Bodrum is a town of white-washed houses hung with bougainvillea, rising in tiers on the green hill overlooking a dazzling blue bay at the entrance to which stands a medieval castle built by the Knights of Rhodes.Here, where the Aegean and the Mediterranean meet, is one of Turkey‘s loveliest holiday resorts, with its long palm lined waterfront and its marina crowded in the summer with elegant yachts Not far from the town it is possible to swim in unbelievably clear,tideless, warm seas.
Underwater divers, especially, will not want to miss the numerous unexplored reefs with caves and majestic rock formations. Multicolored sponges of all shapes and sizes, octopus and other forms of aquatic life are commonly found here.Afterwards, sit idly in one of the many restaurants eating delicious seafood, with wine or some of the other Aegean specialties.
Stroll beside the marina, a popular place that beats to the tempo of this town with yachts constantly bringing in tours and tourists from all over the world. The boatyards of Bodrum have been famous since ancient times and today the craftsmen still make the traditional types of yacht: the pointed bow and stern (tirhandil) and the broad beamed and rounded stern (gulette). The latter, especially, is used for excursions and pleasure trips. The gulette is also used in the Bodrum Cup Race held every October.Bodrum has a lively, friendly, Bohemian atmosphere and many small galleries. It is the meeting place of the Turkish art community.
Renowned for its relaxed, informal life style and its abundance of daytime fun-filled activities and nighttime excitement, it is impossible to be bored. There are many interesting and varied bars, restaurants,night clubs (some with cabaret), and, of course, some of the best discos in Europe.
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This coastal town is named to honour a native son, the distinguished Ottoman Admiral Turgut Reis known in European naval lore as Dragut. Today it is a bustling municipality with many shops and restaurants, good beaches and a number of fine hotels. It also bears administrative responsibility for the seaside resorts of Aspat, Akyarlar and Kadikalesi.
A scattering of islands to the West marks one of the sea lanes of antiquity where many an ancient ship foundered on barely submerged rocks. Here some of the first underwater archeological discoveries were made which led to the foundation of the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archeology.With its challenging, unpredictable winds and currents the area is a paradise for experienced.
Impresses with its combination of alluring traditional charm and a sense of recognition of the importance of contemporary comforts desired by today’s discerning visitor. This is what makes Yalikavak attractive to those who care for both, the old and the new. The town is neat and tidy, and some antiquated buildings have undergone sensitive restoration and conversation to modern use, one being an old water cistern converted to a gallery displaying the works of well-known local and national painters. Another is a disused olive oil processing plant which has been refurbished and turned into an attractive souvenir shop.
Active civic groups work in concert with the municipality to promote the town and to protect it from depredation by the unscrupulous, so far achieving very positive results: the environment is cared for, services are timely and the hotels and restaurants are among the best in region.
Though officially it remains a suburb of Bodrum, Gumbet has grown to become a resort in its own right, with its own special character, temperament and appeal. Some of the most popular hotels of the region are to be found in and around Gumbet Bay.
The long sandy beach is undoubtedly a great attraction, but it’s the combination of the sea, sun, sand and fun that makes Gumbet so popular.
The fun part of course, is its rollicking night life lived in its multitude of pubs, bars and discos, some boasting air-conditioning and sound-proofing. A different kind of fun is to be had on the water where water sports are practiced with flair. Because the beach is within an easy walk from most hotels and the central area, Gumbet is also a favorite with many families with children. It’s a place favored the young and young at heart.
Newly granted the status of a municipality, with its extensive mandarin orchards Bitez is still one of the localities of the peninsula. Known as Pedasa in antiquity, Bitez is situated just 8 km. by road and 2.5 nautical miles by sea from Bodrum, making it readily accessible by frequent minibus service.
