If you’re looking to holiday in Turkey in 2017, families, couples and single travellers alike will love the heritage and varied attractions in Bodrum. Bodrum has a bit of everything, making it a good pick if members of your family or friendship group can’t decide between a beach holiday or a cultural vacation. From the sandy beaches to historic landmarks, Bodrum has something for everybody. The town is situated on the picturesque southwestern coast of Turkey, at the point where the Aegean Sea meets the Mediterranean. Bodrum was formerly the site of the ancient city named Halicarnassus, the home of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. The Mausoleum was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but unfortunately suffered destruction in a powerful earthquake in the Middle Ages. In addition to its historic and cultural appeal Bodrum has a wide range of attractions including museums and archaeological sites and a selection of idyllic beaches for water sports and sunbathing.
Most popular hotels in Bodrum
Labranda Gulluk Princess
Bodrum, Aegean Coast
At a glance
- Language: Turkish
- Time Zone: GMT +3
- Average flight time: 4h 20m
When to go
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Bodrum truly does have it all, guaranteeing you’ll enjoy an unforgettable holiday no matter what your tastes. One of the most popular landmarks is the scenic Bodrum castle, which was constructed back in 1402. Today, the landmark functions as a popular museum, exhibiting a range of documents and exhibits about underwater archaeology. Cultures vultures flock here from all around the world to visit the historic sites at Bodrum, making this an ideal holiday destination for holidaymakers looking to stimulate their grey matter on vacation. If you’re keen to explore the history of the area in depth, visit the ancient city gates, known as Myndos Gate, which were the site of a historic battle during a siege by the iconic conqueror, Alexander the Great.
Wine and Dine
Bodrum is a haven for all types of foodie, from experienced gourmet connoisseurs to those just beginning to learn about new cultures. Like its culture, Bodrum’s cuisine is diverse, rich in heritage and tradition. From cheap bites to eat to fine dining, there’s a wide range of food and drink establishments here for all budgets and tastes. One of the best parts of Bodrum’s food scene is fresh seafood, with traditional Turkish and Mediterranean meals on offer alongside popular international dishes and snacks. If you’re looking to discover authentic Turkish cuisine, try some of the country’s staple dishes including Mezes and kebab. In Bodrum you can enjoy fresh kebabs cooked and served in the way the Turkish intended, including kofte meatballs, affordable and hearty lahmacun and kebabs you’re probably familiar with from local takeaways including doners and shish kebabs. Meals are typically served with raki, a popular local drink that is often paired with seafood dishes. Some of our top picks for restaurants in the Bodrum area include Avlu Bistro Bar and the Kocadon Restaurant.
Bodrum is highly popular with family holidaymakers thanks to its beautiful beaches, family-friendly amenities and top-class attractions. Gumbet beach is a great place to start your family holiday, with a shallow, gradually sloping beach so that the kids can splash about in the water, sun loungers and parasols. Another good choice of family-oriented beach is at Bitez, a Blue Flag awarded beach with great facilities for swimming and snorkelling. Perhaps you’re looking to reward your kids for getting good grades, in which case you can push the boat out with a glass-bottomed boat tour so you can enjoy the underwater world without getting wet. If your kids prefer man-made attractions, try the Dedeman Aqua Park, a popular water park with exciting slides and pools to relax in.
Action and Adventure
Bodrum is a dream for lovers of the outdoors and water sports enthusiasts in particular. Water sports are on offer in all of the coastal areas in and around Bodrum, including jet skiing, water skiing and windsurfing. To take in the marine life from a different perspective, you can go diving, with the PADI Askin Dive centre offering instruction for divers of all experience levels. Families can waste away the hours playing football or volleyball on the sandy beaches, go beach combing or have races on the sand. The picturesque surrounding area is brimming with other active things to do, including horseback riding, hiking and climbing. One of the most popular outdoor attractions in Bodrum is the Hayvansaray Horse Riding Centre, which offers riding sessions in the beautiful valley setting. If you’re not a fan of horse riding or would prefer to take things at your own pace, you can simply pack a bag, make sure you’ve got plenty of snacks and water and head out trekking to explore Bodrum’s landscape.
