Bodrum, with its white houses and red bougainvillea, is one of the most beautiful places in Turkey where you can experience both green, blue and history.
The nearest airport to reach the center of Bodrum is Milas Bodrum Airport. One day we woke up before sunrise, followed by the beauty of the sunrise on a plane, and we landed at Milas Bodrum Airport in the morning hours of the day while everyone was sleeping in their nice beds. Bodrum center is 40 km from the airport and you have two options to get to Bodrum. One of them is to take advantage of the car rental services working at the airport. The other is to use Havaş and Muttaş. They drop you off at the Bodrum bus station on Cevat Şakir Street in about 40 minutes. We preferred Havaş as we were meeting our friend in Bodrum, but if we didn’t have a meeting, we would have preferred to rent a car from the airport.
If you rent a car, you can use the underground parking lots on Cevat Şakir Street after the Bodrum bus station. If you use Mass Otopark, which is not on the right after the bus station, but on the left after İnci Street, you can park a little bit cheaper.
Let’s exit the parking lot in the direction of the vehicles. There is a maritime museum in the middle of the bazaar close to the road. Bodrum Maritime Museum is a museum for those who are interested in ship and boat models and crustaceans from the sea. In addition to information about the Fisherman of Halicarnassus and the sponge diving profession, there are models of all kinds of ships, from trawler fishing boats to the miniature of the boat on which the coffin of Cevat Pasha, the Fisherman of Halicarnassus, was carried after his death. Sea creatures are also approached scientifically and you can see their real names under each shell. You can visit every day except Monday.
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If you go to Bodrum, there is one name you should know, Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, known as the Fisherman of Halicarnassus. Cevat Pasha is also called Cevat Pasha because he was the nephew of Ahmed Cevad Pasha, who was the Grand Vizier during the reign of Abdulhamid II, the last sultan of the Ottoman Empire. Those who come to Bodrum first meet Cevat Pasha’s literary personality on the road. “When you come to Yokuşbaşı, you will see Bodrum, don’t think that you will leave as you came, the people before you were like that, they always left their minds in Bodrum,” Cevat Pasha said. His first acquaintance with Bodrum was due to an exile. Even though he served part of his sentence in Istanbul, he could not give up Bodrum and settled in Bodrum. He worked as a fisherman for many years, he dressed himself in Halicarnassus, the ancient name of Bodrum, and started to be known and shown as the Fisherman of Halicarnassus. Because he loved Bodrum so much, he started to develop it and protect its history. Cevat Pasha took his place in history because of the benefits he brought to Bodrum. There is a tree right in front of the Bodrum Maritime Museum. Planted in 1938 by Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, the Fisherman of Halicarnassus, the trunk of the tree is so wide that you must see it.
First of all, let’s go down to Bodrum marina and visit the harbor for a while. Close to the harbor, you can buy coffee from Starbucks or Kahve Dünyası, you can buy food such as pastries from the post office, or you can taste Bodrum’s special ice cream from Bitez Ice Cream Shop. Bitez Ice Cream is preferred because it has no additives other than the fruit’s own essence. Especially the pistachio ice cream is excellent.
On the other side of the Bodrum marina, not on the castle side, is one of the most important shipyards of the Ottoman Empire. Built in 1775 to meet the needs of the Ottoman navy, which was destroyed by the Russians in 1770 in Çeşme Harbor, the shipyard added its first ship to the Ottoman navy in 1784. There is an Ottoman Cemetery behind the shipyard, where a tower was built to keep watch for possible attacks. There is also the mausoleum of Cafer Pasha, an anonymous horseman and Ottoman sailor. Today, the Ottoman shipyard is used as an exhibition space where various art events and exhibitions take place.
On your trip to Bodrum, hemispherical works, some of which are painted white, will surely attract your attention. The structures, which appear as a 10-meter diameter wall built in a circle, are cisterns built during the Byzantine period according to some and the Ottoman period according to others. It is said that the history of the cisterns built to meet the water needs of the armies is over 500 years old.
After taking a tour in Bodrum marina, we are heading towards Bodrum Castle located on the east side of the harbor. The entrance to Bodrum Castle is right next to the harbor. There are busts of Herodotus and Fisherman of Halicarnassus at the gate. If you have a Müzekart, you can enter Bodrum Castle for free. In this way, you can also enter the Bodrum Underwater Archaeology Museum located inside Bodrum Castle.
