Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey

Bodrum started life as Halicarnassus, an ancient Greek city famed for its nautical carpentry (the distinctive gulet boats were first nailed into shape here) and Mausolus’ tomb – yes, we have Bodrum to thank for the word ‘mausoleum’. Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and an earthquake or two put paid to the majestic memorial, built for the king by his wife (and sister – it’s complicated). Luckily, there’s still plenty to lure you to this 174km stretch of Turkey’s south-western shore. The northern coast is quiet, peaceful, and popular with visiting oligarchs, who drop anchor at Torba, Göltürkbükü and Gundogan; the southern side has the best beaches: Bardakci, Gumbet and Içmeler are three popular sun spots. Despite earning the moniker ‘Turkey’s Cote d’Azur’, the Bodrum Peninsula has managed to remain peaceful and unassuming; as well suited to simple pleasures – seafood, sea views, a chilled glass of wine and a book or two – as it is to A-list adventures. Before visiting be sure to apply for your e-visa; the online application costs US$20 a person (www.evisa.gov.tr).

Recommended offers

See our boutique hotel deals

Areas in Bodrum Peninsula

When to go

July and August are hot, pricey, busy and buzz-y. If you’re looking for sizzling-hot sunbathing by day and posers’ parties by night, this is the time to come. For a quieter stay, visit in early June, September or October.

  • Best price guaranteed

    Found your stay cheaper? We’ll match the price and give you a $75 voucher

  • Smith Extra on arrival

    Enjoy extras such as a picnic lunch, champagne or spa treatments, on the house

Getting there

  • Planes

    Bodrum International Airport (www.bodrum-airport.com) is 36km from Bodrum city centre, and around a 45-minute drive. Airlines that fly here from European cities including London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Paris and Dusseldorf include: Turkish Airlines (www.turkishairlines.com), Thomas Cook Airlines (www.thomascookairlines.co.uk) and Martinair (www.martinair.com).
  • Boats

    If you’re lucky enough to have your own super-yacht, you’ve come to the right place. Moor your vessel at the Bodrum Marina waterfront: it will be in good company, surrounded by millionaires’ toys.
  • Automobiles

    Car rental companies based at the airport include Avis (www.avis.com). Navigating your way to Bodrum from here is fairly easy; for beach hopping and hilltop-town exploring, we’d advise adding on a SatNav.
  • Taxis

    Look out for the sunshine-yellow licensed local taxis, which can be flagged down or hopped into at taxi ranks. Try Turkbuku Taxi (+90 (0)252 377 5639) if you can’t spy any on the horizon. Alternatively, make like the locals and hop on a Dolmus, the traditional Turkish bus, affectionately nicknamed the ‘shared taxi’.

SUN-SOAKED SOPHISTICATION

SUN-SOAKED SOPHISTICATION

If you like your holiday to be an excuse to flaunt designer resortwear and your ritziest accessories, then we've got your A-list. Perfect your red-carpet poses and make a beeline for Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel on the Côte d'Azur for a showstopping seaside stay. Decking clad, day-bed-dotted Maçakizi is the place to be seen on Turkey's Bodrum peninsula – pull up a chair at the Aegean-facing bar or settle in for some sea-fresh fare at its destination restaurant. In Vietnam, The Nam Hai is a shoreside style icon on Hoi An's China Beach with an OMG infinity pool, a serene spa and seductive, butler-serviced, oceanfront villas. 

See more fit-for-a-movie-star escapes