Most people first think of Istanbul when they hear ‘Turkey’! Istanbul is a typical city and there is a lot more of Turkey than just that. This country has a lot to offer if you choose to go beyond the pre-packaged tours! Let us consider Bodrum for instance – Pronounced as B00-dhram
When our ship docked in Bodrum Turkey, I had no clue that it would be such a fine-looking first sight! Bodrum is so much unlike Istanbul and the rest of Turkey that it creates a whole new vibe to the Turkish ethos. People here are easy-going and carry a very open mind. With its French Riviera like image, this part of Turkey has also given a whole new outlook to the modern Islamic culture.
The Bodrum Peninsula has a rich density of outlandish holiday resorts. It is the chosen destination for the rich trendsetters of Istanbul and the travelers from the west! I loved the air in this place as soon as our ship docked. The colorful coastline view ahead of me brought in some curiosity to explore this tiny town.
What should you do in Bodrum?
Bodrum is more of a leisure coastline with a ‘relaxed mode’ switched on! Bodrum is less of adventure activities and more of resort vacations, food and bazaar shopping!
1) Bodrum Bazaar – Take a stroll and shop!
Bodrum Bazaar’s hustle bustle is lesser than that of Istanbul Bazaars and it seems slightly more structured for the ‘Bazaar’ tone. Most people are fun to talk to but a little pushy (less pushy than many other places that I have been to). It will be wise to negotiate on almost every purchase you intend to make in this Bazaar.
Most shops will offer you the customary Turkish coffee which is the Turkish way of being polite. There is no obligation that comes with it!
There are many cafes and restaurants in the vicinity where you may stop for a break. Most of these also have free Wi-Fi. I can’t tell you what boon wi-fi is for cruise ship passengers!
2) St. Peter’s Castle – Learn some history, take some pictures!
The entrance to this Castle would cost you around 30TL and the experience is worth more than that! Keep in mind that they don’t accept EUROS as a mode of payment. This attraction is a good idea for all ages but there are some steep steps to climb in certain places.
The castle also hosts the Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
3) Bodrum Coastline – Walk along and take a dip!
I did a lot of walking on the coastline, right from the Castle till the point where my cruise-ship was docked. This is a beautiful thing one can do and is also great photo opportunity for everyone!
The water is blue and you will see boats of different types including some that look like the pirate-ships.
4) Turkish coffee – Get a strong doze!
While you walk around the coast don’t forget to get a taste of that grand Bodrum’s Turkish coffee/Tea. Most cafés have beautiful sea views and a short stop in one of these will increase the value of being at Bodrum.
5) Lunch/Dinner by the Sea – Enjoy that Turkish meal!
Bodrum’s cuisine is the extra healthy variant of the Mediterranean cuisine. Mezze and seafood platters will leave you wanting for more. Even vegetarians like me can have main courses customized to suit requirements.
Turkish breads and kebabs are not to be missed along with the fantastic twilight views during dinner. Doner Kebabs are very popular here.
6) Island Trips – Take one of the many day trips to the nearby islands!
Beautiful wooden boats will take you on their organized tours to the nearby islands. These are single day or multiple day tours. There are several options to choose based on the destination. I saw some of these unique looking boats and it was evident that guests inside were having a lot of fun.
7) Scuba Dive – Experience Bodrum waters!
You won’t see people with surfboards here but Scuba Diving is one activity that is relatively popular. There are several dive clubs where you can negotiate your dives. Most dives come in packages which take you to beautiful dive-spots.
There are single dives and day-trips and dives for children too which are organized well. Pick-up and drop is often a part of these packages.
How to get to Bodrum?
From Istanbul, the most convenient way would be to take a flight to Bodrum. The Airport is about 30Kms away from the main town. There are several buses that ply between the airport and the town. Buses are also the cheapest way to get to the town center. Additionally, there are several taxis which can be hired at the airport.
From Izmir, Bodrum is about a 150 km drive. You may either take the buses from Izmir airport directly (convenient and abundant) or take a taxi after negotiating!
From Rhodes or Kos, you may take a ferry to Bodrum!
My husband and I came here as cruise-ship passengers to this tiny fishing town of Bodrum. Our ship was one of the largest that ever docked here!