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Highlights of the Bodrum Peninsula

18 March 2018 Turkey No comment

Alakisla cape - Gokova Gulf

For many years Bodrum has been one of Turkey’s top holiday destinations for both national and international tourists. Sandwiched between two seas, with the Aegean to the west and the Mediterranean to the east, plenty of pristine beaches and vibrant nightlife, plus a regular Bodrum to Kos Ferry linking Turkey to the Greek Dodecanese Islands. It’s no wonder that holidaymakers flock to this southwestern paradise town. Around the Bodrum peninsula there are many small towns to visit, bays to swim in and historical sites to explore.

Bodrum Old Town

While most of Bodrum has been taken over by flashy hotels and new buildings the old town has managed to retain its historical charm and the narrow cobblestone streets of whitewashed houses and vine draped doorways have a distinctly Cretan ambiance. During the heat summer the old town remains fairly empty until the midday heat has passed and the sun begins to slide behind the hills. So despite the hot weather this is the ideal time for photographers to take crowd free photos. In the evening the the quiet streets become a little more rowdy as bars and clubs open their doors and party till dawn.

 

Bodrum Castle

The most iconic sight on the Bodrum peninsular sits just outside of the old town, dominating the harbour and casting shadows over the lines of bobbing yachts and gulets. St. Peter’s castle is said to have been built in the early 15th century by the international Knights Hospitallers of St. John and within the complex you can visit the English and the French Tower as well as the Gatineau Tower and the castle dungeons. Under the reign of the Ottoman Empire a Mosque was constructed within the castle walls which still sounds the Call to Prayer multiple times each day. You can climb to the top of the castle for stunning views over the town and bay and explore the dark stone passages within and if you’re a history fan you could take a stroll to the mausoleum, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, or to the Museum of Underwater Archeology.

 

Torba

Located only 6km from Bodrum Torba is a sleepy village in the winter and idyllic swimming spot in the summer, it offers a quiet alternative to the bustling Bodrum beaches and noisy beach clubs. Along the beach are a handful of local restaurants, bars and cafes and a quaint harbour where you can rent a rowboat and spend an afternoon fishing. At the end of the beach you can find the remains of an abandoned monastery and overlooking the bay is an ancient Lelegian tomb. You can easily make a half day trip to Torba from Bodrum to lounge in a pebble and sand beach, or jump on a ferry to Didyma to visit the famous Temple of Apollo.

 

Turgutreis

The largest of the towns on the western side of the Bodrum Peninsula, Turgutreis is a charming resort with a large marina and plenty of boutique stores, souvenir shops and an entire street of handicraft stalls. The pretty harbour is lined with elegant seafood restaurants which fill up in the evening when people gather to watch the sunset on the Aegean sea. Turgutreis has a wonderful white sand beach stretching all the way around the bay and tranquil waters for swimming as well as a romantic Gunes Battisi Plaji (Sunset Beach).

 

Kadikalesi

Just north of Turgutreis is a small village known by the name Kadikalesi, The Judge’s Fortress, with a pleasant sandy beach backed by eucalyptus trees and a few basic shops, cafes, bars and traditional restaurants. The village provides a quaint rural setting ideal for passing warm summer evening on outdoor terraces and cosy squares but the main draw of Kadikalesi is the strong breeze for windsurfing.

 

Boat Cruises

On such famous stretch of coastline one of the highlights of a trip to Bodrum has to be taking a day (or multi day) cruise over the crystal clear waters of the Turkish Riviera. Various day cruises leave from the central harbour taking passengers to stunning bays for swimming and snorkeling like the English Harbour where WW1 battleships still lay beneath the surface. To explore the more of the marvelous Turkish Turquoise Coast you can book a multi day Blue Cruise with Alaturka Turkey and sail east to Marmaris and Fethiye, head west to visit Greece’s mountainous Aegean Islands, or discover the wonders of Gokova Bay on the western side of Bodrum Peninsula.

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Alakisla cape - Gokova Gulf

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