Bodrum is this summer’s most authentic seaside destination

Bodrum is quickly becoming a desirable destination for those seeking an exotic holiday in the Aegean. The city impresses with its unspoilt natural beauty, rich culture and warm hospitality. The growing enthusiasm for the Turkish coast has prompted airlines to expand flight routes, making Bodrum now easily accessible.

At the entrance to the Gulf of Gokova, Bodrum has seen various incarnations, from the ancient Greek city of Halicarnassus to its medieval iteration as the Petronium. Thousands of years of diverse influences have shaped the dynamism of the city’s art, architecture, textiles and cuisine. Another focus is on the use of natural resources the Turkish gastronomic tradition that embraces local soil, olive trees and a wood fire.

Having spent the best part of a week in Bodrum, I was struck by how close I could be to the ancient history, the craftsmanship of their artisans and the quality of their cuisine, although what I left behind was more than that: I was touched by the heart of his People. There was a depth of sincerity in my interactions with the locals that kept me smiling throughout my trip. A holiday in Bodrum is an adventure in a land of authenticity.

Something to see

Zai Bodrum

Zai Bodrum is a series of contemporary structures that intertwine nature, art and Turkish gastronomy, resulting in an open-air cultural oasis. The owners Yunus and Derya Büyükkuşoğlu present their extensive personal collection of regional art in a changing exhibition. Gallery owner Anna Laudel has an outpost on the site, which is currently hosting artist Flóra Borsi in a solo exhibition, Part of Me.

Mathieu Forget: “Invitation to Travel”

Movement artist and performer Mathieu Forget’s interactive photo exhibition ‘L’invitation au voyage’, showing Turkish architecture, is on view at the Bodrum Edition Hotel for the summer season. Viewers can download a QR code to see the performances of Forget, known as “the flying man,” come to life. On the grounds, guests can also see the hotel’s impressive permanent collection of Turkish artists.

where should we eat

The kitchen

World-renowned Turkish chef Osman Sezener brings his talent to the world stage at this vibrant seaside restaurant. Using local ingredients, natural processes and a wood-fired oven, The Kitchen presents a perfect fusion between Anatolian and Aegean gastronomy. With seafood caught in Bodrum and the Cesme Peninsula, it’s no surprise that the most popular dish is the catch of the day.

Kahraman Bodrum

Kahraman Bodrum is a traditional seafood restaurant tucked away in a quiet bay in Yalıkavak. Guests are invited to choose from an extensive selection of Turkish mezze. Although Kahraman Bodrum is a budget dining experience, the restaurant does not compromise on service. Make reservations for dinner, as it’s an idyllic spot to watch the sun sink below the horizon.

Where to sleep

Deluxe Sea View Room in Bodrum Edition.

The Bodrum Edition

From the moment guests enter the luxurious beach hotel, they step into a tranquil paradise. The lobby is neutral and airy, with long linen curtains swaying in the breeze framing views of the wine-dark sea. Guests can spend their days snoozing in a private cabana or enjoying a rejuvenating spa treatment. Stroll the jasmine-lined pathways or take a buggy to the beach. The attentive and courteous staff makes guests feel at home. The Bodrum Edition is heaven in its purest form.

elementa

Billing itself as “the best kept secret in Bodrum,” this boutique hotel is a great budget option. The modern guest rooms have terraces lined with bright purple flower tendrils and offer views of the bay. Though the hotel isn’t directly on the beach, it does have an expansive pool. Relax in the enchanting sculpture gardens or enjoy a Mediterranean meal at the Agora Restaurant.

What to discover

Photography via The Guide Bodrum.

Culture and Art Village Dibeklihan

Dibeklihan channels the spirit of the Silk Road caravanserai. Tucked away in the mountains between Bodrum and Yalıkavak, this architectural gem is home to an eclectic mix of craft shops, cafes and venues. Stroll through the stone corridors and peruse the ceramics, kaftans, jewelry and antiques on offer. Dibeklihan also has a rotating exhibition with Turkish artist Zehra Sargin.

Mausoleum at Halicarnassus

Bodrum is home to the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The tomb was built between 353 and 350 BC. Built for Mausolus of Caria and designed by the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene. The exchange rate to the Turkish Lira makes this attraction incredibly affordable at around $1.00.

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