Discover Bodrum, a popular seaside resort located on Turkey's Aegean Coast. Famous for its lively nightlife of late-night bars, clubs and discos – second only to Istanbul – Bodrum offers all the ingredients you need for a fun-filled beach holiday or romantic getaway in Turkey.
The ancient fishing village is built of low-rise whitewashed houses edged with purple bougainvillea and occupies an idyllic setting facing twin harbours crammed with traditional wooden gulets (sailing boats) and fronting a deep, blue bay surrounded by rolling brown hills covered with olive and tangerine groves.
Bodrum was once known as Halicarnassus and as the home of the famous Greek historian Herodotus. Around the scenic peninsula sits a choice of great beaches, picturesque fishing villages, ancient sites and some of the best scuba diving and snorkelling in Turkey.
Things to do and see
Explore on foot a maze of narrow streets that links the Old Town to the harbour. Here you can find numerous fashion boutiques, handicraft shops, cafes and restaurants. Browse the traffic-free Dr Alim Bey Caddesi, crammed with shops selling Turkish carpets, jewellery, leatherwear and local handicrafts as well as fake watches and designer clothing.
Examine the famous Mausoleum of Antiquity – one of the original Seven Wonders of the World – then visit the Roman theatre and the so-called Myndos Gate, the best-preserved surviving section of the ancient city walls.
Stroll the crenellated ramparts of the towering Castle of St Peter – a one-time Crusader castle – which dominates the town from its location on a small peninsula that divides the two harbours, and which is now home to the world’s finest Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
After dark, choose from countless local meyhanes restaurants, cafes and bars along the seafront Cumhuriyet Caddesi. Then dance the night away at the renowned Halikarnass disco – arguably the biggest open-air nightclub in Europe, famous for its laser shows.
Explore the Bodrum Peninsula by dolmus (shared minibus), car or water taxi, on day trips to numerous seaside villages, including: Gumbet, with its superb beach lined with bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels; Gumusluk, famed for its sunken ruins and quayside seafood restaurants; Torba, where fishermen still haul in their nets; and Turkbuku, a favourite spot of Turkey's jet set, with its range of upmarket beach clubs and boutique hotels including Maça Kizi Hotel and the Havana Beach Club.
Swim in Cleopatra's Pool among broken Classical columns, take a boat trip on a gulet to neighbouring islands, stopping off to snorkel deserted coves and exploring little-known archaeological sites, or take a short ferry over to the Greek island of Kos.
Further afield, discover some of the world's best-preserved cities from antiquity including: the 2000-year-old picture-perfect ruins of Ephesus, where St Paul preached to the Ephesians; the extraordinary petrified waterfalls of Pamukkale, where calcified limestone has coated the side of the hill in a fairytale cascade of pools; the ruined city of Hierapolis, famous for its necropolis; and the imposing temple of Apollo at Didyma.
Bodrum offers a huge choice of holiday accommodation options, including the slick Marmara Bodrum, the Manastir Hotel Bodrum – a former monastery, the waterfront Hotel Marina Vista, the stone-built Yalikavak Marina Hotel and the Butterfly Hotel – a former villa perched atop a hill overlooking the town, harbour and blue bay beyond.
Best time to visit Bodrum?
The best time to visit Bodrum is between the months of May and October when the average temperature is 25°C. The climate along the Turkish coast is mild year round, however the temperature often exceeds 30°C during the peak season months of July and August; all the major hotels need to be booked in advance at this time. For more climate info: Bodrum Weather Guide
Location – Bodrum is located at the southwest end of Turkey's Aegean Coast, around 180km west of Marmaris, 240km south of Izmir and 840km south of Istanbul.
Getting there – Bodrum International Airport is 25km north of the town, with daily flights from Istanbul and connections to all the major cities of Europe and the Middle East. How to get to Bodrum . . .
By ferry Bodrum is just 50 minutes from the Greek island of Kos, and around two hours by hydrofoil from Rhodes.