Bodrum is the most "party" resort in Turkey, the nightlife capital of the country, with a recording density of bars, nightclubs, restaurants, and discos per square kilometer. There are 14 bays of the peninsula's villages and hotels with the eponymous city at the center of them.
It is sometimes said that Bodrum city is a "little Greece", and such a comparison is not without reason. The Greek islands are nearby and impose their mark on the appearance of the resort with a special "Greek" atmosphere, which is manifested in the architecture, in excursions, and in nature itself. The nature in Bodrum is richer and more interesting than on the Antalya coast of Turkey — the terrain here is mountainous, with many coniferous (cypress and pine) woods, but there are few palm trees. But there are a huge number of olive groves because they are protected by the government. Although in Bodrum city you can rarely find a view from the room on the open sea horizon, this is a plus of the region: the coast is also quite "Greek". It is indented with beautiful bays, so tourists can enjoy beautiful views of the sea with yachts scattered around it, as well as wooded and rocky islands. For photography enthusiasts, it's practically a paradise.
Relax on the Bordum's beaches
Bodrum's coast is dotted with coves, each of which harbors amazingly beautiful, well-equipped beaches. Almost all of them are owned by hotels and cleaned regularly. Most of the coast is covered with pebbles, but there are also areas with bulk sand. The water in the Aegean Sea is clean; the bottom is flat and safe for children. On beaches, there are all the conveniences: rentals, deck chairs and umbrellas (as paid for 5–10 TRY per set, and free), cafes, and restaurants. The longest beaches on the peninsula are in Bitez, 7 km from the center of Bodrum. The beach here is sandy, and along the coast are pines and mandarins, providing a convenient input in water without abrupt depth changes, which is especially appreciated by families with children. To diversify your leisure, you can windsurf, go catamaran riding or take sailing boats. Gümbet has a completely different mood: it magnetically attracts partygoers from all over Europe. By day they bask on the sandy coastline, surfing, parasailing, and kayaking, and by night they party in trendy clubs. The best place to visit is Gelthurkbukyu, 15 km from Bodrum city, which has an elite beach with a shady alley. The only problem is that the water is cool and the winds are strong, so you feel more comfortable riding a wave than swimming. Turgutreis is protected from storms by the nearby islands. Akyarlar is famous for its beautiful scenery, and Gümüslük for its excellent fish restaurants.
Visit Black Island
It's not a black island but an emerald green one, covered in pine trees and amber forests. But it is not the traditional landscape of the Aegean islands that make it a popular attraction in Bodrum city; the real reason is the healing mud and mineral springs. Locals believe that it was the mud from the island of Kara-Ada that was used to preserve the youth and beauty of the Egyptian queen Cleopatra, and in beauty, as we know, she was unrivaled. Tourists (and especially, of course, female tourists), hearing about the miraculous power of the sources of the Black Island, tend to try on a magical beauty tool. After curative mud procedures, girls take no less useful baths in the mineral springs, and the crystal clear sea in these places reinforces the healing effect and good mood.
Black Island is famous not only for its healing mud but also for the richest underwater fauna due to its purest water. Picturesque stones, corals, morays, octopuses, and schools of fish will please even the most beginner-amateur underwater world. Experienced divers are waiting for the project to create artificial reefs, which was held here in 2007-2008 when the southern side of the island was sunk by several ships and even a combat aircraft.
Explore the underwater world
Bodrum is one of the best diving destinations in Turkey: the underwater world off its coast is incredibly rich, and the water is warm (up to +25 °C in summer) and transparent (details can be seen at depths of 20-30 meters). There are about 15 dive sites here, the most interesting of which are concentrated near the island of Orak. The main local beauties are the 100-meter natural wall, mysterious caves, and sea sponges of all colors of the rainbow attached to the rocky bottom. In the vicinity of the islands of Kargy and Kechek, it is worth a look at the picturesque coral reefs and an anchor, cast once by an ancient Phoenician ship. Kurt-Burun is a habitat for moray eels and octopuses. Feren is famous for its spectacular rock formations, Great and Small Reefs, which are home to quirky marine animals and plants.
The cost of diving tours with equipment starts at 160 TRY.
The dive near the Black Island is suitable for beginners and professionals, but the shores of the Yassi-Adas are not worth approaching without special training: the currents here are strong, but the dive (especially at night) risks sticking in the memory for a long time. It is forbidden to dive in places of real shipwrecks, but enterprising Turks recreate them artificially; for example, there is a Coast Guard ship and a military aircraft sunk near the Black Island.
In Bodrum city, you can buy souvenirs and fill out a closet. Clothing is sold in shopping centers, the largest of which are "Oasis" and "Emelse", with boutiques of European brands and famous Turkish designers. However, the prices here are higher than in other cities: the reputation of Mecca makes itself felt. The main shopping avenues are the shopping streets around Ataturk Avenue and St. Peter's Castle. Of the local range, we especially praise cotton clothing, leather accessories, high-quality coffee, and tea, as well as sponges made from natural sponges extracted from the bottom of the Aegean Sea — original and environmentally friendly hygiene products.
