Quick Guide to Bodrum
Sitting on the Aegean Sea, Bodrum boasts beaches, bars, nightlife and a host of sights too, including the imposing Bodrum Castle, home of the world-renowned Museum of Underwater Archaeology. You can also visit the site of the Mausoleum of Helicarnassus, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Most people visit Bodrum on a cheap holiday package deal, and there are plenty of cheap flights and bargain all inclusive places to stay. In peak season, if you're after a quieter time away from the late-night clubs and busy beaches then you should try neighbouring Gumbet which sits just around the bay. Last-minute holidays to Bodrum are a great bet in 2018 and 2019, with plenty of super-low prices if you just want to get away to the sunshine on the double.
Fab holidays for:
Historical treasures, Delicious food, Sun and sea
Did you know?
Bodrum translates to cellar or dungeon in Turkish. It's thought the city earned the name due to its many vault-like ancient ruins.
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Top 5 Things to do Off the Beach
Yes, Bodrum's beaches have a gravitational pull for most tourists but don't spend your entire holiday just lying on the beach. This city is full of surprises!
- Swim in Kara Ada's healing springs
- Plan a boat trip to Kara Ada, an island just off the coast. Not only is it stunning but it may just heal those annoying aches and pains.
- Bargain hunt at the Bodrum markets
- A hectic mesh of voices, scents, and sounds, you could easily spend all day exploring Bodrum markets. Anything can be found, from lanterns to decorative scarves. Just be prepared to haggle!
- Treat yourself to a Turkish bath
- Be bathed, scrubbed and massaged in a traditional stone Turkish bath. You'll come out feeling like a new human!
- Explore Bodrum Castle
- Not only is Bodrum Castle a historical sight to behold, it also houses the fascinating Museum of Underwater Archaeology. The views from the battalions are spectacular!
- Experience the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
- One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it was built as mausoleum for King Mausolus by his heartbroken wife. It was so grand that King Mausolus' name became associated with all the stately tombs in the world.
Bodrum Beach Holidays
The elite flock to the shores of Bodrum - you could be rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous on your beach holiday in Turkey.
Gumbet beach boasts a kilometre of golden sand and its seas are host to everything from windsurfing and water skiing to scuba diving and parasailing. Make sure you set some time aside to discover what's known as the Big Reef underneath the waves.
Blue Flag Bitez beach is one of the more popular beaches on the Aegean, and not just for its shallow, blue waters. It's also the site of one of the Wonders of the Ancient World (the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus) but also home to the Museum of Underwater Archaeology - just walk into St Peter's Castle, which is conveniently on the waterfront.
Ortakent is backed by market gardens and is great for holiday-makers that are bringing kids in tow - they'll be kept busy with the watersports, from kayaking and wakeboarding to sailing.
Gümü?lük Bay is another place you should plan to see on your beach holiday to Bodrum. Swim out to Rabbit Island or chow down on fresh fish lining the harbour - there are plenty of great views to be found.
How to get to Bodrum
Holidays to Bodrum are ideal for those seeking a pristine beach with crystal clear waters on the Aegean. The accompanying whitewashed houses and narrow streets add to its charm. There are plenty of cheap Bodrum flights, including charter and budget airlines that depart from most of the major regional UK airports and the average flying time is four and a half hours. The Greek island of Kos is only a few km away from the airport and well worth a visit, but Bodrum central is 36 km from the airport, so it's worth considering cheap Bodrum car hire. The resort is at it's most busiest between May and October when the low cost carriers and charter flights are at their peak. Outside of these months, the resort quietens significantly as holidaymakers head further south to resorts around Antalya.
Where to stay in Bodrum
The many hotels and pensions for Bodrum holidays are to be found in the resort of Gumbet. Most are just a short walk to the beach and a large variety of bars, restaurants and discos for those who want to party the night away. Gundogan offers a slower pace of life - and some of the best sunsets on the Bodrum peninsula. There are also deals to be had on villas in nearby Ovacik and some superb beachside hotels on Ortakent Yahsi Beach. Cheap holidays in Bodrum are readily available but do check the reviews, particularly on accommodation at the lower end of the scale as there is a fine line between basic and spartan.
When to go to Bodrum
Like other Mediterranean climates, Bodrum is best during the summer months. Temperatures are high, relaxation is king, and all the tourist facilities are open. In the same vein, however, this tends to be the high season - from July to September you'll be more likely to contend with more expensive everything, as well as an influx of other tourists. In October, the weather is still warm and dry, tourists are fewer, and prices are lower - try booking your trip for this time! While April and May do have relatively warm weather, tourist facilities are at a bare minimum. The season picks up again in December and January, but you'll have less of a beachside holiday - temperatures generally sit in the single digits.
