As you arrive into the attractive city of Bodrum by cruise ship, one of the first sights you see is the 15th century Castle of St Peter, overlooking the modern marina and azure blue bay. It’s this blend of old and new that has seen Bodrum become one of Turkey’s most popular resort towns, and often referred to as the “New St Tropez”.
Bodrum's atmospheric streets are lined with Greco-style buildings and alfresco cafes, which overlook the sparkling Aegean Sea where traditional wooden gulet yachts bob in the water. There are endless white sandy beaches to relax on and a plethora of water sports, combining to make Bodrum a favourite getaway for both Turkish and International visitors. You can stroll along its vibrant waterfront or shop for fine leather goods and carpets in its traditional boutiques, then head out on a shore excursion to discover the highlights of the region.
No trip to Bodrum is complete without a visit to the Castle of St Peter, built by the Knights of St John between 1402 and 1409. It was partially built using the remains of the ancient Mausolus, and its fortified ramparts and structures have remained well-preserved. But it is its 5 towers for which the castle is most famed. Known as the French Tower, the Italian Tower, the German Tower, the Snake Tower, and the English Tower, they served as a symbol of the unified stance of Christian Europe against the rise of the Ottoman Empire.
The Castle of St Peter is now home to the impressive Museum of Underwater Archaeology, with an excellent collection of artefacts dating back to the Old Bronze Age, as well as the fascinating Glass Wreck Hall, which houses glass objects from ancient cities across the region.
Although destroyed by an earthquake, the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is another of Bodrum’s highlights, identified as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was built around 350BC for the ruler of the Caria Kingdom in a display of sumptuous Classical architecture. Today all that remains is a cleared platform and a few artefacts, with the materials not used in the construction of the Halikarnassus Castle placed at the British Museum in London.
Take the time to visit the Myndus Gate where one of the bloodiest battles took place during Alexander the Great’s siege of the city, as well as the 4th century BC Bodrum theatre which is one of Anatolia’s oldest. The beautiful white Old Stone Windmills, once used to grind flour, are also a picturesque site, situated on a hill between Bodrum and Gumbet.
For visitors with a few days to spend in Bodrum, the port can also be used as a launching point for shore excursions to visit the Ancient City of Ephesus, considered one of the world’s most impressive, as well as the House of the Virgin Mary, Temple of Artemis and Greek village of Sirince.
Bodrum’s rich history and undeniably picturesque setting lure countless visitors every year, and our selection of shore excursions enable you to experience all its highlights during your short time at port.