According to the experts, Bitez Bay is a prime location for windsurfing and dinghy sailing, an opinion attested to by its popularity with enthusiasts of these sports. Country walks along shaded paths through fragrant mandarin orchards are also popular, an visitors can expect a warm welcome in the village tea house. Accommodations range from small family-run guest houses to luxury hotels with all the facilities such a status implies.
What makes Bitez rather special is its tranquility, particularly at night, so it’s an ideal place to combine summer leisure fun with rejuvenating rest.
As its name implies, Ortakent (middle town) is centrally located on the Bodrum peninsula, making it most suitable as a base from which to explore the region.
Yahsi, on the other hand, means pretty, so it’s the proper name for Ortakent’s lovely seaside area The beach is long and wide, with cooling breezes coming off the sea to provide relief from the summer heat and aid in getting a suntan.
Waiters from the cafes and restaurants along the shore will willingly serve you on the beach if you don’t feel like moving from your favoured spot. It’s a peaceful, quite place, ideal to laze the hours away.
Inhabited in the Mycenaean Era more than 3500 years ago, Ortakent retains its attachment to the soil. The green fertile valley between the town and the shore abounds in fig, olive and mandarin trees and neat market gardens.
Torba, a modern village in the administrative area of the Bodrum Municipality, is a small but notable tourist resort. It has several modern hotels, pebbly and sandy beaches and hillsides richly scented with herbs growing in the wild. There are reminders of the past well worth seeing. A superbly preserved round stucture built by the Lelegians more than 2500 years ago, probably a tomb, crowns a hig hill overlooking the village while the ruins of a byzantine monastery stand on the east side of the bay. Due to its proximity to Bodrum, Torba is a popular swimming and lunch spot.
It is also the terminus for ferry services between the Bodrum peninsula and Didyma where day excursions can be made to the famed Temple of Apollo. The ferry is also a convenient means to visit the impressive sites of ancient Miletus and Priene. Frequent minibus connections with Bodrum make these trips and day visits convenient and inviting.
Known in antiquity as Farilya, Gundogan rightly claims to have been one of the earliest human settlements on the peninsula as Old Bronze Age ceramics, polished stone axes and milling stones have been found in a nearby cave. This extensive cavern encrusted with stalagmites and stalactites is a natural wonder not to be missed.
Yet another fascinating destination for visitors to Gundogan is Big Rabbit Island with its still standing remains of a Byzantine monastic settlement, provisionally dated to the 9th century A.D.
Today Gundogan is a quite relaxing place, its touristic facilities surrounding the long bay which is a paradise for swimmers and watersports enthusiasts alike.
Gundogan’s hotels and restaurants go out of their way to make guests welcome and contented so they will come again. Speaking volumes for Gundogan is fact that many high level members of the diplomatic service, active and retired, have made it their summer retreat.The visitor has a very wide range of hotels to choose from since modest accommodations are available as well some of the most exclusive and luxurious. With its challenging, unpredictable winds and currents the area is a paradise for experienced.
Gumusluk stands on the site of the ancient Carian city of Myndus whose seafront sections slid into the sea in some long-forgotten earthquake. Today these barely submerged remains are a magnet for snorkellers and underwater photographers. The land site is yet to be fully excavated, but traces of antiquity can be spotted in empty fields, sounding an evocative echo of a distant age. Country walks around Gumusluk are invigorating and rewarding, especially in spring and early summer when riotous displays of wild flowers cast their rural spell and mingle their fragrance with the smell of the sea.
‘Rabbit Island’, situated in the middle of the bay and accessible by a partially sunken causeway, offers a magnificent panorama and, yes, a glimpse of rabbits scurrying around. Gumusluk’s current attraction is the plethora of fine fish and seafood restaurants, a ‘must’ of a visit to the region. Another of its many attributes is the serenity of its nights.
Once the city of Lelegs, the heroic inhabitants of Pedasa, today’s Konacık is steadily expanding, with the development of business premises all along the main road there. Konacık is in great demand by investors by virtue of its proximity to Bodrum and its location right on the arterial road connecting Bodrum with the peninsula’s other population centres.
