Friday, 17 Jan, 2014

If you want to see the Aegean shores, there is one place that you shouldn’t miss: Bodrum. You must have already heard of it. Bodrum, with its azure blue sea and night life extending till the first rays of daylight is the favourite vacation spot for Turks as well as the jet-setters of the world. We chose three wonderful bays for you.

This is how the legendary Turkish poet Cevat Sakir Kabaagacli, who is also known as the fisher of Halicarnassos, tells about Bodrum, where lived in the early 1900s. Years have gone by since then but Bodrum has retained its beauty. As Kabaagac, cited,while walking down the hill, your eyes will catch Bodrum in its glory. Once you come across the fortress built by the ST.Jean knights between 1406 and 1523, the small white summer houses that evokes the images of Greek is lands and the deep blue sea that leads you to eternity, you will be mesmerized by what you see. This is how it feels on your first visit as well as on your tenth time. Bodrum will never give up perplexing and bewildering you. What is there to do for a newcomer in Bodrum? What to see, what to eat and drink and where to have fun? There are several answers to the questions because Bodrum is not only made up of the city center that houses the fortress. It covers the area of the entire peninsula. The coves such as Gumbet, Bitez, Ortakent, Akyarlar, Turgutreis, Gumusluk, Yalikavak, Gundogan, Turkbuku and Torba are among the favourite summer resorts of the peninsula. All of them have a coast on Bodrum’s azure blue sea but they all have their unique characteristics. We chose three of them for a quick glance.

Gumbet

Now once you are in Bodrum, you cannot leave without seeing the other epic coves. One of the most enjoyable ways to do it is taking the opportunity to take an excursion on the boats that set sail from downtown every day. But if you opt for the land route to see the surroundings, you can take the shuttles running between different stops on the peninsula. If you are for none of those, the best option available is to hire a car. When you hit the road from Bodrum to Turgutreis, you will see Gumber right after the Bardakci Cove. Gumbet, which recently got popular with the tourists, houses five star hotels, several hostels and guest houses. It is one of the favourite resorts of British tourists. If you are into getting a sound sleep at night and rising up early in the morning to enjoy your breakfast, forget about Gumbet. This place has really overtaken downtown as far as the night life is the subject. The streets are lively and busy till daylight. We also recommend that you see the recently renovated wind mills during the day, on the Haremtan Hill between Bodrum and Gumbet.

Gumusluk

The most, Gumusluk is the most beautiful cove in Bodrum. In this small and lovely fishing town you meet the smell of fish lingering in the air. In the restaurants lined up along the coast, you get to choose the fish you want to have from the fridge before it is grilled. The fact that stuffed squash flowers, sea beans, other meals unique to the Aegean region and the seafood taste so good is because you taste them in Gumusluk. While sitting at tables illuminate by lamps made from carved pumpkins and enjoying your dinner, you will not realise how time passes by. If you want to try the local food, drop by the small restaurant Dalgic, on the shore. Although it might seem to be a village coffee house, the taste of super-thin pancake and wrapped grape leave cooked in olive oil will linger in your mouth and you will ask for more.

Don’t confine yourself to watching the Rabbit Island (Tavsan Adasi) from a distance. You can go there by walking through the shallow water. But make sure that you wear your swimsuit inside your clothes not to get wet. When you get to island, climb the pathway at the top of the hill. Once you are at the top of the hill, look beyond and you will see why we are urging you to do so. It is worth the trouble. You might get speechless in the wake of this divine beauty. You see the deep blue Aegean Sea and its small coves, small fishing boats, a lonely and unattended dock and milk-white houses lying beneath your feet.

As the coast of Gumusluk has several archaeological areas that need to be protected, new buildings constructions are not permitted. That is the reason why you do not see a big hotel along the coast. You can stay at bungalow hotels or at small hostels. If you are planning to stay longer, you can rent a house.

Ceramics are common in Gumusluk, which attracts Turkish intellectuals as well. You will find a wide range of items from jewels, ceramic objects, embroidery and needle work to glassware in the handcrafts bazaar set up right at the entrance of the town. On summer nights, small scale concerts, are performed.

When you head for the parking lot, you will see a stand where one of the most delicious tastes of Turkish cuisine, lokma, is served. The dessert on which you will sprinkle a pinch of cinnamon will be one of the tastes that will linger in your mouth. Do try it!

Golturkbuku

A quick and early reminder: The district is the most expencsive one in Bodrum. Popular with Turkish jet-setters, Golturkbuku houses posh and upscale boutique hotels and restaurants. The district became popular with those who knew it 10-15 yeras ago. After that Turkbuku and Golkoy were joined and it was named Golturkbuku. You will notice the luxury boats at sea. The paparazzi work night and day to take photos of the celebrities vacationing and sunbathing on beaches. Bashes and shows start in the early hours of the day in luxury and extravagant beach clubs. If you keen on spending your cash and enjoy being among the celebrities, you are right where you want to be. But if you are not into splendour and extravagate, Bodrum has other options open for you. The peninsula has a host of places that will appeal that will appeal to all kind of tastes. This is where its beauty lies. If you want to become visible, you’ll be, if not, no-one will ever be able to get you in your hideout.

By Aysegul Savur Ozgen