Bodrum (Halicarnassus), Turkey

A picturesque town at the junction of the Aegean and the Mediterranean is Bodrum, occupying a small but beautiful peninsula. It is one of the prettiest holiday resorts of Turkey, popular and famous for its vivacious, friendly and bohemian atmosphere.

Greeting its visitors with the marvelous castle built by the Knights of Rhodes, the town appears elegant, filled with sweet white houses, with colorful bougainvillaeas dotted about.

The clear, deep blue warm sea is an inherent characteristic of the place, rather than being a specialty, and the numerous beaches of unspoiled bays adorned with interesting rock formations offer perfect days for swimmers, divers and nature-lover. Octopuses, and sponges of various shapes and colors are also found here, complementing the aquatic beauty.

Part of the fascinating atmosphere of Bodrum is its history; remains of which are spread over this ancient city of "Halicarnassus". The tomb of King Mausolus is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and dates back to the 4th-century BC stands on this land where Herodotus, the father of history, was born. A theater (1300 seats) from the 2nd- century BC near Goktepe, is worth seeing, together with St. Peter's Castle presenting the architectural style of the 15th- century which is now a museum of underwater archaeology.

A different spectacle in Bodrum is its marina, which is a busy place hosting elegant yachts that come from all parts of the world. Bodrum Cup Race is held every October in the boatyards, and it is an enjoyable event for those interested. Bodrum is the leading place for boat-building.

The most prominent feature of Bodrum is the prevailing activity, especially filling the nights. After the intensive action in the daytime, one may choose one of the discos here -some of which are the best in Europe- and spend an exciting night of fun under the gleaming lights. Bodrum is the one of the starting points for an unforgettable "Blue Voyage" along the turquoise coast of Turkey which offers the limitless pleasure of seeing the virgin bays of mythological legends; the beauties of Kekova where the light combines with turquoise; or sailing into the antique port of Phaselis where Alexander the Great loved to stay during the winter.

THE BODRUM PENINSULA

The Bodrum peninsula is an excellent place for those who prefer a smooth and relaxing atmosphere. The charming villages on the secluded bays open their guest houses to you. The sea is beyond comparison in that area and you will find beautiful beaches adorning azure waters in Bardakci Bay, Gumbet Bay, Bitez Bay, Ortakent Yalisi, Karaincir, Bagla, Guvercinlik, Torba, Golkoy, Turkbuku, Yalikavak, Gumusluk, Kadikalesi, Turgutreis, Aspat, Karaada, Ada Bogazi (Akvaryum), Akyarlar. Holiday villages and hotels, discos and bars beside the picturesque bays contribute much to the beautiful picture. Gumbet and Bitez are heavenly places for wind-surfers with the wind and the sea perfect for this sport. Ortakent is the best choice with its sandy beaches for a solitary walk. Akyarlar beach is famous for its powdery sand. In Karaincir you will have lively days on wonderful beaches and a fine relaxing atmosphere at night in the public coffeehouses.

The northern side of the peninsula is interesting. To enjoy the best of the region, it is better to take a car trip along the coast or a boat trip to explore the coves and little islands. The white windmills, which are still used to grind grain, are fascinating and lie among the orange groves and green olive trees. You will come across a well-equipped marina in the modern village of Torba, 5 kms north of Bodrum where there are fine holiday villages, which offer active holiday facilities. Golkoy (13 kms north) and Turkbuku (15 kms) are enchanting, with taverns overlooking a nice bay. A boat trip to Karaada offers an amazing beauty. The warm mineral waters flowing out of rocks in a grotto in Karaada are known to to bee good for revitalizing the complexion.

To the north of Bodrum at Kiyikislacik (lassos) near Gulluk, is the birth-place of the mythological Dolphin Boy. The Gulf of Gulluk is very much frequented by yachters, and the town harbor has the exciting air of yachtsmanship. There is Varvil, the ancient Bargilya, with its interesting location a little south of Gulluk, at the end of a deep, narrow bay resembling a river. It is a pretty place to visit, surrounded by hillsides covered with olive trees.

Heading inland, Milas greets you with its typical Turkish houses with carved timbers and latticed windows. The beauty of handmade Milas carpets will fascinate you and most probably you will buy some to take home. In the western part of Milas is Gumuskesen, which has a monument resembling the famous Halicarnassus Mausoleum, but with miniature dimensions.

Labranda, close to Milas, is a site of the worship of Zeus. Ancient people must have chosen this spot in the high mountains as the closest place to Zeus, the God of the skies. These exhilarating, high peaks are now rediscovered for an escape and offer fascinating scenery.