Bodrum is an authentic Turkish gem. As you approach the bay, enjoy being enchanted by its beautiful beaches, the forest of masts along the shores, and the peaceful atmosphere radiating from every cave and corner. With its exotic and romantic atmosphere, Bodrum never fails to surprise visitors from around the world. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful getaway or want to enjoy some lively nightlife, the city has something to suit all tastes.
When the Ottoman Empire stepped in and took over the city in the early 1520s, this marked the beginning of Bodrum’s revolution. Until the 1970s, the town was home mainly to fishermen and sponge divers. It quickly developed into a vibrant and dynamic centre of trade, art, and entertainment.
Bodum’s south coast is lapped by the Aegean, providing this beautiful destination with a unique and glamorous charm. There are diverse beaches to suit both families and couples, as well as plenty to see and do inland; whatever you’re searching for, a holiday in Bodrum is always unforgettable.
Where is Bodrum in Turkey?
Located on Turkey’s southwest coast, the city is surrounded by 32 islands and islets on the Bodrum Peninsula. The town of Bodrum itself lies 270 kilometres south of Izmir, on the Aegean coast, and faces the Greek island of Kos.
Because of its location, this stretch of coastline is blessed with expansive, golden beaches and home to plenty of world-class hotels and resorts. Not to mention the village of Gumbet, one of the most popular destinations in the area.
What to expect from a holiday in Bodrum? Delicious food and drink, shimmering crystal-clear waters, and lots of activities to suit the whole family.
Things to do in Bodrum
Bodrum boasts many things to see and do, with something to make everyone smile. From the modernity of its resorts and restaurants to the traces of ancient times and the calmness it preserves, a holiday in Bodrum offers it all, so you’ll never be out of options.
The Castle of St Peter
The Castle of St Peter is Bodrum’s most iconic landmark, framed by picture-perfect bays. It has five well-preserved towers and an unearthed 7th-century Byzantine wreck in its Museum of Underwater Archaeology. The view from the castle is simply breathtaking, so be sure to visit if you can only spare one afternoon in the city.
Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
Once called Halicarnassus, Bodrum was home to one to the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Constructed in the 4th century BC, the tomb of Mausolus is today only a ruin. However, it still attracts millions of tourists every year thanks to its historical significance. It gifts the city with an enduring and precious charm and brings whoever decides to visit back in time.
Just a couple of steps away from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus are the stunning remains of Bodrum Amphitheatre, built in the 4th century BC. With a capacity of 13,000 guests, the Amphitheatre is one of the best-preserved structures of the ancient Halicarnassus.
Places to stay in Bodrum
The beautiful Bodrum Resort is loved by visitors for its narrow lanes and colourful sugar-cube houses scattered throughout the town. It’s where you’ll find the buzz and glamour of the resort, not to mention plenty of places to eat and drink.
For relaxing beaches, head to Gumbet, a self-contained holiday resort with a large beach and plenty of restaurants and bars. From bustling Bodrum, it’s just a short journey to Torba, on the north side of the peninsula. This peaceful mountainside village seems a world away, with olive grove-clad hillsides, a tiny harbour with fishing boats, and a narrow beach. Bodrum holidays are contrastingly ideal for visitors looking for plenty of action or those who want to escape the crowds.
Perfect for families
Bodrum is an ideal choice for holidaymakers travelling with the family, with plenty to keep even the fussiest visitors occupied. From beautiful beaches, perfect for relaxing, to exciting waterparks for family fun, there are many ways to stay cool in the sunshine. History fan? Visit ancient sites and museums scattered around the area. Or enjoy excellent local food and drink in one of many welcoming local spots.
The city owes most of its popularity to the majesty of its beaches. Do you prefer sand to rocks? Then Yahsi Beach and Ortakent Beach are the places for you. If you’re on the lookout for a picturesque spot away from the crowds, head east to Kumbahҫe Beach and unwind on the peaceful shore.
Fancy exploring Bodrum’s surroundings instead? Why not catch a boat trip and admire the picturesque coast with the sea breeze in your hair. Or take a trip to Bafa Lake for another way to explore by boat.
Bodrum offers plenty of activities for kids too, which is why it’s a favourite among family groups. Treat your little ones to a fun-filled day at the Bodrum Aqua Park in Ortakent, the most popular on the Bodrum peninsula. Or try Pirates Inn Cactus Aquapark, another favourite spot in Yalikavak.
Best for beaches
What could be better than whiling away the days on a lovely beach, surrounded by crystal-clear waters? Not much! Bodrum’s beaches are a delight no matter how you spend your time there.
Bitez Beach is a magnet for tourists, and it’s easy to see why. It’s ideal for families and water sports-lovers, with calm waters providing the perfect conditions for scuba diving, kayaking, windsurfing, and more.
Camal Beach is located at the southern end of Kargı Bay. This wonderful beach sits in a scenic bay away from hotels and hospitality venues, making it ideal for relaxing in peace and quiet. If you fancy an adventure with your kids, why not book a camel ride along the water? Enjoy the crystal-clear gentle waves from a unique perspective and make memories that will last a lifetime.
A few miles from Bodrum, hidden behind lush hills and pine forests, you can find Torba beach. Stroll along the shore to the farthest point to grab the best spot around, beneath the leafy shade of an enormous eucalyptus tree. Perfection!
Food and drink
Bodrum is well known for its beautiful and golden beaches. Still, its culinary scene is just as crucial to its unique attraction. Turkish food is famous for its fusion of flavours from the Mediterranean and the Middle East. And that’s just what you can expect from your holiday in Bodrum.
Explore traditional Turkish bars and restaurants, where you can pick from various cold and hot mezes packed with local ingredients that you may never have tasted before! Altinkum and Didim, with their exotic and vibrant markets, offer some of the best in the area. Don’t miss börek or dolma, traditional baked pastries filled with spinach, cheese, meat, or sweet ingredients – they’re super-traditional and a must while you’re in Bodrum!
Köy Restaurant is excellent for traditional Turkish food. Besides the classic durum and doner, the pide, a pizza-like flatbread with various toppings, is another delicious local speciality.
In the mood for a drink or two? You’re on holiday, after all. Head to Gumbet, the heart of Bodrum’s nightlife, with plenty of bars and nightclubs to suit any taste. If you fancy something more laid back, visit Limon Gümüşlük, where you can recline with a house lemonade made from freshly picked citrus – delicious!
More Travel Guides
We also have travel guides available for destinations including: Altinkum | Bodrum Resort | Gumbet | Turbuku