The jewel on the Turkish Riviera
Bodrum is fast becoming the Saint-Tropez of the Turkey Riviera, with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Beyoncé and the Saudi royal family choosing to spend their summers here. This trendy, cosmopolitan town is made up of sugar-cube houses that spill down the hillside into two turquoise bays. One has a glitzy new marina, the other a small beach. They’re both watched over by the turrets of St Peter’s Castle.
The town itself has only a small beach, and finding a sunlounger here can be a struggle. But a whole host of 24-carat beaches are just a short ride away on the local dolmus bus. Neighbouring Gumbet has a Blue Flag, Bardakci Bay is great for watersports, and Bagla Beach and Turgutreis have some of the best sand on this entire coast.
A holiday to Bodrum is about more than relaxing on the beach. Shopaholics, foodies, history buffs and the party crowd can all find their fill in the old town. Not only is this labyrinth of streets stuffed with tiny shops and restaurants, but it has the ruins of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Ancient Wonders of the World, right on its doorstep.
Close to Didyma
Turkey is full of ancient marvels, including the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus, 2 and a half hours away by car. A little closer to hand is Didyma, an 8th-century Ionian sanctuary and one of the places where ancient Greeks came to have their fortunes told.