According to the famous historian Herodotus, the ancient city of Pedasa (within the boundaries of present-day Konacık) was one of the most important cities for trade in the region. Wine made in Pedasa was very popular throughout the area and the vineyards which remain today are worth a look.
The heroic inhabitants of Pedasa are remembered for the resistance they put up towards the Persians and Alexander the Great, and for being the only city on the peninsula that stopped the Persians, by fortifying Kaplan Mountain (Mount Lide in ancient times). According to Herodotus, they had a bit of outside help in the form of a warning sign – in his ‘Histories’ Volume I he writes: ‘When any misfortune was approaching them or their neighbours, the priestess of Athena grew a long beard. This had happened to them thrice’.
Konacık was founded in 1050 by three shepherds from Horasan in Gölbaşı. The settlement later moved to Çırkan Village to afford the inhabitants better security and provide easier access to the sea. Today’s Konacık is mainly a commercial suburb, with most of the activity concentrated on businesses thriving on each side of the main road running through it.
Güvercinlik, picturesquely translating to ‘dovecote’, lies by the sea on the main Milas-Bodrum highway. Anxious to reach Bodrum, few visitors stopped here in the past, but its new handsome hotels are putting it on the map. The extensive area over which the touristic establishments are spread avoids crowding, giving them liberty to space their facilities and leave free space for landscaping and greenery.
The bay, protected by Salih Island, offers opportunities for all watersports, particularly water-skiing. Although the larger hotels have just about everything that a guest may desire, trips to the bright lights of Bodrum or to the market town of Milas are easy by regular minibus or inter-city buses that pass through. Also, for those who may wish to try some simple village fare, small local restaurants serve tasty native dishes. The close proximity of Güvercinlik to the Bodrum/Milas International Airport is an added asset as less time is spent intransit and more enjoying the holidays.
If you prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist areas, yet still have the benefit of a village tranquility, then this traditional town could be just right for you.
Mumcular host their guests in unspoilt, tranquil surroundings and only 29 kilometers away from Bodrum center.
Bodrum international airport is 20 – 25 minutes away.
On the road from Bodrum centre to the airport, immediately after Güvercinlik, look for the sign and turn right towards Mumcular. As you begin to get off the beaten track, tourism gives way to village life. For much of the 29 km to Mumcular, the road winds through the pine forest, there are glimpses of a spectacular view and you’ll likely come across village children running to greet passing vehicles and untethered farm animals grazing by the roadside. Forested mountains are perfect for long treks in the shade of tall trees.
Mumcular which has been municipality since 1972 is also famous for carpet production. In the recent years, people in this area decided to put more focus on carpet production. The women of the region do all the work for carpet production. They shear the wool from the sheep and spin it. They do the dyeing with natural dyes and finally do weaving.
Most of the homes in Mumcular area are involved with rug production in a certain way. Since villager let the carpets dry in the direct sun, visitors can see sometimes hills surrounding the village are covered with carpets. Most of the rugs from Mumcular are sent to Istanbul and İzmir for export. The tours, designed primarily to promote sales, include a demonstration of the women spinning and weaving plus a lunch cooked and served by young local girls.
Nestling in the deep blue bay of Mandalya is the charming fishermen’s village of Tuzla. Located only 10km from Bodrum Airport and 35km from Bodrum centre, Tuzla is well known for its diversity. It offers the opportunities to bird watch, participate in various water sports or simply relax on your terrace and enjoy the tranquil scenery surrounding you. Tuzla is an area of outstanding natural beauty and is home to a variety of wild fowl, who nest on the extensive mud flats and marshy grounds. Visitors to Tuzla will find a warm welcome waiting for them in the many restaurants where they can sit and enjoy the finest fish straight from the sea. An ideal place to escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life Tuzla is a garden of tranquillity.