Contrary to popular belief, things to do in Bodrum are not limited with only beaches and night life. Since this Aegean town has been representing a summer dream to vacationers for decades, it is perfectly normal to have such a common opinion, though.
It is true that all night long parties and warm turquoise waters washing up on shores are prominent characteristics but that’s not the whole package.
Every town in the peninsula has different attractions and unique atmosphere which creates a vast number of alternatives for a personalized experience. When all the possibilities merge with individual preferences, everyone lives a different Bodrum.
Although this page covers activities and attractions you may enjoy during your stay, I have prepared a separate page for my favourite Bodrum activities covering the ones I’ve always missed when I am away. It also includes a section for you to share your own favourites with other visitors of this internet site so that we can learn from your experiences and juice up our precious vacation time.
For many people, beaches are symbols for holidays and without sun and sand a vacation can’t be complete. This is what exactly things to do in Bodrum have in the first place. Tens of beaches spread over wavy coastline are filled by people who seek relaxation under warm Aegean sun.
Almost all beaches in Bodrum are different from each other. With more than 60 blue flag beaches, I never have to look at the same view over and over. If it is too hot at the south coast of peninsula, I can catch the Mediterranean breeze at the north. Having fun on a beach party or enjoying a quiet spot to read my book is up to me.
Imagine that you are moving smoothly between large and small Aegean islands and listening to the music of the waves on a route where blue cruise was born. One of the most tempting and special things to do in Bodrum, and my favourite one, is to sail away through Gulf of Gokova and Aegean islands.
A journey which gave a name to a beautiful colour – turquoise...
Marinas in Bodrum, Turgutreis and Yalikavak are sailors’ mecca and new ones are to come to meet high demand. On the other hand, modern facilities and services among with shopping centres, cafes and pubs in marina complexes enrich the social life.
Whether you are sailing on your own boat or willing to rent one with or without a crew, sailing clubs, travel agencies and societies like Marine Association and Chamber of Shipping would help you to find what you are looking for.
Scenery and landscapes mixing together with Aegean Sea at this very special part of the world is the bright side of the moon. There are still much to see at the depths, on the dark side which is unknown to many people.
Ship wrecks, caves, reefs and plane crushes over 20 dive sites around the peninsula draw attention of divers and adventurers who would like to discover fauna and history of the good old Mediterranean which lie below the surface.
I haven’t dive before but I have been on deck many times when my friends fade away from the sea surface. I am eager to experience it for once but I just need time to make my mind up. Right now, the only thing I feel sorry is not having any photos of my own to share with you.
At this point a friend, Askin Cambazoglu who is an underwater archaeologist and the owner of Askin Diving, lent a hand and gave me some beautiful pictures from his collection to use on this internet site. With this opportunity, I’d like to thank Askin for his support and providing valuable information about diving sites and services.
Compact and affordable daily boat tours to the coves situated not far from the harbour are popular among the things to do in Bodrum. From May to September, around 15 cooperatives in the peninsula, go in a tough competition to attract more business from you.
Although there is no standard schedule, a tour usually starts around 10 in the morning at the Kumbahce pier (to the east of Bodrum Castle) or old harbour and ends at the same location around 5pm before the sunset.
The capacity of the boats are approximately 40 passengers. They visit 3 to 5 coves which have no or limited land connection and spend 30 to 45 minutes at each stop to let the guests have fun in warm waters.
A simple lunch on board may be included in the package but all the beverages and snacks are usually extras. A typical menu consists of meatballs or chicken served with pasta. My advice would be asking the menu and prices of the extras before purchasing a ticket to ride.
It is like a tiny mini blue cruise but if you don’t like high volume of music and standard food, you may want to reconsider taking a daily tour. Please keep in mind that once you sail away, there is no return until the evening.
Hikes on the trails around the peninsula are my favourite escapes. 3000 years old Carian Trail and numerous shorter and easier courses offer various amazing Aegean sceneries for all ages and physical conditions.
While exploring a land dwelled by many civilizations for thousands of years, there is always a good chance to come across to an old temple, an ancient city, a glorious monument or a traditional village which add value and dimension to such a nature activity.
There are some nature sport associations like BODOSK (Bodrum Nature Sports Club) or volunteer-driven hiking groups like I have - Carian Travellers. Volunteer or official, every organization plan and implement its own schedule. It can be a regular hike, a camp or a cultural tour which glows on your things to do in Bodrum list.
Since the most groups prefer to be active from September to May to avoid high temperatures which may have negative impact on personal health, regulars are usually people who are living and working in Bodrum. Thus, more than 80% of all activities are at weekends. This can also be considered as a good opportunity to mingle with the locals.
In spite of the friendly nature of the region, I strongly recommend to wear suitable shoes for outdoor activities even on an easy trek. I have seen many people who had really hard time with slippers or sandals. Weather in Bodrum is capricious especially between November and April. Don’t let the sun fool you and get a raincoat with you.
Beyond any doubt, a history fan can find many things to do in Bodrum, a town where its known history goes back to Bronze Age, a town where many civilizations fought for.
History of Bodrum was made up of interesting stories of mighty civilizations and nations like Dorians, Carians, Greeks, Hittites, Romans, Byzantines, Persians and Ottomans. One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a monumental tomb called The Mausoleum, is located a few hundred metres away from the town centre. Similarly, the symbol of the city, Bodrum Castle rises over a small peninsula dividing the city into two.
History is not something to go after in Aegean inland, it just pops up as you walk. Bodrum museums and historical sightseeing trips around the peninsula would add value to your cultural discovery by revealing the past.
Short distances to various popular spots like Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, UNESCO World Heritage Site Hierapolis, Lake Bafa National Park, ancient cities of Miletus and Priene, Ionic Temple of Apollo at Didyma and many more extraordinary destinations make Bodrum a hub for travellers and adventurers.
Well-known gems of the western coast like Akyaka, Marmaris, Datca and Fethiye, are just a few hours away so why not to spend another hour or two to enjoy those beauties while you are in Bodrum? There are regular ferries to Datca and Greek Islands like Kos, Symni and Kalymnos. Intercity bus terminal, on the other hand, serves 7/24 for those who want to travel to anywhere in Turkey.
If you want to discover unique atmosphere of towns and villages of the peninsula, an extended minibus network can take you to tens of other interesting places like Milas and Mumcular.
Every story about Bodrum is made up of different, sometimes irrelevant pieces. It is like a Lego kit that lets your imagination works for you in a way you want.
Bodrum Model Plane Club does what its member like almost every weekend. Volunteer driven photography clubs, like BODFAD – Bodrum Fotograf Sanati Dernegi / Bodrum Society of Art Photography – organize photo tours for people who would like to capture natural beauty and cultural background of the region.
There are many people who contribute to the variety of things to do in Bodrum by sharing their skills and knowledge with others. This can shift your vacation into a new dimension. You can learn archery, pottery, fencing, horseback riding, carpet weaving, knitting, language learning, drawing, instrument playing, yoga and many more.
What about a journey to Turkish cuisine or specifically Aegean foods? Hundreds of restaurants, twice as many bars and cafes await for you to taste something new for any budget. You may even dig deeper by joining in a quick cooking class.
It is hard to list all the activities and attractions take place in such a small peninsula. More I write, more I find. Just make sure to visit TheBestofBodrum.com to discover more as I come across new experiences and share them.