One of the most popular holiday destinations in the whole of Europe at the moment is Turkey, and it’s not difficult to see why. The climate is wonderfully warm out of season and downright hot during the peak summer months, the people are notoriously friendly throughout the country and there is a wonderful mixture of modernity and tradition in every major vacation resort.
In the south-western corner of Turkey lies the city of Bodrum, an ancient port that dates back thousands of years. Once known as Halicarnassus, it was home to a famous mausoleum that was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. A location that was of strategic importance for many centuries, Bodrum’s impressive castle stands as testimony to the battles that took place there.
These days, its importance is as a cultural centre and a perfect holiday resort that offers something for everyone. All along the waterfront you’ll find a vast array of sea-going vessels of all shapes and sizes, offering visitors the chance to do a little fishing, perhaps, or an opportunity to simply lie back on deck and enjoy some peaceful sunbathing. No visit to Bodrum is surely complete without a trip on the waves.
A taste of Turkey
Just yards from the water’s edge, you’ll find a wonderful selection of dining establishments offering a superb range of international and local cuisine. Turkish restaurant owners are always keen to tempt passing tourists to try their hospitality, so you can expect a little friendly banter as you promenade along the sea-front. It’s reassuring to know, however, that they don’t get too pushy with their efforts.
Bodrum has a thriving shopping centre, with a vast range of stores and stalls offering everything from hand-made jewellery and leather goods to low-priced clothing and the freshest fruit and vegetables. Many visitors to Turkey are keen to find bargains on exquisite rugs and carpets, but they should never agree to pay the display price – Turkish shop owners always expect to haggle a little before agreeing to sell.
One of the nicest things about Bodrum is that it’s easy to hop on a ferry to the Greek island of Kos for a day or two. The sea crossing is relatively short, and the journey only takes an hour. Kos is a beautiful island that’s home to some stunning scenery, as well as a fascinating mix of cosmopolitan bars and restaurants, in addition to plenty of shops, churches and landmarks all waiting to be explored.
David Showell lives in the UK and has visited Bodrum on several occasions. When he’s not travelling, he’s working for a Gloucester car rental company.