"A million-hued turquoise ocean met by an aromatic land full of wildflowers, herbs and quaint villages." - Reviewed by Lisa
On the Bodrum Peninsula and the Turquoise Coast in Turkey, the ever-present element that never fails to draw attention is the sea. A million shades of blue, each more striking than the next, islands dotted on the near and far horizon, Greece just a short hop away – there is a reason this area is called the Turquoise Coast.
Follow a road that hugs the coast of the Aegean Sea and, as you would expect, you’ll have the opportunity to discover deserted beaches, crystal-clear coves and tiny marinas.
The Bodrum Peninsula is home to small villages such as Gündoğan, with its over-water deck lounges and restaurants, super-quiet hamlets like Gümüşlük and other rural enclaves. Then, there’s the most sophisticated spot on the coast – Yalikavak. With its high-end shopping, upscale marina, busy boardwalk and any number of luxurious services – Yalikavak is the perfect playground for those staying at luxurious homes and high-end international resorts.
You’ll find the entire area is very laid-back and casual and the locals are extremely friendly. All in all, it offers much to many whilst giving a glimpse into the coastal life of the southwestern region of the Republic of Turkey.
Bodrum is a seaside village that has grown into a cosmopolitan town over the last few decades. Despite its rapid growth, the town has maintained its charm and laid-back vibe. The centre of Bodrum is principally one main street lined with boutiques and small shops – some of which are remarkably good – offering everything from designer knock-off handbags to hand-made jewelry with precious stones to chic beachwear and international clothing brands.
Bodrum town is easy to navigate and lots of fun in the summer months with concerts, music festivals, pop-up bars and plenty of good-natured revelry at a level to be expected from an international marina town.
It is also home to a most noteworthy castle. Construction of the castle was begun in 1402 by the Knights of St. John. In the late 15th century, the conquering Ottoman Empire converted it into a mosque and it remained an Islamic place of worship until World War I.
Today, the castle is an imposing monument which deserves more than a quick visit. Home to an excellent underwater archeology museum, it is extremely well preserved and the information available to the visitor is well presented.
During the high summer season, Bodrum Castle plays host to several outdoor international music and dance concerts. The ancient walls reverberate with sound and light – quite a spectacle!
- On the Bodrum Peninsula
- 35 mins from Bodrum International Airport
- 8-1/2 hours from Istanbul
EXPERIENCES IN BODRUM
- Beaches – Sandy beaches, hidden coves – there’s so much to explore!
- Water sports – Snorkeling, swimming, diving, kayaking, canoeing, surfing, fishing and sailing.
- Boat trips – Boats are big business in Bodrum! And not just any boats, but classic-style, big-bottomed Turkish gulets. Find the best of the best in our TripWix Gulet Collection.
- Shopping – Yalikavak is a shopper’s paradise. Bodrum town and marina offer no shortage of chic boutiques and local handicrafts.
- History – Snorkel in the bay and explore an ancient sunken city in Gümüşlük. Hike in the hills to find vestiges of construction dating from Byzantine and Ottoman times.
- Gastronomy – Gündoğan has a wide variety of restaurant options centering around its wooden jetties and along the beach. In Bodrum, the Milta Bodrum Marina is generally where the action happens, especially in the evenings with restaurants offering cuisine from kebabs to flambé.