The Bodrum Peninsula
The Peninsula is served by Bodrum Milas Airport (BJV)
The Bodrum Peninsula is situated on the south west coast of Turkey and is by far the prettiest area on the South Aegean coastline.
Bodrum is unique as it caters for such diverse interests. You can experience traditional Turkish life only minutes away from the hustle and bustle of a modern resort. The resorts of Bodrum and Gumbet offers a vibrant nightlife for the young and the energetic and are a shoppers paradise, whilst there are many other resorts and charming fishing villages offering peace and tranquillity. Watersport enthusiasts are more than catered for. Many of the resorts offer parasailing, windsurfing, canoeing, snorkelling, banana boats and ringos. Divers from all over the world enjoy exploring the waters around Bodrum and there is something for both beginners and advanced divers.
The area is steeped in history and this is still evident right across the peninsula. Take time to visit the more obvious sites such as St. Peter’s Castle, The Mausoleum, The Amphi Theatre and Myndos Gate.
There are various ways are to explore the peninsula. You can cover the whole peninsula by car in just a few hours by following the coastal road. Daily Gulet cruises, available from Bodrum Harbour and from some of the local beaches and harbours, visit some of the beautiful bays and coves. Alternatively you can visit each village individually by public transport called a Dolmus.
From the main port in Bodrum you can take the ferry or catamran to various Greek Islands including Kos, Rhodes and Symi.
Distance to Airport : 35 km
Formerly known as Halicarnassos, Bodrum is home to the Mausoleum – one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Bodrum’s famous Castle of St. Peter rests between two bays, one of which houses the large Marina where the many fishing boats and wooden gullets (daily, sunset and weekly cruises) jostle with the yachts of the rich and famous.
The Marina is lined with quiet bars and restaurants and has a sophisticated atmosphere where people pass many an hour watching the boats come and go. Next to the Marina is the bazaar – a pedestrianised area of narrow streets full of shops, restaurants & bars.
Whether you want to shop, eat, party or just relax, Bodrum has something for everyone. The many restaurants cater for all tastes, from traditional Turkish food to a variety of far Eastern and European cuisine. Bodrum remains open until the crack of dawn and most shops are open until midnight, perhaps the best time to shop as the cool of the evening is more comfortable.
The weekly market, located next to the bus station, is held on Tuesdays and is popular with tourists looking for a bargain. Dolmus, which means shared taxi, is the local form of transport and offers an excellent, regular network across the whole of the peninsula.
The houses characteristic of Bodrum are small, white-washed houses. The local authorities here do not allow high rise buildings which is probably one of the many reasons Bodrum is popular with both tourists and settlers alike.
Distance to Bodrum Town: 1 km
Distance to Airport: 36 km
In recent years, Konacik has become increasing popular due to its close proximity to Bodrum Town. New developments are spreading up the hillside and command excellent views of Bodrum Castle and the surrounding beaches. It is only 10-15 mins to the long sandy beaches of Bitez and Gumbet.
Closeby there are 2 modern shopping centres (The Avenue and Oasis) offering designer shops, chic cafes, multi-screen cinema, roller skating and 10-Pin bowling.
Distance to Bodrum Town: 2 km
Distance to Airport: 37 km
Gumbet, so called because of the numerous white domed cisterns in the area, features one of the longest sandy beaches on the peninsula, popular with sun-worshipers and watersport enthusiasts alike. It’s crescent shaped sheltered bay is lined with large hotels, bars and restaurants. At the far end of the beach is the jetty where dozens of Gulets depart on their daily cruises. Above the jetty is the hill that separates Gumbet from Bodrum. Pearched on the top are several old windmills. There are fabulous views of both Gumbet and Bodrum from here.
Parallel to the bay is the main street. By day this is fairly quiet but at night it transforms into a hive of activity with it’s bright lights, bar, restaurants and disco bars. Gumbet, it has to be said, is one of the most vibrant resort on the peninsula and is popular with tourists of many nationalities. Gumbet does, however, offer something for all tastes and age groups.
The weekly market is held in Gumbet every Sunday. It is a smaller version of the market held in Bodrum but ıt is never crowded.
Distance to Bo drum Town: 5 km
Distance to Airport: 40 km
Bitez (or Agacli – meaning ‘full of trees’) is one of the main citrus growing areas on the peninsula. If I think of Bitez, I think of Mandarin Gardens, Olive Groves and evening walks along the promenade which runs alongside the beach. The beach here is one of the cleanest on the peninsula. The restaurants and cafes that line the promenade offer turkish, oriental and international cuisine. Each restaurant offers the free use of sunbeds on the shoreline. There are no noisy bars or night clubs here so you can be assured of a relaxing meal or stroll.
The old village of Bitez is a 15 minute walk inland and remans totally unspoilt by tourism.
Distance to Bodrum Town: 18 km
Distance to Bodrum Airport: 53
Turgutreis is named after the great Turkish General who was born here in the 16th century. General Turgutreis is well known for his participation in the Otoman siege of Malta. Just outside the town a waterfront memorial marks the place where he first set sail.
Turgutreis is situated at the western point of the peninsula and is the nearest resort to the Greek island of Kos. At night you can even the see the lights on Kos’s shoreline. Turgutreis is well known for it’s large marina. Opened in 2003, the marina has the capacity for 500 yachts. Turgutreis has expanded rapidly in recent years and is now the second largest town on the peninsula. It boasts miles of sandy beaches and a long promenade, ideal for evening strolls to watch the sunset. It offers a wide choice of hotels and motels and the area has a somewhat cosmopolitan feel about it. The open-air market is open every Saturday and you can buy just about anything here.
