Famous for its lively nightlife of late-night bars, clubs and discos – second only to Istanbul – the popular seaside resort of Bodrum offers all the ingredients you need for a fun-filled honeymoon or romantic getaway holiday in Turkey.
Bodrum was once known as Halicarnassus and was 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.
Despite its seaside location, Bodrum’s town beaches are not so inviting. Instead, jump into a dolmus (shared minibus) or water taxi and head to the nearby sand-and-shingle beaches at Gumbet, Bitez and Kargi.
Bodrum’s rocky peninsula is indented with secluded coves fringed by unnamed beaches – perfect for day trips of swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing. Just remember to pack a picnic!
The best beaches in Bodrum, include the foillowing…
Unwind on this small crescent of pale golden sand facing a turquoise bay and surrounded by low hills covered with pine trees and olive groves.
The beachfront Izer Hotel & Beach Club offers a range of ammenities.
The peaceful village of Torba is just 5km from Bodrum on the northern side of the peninsula.
Relax on this 600m-long crescent of white sand that slopes gently into clean water and is fringed by a tamarisk-edged promenade lined with bars, cafes, restaurants and hotels.
Facilities provided free to customers by these establishments include parasols and sun loungers. Water sports include windsurfing, water skiing, jet skiing and paragliding.
Gumbet is located on the peninsula's south shore, around 4km west of Bodrum.
This golden-sand beach curves around a wide cove of clear turquoise water framed by tree-clad hillsides, around 7km from Bodrum.
Facilities include free parasols and sun loungers provided by beachside bars, restaurants and hotels. Water sports include windsurfing, water skiing, jet skiing, paragliding and a sailing centre.
Come for a day from Bodrum or stay longer at the 4-star Okaliptus Hotel, which nestles in an orange grove facing a pleasant beach.
Take a boat ride from Bodrum to this quiet golden-sand beach where you can swim, sunbathe or try a spot of camel riding.
Facilities include parasols and sun beds for hire, with a range of water sports activities also available.
Come for a day and snack at the beachside seafood restaurants or stay longer at the beachfront 4-star Javelin Hotel.
Kargi Beach (aka Camel Beach) lies to the west of Bodrum.
Relax on this golden-sand beach facing the shallow turquoise waters of a sheltered bay perfect for windsurfing.
Facilities include parasols and sun loungers for hire as well as beachfront restaurants. Akyarlar is just 13km from Bodrum.
Pick a spot to sunbathe and swim on this kilometre-long golden-sand and shingle beach that lies beneath tangerine orchards and the famous 17th century white multi-storey houses of Ortakent.
Facilities include parasols and sun loungers for hire, with a choice of beachside bars, restaurants and nearby hotels.
Ortakent is located on the south coast of the peninsula, around 14 km from Bodrum.
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.
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 and ideal for fun-loving honeymoon couples.
Further afield, 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, and the imposing temple of Apollo at Didyma.
The extraordinary petrified waterfalls of Pamukkale, where calcified limestone has coated the side of the hill in a fairytale cascade of pools.
And don't miss the ruined city of Hierapolis, famous for its necropolis.
Bodrum and its immediate surrounds offer an exciting array of must-see attractions, including…
Explore this iconic medieval Crusader castle, which sits on a small peninsula jutting into the middle of Bodrum’s two harbours.
The castle was built in the 15th century by the Christian Knights of St John and later repaired using stone from the ancient mausoleum.
Wander the impressive ramparts, admire the views and examine the various artefacts and prominent coats of arms, including those of the Plantagenets and d'Aubussons.
The castle also features dungeons and a magnificent garden, where peacocks and geese roam freely. A minaret and public bath were added to the chapel after the castle came into the possession of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent in 1522.
Inside the Castle of St Peter is a collection of shipwrecks dating from the 7th century AD.
One such wreck is billed as the world's oldest known shipwreck containing a treasure trove of cargo including precious gems and a solid gold scarab attributed in hieroglyphics to one-time owner Egyptian Queen Nefertiti.
