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Explore the ancient city of Bodrum to enjoy “the land of eternal blue” (as called by Homer) on this full-day city tour around the ancient Halikarnassos and its peninsula.
Depart from the hotel and embark on a tour of Bodrum. Discover lost treasure at the museum of underwater archeology. Walk with gladiators at the amphitheater. Witness the site where Alexander the Great won one of his greatest battles. Set eyes on what remains of what was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world and finally visit Bodrum’s charming fishing villages in all their beauty and splendor.
Bodrum has something for everybody.
Get a chance to experience royalty as you walk inside this beautiful building. The Bodrum Castle (aka. St. Peter Castle) was built at the beginning of the 15th century, lies on the southwest coast of Anatolia. During the Ottoman period, it served as a small military base and later turned into a prison. The castle consists of French, Italian, German, Spanish, and English towers.
Hard to miss from the harbor at Bodrum, this historic castle also houses the museum of underwater archeology. The museum presents you with a vision of a lively travel route that the Mediterranean and Aegean seas were over the millennia.
The museum presents information in an easy-to-catch way. There are lots of murals and explanations of underwater transport and the history of the region. It offers both the young and old a view of ancient life around the busy Mediterranean and Aegean. One of the major draws in the museum is the glass hall, which features a collection of glass artifacts exhibited in a low-light room. All the pieces from glass bowls to goblets have an up light that clearly shows off all the markings and coloring.
Please don’t leave without checking out the shipwrecks where the world’s oldest shipwreck is on display, among other incredible finds, and all its treasure. Other wrecks on display here are Marmaris Serce Harbor shipwreck from the Hellenistic period. Tektas Burnu is a classical greek shipwreck from the 5th century BCE. Marmaris Serce harbor shipwreck, which had Islamic glassware from the 11th century. Finike Gelidonya shipwreck and Bodrum Yassi Ada shipwreck were discovered with over 900 amphoras from the 7th century.
As you walk through the Myndos gate, its sheer size is enough to tell you this was no ordinary gate. Situated at the east of Bodrum, Myndos (the passageway that led to Gumusluk), is the only surviving gate out of two significant gates of the ancient city of Halikarnassos which was virtually impenetrable.
The other was Mylasa in the west, which never stood the test of time. The massive gates were built as a defensive strategy against invasions. There is a fortification ditch as you approach the entrance, which is 56 meters long, 2.5 meters deep, and 7.5 meters wide. The ditch served to protect the city from ballistic devices like catapults and battering rams.
Myndos Gate is also mentioned in Alexander the Great’s famous siege of Halicarnassus. History has it that he had a hard time getting through the gates and lost many men on the wooden bridge that lay over the ditch. But he later emerged victorious even after all the resistance he faced.
If you stand at the center of the theater, you can almost hear the crowd cheering. The Bodrum amphitheater lies in central Bodrum, about 3km from Gumbet. It’s among the most well-preserved sites of Halikarnossos and a favorite for tourists visiting the area.
The theater was first built during the reign of King Mausolus and then later, renovated and expanded during the Roman era. As a typical Greek theater, it has three main sections: skene (the stage), the orchestra (half oval part), and the cavea (audience sitting area). This once famous theater now serves as an open-air museum and is sometimes used for hosting concerts and shows for local and international artists during peak seasons.
It’s also a perfect spot to view Bodrum’s marina, townscape, and coastline. You can sit on its steps and picture yourself among 13,000 spectators watching gladiators go at it with swords and clubs. Because that is what it was for in its heydays.
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was built for King Mausolos of Caria as his final resting place. After the king’s death, his wife and sister took over and saw its completion around 350 BCE.
In its glory days, it stood at over 50 meters high and remained intact until an earthquake came and tore it down. After the quake, the knight’s hospitaller came and demolished the better part of the remaining structure and used the stone to build the Castle of St Peter.
After lunch, drive to the quiet and charming village of Yalikavak, which was previously the main fishing port that lies on the northwestern part of the Bodrum peninsula.
This village maintains a beautiful yet relaxing atmosphere, which is quiet and tidy with some essential transformation like one of its oil processing plants turned into a neat souvenir shop. So, it blends the old and new in a harmonious way and reels you in with its charm.
You will quickly get lost in the peace and harmony in Yalikavak, hiding away from all the noise in the cities, yet the blue of the sea contrasts almost perfectly with the beautiful green tones of the vegetation.
Upon the hills of Yalikavak are some excellent picnic spots and beautiful paths for long nature walks. Especially in spring, when the flowers are in full bloom, it is quite a sight to behold!
Gumusluk is another fantastic site that lies about 37 kilometers from Bodrum. It is one of the oldest settlements on the peninsula and stands where the ancient city of Myndos used to be.
It’s on the beaches of Gumusluk that in 44 BCE, Brutus and Cassius made their escape after murdering Julius Caesar.
Gumusluk has retained its beauty and authenticity and will most likely remain for a long time. Unlike other holiday destinations, Gumusluk is protected against development because of its archeological value.
Sunsets at Gumusluk are merely breathtaking and perfectly fit for taking photos.
Absolutely! If you would like to skip the leisure visits of Yalikavak and Gumusluk, then a half-day tour might be a better option.