This is not Turkey, This is Bodrum

Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck
This is not Turkey, this is Bodrum,” our friend Güneş relayed to us as we strolled along a seaside promenade, hearing English and other accents being bantered around beside us.

The Bodrum Peninsula in southwest Turkey is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire country and in the pleasant summer months it is overrun with visitors from all over Europe.

After a couple of days seeing all the sights, it was easy to see why. Touristy destinations are usually made touristy for a very good reason, and Bodrum is no exception.

Touristy destinations are touristy for a reason.


A view of the castle in the city of Bodrum. The castle, built in the 15th century by the Crusaders, now houses an important underwater archaeology museum.

View of the castle

A view from the castle of the port.

The Port - Bodrum, Turkey

It has antique charm a’plenty.

Lone Pigeon - Bodrum, Turkey

Spectacular lighting over many islands as the sun goes down.

Stepping Stones - Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey

The hills are lined with rows of white houses.

Sun Going Down - Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey

A stunning sunset over the Greek islands beyond (so close, you can almost taste the Ouzo).

Sun Going Down - Bodrum Peninsula, Turkey

57 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • Cat
    April 13 2012

    I read about Bodrum in a Turkish Airlines back issue at my hostel in Istanbul. Looked nice in their photos, but yours are so much more revealing! I have to much to see in that country, so enjoy it!!

    • April 14 2012

      Thanks Cat! With even three months here, there is so much in this country that we won’t get to see.

  • April 13 2012

    We’re heading to a small town about an hour outside of Bodrum next month so we’ll be interested to see how it is there. We’re not usually interested in the touristed areas but I’m hoping that our village will be a bit more calm and relaxed. Will y’all still be in Turkey next month? If so, would love to meet up.

    • April 14 2012

      Hey Akila! It should still be a little early for heavy tourist season, so you should be fine, and the scenery will surely make up for it! We are actually here through the end of May, and are housesitting up the NW coast. Would love to meet you guys too if you are in the area!

      • April 17 2012

        Dalene, Fantastic! I saw that you’re coming to TBU, so let’s talk and see if we can meet up. 🙂

  • April 13 2012

    . . you’ll need a visa to get from there to Turkey!

  • April 13 2012

    Bodrum is looking good.

  • April 13 2012

    Fantastic pics of our busy town and its peninsular. A real treat.
    Jack Scott recently posted..A Brief Lesson in Sex, Sexuality and Gender

    • April 14 2012

      Glad you liked them Jack! We really enjoyed our time there.

  • April 13 2012

    Great photos!! Love them. We love Bodrum – out of season. Very noisy in summer but to be honest, it was more Turkish holidaymakers on the stretch where we spent ONE night. We felt the need to leave the morning after due to noise. 🙂 We’re getting old I think.

    • April 14 2012

      Haha, well, we are that old then too as we’d have done the same thing! 🙂

  • April 13 2012

    Glad to hear you got to see Bodrum. It was a stop on our Royal Caribbean cruise last August. We spent most of our short day there exploring the Castle of St. Peter – we loved it! Thanks for all the photos!

    • April 14 2012

      The castle was pretty impressive, so many interesting stories behind it!

  • April 13 2012

    Love the sunset over the islands shot. It kind of looks like every island ever used in a movie poster. But your picture is better, of course.
    Steve recently posted..American Monuments – Canadian Kids

    • April 14 2012

      Sucking up after your last comment about Alberta hockey teams, huh?? Haha

  • Jeff Dobbins
    April 13 2012

    Wow. Planning a trip to Turkey and was ambivalent about Bodrum…until now. Looks amazing. Thanks

    • April 14 2012

      Glad you like them Jeff! I’d say it is worth a visit, but probably depending on when you come. The “shoulder” seasons (where the weather is nice but there aren’t as many tourists yet!) would be ideal.

  • Katy
    April 13 2012

    I love the island shot – gorgeous!

  • April 13 2012

    It’s so pretty! And, had you shown me these photos and asked where they were taken, I don’t think I would have said Turkey!

    I love the view from the castle.
    Amanda recently posted..Best Blogs of the Month: March, 2012

    • April 14 2012

      Thanks Amanda! We haven’t been to Greece yet, but I picture them quite similar as there is quite a lot of influence from both sides along this coastline.

  • lisa
    April 13 2012

    I really enjoyed Bodrum, but my favorite was Ephesis.

    • April 14 2012

      Please come back on Monday then Lisa, as we’ll have a post from our time at Ephesus!

  • Christine
    April 13 2012

    Your photos are gorgeous, as always! Love the one of the islands and the last one especially.

    P.S. Your next housesitting gig NEEDS to be in Greece. You’d love it there.

    • April 14 2012

      Haha! Everyone keeps talking to us about Greece lately…hmmm…there does tend to be a few gigs there every once in awhile…

  • Joe Wong
    April 13 2012

    great pictures for such a great place, those sunsets were awesome! (Pinned already)!

    You guys keep having fun 😉

  • April 14 2012

    I had never heard of Bodrum before. Beautiful harbour and that castle looks really interesting.