Distance to Bodrum Town: 20 km
Distance to Airport: 55 km
Gumusluk, meaning ‘of silver’ is the harbour of ancient Myndos and is one of the oldest settlements on the peninsula. This area is steeped in history and rich in archaeology both on land and underwater. Bring your snorkel because there is so much to see just below the water where parts of the historic city subsided. The centre – a small fishing village – has kept its charm thanks to strictly enforced buiding prohibitions. This photogenic small waterfront is home to about a dozen fish restaurants and just a few craft shops and is an ideal spot for a bit of peace and quiet. The only noise is the gentle lapping of the sea on the shoreline. From here you can walk across the sunken causeway to Rabbit Island.
There are old and new developments outside the village, spreading several kilometers along the coastline. It is becoming popular with Europeans, buying their own little piece of Turkey. The area is not over-developed and provides some of the most scenic views on the peninsula.
Distance to Bodrum Town: 18 km
Distance to Airport: 53 km
The overland journey from Bodrum to Yalikavak provides you with some of the most spectacular scenery on the peninsula. Slowly climbing through fertile valleys, the road then tops at the mountain range running down the peninsula, at this point providing panoramic views of the North and South coasts before descending to the seaide village of Yalikavak.
Most of the archaeological remains are either unexcavated or are ruins. It is suggested that the ancient city of Yalikavak was situated on the top of one of the hills. Few tombstones and city walls still bear witness to the history of the town.
The once sleepy fishing village of Yalikavak has now become one of, if not, the most elite areas on the Bodrum Peninsula. The cobbled streets of the old town still retains its charm and culture and offers a variety of restaurants, cafe bars and traditional Gullet cruises. If you enjoy eating fresh fish then you will be at home here as there are many renowned fish restaurants dotted along the water’s edge. In stark contrast, the new Palmarina is home to luxury yachts of some of the world’s rich and famous. It has trendy bars, designer boutiques and first class restaurants and has quickly become the place to be seen in Bodrum.
New developments dotted around the sweeping coastline offer peace and quite and great views whilst being easily accessible from the main town.
Distance to Bodrum Town: 16 km
Distance to Airport: 43km
Travelling from Bodrum past magnificent rock formations and mountain peaks covered in pine forests brings you to the secluded village of Gundogan. Gundogan, meaning ‘Sunrise’, was once an important fishing village but it’s main economy now is tourism and citrus fruit growing. A few small hotels dot the beach and the intimate seaside restaurants serve the fresh catches of the day. Gundogan offers a fresh sea breeze making it popular with water-sport enthusiasts and walkers. This small village is still relatively unspoiled despite the new developments dotted around the surrounding hillsides.
Gundogan also offers some interesting historically sites. The ancient Farilya and Peynir Ciçeği Caves can be found here. A steep climb up the ridge just outside the upper village leads to a flight of 50 steps cut into the rock and the entrance to a small but spectacularly sited monastery. Across the bay is Kucuk Tavsan Island where an old Greek Church is clearly visible on top of the hill.
Distance to Bodrum Town: 14 km
Distance to Airport: 41 km
Nestling in a bay on the peninsula’s north shore are the two quaint villages of Golkoy and Turkbuku. Sheltered by two islands it is a natural haven for fishermen who still operate from the many wooden jetties along the beachfront. The area was once occupied by Greeks and it is possible to see the remains of a number of churches.
The newly named Golturkbuku encompasses these two fishing villages and the area is a favorite retreat of many well known Turkish artists, actors and entertainers who enliven the small bars and restaurants. Golturkbuku combines both village life and resort atmosphere.
Distance to Bodrum Town: 5 km
Distance to Airport: 32 km
Situated on the north east corner of the peninsula, Torba remains a quiet seaside village, despite being a favorite with holiday makers. It is a popular residential area for those looking for peace and quiet. Torba features a long coastline dotted with small hotels and bars and encompasses a few bays and isolated coves ideal for private sunbathing. A Ferry boat makes daily trips across the unspoiled Gulf of Gulluk to Didim and provides the opportunity to view the magnificent Temple of Apollo and combine a pleasant boat trip at the same time.
There is a pebble beach on the east side of Torba where you will fine the remains of a Byzantine church. On a hilltop above Torba there is a remarkable well-preserved Lelegian Tomb. You will need your hiking boots though as it is a one and half hour climb.
Distance to Bodrum Town: 22 km
Distance to Airport: 8 km
Tuzla itself covers an area of 380 hectares and is famous for its pine forests and Tuzla Lake which is a protected nature reserve for migrating birdlife. Common visitors include Pelicans, Great and Little Egrets, and Pink Flamingos which flock to the area by the thousands.
Tuzla also hosts the beautiful traditional fishing village of Bogazici where several fish restaurants fringe the Aegean sea front offering the perfect way to relax and dine. The lake is fed from the Aegean Sea so there are plenty of natural beaches in the area too. The area has a chilled out vibe with just a few beach clubs, family run restaurants and good size supermarket. Ideally located just 20 mins drive from Bodrum International Airport and 10 mins from the golf course. Some of the larger Holiday Villages in the area offer numerous onsite facilities to keep all the family entertained.
The nearby town of Guvercinlik is a traditional fishing town set in the beautiful turquoise waters of the Aegean. The area is a collection of small, sandy coves washed in azure blue waters with stunning views of the neighboring coastline.