bodrum turkey marina and castle

Return to Bodrum, Turkey again and again to experience its myriad pleasures. (Photo: Getty Images)

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6 Irresistible Reasons to Extend Your Time in Bodrum

Tucked into Turkey’s southwestern tip, Bodrum has been settled for more than 3,000 years, drawing people with its hills filled with tangerine and olive groves, shores fecund with seafood, and quarries of marble, travertine and granite that formed its impressive structures.

After the ancient Greek and Christian eras, the region fell into decline, but it had a rebirth in the mid-20th century when the global literati and glitterati discovered its stunning shores and bohemian vibe.

Bodrum is a microcosm of Turkey, and one short trip is not enough to experience its myriad pleasures. From upmarket spots like Türkbükü and Yalıkavak to arty Gümüşlük and pristine Mazı, Bodrum’s seaside towns offer a wide range of experiences.

street in bodrum draped with bougainvillea
Wander Bodrum’s bougainvillea-draped streets and discover its many charms. (Photo: Getty Images)

Here are six reasons to stay longer or return again and again. As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning a visit.

Boating and the Marina

The coast’s turquoise waters are a perennial draw, and the best way to experience them is by boat.

You can charter one for the day, visiting Orak Island and Aquarium Bay, or rent a local wooden sailing vessel called a “gulet” for a voyage around the Aegean and nearby Greek islands such as Kos, Symi and Kalymnos (popularly known as a Blue Cruise).

gulet boat in the aegean sea off bodrum
Set sail in a traditional gulet into the bright, blue Aegean Sea. (Photo: Getty Images)

Yacht owners will feel right at home in the luxurious Yalıkavak Marina, which also hosts many high-class eateries and shops. D-Marin Turgutreis and Milta Bodrum Marina also have great facilities, and The Bodrum Cup international yacht race is an annual draw.

Beaches and the Outdoors

Bodrum refers not only to the main town on the peninsula, but also to the larger geographic region, which features a long coastline with dozens of bays, as well as an inland zone with rocky peaks, vineyards, enormous caves, freshwater lakes and oxygen-rich forests. In fact, Bodrum’s verdant hills are ideal escapes from the summer heat, such as the shaded hiking trails near the ancient city of Pedasa.

There are 70 Blue Flag beaches in Bodrum, most with pebble shores, but there are sandy ones to be found, as well. The term “beach” in Bodrum tends to refer to a beach club consisting of a blend of actual beaches and wooden docks that stretch into the water, providing perfect platforms for sunbathing and swimming, as well as a range of eating and entertainment venues.

EDITION hotels beach club bodrum turkey
Cool off and unwind in style at The Bodrum EDITION’s stunning beach club. (Photo: Marriott International)

There are dozens of such beach clubs throughout the peninsula, all with different vibes and personalities catering to a range of guests, from families to romantic young couples to rowdy revelers. Yalıkavak boasts two upmarket examples, Xuma Village and The Bodrum EDITION beach club.

Dining and Nightlife

Bodrum boasts excellent cuisine, including fresh local seafood and healthy, mostly plant-based Aegean cuisine. For luxury local flavors, head to Nusr-et for kebabs, Sait for fish and Orfoz for a unique seafood feast.

breakfast in bodrum overlooking water
Savor meals with a view. (Photo: Getty Images)

For international fare, try Zuma or Aman Da Bravo. The sun may set, but Bodrum parties until dawn at venues including Fenix, Buddha-Bar or the bar at Maçakızı.


Yalıkavak Marina caters to its well-heeled visitors with upmarket Turkish brands such as Misela, Gizia and Machka, as well as international labels such as Rolex, Missoni and Dior.

You should also experience traditional outdoor Turkish markets, known as “pazars,” held on specific days in every town. There’s also a wide range of shopping malls, such as Midtown and Avenue, and Bodrum town center is the place to buy carpets, kilims and souvenirs.

Historical Sights

Bodrum’s name is derived from the 15th-century Castle of St. Peter (Peter = Petrium = Bodrum) that stands guard in the center of town. It has been carefully restored and houses a fascinating museum of underwater archeology.

castle of st peter
Discover Bodrum’s fascinating history. (Photo: Getty Images)

The city was also home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Tomb of Mausolus (or Mausoleum at Halicarnassus), whose site remains to this day. The fourth-century Myndos Gate, the last remaining section of the ancient city wall, also warrants a visit.

Arts and Culture

Cultural events are held year-round in Bodrum, often in the Castle of St. Peter itself. On a hill just above the main town, the functioning ancient theater also hosts concerts, ballets, theater productions and events. The Gümüşlük International Classical Music Festival and The International Bodrum Jazz Festival are two highlights of the arts calendar. Zai is a stunning library and café that also hosts evening concerts.

The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Bodrum represents an exclusive residential ownership opportunity in a gated community composed of 74 sophisticated, modern and detached private villas. Offering panoramic vistas of the Aegean Sea with , villas redefine luxury sea-front living with resort-style services, just steps away from a secluded 1.7-mile stretch of shoreline and sand beach.