‘All men’s gains are the fruits of venturing.’ Herodotus of Halicarnassus

Year round balmy temperatures, international yachting marinas, relaxed coastal villages, elegant boutiques, chic cafés and nightclubs, and a variety of incredible dining experiences attract many to Bodrum harbor. The 15th-century Crusader castle, Museum of Underwater Archaeology, and Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, add an important historical dimension to this resort city.

The info below outlines the highlights of touring with Neyzen in Bodrum, where we recommend a minimum stay of 2 days. Any of the experiences featured here can be selected and combined to create the ultimate trip to Bodrum in line with your specific interests. Broaden your experience of Turkey by incorporating any other regions of the country or an Aegean yacht charter into your trip.


Accommodation bodrum - style


The Bodrum Peninsula has a huge range of accommodation options with something for all tastes and budgets. The peninsula itself has heaps to offer captivating beach lovers, water sports enthusiasts, archeologists, artists, party goers and yachtsmen; from world famous movie stars and politicians to artists and academics, honeymooning couples, backpackers and families of all ages, Bodrum is for everyone.

By way of accommodations, we have selected the best of all options. Our picks include a Greek style stone home turned boutique hotel offering rural vistas, high-end luxury and chic design-led hotels in the heart of the marina town, fun family resorts on the picturesque beach in Torba, not to mention the Kempinski Barbaros Bay with its internationally acclaimed spa, and the newest Aman Resort, Amanruya.

The wide range of accommodation in Bodrum offers:
  • Traditional Greek stone cottages with an artisanal twist
  • Luxury global brands, Kempinski & Aman Resort
  • Family hotels in the heart of town or on the beach
  • From A la carte full board to B&B
  • Design-led boutique chic in Turkbuku
  • Water sports
  • Lively restaurant & night life from celebrity hotspots to local fish restaurants
  • 5 star yacht marinas with shopping & dining
  • A warm welcome & fun for kids
  • Aegean Blue Voyage cruising on a gulet yacht
  • 2014 opening of both Mandarin Oriental & Four Seasons resorts

historical sites and museums


Standing at the meeting point of Bodrum’s 2 natural crescent harbors, the castle dominates the town’s landscape and offers spectacular views from its ramparts. Interestingly, the crusader knights of Rhodes built this truly atmospheric medieval castle with stones taken from one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World – the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus - located less than a km away.


Located inside Bodrum’s castle, one of Europe’s most highly rated historical museums, exhibits here include Bronze Age and Byzantine shipwrecks excavated off the local coasts and the remains of a Carian princess’ tomb. This exhibition is a truly original and creative experience; a trip into an intriguing past recalls the lives of ancient mariners who sailed to meet their destinies and shipwrecked on Anatolian shores.


The Tomb of Mausolus was built between around 353 BCE for Mausolus and Artemisia II of Caria, his wife and sister. The shrine, designed by Satyros and Pythis, stood an awesome 45 meters (49 yards) high. The finished structure was considered to be such an aesthetic triumph that Antipater of Sidon identified it as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.


Accredited to the 4th century BCE reign of King Mausolus, this well-preserved theater overlooking the wide bay of Bodrum is another witness to the great past of this town. Today concerts staging performances from international ballet and jazz to contemporary pop acts are held in the amphitheatre between April and November.


Near bodrum


Gumusluk, the ancient port of Myndos, is one of the oldest settlements on the Bodrum peninsula and in recent years has undergone some fascinating excavations. Snorkeling or diving in the bay reveals underwater remains of the ancient harbor wall. This sleepy village is famous for its waterfront seafood and fish restaurants. It is also a great spot for watching the sun set into the ocean.


The ruins of ancient Labranda are set into a steep hillside and include the temple of Zeus, a stadium and tombs. Built as a sanctuary dedicated to Zeus, Labranda was linked with ancient Mylasa by a sacred road. Famous for its spring water, fountains and baths are among other ruins on the site.


Set amongst ancient olive groves, the towering remains of the Temple of Zeus Lepsynus are among the best-preserved monuments in Asia. Hike the surrounding hills to discover the hidden ruins of a theater, an agora and massive defensive walls.


The ruins of the ancient port town of Heracleia are found in the village of Kapkırı on the tranquil shores of Lake Bafa at the foot of the sacred Latmus Mountain ridge. Part of the Temple of Athena still stands here at its full original height.


