Bodrum is the most authentic beach destination this summer

Bodrum is quickly becoming a sought-after destination for those looking for an exotic vacation on the Aegean Sea. The city captivates with its unspoilt natural beauty, rich culture and warm hospitality. The growing enthusiasm for the Turkish coastline has prompted airlines to increase flight routes, making Bodrum now easily accessible.

At the entrance to the Gulf of Gokova, Bodrum has seen various incarnations of the ancient Greek city Halicarnassus in its medieval iteration as Petronium. Thousands of years of diverse influences have shaped the vibrancy of the city’s art, architecture, textiles and cuisine. Emphasis is also placed on the use of natural resources, which extends to the Turkish gastronomic tradition embracing the local terroir, the olive trees and the wood fire.

After spending most of a week in Bodrum, I was impressed with how close it was to ancient history, the skill of its craftsmen and the quality of its cuisine, although what I left behind was more than that: I was touched by the hearts of his people. There was a depth of sincerity in my interactions with the locals that left me smiling throughout my journey. A vacation in Bodrum is an adventure in a land full of authenticity.

What to see

Zai Bodrum

Zai Bodrum is a series of contemporary structures blending nature, art and Turkish gastronomy, resulting in an open-air cultural oasis. Owners Yunus and Derya Büyükkuşoğlu showcase their extensive personal collection of regional art in a rotating exhibition. Gallery owner Anna Laudel has an outpost on the grounds, currently featuring artist Flóra Borsi in a solo exhibition “Part of Me”.

Mathieu Forget: “The invitation to travel”

The interactive photographic exhibition by movement artist and performer Mathieu Forget “L’invitation au voyage” highlighting Turkish architecture is presented for the summer season at EDITION Bodrum. Viewers can download a QR code to see the performance of Forget, known as “The Flying Man”, come to life. On site, you can also see the hotel’s impressive permanent collection of Turkish artists..

Where to eat

The kitchen

World-renowned Turkish chef Osman Sezener brings his talent to the world stage at this vibrant seaside restaurant. Using local ingredients, natural processes and a wood-fired oven, The Kitchen presents a perfect fusion of Anatolian and Aegean gastronomy . With locally caught seafood in Bodrum and the Cesme Peninsula, it’s no surprise that the most popular dish is the catch of the day.

Kahraman Bodrum

Kahraman Bodrum is a traditional fish restaurant nestled in a quiet bay in Yalıkavak. Customers are welcome to choose from a wide selection of Turkish mezes. Although Kahraman Bodrum is an affordable dining experience, the restaurant does not compromise on service. Make a reservation for dinner, as it’s an idyllic spot to watch the sun sink over the horizon.

Where to stay

Deluxe Sea View Room at Bodrum EDITION.

THE Bodrum EDITION

From the moment guests step into the luxury beachfront hotel, they step into a serene paradise. The lobby is neutral and airy, with long linen curtains fluttering in the breeze, framing the dark sea view. Guests can spend their days snoozing in a private cabana or enjoying a restorative spa treatment. Stroll or take a buggy through the jasmine lined paths to the beach. The staff are attentive and accommodating, always making guests feel at home. The Bodrum EDITION is paradise in its purest form.

Elementa

This boutique hotel describes itself as “Bodrum’s best kept secret” and is a great budget option. Modern rooms have terraces lined with bright purple floral vines and glimpses of the bay. Although the hotel is not located directly on the beach, it does have an expansive swimming pool. Relax in the charming sculpture gardens or sample a Mediterranean dish at the Agora restaurant.

What to explore

Photography via The Bodrum Guide.

Dibeklihan Cultural and Artistic Village

Dibeklihan channels the spirit of the Silk Road caravanserais. Hidden in the mountains between Bodrum and Yalıkavak, this architectural gem is home to an eclectic mix of artisan shops, cafes and venues. Wander the stone hallways and browse the ceramics, caftans, jewelry, and antiques on offer. Dibeklihan also has a rotating exhibition currently featuring Turkish artist Zehra Sargin.

Mausoleum of Halicarnassus

Bodrum is home to the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The tomb was built between 353 and 350 BC for Mausolus of Caria and designed by the Greek architects Satyros and Pythius of Priene. The exchange rate with the Turkish Lira makes this attraction incredibly affordable at around $1.00.

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