The brilliance of Bodrum!
If Bodrum were a traveller, it would be a bit of every type of traveller. It'd be part hedonistic partier (we're looking at you Bar Street); the ones who can't stop on the mojitos and cold Efes beers once they get going. It would be part lazy backpacker, especially with those sun-kissed beaches just on the doorstep. It would be part flashpacker too, thanks to the millionaire yachts and swish fashionistas that fill the cocktail joints every summer.
It would have an adventurous spirit, a love of culture, a penchant for art – all of these things meet between the dusty mountains and the windsurfer coves, or ooze from the Knights Hospitaller castles on the bay and the ruined ancient digs of Halicarnassus.
I guess what we're trying to say is that LBW simply loves Bodrum, Turkey. And if you were to ask us precisely why we do, we'd have to crack open a cold one, settle down, and reel off reasons until the cows came home (or until we were out of beers). Still let's give this one a whirl, and lay down the top draws of this sun-kissed sailor town on the Med.
Bodrum knows how to party
Bodrum has some serious panache when it comes to partying the night away. In fact, things don’t even wait until the evening for the action to get started. Beach bars and cocktail joints all along the marina and sands of Bitez and Gumbet get underway in the morning, with smoothie drinkers joined by those indulging in a Bloody Mary, or two (or five). Then the hedonism moves into the town center, where the legendary drag of Bar Street pulses with more neon-lit clubs and fancy drinkers than you can shake a frothy Efes beer at. There are some truly world-class venues worth noting before you arrive: The quirky Catamaran Club and the colossal Halikarnas are two of the best. The former is a party on a boat (what more could you ask for?), while the latter is a massive al fresco nightclub with DJs and EDM pulsing until the early hours.
Bodrum is suave
You won't have to look far through the forest of yacht sails to spot a fashion-conscious jet setter in the Bodrum summer. You can often see these guys sprawled out and sipping champagne on their sun-kissed boat decks, or strutting their stuff in Gucci and Prada along the marine promenade. And while you might be relegated by the backpacker budget to cold beers and the usual board shorts, there's no reason you can't at least pretend. You know, by rubbing shoulders with this global elite in the classy cocktail bars along the shore, or splashing out on the occasional martini between the whitewashed villas of Bitez Beach.
Bodrum can get the adrenaline going
Mhmm, it's not all about drinking, dancing and sizzling off the hangovers on the beaches here. Not a chance. This town is also one for the adventurers and the adrenaline lovers. Take the whitecapped swells of nearby Vass – a town that's been a haven for windsurfers for decades. You can either head down and rent your own board from one of the countless operators dotting the peninsula, or settle in with a gritty Turkic coffee and watch the summertime competitions unfold on the waves. And let's not forget what lurks under the water – Bodrum is a world-class SCUBA diving destination to boot! It's a great place to finally nail that PADI, with old Ottoman smuggler's coves and military planes consumed by the ocean on the line-up of amazing dive sites.
You can ride camels in Bodrum
While you might associate these two-humped creatures with the desert side of Turkey more than the green hills and sea-kissed coastlines of the west, they do still pop up now and again in these parts. In Bodrum, it's possible to find one of the oriental animals galumphing their way over the sands of aptly-named Camel Beach. Just a short drive around the headlands from the town, you can either come and relax with a brewski on the golden powder, watching as the camels laze and wander the shore. Or, you can hop in the saddle and have a ride of your own.
Bodrum has history
Loads of it, in fact. Just look upwards when you're strolling down the palm-peppered promenade around the marina and you'll see it: the great stone structure of Bodrum Castle. Built atop an older fortification that's thought to have stood here on the edge of the sea since at least 1000 years before Christ, this new citadel was the creation of the crusading Knights Hospitaller in the middle ages. It's an awesome, fairy-tale sight, and plays host to an acclaimed museum where it's possible to see centuries-old shipwrecks and stones from the Mausoleum of Halicarnasus (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World). And talking of the ancient world, there are also older ruins nearby. These range from the breathtaking amphitheaters of Miletos (one of the rich Greek trading ports of antiquity) to the mysterious temples to Apollo and Aphrodite on Sedir Island.
Bodrum is a yachter's paradise
There are plenty of reasons why Bodrum magnetizes so many yachters and boaters during the summer season. And even those tourists who don't have a boat often opt to hop aboard a local timber gullet and take to the seas. For starters, the town is the gateway to its very own rugged peninsula, which juts out into the Aegean in a medley of whitewashed Grecian fishing villages and hidden pebble coves – all of which are perfect for exploration by sea. You can spend days hopping between the crevices around this coast, docking up for a smorgasbord of grilled fish for lunch, and jumping off deck when the sun gets too hot. Alternatively, there's the great gulf of Gokova to explore, with oodles of watersports opportunities, not to mention international crossings to picture-perfect Kos island in Greece!
Bodrum has the beaches
Beaches in Bodrum are the biz! Close to the town and you've got the lively stretches of sand known as Bitez and Gumbet. These are the province of midday cocktail sippers, sunbathers and bikini-clad loungers. Head west and you come to the salt-washed fishing towns of the peninsula (be sure to check out sun-kissed Bagla Bay), which then eventually give way to the prettier – and more secluded – sands on the northern coast. Head (or sail) there to discover the seaside eateries of Gumusluk (think sunsets to die for!), the turquoise bays of Golturkbuku, or lovely little Torba.
Can you think of any more reasons why Bodrum is simply one of the most awesome summertime destinations in the Med? We'd love to hear about them in the comments below. Or, if you think it's time you took to the seas and explored this sun-splashed Turkish region, be sure to check out our offering on YachtLife Med.