Covering 65 square km, Bafa lake and reserve attracts birdwatchers, botanists, artists and nature lovers; the ancient walking trails are great for hikers and climbing, while the lake is perfect for boat trips. Protected by the city of Miletus in antiquity, the lake at that time formed a gulf of the Aegean Sea until the Classical period, when the sea passage was gradually closed by the alluvial mass brought by the Büyük Menderes River. The shoreline of this beautiful and historic lake and the surrounding Latmus Mountains is virtually untouched, wild with olive groves and a unique and rare flora and fauna. It is home to 224 known bird species including the dalmatian pelican, fish eagle, common tern, pygmy cormorant and heron.




Begin the day at a farmers’ market discovering local seasonal produce while shopping for ingredients. Here, local villagers sell self-harvested olives, sheep and goat cheeses, an intriguing variety of indigenous greens, herbs and roots, an array of fruit and vegetables, spices and nuts, as well as homemade preserves, honey and pickles. After shopping, drive to the village home of your host for the cooking class where you learn to cook a selection of dishes from the Aegean Turkish kitchen, many prepared with olive oil, herbs, lemon and garlic, and each with its own unique character and interesting history. After a friendly and relaxed presentation and experimenting on your own, sit down to enjoy the dishes you have prepared in the company of your host. Lunch is served with quality Turkish wines and homemade lemonade with mint.

Depending on the seasonal produce available, menus might include:

  • Borek - Flaky pastry with goat cheese & a herb filling
  • Kısır - Tangy bulgur wheat salad
  • Carrots with yogurt & garlic
  • Leeks, fresh green beans or artichoke hearts in olive oil
  • Purslane salad with mint, capers, red onion & goat cheese
  • Spicy bulgur pilaf
  • Dolma - Zucchini flowers, grape leaves or peppers stuffed with meat, rice & herbs
  • Apricots stuffed with kaymak, clotted cream



Local markets are held on each day of the week at various villages on the peninsula and famously in Bodrum itself on Tuesdays and Fridays. The textile markets in Bodrum, Yalikavak and Turgutreis are a hive of activity selling a vivid and interesting array of fabrics from all over the region. The market stalls also offer inexpensive kilims, carpets, kitchenware, and clothing of all description. The farmers’ markets overflow daily with colorful seasonal and local produce including fruits, vegetables, olives and olive oil, honey, tahini, cheeses, nuts and dried fruit. A great variety of herbs, spices and teas promises cures for all and provides that extra Aegean something to your culinary skills. You will also find all-natural products, including soaps, oils and sea sponges.


With such a diverse variety of shops, you’ll be able to find anything from international brands to antique fabrics and carpets, handmade crafts, gold, leather, a sea of silver jewelry, ceramics and more.

shopping experiences in Bodrum to go out of your way for:
  • The famous locally made glass blown beads in Yalıkavak market on Thursdays
  • Leather sandals handmade in modern or traditional styles in Bodrum’s old town center
  • Handmade & painted ceramics from the Gumusluk market
  • Büra Velioğlu’s studio in Bitez for elegant & original jewelry made of pure silver
  • Bodrum Havlu near Turkbuku for top-quality linens, towels, and traditional silk & cotton Turkish bathing cloths called peştamal
  • Ipekçe in Turkbuku for a selection of unusual jewelry, clothing & decorative items
  • Bodrum Marina has a parade of boutiques & international designer brands including
    EC Diamond for high-end jewelry, one-off pieces & antiques



Set sail for a day of complete relaxation on one of Neyzen’s luxury gulet yachts, and experience Bodrum from the famous waters of the Aegean. Relax on deck, swim and snorkel in dazzling untouched bays and coves, and enjoy the culinary sensations and great service of your chef and crew.

Spacious decks complement the yacht’s ancient and elegant design, as well as up-to-date nautical equipment, dining facilities and cushioned lounge areas above and below deck, shaded tenting and other contemporary comforts.

A wholesome and delicious lunch of Turkish-fusion cuisine will be served on board. All food is prepared with seasonal produce from our ecological garden or the local farmers’ market.

Menus include:

  • Stone-ground bread
  • Fresh fennel salad with avocado & green apple
  • Goat cheese and walnuts
  • Purslane salad with yogurt and mint
  • Stuffed artichokes with basmati rice
  • Ground lamb and fresh herbs
  • Fresh seasonal fruit
  • Dried apricots stuffed with walnuts and thick yogurt

Bodrum offers a world famous nightlife that is only becoming more refined as the peninsula develops its 5 star marinas and attracts more of the international glitterati each year. Kuba Bar in Bodrum is a favorite, and Turbuku has been a magnet for the jetset and their super yachts for many years with several exclusive water front clubs. The new international Yalikavak marina offers the latest in fine dining and prestige party places at the Billionaire Club and Cipriani’s. There are many other more low key bars and nightclubs that offer a great local atmosphere, live music of all kinds, and fun into the early hours.




