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Bodrum, known as 'Halicarnassus' in ancient times, is the South Aegean's most attractive resort. It is the home of the great Mausoleum, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Castle of St Peter which dominates every part of the town, and the fascinating Museum of Underwater Archaeology. Today, Bodrum is a relaxing party town with a glorious mountain surrounding.  Narrow streets wind their way down to the sea, and the peaceful setting of its twin harbours. Local boats offer tailor-made daytrips to nearby islands or the pristine beaches and seaside restaurants along the magnificent coastline. The blue Aegean waters play host to a vast range of water sports, from scuba diving to windsurfing and jet skiing. Local operators can be found all over the area. Aquatic thrills are also on offer at the town's two waterparks.

Bodrum is packed with foreign visitors in the summer, but it manages to retain its unique Turkish character. Shopping in Bodrum is quite an adventure; hundreds of shops line its narrow streets, mainly from the bus station down to the marina. They offer a variety of local goods, from carpets and kilims to leatherware, gold and silver jewellery, and designer clothing (much of which is fake). There is an extensive, colourful craft market in operation on Tuesdays, and a fruit and vegetable market on Fridays. Bargaining is the norm and it is customary to haggle down to about half the asking price.

The warm evenings are best spent dining on fresh seafood or local specialities in one of the numerous restaurants. Renowned as the top place in town for genuine Turkish food is Denizhan, a short distance out of town between Konacik and Ortakent.  It is easily reachable by bus or taxi. For excellent Aegean dishes, especially lamb, Epsilon in the old town is hard to beat.

Nightlife in Bodrum is wild and varied, offering decadent clubs and discos, but also the chance to sample partying Turkish style at one of the 'meyhanes' where the crowd joins in with the singing, dancing, eating and drinking. Most of the bars in Bodrum's mile-long 'Bar Street' (Dr. Alim Bey and Cumhuriyet Street), offer belly-dancing shows, live music and outdoor seating on the beach front with a view of the illuminated Castle of St Peter. For clubbers the place to be is Halikarnas, one of the biggest and classiest open-air clubs in the world.  As with all famous clubs expect a hefty entrance charge, but you wonít be disappointed when youíre inside. There are plenty of smaller clubs too, even one on a catamaran that sets sail late at night and takes the party out to sea until the dawn.


With the nightlife being so lively, itís common practice to sleep until late in the mornings in Bodrum, whether staying in luxury hotels, or self-catering. Itís the entertainment capital of Turkey, and holiday apartments in Bodrum Town give you easy access to an incredible range of bars and clubs. However, there are also plenty of hotels and holiday villas in Bodrum Peninsula that offer a quieter appreciation of this beautiful area. A variety of hotel options for Turkey holidays can be found online at Monarch. There are a number of resorts with great beaches - and cheap accommodation in Bodrum makes for a good base.


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