Bodrum - Ancient Halikarnassus
Exploring Bodrum - Everything you need to know about modern Bodrum and the Ancient city of Halikarnassus
Bodrum is a delightful place with the combination of the ancient metropolis, where there are lots of remains all over the town and an array of modern day buildings nestled into these ancient ruins. Situated on the South Aegean coast of Turkey, Bodrum's Population of 28,500 earns their living by fishing, boat-building, agriculture, weaving and tourism.
Previously known as Halikarnassus and home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, The Tomb of King Mausolus from which the word Mausoleum was derived. The Tomb was the accomplishment of Artemisia II. Bodrum is known to be one the hubs of the Turkish Tourism Industry. Due to its charm and beautiful surrounds, it is the perfect place for famous Turkish and foreign artists drop in for inspiration.
Bodrum hosts a variety of social and cultural events through the year:
- New Years Day is celebrated with as much verve as it is in the Western World
- Bodrum Bicycle Festival mid May - aim at cleaning up the town, encouraging drivers to take to two wheels. Starts at Neyzen Tevfik Street and ends at Quay Centre
- The Bodrum Underwater Society Diving Festival features various demonstrations and exhibitions of historic diving equipment.
- Bodrum Festival - late July to early August, staged at the Castle, features an array of musical performances, which draws sizeable crowds.
- Gumusluk International Classical Music Festival - early to late August held at the neighboring seaside village of Gumusluk. Further concerts now take place at the Bodrum Amphitheatre, attracting leading musicians and orchestras from Turkey and beyond.
- Aegean Festival - mid August staged at the Yalikavak Marina. This week long Festival features Folkloric music, dancing and food.
- Bodrum International Ballet Festival - mid to late August, features classical performances by renowned orchestras at the Castle of St. Peter.
- Bodrum Cup Wooden Yacht Regatta held in October of each year, sees traditional wooden boats from the entire world racing at this fun regatta.
These are some of the events hosted in Bodrum. There are many others.
Until the 1960's the town was a fishing village. Cevat Sakir, known by his pen-name "The Fisherman of Halicarnassus”, has been largely credited for bringing the former sleepy village to life. In his book, “Blue Voyage" he describes seeing the Aegean Coast in a gullet. This book had a great impact on the boat building and tourism industry.
The spirit of the town is in the heart of the harbor, where shops, bars and restaurants align the narrow paths under the shade of the St. Peters Castle. Strolling along the main street, Cumhurriyet Caddesi is a Shoppers Delight. Here, you can have a leather sandal handcrafted for you by experienced Artisans. Small boutiques offer fezzes and harem slippers, stylish creations with native blueprints and textiles. Souvenir shops sell beautiful onyx, copper and brassware. Cafes and restaurants offer a wide variety of international cuisine as well as Traditional Ottoman cuisine. If you are visitor, go 'native' and try the National Turkish drink, Raki. Made from grapes, this refreshingly pleasant drink is a great accompaniment to white cheese and cold dishes like tomatoes, cucumber and seafood.
As night time falls, Bodrum comes alive with the latest hits from London, Berlin or New York. The fashionable gear up for the evening starts out with a cocktail at the beach or by the pool, before heading off to one of the trendy bars or restaurants. Other people meet in the famous Cumhuriyet Caddesi, also known as Bar Street, prior to heading off to laser-lit discotheques and dancing until sunrise.
During the winter and low seasons, Bodrum is peaceful and relaxing. Narrow back streets are lined with charming white houses. You can find quiet corners around the marina to sit and watch the amazing sunset over the horizon. During the summer, the pace of life is a little wild. But you can always escape to the inland of the peninsula where villages are designed in bohemian style along sandy inlets nestling on the edges of the Coast within easy reach by Dolmush.