Sailors have the choice of staying within the Gulf of Gokova, or passing round the Datca Peninsula into Hisaronu Bay. Either way, a lovely holiday awaits.
Bodrum itself is a loud but friendly modern city that has a great deal of interesting history to it. Not least of all is Bodrum Castle, which was built by the Knights Hospitaller starting in 1402 as the Castle of St. Peter, largely from the ruins of a Mausoleum dating back to 357 BC. The castle today is a museum and there are the finds of two great ship wrecks on display. The most impressive being the "Glass wreck ship of Serçe Bay."
Bodrum has plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from, supermarkets to stock up (which is important to do given the isolated sailing area) and the centre has a maze of bazaar like streets offering immense souvenir opportunities.
The Sailing Area
Departing Bodrum, you really do leave civilisation behind and enter a world of pine clad mountains falling precipitously to the waters edge, blue and turquoise coloured seas and the remnants of ancient civilisations waiting to be explored.
Within the Gulf of Gokova are various bays, coves and inlets that sport nothing more than a jetty and a restaurant. There are several bays on the northern coast, including Cokertme, Akbuk and Alakisla Buku, but it is the south east of the gulf where you will find a treasure trove of small anchorages and bays. Of note are Yedi Adalari (in particular, 'Amazon Creek'), Kargili Buku and English Harbour.
English Harbour was aptly named due to a small elite group of Royal Marine commandos who worked from this quiet and secluded bay during World War II. There are no remains of any buildings, but it is alleged that many attacks against the Dodecanese Islands where made from this part of the coastline. Visit the local restaurants to sample fish specialities such as grilled octopus and steamed grouper. Kuzu çevirme (spit roast lamb) can be ordered one day in advance.
Make sure you visit Cleopatra's Island. You can experience great snorkelling, swim ashore and visit the famed sands of Cleopatra's beach - the sand is white and fine, some geologists argue that these sands originated from north Africa and others say they are from Turkey. The legend goes that Cleopatra so loved the Turkish coastline that she frequented these shores often and that Mark Anthony brought the sands found on this beach from north Africa for her as a gift.
From Bodrum you can also sail south around the Datca Peninsula, past Cnidus and into the Hisaronu Gulf. Here you will find a whole new sailors equivalent of Aladdin's Cave, with as many, if not more, anchorages as the Gulf of Gokova. Visit Datca, Sailor's Paradise, Selimiye, Dirsek Buku and many many more. Holidaymakers sailing a two week itinerary will of course enjoy the benefit of visiting both these lovely areas.
Wind and Weather (click here)
Weather: The summer season is long hot and dry. During May and Ocotober expect temperatures already into the mid-20s, while during August temperatures average in the mid-30s. As temperatures can peak at around 40 degrees! we often advise that Turkey isn't the place to take children in the peak season.
The winds in the Gulf of Gokova and the surrounds prevail from the north, north-west and average during August approximately 14-16 knots (Force 4, moderate winds). During early and late season the winds shift slightly to the west with fresher days more common.
Look out for winds whipping around the headlands, which are accommpanied by some choppy seas, particularly off the island of Kos.
How to get here (click here)
Bodrum has its own airport, Milas-Bodrum Airport which at the time of writing is serviced by airlines flying from London, Liverpool and Bristol (Sundays). It is a 35 minute transfer from the airport to Bodrum Marina.