Far from your typical package holiday destination, Bodrum is a city of historical elegance, picturesque views and delightful beaches.
This jewel of Turkey’s sumptuous coastline is a treasure trove of boutique hotels, effortlessly cool bars and captivating restaurants. It is a destination that has very much retained its unique character despite seeing a huge influx of tourists over recent years. A visit to Bodrum is one you will not forget in a hurry so here are some things you simply must not miss.
Don’t forget to check out our incredible holiday offer on a popular Bodrum hotel at the bottom of this article.
Castle of St Peter
Anyone who visits Bodrum should have the Castle of St Peter as the first thing on their to-do list. The castle is the focal point of this port town situated in the hills peering across the harbour. Built in the 15th century by the Knights Hospitaller it was designed to protect the area against an invasion by the Seljuk Turks. There are four towers bearing the names of English, French, German and Italian constructors responsible for its creation.
Today, the castle is a popular tourist destination and provides incredible views over the Aegean Sea. It is home to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology as well as playing host to a number of traditional Turkish festivals throughout the year.
Arguably as important to Bodrum’s heritage as the Castle of St Peter, Bodrum Amphitheatre has been a feature in the town since the Roman era. Believed to have been built during the reign of King Mausolus in the 4th century BC it is one of the best preserved sites of ancient Halicarnassus.
This delightful example of a traditional Greek theatre can hold around 13,000 people and has been an open air museum since 1973. Visit during the September Festival and witness live concerts in this historic venue.
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
You can’t come to Bodrum without seeing one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World so don’t miss out on the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Widely regarded as the greatest achievement of King Mausolus of Caria when it was completed in 350 BC it is how all modern day mausoleums came to be.
Once a towering structure of over 50 metres it included a huge white marble tomb and iconic columns, it was destroyed by a series of earthquakes in 1304 and 1522. Remnants of the site are still intact today and are well worth a visit.
As soon as you arrive in Bodrum you will be instantly attracted to its beautiful marina. While the luxury yachts float into shore there is a piece of Bodrum history that needs to be explored. In the north-west part of the harbour is the Ottoman Shipyard.
In 1770, it was the scene of the destruction of the Ottoman Empire’s entire fleet by the Russians during the Cesme naval battle. The shipyard was thus rebuilt in 1775 to accommodate the new Ottoman fleet. It is now used for a variety of art exhibitions.
Pamukkale hot springs
We’re leaving Bodrum momentarily to visit a nearby natural phenomenon – the famous Pamukkale hot springs. Situated in the River Menderes valley of the Turkish countryside the hot springs were formed generations ago and have been one of the most unique tourist spots in the country.
Incredible white travertine terraces carrying oceans of warm water into a series of pools create the “Cotton Castle”, Pamukkale is known as. While it may look like a winter wonderland you can take a dip in these warm lagoons. You will also be able to visit the well-preserved ruins of the Greek-Roman city of Hierapolis.
Discover a part of Bodrum so popular with the King of Halicarnassos Mausolus that he ordered a causeway to be built to connect it with the mainland – welcome to Rabbit Island. The king wanted to spend his days feeding the rabbits that inhabited the island and watch the beautiful sunset with his beloved Artemisya.
See why the king was so fond of the island by dipping your toe into the crystal clear waters of Gumusluk and taking in the awe-inspiring sights.
You couldn’t come all this way without embracing Bodrum’s abundance of beautiful beaches and one of the best is at Bardakci Cove. Sandwiched in between Bodrum and neighbouring resort Gumbet, this blissful hideaway is detached from the hubbub of other livelier destinations.
Frequented by luxury yachts and day trip boats, you can swim in these inviting waters and bask in the afternoon sun. Alternatively, you can relax with a bite to eat at the one of the beachside restaurants.
The cherry on the cake for holidaying in Turkey is undoubtedly the local cuisine. Bodrum is filled with a host of authentic Turkish restaurants serving some of the finest food you are likely to taste. Tuck into delicious saksuka (a fried aubergine dish with yoghurt and tomato sauce), tempt yourself with classic stuffed vine leaves or pogaca with a feta cheese filling.
Turkey can be a gastronomic adventure so embrace the weird and wonderful delights it has to offer.
Why not make Bodrum your summer 2017 holiday destination? We have an excellent deal on package deals to this corner of Turkey. You can now save up to 40% when staying at the 4-star Kervansaray Bodrum – follow the link here to secure a bargain break at this excellent hotel.