Bodrum guarantees a warm welcome for all visitors, going above and beyond to cater to all seeking to enjoy the scenery and its Turkaegean charm.
The name “Bodrum” is whispered as a byword for luxury, respite, and an escape to serenity. With its sun-kissed beaches, secret coves, and lush landscape – not to mention its dazzling high-end resorts and premium shopping experiences – this idyllic peninsula has cast an enchanting smile across the face of visitors since it staked its claim as Türkiye’s own slice of heaven on earth more than half a century ago.
Although the area has seen constant interest since the advent of tourism in the last century, Bodrum’s history is vast to a point of which one can barely conceive. Some of the area’s most notable sites include the town’s iconic Bodrum Castle, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, and stunning 4th-century theatre that hosts musical acts and dance performances throughout the summer – the routes and trails between which, now are lined with Aegean hallmarks, such as white-painted homes, tangerines trees, bougainvillea and sun-soaked skies.
Today, the region is home to an increasing number of renowned resorts designed by international hotel gurus and residential communities attracting a globe-trotting clientele proud to call the Bodrum Peninsula their home. For those who want to truly indulge and release the strains of modern life, some of the world’s finest spa experiences are on hand with top-notch facilities offering Turkish bath (hamam) treatments, as well as holistic therapies and yoga surrounded by some of the country’s most breath-taking scenery.
Needless to say, the area sees the daily arrival of yacht owners and sailing enthusiasts berthing to enjoy the respite of its deluxe marina services, offering fine dining, fancy bars, and clubs, as well as a wealth of designer stores and art galleries. Gulets, the native wooden sailing yachts, regularly leave port to invite visitors to daily explore otherwise inaccessible coves and islands in majestic comfort.
Speaking of culinary delights, one is bound to seek out some of the area’s wide array of dining options after enjoying a range of uplifting leisure activities. Here the restaurants bring a modern light “Bodrum” touch to local recipes and create delicious meals, benefitting from the abundance of the Turkaegean. Whether in a vast vineyard, or a luxury coastal hangout, Bodrum’s sunsets provide an exhilarating backdrop to any evening meal. Locally sourced seafood freshly brought from net-to-plate is highly recommended, sided by refreshing appetizers – known as “meze.” Order Gambilya fava, a wild bean purée, stuffed squash flower, and sea cowpea to get the taste of local dishes. All of this will undoubtedly go down well with a refreshing glass of rakı – a traditional anise liquor – or Turkish wine produced with local grapes. While small local fish restaurants line the seafronts of every town in the area, 5-star resorts are replete with the summer residencies of the country’s biggest chefs and hot international restaurant brands offering the upper crust of fine dining in the most sumptuous of settings. From colorful meze spreads and satisfying comfort foods to upscale chef-driven local dining, you can explore the best of Turkaegean’s gastronomy in Bodrum’s top-notch restaurants also suggested by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
The peninsula features several small coastal towns and villages, each with its own earthly pleasures. To see and to be seen head to Türkbükü, one of Bodrum’s most popular coastal towns, featuring exclusive boutique hotels, restaurants and bars. Here you can enjoy dressing up for a fine dining experience followed by cocktails at the stylish bar at night. While Yalıkavak and Göltürkbükü attract a globetrotting clientele with their luxury beach clubs, hotels and marinas; Gümüşlük emits bohemian vibes from its waterfront jazz bars and fish restaurants. Bodrum’s center is ideal for shopping therapy at its historic bazaar, swarming with artisanal boutiques selling high-quality linen beachwear and Bodrum’s handmade leather sandals. Bitez and Ortakent, on the other hand, stand out with their established communities living year-round, many ending their workdays on one of the pristine beaches that abound. In addition, the region’s ever-growing culinary scene has attracted the MICHELIN Guide to consider Bodrum for the Michelin Guide’s Türkiye selection in 2024.
Before leaving the city, make sure to tick off a couple of must-dos. Visit the iconic Bodrum Castle to see the oldest shipwreck in the world in Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Follow-up on the dates of live summer concerts staged in the ancient Bodrum theater. Don’t miss the annual Bodrum Cup, in which the country’s sailing hub hails the arrival of seafarers from far and wide and the most elegant sailing yachts set out to compete.