- Stayed: August 2018
- Accommodation: Agan Pension, Bodrum City – cute little hotel in a great location (an alley opposite the hotel takes you straight to the beach). Family-run business. Treated myself to a private room and it came with a balcony, a lovely place to sit out on an evening. Recommended.
After my adventures in Istanbul and Göreme I fancied exploring some of Turkey’s beautiful coast. Based on a recommendation from my Istanbul hostel, I chose Bodrum and ended up staying in Bodrum City by chance – I found a hotel I liked the look of on Booking.com and was able to book it last minute. When I arrived, I discovered that many British people prefer to stay in the all-inclusive resorts in the Gumbet area of Bodrum and the lively ‘bar street’ is infamous. A family I met on a boat trip told me they go to Bodrum every year but have never ventured the short drive to Bodrum City and in their hotel the prices are all in British pounds which they thought was a bonus – but I just needed a basic place to stay for a few days of R&R close to the beach and I was pleased I chose Bodrum City.
To be honest, Bodrum City appears very similar to other popular coastal towns I’ve visited but it was ideal for what I was looking for and I had a lovely time. I had been looking forward to visiting the castle and Museum of Underwater Archeology but unfortunately they are closed for renovations at this time. That disappointment aside, I found the people to be very welcoming here and there are some great restaurants – the two stand outs for me were Dukkan and La Pasion. Dukkan comes up as the top choice for seafood restaurants on Trip Advisor and they were fully booked for the evening when I arrived. However, the owner is such a kind guy, as I was alone, he decided to create an extra table for me as he didn’t want me to be disappointed. The restaurant itself is very rustic and they pride themselves on offering fresh fish daily; the owner actually visits each table to show off the fresh catch of the day and let diners choose which fish they want, then he weighs it to give you a price, bringing it back to you to confirm. I had a very tasty grilled sea bass that cost me 44 lira (around 5 pounds with the current favourable exchange rate). I was really touched by the hospitality of the staff. My second recommendation is for La Pasion, a Spanish tapas bar and restaurant. This is the place to come if you want a stunning treat meal. The service is exceptional and the food is phenomenal. I thoroughly enjoyed my free shot of sangria, glasses of rose wine, selection of hot and cold tapas, chocolate lava cake and Baileys on ice. The place was absolutely packed out but even though I hadn’t booked, I got lucky again and they found a space for me. It was appreciated!
My other highlight was a day on the water with Ozzlife Boat. After reading great reviews online, I contacted Ozz at 11 pm at night via email asking if he could fit me on the boat in two days time. He got back to me immediately explaining that he had a private tour booked on the day I requested and asked if I would like to join the trip going out in the morning instead. I jumped at the chance and Ozz himself came to collect me from my hotel on his motorbike. This is typical for him – he goes above and beyond to ensure the guests on his boat have an amazing time. For around 25 British pounds, I was collected and returned to my hotel (25 mins drive from where the boat leaves in Bitez), had a sun lounger on the boat, visited 5 stops with some lovely swimming spots, and received lunch, snacks and drinks, including all-you-can drink alcohol such as wine and beer. Ozz and the boys did a fab job of looking after everyone on the boat and an enjoyable day was had by all, with new friends made by the end of the day. If you are interested in booking an Ozzlife boat trip, further details can be found here: http://ozzlifeboat.weebly.com/about-us.html
I would be happy to return to Bodrum in the future and I hear Kaş (pronounced cash) and Fethiye are also lovely coastel towns so I would like to visit them also. My time in Turkey is now drawing to a close but I have really enjoyed my time in this country and would encourage others to visit.
Selection of pictures from my stay: