Humdrum in Bodrum? No, not at all....
By Moshe Gilad - Israel News


In the Bodrum region in southwest Turkey, dozens of good hotels have been built in recent years, which offer guests luxurious summer treats at reasonable prices. For about $300, those who purchase vacations get a flight, a room in a good hotel in the Bodrum region, and endless food. The "everything included" method, after all, favors consuming unlimited food in huge quantities, and the natural human tendency is to sink into the depths of the pink cushions on the tanning couches, to move as little as possible and to stare into space a lot.

It's not bad, but after a while a sense of slight depression sets in. After two hours, or two days, you ask whether it isn't a good idea to have a glimpse of what there is in the neighborhood. It turns out that Bodrum has quite a lot to offer, especially for those who like the combination of comfortable cafes and attractive beaches.

Bodrum's airport is located about 35 kilometers from the city. Most of those who buy vacation packages don't stay in the city itself, not even nearby. Most of the vacation sites with which Israeli companies flying to Bodrum are connected, are about 20 kilometers from the city.

Bodrum is located in the southern part of a small peninsula. The distance from the city to the most western point of the peninsula is about 30 kilometers. All the sites mentioned below are scattered over the western part of the peninsula. In every hotel one can rent a small car for a sum ranging between $40 and 40 euros per day. Driving is easy, and the signs on the roads are excellent. It is more difficult to get maps, and the best way to procure them is to take a trip first to the tourism office near the castle in Bodrum. There they give out maps of reasonable quality free of charge. Gas prices are very high - about NIS 8 per liter.

Gumusluk and others

If you have to choose one beach for a day-trip in Bodrum, Gumusluk, 23 kilometers west of the city, is the best choice. As opposed to several other places in the region, built in the wake of the tourist influx that has swept the area, Gumusluk boasts the title "authentic village," and, as opposed to most of the other places we visited, they even make an effort there to preserve something of the atmosphere of a fishing village.

Building new houses is prohibited by law in Gumusluk, and the result is a collection of fishermen's homes with large balconies, surrounding a closed bay, with a small and hilly island at its entrance. The natural conditions create a wonderful landscape. Mountains surround this small harbor, in which a few boats are anchored. All the houses in the first row, near the shore, are also cafes and restaurants, and you can simply sprawl here in the shade on sofas, wade into the water occasionally, and sigh enviously at its marvelously clean turquoise color. There are no big hotels, but anyone who insists on staying here can rent rooms in the row of houses.

Aside from eating fish in the restaurants, you can swim in the protected and pleasant bay, and in the late afternoon visit "Rabbit Island," about 100 meters from the shore. In order to get to the island all you have to do is walk through the water, which is only waist high.

On the island itself, you should climb the path that turns right. Surprisingly, there is even justification for its name: If you keep quiet, after climbing about 50 meters you can see a large family of rabbits that hide most of the time in the shade of the bushes, and hop worriedly about at the sight of visitors who have arrived without bags of food. The view of Gumusluk and the shoreline from the heights of the island is just as pretty as the sight of the rabbits hopping about.

Turgutreis, five kilometers south of Gumusluk, and Yalikavak, seven kilometers north of it, are actually towns that are identical in character. Both were once small, nondescript villages; now they stand amazed at the accelerated development of tourist sites in the area. Both have been investing huge efforts in recent years to adapt themselves to the new situation. In the first stage, cafes and restaurants have been built along the pier and alongside the small harbor for pink-skinned, beer-loving tourists, and a new marketplace contains dozens of booths that sell everything tourists love: suntan lotion, boxes of Turkish delight, tiny silver earrings, apple tea packaged with two delicate glasses, and colorful ceramic bowls. The ultimate evidence of the exaggerated effort to please is that in each of these towns, one can find an Irish pub with wooden furniture, heavy curtains and beer taps identical to those common in Dublin.

