Deciding on the best area of Bodrum can be challenging because this corner of Turkey throws up many coastal resorts worthy of admiration. From small bays to sandy beaches, clubs, and great restaurants, this location next to the Aegean Sea in Turkey, previously called Halicarnassus, presents fascinating history as seen in the castle, and underwater museum. The region was even home to the mausoleum, one of the seven ancient wonders. Yet, when you stay in Bodrum, you will also experience the traditional charm and high-end luxury, attracting global millionaires and billionaires. However, as with anything, deciding on the best areas depends on personal preferences. So, we put together this guide to help you choose on the best places in Bodrum.
Guide to the Best Areas of Bodrum
1: Aegean Bodrum Town
Bodrum town centre is known as the pinnacle hub of the peninsula, where all the fame and limelight stems from. Owing its raging budget, luxury and sailing success to one man, Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, these days, Bodrum town is one of Turkey's top tourist destinations. The peninsula is popular with all nationalities and Turks from other cities and towns. Bodrum castle, the main attraction also hosts the underwater archaeology museum and sits near the ancient mausoleum. In comparison, the marina features fantastic restaurants emphasising the laidback lifestyle of Bodrum town. Traditionally known for the whitewash sugar cubes houses all over the hillsides, Bodrum town is also home to millionaire villas but budget holiday accommodation can be found. For exploration, the bus station connects residents to the rest of the peninsula, but at night, holidaymakers head to Bar street for the best places to party. There is nothing wrong with Bodrum town, but we prefer other areas of the peninsula for slowly paced days, better views, and fewer crowds.
2: Luxury in Yalikavak
This is one of our favourite areas because something makes us feel at home from home. There are two town parts, the old quarter with quaint harbour side restaurants serving traditional Aegean cuisine. Then the new part around the marina, featuring high-end shops, bars and restaurants. The marina also host mega yachts; hence this is another Bodrum peninsula destination welcoming high-flying celebrities, business people and royalty. This prestigious status has impacted the real estate market, with some villas fetching millions of pounds. But look closely to see those traditional Turkish charms on every corner. Sitting near rustic Gumusluk and neighbouring Turgutreis, Yalikavak also offers the stunning town centre beach. However, coastline areas feature more choices to spend days sunbathing and swimming.
3: Stylish Turkbuku
Now we are talking about serious money. To understand how serious, the New York Times called Turkbuku Turkey's version of Saint Tropez. Wealthy business people, celebrities and Saudi royalty often stop by in super mega yachts to enjoy fine dining restaurants and stylish hotels or stay the night in millionaire villas. Additionally, Kate Moss arrives every year to detox at the spa centre. This destination is the Bodrum peninsula's perfect example of fine living. As a Turkish riviera haven, don't expect clear sea views since, during summer, boats and yachts dock anchor everywhere. The five-star Mandarin Oriental hotel is near here, should you want five-star waiter service. Otherwise, at night, visit champagne bars and party with well-known names of Bodrum and Turkey.
4: Rustic Gumusluk
Gumusluk, 25 kilometres from Bodrum town centre, was the site of the ancient Dorian city of Myndos. Nowadays, it earns fame for Rabbit Island, although there aren't many ruins to see. We love the traditional rustic roots that welcome modern living through stylish holiday and retirement villas. Don't expect to find anything fast-paced because locals don't work like that. However, they specialise in seafront restaurants serving fresh fish and seafood, attracting diners from all over the peninsula. Given the surrounding landscapes and building restrictions, Gumusluk is unlikely to lose its quaint village status, and this adds charm. Although not wide, the main central beach is perfect for morning strolls. Additionally, Gumusluk sits 40 minutes from Bodrum town to liven it up or tap into more shops, restaurants, and bars. To holiday here, we recommend looking at self-catering villas. Meanwhile, for property in Bodrum, Gumusluk fits the bill with excellent and stylish villas.
5: The Best of Turgutreis
Named after an Ottoman admiral Turgut Treis, other places often overshadow this resort. But it wins an army of adoring fans in the British travel and expat sectors. Officially, Bodrum peninsula's second largest town, Bodrum airport, is just 60 minutes away; hence getting here is easy. Holidaymakers should expect everything from a popular seaside resort, including water sports, boat trips, amazing views, and long stretches of beautiful sand. Choose from 5 kilometres with nearby restaurants and bars serving lunch and refreshments to break up your day sunbathing. Gunbatimi beach is our favourite, but other choices include Fener and Palamut. Also, visit the weekly Turgutreis market. But for exploration, catch ferries during summer to Kos, Kalymnos, and Leros from the D-marina terminal port. Bodrum town centre is just 20 minutes away, but Turgutreis does offer everything on your doorstep. The fantastic nightlife lets us grab cold beers in seafront restaurants and watch sunset views. More about Turgutreis.
