Best for: Isolated sailing, lovely anchorages, decent winds Look out for: Bodrum is a busy touristy town, quite isolated
What to Expect
Bodrum offers a striking contrast between the bustle of a lively tourist city with a sparsely populated sailing ground. Discover a wealth of single restaurant bays, secluded inlets, peaceful anchorages and wonderful heritage sites. 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.
Bodrum at a Glance
A lively tourist city that couldn't contrast more to the quiet, sparsely populated sailing area that it gives access to
TVisit isolated inlets surrounded by pine trees, with single restaurants serving amazing seafood and lamb dishes
Enjoy excellent sailing breezes from the north, north west with an average of Force 4 during August
Bodrum Sailing Itineraries
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.
A wonderful sailing itinerary, covering both the Gulf of Gokova and then around the Datca toward Hisaronu
Sailing Bodrum in Detail
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.
A Bit of History
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 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 to Bodrum
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.