24 years ago I visited Bodrum, and mostly the touristic Gumbet, for the first time in my life and this year I revisited Turkey and the Turkish Riviera twice, as I just got back from a trip to Bodrum start July.
This time my experience was much better, as we saw more of this port city in Muğla Province of southwestern Turkey and several very photogenic sites and towns around the peninsula.
With a turbulent history of Persian and Roman oppressors, pirates & natural disasters, after having been founded by Greeks several centuries BC, Bodrum is nowadays one of the most classy cities along the Turkish Riviera and righteously known as the St.Tropez of Turkey.
Bodrum flourishes as an important tourism hub, due to its many hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, shops and sightseeing attractions. But also its port with ferries to nearby Turkish and Greek islands, such as Kos, possible to visit on a day trip from Bodrum.
During a 5 day trip with Corendon and my traveling buddy Remke Vet, I was able to explore some of the nicest (photo) spots in and around Bodrum. But we also did lots of relaxing at our fabulous luxury seaside hotel, which made it feel like a real holiday.
Further on in this blog I will share all the top photo spots we visited & the fun things we did, but first:
How to get there?
From the Netherlands there are quite some airlines that fly directly to Bodrum in just 4 hours. However with all the drama and long queues on Schiphol airport nowadays, other Dutch airports like Groningen-Eelde are a better alternative. It's still quiet there with less flights, a short waiting time and a good airport restaurant, which made traveling relaxed and fun again!
We booked an evening flight with Corendon Airlines from Groningen, with a short stopover on Maastricht airport, in the south of the Netherlands, where you can embark as well. Before our flight we had dinner at Bites & Flights, the airport’s restaurant, with an extensive and tasty menu!
Offering both indoor-and outdoor seating, on the terrace with direct views over the landing strip, very unique. Get an impression via this gallery:
Corendon is a true Turkey expert with several hundreds of Turkey trip packages!
All including accommodations and flights, with several airports to choose from, giving you many options and great value for money.
For Bodrum they have more than 50 packages, ranging from small-scale apartments with breakfast, to luxury all-inclusive hotels.
Find out more, incl.the best package rates for your preferred dates on: Corendon-Turkey trip offering, for which I'm happy to arrange an extra discount:).
If you don't live near Groningen, like me, and have an early flight or late arrival, it can also be convenient to stay overnight in a hotel near the airport.
We found the perfect one at Best Western Plus Hotel Groningen Plaza, quite affordable, just 11 kilometers from the airport and located in a nice nature park by the lake, with a great restaurant.
Get a quick impression through these pics:
Where to stay in Bodrum?
There are many good accommodations to choose from in and around Bodrum, most spread out over the peninsula. We stayed 4 nights at the Double Tree by Hilton Bodrum Isil Club Resort in Torba, a quiet bay, just 6 kilometers from Bodrum.
This fishing village is set in a beautiful green landscape and more authentic than nearby Gumbet, which also offers many nice seaside resorts with a buzzing nightlife scene.
However, for a quiet vacation and the more authentic atmosphere of Turkey, I can recommend staying in Torba. More relaxing and also just a short drive away from the classy Bodrum, with vibrant nightlife as well.
Our resort was very convenient with all the facilities you might need, located directly on a private sand beach, with also:
2 pools: 1 big main swimming pool and 1 separate pool with waterslides
Plenty of seating options and sunbeds, with parasols around the pool, in between the palm trees in the extensive nature park and also on the beach or by the sea on different decks
3 bars, 1 buffet-, 1 snack- and 2 a la carte restaurants to choose from
A mini club, mini disco, shops, hair salon and doctor’s service
Extensive wellness center with Spa facilities, hamam, massages & fitness
277 different rooms, from family to sea view and so much more.
Get an impression through this gallery, with several of my own (drone) shots and a few of Remke’s fabulous photos:
From here it’s easy to do some daytrips or take a taxi to Bodrum via the hotel. Rent your own car, or get around by local share taxis and buses.