This one-time 42m-high marble colossus was begun by King Mausolus and his sister-wife Artemesia and was responsible for giving us the word ‘mausoleum’. It was completed after their deaths in 350 BC.
Although only the excavated foundations remain in situ, most of the original friezes used to decorate the mausoleum and the statues of Mausolus and Artemisia can be seen at the British Museum in London, where they were sent after being unearthed in the early 19th century.
Historical accounts say the mausoleum consisted of a burial vault topped by a colonnade of 36 Ionic columns that supported a pyramid-shaped roof crowned with a massive statue of Mausolus and Artemisia riding a chariot.
The tomb stood intact for more than 16 centuries before being severely damaged by an earthquake.
The Knights of St John removed cut stones from the damaged mausoleum between 1402 and 1522 to rebuild the crusader castle of St Peter.
This attractive fishing village, located on the west coast of the Bodrum Peninsula, is the site of the ancient city of Myndos, which is still visible beneath the surface of the water.
Strap on a mask and fins and snorkel the very site where Brutus and Cassius took refuge in 44 BC after having murdered Julius Caesar.
Later, enjoy fresh seafood at one of the many quayside restaurants. Building restrictions have enabled Gumusluk to retain its authentic and traditional Turkish atmosphere.
Gumusluk village is 24km from Bodrum.
Bodrum City and the nearby coastal region offers a huge range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, including the following…
The Marmara Bodrum
Location: Bodrum City
Ave nightly price: AUD288 per room
Description: Set on a hilltop, this designer hotel features a free-form outdoor pool with 180° views of Bodrum Bay and Kos Island. It has a spa and a fitness center, and rooms with free Wi-Fi. The Marmara Bodrum features a collection of statues created by painter and sculptor Mevlut Akyildiz. The hotel's transparent toilet doors are designed by French architect Christian Allart. All rooms at the Marmara Bodrum have luxury bedding and are fitted with ornate wood furniture. Each one has air conditioning, flat-screen TV and a private balcony or terrace, some of which overlook the sea. A mix of international and Turkish items, including fresh bread and local cheese, are served for the buffet breakfast. Lunch and dinner menus are available. Guests can also relax with a glass of wine and enjoy sunset views from the pool’s deck chairs. The aduly only Marmara Bodrum is a 15-minute drive from Bodrum Milas Airport. Bodrum Marina is a 2-minute drive away, and Bodrum Castle is just over half a kilometer from the hotel. Free parking is available on site.
Voyage Bodrum Hotel
Location: Bodrum City
Ave nightly price: AUD279 per room
Description: Located just 900 metres from Bodrum city centre, this beachfront resort has an outdoor swimming pool with panoramic ocean views. It also features 1 main restaurant as well as an international a’la carte restaurant. The rooms at the Voyage Bodrum include a minibar, air conditioning and a flat-screen TV with satellite channels. The International a’la carte restaurant serves fresh international cuisines, while the Main Restaurant offers variety of dishes. The Voyage also features a Pastry Shop, where guests can enjoy a range of deluxe desserts. Meals at the hotel can be enjoyed indoors or outdoors. The Bodrum’s outdoor swimming pool is surrounded by palm trees and parasols. Guests can also enjoy a drink at the pool bar or beach bar. The property is accessible from the sea. Milas-Bodrum Airport is 40 km away.
Vera Miramar Resort Ultra All Inclusive
Location: Bodrum City
Ave nightly price: AUD180 per room
Description: Located on the seafront, Vera Miramar Resort offers a private beach and air-conditioned rooms with sea or garden views. The hotel has an outdoor pool, indoor pool, sauna and a Turkish bath. All rooms include a mini refrigerator, satellite TV, and a private bathroom with a shower. Free toiletries are also available. Lindita Restaurant offers selected dishes from international cuisine with indoor or outdoor dining options. You can also enjoy sea food in Taverna Restaurant, Turkish grill dishes in Grill Restaurant or Italian dishes in the Carpaccio Restaurant. There is a fitness centre in Vera Miramar Resort. You can also play mini golf on site. Bodrum city centre is 2 km from the hotel. Milas-Bodrum Airport is 36 km away.
