Bodrum is a town of white-washed houses hung with bougainvillea, rising in tiers on the green hill overlooking a dazzling blue bay at the entrance to which stands a medieval castle built by the Knights of Rhodes.
Here, where the Aegean and the Mediterranean meet, is one of Turkey 's loveliest holiday resorts, with its long palm lined waterfront and its marina crowded in the summer with elegant yachts. Not far from the town it is possible to swim in unbelievably clear, tideless, warm seas. It was the birthplace of Heredotus and the site of King Mausolus's Tomb (4 th century BC) one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Bodrum isTurkey's gateway to world tourism. Various races with differing cultures, religions and languages have lived here since times immemorial. The inclination to 'live and let live' has evolved into strong attitudes of tolerance, broad-mindedness and warm hospitality by now bred into the people of Bodrum.
Bodrum is a famous resort both with the Turkish and overseas tourists and the population goes from 50,000 in the winter months to more than half a million during the summer period. Around the bay there is a big assortment of bars, restaurants, shops and discos and is a mixture of native and cosmopolitan culture. While the nights in the town itself are alive and busy the outlying areas offer quiet and relaxing tavernas and restaurants.
Bodrum castle (or the medieval castle of St Peter ) built by the knights of Rhodes guards the entrance to Bodrum's harbour and has been converted into the Museum of Underwater Archaeology with remains dating back to the Bronze Age.
On the southern coast of the peninsula lie the golden sandy beaches at Bardakci, Gumbet, Bitez, Ortakent Yahsi, Karaincir, Bagla and Akyarlar, while on the western side are Gumusluk, Yalikavak and Turgut Reis. For those looking for a quiet relaxing holiday the northern coast fishing villages of Turkbuku, Golkoy and Gundogan offer just this.
The reputation of Bodrum's boatyards dates back to ancient times and craftsmen still build the traditional yachts today. The tirhandil has a pointed bow and stern and the gulette has a broad beam and rounded stern. The latter, especially, are used on excursions and pleasure trips and in the annual October Cup Race.
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