Guide to Bodrum, Sailing & Blue Voyage Routes, Private Charter Yachts, and Boats
Imagine a tableau of olive-green hillsides and rocky inlets lapped by the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. And somewhere between them, you will find Bodrum — the premier seaside retreat in Turkey.
In the 1960s, Bodrum was an isolated fishing village connected to the outside world only by boat. And its residents relied on fishing, sponge diving, and trade with the Greek island of Rhodes. But everything changed in the 1980s with the opening of the international airport.
Bodrum is now home to the famed Blue Cruise on wooden gulets (traditional Turkish boats) and is known as sailing and the party capital of Turkey. Tourism has brought shopping complexes and a real estate boom to the peninsula.
But the prevailing image is still whitewashed stucco homes draped in purple bougainvillea and framed by dry, rocky mountains.
In the harbor, hundreds of pin-straight sailing masts surround the 15th – century Castle of St. Peter. By the way, we have already mentioned it in our post. Check it for more interesting places to visit in Bodrum.
And a strip of elegant bars and restaurants along the marina attests to the sophisticated air in Bodrum.
Let’s take a closer look at Bodrum together.
Multiple Personalities Of Bodrum
Bodrum is the most international summer town in Turkey. And it is renowned for its foreign restaurants, party town atmosphere, and bohemian lifestyle.
This combination is appealing, especially to young foreigners and western-oriented Turks, who flock there in summer. Bodrum has a permanent population of only 32 801 (2022). But it boasts sundry Indian, Italian, and Chinese restaurants.
And it is fast competing with the cosmopolitan dining scene of Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey with 15 million inhabitants.
We recommend that you consider Bodrum an option if you are a traveler looking for a perfect getaway, a yachtsman, or a sailing enthusiast.
In recent years, the town has attracted crowds of young British men and women, who come on cheap charter flights and package tours, looking for fun and romance.
Visitors to Bodrum go swimming and sunning on the many nearby beaches. Come night, they gather at the town’s many outdoor pubs, discos, and bars to drink, dance, and party till the wee hours of the morning.
At these pubs, love stories often begin.
“Bodrum,” locals are fond of saying, “is 30 percent sex, 25 percent love, and 45 percent relaxation.”
Located on the southeastern shore of the Bodrum Peninsula, the town is built on twin bays separated by the massive Castle of St. Peter.
Tiny, white soapbox houses, characteristic of Bodrum, rise from the town and carpet the surrounding hills and mountains. The dark silhouette of Karaada, a virtually uninhabited Turkish island, can be seen at the mouth of the bay. And the shadows of the Greek island of Kos are visible on the distant horizon.
Long jetty, and scores of yachts and sailboats moored along the waterfront protect the harbor in Bodrum. Dozens of restaurants serving seafood and small outdoor coffeehouses line this harbor.
Bodrum has a 125-berth marina. And the town is the famous starting point for the Blue Voyage, a yachting cruise along the Turkish Mediterranean coast.
Downtown Bodrum, starting from the foot of the castle and winding along the narrow Dr. Alim Bey Caddesi and Cumhuriyet Caddesi, bustles with activity in summer.
These two connected streets are full of lively bars, restaurants, tavernas, and small stores. There are gift shops selling carpets, leatherware, local jewelry, handmade sandals (for which the town is especially famous), and more.
Young artists display their paintings on street corners. Old men peddle colorful sponges, and vendors in traditional costumes sell dondurma (ice cream).
The town has been a center for boat building since the days of Mark Antony and Cleopatra. Sturdy, luxury yachts, known as gulets, are built all along the Bodrum Peninsula. But the biggest shipyards are located at Içmeler, a ten-minute drive from Bodrum.
Wind And Sea In Bodrum
Although only marshmallows prevail in Bodrum in summer, it is necessary to pay attention to the strong winds blowing from the south in spring and autumn. Bodrum’s wind is best studied from the north and south. The north winds that dominate in the summer are replaced by the south winds in spring and autumn.
The speed of the northerly winds blowing from the high hills to the shore is about 6 to 8 knots.
South Side Of Bodrum Peninsula. The south side of Bodrum Peninsula is sheltered from the north and open to southerly winds. At the beginning of the season (April 15 – May 20) and at the end of the season (September 10), we recommend that you be careful against southerly winds and anchor accordingly.
Who Should Sail In Bodrum Bay?
Bodrum has locations and routes suitable for all sailing enthusiasts, from beginners to experts, where they can catch the ideal winds. Whether you are a beginner or an expert in sailing, there are routes and places where you can catch the ideal winds. During times of the year with strong winds, we advise you to beg.
Private Charter Boats And Rental Alternatives In Bodrum
As in all Mediterranean and Aegean regions, it is possible to rent a boat or yacht in Bodrum. Rental boats and yachts are usually Bodrum-built classic wooden gulets, motor yachts, sailing boats, and sailing catamarans. Sailboats and catamarans can be rented with or without a crew (fuel and all other expenses belong to the lessee). For trips with a group of friends or business activities, information about charter sailing fleets can be found here. There are other options for chartering a boat without a crew, such as hiring a captain and a cook.
Forsaken And Isolated
Bodrum, in 1925, was a small, isolated fishermen’s village with a population of less than 2,000. It had no road connections with the provincial capital Mugla.
Thus it took Kabaagagli, accompanied by gendarmes, nearly four months to arrive in Bodrum from Ankara, the capital of the new Turkish Republic. And they trekked part of the way over mountain passes and trails that had not been used since the days of Alexander the Great.
Much has changed in Bodrum since the days of Kabaagacli.
Istanbul’s intellectual crowd in the early 1970s discovered it and made it “in place.” Soon the country’s nouveaux riches arrived, turning it into their summer hangout.
Its fame spread. And celebrities like Barbra Streisand, Dustin Hoffman, and Clint Eastwood spent holidays there.
So today the city is a veritable Turkish Suntropez.
What To Do In Bodrum?
Bodrum has a rich history. And it hosts many nature and water sports. But also, Bodrum is the center of scuba diving tourism in Turkey with more than 15 diving points. It contains many diving schools and shops. And it offers great diving alternatives for enthusiasts with its ancient underwater ruins and natural beauty.
In addition, underwater photography, sailing, swimming, canoeing, windsurfing, and water skiing are among the sports you should try.
Also, we recommend you do a Jeep safari, bicycle tours, trekking, paragliding, and camping to discover these beauties.
So How To Go To Bodrum?
Bus lines operate from almost all over Turkey to Bodrum, which is very easy to reach by land or air.
And Milas Airport is 30 km away and Dalaman Airport is 210 km away. Also, there are Bodrum shuttles and taxis from Milas Airport. And you can easily reach anywhere with the minibus lines that make regular trips to all parts of Bodrum.
If you want to admire this unique nature with pine forests where green and blue colors merge into one. If you want to see bays and beaches from the air. Or if you want to get to your yacht in comfort, then with our helicopters in Dalaman and Bodrum, we will help you make your dream come true. Just contact us.