The most popular public transport alternative is minibus which has an extensive network across the region. Locals call them “dolmus” and use them regularly. These life saver vehicles make it possible to do more than spending all day at the hotel beach and gets you around Bodrum Peninsula. They are the keys for your discovery.
Bodrum is a living city. There are people going to work or school on their daily routines so minibus transport is available every day of the year. Demand considerably increases in the peak season so the frequencies and working hours of minibuses.
The number of seats in a minibus are limited to 14 but they generally pick more than that. You may have to stand on your feet and this can make your trip a little bit uncomfortable but luckily it doesn’t take so long.
There are no certain locations such as minibus stops to pick you up or drop you off. You just need to hail and get in. To get out, say “inecek var” which means “somewhere available please”. “Müsait bir yerde inebilir miyim lutfen” would be better but let’s keep it simple.
If you are not sure where to say “inecek var”, just tell the driver where you want to go. They usually know every inch after spending years on the same route.
Every major town in the peninsula has a minibus station. The biggest one is right next to the Bodrum Bus Terminal. A 10 minutes’ walk from the castle would take you there.
It might be confusing to see so many minibuses in the station but no need to worry. Each of them is a part of a group which is assigned on a specific route. You can see their routes on the signs on their front and sides. If you can’t find your destination, ask any of the drivers. He would be happy to help you.
Every transport route has its own price list. You can find it at the top or front side of the minibus after you get in. The last stop costs full price. Price increases with the distance. Tell your driver “X ne kadar” which means “How much for X” where X is your hotel, town or beach that you are going to.
You can expect longer travel times in summers because a minibus is supposed to pick up and drop off every passenger on its way. I personally know how 20 minutes trip can become 50 minutes in the peak season. Try to be more flexible when the town is full of visitors.
I have prepared a list showing the various available minibus routes over the peninsula. You may also want to check Distance between Bodrum and Various Locations for a chart showing driving distances between towns. If you need exact locations, click Bodrum Maps to download a pdf file I have created for you.
|Bodrum Penunsula Lines||Bodrum Peninsula Lines|
Each route has its own schedule which changes according to season and demand but there is always a “first” and a “last” dolmus. If you are not planning to spend the night at where you are going, asking the driver about the last minibus to go back is critical especially in the low season.
Let’s assume you are on your way to Gumusluk for a beautiful evening to remember; best mezes in town, raki and beloved family and friends. What else do you need? You need to know when the last minibus will leave for Bodrum.
The last Bodrum minibus from Gumusluk generally leaves town around 10 PM in winters. In summers, they work until 3 AM or 4 AM but missing it means taking a taxi which will cost 15 to 20 times more.
There is one mystery about these routes which really confuses me.
In some specific roads, routes of two different lines intersect. For example Turgutreis minibus runs through Konacik, Ortakent and arrives in Turgutreis. If Ortakent is your final destination, it won’t pick you up even if it is empty. Why? Because there is a separate Ortakent minibus which you have to wait for it.
I don’t know you but I took it personally when I was asked to get out of a minibus. I have to admit that I became obsessed with this irrational practice. It is unique and one of a kind in Turkey. Fortunately you never have to wait so long for the right minibus since there are many.
As a result, public transport depends on minibuses which are adequate and reliable if you can forget the mystery I have just talked about.