Bodrum – beaches & hot nightlife
But this attractive town offers more than just a point on the map.
Grown from its origins as a reasonably sleepy fishing village, Bodrum is now one of the top tourist destinations in this part of the country.
Its combination of scenery, beaches, culture, history, shopping, restaurants and nightlife attracts thousands of tourists every year.
The bustling harbour is home to many of the traditional gulet boats.
Some smaller ones go out a couple of times per day during the peak season, taking tourists on boat cruises around and beyond Bodrum harbour.
The larger ones head off for a Blue Cruise with multiple cabins, a full complement of staff, and plenty of space for relaxing.
But, whether you’re starting your cruise from here, or you’re planning to visit as a stop on a Blue Cruise, there are plenty of attractions in this Turkish town to keep you busy for several days.
Attractions and History
Though today Bodrum is best known as a tourist town that grew from a small fishing village, Bodrum’s history is far more ancient.
It has been inhabited since before the 7th century BC and was home to the Carians, the Dorian Greeks, the Persians, the Crusader Knights, and the Ottomans.
It is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Mausoleum of Mausolus – a vast mausoleum erected for Mausolus between 353 and 350 BC stood for 1700 years before being destroyed by an earthquake.
Today only ruins remain, but it’s impressive all the same.
A more modern and more complete structure is Bodrum Castle, officially named the Castle of St Peter.
It was built by the Knights Hospitalier starting in 1402, and it’s by far the best-known landmark of the town, situated as it is at one end of the harbour.
You can tour the castle and visit the Museum of Underwater Archaeology inside.
Getting to Bodrum Castle takes you on a pleasant stroll alongside the moored yachts and gulets.
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes and an assortment of tourist-oriented stalls and shops along this promenade.
For a better selection of shops, head a little inland down the narrow streets with more stores and a more extensive restaurant selection.
Be sure to sample some seafood – the fish is fresh each day and bought by the restaurants.
If you have more time to spare, you may like to explore some of the smaller towns and villages of the Bodrum Peninsula, such as Yalikavak, Gumusluk, and Turgutreis.