WHAT TO SEE & DO IN BODRUM
Bodrum wins the title of “Saint Tropez of Turkey” by NY Times magazine.
Bodrum is an inviting, colorful crowd full of surprises, sometimes a humble wiseacre and a loose wise man, sometimes it is an alone crazy, it is freedom, love; Bodrum is Sun, sea and after all it is history… In short Bodrum is everything and everybody. Because everybody has it is own Bodrum here. Some live a modest, peaceful and quiet life, some live crazily madly. Bodrum is a White that bears all colors and also internalizes them. It rains different here and also the sun rise different and sets completely different. Wind blows different, sea smells else. Bodrum is the naughtiest, the haughtiest, the most inert, the most beautiful, the most honest and the most frank child of Nature Mother.
Today, Bodrum is one of the most important centers of trade, art and entertainment as it has been since centuries ago… This coastal town in which traditional and modern life go along hand in hand in an excellent harmony opens it arms for those who want to be acquainted with her and live her.
One place of Bodrum that no visitor to this great city should miss is the famous Bodrum Castle, which overlooks the harbor and the international marina. This castle was constructed by the Knights of Rhodes in the 15th century during the crusades of the middle ages, and it was given the name The Castle of St. Petrus, or Petronium.
Occupying over 30.000 square feet at its base, construction of this castle took years to complete. The castle was built partly from the left remains of the mausoleum of Mausolus which had collapsed as the result of an earthquake. The huge exterior walls were designed in the early 15th century by the German architect Heinrich Schlegelholt and were strengthened by five towers known usually as the English tower, the Italian tower, the German tower, the French tower and the Snake tower. The French tower of the castle is thought to be the earliest one with the others being added during the following century. After the French Tower The Italian tower was built in 1436 by Italian architect Angelo Mascettola. The final parts of the castle were erected in the time of Pierre d’Abusson between 1476 and 1593, with the English tower being added at around 1480. The walls of the Bodrum castle contain the nearly 250 coats of arms and armorial bearings of many of the knights that served there.
BODRUM MUSEUM OF UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY
The Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which received a special commendation in 1995 as a European Museum of the Year, was established in the Bodrum Castle in 1964.The museum exhibits several collections of ancient artifacts including relics retrieved from local shipwrecks, divided over 14 exhibition departments in the museum.Each shipwreck found in the museum takes it’s name from the area that they were found, the items that these ships were carrying can be seen in the display cabinets.
The 14 departments in the museum :
- Carian Princess Hall
- Amphoras Exhibition
- The Dungeon
- British Tower
- German Tower
- Snake Tower (secret museum)
- Turkish Bath Exhibition
- Glass Wreck Hall
- Glass Hall
- Tektaş shipwreck
- LateRoman shipwreck
- Kaş-Ulu Burun shipwreck
- Commander Tower
- Coins and Jewellery Hall
The Museum of Underwater Archaeology is perhaps Bodrum’s finest attraction. With the added mystique of the Knights of St. John who built the castle housing the museum, visitors to Bodrum seldom – if ever – fail to pay it a highly rewarding visit. The combined efforts of the Turkish ministry of Culture, local Bodrum sponge divers and the Institute of Nautical Archaeology have created and continually support the ongoing efforts to present and preserve the past treasures of the deep blue sea.
MAUSOLEUM OF HALICARNASSUS
Unfortunately there is not a lot left to see of this ancient and once magnificent tomb, which was named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World but now one must rely just on imagination and (computer) models. King Mausolus of Caria ordered the construction of the ornate marble monument. The mausoleum was completed in 350 BC after the death of the Carian satrap Mausolus by his wife and sister Artemisia II, the actual construction being done by the architect Pytheos. The monument tomb was in the centre of Halicarnassus, rising over a large plot of land.
