Bodrum is situated on the southern coast of the Turkish Peninsula. Excavations show it to be over 5000 years old, with its famous amphitheatre dating back to about the third century BC. Other prominent landmarks include the Mausoleum, Castle of Saint Peter (also called Bodrum Castle) and the Temple of Apollo.
The closest airport is Bodrum (BJV), also called Milas-Bodrum, which is 36 km northeast of Bodrum and 16 km from Milas. It is the gateway to the Turkish Mediterranean resorts such as Gumbet, with kilometres of beautiful, safe, sandy beaches and many water sports. Altinkum is close to Kos, Samos and Rhodes. Bitez, just four kilometres from Bodrum, is one of the most popular summer resorts. There are many excellent Bodrum hotels from which to choose. Hotels range from huge, gaudy, sprawling complexes to small family-run pension-style premises. Many of the hotels are very big with a huge range of facilities, restaurants, bars, kids' clubs and water parks and entertainment and tend to be all-inclusive.
Turgutreis, formerly Karatoprak, has long stretches of beaches, many bars and restaurants and a bustling Saturday market with interesting and cheap items for sale. Ortakent's Yahsi Beach is a pristine, well-maintained strip of sand with plenty of loungers available and a large area in which to swim. It is also near Ankara and Istanbul and its hotels, as with most of the hotels in Bodrum, are relaxing and welcoming.
Yalikavak has many beaches, among them two with Blue Flag status and a marina housing hundreds of yachts. In south-western Turkey, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pamukkale ("Cotton Castle") has many hot springs and beautiful white terrace-like deposits of carbonate minerals visible 20 kilometres away.
Another good idea is to explore the ancient ruined city of Ephesus, formerly one of the largest cities in the Mediterranean world. It is famed for its Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World.
You can then return to the Bodrum Peninsula for its stunning beaches, of which no fewer than 51 are Blue Flag beaches and coastal views. The city has a very pretty centre with narrow streets to explore and markets with great bars and restaurants open day and night. The medieval Bodrum Castle, or Castle of Saint Peter, was built by the Knights Hospitaller in the early fifteenth century. The castle and town, then known as Helikarnassos, became known as Petronium, from which the modern name of Bodrum originates.
The Mediterranean climate of Bodrum means that you can visit the area the whole year round. Peak season is from late July to the end of August. If you prefer a quieter time, you will enjoy September more. Bodrum hotels are mostly situated outside the city centre, although there are some in the city itself. The smaller hotels tend to be offered on a bed-and-breakfast or half-board basis. There is also a lot of self-catering accommodation, although eating out and food is not as cheap as it used to be in the resorts.
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