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Narrow lanes lined with whitewashed houses, boutique shops and the turquoise waters of the South Aegean coupled with a dramatic volcanic hillside backdrop have made the seaside town of Bodrum popular as an upmarket resort for glamorous Istanbulites and Euro sun-seekers.
By day, visit the ruins of the Mausoleum, the final resting place of Mausolus who ruled ancient Halicarnassos from 376-353BC. There’s an excellent view from the battlements of the sprawling Castle of St Peter, which was built by the Knights of St John from 1437 to 1522 and houses the fascinating Museum of Underwater Archeology.
Numerous cafés, bars and restaurants line the seaside promenade – they’re touristy, of course, but you can people-watch and admire the traditional wooden gulet sailing boats in the marina. Bodrum’s nightlife is famously hedonistic: dance at least one night away under the stars in Bodrum – and Europe’s – biggest nightclub, Halikarnas.
There are dozens of comfy pansiyons (B&Bs), many of which have shady private gardens; avoid the town centre if you like peace at night. Family-run Hotel Güleç is a short walk from the beach and nightlife and has simple, clean rooms.
Bodrum Express Lines run one-day boat excursions to Marmaris, Cleopatra Island and Datca.
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