The beautiful Bodrum peninsula suits those
interested in a more subdued and relaxing atmosphere
How a sponge diver's intriguing catch helped
to unveil a fascinating world of underwater archaeology in Bodrum
of the ancient world
Unfathoming the mysteries of the deep from
is a town of white-washed houses hung with bougainvillea, rising in tiers
on the green hill overlooking a dazzling blue bay at the entrance to which
stands a medieval castle built by the Knights of Rhodes. Here, where
the Aegean and the Mediterranean meet, is one of Turkey's loveliest
holiday resorts, with its long palm lined waterfront and its marina
crowded in the summer with elegant yachts.
Not far from the town it is possible to
swim in unbelievably clear and warm seas. Underwater divers,
especially, will not want to miss the numerous,
unexplored reefs with
caves and majestic rock formations. Multicoloured sponges of all shapes and
sizes, octopus and other forms of aquatic life are commonly found here.
Afterwards, sit idly in one of the many restaurants eating delicious
seafood, with wine or some of the other Aegean specialties. Stroll beside
the marina, a popular place that beats to the tempo of this town with
yachts constantly bringing in tours and tourists from all over the world.
The boatyards of Bodrum have been famous
since ancient times and today the craftsmen still make the traditional
types of yacht: the pointed bow and stern (tirhandil) and the broad beamed
and rounded stern (gullet). The latter, especially, is used for
excursions and pleasure trips. The gullet is also used in the Bodrum Cup
Race held every October.
Shopping is a delight in Bodrum. Leather
goods of all kinds, natural sponges, and the local blue glass beads are
among the bargains to be found in the friendly little shops along the
narrow, white walled streets. Here you will find woven rugs, carpets,
leather sandals, and embroidery; also, lovely and original leisure clothes
in soft cotton.
Bodrum has a lively, friendly, Bohemian
atmosphere and many small galleries. It is the meeting place of the
Turkish art community. Renowned for its relaxed, informal life style and
its abundance of daytime fun-filled activities and night time excitement,
it is impossible to be bored. There are many interesting and varied bars,
restaurants, night clubs (some with cabaret), and, of course, some of the
best discos in Europe. If you want an exciting time at night, you will not
have far to look. In ancient times, Bodrum was known as Halicarnassus,
birthplace of Heredotus, and location of the Tomb of King Mausolus (4th
century BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The Castle of
St. Peter is a fine example of 15th century architecture and is now the
Museum of Underwater Archaeology, with remains from as far back as the
Bronze Age. The panoramic view from Göktepe, nearby, is stunning and much
photographed by those visiting the 2nd century theatre there.