Summer memories are made in Bodrum. The type of memories that stay with us for a lifetime, and its no coincidence either because Bodrum’s summer hedonistic vibes stretch back decades. Despite its reputation as a favoured hangout spot for celebrities and fabulously wealthy business executives, it is the simplicity that captures the attention of newcomers.
Most turn into repeat visitors, hampering to re-live addictive vibes of their first summer in Bodrum. Lazy days focus on water splashing fun and sand, while cool evenings are about indulging in the moment through food, drink, socialising with friends, and witnessing the vibrant sunsets that the peninsula is famous for.
Indeed, if you plan to visit Bodrum this summer, prepare for a destination that purposely detaches itself from worldly affairs, and has its own set of rules.
6 Summer Things to Do in Bodrum
1: Beaches, Coves and Clubs
As a peninsula jutting out into the Aegean sea, the region has no shortage of sandy beaches in Bodrum, small, hidden coves and trendy beach clubs. Whether you just want to lounge back on a sunbed or snorkel in crystal blue waters, several beaches await you. Gumbet, a small but highly popular touristic town on the southern side of the peninsula is praised from near and far for its kilometre of fine sand fronting the bustling resort.
Otherwise, Turgutreis and its long beach is another family favourite, but teenagers and youngsters often prefer trendy beach clubs like Xuma, Juju, and Moon Beach. Most have a hefty entrance fee but once inside, indulge in activities like volleyball, music and getting in touch with your inner source at wellness centres. Aside from that, locals often prefer the scenic Bardakci Cove in Bodrum, that is loved by young and old alike.
2: Traditional Gulet Cruising
Bodrum’s history is told in its story of gulet boats, traditional Turkish cruising vessels made by locals according to specific designs and specifications. Sailors use the wooden boats to cruise the Turkish Riviera, stretching from the north Aegean to the eastern Mediterranean. The journeys, called Blue Voyages routes typically last for three or four nights and also visit the many nearby Greek islands.
Crafted cabins are your bedroom for the journey, but most passengers end up sleeping on deck, under the stars. Go fishing, catch your own dinner and place it on the BBQ or let the chef prepare a full menu that’s eaten on deck while you witness some of the most scenic coastal views in Turkey.
3: Water Sports: Windsurfing, Scuba Diving and More
Naturally, as a peninsula, much summer daytime activity focuses on water sports, attracting enthusiasts from around the world. However, you don’t have to be an expert to get started. Sign up for windsurfing lessons in Kadikalesi or many scuba diving centres around Bodrum offer try dives in swimming pools and if you are up for adventures, take you out to sea, where you can also complete your PADI Qualification.
For something more low-key and without commitment, rent snorkelling equipment and jet skis by the hour, or hop onto a banana boat for a hair-rising ride. Parasailing is the latest trend to hit the Bodrum watersports scene and places like Gumbet, Bitez and Yalikavak are the best places to go.
4: Jeep Safaris and Village Tours
While small coastal towns of the Bodrum Peninsula are all worth exploring, there is nothing better than hitting the back-hillside roads in an open top jeep. With the wind in your hair and sun on your face, it is an exploration into villages off the beaten track that rarely feature in mainstream travel guides. Usually running throughout the whole of the summer tourism season from May to October, places to visit in a 4x4 jeep include Ciftlik village, Mumcular and Etrim, a small village with countrywide recognition for their handmade Turkish carpets.
Stop for lunch in a rustic restaurant in Mazi and travel off the road through pine forests to see the countryside flora and fauna. A jeep safari in Bodrum isn’t a fast-paced experience because most companies limit their driver's speed, but it is a delightful alternative to coastal and seaside summer activities.
5: Waterparks and Boats for Families
Naturally, families with young children won’t want to take their kids on an adrenaline filled water sports excursion. In which case, there are two equally suitable alternatives. Bodrum Aquapark has a river and pool section, especially for youngsters. However, we prefer heading down to the harbour of any small town and boarding a lazy day cruise to sail around the coastline.
With lunch and swimming breaks included, this trip is always a winner with young kids and a perfect introduction to Bodrum’s sailing history. Stopping at places like Camel beach and Kara Ada (Black Island,) daily boat trips are by far one of the most popular summer activities.
6: Night-time Fun: Club Catamaran, Bar Street and Al Fresco Dining
From day to night-time summer fun, you can dance on water at the Club Catamaran floating disco that every night during high season promises unlimited entertainment. Featuring dancers, celebrities and the latest dance music, this scene attracts youngsters who want to tap into Bodrum’s legendary nightlife scene. Partygoers who wish to go low-key will find what they are looking for on Bar Street. Otherwise, the next favourite night-time activity is al fresco dining seaside.
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