Bodrum

Overview

Introduction

Bodrum, Turkey, is a resort spread out on two crescent-shaped bays 320 mi/515 km southwest of Istanbul.

It has become a magnet for the jet set, and its artsy feel is being overrun with development. Well-intentioned planning laws forbid construction of houses more than two stories tall, with the result that today's Bodrum has thousands of identical white sugar-cube houses—empty for all but two weeks out of the year—spreading out like Legoland in every direction.

Nightclubs, cafes and restaurants stay open all night to accommodate Bodrum's party-hearty types. The city has a modern marina (it's a popular center for chartering Blue Voyages and other boat trips), an old waterfront and winding streets.

Bodrum is a good spot to stay while visiting the Castle of St. Peter, a crusades-era fortification housing the excellent Museum of Underwater Archaeology. The highlights of the museum include artifacts from the oldest shipwreck ever discovered and the Hall of the Carian Princess, whose tomb was found, gold intact, in 1989 when workers were digging the foundations of a building. Nearby, you can stand on the site of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. There are only a few bits of rubble left from the mausoleum, but it's still worth a look.

If you want to escape the crowds of the Bodrum peninsula, visit the nearby village of Gumusluk, which retains much of its original fishing-village charm.

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