In Turgutreis and Yalikavak one can spend an extremely pleasant afternoon, and combine it with shopping and a walk along the beach. But the most beautiful beaches for swimming are outside these towns. Several especially marvelous beaches can be found, for example, along the broken and twisting coastline south of Yalikavak. There are two wonderful beaches slightly east of there, near the towns of Turkbuku and Torba.

Beware of Gumbet, the coastal town nearest to Bodrum. Here the process of destroying the natural landscape has been completed, and in effect what you find there now is a huge, horrifying collection of large hotels adjacent to one another. Although you can meet tanned tourists from all over Europe here, anyone who is less interested in such humanitarian activity had better avoid the place.

The city of Bodrum

A city whose local laws include regulations that require the residents to paint their houses white and to grow at least one bougainvillea bush in every yard - arouses curiosity. Bodrum, thanks in part to these somewhat strange laws, manages to preserve a pleasant character and atmosphere, in spite of a massive attack of tourists.

About 30,000 people live here, and during the tourist season, the number of visitors seems to be far larger. There are some sites that should not be missed - for example, the Castle of St. Peter. Overlooking a tongue of dry land between the city's two bays, the castle is undoubtedly the most impressive and interesting site. It was built by the Order of Hospitaller Knights, who lived on the nearby island of Rhodes, in the 15th century.

Today the fortress contains the Underwater Archaeology Museum (entry fee is 10 Turkish liras), and the combination of the castle buildings and the museum exhibits is very successful. A few hours should be devoted to this visit, because the area of the fortress and the museum is large, and it contains several gardens with a lot of shade, where it is very pleasant to sit. During the tour you can walk along a short route marked in green, and a long route marked in red. From the highest parts of the castle there is a wide and impressive view of the city and the bays.

Near the entry gate, a distance of about 20 meters from the waterline, you will find one of the cheapest and most pleasant cafes in Bodrum, located in a closed courtyard full of broad trees and remains of stone and marble antiques.

The second prominent site in the city, which should have been much more impressive, is disappointing. Only a few stones and fragments of columns remain of the Bodrum mausoleum, which is counted, along with the Egyptian pyramids and additional sites, as one of the "seven wonders of the ancient world." A sunburned visitor needs a well-developed imagination to see in the bright courtyard, where hens are walking around, the monumental grave of King Mausolos, who ruled the city in the fourth century B.C.E. His wife, who built the grave, spared no effort, but in the 15th century C.E., the remains of the site were destroyed (entry costs 4 Turkish liras).

A lovely view of the entire city can be seen from the prominent hill southwest of the city center, on which there are vestiges of windmills that served until the 1960s for preparing the local flour. You can climb here on foot from the center, but because it's a 40-minute walk, it's better to come by car or taxi.

The port and the marina are located in the western bay of Bodrum, but the most pleasant cafes and the restaurants are on the coastline along the eastern bay, about 100 meters east of the Castle of St. Peter. Here, on the shore, there are bars and eating places that do not necessarily distinguish themselves in terms of quality, but all have a wonderful view, especially at sunset, of the water, the fortress and the boats.


Humdrum in Bodrum? No, not at all....
I've been to all the places mentioned above, the descriptions of these places are excellent.

A very nice read.

Thank you


New Member
Humdrum in Bodrum? No, not at all....
Please try the 01 Adana for real Turkish food, it is very good and well priced. It is near to the Halikarnas going left past the bars on the sea front of Bodrum. If you like night life give Gumbet a try it is usualy very lively,and it is just a short dolmus ride from Bodrum bus station.
Humdrum in Bodrum? No, not at all....
Hi Trev&Dot

Welcome to TLF

Hope you enjoy it as much as we do, I'm an addict and you know who is not far behind me xxxx ( you decided not to go out in the rain tonight then!)
Humdrum in Bodrum? No, not at all....
Gumusuk is forbidden by law to build, there are hundreds of houses everywhere , like concrete bunkers . What happened to the law?

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