Bodrum is a famous seaside resort on the Aegean coast of Turkey. The peninsula, which is surrounded by 17 natural bays, is located in the southwest of the country in the Aegean region, not too spoiled by package tourists. And in vain, because the picturesque Bodrum has something to surprise even the most experienced traveler. What to do and what not to miss in the heart of the Turkish Riviera, read our guide.
Bodrum is not in vain considered the most cosmopolitan resort in Turkey. Every year millions of tourists come here from all over the world to sunbathe, swim in the sea, dance in nightclubs, taste seafood and meet the sunsets and sunrises. It’s a city of restaurants, fancy parties, entertainment, and never-ending celebration of life. Three spacious marinas in and around the city await the yachtsmen of the world. One of them, Yalikavak Marina, is the largest marina in Turkey. It is often chosen as a place for walks by both ordinary tourists and the powerful. By the way, boat trips from Bodrum piers can be booked not only in the open bay, but also to other cities. For example, in Turkey, Marmaris – the mecca of the Mediterranean party people. Or to the Greek islands of Rhodes and Kos, where you will be taken by ferry, quickly and with a breeze. But before you leave Bodrum, appreciate its incomparable Aegean charm.
Founded: 5th century B.C. Area: 557 km2 Population: 36,401 (2013) Currency: Turkish Lira Language: Turkish Official website: http://www.bodrum.bel.tr/
Flight time: (charter flights) from Moscow – 4 hours 10 minutes From Saint-Petersburg – 4 hours From Kazan – 4 hours From Ekaterinburg – 5 hours
This city is truly ancient, it is about 3000 years old. Almost all historical periods – the era of Greek sailors, the Persian conquests, the Roman Empire, the Crusades and Ottoman rule, have left their mark in Bodrum. From the Romans remained a beautiful ancient amphitheater, and from the rulers of the ancient, semi-legendary Kariya – the ruins of the Mausoleum. This is the same tomb of King Mausolus, from the textbook “History of the ancient world. True, if from the ancient wonder of the world remained only fragments, you can appreciate the results of the efforts of the knights-hospitallers in all their splendor. This is the castle of St. Peter, the most impressive architectural construction not only of Bodrum, the whole of western Turkey. Despite its 500 years old, the castle is perfectly preserved and awaits visitors. Today it is open as a Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
The list of interesting historical sites in Bodrum and its surroundings seems almost endless. But if you came to the city for the sea, the sun and a leisurely holiday, you also will not be disappointed. Bodrum has miles of beautiful beaches to offer, as well as first-class hotel complexes, each with its own style and flair. Natural landscapes here are also very beautiful: bays, picturesque bays, azure smooth Aegean Sea, pine groves. They are so much fun to explore by hiking or biking.
Whatever the purpose of your visit to Bodrum, you are sure to enjoy the adventure. Welcome to Bodrum.
How to get there
A great idea for a vacation on the Aegean coast is the resort of Bodrum. It is beautiful, fun, interesting and delicious. In Bodrum and its surroundings are preserved ancient monuments, witnesses of bygone civilizations, and on the coast there are modern attractions – trendy hotel complexes. Read our guide on how to get to Bodrum to see it all.
The easiest way, as usual, the plane. Especially since there is a popular air hub in Bodrum, less than 40 kilometers from the center of the resort. This is the airport Bodrum Milas, which serves tourists from all over the Aegean coast of Turkey. International Airport Bodrum Milas daily welcomes flights from Russia. There are especially many options to get to during the warm season, from May to October. Flights from Moscow are offered daily and year-round. So, you can see a direct flight to Bodrum from “Pobeda”, you will fly in just 4 hours. The price tag for the flight starts at 7,000 rubles, in the off-season you can find cheaper tickets.
Transplanting flights to Istanbul are offered by Turkish airlines, “Turkish Airlines” and Pegasus Airlines, as well as the Russian S7 and Utair. A good option for a traveler is to choose a long layover in Istanbul and walk around the interesting city.
Tourists from St. Petersburg often fly to Bodrum with a connection, either in Moscow or Istanbul. The flight, depending on the number and length of connections, can take from 7 hours to more than 1 day. If you are a young adventurous tourist, use this time to see new interesting cities – Mineralnye Vody, Nalchik, Krasnodar, and so on.
Most tourists come to Bodrum as part of a “package” tour. This means that you bought a trip to the resort, which already includes a flight, transfer to the selected hotel, accommodation, meals, entertainment. Such travelers do not need to understand the intricacies of the intricacies of transfers and airline tickets. And also find out how to get from the airport to the city.
