Sam moved to the UK in early September 2015. As we hadn’t seen each other since I left Vancouver in early April 2015 (5 months) we decided to go on a week break, somewhere cheap and hot to catch up. The Destination we chose was Bodrum, Turkey.
Bodrum is a port town in the Mugla Province, in the Southwestern Aegean of Turkey. The City was once called Halicarnassus and has been in existence since 400-500 BC. Whats best is our hotel had a fantastic of Bodrum and the surrounding Bay.
Bodrum Windmills – Whilst the windmills themselves are run down, the site which stand atop of the Bodrum peninsula offers some of the best views of Bodrum and Gumbet. We were lucky that these windmills were right next to our hotel.
Mausoleum of Mausolus – Once upon a time, the mausoleum of Mausolus stood proud at 45m tall and was one of the ancient 7 wonders of the world. Today the ruins do rely heavily on imagination.
Bodrum Castle – The castle was built in 1402 and dominates the Bodrum Skyline. Today the castle houses the museum of underwater archaeology. As a fan of the Clive Cussler NUMA books, I am surprised this hasn’t made it into any of his books thus far.
Turkish Bath – It would be wrong to visit Turkey without getting a traditional Turkish Bath. We went to a local bath, off the beaten path in Gumbet to experience the unique cleaning method.
Bodrum Market – Whilst it may not have the scale or charm of famous markets in Istanbul / Marrakesh the market is a great place to pick up souvenirs. I managed to pick up a Fenerbahçe home kit (with Van Persie on the back) for about 40TL (£10).
One of the most popular day trips in Bodrum are the all-inclusive boat trips which travel around the bays surrounding Bodrum and Gumbet. We were not in the mood to experience the ‘pirate ship’ booze cruise (something in hindsight I regret) so decided to opt for a more laid back vessel.
The boat trip is a perfect opportunity to catch some rays and enjoy the sea breeze. It also gives plenty of opportunities to get wet and jump off the boat.
We also got to visit Camel Beach which, as you guessed is a Beach with Camels on them. For a fee of around £5 we got to go on a Camel ride. Having never been on a Camel this was a definite YES for me and so I dragged Sam onto the ride. However the walk was about 50m so definitely an anti-climax for me. At least I got a few good selfies 🙂
Would we recommend the day? Absolutely, would we recommend the camel ride.. not so much!.
Snorkelling / Scuba Diving
Sam loves Scuba Diving, unfortunately due to issues with my ears my love for the water is restricted to the surface.
We decided to go for another day out on a boat to take advantage of some of the well renowned scuba diving sites around the Bodrum Bay area. The operator we chose was Happy Bubbles in Gumbet which included 2 dive opportunities for Sam.
The company were excellent, especially when Sam had a minor panic attack having not scuba dived for over a year and gave her all the assurances she needed to truly enjoy the day. I would recommend them in a heartbeat.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Bodrum Bay Resort which is very much a hotel of positives and negatives. Set on the peninsula between Bodrum and Gumbet the views were spectacular but this did mean there were many stairs to climb and the lift down to the water/pool was very hit and miss.
This was my first every experience of all-inclusive. Whilst I did enjoy the food on Day 1, by Day 3 I was bored of the repetition and Sam and I started to venture down into Bodrum itself.
The rooms were pleasant but very rough around the edges and ours was unfinished underneath the bathroom sink.