Bodrum is a popular tourist region within the Mu?la Province of Turkey. Many people choose to stay in Bodrum City when they visit the area, but there are a number of towns in the region that are well worth a visit during your holiday. The best way to view these other towns is to hire a car as public transport is not very reliable. Here are five of the best towns that you should visit, and they’re all within a 30 minute maximum drive from Bodrum City…
- Bitez: This gorgeous little Turkish village is surrounded by orchards, and has a 2km stretch of golden, sandy beach for tourists and locals to enjoy throughout the summer months. The beach is kitted out with sun loungers and umbrellas, and lined with restaurants and cafes providing refreshments and shade from the midday sun. The ruins of Pedasa is nearby for those who want some culture; this small site features defensive wall foundations and temple ruins, which date back to the lost Lelegian civilisation.
- Yalikavak: This former fishing and sponge-diving village is a lovely place for a day trip, even during the quieter winter months. The marina keeps the village relatively lively, even out of season, so you’ll always find a restaurant open when you visit. For those looking for culture, the nearby Dibek Sofrasi complex, situated in Yakaköy, is home to an art gallery, restaurant, vineyard, and museum exhibiting Ottoman antiques.
- Günd?an: This placid bay is surrounded by hills which glisten with elaborate villas. There’s a lovely sandy beach which is much more quiet and secluded than some of the other beaches in the Bodrum area. The town’s occupants are mainly retirees of status from Istanbul or Ankara, so it’s a fairly quiet and serene town. The backhills of Günd?an contain Lelegian rock tombs, and the nearby Apostal Island can be reached by a short boat journey, where you can view a well-preserved Byzantine church.
- Turgutreis: This former sponge-diving town has now turned its sights on tourism, and attracts long-term villa and apartment rentals. The town boasts 5km of sandy beaches, and a dozen tiny islets. As the second largest town in the peninsula after Bodrum, Turgutreis has plenty of shops and services to keep tourists and locals entertained and well-fed. Visit on a Saturday if you want to enjoy the weekly market in the town.
- Gümü?lük: This is one of the few fishing villages in the region that has not been taken over by modern tourism. So if you’re looking for an authentic Turkish fishing village then Gümü?lük is definitely worth a visit. The village lies around the ruins of ancient Carian Myndos; and as a protected archaeological zone the village cannot be overly developed, thankfully. Nearby Rabbit Island can be reached on foot at low tide; and after all that exploring there are a variety of local restaurants serving fresh seafood.