Insider tour of the Bodrum Underwater Archaeological Museum with Dr Don Frey

There is no greater fountain of knowledge than Don Frey when it comes to the exhibits at the Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Bodrum. For 38 years Frey has been involved with the excavation of almost every artifact on display here.

This private guided tour pays particular attention to 2 shipwrecks in the museum. The first is the 3,300-year-old Uluburun ship, discovered by surveys that Frey conducted along the Turkish coast. It took the Institute of Nautical Archaeology team 11 years and over 23,000 dives to excavate and is cited by Scientific American magazine as one of the 10 most important archaeological finds of the last century. The only surviving gold scarab of Queen Nefertiti is just one of the incredible artifacts found. You will also view the 1000-year-old Glass Wreck, which carried 3 tons of glass cullet in the form of raw glass and broken glassware glass to the seabed. This ship is a unique time capsule of maritime life preserving galley ware, tools, weapons, fishing gear, other personal effects and a chess set.


Located in the pretty stone village of Bitez, this property is surrounded by Cyprus trees and centuries-old olive groves. The garden consists of citrus groves, greenhouses, nurseries and wild nature preserve. More than 200 plant species grow here, many of them native to southwestern Turkey. The vision of the garden has been to incorporate native plants with edibles and Mediterranean plants. The plantation is made up of fruit and nut trees including almond, walnut, pomegranate, fig, apple and pear, mandarin, orange and lemon. The vegetable garden and greenhouse harvest produce all year round while a variety of herbs from rosemary and lavender to oregano, basil and cilantro grow almost wild.

Enjoy a leisurely guided walk through the traditional village of Bitez with the property owner, before returning to explore the garden, and later sample the delicious Turkish Borek, a traditional homemade pastry filled with goat cheese and a selection of herbs and indigenous greens straight from the garden.




Bodrum's climate is very mild and particularly beautiful in spring and autumn, making it an ideal area for hiking. From archaeology enthusiasts and nature lovers to photographers and artists there are some beautiful hikes suiting a range of abilities. Ancient sites, pretty villages and stone architecture scatter the peninsula and there are some truly breathtaking views. Hike with one of our experienced guides to sites such as the ancient ruins at Pedasa or Sandima before ending the trip with lunch in a local fish taverna.


Pedasa was the capital of the Leleg Kingdom and one of the most important cities of a 3,500-year-old civilization. Its ruins lie hidden on the crest of a hill covered with pine trees, olive groves and scattered with wild flowers and are contained within a circle of 150 meters in diameter. From here, to the south and southeast, you can see tombs dating to the Leleg period. The hike takes approximately 2 hours.


This site is a deserted, Greek village, one of many that were vacated during the exchange of populations in 1922. Today, renovation work has started on one of the houses, suggesting that the village will not remain empty for much longer. Sandima is situated in a bowl at the base of a ring of barren hills and is accessible by car but makes for a very pleasant walk. The views of Yalikavak are glorious and passing through a couple of rural villages along the way offers added local interest.



Bodrum’s amphitheater is still used for events and performances today
Bodrum’s amphitheater is still used for events and performances today
Accommodation in Bodrum with waterfront terraces & balconies
Accommodation in Bodrum with waterfront terraces & balconies
The historic and vibrant marina town of Bodrum, the ancient Halikarnassus and birthplace of Herodotus
The historic and vibrant marina town of Bodrum, the ancient Halikarnassus and birthplace of Herodotus
Bodrum shipwreck dive
Bodrum shipwreck dive
bodrum shipwreck
bodrum shipwreck
Gumusluk village, the site of ancient Myndos, on the Bodrum Peninsula
Gumusluk village, the site of ancient Myndos, on the Bodrum Peninsula
Sample fantastic Aegean cuisine in one of the local waterfront seafood restaurants
Sample fantastic Aegean cuisine in one of the local waterfront seafood restaurants
Yachts Gumusluk
Yachts Gumusluk
How we custom design tours

The destinations, sites and excursions outlined here are great inspiration for creating your custom designed itinerary. As well as being experts on Turkey, we understand people, and have been designing imaginative vacations here for over 25 years. The trips we offer cater to a range of budgets but maintain our high standards and consistently deliver a unique style and concept. For advice on creating a tailor made itinerary taking you exactly where you want to go and doing the things you most enjoy, contact us here.

Bodrum Harbor and Marina
Bodrum marina for yachting and Blue Cruise holidays
  • Bodrum attracts visitors from all over the world for Blue Voyage vacations, and annual yacht regattas & races
Bodrum Dining
Bodrum local market Fish & Seafood restaurants
  • A variety of restaurant experiences from local seafood market tavernas to high end Aegean-Fusion Cuisine
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