Peak Season to Visit Bodrum
Bodrum boasts long, hot summers and agreeable spring weather. From July and up even to the middle of September, temperatures can soar to 35°C. This is prime time for travelling in Bodrum and so, of course, prices are much higher.
Off-Peak Season to Visit Bodrum
The seasons of autumn and winter in Bodrum are short and mild. While the weather is cooler, blue skies can often still be found. This is a good time to visit Bodrum as to avoid the summer crowds.
What to do for Families in Bodrum
Sun, sand and surf - holidays to Bodrum have most of the ingredients that go into a top-notch summer holiday. Head to Gumbet Beach, and Bitez Beach for calm waters, plenty of watersports, and food and drink facilities. Other than hitting one of this Turkish resort's many beaches, there are plenty of other activities and sights for families to check out.
The largest waterpark in Turkey is an easy 20-minute drive from Bodrum's centre. With 26 waterslides and 12 pools, as well as ziplines, and even DJs and dance shows, Bodrum Aqualand has something for everyone - from the most adventurous kids, to young babies and party-loving teens!
Speaking of adventurous kids, there are loads of horse-riding companies in Bodrum, which will take you and your family into the hills to explore the area's forests, complete with magnificent views and several ruins.
With so many visitors heading to Bodrum with kids, plenty of resorts offer kids' clubs, and child-friendly meals, pools and activities. Kids will love Turkish food - often simple, with not too much spice or too many exotic flavours, it can be easily adapted for even the fussiest of eaters!
What to do for Couples in Bodrum
Hire a boat to take you to a secluded cove - of which there are many - and you'll be able to slip straight from the vessel into the clear water below you. Break up the swimming at a little seafood restaurant in one of the small villages dotting the coastline, before heading back to town for a sundowner and dinner.
History-loving couples ought to make their way to the Mausoleum, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Natural World. Here you'll find the ruins of an incredible tomb built to house local ruler Mausolus. While it was destroyed by an earthquake thousands of years ago (it was constructed around 353 BC), it is still worth visiting to imagine the wondrous structure that once towered above everything in the vicinity. The temples and ruins of nearby Ephesus are also worth the drive (around 2.5 hours).
In the evenings, make your way down to Bodrum's marina. Here you'll find a plethora of restaurants dishing up the local specialty: freshly-caught seafood, and lots of it. Score yourselves an outdoor table close to the water and watch the sun set behind the hills surrounding the picturesque bay. Romance, sorted.
Nightlife in Bodrum
You won't have many complaints about the nightlife in Bodrum - the place is buzzing! There are many fun clubs and endless tasty restaurants to explore, and there's always an exciting music venue to visit. It's not all about the nightlife scene, though. With warm temperatures after dark, you can enjoy the evening by simply strolling the harbours. People-watching is great here! Bodrum is suited to all kinds of travellers, including families. You will see little ones enjoying themselves in the evenings here in family-friendly restaurants and bars.
How to Travel Around Bodrum
The most economical way to travel around Bodrum is by dolmus, mini-buses. They are an affordable mode of transport and run frequently. There is no need to buy a ticket in advance, you pay when you board. This is one of the easiest ways to travel around Turkey, as they follow a fixed route, much like the UK's bus system, proving a straightforward transportation option. Bodrum's local bus service is also comprehensive and a cinch to use.
There are many car services available - you can even hire a driver along with your car if need be!
Food and Drink in Bodrum
Turkish breakfasts are a joy wherever you are in the country, and Bodrum doesn't disappoint. You can gorge on fresh vegetables, fruits, white cheese, olives, bread and jams - and that's all before you wash it down with a tea. Do as the locals do and order a Turkish coffee once you've finished eating.
For snacking, locals choose sesame simit (a mix between a bagel and a pretzel) and peynirli borek (layers of flaky pastry, spinach and cheese).
Street food is very popular in Bodrum. For a main course try an exotic take on the humble jacket potato, kumpir. It is served with an array of toppings, from sweetcorn to yoghurt and olives.
What would Turkey be without a kebab? The sebzeli döner is a speciality of Bodrum. Not the typical döner kebab we may eat after a night on the tiles, those in Turkey are served with a healthy side dish of potato and vegetables.
For those with a sweet tooth, try lokmasi (sweet balls of deep-fried dough doused in syrup) - expect to get messy!