    • April 15 2012

      We really enjoyed walking through the castle – lots to see and some incredible views of the harbour!

  • HobbitTr
    April 14 2012

    It is NOT Turkey…
    Gotta agree with Turkeys for Life, outta season usually too chilly (almost always windy) too big, in season it is crowded, frentic, water pressure drops to nearly nill and it is overflowing with loud bars. The photos are stunning but see the castle and move on IMHO. Try Kaş between Fethiye and Antalya on the Turquoise Coast, stunning sunsets, great food, laid-back, our home…

    • April 14 2012

      I wish we were going to be back in that area and make it that far down…heard only great things about your home! In all honesty we probably wouldn’t have even gotten to Bodrum if it wasn’t to visit a friend, but we’re glad we did! 🙂

  • gunes gunter
    April 14 2012

    Thank you for showing all the beauties of my town. I really think there is something different for everyone in Bodrum. You can always get what you are looking for, weather it is a hip bar or a silent spot in a remote village.

    • April 15 2012

      Or an octopus boat to take you out to party on the water?? Haha! Will have to come back and try that sometime! Thanks again Gunes! 🙂

  • April 14 2012

    I love sunset shots, and that one is a doozy, but as many other have said.. that island water shot is just beautiful. Will have to come peer over your shoulder when you’re working sometime 😉
    Laurence recently posted..My favourite bits of Venice

    • April 15 2012

      That shot actually was VERY lucky. The battery on the camera was absolutely dead…Pete thought he could maybe get one more shot out of it if he was quick so snapped it immediately after turning the camera on, without even being able to check the settings!

  • Abby
    April 14 2012

    That island shot is beyond! I also love how soft you made the next photo. The more I see of Turkey the more I want to return — I was able only to see Istanbul when I was there. So exciting to see it through your eyes!

    • April 15 2012

      There is so much to see Abby! I hope you do get back here too!

  • April 15 2012

    the last photo is simply stunning!
    Maria D. recently posted..Cheap Hotels In Destin, Florida

  • April 15 2012

    I’d had a terrible impression of Bodrum as a package holiday hell so pleasantly surprised by your photos!

    • April 16 2012

      I can think of more “hellish” places than Bodrum. 🙂 I’d recommend shoulder season for less crowds, but there are quite a few towns along the peninsula and so I am sure there would be something suitable even in busy season!

  • April 15 2012

    Beautiful photos for a beautiful visit. You guys are awesome.

  • April 15 2012

    That looks fantastic. I really need to find time and money to travel to Turkey. I know I’d love it there.

  • April 16 2012

    I never got to go to Bodrum and really wanted to. I think it would be such a romantic destination!!

  • April 16 2012

    So glad we are finally getting over to Turkey this weekend! It feels like we have been waiting forever and your photos keep making us jealous haha.
    Cole @ Four Jandals recently posted..Eating Street Food in Egypt

  • A Montrealer Abroad
    April 16 2012

    Wow, so beautiful – I love the second photo! It seems like you had an amazing day!

  • April 16 2012

    I am in awe. Everything is beautiful. Every photo has me falling for Bodrum even more. I would love to go to the underwater archeology museum. This is a fantastic post!
    Alexa Meisler recently posted..Organic Hair & Skin Care On the Go with Intelligent Nutrients

  • Gary
    April 27 2012

    Hi Guys…I haven’t been able to keep up recently but ironically I have just started my last day at work and will be heading to Athens on the 17th May. I have just seen and applied for a housesitting opportunity just outside Bodrum…so a quick hop from the Greek Islands should be fairly easy!!

    I will start following again now that real work has finished…good luck to you both…cheers Gary

    • April 28 2012

      Congrats Gary on reaching your last day of work! And Bodrum is a great place for a housesit! 🙂

    May 8 2012

    14th June to 21 June 2012,
    I am going to Bodrum . Is it the peak tourist season.

    • May 9 2012

      I’m not entirely sure Hassan, but I think it could be very busy then.

      • HASSAN
        May 10 2012

        But what do you think whether London o Olympics will effect Turkey tourist spots and the season.

        • May 11 2012

          Perhaps Hassan, but the Olympics aren’t until the end of July so I’m not really sure.

  • May 13 2012

    You’ve managed to capture the essence of Bodrum – I especially love the photo of the houses on the hillside – you’ve captured them, just as the sun was shining on them, and the rest are in shadow. I really love this shot.

    If visitors to Bodrum are here for more than a day, I encourage them to hop on a dolmus and explore more of the peninsula. There are so many great towns and villages, which offer a different vibe and experience than Bodrum, and it’s a great base for doing this.
    Roving Jay recently posted..Jane’s Top 5 Picks for the Datça Peninsula

    • May 13 2012

      Thank you so much! That was my favorite photo too. And I agree with you, people should really get out and see more of the peninsula. We were so happy to have such a generous friend to take us around. I wish we had more time there!

  • Amazing photos! Love the one as the sunset behind the tiny island. The underwater archaeology museum sounds fascinating. Did you go?
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..10 Amazing Island Getaways

    • May 30 2012

      We did go to the museum! It was pretty cool, not a whole lot of stuff, but definitely worth a visit!

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