Of all the amazing Turkish resorts Bodrum is probably the best known. Popular as a mainstream destination for many years it is well established with plenty to offer holidaymakers; sat on the Aegean coast, the area is picture perfect with a vibrant busy feel. Filled with traditional markets, and a thriving marina, Bodrum has the resort vibe but one that enjoys a little more depth, complete with its ancient ruins and a sense of history.
Bodrum attracts a varied crowd, and is split quite definitively into two main tourist areas, the east side has a long beach and all the usual bars and restaurants that you associate with a popular sunshine resort, whereas the west caters for those that arrive via the new marina, with a more upmarket glitzy feel. Bodrum is all about bringing people together though, and the evenings see crowds from all areas of the town enjoying the terraces of the restaurants that line the seafront.
There is no shortage of hotels and self catering options in and around the Bodrum region; family friendly hotels, exclusive spa hotels and well appointed apartments are all readily available, and cover all budgets.
Located on the marina side of town is the modern and bright Su Hotel, set around a Mediterranean garden, the air reaching the balconies is filled with the aroma of orange and fig drifting up from the courtyard, splashes of colour perfectly complimenting the cheerful feeling that you can’t fail to note in this fantastic little hotel.
El Vino Hotel is another fabulously friendly choice, although quite tranquil in feel, the welcome is warm, the rooms are comfortable and the view of the castle is spectacular; make sure that you dine at the rooftop restaurant, which not only serves great food but offers amazing views over the sea and the city.
The best way to experience Turkish food is to order a platter of meze, lots of small dishes often including olives, aubergine, vine leaves, dips and fresh Turkish bread are brought for you to eat at your leisure, this is never a hurried meal, with lots of local drinks to wash it down; it is worth noting that Turkey may be a primarily a Muslim country but there are very few restrictions with regards to alcohol
If you want the very freshest of the days catch, head to the fish market, there you will find all the seafood and fish on ice, simply pick and purchase whatever you like the look of, and then take it to one of the adjoining restaurants, who then charge a small fee to cook it perfectly for you – sometimes the simplest things in life really are the best.
There are lots of landmarks and ancient sites to explore around Bodrum, but the one that really stands out is the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the foundations stand just short distance from the marina and date back to 355BC. Most of the relics remaining, after the building was destroyed by an earthquake and dismantled by Crusaders, are now exhibited in the British Museum, but this revered ancient site is still worth taking the time to visit.
Take a Turkish Bath (Hamam), these are offered throughout the city, and whilst it is a traditional way to spend a few hours, you might want to check whether there are separate male and female facilities, and choose your Hamam accordingly!
Bodrum like all of the Aegean coast enjoys long hot summers that have little in the way of rainfall or humidity, the cooling sea breezes can be deceptive, so it is important during the peak summer months to remember that the sun can be quite intense; although a year round destination, the town caters less for tourists from October through till April, despite the winter being extremely short and rarely cold.