Caresse a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Bodrum
Location: Gumbet (4 km from Bodrum City)
Ave nightly price: AUD473 per room
Description: Offering a spa centre and sauna, Caresse a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Bodrum is located in Bitez in the Aegean Region. The resort has a seasonal outdoor pool and a private beach area, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. All rooms are equipped with a flat-screen TV. Each room has a private bathroom fitted with a bath and shower. Extras include bath robes, slippers and free toiletries. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property. Bodrum windmills is 2 km from Caresse a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, Bodrum, while Pedasa Antique City is 3.4 km from the property. Milas-Bodrum Airport is 36 km away.
Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum
Location: Yaliciftlik (8.3 km from Bodrum City)
Prices: from AUD504per room
Description: Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum enjoys a quiet location, overlooking Gokova Bay. It provides luxury rooms with private balconies, 2 swimming pools, restaurants with sea views and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also has a blue-flagged private sandy beach. The non-smoking rooms at the Kempinski Hotel feature stylish furnishings and modern décor. Each room has its own seating area, satellite TV and a spacious bathroom. All rooms enjoy panoramic views over the Aegean Sea. The exclusive spa offers East Asian treatments and massages. The Hotel Kempinski Bodrum also provides a sauna, fitness centre and Turkish bath. Guests can take diving courses or enjoy fishing tours and parasailing. Other water sport activities include wake board and water ski, windsurfing and water buggy. All activities incur a surcharge. Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum is conveniently located a 10-minute drive from The Mausoleum of Halikarnassus, Greek Amphitheater and Bodrum Castle. Bodrum Airport is 35 km away. Free valet parking and a ticket service are available.
Swissôtel Resort Bodrum Beach
Location: Turgutreis (16.7 km from Bodrum City)
Ave nightly price: AUD330 per room
Description: Located in Turgutreis, Swissotel Resort Bodrum Beach features a private beach area, indoor and outdoor pools. Free WiFi and a 24-hour front desk are available in this beachfront property. Offering wonderful views of the sea and the islands, all the air-conditioned rooms in Swissotel Resort Bodrum Beach has a telephone, safe box, seating area, electric kettle, minibar and a flat-screen TV. The private bathrooms are fitted with a shower and a hairdryer. Purovel toiletries include shower gel, shampoo and cream. The restaurant at the Swissotel Resort Bodrum Beach serves an à la carte menu from Asian and Mediterranean cuisines. Beachside restaurant serves a variety of Turkish mezzes, fresh fish and meat gourmet skewers. Various beverages and refreshments are also available at the bar. Guests can relax int the spa&wellness centre in Swissotel Resort Bodrum Beach. Turgutreis town centre is 2.3 km from the property. Milas-Bodrum Airport is 57.1 km away.
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The best time to visit Bodrum is between the months of May and October when the average temperature is 25°C (77°F).
For hot weather, visit in summer from July to mid-September – temperatures often exceed 35°C (95°F) during July and August.
For warm, pleasant weather visit during spring (April to May) and autumn (September to October) when temperatures range between 16°C (61°F) and 25°C (77°F).
For more climate info: Bodrum Weather Guide…
Bodrum lies on the southern coast of the Bodrum Peninsula on Turkey's Aegean Coast, around 180km (112mi) west of Marmaris, 240km (150mi) south of Izmir and 840km (522mi) south of Istanbul.
The most convenient route to Bodrum is by air to Milas–Bodrum Airport (BJV), located 36km (22mi) northeast of the city centre, with daily flights to and from Istanbul and connections to all the major cities of Europe, the Middle East, Asia and North America.
By high-speed catamaran, Bodrum is just 20 minutes from the Greek island of Kos, and around 2 hours by hydrofoil from Rhodes. The port has ferries to other nearby Turkish and Greek ports and islands.
Latest update: Bodrum Honeymoon Guide: 22 November, 2019
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