Growing from a cluster of small fishing villages, the Bodrum peninsula is one of Turkey’s most popular holiday resorts for foreigners and Turks from the big cities. Attracting budget and luxury travellers, it screams of hedonistic vibes but look closely, and you will still discover traditional Turkey and the reason why Bodrum is the home of Blue Voyage cruises of the Turkish Riviera.
The Fisherman of Halicarnassus
Also famous as the site of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum (one of the seven wonders of the ancient world,) Bodrum used to be a sleepy peninsula, where locals depended on fishing and sponge diving for their livelihoods.
In 1925, an exiled poet and writer changed the course of their future to become a bohemian destination attracting influential people from around the world. Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı explored the coastlines extensively, wrote about his travels, the ancient ruins he visited and the people he met. He invited friends from around the Mediterranean area to join him and the Turkish Riviera was born, promoting people all over the world to visit it.
Named as Blue Voyage cruises, by the 1990s, sailing become available to the masses and it is now a booming industry with thousands of people every year, from all lifestyles, departing from Bodrum marina, for 3 or 4-day holiday cruises on traditional Turkish gulet boats.
Areas of Bodrum to Stay In
Naturally, the influences of foreign cultures have shaped Bodrum over time to become a cosmopolitan area that also counts the rich and famous of Turkey as some of its most loyal fans. The Turkbuku resort specialises in luxury accommodation, fine dining restaurants, and upmarket experiences while the small resort of Yalikavak has also risen to cater for the rich with the addition of its own state of the art Palmmarina that attracts international and domestic yacht sailors.
Mainstream tourism is popular in Turgutreis where vibrant sunsets capture most people’s admiration while Gumbet, famed for its water sports is popular with budget British clientele. Finally, the windsurfing resort of Kadikalesi sits next to Gumusluk, the home of prestige fish and seafood restaurants specialising in Aegean dining.
Most travellers though opt to stay in the main town centre of Bodrum with its easy public transport access, and diversity of hotels, restaurants, and shops. Its scenic appearance stems from whitewashed cube houses dotted over the hillside while daily life is an addictive vibe at the marina and harbour.
Popular activities include daily boat trips around the coastline, touring the 14th century Castle of Saint Peter, seeing ancient artefacts in the Underwater Museum and a stroll through the old part of the town with its cobbled streets and unique architecture.
Other Things to Do in Bodrum
Sitting across from the Greek island of Kos, Bodrum is a pinnacle hub for daily ferry trips across to the island. Alternatively famed for its underwater shipwrecks, scuba diving is big business with boats departing daily to teach beginners and accompany experienced divers under the waters of the Aegean.
Heading away from the coastline, Jeep safaris during summer are popular as convoys head out onto mountain roads to explore beautiful landscapes and visit traditional Turkish villages devoid of the same influences that shaped Bodrum.
Visitors who stay for a week or more also travel further afield to visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus, a famed city of the Roman Empire or inland to the UNESCO world heritage sites of Pamukkale and Hierapolis.
For a touch of Turkish spa therapy, the Dalyan mud baths provide a quirky and unique holiday experience or there is simply the choice to relax and enjoy the vibes. After all, enjoyment and a slow-paced Aegean lifestyle are what Bodrum does best.
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