The jewel of the Aegean, Bodrum is a paradise of whitewashed houses, flower-filled cafes and dazzling ancient architecture. Spend your next mini-break squelching your toes in the white sand, strolling round the palm-tree lined marina and unearthing some of the continent’s greatest treasures at the underwater archaeology museum. Live in the lap of luxury with our 48 hour guide to Bodrum.
Treat yourself to a five star stay at one of the seaside resort’s most luxurious hideaways. Hotel Mandarin Oriental is set right on the edge of the Aegean coastline, boasting stunning sea views, delicious restaurants and bars as well as a three storey spa. A stone’s throw away from the fishing village of Golturkbuku, the hotel’s twenty odd units overlook the crystal blue waters of Cennet Bay. Inside the rooms are designed to match the indigenous olive trees and natural landscape with teak, muted marble and modern art work. With so much on offer, you can spoil yourself silly and truly relax to the sounds of the beautiful Bodrum peninsula.
Hotel Mandarin Oriental Bodrum - Cennet Koyu Comca Mevkii Göltürkbükü
Built in the early 1400s, the castle stands guard on the shores of the Aegean Sea. The iconic historic landmark has seen many battles in its day and now houses the spectacular underwater archaeology museum. Officially known as the Castle of St. Peter, the monument is one of the most well-preserved symbols of the city’s past. Featuring stunning views over the horizon, the castle’s tower is one of the best vantage points in town for that sunset selfie. Wait for dusk, and climb the steps to watch as the sun dips into the ocean and the city’s lights start to flicker on below you.
Admire the impressive collection of super yachts and spend the afternoon enjoying a leisurely stroll down the palm-tree lined boardwalks of the newly renovated Palmarina. Bursting with great restaurants, bars and shopping galore, you could waste hours exploring all the gems the marina has up its sleeve. Embrace your inner Instagram enthusiast and dive into the glitzy, cosmopolitan atmosphere lingering in this chic spot. Come back once the sun has gone down for the best nightlife in town and immerse yourself in the local afterhours scene for a night you won’t forget.
Museum of Underwater Archaeology
Located inside Bodrum Castle, the archaeology museum houses an array of artefacts recovered from shipwrecks across the region. The sunken treasures on display includes a large collection of glass, jars, coins, weapons and jewellery to name a few. Ranging from 400 years old to 16th century discoveries, the most fascinating shipwreck in the museum is from the 14th century BC and was found near Uluburun in the south-eastern part of the country. In the exhibit, you can see elephant tusks, hippo teeth, ostrich eggshells, gold objects and weaponry. A real gem, this museum is not to be missed when visiting Bodrum.
One of the best preserved structures of ancient Halicarnassus, the amphitheatre was built around the 4th century BC and is one to add to your list of what to do in Bodrum. Split into three parts; the Skene (stage), the Orchestra (semi-circular part) and the Cavea (audience), visiting the theatre is a chance to interact with the city’s cultural past. For a picture-perfect shot over Bodrum’s castle and harbour, head to the top of the amphitheatre – you’ll struggle to find a better view than this.
With a reputation for being one of the most beautiful areas in the region, the secluded cove at the end of the peninsula is well worth a visit. Stay for a few days and enjoy waking up to breath-taking views of the cove, palm trees and paradise beaches. The 300 metre sand and pebble stretch is home to luxurious shopping, authentic restaurants and tons of hidden swimming spots away from the crowds of splashing sight-seers. Just two kilometres east of Bodrum city, you’ll be lapping up the sun on a private beach in no time at all.
Orfoz – 13 Zeki Muren Caddesi
If you’re a fish fan, this is the only restaurant for you. Renowned for its eclectic seafood menu, Orfoz is often noted as one of the best fresh fish restaurants in Turkey and now it’s right on your doorstep. Order the tasting menu and tuck into sardine sashimi, scallops, sea snails, blue crab and sea urchins. Located next door to the Zeki Art Museum, the restaurant is kitted out in wooden tables and chairs and the walls are adorned with nautical themed decorations creating an authentic cosy atmosphere. A popular spot, it is always best to make a reservation and trust us, you don’t want to miss this one!
Marina Yacht Club Bars - Bodrum Marina Neyzen Tevfik Caddesi
Listed by locals as one of ‘Bodrum’s Classics’, the yacht club’s bars have something for everyone. Boasting four different options, the club is open twelve months a year and always guarantees a good time. The Club Bar is the oldest of the lot and the ideal space for a relaxed drink catching up with friends. Only open during the summer months, The Roof Bar is one of the more popular venues due to its spectacular views over the floodlit Crusader Castle and marina. La Vela Bar is the place to go for your pre-dinner drinks and the largest of the bunch, The Jazz Bar, is where the party really begins with an array of live music performances. Whatever floats your boat, the Marina Yacht Club Bars will have something that takes your fancy, so get your glad rags on and hit the town the next time you visit Bodrum.
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Flights to Bodrum
- Lucy Norris