The mausoleum standing at over 164 feet (50 metres) in height, is described as being an enormous white marble tomb with ionic columns to form a temple with a stepped pyramid roof topped with a carriage, containing sculptures of Mausolus and Artemisia riding in a chariot. This stood relatively intact for almost 19 centuries until an earthquake in 1304 destroyed it.
In 1522, after the earthquake caused the monument to collapse, the Knights Hospitaller of St John, then based in Rhodes, came to the region and demolished much of the Mausoleum of King Mausolus, using the stones for the reconstruction of the Bodrum Castle, named after St Peter. (Look for the greenish stones on the exterior of the chapel just beyond the entrance to the main portion of the museum.) Because of the damage caused by plundering, earthquakes and irresponsible excavations, todays archaeologists can only guess at the building’s original appearance. Some sections of the walls of the Mausoleum can be seen around the Myndos Gate on the Gumbet road. The site has pleasant gardens with excavations to the right and a covered arcade to the left. Despite the lack of the original tomb, this site is well worth a visit.
ANCIENT AMPHITHEATRE IN BODRUM
The Bodrum Amphitheatre is another structure accredited to the reign of King Mausolus, although it wasn’t fully completed until the Roman era. The theatre is another witness to the great past of Bodrum, and it is one of the best preserved structures of ancient Halikarnassus. Originally, it was built around 4th C BC during the reign of King Mausolos, in 2nd C AD, during the Roman period, it was enlarged and enriched.
Like all ancient theatres, it is made up of three main parts: the Skene (stage), the Orchestra (half-oval part) and the Cavea audience seating. It is a very good example of a classical Greek theatre, with an estimated seating capacity of approximately 13,000. Some of the seats at the theatre are inscribed with names probably those who had helped to pay for the theatre – just like today! It became an open air museum after the excavations in 1973. The Bodrum Amphitheatre lies on the road to Gumbet and is used for concerts and shows during the high season, and is also used as part of the September Festival. It is well preserved and definitely worth a visit.
One of the many beautiful sights overlooking the Bodrum peninsula are the windmills. Facing northwest, to catch the coastal winds, these windmills made of stone and lined with wooden planks, and were used from the 18th century until the 70s as a means to grind flour for the local people. Although a common sight the windmills are now derelict but still rest among the olive trees on the surrounding hills. Seven of these windmills (only two are in rather good condition) are on a hill which separates Bodrum and Gumbet, which is a fantastic location for great panorama views, especially if you go at night. On one side of the view you have a stunning view of Bodrum, and on the other side a glorious view of Gumbet. Dawns are also really beautiful there, you’ll enjoy to the fullest the synergy of sun, sea and wind….
The ruins of three windmills can be seen at Yalikavak and another one has been reconstructed which can be found near the harbour.
GUMBET,HOLIDAY RESORT NEAR BODRUM
Gumbet (in Turkish written as Gümbet) is located on the Southwest coast of Turkey and is a 31 miles (50 km) transfer from Milas airport. It is named after the domed water-cisterns that speckle the countryside near-by. The place is fast becoming a self-contained resort with a long sandy beach, a real mecca for sun warshippers, which attract many young people and watersports enthusiasts with some large windsurfing schools and diving courses. Everything is within easy walking distance of the town and most hotels, making Gumbet a favourite spot for families with children. During the day watersports are available on the light sand beach including water skiing, parasailing and windsurfing. Gumbet has very good connections to Bodrum by minibus (dolmus in Turkish), where there is a much wider choice of shops.
BITEZ BAY : THE BEST PLACE FOR SURFING
After Gümbet comes Bitez, a long sand beach in form of a crescent moon that forms the east side of the bay. The beach direction west on the other hand is beautiful and also for children ideal because it goes flatly into the sea.
TORBA : THE NEAREST BAYS ON THE BODRUM PENINSULA
Torba is a quiet and pleasant place. The einzigste ruins which are received by the history(story) through till this day (so far) are a cloister from 4. 5-th century.
