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On Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, where the Aegean meets the Med, you’ll find the charming coastal city of Bodrum. With beaches, bazaars and sun-bleached ruins, this elegant resort has it all. Sail aboard a traditional wooden gulet, dropping anchor to swim in aquamarine coves, and enjoy some of the Aegean’s best scuba diving and nightlife.
Both name of the town and district, Bodrum occupies a significant chunk of Turkey’s south-western peninsula. In the town, whitewashed houses and bright bougainvillea tumble down to twin bays overlooked by the 15th-century crusader castle. A sandy beach lies to the east and a yacht-filled marina to the west, inviting regular day-trippers from the Greek island of Kos, just a 45-minute ferry-ride away.
The Bodrum Peninsula, meanwhile, has a seaside resort to suit most tastes and budgets. Rub shoulders with jetsetters in upmarket Yalikavak and Golturkbuku, or chill out in family-friendly Gumbet or Turgutreis. Bitez or Torba are great picks for laid-back local vibes, or plump for Gumusluk, where seafood restaurants are set right on the sand.
You can easily visit a different Blue Flag beach each day by dolmuş (a public minibus) or hire car, while a relaxing gulet cruise is the quintessential way to explore the peninsula’s hidden bays and uninhabited islands. Bodrum’s turquoise waters are made for snorkelling, while scuba divers have more than 20 dive sites to choose from.
Back on dry land, your Bodrum holiday can be as relaxed or as energetic as you like. Haggle for leather sandals and jewellery in the bazaar or explore the historic sites of the ancient city of Halicarnassus, as Bodrum was once known. After a day of shopping and sightseeing, gather for sundowners at the yacht club or go bar-hopping and clubbing in the town’s party zone.
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