Bodrum Castle, which has been used for defense purposes for many years and sometimes used as a prison, has built a tower, so the towers in Bodrum Castle are named with names such as British, French, German. Inside each tower are different artifacts. Especially in the towers reserved for underwater archaeology artifacts, it is possible to see treasures, amphorae, materials from historical ships that sank in the Mediterranean, as well as models and salvaged parts of the sinking ships.
Bodrum Castle was built by the Knights of St. John, also known as the Knights of Malta. Most of the stones used in the construction of Bodrum Castle were taken from the ruined Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Since the name given to Halicarnassus by the Knights was Petronium at the time, the word Petronium was transformed into the word Bodrum, which is used today.
Then we visit the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus. Because there is no place where we can easily park the car in the vicinity of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, let’s get the mausoleum out of the way while we are on foot. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, which is an open-air museum, has not survived to the present day because it was destroyed in time. We can only see the floor where the mausoleum is located and a few columns. However, it should be noted that this mausoleum is among the best structures built in history and is considered one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. It was built by King Mausolos and this is the reason why mausoleums were called mausoleums and later monumental tombs such as Anıtkabir were called mausoleums.
After visiting the mausoleum, we pick up our car from where we parked and head towards another peninsula of Bodrum. It is the turn of the windmills with a wonderful view on the left and right. These historic Bodrum Windmills were actively used for wheat processing until the 1950s. But then, as you can see, they were abandoned to their fate. You can park your car close to the windmills, walk around and enjoy the view.
After the windmills, we pull our car to an empty place in front of the Myndos Gate. Entrance to the area where the Myndos Gate is located is free of charge. Myndos Gate is one of the two monumental gates thought to have existed on the walls of Bodrum. Today, nothing can be seen but the remains of two walls that are about to be demolished, but it is still worth a visit if you are curious.
We reach Zeki Müren Art Museum with a 10-minute journey from Myndos Gate. The house where the art sun Zeki Müren stayed for the last 6 years of his life was turned into a museum in 2000. In the museum, you can closely examine Zeki Müren’s personal belongings, his fancy clothes, his living room, his photographs, the recording devices he used to record his voice, his awards, his Buick Regal car and many other items that belonged to Zeki Müren and touched Zeki Müren. Being in the house where Zeki Müren lived really makes you feel different emotions.
From Zeki Müren’s house we go to see the theater where open air concerts are held in Bodrum. After about 10 minutes we see the Bodrum Ancient Theater and leave our car in the empty space in front of it. Entrance to the theater is free, but there is not much to see. Elementary school students were rehearsing for the concerts to be held in the following days. We continue on our way without staying long.
After the ancient theater, we head towards the ancient city of Pedasa, where the Leger people who got along well with the Trojans and settled in Halicarnassos after the Trojan War. We arrive at Pedasa after a 12-minute journey on a specially built road. At one place they closed the road on the grounds that it was private property. You have to continue the rest on foot, but you have to spend hours to see all of Pedasa, because there are kilometers between the buildings of Pedasa. However, since there are not many standing structures, we say it is enough to examine the ancient ruins where the road ends and we return the same way. If you are not particularly curious, you can skip Pedasa Ancient City.
We have visited all the places to visit in the center of Bodrum, now it is time to visit the places around the center. This mainly consists of beaches and bays in and around Bodrum. Thus, on Saturday we will visit both historical places and bays. On Sunday, we can spend time swimming in the bays we like. In case there is a bay that you like, if you want to spend a long time there and spend time in other bays on Sunday, you can extend some of the bay program to Sunday.
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When it was evening and time to leave this beautiful city, we decided to have dinner in Güvercinlik, another town in Bodrum, as our flight was at 22:25. It takes 22 minutes (22 km) from Bodrum to Güvercinlik and 14 minutes (16 km) from Güvercinlik to the airport. So we adjust our time accordingly and set off from Bodrum to Güvercinlik. Following the D330 highway, we drive slowly along the seaside towards Güvercinlik. The sun shows its redness as it is about to set.
There are many restaurants in Güvercinlik, but of course you have to eat fish when you get there. When you sit in the restaurants, make sure they are by the sea, you will get a different taste with the sunset. Güvercinlik makes a living from fishing and they have beautiful fish. After dinner, since there was nothing extra to do and it was getting dark, we headed to the airport and left Bodrum satisfied.