This is not Turkey, This is Bodrum

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Words by Dalene Heck / Photography by Pete Heck

This is not Turkey, this is Bodrum,” our friend GΓΌneş 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.

Bodrum_038

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

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58 Comments

  1. 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!!

  2. 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.

    1. 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!

  3. 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. πŸ™‚ We’re getting old I think.
    Julia

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

    1. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    You guys keep having fun πŸ˜‰

  10. 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…

    1. 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! πŸ™‚

  11. 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.

    1. 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! πŸ™‚

  12. 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 πŸ˜‰

    1. 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!

  13. 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!

    1. I can think of more “hellish” places than Bodrum. πŸ™‚ 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!

      1. Other destinations on the Bodrum Peninsula, like Gundogan or Torba, are within easy reach, and a lot more laid back, even in the height of summer.

  14. 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!

  15. 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

  16. 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.

    1. 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!

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