5 of the Best Things to do in Bodrum
Bodrum, the central hub of the Turkish Riviera is a sparkling peninsula easily gaining constant admiration from all that visit her. Her hedonistic lifestyle, contemporary society, and scenic landscapes yearly lure thousands of holidaymakers as well as expats seeking to relocate on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Comprising of the town centre and smaller coastal resorts, there are naturally many things to do in Bodrum. Suiting solo travellers, couples, groups of friends and families, they range from the adrenaline intensive activities to the relaxing moments that define life long memories.
Visit Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology
The distinctive and characteristic landmark of Bodrum castle sits directly on the coastline with the blue waters of the Aegean lapping gently at the shore. It has served many purposes since its construction in 1406 by the Knights of Saint John, including a prison at the end of the 19th century and a warehouse for sponge divers in the 1960s. These days, its primary purpose is an open-air museum that also holds shipwrecks.
The most celebrated of them all is the Uluburun dating from the late Bronze Age. Originally discovered in 1982 off the coast of southwestern Turkey, divers brought it up to the surface over a period of 10 years that totalled more than 22,000 dives. Historians eagerly welcomed the find because they traced artefacts found on board back to nine different cultures of that time. Other artefacts included gold, silver, weapons, jewels, edible items and everyday objects.
Get to Know About the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
While little is left of the mausoleum of Halicarnassus, history lovers will enjoy getting to know about the former landmark that was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Built for the King Mausolus, in 335BC, its majestic architectural style reaching 41 meters in height, supported by 36 columns, and topped by a pyramid received rave admiration from all that saw it.
Historians roughly estimate that when the knights of Saint John arrived in the area in the 15th century, that it was in ruins. The Knights took stones from the rubble to build the castle, and these are still recognisable today. The missing bodies of King Mausolus and his wife led experts to assume grave robbers looted the tomb long before the knights arrived and that the king and his queen were initially cremated so only ashes existed anyway. Never the less, the story of Mausolus and his magnificent tomb is a tale worth listening to.
As one of the central hubs of the Turkish Riviera, it is natural that sailing is big business in the area. The small resort of Yalikavak now has its own multi-millionaire marina for international mega yachts to dock in, but you don’t have to splash the cash to enjoy a day out on the water. From the town centre and all coastal resorts, daily lazy boat cruises set off to sail around the coastline stopping at famed swimming spots such as Camels beach, one of the top scenic spots in the area. Alternatively, embark or a seven-night cabin charter cruise of the Turkish Riviera. Often called Blue Voyage Cruises, the preferred way of sailing is on a traditional Turkish gulet boat, powered by the sails and wind.
Zeki Muren Museum
This small museum dedicated to one of Turkey’s earliest and most iconic celebrities will surprise those with a blanket view of Turkish culture. While many assume it to be an incredibly conservative society (and it is in parts), Zeki Murren was a bohemian performer who embraced individual personality and refused to conform. That is probably partly why he lived in Bodrum since the atmosphere supported creative and artistic types. As a famous singer right up until his death in 1996, his flamboyant dress style, such as wearing make-up obviously got people talking about his sexuality, yet no one could deny that he had a god given talent of impressing people with his voice and poetry. After dying on stage during a performance, an organization converted his house into a museum 10 years later and is now open to the public.
Road Trip the Peninsula
Since Turkey spent millions improving its road infrastructure, it has become an excellent country for road tripping and the Bodrum Peninsula is no exception. Hiring a car from the airport or in the resort, set off on a 5-day tour of picturesque villages of which some like Yalikavak have embraced the modern Riviera lifestyle. Alternatively, Brits prefer the water sports and long sandy beach of middle-class Gumbet, while wealthy Turks and famous celebrities flock to traditional Gumusluk for their seaside restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood.
Lastly, wherever you are on the Bodrum peninsula, take some time at the end of the day simply to witness the magnificent sunset views that adorn the Aegean coast of Turkey all year round.
You may also like reading…
Our Bodrum Area Guide: Find out more about things to do in Bodrum and the shopping, nightlife and beach scene.
The Turkish Riviera: Bodrum, a key hub of the Turkish Riviera has a lively and vibrant sailing scene. With a historical timeline as excellent builders of the Turkish gulet boat, Blue Voyage cruises setting off from Bodrum are big business.