bus station in Gulluk where you can travel to other beaches, villages and other places of interest around the Bodrum Peninsula. The coastal town of Bodrum, with its marina, castle and extensive shops, bars and restaurants, is only a 35 minute drive from Gulluk.

KADIKALESI - is a small Turkish village situated on the western part of the Peninsula between Turgutreis and Gumusluk. Kadikalesi is an unspoilt area and remains an authentic traditional Turkish village. Life here is centered on the beachfront. The village is surrounded by hills covered with citrus trees, those who love to walk will enjoy strolling through the beautiful countryside. Bodrum town is 23km away, you can reach this by hopping on the local transport which runs on the main road.    

ORTAKENT - can be reached by driving through the central part of Bodrum. Ortakent is a town of two halves consisting of the central business district and the beach area. The town of Ortakent is situated mid-way between Bodrum and Turgutreis. There is a new covered market area which holds weekly food/produce markets on a Wednesday and there is a textile market held every Friday. The beautiful Ortakent Beach is situated 3km south of the town. You will find the Ortakent-Yahsi at the end of the beach or if you go on further you will reach the Kargi (Camel) Beach.

TORBA - is a quiet village and yet is a firm favourite for those wanting to spend a holiday or looking for a residence. It is a place that offers peace and quiet, yet the more lively resorts are still easily accessible. Torba enjoys a long coastline which offers lovely smaller hotels, there are a few bars and a few hidden bays, much more peaceful and private. On the east side of Torba there is a lovely pebble beach and you will see the remains of a Byzantine Church, or you can go for a hike up to the hilltop where you will discover the Lelegian Tomb.

TUZLA - is situated close to the Bodrum Airport and just 10 minutes from Tuzla is the Vita Park Golf Club. The small traditional village of Bogazici is also close by, here you will find small shops, old traditional tea shops and a good selection of restaurants.

YALIKAVAK- is a modern marina town with plenty of investment potential thanks to recently opened Palmarina Bodrum and careful zoning regulations in the area. Yalikavak sunsets are particularly impressive. Yalikavak offers a wide range of houses and apartments including some of Bodrum’s most exclusive mansions nestled in the hills and with amazing bay views. The glorious Yalikavak Beach is very popular and is a favourite of families, couples and friends. This half pebble, half sand beach offers many sunbeds and umbrellas, perfect for relaxing in the sunshine and there is an endless supply of food and drinks from the surrounding restaurants and bars. This makes the perfect day out for all. There is something for everyone in Bodrum! 

It’s a great place to buy a Property in Turkey!!


What's on in Bodrum throughout 2022?

International Bodrum Sariyaz Dance & Music Festival - September 22nd till September 26th - The festival will be held in the town centre of Bodrum. People from all over the world are able to come and participate in the event, showcasing all types of culture through the art of music and dance. There will be performances by adults, youths and children. There will be dance groups, vocal groups, instrumental groups and soloists.

Turgutreis International Festival of Classical Music - date to be confirmed - This fantastic four day festival is held at the upmarket Marina every summer. Musicians such as the Turkish Presidential Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic perform classic pieces like Mozart, Verdi and Schubert. There is usually a concert held at sunset around 7pm and then one held in the evening around 9pm.

The Sea Inside Me - June 18th till July 31st - This solo exhibition showcases the work of Firat Neziroglu. The exhibition will be held at Anna Laudel Bodrum and will include a selection of work by Neziroglu and how he has transformed the traditional form of weaving. Neziroglu is to present four carpet works. Visitors will also be able to see interactive aquarium embroidery as well as a fish figurine in water.  

The 6th International Bodrum Jazz Festival - June 21st tilll June 30th - The festival will take place in Bodrum Castle Kuzey Trench and Dibekilhan Culture and Art Village and will feature special concerts, exhibitions and jazz workshops.  

The 3rd Bodrum Kaleici Events - July 2nd till July 17th - There will be concerts performed on a stage inside the renovated Bodrum Castle. Songs will be sung by Turkish Tenors, Tango Tango and a Tango Night.