For everyone else, independent tourists, there are Havas Shuttle buses. It is easy and simple to get there, buses leave 1-2 times an hour. The final stop of the bus from the airport is near the city bus station. The trip is inexpensive, comfortable and you will spend less than 1 hour. Also, of course, you can take a cab from the airport to the city, or order an individual transfer.
Bus travel to Bodrum can be arranged from most major cities in Turkey. From Ankara, Istanbul, Trabzon, Antalya, Marmaris there are many daily flights, Bodrum bus station receives them. If you have explored the historic cities of Turkey, you can finish your vacation at sea in Bodrum, coming here by bus. Please note: most Turkish cities do not have a single bus station building. It is replaced by the offices of the bus companies, here you can buy tickets and check the flight schedule.
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Every year, many tourists come to Bodrum, a well-known Turkish resort on the Aegean coast. Mostly for the sea and the sun: a comfortable climate and beautiful beaches guarantee a first-class vacation. But do not get bored in Bodrum and inquisitive tourists. The seaside town can boast an almost 3000-year history.
The first settlers
It is known that Bodrum was founded in the era of Greek colonization of Asia Minor. Earlier Hittites and Carians lived here, but these tribes adopted the Hellenic traditions and way of life, having melted into the cities of the settlers. However, the historical area in the south-west of modern Turkey still retains its historical name – Kariya.
The historical chronicles mention Halicarnassus as early as the 5th century BC. This record can be found in the work “History” of the most famous scholar of the ancient world, Herodotus. By the way, he was a local native, and people remember him as Herodotus of Halicarnassus. At the time of Herodotus, Halicarnassus was already a thriving polis, the capital of Caria.
The ancient history of the city
For political and religious reasons Halicarnassus was part of the union of the six Greek polities, and later came under Persian rule. This event, however, happened voluntarily. The ruler of Halicarnassus, Artemisia I, took the side of the Persians in the wars with the Greek polis. She led her ships into battle so bravely that she won the respect of the great Persian king Xerxes. Under the Persians, Halicarnassus remained the main city of the province.
Her follower, Artemisia II, also became famous in legends. She was the sister and also the wife of the Carian ruler Mausolus, who ruled in the IV century BC. After the death of her husband, Artemisia’s grief was so great that she ordered the construction of a magnificent tomb for the ruler.
In ancient history, this place would be called the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Indeed, the tomb struck the imagination of contemporaries. It was a huge building of white marble, about 50 meters high, with magnificent columns, many sculptures and bas-reliefs. It made its creator’s name famous for millennia, and the name of King Mausolus has remained a household name ever since.
The prosperous era of magnificent Halicarnassus was drawing to a close. The troops of Alexander the Great were approaching the city and he conquered the lands of Caria and besieged its capital. It happened in 334 BC. In retaliation for the resistance, the emperor ordered to destroy Halicarnassus, preserving only the Mausoleum. Since then, for many centuries the city was just an unremarkable village of fishermen, like thousands on the Mediterranean Sea.
Between the Romans and the Christian knights
About 200 years BC, Halicarnassus became part of the Roman Empire. Halicarnassus remained just another settlement in the eastern dominions of Rome, and later passed to Byzantium. During this period many pagan sanctuaries were converted into Christian temples. In the early Middle Ages the city was conquered by the Seljuk Turks. Since then, for several centuries, Halicarnassus passed from the Turks to the Byzantine Empire, depending on the results of the Crusades.
A fateful event for the city occurred in 1402. The Hospitaller Knights from Rhodes arrived on the peninsula to establish the stronghold of their order. The knights, impressed by the geographical location of Halicarnassus, laid the foundation of St. Peter’s Castle. It is known today as the Bodrum Castle. It is one of the most interesting sights of modern Turkey. And in the Middle Ages the castle, built from the wreckage of the Halicarnassus Mausoleum, became a citadel of Christianity on the Mediterranean Sea.
For many decades the castle was besieged by the troops of the Ottoman Empire, and despite the power of the stronghold, it fell to the army of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. The fortress walls, towers and castle passed to the Turks, the chapel was converted into a mosque. Nowadays all this is open for tourists. By the fortress bastions you can walk around admiring the fantastic panoramas, enter the Throne Room, and even in the dungeons. And in the citadel itself opened the Museum of Underwater Archaeology.
The modern history of Bodrum
In the Middle Ages Bodrum, which has lost its important strategic importance, re-trained in a modest fishing town. It has been under the Italian expansion, only to become Turkish again in 1921, after the war of independence. Bodrum was forgotten until the mid-twentieth century.