ORTAKENT - YAHSI BEACH : ON THE SAND BEACH
The place Ortakent, simultaneously district capital, lies were constructed above the main street in the last years along the littoral Ortakent / Yahsi - beach many new and quality full hotels. Everyone can find somewhat correspondence.
Archeological excavations were carried out a kilometer in the north of Ortakent whereby tone pots, scarves were found and objects out of bronze, that are issued in part in the lower water Museum of Bodrum.
It is well known, that the antique settlements in the zone also in the Roman, Byzantine and ottoman time expanse existence. So is assumed, that an Apollo-temple, that stood in the current village cakmali, in which Byzantine epoch was rebuilt to a church and was used as a center of the diocese.
Yalikavak is 18 kilometres from central Bodrum and is the area where windmills, the symbol of Bodrum, are most frequently seen, as it receives a lot of wind. One of the windmills is on the shore and you may see it working.
The cove of Akyarlar is in 22 kilometres from the centre of Bodrum. It stretches between Akyarlar and Koca Points, one and a half kilometres to the east. Akyarlar Point is the eastern end of the Bodrum Peninsula, where slices of white rocks form ravines.This is the closest point to the Greek island of Cos. The distance is only five kilometres. Akyarlar, which is located on the eastern shore of the cove, used to be a village of fishermen and sponge divers.
Bagla is 14 kilometres from Bodrum and has the best coves and beaches of the whole Peninsula. The beautiful cove to the west of Baglar Point is popular for Daily Boat Trips.
Karaincir’s 500 metre long fine sandy beach is surrounded by two hills and is closed to the northern winds, helping it to become a developing tourism centre.
With its extensive beaches, marina, marketplace and gentle breezes, Turgutreis, the largest bay on the Bodrum peninsula, has become a recent favorite with vacationers. All along the shore, from one end to the other, no matter where you stand, no matter where you look from, you will feel that you are in a place where the sunset is always beautiful.
MINIBUS (DOLMUS) AND LOCAL BUSES
Minibus services to outlying villages leave from bus station. Turgutreis and Yalikavak Municipalities run buses between Turgutreis-Yalikavak and Bodrum. Suburban ring services Bodrum, Gumbet and Bodrum - Icmeler depart from bus station; pick up and disembark passengers at points in between. Please remember to learn the latest dolmus hour to your district from the garage / bus stop when you go out for entertainment.
Another travel is with taxi. Stopping a taxis in Bodrum, is like other parts of the world. The tariffs of the travel are calculated by distance. At midnight, the tariffs are doubled.
Bodrum Airport has started in the year 2000 and it is about 40 km far to Bodrum town center. When you arrive to Bodrum airport you need to catch a taxi or private transportation to go to your hotel etc. There is no bus or minibus from airport to hotels around. You should ask price as a first before you catch a taxi.
GO BLUE VOYAGE
Bodrum Peninsula is unique with turquoise water and beautiful bays so one of the best reasons being in Bodrum is boat trip or blue voyage.If you enjoy swimming in the sea this is for you. Every day along the seaside you can find many boats ready to depart in the morning.
VISIT TUESDAY MARKET
At any time of the year markets are one of the greatest attractions and pleasures for locals as for tourists, with their bright colours and delicious mingled scents. Bodrum's Tuesday market is famous for textile, with local fabrics from all over the region on sale.
The riot of patterns and colours appealing to all tastes gives the marketplace a fairground atmosphere. As well as fabrics, there are rugs, kilims, carpets, kitchen ware, and clothing of all description.
DIVE IN BODRUM
What makes Bodrum an interesting location for divers is of course the Aegean Sea itself, which is calm, warm, and free of tides and strong currents. Experienced divers will be in their element with a diversity of diving available. Rugged, volcanic offshore islands provide some very diverse locations including caverns, hot springs, reefs and spectacular drop-offs.