Concerts at the Bodrum Amphitheatre - July till September 2nd - Around 30 plus concerts will be taking place at the Bodrum Amphitheatre. There will be ballet, opera, pop, rock, theatre and even comedy in the setting of the Greco-Roman antique theatre also known as the Theatre at Halicarnassus which overlooks the Bodrum Castle and bay. Performance highlights include Postmodern Jukebox, Duman, Levent Yuksel, Gaye Su Akyol, Candan Ercetin and Selda Bagcan.

The 19th International Bodrum Ballet Festival - August 6th till August 19th - Performances will be taking place on a large stage within the renovated Bodrum Castle. The event will begin with a performance of Carmen followed by Romeo and Juliet, Bach Alla Turca Hamlet and Guldestan.

Gumusluk Music Festival - July 7th till August 19th - The festival is taking place at the Antique Stone Quarry in Koyunababa and on the beach in Gumusluk. The festival features classical and world music performances as well as film screenings and workshops. This event was actually founded and is oragnised yearly by a fellow expat.

Open Air Sculpture Park Show - throughout Summer 2022 - This event will take place in a galley adjacent to Naru Restaurant in the Bodrum Mesa compound located near Demirbuku Bay. Artists will be showcasing their large scale works within the theme of Alice in Wonderland. There will be a number of pop-up exhibtions at Bodrum Mesa so keep a look out.   

Invitation to Journey - date to be confirmed - Photography artist and creative director Mathieu Forget, also known as "Flying Man" will be showcasing his work at the Bodrum Edition. The exhibition will feature 10 incredible photographs taken in 5 cities around Turkey. The exhibition will also continue in other cities of Turkey too.



Ferries between Turkey and Greece

Bodrum to Kos - Bodrum is easily connected with the Greek island of Kos via a short 40 minute ferry ride. The service is available twice a day during the summer months. Kos is famed for its white sandy beaches and stunning crystal blue waters, plus it offers plenty of history to explore.

Bodrum Markets

TUESDAY: Textile market the stalls consist of clothing and bags, bedding and household items.

THURSDAY: Yalikavak Market Day

FRIDAY: The main fruit and vegetable Market, directions; head to the Dolmus Station, and the covered pazar is on the north side of the station.

Things to do in Bodrum

Boat trips

Bodrum Excursions

Bodrum Castle

Overlooking the harbour and the International Marina sits the delightful Bodrum Castle. The Castle is open to the general public and boasts Bodrum’s incredible Museum of Underwater Archaeology and throughout the year hosts many Turkish Cultural Festivals.

Camel Beach

Situated between Ortakent and Yashi, is the beautiful Camel Beach. It is one of the quieter beaches, but is still a favourite amongst tourists as it boasts lovely views and surroundings. A daily boat arriving into the area from Turgutreis is the best way to reach the beach. Home to several camels, Camel Beach allows you to enjoy fun Camel rides up and down the beach or you can simply relax in the sunbathing areas. This really is a perfect day out for all the family to enjoy.

Kara Ada Island

Located just 6 kilometers away from Bodrum is Kara Ada Island, the largest island off the Bodrum Coast. This beautiful island is famous for its healing mineral springs. Boats can pull up to the wooden jetty where at the opposite end you will be able to find the mineral springs. The boats give you plenty of time and the chance to pay a fee to take a dip in the tranquil mineral springs.

Turkish Baths

One of the oldest and most traditional Turkish Baths in Turkey is the Bodrum Hamami. They are open from 6 am until midnight and cater to all. If you prefer to take a break from fun at the beach and sightseeing, then this is the perfect place for you.

Bodrum Windmills

Overlooking the beautiful Bodrum Peninsula are the Bodrum Windmills. Seven of the windmills are situated on a hill separating Bodrum and Gumbet. This is a fabulous spot, as tourists can not only enjoy the delightful sights of the windmills but also the stunning surroundings Bodrum and Gumbet have to offer. Three more windmill ruins can be seen at Yalikavak and another near the harbour.

The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Also known as the tomb of Mausoleum, this incredible building was one of the earliest ‘Wonders Of The World’ and has stood for more than a millennium and a half, making it the longest surviving wonder, although only the base remains. This amazing wonder was built between 353-350 BC and was built for King Maussollos of Karia, as a burial tomb. Come and enjoy the sights of this remarkable ruin overlooking Bodrum city.

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