Life's a Beach
If you’re looking for the perfect beach holiday destination, Bodrum has all the sun, sea and sand you’ll need for a slice of blissful relaxation. Although Bodrum doesn’t have its own beach, there are several beaches in the nearby vicinity that you can visit if you’re looking for beaches and water sports facilities. The coastline around Bodrum is dotted with picturesque villages, quaint guest houses and a number of small hotels. There are a number of attractive beaches and coves around Bodrum, but you’ll need to take a trip to reach a number of them. On the southern coast, the best sandy beaches can be found at Bardakci, Gumbet, Bitez, Guvercinlik, Aktur and Karaincir. Gumbet and Bitez have relatively narrow stretches of sand and plenty of good amenities like parasols and sun loungers. Oratakent is a popular choice for water sports enthusiasts, with plenty of close by hire shops and water sports operators offering all the equipment you’ll need for jet skiing, windsurfing and diving. Gumusluk beach is narrow but has plenty of tables and chairs, as well as glorious views of closeby Rabbit Island.
Whether you’re a bit of a party animal or are looking to relax and enjoy the simple pleasures, Bodrum is a nightlife lover’s paradise. To kick your holiday off in style, it’s good to head to the centre of town and make your way around the town to get a feel for the various different bars and clubs on offer, so you can pick a venue that suits your personality best. If you’re looking for a beautiful bay location and live music, try The Elbow Bar and Café. The Marine Club Catamaran has a sophisticated feel and an outdoor dancefloor, as well as a varied playlist that keeps everybody happy. If you’re keen to throw some shapes on the dancefloor, Halikarnas The Club is the place for you, while the Sapphire Nightclub plays upbeat dance music all through the night. If you’re looking more for a home away from home feel or feel most comfortable in casual pubs, try the Pala Pub, which offers a good range of cocktails, beers and large screens to guarantee you get great views of the football.
With heritage, culture and stunning surroundings, what more could you ask for in a romantic couples’ holiday than what Bodrum has to offer? Couples’ getaways here are ideal for well-balanced holidays that offer the relaxation of a beach holiday, the culture of a city break and the cultural charms of a historic location. There’s only a handful of adults-only hotels in Bodrum, largely due to its status as a popular family resort. However, booking a couples’ break in Bodrum is a good way to enjoy a couples’ break in Turkey on a limited budget, as you can easily reach a number of romantic couple-oriented attractions from your hotel in Bodrum. A romantic holiday in Bodrum lets you make the most of the area’s picturesque scenery, nightlife and culture from an affordable, quiet base. For example, why not take a boat trip to the idyllic island of Kara Ada in Bodrum Bay, the ideal way to spend quality time with your partner. Out on a boat your, you can enjoy the cool breeze and enjoy the best views of the mainland (short of going paragliding). If you’re in serious need of recharging your batteries, you can stay in Bodrum for a vibrant nightlife scene with a good choice of bars and restaurants. The seafood here is fresh and fantastic, so why not order a plate of mussels to share with your significant other to get you both in the mood for love.
Turks are renowned for their welcoming, hospitable attitude and friendly personalities, so you’ll feel at home in Bodrum almost instantly. Everywhere you go, you’ll hear ‘hosgeldiniz’ (welcome), and you may find yourself being gifted with food and souvenirs by the locals, or being invited around for dinner. For those that enjoy a sociable holiday and love to mingle with the locals, Bodrum is a dream come true. If you prefer to spend your time on holiday visiting historic landmarks and places of interest, some of the best attractions for you will include Bodrum Castle and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. One of Bodrum’s most important attractions is the Myndos Gate, which will be of real significance to you if you enjoy learning about the conquests of Alexander the Great.