Saturday 11 August 2012

The Bodrum Peninsula: Something for Everyone

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Well hello there! Has it been a while? I'm not quite sure. I sort of lost track of time while I was maxing and relaxing in Turkey, and I haven't quite snapped back into it since returning.

The Bodrum Peninsula attracts thousands of tourists every year (of the Turkish and foreign variety) and is ideal for anyone looking to set anchor to their multi-million dollar yacht for a few days, or someone who is looking to spend the entire summer on a shoestring budget.

The delights this area has to offer are seemingly endless, and while I feel like I say this a lot, there is something for just about everyone.

If you're a foodie: The cuisine here is fresh and simple. Kebabs, soups, and pides (sort of like a long, narrow pizza) dominate the scene (it's what the locals eat), but the seafood is plentiful and almost always eaten the day it was caught. Mezes are common for crowds, and sweets like baklava can be found everywhere. One of my favourite meals when in the area is the ever simple Turkish breakfast. Though it can change a bit here and there if you purchase it out, it will always consist of extraordinarily fresh bread, a local white cheese, cucumber, tomatoes, olives, butter, jam, and hard-boiled eggs. I eat this literally every day I'm there, and it's awesome.

If you're hiker: Trails are available, and generally not very busy. But be warned, it's hot. So early morning starts are recommended if travelling during the summer months.  While In the region this time around, we started in Gumusluk Harbor and circled around and up a hill that provided a secluded walk, a good climb, and a panorama of the harbor on one side, and the sea (pleasantly dotted with greek islands) on the other.  If you do this route, be sure to seek out the secluded cove on the far side of the hill that offers a perfect entry into the sea for a very private and luxurious swim. 

Other trails are discussed here, which include walks through tangerine and olive groves, past ancient windmills, and along deserted fields, but I have yet to try them.

If you're a sun-seeker: Look no further. This area is a sun-seekers paradise. The peninsula sits at the very south-west corner of Turkey, where the Mediterranean sea meets the Aegean sea - which basically translates to high temperatures, no clouds, and crystal clear turqouise water (in the summer months).  Most hotels will have their own beach, or access to a semi-private one, but there are public ones available as well - or if you're so inclined, you can just hop in wherever you please as I saw a few people do in various harbors. 

It's local law that no building be more than 2 stories high, which means you need not fret about lurking in the shadows if high buildings, the sun is everywhere (but wickered umbrellas are abound for respite when needed). 

If you're all about the glamour: You're in luck, because as laid back and simple as life can be in this area, there is also a strong presence of the glitz and glam.  You only have to look at the sea for about 5 second before seeing at least one super-yacht, a luxury sailing yacht, and a gulet. Fine restaurants, luxury resorts (of the all inclusive, and not so all inclusive variety), and upscale shopping can all be found here as well. 

If you're a culturist: The entire country is soaked in history, and this region is no different. Perhaps most famously, modern day Bodrum was once known as Halicarnassus, which was home to the tomb of Mausolus, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world (and the origin of our word, mausoleum). In the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great was known to rule the fortress along with Ada of Caria, until the famous seige of Halicarnassus. 

Today, the peninsula offers a variety of sites and festivals to visit including the Castle of St. Peter, several ruins, an annual ballet festival, an Underwater Archeology Museum, and in an overnight trip you can get to Ephesus and back.

This really does just touch the edge of all this region has to offer, and it is an absolute guarantee that a few days here and you'll forget you ever had a worry in the world.

For more detailed information, or specific questions, just ask!

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