Bodrum is known for beautiful beaches, each with its own personality. Some of the most popular include – Bardakçı, Gümbet, Bodrum, Camel, Bitez, Kadikalesi, Fener, Turgutreis, Karaincir, Torba, and Yahsi. In addition to tourist favorites, locals have their own “hidden beaches“. So far, I’ve visited beaches located near my hotel – Turgutreis, Bardakçı, and Gümbet. That’s soon to change, as I continue exploring the Bodrum Peninsula.
Spring in Turkey is pleasant with occasional rain and cool breezy nights. Hot days have been REALLY hot, so summer must be sizzling. Now is the best time to enjoy uncrowded beaches and the sounds, smells, and colors of the Mediterranean Sea.
Bardakçı Beach is below my hotel. It’s a small sandy beach on the Bardakçı Bay coastline near the town center between Bodrum Harbor and Gümbet. The beach is surrounded by resorts, villas, and hotels.
“In ancient myth, Bardakçı is known as the Bay of Salmacis. It’s the place where Hermaphroditus, the son of the god Hermes and the goddess Aphrodite, fell in love with the water nymph Salmacis.”
Located near central Bodrum, Gümbet Beach is named after the gümbets (white-domed cisterns used to gather rainwater) lining the surrounding hills. Gümbet is a favorite easily-accessible beach. Popular with scuba divers, its coral reef has colorful Mediterranean fish, orange sponges, and sea urchins.
I watched the sunset and had dinner at a restaurant near Gümbet Beach where tall-masted gulets sat anchored in the bay. They serve delicious homemade Turkish ravioli (manti). The happy crowd was mostly Turkish. They played lively ethnic music and welcomed me as part of the group.
The Greek island Kos is visible from slender, sandy Turgutreis Beach. Close-in beaches employ staff to serve drinks and food to swimmers and sunbathers. The surrounding coastline is beautiful, and it’s a short walk to quiet seaside villages like Kadikalesi and Gümüşlük.
Camel Beach is a distant sandy beach in the southwest. Locals say the sea there is warmer. It’s called Camel Beach since touring camels are waiting to take you for a ride over the sand!
Camel Beach has a natural shallow bay, where a cooling sea breeze picks up in the afternoon. It’s about a half mile west of Bodrum in the bay next to Gümbet Beach, within walking distance of some beautiful mandarin groves. It’s the windsurfing beach.
As you follow the peninsula west, Yahsi Beach is a large beach with very deep water. You can reach Yahsi Beach via minibus (dolmus) from Bodrum’s main bus station. It’s in the bay next to Bitez Beach.
I love exploring Bodrum and cherish the time spent in Turkey!