I can highly recommend visiting Bodrum for several days as it’s the most classy and fashionable resort on the Aegean coast. Located in a bay which is among the most beautiful in the world. And with its modern marina and Medieval castle, it's also quite diverse.
Bodrum city & marina
When in Bodrum you should certainly wander around its photogenic streets and classy boulevard past the many impressive yachts, restaurants and shops, leading you to a true hotspot at the end!
The Bodrum Marina Yacht Club is a must for live music, drinks & dancing! It also has 2 different restaurants, both with delicious extensive menus.
It was very nice to have dinner here, while watching the city light up!
This beautiful site, also known as the Castle of St. Peter, is one of the most important attractions of the city. Built during the 15th century, famous for its 4 towers and unique architectural details showcasing different religious influences from the past centuries.
The walls even contain pieces of the ancient Mausoleum, which formed the foundation of Bodrum city. The castle also houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology since 1962, showcasing underwater discoveries of ancient shipwrecks in the Aegean Sea.
I can highly recommend to visit this castle by the sea, as it's centrally located and the entrance fee is only €1,20.
Open from 9 am to 10 pm and one of the best spots to overlook the bay from several sides to witness the most beautiful sunsets over Bodrum, as you can see here:
Although Bodrum was Turkey’s original south Aegean seaside resort, other cute villages, spread out over the peninsula, are just short drive away and have gained quite some popularity as well. We only had time to visit a few, but in my opinion these are absolute must visits and highly photogenic:
Windmills of Bodrum
From the hilltop where this famous landmark is located, you can overlook the whole of the peninsula. There are 7 ancient mills here, just above Bodrum Bay, with Gumbet Bay on the other side and views even extending towards the Greek island Kos in the distance.
Unfortunately the windmills lost their blades and are quite run down now, but the panorama is certainly spectacular! The perfect place to take photos and have a drink at the cute refreshment stand with its small terrace and photogenic swing.
There are also 3 windmill ruins in the northwest of Bodrum peninsula in:
We however only visited its marina, a true playground of the elite, making this one of the most posh places of the peninsula. The Palmarina with its mega yachts, some up to 135 metres, is a long boulevard, lined with tall palm trees and of course many luxury restaurants and a shopping mall with 106 designer brand shops.
It was nice to take a look here, but personally I don't care much about the big brand names and prefer the more authentic towns, which we visited next:
This lovely fisherman’s town, just a 30 minute drive from Bodrum should definitely NOT be missed! This bay is the more laid-back alternative to Bodrum. With its bougainvillea all around and atmospheric waterfront restaurants, true photography heaven!
If you visit Gümüşlük a sunset dinner is a must and something you will certainly remember. 2 of the nicest restaurants here are Melengec, for its stunning flowery white decor and tables placed directly in the sea. And Yakamoz, for its nice setting and delicious fresh sea food.
See for yourself, slide to see all pics:
If you like boat trips, a tour on this traditional wooden yacht is a unique experience!
With an average size of 20 to 30 meters length and usually 4 to 8 cabins, this classic boat has plenty of space.
They are mostly used for private charter in Turkey, Italy, Greece and Croatia nowadays.
We did a full day boat trip on a really nice and spacious gület of Outback Yachting Bodrum, which departed from Gumbet yetty.
We sailed past the coast and even near some Greek islands, with several stops at some of the most stunning bays around the peninsula.
Our gület had plenty of seating options and sunbeds, both in the sun and shade. The tour also included a nice lunch and snorkeling gear. Highly recommended for a relaxing day trip with a great perspective from the sea!
Got excited for Turkey already? For more trip details and the best offering do check: Corendon-Turkey
Let me know before you book, as I'm happy to arrange a discount!
Love to hear what you think of Bodrum and this part of the Turkish Riviera! Don't hesitate to ask me anything about my Turkey visits, in the comments below, or connect with me on social media, via the links at the bottom of this site.