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There is plenty to see and do in this coastal region, where holidays are enjoyed by families, couples and groups...
Bodrum is situated on the southern coast of the Turkish Peninsula. Excavations show it to be over 5,000 years old, with its famous amphitheatre dating back to about the 3rd 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 36km northeast of Bodrum and 16km from Milas. It is the gateway to Turkish Mediterranean resorts such as Gumbet, which has kilometres of beautiful, safe, sandy beaches and many water sports. Altinkum is close to the Greek islands of Kos, Samos and Rhodes. Bitez, just four kilometres from Bodrum, is one of the most popular summer resorts.
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 that are 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 15th 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.
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.
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.
This area is rich with history and Bodrum is the perfect destination in which to combine sunshine and culture...
The children will struggle to be bored amid the ruins of ancient civilisations, where young minds run riot with stories of the past.
Top five attractions
Also called the Castle of St Peter, this was built in 1402 and hundreds of fascinating tales have played out here. There are lovely views of the bay from the castle.
The buzz of the Bodrum bazaars is undeniable. You can tour the market stalls, sip traditional tea and nibble on Turkish sweets with the locals and then haggle over the goods you fancy. There are plenty of tourist souvenirs and cheap clothing, but you'll also find some unique treasures.
Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, though you'll really have to get the imaginations of the kids fired up as there's little left but ruins. Still, it's only a short walk to reach the site and it's a thrill to know you've stood in the footprint of one of the Seven Wonders.
Temple of Artemis
There's more to see at this site, another of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It's a two-hour trip from Bodrum so parents with young families will probably give it a miss.
Hop aboard a boat at the marina and visit one of the nearby Greek islands or opt for a coastal cruise, which stop at sensational beaches and allow time for snorkelling and swimming.
Discover what's on when with our guide to events in Bodrum...
Bodrum isn't known for huge carnivals and festivals that go on for days like those in other parts of the Mediterranean, though there are a few notable events that will interest visitors.
Bodrum Bicycle Festival; May: Hoping to get locals and visitors to abandon their four wheels and use two instead, the annual cycling festival brings a pleasant hush over Bodrum and there's much to do besides cycling.
Bodrum Festival; July-August: The castle is centre-stage for this yearly feast of music.
Aegean Festival; August: Another event at the height of summer, the marina is the place to be to hear traditional music, see dancing and to tuck into tasty Turkish treats.