Spread out on two crescent-shaped bays, this resort has an "artsy" feel. Recently, it has become a magnet for the jet-set crowd, while at the same time maintaining an intimate air (there are strict zoning laws preventing overdevelopment).
An impressive medieval castle built by the Knights of Rhodes guards the entrance to Bodrum's dazzling blue bay, in which the Aegean and the Mediterranean Seas meet. The town's charm is well-known, attracting a diverse population of vacationers who stroll along its long palm-lined waterfront, while elegant yachts crowd the marina.
Not far from town, you can swim in absolutely clear, tideless, warm seas. Underwater divers, especially, will want to explore the numerous reefs, caves and majestic rock formations. The waters offer up multicolored sponges of all shapes and sizes, octopi and an immense variety of other aquatic life. The reputation of Bodrum's boatyards dates back to ancient times, and today, craftsmen still build the traditional yachts: the tirhandil with a pointed bow and stern, and the gulette with a broad beam and rounded stern. The latter, especially, are used on excursions and pleasure trips, and in the annual October Cup Race.The yearly throng of visitors has encouraged small entrepreneurs to make shopping in Bodrum a delight. Leather goods of all kinds, natural sponges and the local blue glass beads are among the bargains to be found in the friendly little shops along the narrow, white-walled streets. Charming boutiques offer kilims, carpets, sandals and embroidery as well as original fashions in soft cotton.
Bodrum has gained the reputation as the center of the Turkish art community with its lively, friendly and Bohemian atmosphere and many small galleries. This community has encouraged an informal day-time life style and a night-time of excitement. The evenings in Bodrum are for sitting idly in one of the many restaurants, dining on fresh seafood and other Aegean specialties. Afterwards night clubs (some with cabaret) and superb discos keep you going until dawn. According to Heredotos, who is a member of Halikarnassos people, city was first settled by Dor collonists and one of a submember of Dor pact. The six city representatives were meeting in Knidos Apollon Temple. The real people of this region was Karians and Leleks. The Rome Theatre, near the highway passing by the city, was almost restored by Prof. Serdaroglu. In ancient terms the Maussolleion, which was made for Artemisia; the wife of Maussollos, was one of the seven miracles of the world. Both of Maussollos and Artemisia's statues are now in British Museum. The other remnants are being exhibited in Bodrum Museum. In Bodrum; there is also a museum in which ancient times' foundlings are being exhibited. This museum is a Turkish navigation museum in reality.
The beautiful Bodrum Peninsula suits holidaymakers interested in a subdued and relaxing atmosphere. Enchanting villages, with guest-houses and small hotels on quiet bays, dot the peninsula. On the southern coast, Bardakçi, Gümbet, Bitez, Ortakent Yalisi, Karaincir, Bagla and Akyarlar have fine, sandy beaches. Campers and wind-surfers enjoy Gümbet, and at Bitez colorful sail boards weave skillfully among the masts of yachts in the bay. On shore you can enjoy quiet walks through the orange and tangerine groves bordering the beach. Ortakent has one of the longest stretches of sandy beach in the area and offers an ideal place for relaxing in solitude. One of the most beautiful beaches on the Bodrum peninsula, Karaincir, is ideal for lively active days by the sea and relaxed, leisurely evenings with local villagers. Finally, Akyarlar enjoys a well-deserved reputation for the fine, powdery sand of its beach.
Turgutreis, Gümüslük and Yalikavak, all with excellent beaches, lie on the western side of the peninsula and are ideal for swimming, sunbathing and water sports. In Turgutreis, the birthplace of a great Turkish admiral of the same name, you will find a monument honoring him. In the ancient port of Myndos, Gümüslük, you can easily make many friends with the hospitable and out-going local population. In Yalikavak white-washed houses with cascading bougainvillaea line narrow streets. Small cafes and the occasional windmill create a picturesque setting.
See the north coast of the peninsula - Torba, Türkbükü, Gölköy and Gündogan - by road or, even better, hire a boat and crew to explore the quiet coves, citrus groves and wooded islands. Little windmills which still provide the energy to grind grain crown hills covered with olive trees. Torba, a modern village with holiday villas and a nice marina is located 8 km north of Bodrum. Gölköy and Türkbükü are small and simple fishing villages with a handful of taverns overlooking a lovely bay.
After a boat trip to Karaada, half an hour from Bodrum, you can bathe in the grotto where the warm mineral waters flowing out of the rocks are believed to beautify the complexion. The translucent and deep waters of the Gulf of Gökova, on the southern shore of the Bodrum peninsula vary from the darkest blue to the palest turquoise, and the coastline is thickly wooded with every hue of green. In the evening, the sea reflects the mountains silhouetted against the setting sun, and at night it shimmers with phosphorescence. You can take a yacht tour or hire a boat from Bodrum for a two, three or seven day tour of the gulf.
The Gulf of Güllük, and harbour of the same name, lie north of the Bodrum peninsula on the Aegean. The mythological Dolphin Boy is said to have been born a little farther to the north at Kiyikislacik (lassos). South of Güllük, Varvil, ancient Bargilya, sits at the end of a deep narrow inlet surrounded by olivve covered hillsides.
Inland from Güllük is Milas, ancient Mylasa, known for its beautiful carpets - a century old tradition which continues to the present day. The weavers rarely mind a visitor watching them at work. Plenty of old Turkish houses with carved timbers and latticed windows provide examples of the vernacular architectural style. The ancients built Labranda, a sanctuary dedicated to Zeus, high in the mountains. Today tourists have re-discovered this mountain retreat and escape to its exhilarating air and breathtaking scenery.