Your Guide to Bodrum
About Bodrum

Bodrum today begins an hour before dawn, as the night time silence is broken, from the minaret's heights by the rhythmical wailing of the muezzin summoning the faithful to the first of the day's five calls to pray.

With the muezzin's call to prayer as a metaphor for daytime and night time pursuits. For many it is a wakeup call, the start of the day's activities. For many others it is a call to bed, as they wend their way home at the close of Bodrum's active Nightlife. This contrast perhaps signifies Bodrum's uniqueness and diversity as a holiday resort, offering on the one hand watersports, excellent shopping, dining and Nightlife, while at the same time fervently maintaining its cultural and historical heritage. Day or night, Bodrum has it all.

Bodrum occupies a special place in many people's hearts. A popular home and resort for Turkish artists and intellectuals, Bodrum's first remembered literary character was known as the "Halicarnassus Fisherman". After the formation of the Turkish Republic in 1923 Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı was exiled to Bodrum due to his unpopular political expressions. His subsequent books and stories about life in Bodrum attracted like minded romantics to the town and were largely responsible for creating the Bohemian atmosphere Bodrum enjoys today. In fact although mostly unknown outside Turkey, Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı ranks with King Mausolus as one of Bodrum's most famous residents.

Night Life in Bodrum

Bodrum tonight begins just before sunset, heralded by the sound of rushing wings as flocks of crows return to the castle for evening roost and by the chugging of daily tour boats returning to evening harbor. The traditional holiday pastime of quietly sipping cocktails while watching the sun slowly sink into the sea is unfortunately impossible in Bodrum due to its location on the southern shore of the Bodrum peninsula.

That pleasure is reserved for those staying on the western coast, in villages such as Turgutreis. However those residing in Bodrum are perhaps more fortunate. While lacking the view of the sunset, Bodrumites, or Bodrumlu in Turkish, can witness shadows slowly ascending the whitewashed houses and surrounding hillsides as the castle takes on a glowing golden hue from the rays of the setting sun before turning an azure blue highlighted in gold as the sun sinks and the castle lights come on.

Trekking on Bodrum Peninsula

Perhaps the most alluring aspect of trekking along the peaks of hills of the Bodrum peninsula is the chance to feast one's eyes on superb panoramas of innumerable islands, capes, inlets, bays and coves that grace this Aegean coast like intricate lace. Viewed from afar the peaks have the appearance of barren rock, but a closer look often reveals that these rocks form man-made walls of terraced fields.

Construction of the terraces began in remote antiquity and continued 'till recent times, and now, shrouded by vegetation, they hide their past from the human eye.Where there are peaks there are valleys, many covered with pine and an astonishing assortment of shrubs and plants, their beauty concealed from coastal viewing by dense and disorderly construction.

The valleys and the mountains can be explored by a handful of trails along which are found dwellings and their foundations, water-wells, cisterns and ancient keeps or forts. Some of these are the remains from the oldest-known inhabitants of this area, the Lelegians, who lived here before 700 BC and, according to Strabo the Geographer (64 BC-23 AD), founded eight cities in the region.

Diving in Bodrum

The history of civilisation is recorded in the ocean depths off Turkey. The seabed is littered with relics from the past, as evidenced by the bronze age shipwreck (circa 2500 BC) that is now on display at the Bodrum Castle. In order to preserve the ancient artefacts that remain on the seabed all divers today must be accompanied by a registered dive guide, and certain areas are off limits.

The waters around Bodrum have provided a source of food, transport and wealth for thousands of years. A generation ago sponge divers were common in Bodrum, and many locals can tell a tale or two about the risks that these hardy men took.

Along the harbour front is a statue of a diver that pays tribute to Bodrum's diving history. Indeed it was a local sponge diver, Kemal Aras, who first helped the American Peter Throckmorton with his queries about the abundance of whole ancient amphora that he saw decorating Bodrum homes and gardens. From those enquiries an alliance was born between Turkey and the United States in the interests of marine archaeology, the fruits of which are displayed in the internationally acclaimed museum at the Bodrum Castle.

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