With its cosmopolitan lifestyle, picturesque whitewashed houses and stunning scenery, Bodrum remains one of the most popular destinations in southwest Turkey today.Words Nikki Beach Global
The port city is a gem of the country, with a long and colorful heritage dating back to the Carians and also the Dorian Greeks. Home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Mausoleum of Mausolus – Bodrum’s history is on prominent display, awash with relics and attractions that draw tourists year after year.
From streets lined with whitewashed, stucco hillside houses dripping in bougainvillea and magnificent vistas, to historic imprints and a rich cultural past, Bodrum manages to strike the perfect balance. Add to the mix its blowout nightlife and it really does tick a great many boxes.
One of the lesser known facts about Turkey is that its official name is the Republic of Turkey and it was formed in 1923. It succeeds the Ottoman Empire, which ruled the region from 1299 onwards, and crumbled after the First World War. Historic architecture is everywhere and Ottoman-inspired buildings make for Instagram-worthy pictures. Sharing borders with eight countries makes Turkey both a tourism and economical hub between east and west. It’s easy to access and flights are frequent from all over the world.
ABOVE: From streets lined with whitewashed, stucco hillside houses dripping in bougainvillea, to historic imprints and a rich cultural past.
Bodrum is well known for its rugged coastline and pine clad mountains but it was Mausolus who really put the seaside port city on the map. He ruled the city on behalf of the Persians for more than two decades, from 377 BC and when he died, his tomb was so impressive that it was named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. At the time, his mausoleum (the word actually derives from the king himself) was as grand as anything in existence. It stood for 1,700 years until earthquakes struck and now only the foundations and pieces of stonework remain.
The Castle of Saint Peter – or the Castle of Saint Peter the Liberator of the Order of the Knights of the Hospital of Saint John of Rhodes, to give it its full, comprehensive title – is another great excursion. An icon of the Crusader era, it’s Bodrum’s acclaimed landmark and houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology with excellent collections of early pieces from city and sea. In the last six centuries it has served as a military garrison, a compound enclosing a tiny village, and even a fortress prison.
But if it’s the glitz and glamor of a beach resort you came for, you’re in the right place. The European Crusader ships have today been replaced with luxury yachts and the many beaches and coves are beautiful. Examples include Bitez, Gulluk, Bardakci Bay, Yalikavak, Gumusluk, Torba, Turgutreis and Bodrum Town to name just a few.
- Season April - November
- Airport Milas-Bodrum Airport (BJV)
- Boat Coordinates 37°02′00″N 27°26′00″E
- Time Zone GMT+3
- Currency Turkish Lira
- Language Turkish, English
- Electrics 220 Volt
As one of Turkey’s prime yachting ports, it makes perfect sense to book a day at sea. Cruise around the Bodrum peninsula and include a stop for lunch and a swim, and don’t forget to leave time for some on-shore exploration. Head down to the harbor and chat to some of the local sailors and they will happily point you in the right direction of the best local trips.
If you’d rather stay on dry land there’s no excuse for not getting clued up on all things nautical with a trip to one of the many yacht-building ship works. Fancy a change of pace altogether? Head into the mountains to see the traditional villages of İçmeler. You can even go as far north as Ephesus, with numerous other interesting stops along the way and sunset is a particularly good time to be here.
The ancient Greco-Roman theater (Antik Tiyatro) in Bodrum is set well above the town, typical of ancient theaters, but is just a short walk from the marina. The walk uphill from the Bodrum Marina follows the Davulcu Ali Sokak (road) and takes about 15 minutes. Excavations on the theater were carried out in the 1960s, and restoration in the 1970s and 1980s was stopped due to lack of funds. Luckily, in 2005, with corporate support, work resumed and the impressive theater was fully restored.
ABOVE: Head into the mountains to see some of the traditional villages or you can even go as far north as Ephesus, with numerous other interesting stops along the way.
Boasting a fabulous climate with average temperatures ranging from 65ºF in April to 85ºF in July, and with an average monthly rainfall of less than 16mm between May and October, it’s a picture perfect location that attracts visitors in need of some sunshine. If you book for the summer months you won’t miss out on Bodrum’s endless summer celebrations, filled with musical performances and art events. From nostalgic concerts to refreshing shows and exhibitions, Bodrum will happily host an unforgettable summer for all.
The city’s Chill-Out Festival (www.chilloutfest.com) has been running since 2006 and is an event not to miss. This year artists performing at Xuma Village include Crussen, Francesca Lombardo, Kiasmos, Konfetti Klub Ensemble, Mardeleva, Mira, Sainte Vie, Satori and Shkoon. It’s a soundtrack of dub, electronic and house music in idyllic surroundings. Bodrum is home to numerous ultra-chic clubs and restaurants. From night time bar-hopping to strolling the harbor, ice-cream in hand, there is something for everyone.
The International Bodrum Ballet Festival takes place in July and August at Bodrum Castle with performances by the state ballet groups of Ankara, İzmir, Mersin, Antalya, and Istanbul. Among offerings for art is an exhibition at the Dibeklihan Culture and Arts Village from August 26-September 8, featuring talented photographer Ömer Doğan’s latest collection.
Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Bodrum
Torba Mah. Kaynar Cad. No:15
Bodrum, Muğla, Turkey