The port town of Bodrum sits on the south-west coast of Turkey and is one of the livelier resorts in the area. Ideal for families and groups, Bodrum has lots of activities on offer that will keep any kind of traveller entertained.
During the summer, temperatures regularly hit 30°C and attract a lot of tourists throughout peak season. This means that most of Bodrum’s restaurants, bars and clubs have a fun, lively atmosphere. But it’s not all about frivolities, those who prefer quieter pursuits also have plenty of options. Whether you choose to visit out of season (Bodrum rarely dips below 10°C during winter), or simply gravitate towards the quieter attractions, you’ll be more than pleased with Bodrum. History buffs will love what’s left of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, and if you want to get pampered, a traditional hammam is a must.
While there are no beaches in the direct vicinity, there are plenty of sandy coves to choose from if you fancy a day trip to a neighbouring town. There are also many boat trips setting off from the harbour which will give you a chance to see the coast and the pretty whitewashed buildings dotted along it.
Combining a relaxed beach area with lively nightlife, Gumbet has the best of both worlds. By day, you can amble along the beach and pull up a sunbed before heading to a beachside cafe or restaurant and catching a bite to eat while watching the world go by. Partygoers can then stay out, because as night falls the town’s bars and clubs come to life. Whether you’re after some Turkish house music until dawn, a trendy beachside bar where you can sip cocktails all evening, or a simple home-away-from-home English pub, Gumbet has you covered.
For a quieter experience, Torba is a picture-perfect coastal village with a harbour, small pebble beach and beautiful mountains in the backdrop. From here, ferries go back and forth to Altinkum if you’d like to visit for a day or two, and there are a few cafes and restaurants to satisfy any hunger.
If you’re more of an adrenaline-junkie, Bitez Beach is the place to go. There’s a range of watersports to choose from, including windsurfing, banana boating and paragliding – and the shallow waters are perfect for novices who find themselves falling in a lot!
Explore Ancient Ruins
There’s a lot of ancient cultures to be found in Bodrum, which is home to the impressive 15th century Castle of St Peter – a grand and well-preserved structure you’ll immediately notice when wandering around the town. Complete with high walls and turrets, you’ll find the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology inside this striking castle, full of relics from nearby shipwrecks. There’s also the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which is counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. While there may not be much of the mausoleum left, it’s fascinating to see, and a great way to find out about the rich history of the area.
Go Scuba Diving
Whether you’re already a diving pro or have never tried it before, the Motif Diving Centre caters to all levels of experience. You can go on a day trip to some nearby underwater sites - and there are 18 to choose from - including reefs, caves and even broken pottery from ancient shipwrecks. What’s more, the calm, clear waters are also home to parrot fish, sea bream, octopus and the occasional barracuda and stingray, so there’s plenty to spot.
Get Pampered at a Hammam
The Bodrum Hamam is a large traditional stone-built Turkish bath house located right next to the bus station. Men and women are separated for treatments, which usually last for an hour and a half, and involve lying on a heated stone slab while the expert masseuses scrub and massage you, before covering you in pleasantly scented bubbles. You’ll never have felt so clean and relaxed!
Take to the Slides at an Aquapark
A particular winner for family holidays, the Bodrum Dedeman Aquapark is the largest in Turkey. With a total of 24 slides and pools, adrenaline chasers will love the kamikaze slide, plus several near-vertical slides on offer. For something a little calmer, there’s a wave pool, Jacuzzi and a dedicated kid’s zone just for little ones.
Cuisine in south-west Turkey
Known for being fresh and hearty, Turkish cuisine is full of flavour and great for sharing. Make sure you try the lahmacun dish, a delicious round, thin piece of dough topped with minced meat, minced vegetables, herbs, spices and onions - almost like a pizza. And a few bite-sized pieces of baklava, sweet sticky pieces of flaky pastry with nutty chunks of pistachio, are the perfect way to end any meal.
Restaurants in Bodrum
Head to the town’s marina, and you’re guaranteed to find a tasty dinner option. As you’d expect, there’ll be plenty of fresh fish on the menu, as well as more unusual dishes such as octopus rice if you have adventurous taste buds. And all that without even mentioning the notorious meaty, melt-in-the-mouth kebabs found in the area, they simply must be tried! Many of the restaurants here also have beautiful views across the harbour, where you can hear the sound of the waves lapping as you savour each bite.
Whether you’re going on a romantic getaway, a holiday for the whole family, or a fun trip with friends, going abroad should be a great experience from start to finish – even from the moment, you book it. Take the hassle out of your booking experience and choose easyJet holidays with its wide range of flights and destinations. You can secure your flights and hotel at the same time, saving you time and hassle. If you choose Bodrum for your next trip, there’s delicious Turkish food to indulge in, scenic coastlines to explore, not to mention an array of bars and nightclubs where you can really let your hair down until the early hours. There’s something for everyone. If you want to see what else this area of Turkey has to offer, see our other Bodrum area destination guides and get planning!