In many respects its fame contributed to the creative elite – writers, artists, and later figures of the film industry. So, in 1925 the disgraced writer Cevat Shakir was sent to Bodrum as an exile, and he was even nicknamed the Halicarnassus Fisherman. The writer spent his time well, and from under his pen came out interesting books about this seaside town. They attracted the bohemians here, creating Bodrum’s first fame. In the middle of the last century Bodrum became a favorite place of rest for the high society of Istanbul. The city’s mansions and seaside residences gave rise to the development of infrastructure, communications, and cultural environment.
Aristocrats were followed by cinematographers who were attracted by the photogenic nature of Bodrum – azure water surface, white-washed houses, windmills, Mediterranean nature. The first movie love story filmed in Bodrum in 1969, since then the city has become a popular movie set. So it remains to this day. And tourists went to Bodrum in the 80s of the last century. Here was built a great resort infrastructure: hotel complexes, restaurants, beach clubs, an entire street of bars. Restored the Old Town, the labyrinth of narrow streets around the Bodrum Fortress.
Bodrum’s popularity and contributed to a huge seaport, the yacht Milta Marina for more than 400 parking spaces. It has become a year-round home for yachts of all sizes and configurations. Here you can see a small pleasure boat as well as a huge yacht of a local (or foreign) millionaire.
You can also join the rich life, buying a ticket for a boat trip. The views from the yacht are spectacular and illustrate why this coast is called the Turkish Cote d’Azur.
Climate and weather in Bodrum
There are many reasons to choose Bodrum for your next vacation. These include ancient history, interesting architecture, beautiful nature and of course a comfortable climate. It can be characterized as a moderate Mediterranean climate. Recall that Bodrum is located on the coast of the Aegean Sea, which is cooler than the Mediterranean.
In summer it brings a welcome coolness, making Bodrum a more comfortable destination than other southern resorts in Turkey. Winters in Bodrum are short and mild, summers are long and sunny. The mountains surrounding Bodrum also create a special climate, they protect the coast from bad weather and cold winds.
Winter in Bodrum is warm, although times are windy and rainy. Average temperatures fluctuate at +13 … 15 ° C. At night the air cools to +7 ° C and if you are going to Bodrum in December and January, bring an umbrella and raincoat. However, even warm weather days in winter are not uncommon and you can devote them to walks along the historical routes and beautiful surroundings of Bodrum.
Winter is also a great time for shopping, when stores and malls are discounting their prices. There are considerably fewer overcast rainy days in February when spring comes to Bodrum . In the beginning of March the city enjoys the warm and comfortable weather, with thermometer readings up to +20 °C. The nature blossoms, the narrow streets of the Old City are decorated with a variety of flowers, and walking becomes especially pleasant.
In April and May, the air gets as warm as +25°C. This is a great time for excursions, walks, and fun trips around the peninsula. In spring it’s great to go to the mountains, and during the day get the first portion of vitamin D on the promenade. However, you shouldn’t forget about an insulated jacket either, the air gets cold quickly in the evening.
The best time to travel to Bodrum is spring and early summer, when the weather is sunny. To bathe is comfortable already in June, and fans of soft temperatures wait for September and October, “velvet” season
Summer comes to Bodrum in May. Hot, sunny, humid, it “starts” with the temperatures above +25 °C and reaches about +35 °C in August. Sea breezes blowing from the Aegean Sea ease the situation a little. Thanks to him, the coast of Bodrum is also favored by fans of water sports, windsurfing and kitesurfing. Popular in the summer and underwater entertainment – diving, snorkeling. The sea water temperature is appropriate, from +23 ° C and above.
Summer evenings in Bodrum are not hot and very comfortable. You can spend a long walk along the waterfront, go to meet the sunset at sea, or explore the nightclubs and bars of ancient Halicarnassus. There is even a whole Bar Street, a street of entertainment venues.
Summer is the most popular, and therefore the most expensive season in Bodrum. The price tag on airfare, hotels and entertainment reaches its peak. If you want to save a little money, but not to the detriment of the quality of rest, come to Bodrum in September.
The calendar autumn in Bodrum is more like a sunny and hot summer. September and October are called the “velvet season” not in vain. Values on a thermometer in the daytime become a little lower, the evenings become cooler. On the beaches are still quite a lot of tourists, because the temperatures as the air and water are comfortable and pleasant. Rains in early autumn are very rare, mostly clear, sunny skies.
Travelers love to come to Bodrum in the fall to extend their summer a little longer. You can really feel a breath of cool season only in November when the air temperature cools down to +18 … 20 °C. Do you agree that’s a very comfortable figure? And if your vacation falls in November, in Bodrum you can organize a great trip – with cultural, architectural and gastronomic delights.