Bodrum's backyard

bodpen1Stretching out to the west of Bodrum, the Bodrum Peninsula was once an area of great natural beauty, reminiscent, with its rocky landscape and endless seascapes, of some of the Greek islands.

Unfortunately, rampant overdevelopment has diminished the beauty of much of the coast - even in pretty Gümüşlük which is theoretically protected the serried ranks of identikit holiday homes spoil the views from one end of the beach.

For those in search of the less developed parts of the peninsula in general the north still remains less built-up than the south.

In the last five years so much building has taken place that it can now take almost half-an-hour just to get out of the Bodrum sprawl, and traffic jams are a frequent occurrence in summer. Gaps between settlements are fast vanishing; Gümüşlük and Yalıkavak, for example, now run right up against each other.

Once known for its mandalina (mandarin) orchards, the Bodrum Peninsula is now best known for tourism with a number of exclusive hotel-resort complexes dominating some of the smaller bays and many many hotels and apartments catering for less monied visitors everywhere else. 

Most people flock to the peninsula to indulge in the pleasures of sun, sea and sand. If you want to get in some sightseeing too your best bet will be Gümüşlük which sits on top of the remains of ancient Myndos. From Yalıkavak you might also like to venture up to Sandırma, an abandoned village offering spectacular views back out to sea.

For those interested in architecture there are a few quirky details to look out for. Most obvious although most ignored are the igloo-shaped, whitewashed gümbets, stone cisterns once used to store water.bodpen2

Then there are the towerhouses of the interior which will remind some visitors of the towerhouses of the Mani Peninsula in Greece. The best place to see them is Ortakent where the Mustafa Paşa Kule dates back to 1601. A second tower has been converted into a private home. There are also a few examples in Bodrum itself.

Finally, if you look at the eaves of the older houses on the peninsula you will notice that they curve upwards in a style said to stretch right back to Minoan Greece. Conceivably these "horns" were intended to ward off the evil eye. 

Transport info

There are regular flights from İstanbul to Bodrum International Airport which is actually closer to Milas than Bodrum; Havaş buses connect the airport with the resort.

There are dolmuş services to most of the villages on the peninsula from Bodrum otogar. Sometimes you can't continue from one resort to another but must backtrack to Bodrum or Ortakent to make a connection.

Around the peninsula

















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