6: Stunning Views in Gokcebel
Ah! We love Gokcebel. This quiet corner of the Bodrum peninsula is hidden from the hustle and bustle, ritz and glamour. Gokcebel presents a perfect traditional and peaceful life when we want to recharge our batteries or let the world go by. Mainstream tourism and hotels aren't interested in Gokcebel, and we like that. New Gokcebel by the sea features many modern villas, while those who want traditional stone cottages often head to old Gokcebel. However, this place is hilly, and those with walking difficulties would do well to drive. Officially, Gokcebel sits in Northwest Bodrum, five minutes from Yalikavak centre, with more choices of shops, restaurants, and bars. One aspect we love about staying in Gokcebel is heading to the small Turkish places for traditional Turkish breakfasts. Think organic ingredients, homemade jams, and freshly baked bread. Given Gokcelbel's quiet status, there isn't much to do, but this is part of the charm. Additionally, the rest of the Bodrum peninsula is just a short drive to get active. More reasons to visit Gokcebel in Bodrum – Turkey.
7: Delightful Ortakent
Turks love Ortakent, and every summer, the population swells as Turks flock to enjoy the beaches and new and old town places. Ortakent boosts a large shopping mall, prime position on the Turkish riviera, and masses of tangerine orchards covering surrounding hillsides. Sitting 10 kilometres from Bodrum town, Ortakent's name means the middle, which refers to the geographical position in Bodrum. Additionally, there are two parts to the town; the peaceful beach district and the town centre, which is brimming with shops, banks, hotels, and daily facilities. The blue flag beach district, called Yahsi, is also desirable for a property. Stretching for 2 kilometres and hosting numerous water sports on clear days, Kos Island can be seen in the distance. Otherwise, Ortakent offers the standard things to do on holiday, including boat trips, weekly markets, and traditional Turkish baths. For families, Dedeman Aqua Park is also a short distance. Learn about Ortakent in Bodrum.
8: Traditional Yaliciftlik
International travel magazines rarely talk about Yaliciftlik, 20 kilometres from Bodrum centre. But Turks love this untouched corner of Bodrum, and many buy summer holidays or retirement homes there. The appeal is easy to see, with landscapes covered with pine trees and the blue waters of the Aegean. Other resorts abandoned themselves to mass tourism, but Yaliciftlik stayed true to its cultural heritage. Many gulet cruises of the Turkish riviera visit Yaliciftlik. But for day sailing during summer, boat trips leave daily from the harbour. Other things to do include water sports and walking through surrounding landscapes in the cooler months to enjoy a delicious Turkish village breakfast or come across ancient ruins that guidebooks do not mention. As with other Bodrum areas, Yaliciftlik's weekly market is suitable for buying fruit and vegetables. At night, restaurants along the coast serve the traditional Aegean cuisine of fish, mezes and raki. As mentioned, few foreigners venture this way, but for some buying houses, this aspect appeals because they want to settle somewhere with traditional Turkish lifestyles but with modern living. More about Yaliciftlik.
9: Fun-Filled Gumbet
Sitting 3 kilometres outside Bodrum city, lively Gumbet excels in water sports, basic hotels, and bars. The resort attracts British holidaymakers, who often come year after year. Additionally, Bodrum's budget area, so you won't find high-flying millionaires here. If typical holiday vibes are what you want, Gumbet fits the bill perfectly. The one complaint is that it doesn't portray the nostalgic vibes of Bodrum. Gumbet is small enough to get around on foot and to liven it up, use the bus or catch taxis to Bodrum centre. There isn't anything else in Gumbet apart from the beach and pools. But for family-friendly nightlife, Gumbet fits the bill.
10: Bitez on the Bodrum Peninsula
Everyone who visits Bitez instantly senses unique vibes unlike anywhere else in Bodrum city. Sitting next to Gumbet, the vibes are carefree, almost hippie, yet Bitez has also embraced modern experiences, combining the old world with new ones. The small resort offers a half moon shape beach around the bay, and like Gumbet, there isn't much to do within resorts apart from the regular Turkish baths, beach and pool. Yet this is why people go to Bitez. It offers the perfect setting to unwind and relax. Bitez also sits 10 kilometres from Bodrum town and 35 kilometres from the airport, and with good transport links, it is easy to get about.
Also About Bodrum
Fisherman of Halicarnassus: Bodrum has been home to many famous residents. However, the most seen face is Cevat Sakir, an author of short stories. He first came to Bodrum in exile in 1925, serving 18 months for published work that offended authorities then. By the end of his life, he had made Bodrum famous and set the groundwork for blue cruise voyage routes and the beautiful Turkish Riviera.
Best Beaches in Bodrum: So, if your main interest in Bodrum is beaches, expect many marvellous choices. Naturally, the coastline brims with sandy stretches, beautiful bays, and hidden coves. Some are more famous than others, while some are well-kept secrets that locals don't tell anybody about. This article talks about the beaches, what to expect and perfect days at the beach in Bodrum.
Summer Things to Do in Bodrum: From boat trips to exploring to shopping, there are many activities, once you have decided which is the best area in Bodrum. This article looks at them and gives further tips and advice on enjoying Bodrum – Turkey.
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