Bodrum Peninsula (Bodrum Yarimada)
Jutting into the Aegean Sea from southwest Turkey, the thumb-shaped Bodrum Peninsula (Bodrum Yarimada is named after the city of Bodrum on its southern coast. At the center of what’s dubbed the Turkish Riviera—or Turquoise Coast—it offers lively resorts, sleek marinas, and quiet fishing villages wedged between blue seas and windmill-dotted hills.
The Bodrum Peninsula has something for all: from the sandy beaches and traditional harbor villages of places such as Gumusluk to whitewashed seaside towns like Yalikavak, and buzzy resorts such as Turgutreis, Bitez, Gumbet, and Bodrum. In-between lie stone windmills, pine forests, lost villages, ancient ruins, and coves plied by gulet cruise boats—all perfect for discovery, escape, and adventure.
Touring the peninsula by land or sea is a popular day trip from Bodrum, with many excursions including return transfers from towns such as Gumbet, Bitez, and Yalikavak. Swap self-drive hassles for a 4WD tour of hamlets and beaches; zoom off on an all-terrain vehicle, or go scuba diving, fishing, or horseback riding. Alternatively, cruise the coast by gulet, with snorkel stops on route. Other options include multi-day cruises that visit various beauty spots and the nearby Greek islands of Kos, Symi, and Rhodes.
Things to know before you go
- Guided tours offer a hassle-free way to discover the peninsula’s highlights in a day.
- Wear sun protection during summer: the sun can be searingly hot.
- Only a few gulet cruises from Bodrum are wheelchair-accessible: check before you book.
How to get there
Bodrum is the main gateway to the peninsula, and is roughly 22 miles (35 kilometers) from Milas-Bodrum Airport. Most visitors explore by rental car or take guided tours to discover the peninsula’s highlights without having to organize independent transportation. Many visitors also use the local dolmus (public minibuses) that connect most villages and towns.
When to get there
The Bodrum Peninsula is busiest between July and September, with most popular resorts—and even quieter seaside spots—filling with visitors. During July and August, temperatures can exceed 100°F (38°C); making outdoor sightseeing uncomfortable. To explore in milder and quieter surroundings, head here in late spring or early fall.
Ancient Ruins of the Bodrum Peninsula
History buffs will appreciate two particular resorts on the Bodrum Peninsula. Together with its 15th-century Castle of St. Peter, Bodrum boasts a 1st-century amphitheater and the remnants of the 4th-century BC Mausoleum of Halicarnassus—the tomb of King Mausolus. Another lure is the ruins of the ancient city of Myndos, which can be seen submerged in the gin-clear waters of the seaside town of Gumusluk.
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- Bodrum Windmills
- Bodrum Marina
- Myndos Gate (Myndos Kapisi)
- Bodrum Amphitheater
- Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Tomb of Mausolus)
- Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology (Bodrum Sualti Arkeoloji Muzesi)
- Castle of St. Peter (Bodrum Castle)
- Lambi Beach
- Limnionas Beach
- Miletus (Miletos)