For those who want to see more than Torba, the Bodrum peninsula has many resorts, each with a different character and all within easy reach by car or dolmus from Bodrum, making them ideal for a day trip or an alternative venue for lunch or a night out. The most well known are described below but don’t be confined by these suggestions, the peninsula has many pretty bays and villages, some barely discovered by tourists – perhaps you can add to our list.
Göltürkbükü is about 13 km from Torba. This is essentially two fishing villages (Gölköy and Türkbükü) which over the past few years have merged to become one small but upmarket resort popular with Istanbul’s glitterati. This enclave has become known as the St Tropez of Turkey and the yachts, stylish bars and restaurants which come alive at night bear this out – particularly at the Türkbükü end of the resort. There is no beach here but there are a couple of beach clubs from which you can while away the day in style and comfort.
Yalikavak, approximately 18 km from Torba and 15 km from Bodrum, is a small but busy resort with a harbour and marina where visiting yachts and fishing boats moor cheerfully together. This well manicured family resort has grown in recent years due to the influx of foreign property purchasers who chose to buy summer homes here.
The restaurants in the town centre and on the sea front are popular with locals and tourists alike. Whilst there are good restaurants in the town centre some of those offering more character can be found on the coast road going out of Yalikavak towards Gümüslük.
There is a small beach here, but it's more comfortable to sit in a waterside cafe and watch the world go by.
Several buildings have been tastefully restored in the town; a former water cistern has become a small art gallery and a former olive oil press is converted into a kilim showroom where visitors are welcome.
At the far end of the peninsula, 23 km from Bodrum, is Gümüslük, the undoubted jewel of the peninsula, and, thanks to strictly enforced building prohibitions, the sea front has kept its original fishing village appearance and photogenic charm.
This peaceful village is one of the oldest settlements on the Bodrum peninsula. It stands on the site of the ancient Carian city of Myndus whose seafront sections slid into the sea in some long-
Apart from the beauty and history of the area, Gümüslük is also renowned for its pretty waterfront fish restaurants linked together by decking perched over the water’s edge. These restaurants enjoy a reputation for excellent fresh fish amongst the Turks as far away as Istanbul.
Rabbit Island separates the two well-
There is also a stony sand beach at Gümüslük which is popular with those staying and visiting here, however there is little shade so do take a beach umbrella.
Approximately 18 km from Bodrum, Turgutreis is also at the extreme western end of the Bodrum peninsula. Named after the famous admiral, Turgut Reis, this is a family resort and combines a compact town centre with many low key restaurants, cafes, bars and tourist shops and several long sandy beaches and a marina. This part of the coast is also favoured by professional wind surfers as the winds are generally strong.
The inland village of Ortakent, which means 'Midtown’ straddles the main Bodrum-
Ortakent does, however, offer access to a number of beaches including the 2 km Yahsi, Yali and Kargi or Camel Beach – reached also by many day trip boats from Bodrum – where you can take a camel ride. These beaches are popular with families, but take care as the water rapidly becomes quite deep. There are several beach-
Bitez is 10 km from Bodrum, just off the main highway (D330) travelling west from Bodrum. This is a fun resort which has not succumbed to the excesses of its neighbour, Gumbet, mentioned below. The winds here are particularly favourable for windsurfing and several water sports operators are based here. The beach is sandy, with plenty of sunloungers and umbrellas for sunbathing. There is a good range of restaurants, cafes and a few bars along the seafront and adjacent backstreets and the resort is lively during the day and in the evening.
Away from the beach it is possible to wander through mandarin orange groves where oxen plough and life continues as in olden times. The village itself is a 15 minute walk, or short drive, inland and remains totally unspoiled by tourism. The only Turkish Delight (Lokum) to be made on the peninsula is made here.
Gumbet, next door to Bodrum, is the party capital of the peninsula, suited to those who want fun under the sun and under the stars. It is named after Kümbet – referring to the numerous white-
The popularity of Gümbet has also generated serious nightlife and the streets of Gümbet vibrate till dawn with the music from numerous bars, discos and street-