The ancients had a good idea of fun and good weather when they set the town of Bodrum, or Halycarnassus, as it was called in ancient times, a thriving city both then and now, famous for one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the Mausoleum of Halycarnassus. Today, it's mostly a tourist region with great weather and lots of good sailing, with a prestigious annual regatta.
Site of the ancient city of Halicarnassus, which is renowned for the Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the city of Bodrum is today a popular resort on the southwestern corner of the Turkish peninsula, facing the Mediterranean Sea.
Its long history, the perfect setting and the recent governmental investments made in the region make Bodrum one of the best choices for those sailors who like this part of the Aegean Sea. This means that there are plenty for you to do and see, and there’s also lovely sailing around the shoreline of the peninsula.
Travel & Arrival
The local airport is called Bodrum-Milas and it’s situated about 35km from the town. There are many flight operators flying here as well as some charter services. For those who can’t find a connection, there are the bigger airports in Dalaman and Izmir, both 3 hours away from Bodrum. visitors can get into town from the airport via the shuttle bus services or by private taxi which can be booked prior to arrival.
By land, the peninsula of Bodrum is reachable via the D330 road which splits off into several secondary roads. In case you don’t like driving, but don’t want to fly here either, there is the option of taking your group on a bus trip, Bodrum being linked with most major cities in Turkey, such as Istambul, Ankara, Izmir and others.
Ferry boats insure the water traffic during the summer, of course, mainly made up of sailors. Most of the tourists arriving by sea come from Greece, from ports like Kos or Rhodes. These summer ferries travel daily to cope with the large numbers of sea voyagers.
Avant & Apres Sail
It’s very likely that the only way you’ve heard of Bodrum is thanks to the ancient mausoleum so that’s the first thing any holidaymaker wants to see first. However, the mausoleum was destroyed by earthquakes a long time ago and the only remnants that can be seen today are found in London’s British Museum.
You’ll have to make do with the Castle of St Peter, built by the Knights Hospitaller around 1400, parts of which were actually built with stone taken from the ruins of the mausoleum. This castle also doubles as the local archeology museum, so chances are it’s always going to be packed with tourists.
Among some of the other places of interest you can visit while in Bodrum you’ll find the Amphitheatre which dates back to the days of ancient Halikarnassus and the Windmills which have become world famous for their rustic and ancient look. The visitors can see these artifacts which were operational as late as the 70s.
The shopping scene in Bodrum is very Split into two separate versions: the old commerce, with the small shops on crowded streets that sell groceries, pottery and leather goods and the new, touristier commerce, set in modern shopping centers. tourists can enjoy a blend between the two if they want to get the real Turkish experience. One word of advice: never pay the price you’ll being asked, always haggle, that way you can get some very good deal on clothing and jewelry.
Eating in Turkey should be an experience in itself sincethe Turkish cuisine is an interesting mix of Western and Eastern dishes and ingredients. You’ll notice that the locals eat a lot of vegetables, either fresh, or roasted, or fried and served with yoghurt. You could always go for the delicious Dolmatas, which as vegetables stuffed with minced meat and rice.
Of course, there are those Turkish exports that westerners have learned to enjoy, such as the dönerkebab which in Bodrum are sold by street vendors, are delicious and very inexpensive, so a great option for the hungry guests who is on the run. When you’re done, make sure to stop by any of the coffee houses to get a taste of real Turkish coffee, a real delight for both connoisseurs and novices.
Wild is the word when it comes to the nightlife in Bodrum, and any regular who’s been here before can tell the same story. It’s loud, colorful and crowded, these are the 3 words that describe what goes on after nights fall on streets such as Dr. Alim Bey Cadesi or Cumhuriyet Caddesi.
Actions & Events
In recognition of its status as a tourists region but also as an important port, Bodrum celebrates a couple of annual maritime events that are sure to be of some interest to the crowds. The most proeminent is the International Bodrum Cup regatta in October organized by the local yacht club.
At the end of the day, when all the partying is done, Bodrum is a lovely and vibrant place to visit, full of history and people, especially during the high season, but you’ll find that there are tourists here almost all year round, enjoying the beaches, the sightseeing or the nightlife.
What are some must-visit destinations around Bodrum for sailors?
The beautiful Gökova Gulf is an unmissable destination, with its clear waters and secluded bays. The Datça Peninsula, known for its pristine nature and ancient ruins, is another highlight, while the Greek Islands of Kos and Rhodes are also within easy reach.
What are the sailing conditions around Bodrum?
Bodrum and the surrounding Aegean Sea generally offer calm and predictable sailing conditions. The Meltemi wind from the north can be strong in July and August, providing ideal conditions for more experienced sailors.
What are the facilities available at Bodrum marina?
Bodrum marina is well-equipped, offering a range of services including refueling, fresh water, electricity, waste disposal, and Wi-Fi. There are also restaurants, bars, shops, and car rental services within the marina complex.
What local dishes should I try in Bodrum?
Bodrum is renowned for its seafood. Must-try dishes include grilled octopus, fried calamari, and the unique seafood kebabs. Other local delicacies include börek (stuffed pastries), gözleme (a kind of Turkish crepe), and baklava.
What are some popular anchorages near Bodrum?
Popular anchorages can be found in many of the small bays and coves around the Bodrum Peninsula. Some favorites include Aquarium Bay, English Harbour, and Orak Island. Always check local regulations and weather conditions before anchoring.
What are some cultural attractions to visit in Bodrum?
The Castle of St. Peter, built by the Knights Hospitaller, is a must-visit, as is the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology located inside it. The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is also located in Bodrum.
Are there opportunities for snorkeling or diving near Bodrum?
Yes, the clear, warm waters of the Aegean Sea around Bodrum are ideal for snorkeling and diving. There are several diving schools in the area that offer equipment rental and diving trips to nearby reefs and wrecks.
When is the best time to sail from Bodrum?
The sailing season in Bodrum typically runs from April to October, with the warmest weather and best sailing conditions generally found between May and September. However, sailors should always check the forecast before setting out, as conditions can change quickly.