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Bodrum Hotels and Apartments
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Bodrum Holidays & Hotels
Hotels in Bodrum
A former fishing village brought into the spotlight and given a glamorous sheen by holidaying writers in the 60s, Bodrum has gained a reputation as the Turkish St Tropez. It’s beaches are set for basking, but it’s the azure glint of the Aegean that keeps mesmerising visitors.
As such, the luxury Bodrum hotels and all-inclusive resorts are scattered over the town’s two bays, of which Bitez has the sandier stretch. There are adults-only and family-friendly holiday deals, often kitted out with hammams, tennis courts and beautifully landscaped gardens. Other bikini-ready hotspots are Yalikavak to the north west and Torba, north of Bodrum, for hotels suiting all budgets – some with access to blissful, private beaches.
Where to stay
Set on the beachy side of town by Bitez Bay, Gümbet has been developed into an excellent holiday destination, with shops, nightlife and eateries galore. Whizz down the water slides and ride out the wave machine at Bodrum Aqua Park, or try out the myriad of watersports options off Gümbet beach. The beautiful bay is considered the finest destination for watersports in the Bodrum Peninsula, with everything from genteel fly-fishing to pulse-racing parasailing. You could even scuba dive the Big Reef to see barracuda and the like swim through beautiful coral gardens.
A 30-minute drive from Bodrum Town, on the west coast of the peninsula, this resort town has a more peaceful ambience than the town centre, and you’re more likely to find a sandcastle-building spot on its beaches. Camel Beach is perfect for a family day out, where you can even enjoy the stunning views on the back of the dromedaries. Stay all day and you’ll even be treated to one of the town’s breathtaking sunsets. This area is also popular for its Saturday market, sociable marina and handicrafts stalls by the beach.
Formerly the ancient Greek stronghold of Halicarnassus, Bodrum is rich in history. It’s home to the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – so famous, indeed, that King Mausolus gave his name to tombs everywhere. Another wondrous monument from the past, Bodrum Castle, was built using stones from the Mausoleum. Nowadays, it has clubs shaking to the beat, touristy stretches and lavish hotels, but development is monitored here, so you can still find streets with white and blue villas dressed with bougainvillea.
What to see
Tick off the sights of central Bodrum on your holiday first: the Mausoleum, the castle (don’t miss the Underwater Archaeology Museum within) and the amphitheatre where concerts are still held. Then, see the ancient Myndos Gate that guarded Halicarnassus, look to the hills between Bodrum and Gumbet to spy the smattering of white windmills, and head to the harbour to watch anchored gulet boats bob with a strong cup of coffee. For a stretch of sunbathing, try Bitez Beach, at the tip of the bay. To get a good look at the sea – and check out any ongoing art exhibitions – head to the Ottoman Shipyard. For some more holiday sparkle, flamboyant singer Zeki Müren is remembered at a museum to the east of the city.
Kara Ada Harbour Island is a short cruise from the town, where you can swim in mineral springs. To the north of Bodrum is a quiet yet quaint fishing village, Torba, which has beaches lapped by turquoise waters, artisan shops and Leleg era monuments. For genteel regattas and big-bucks yachting, Türkbükü attracts a jet-set crowd. Not a yacht-owner? No worries, watersports of all ilk can be tried here, whether flaka sailing or windsurfing takes your fancy.
Where to eat
Larger resorts in Bodrum will have several restaurants to keep all guests happy, including fussy little ones. But, with generous mezze platters and an influx of restaurants to keep those summering from Istanbul happy, it’s worth dining out during your holiday. Restaurants cater to both tourists seeking cheap eats and Turkish street food, and those wanting date-night romance.
Generously portioned, well-priced Turkish food isn’t hard to find in Bodrum. Wash down kebabs, pide (pizzas), manti (Turkish ravioli), sarma (stuffed vine leaves) and gözleme (savoury pancakes) with a slug of Raki. Keep an eye out for maras dondurma stands too – this Turkish ice-cream is unlike the British seaside treat, but no less delicious. Plus, it doesn’t melt in the sun…
After dark (and we mean after dark, since most bars kick things off around 10pm), Bodrum’s seafront lights up in neon. Cumhuriyet Street has earnt the nickname Bar Street for its gamut of drinkeries, spanning go-go bars, cocktail lounges and karaoke joints, catering to a mix of tourists, jet-setters and locals. One venue in particular, Fora Bar, has a terrace overlooking the iconic castle. For something different, Club Catamaran is Bodrum’s floating nightclub, and The White House club also goes on ‘till 5am. For daytime partying and soaking up the rays, hit T.A.Y and Xuma beach clubs.
Shopping in Bodrum is all about the bazaars (or ‘pasars’ as they’re known locally). Bodrum Bazaar is a market that changes daily, selling fruit and veg, clothing or handicrafts. Alongside more touristy purchases are decorative homewares and piles of fragrant spices. Close to the castle, there’s a run of trinket stalls too, as well as some designer outlets by the Milta Bodrum Marina.
Fast Facts about Bodrum
- Flight time: 7 hours from London
- Transfer time from Istanbul Airport to Milas Bodrum: One hour
- Time Zone: EET (+3 hours)
- Currency: YTL
- Language: Turkish
- Average price of a domestic beer: €1–2
- Average price of a bottle of wine: €6
- Number of tourists per year: 1.3 million
Destinations in Bodrum
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