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A perfect day in Bodrum

09 Apr 2015 | by Charlotte Bradley

Turkey's portside town of Bodrum is renowned for its spectacular marketplaces, which take up many of the winding backstreets and large public areas. But while you'll definitely want to spend some time rifling through quality Turkish goods - from carpets and ornaments to fresh ingredients and olive oil - there's a whole whole of activities that will keep you busy. Here is our idea of a perfect day in Bodrum.

Enjoy a Turkish breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the morning, and don't the Turkish know it. You'll find a variety of great restaurants throughout Bodrum that will help you with a healthy start to your day. Turkish breakfast usually consists of salty cheese and olives, served with flavoursome tomatoes, crisp cucumber and other raw vegetables. A selection of homemade breads, jams and condiments is also served, and of course, strong Turkish coffee. You don't need to go anywhere specific to find a good quality breakfast - a wander along a nearby street ought to reveal plenty of potential places.

Turkish Bath

Head down the backstreets of Bodrum in search of a 'hamam', or Turkish bath, which will help you freshen up and get you ready for a day of sightseeing. The best ones are located in quiet little streets, away from the tourist crowds. Some date all the way back to the mid-1700s, and while the authentic ones might feel a little rough and ready, the massages are rigorous, adept and appropriate.

Seek out local markets

You might have already spent an hour or two wandering the larger markets in Bodrum, but the truth is, you haven't done it properly until you've sought out the smaller ones. These sell an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables that you won't find at the tourist traps, along with their own selections of trinkets and artefacts. Purchase some gozleme - Turkish street food that's not unlike a pasty - and meander from stall to stall until you find something you like the look of.

Grab some lunch

If your appetite isn't satisfied by the gozleme, it's time to grab some lunch. Head to a local lokanta for a lunch consisting of white beans and salad. You often won't find a menu at these little places because they cater for people who come in and order the same thing every day, but you will get authentic Turkish dishes that are homemade with care and attention.

Explore Bodrum Castle

Besides being a fascinating historical artefact all on its own, the stunning Bodrum Castle houses the Museum of Underwater Archaeology, which is truly a joy to observe. Look at the many items dredged up from the seafloor and read about how they were discovered. The building also provides a fantastic vantage point over this incredible city - you'll certainly want to bring your camera.

Enjoy a meze dinner

Meze refers to a traditional Turkish style of eating, which starts with a selection of small cold dishes followed by hot dishes, a salad and then your choice of fish. Many of the little plates are filled with foods beyond your wildest dreams, such as mashed aubergine and yogurt and garlic, or chopped fresh, sweet tomatoes, and red chili pepper. Yogurt, garlic and olive oil are all popular accompaniments to meze.

Dance the night away

Bodrum boasts some of the best nightlife in Turkey, and it is testimony to the fact that many young adults from Istanbul travel here during the summer to soak up the holiday atmosphere. You'll find clubs and bars aplenty - whether you choose to dance the night away with plenty of loud music or just sit with a cool refreshing beer on the seafront, you're certain to be pleased with your choice. Most of the noisier places can be found together, but feel free to venture into the backstreets. Here, you'll find a selection of traditional bars and restaurants. Take a seat and enjoy sipping on raki before stumbling back to your hotel. The end of a perfect day.

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