Go to the Central Market for the famous Turkish sweets, fresh vegetables, and seafood (the prices here are inhuman, but the bargaining is welcome). Alongside the sweets are woolen carpets, national-style costume jewelry, seashells of all shapes and sizes, onyx ware, and other souvenirs. But for carpets, one had better go to the neighboring villages of Mumkular and Chokmakdag, where unique interior decorations are made. And for jewelry, go to Barlar Sokagi str. (stylish handmade leather sandals are also sold here) and to the Marina Mall store with exclusive jewelry like black diamond necklaces.
Taste local cuisine
In Bodrum city, there are cafes and restaurants for fans of any cuisine: European, Asian, Latin American, Mediterranean, and vegetarian. But you can appreciate the flavor of Turkish gastronomic traditions only in authentic institutions like the small snack bar "Locante", which serves unpretentious but incredibly tasty national treats. The most frequent guests on the tables are vegetables and seafood, from which the most diverse appetizers are composed: salads, stuffed dishes, and dolma of rice in grape leaves. Meat on a spit "döner" and stuffed zucchini flowers are worth a try. In more expensive restaurants, the menu acquires glitz and sophistication; visitors are pleased by yogurt soups with tomatoes, grilled fish, kebabs of chicken and lamb, pilaf with mussels, and sea beans in spicy sauce.
A snack at a fast food restaurant costs 12TRY and lunch at a cheap cafe costs 22 TRY per person. A full meal in a good restaurant will cost you 80-100 TRY for two, not including alcohol.
Turkey is famous for its desserts: baklava, lukum, sorbets, candied almonds, bergamot jam, and stuffed fruits — a real treat for the sweet tooth. But in hot Bodrum, they compete with ice cream of different varieties, and drinks here are more refreshing: mineral water, juices, and ice lemonade. It is possible to raise a glass of raki, but drinking alcohol is permitted in strictly defined places, and appearing in a state of intoxication on the streets is extremely undesirable.
Visit St. Peter's Castle
It is impossible to not notice the Castle of St. Peter in Bodrum. The imposing castle walls are visible from almost anywhere in the city, and it's hard not to notice them and wonder what's behind them. During the construction of the castle were used fragments of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum, recognized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Thirdly, the surviving Bodrum Castle was built as an outpost of the mighty Crusaders and has repeatedly demonstrated its excellent fortification capabilities. Also, there are now very interesting exhibits at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology. All this makes St. Peter's Castle one of the main tourist attractions in Bodrum and attracts nearly every guest of the Turkish resort.
The Underwater Archaeology Museum has the richest collection of Mediterranean amphorae, unique items made of pottery, marble, and precious metals, as well as various domestic utensils of the past. To see the most valuable exhibit in the exhibition, you need to get to the "Uluburun" hall. This is where the ancient ship is stored, which was wrecked and sank with its countless riches. There are interesting exhibits in the room of Princess Kariya: here you can see a bust of the princess (a skeleton), discovered during excavations, and a rich collection of jewelry belonging to a high-ranking person.
Admire the Amphitheater and the Myndos Gate
The journey to the distant past continues to the north of Bodrum, where you will find a majestic amphitheater from the 4th century B.C., which can hold up to 13,000 spectators. Today, instead of gladiatorial fights, it organizes concerts and music festivals. To the west is the restored Myndos Gate, a 7-mile-long section of the fortress wall, which was once the main entrance to the Kari capital.
Spend the time with your kids
The most famous "family" place in Bodrum city is the water park "Dedeman", spread over an area of 4 hectares. Founded over 20 years ago, he still has not left the rankings of the largest and most popular water facilities in Turkey. There are 24 slides, the longest lines for Kamikaze (a plummeting slide that includes free flight) and Black Hole (a long enclosed tube with audio-visual effects), and the pool with giant waves is also not ignored.
The best time to visit Bodrum
Bodrum city has a temperate Mediterranean climate. Weather features include the Aegean Sea (a little cooler than the Mediterranean) and a constant refreshing breeze. Thanks to them, it never gets too hot or too cold; even in the capricious off-season, nature rarely throws up unpleasant surprises. By local standards, January and February are the coolest months, with north winds, storms, and precipitation, but the searing sun returns to the peninsula in mid-March. The heat is at its peak in July and August, so it's worth stocking up on high-SPF cosmetics. The ideal time for a vacation in Bodrum city is the period from the beginning of May to the end of October when the Aegean waters warm up to comfortable temperatures, and it rarely rains.
The best time to visit Bodrum is between July and September.