Adding Bodrum to our Istanbul trip made for the perfect mix of city chaos and beach relaxation. It was the anniversary celebration part of our trip, and made for the perfect leisurely get-away.
Getting around Bodrum:
- Getting to/from the airport: There are buses you can take from the airport to Bodrum city center, but given that our hotel was still a 30 min drive from there, we opted for a cab. It was around $35 USD for the two of us to get from the airport to our hotel, and the cab line is right outside of the airport so it’s really easy to find. Just make sure you have cash. If you’re looking for other options, contact your hotel for more.
- Accessibility: We didn’t go to Bodrum city center at all, but parts of Bodrum are hilly or have lots of steps so just be aware of the landscape where ever you go
- Public Transportation: There are bus options, but we just took a cab to and from different areas because it was just easier
- Cabs: They’re easily accessible at every hotel and there are taxi stands near all of the major areas. We only used cabs to get to different areas from our hotel. Then once we got to our destination, we just walked to our restaurant or wandered around.
- Ubers are not available in Bodrum
Where we stayed:
Another Marriott property, The Bodrum Edition. It’s a small property compared to a lot of Bodrum hotels, but a beautiful, modern resort, facing the Aegean sea. It’s also one of the few hotels to have its own beach, especially with soft white sand that we didn’t see anywhere else so assumed it was maybe imported? Wherever it came from, it was nice.
In addition to the beach, there’s also a gorgeous infinity pool, great amenities, service and restaurants, as well as activities that range from yoga to canoeing, paddle boarding, and boat rentals. The yoga class is free, hosted on an outdoor terrace, and is offered to everyone staying at the hotel. Whether or not you’re into yoga, I really suggest giving at least one class a try as it was a great way to start the day. The water activities, however, require separate payment. There are options for water activities outside of the hotel as well, but it was great to not have to go somewhere else for them.
The only potential downside is that the hotel is built on the side of a hill so there are a lot of stairs required to get, for example, from the gym up to breakfast, and then back down to the beach. But they offer golf cars (they call them buggies) to take you wherever you need to go, so it works out.
What we saw:
As mentioned above, the hotel beach is amazing so we hung out on the beach every day then popped by the Gumusluk and Yalikavak areas at night. The only two activities that took us away from the beach were paddle boarding that cost $30 USD/2 people for 30 minutes, and a two-hour private boat rental to Cennet bay that cost $500 USD – it was how we chose to celebrate our anniversary day.
The boat trip was an hour round trip and an hour in the water which worked out perfectly for us. But from a cost perspective, it was a little steep compared to what we’re used to paying for (we always try to hop on a boat during vacation). That said, based on our research, private boat rentals seem to cost the same across the board, they just vary based on date/time availability and pick-up/drop-off location. The option we chose, which was only available at our water activities desk, picked us up on our beach and offered date/time options that worked for us. The only weird part was that our hotel concierge didn’t mention that there were boat rental options available at the water activities desk, so make sure you ask around, even at your own hotel.
Where to eat / go out at night:
There are loads of lounges and restaurants to check out in and around Bodrum, but a lot of driving is required to get from one place to the next. So in the evenings, instead of bouncing from one place to the next, we would simply ask the cab to take us to a certain area and hang out there for the night.
Restaurants at The Bodrum Edition:
- The Kitchen – The basic, not-so-basic, breakfast area of the hotel because they have an all day Turkish breakfast which was the best breakfast meal I’ve ever had!
- Morena – The clam spaghetti is a must try!
- Brava – A high-end Latin-Aegean restaurant
- Melengec Restaurant – A seafood restaurant. Go to Gumusluk before sunset and grab dinner as the sun sets.
- Kosebasi Yalikavak – Kebabs and mezze right by the water
- Fenix at Yalikavak Marina – We went for a drink at the outdoor bar
Where to shop:
We did minimal shopping at the Yalikavak Marina, but you can either shop at local boutiques or high-end shops there, or you can do trinket shopping in Gumusluk.
- When to go: I think the best times to go to Turkey are spring and fall. We went at the start of September, so it was still super hot under the sun during the day, but cooled down dramatically at night.
- What to pack: Pack according to the weather keeping in mind that even if it’s hot during the day, it gets cooler at night. But, if going during the times I suggested or during summer, definitely take sunblock as well. And when it comes to shoes, Gumusluk had uneven terrain and Yalikavak was pretty flat, so you could bring heels, but I would check with your concierge on the terrain of a specific area before going so that you can dress your feet appropriately.
- Language: (See Istanbul post) Because Bodrum is a very touristy area, even visited often by the Turkish, it seemed a little more English-speaking friendly, but our hotel helped us out quite a bit by making our reservations for us.
Bodrum is not a plush, tropical, natural beach that you might imagine. It instead looks more like a desert where people placed their luxe hotels, carefully molding them to fit the lay of the land. And I couldn’t be more thankful for it.
It was a perfect way to celebrate a big anniversary. So much so that we wished we could have stayed one more day. The hotel and accompanying beach were lovely, as was the food, and the well trained staff. It was truly was a get-away vacation that reminded us of what get-away really means.
Edited by: Betty Ho