"I have travelled the whole world but found nothing in heaven or earth as beautiful as the Aegean" wrote Herodotus, the father of history. He was born in Halicarnassos.
Bodrum, which was the ancient Halicarnassos, is a city of the Aegean that has attracted travellers to its beauty since 2500 BC. Many sculptures from its famous Mausoleum, once one of the 7 wonders of the world, can be seen in the British Museum. Now Bodrum is a modern town dominated by a magnificent Crusader castle below which the narrow streets and shady alleys of whitewashed houses are full of cafés, shops, bars, banks, internet cafés, museums and galleries where people stroll shoulder-to-shoulder in the sultry evenings.
There are many excursions to be taken from Bodrum. It is worth spending more time here and exploring.
Visit the Castle and its underwater archaeology museum. With its tall cypresses it’s a haven of peace and shade where you can glimpse the life and commerce of 2500 years ago.
Venture into a hamam, the Turkish bath. Get exfoliated with a kese and have an foam massage on the marble slab. Follow this with an oil massage to feel totally relaxed. Dissolve your stress and awaken to happier, squeaky-cleaner you. (It may not be quite like Ingres imagined it!)
Some of the best restaurants on the Aegean are in the Bodrum area. In the closest village, Türkbükü, you can find local, earthy, inexpensive restaurants on the sea and others offering seductive, chic fusion cooking. - Take delight in Turkish meze, sharing with eachother on the seafront with twinkling candles and balmy breezes.
There are local markets to discover on different days of the week. Bodrum: Tues, materials and carpets; Thurs, Fri food. Yalikavak: Thurs (mixed). Türkbükü: Mon. Gölköy: Tues (until 12).
Shops in Bodrum are open till after 11 p.m. or even 1 a.m. as many people go promenading and dancing in the sultry evenings. You can find bargain designer goods, jewellery, leather, carpets, nuts, spices and Turkish Delight.
Cruise the Aegean for a day in a traditional Gulet. Swim in otherwise inaccessible bays of crystal clear waters. (£17 - £20)
Take a day trip to famous Ephesus with its marble streets, library and theatre, the most intact ancient city of the region. Or to Pamukkale, the white, cotton-cascade thermal spring basins, ‘Aphrodite’s bathing place’.(£25)
Go Scuba diving for a day. (£25-35)
Trek on horseback along secluded forest trails.
Take a Jeep safari inland to a typical Turkish village and visit carpet weavers. (£25)