For those new to diving there are many safe bays in Bodrum area providing the perfect setting for a stress free introduction to scuba diving? With sea temperatures ranging roughly 25 degrees Celsius in summer 15 degrees Celsius in winter, Bodrum is a great location for diving holiday at any time of the year. Bodrum also offers great opportunities for those interested in artifacts and archaeology from ancient civilizations can be seen on almost every dive.
JOIN JEEP SAFARI
Jeep Safari is one of the marvelous adrenalin voyage towards mountain to discover real beauty of Bodrum region. Travel agencies can arrange it for you.
If you like to spend a whole day of fun then go up into the mountains, visiting a mosque, seeing a village life, lunching in the water and swimming, jeep safari is the right choice. it takes 10 hours starts in the morning 8am.
The safari really goes through an exciting route of winding roads, a few narrow un surfaced roads where two vehicles cannot pass each other.
The road that you follow passes through dense pine forests, the trees soaring up 20 meters. Road hazards include traditionally dressed village women and flocks of sheep.
JOIN BOAT TRIP
If you do not have time to enjoy a gulet ( blue voyage ) for few days, you can try one of the daily boat trips in Bodrum. Daily boat trips are available from Bodrum harbor or from any of the local beaches or harbors. They are arranged from every town on Bodrum Peninsula.
You can join one of the daily tours following a set program or also you can rent boats for few hours, daily bases or longer periods of time. Many organized boat excursions with lunch included available but it doesn't include the extra drinks, most of these tour companies are similar and travel to the same destinations, alternatively people also make their own itinerates and choose to hire the own yacht charter with crew. Regular daily Boat trips always start 10:00 am and end 05:00 pm. Normally a modest lunch is served on the boat. Main course is mainly meatballs or fish, accompanied by salad or spaghetti or rice.
While soaking up the sun the boats are sailing towards Black Island ( Karaada ) to experience hot springs gushing out of a cave and orange mud to rub onto the skin. Then onto Ortakent Bay a pebble and sandy cove backed with beachfront restaurants.
The finale of the trip is to the Aquarium just accessible by boats, which are several small bays faced by a sheltering island which has created an area of such crystal clear waters with visible depths of 20 meters and natural beauty.
Seeing un spoilt areas rich in natural beauty and stopping of at various bays it’s a photo opportunity not to missed.
Take a Turkish bath (in Turkish called ‘hammam’), definitely an unforgettable part of your Bodrum holiday and the Turkish massage is the best part. On the marble slab as a guest you will receive a pummeling from head to toe, let the massage experts scrub of all those dead skin cells, relax again, and then drift away while the masseur straightens out all those tense bits and knots.
Join for a traditional Turkish night in Bodrum, definitely great entertainment for everyone. You will be amazed by the folk dances from all over the country and be entranced by the beautiful belly dancers. Enjoy an evening full of eastern promise, taste the local cuisine, local salads and glass of Turkish raki or wine.
WEATHER IN BODRUM
Summers are very hot and dry but the breeze from the sea cools the air, winters are rainy. The hottest months are June, July and August.
The weather in Bodrum combines the best of the Aegean and the Mediterranean. The sun shines endless,hot summers, mild winters, extremely low humidity and over 300 days of sunshine a year. It has six months non-stop sunshine with not one drop of rain. Serious sunbathers will enjoy non-stop hot sunshine between May and October, and over 12 hours of sunshine in high season summer months. Summer time in Bodrum is almost rainless. Summer highs are often over 35 degrees celcius, though often tempered by nice breezes. Bodrum summers require a highest factor sun lotion.
Bodrum weather is ideal for romantic, open air terraces and outdoors dining, with gorgeously warm nights and wondrously clear, ornamented with stars sky. After sun set you will enjoy the millions of stars you can count in the sky without a binocular. Bodrum weather is ideal for swimming during 6 or 7 months in a year , watersports and also diving. Warm seas reach a very relaxing 25 degrees celcius in the high season summer months.