Blessed with beautiful beaches, glittering yacht-filled marina and a fascinating history, it’s not hard to see why Bodrum, built on the ruins of the ancient city of Halicarnassus, counts Prince Charles, Roman Abramovich and Jade Jagger among its many fans.
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Back in time
Once home to one of the seven ancient wonders of the world, Bodrum is crammed with ancient sites, even if there isn’t much left of the vast Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Highlights include Bodrum Kalesi, a 13th-century castle built by the Knights Hospitaller, and the Bodrum Amphitheatre Myndos Gate, both of which date back to the 355 BC reign of King Mausolus, whose sister (and wife) Artemisia built the Mausoleum.
When Turkish writer Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı was exiled to Bodrum in the 1940s, he swiftly succumbed to its charms and convinced everyone else to do the same via his book, the Blue Voyage, which charted his travels in and around the area. A day spent following in his footsteps on a traditional wooden sailing boat (gulet to the locals) lets you take in some of the pretty cove-pitted coastline, as well as the ancient Dorian city of Knidos on the tip of the Datça Peninsula.
There’s no shortage of beaches from which to enjoy the crystal-clear Aegean Sea but for a closer look at its underwater treasures, a scuba-diving expedition is not to be missed. As you’ll realise on a holiday to Bodrum from Glasgow Airport, the area boasts 15 different dive sites, among them the Büyük Rif (Big Reef), which is home to everything from octopus to Moray eels and schools of colourful grouper. At Yassi Ada, a volcanic island just off the Bodrum coast, you can even see rays.