You can find everything you are looking for in Bodrum. With its enigmatic elegance and white washed houses with bright – blue trims this seaside getaway is a favourite holiday spot for both local and foreign tourists.
The grand castle, glittering marina and delightful cafes with brightly coloured mix match chairs, give this once fishing village an air of opulence that makes it a desirable destination.
Walking along the waterfront on a spring day with the sun peeking between random puffs of cloud i noticed the local dogs where even lazy, as they lay in the sun dozing off, enjoying the sound of water lapping onto the pebbled beach

With 48 hours in this delightful town I had a lot to see. Some of my recommendations for a first timer wanting to get the most out of this paradise are shared here. There is of course so much more to do

Sleep at : Ena Boutique Hotel

This impressive 4 star hotel is perfectly located. It has luxurious rooms that have beautiful sea views and an outdoor pool. The terrace restaurant was the ideal way to start a day, after a scrumptious breakfast, take time to sit outside and drink a coffee and soak up the magnificent views and morning sun. I can assure you that its hard to get yourself motivated in this ideal setting.

For a budget sleep at ; Duru Butik Hotel

Less than a 20 minute walk from the castle, this whimsical lodging is a cloud of colour with all the bright umbrellas that sway gently in the breeze both in the courtyard and on the upstairs terrace. The freshly painted white walls and blue decor make it a fun place to stay. Its simple but caters for all a travellers needs.

Eat at : Leman Kultur Restaurant

Cartoon characters all over, this animated restaurant has 14 franchises around Turkey with the first opening in 2013. It started out initially as a work environment for Leman journal staff , the idea flourished and became a place for gathering and performances. A favourite place for university students, it has a varied menu providing for all budgets and tastes. Attention to detail is great with animated serviettes and comical table tops. The atmosphere is fun and relaxed. Upon leaving the restaurant located on the waterfront, I am convinced that happiness is in the genres of the people that live here as I look at the smiles on their faces and spring in their step. Another reason could be their full bellies from all the yummy food.

Shop at : Socrates

I came across this boutique shop in a peaceful ally way on my first visit to Bodrum. I enjoyed tea with the owners and fell in love with their 100% hand printed cotton dresses and brightly coloured accessories like cushions and jewellery. The clothing is tasteful and everything is original. You actually feel like you are in Mykonos when you step into the store. With perfect english the staff are happy to assist. They have second store near the marina in the covered strip mall.

Buy fresh Fish: At the Marina

Strolling along the marina there are a number of fisherman who sell their catch. The variety ranges from crab, salmon, prawns to the common fish and a favourite for me, anchovy “ hamsi” lying on beds of ice under large umbrellas, the fisherman periodically throw cold water over the fish to keep it fresh. Nothing beats fresh fish, however you need somewhere to cook this tasty meal. The actual fish market has restaurants that will cook your fish when you buy it.

For the best Sunset : Gumusluk

Normally inhabited by locals and Turkish tourists , this laid back town is the perfect sunset location. Taking a leisurely walk along the pier and then walking along the crunchy beach looking out at Rabbit Island I remembered why this is one of my favourites in Bodrum. Wine and dine at one of the many restaurants along the water front, making sure you get a table that faces the water and enjoy fresh fish and raki the way regulars do. Its a truly memorable experience.

Buy a piece of art

As an avid art fan, I was admiring Funda’s paintings when I realised that I bought a painting from her the previous year. Bodrum is filled with artists , the variety of paintings here are beautiful and brightly coloured, with art work produced on canvas. rocks, paper , basically anything that the artist can paint on. I can easily loose myself as I wonder the back streets looking at all the art and chatting to the artists. The scenes painted are usually of flowers , window scenes and the bay with some ships.

Stroll along the Marina

The breezy waterfront of the marina is where locals and tourists alike enjoy strolling and chatting. Beautiful containers wrapped around the base of the trees, each with unique mosaic art on them add to the the colour of the walk way. Benches lined with people gazing out at the boats bopping in the waters, lazy dogs stretched out in the shade and children licking dripping ice creams. This is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Buy a local handcrafted item

A firm believer in supporting local arts and crafts I always hunt out something hand made by a local. Near the water front there are a couple of stalls where women sell their crocheted necklaces, bracelets and earnings. There is something for everyone and to meet the lady that sits patiently making them always add to the value of the purchase.

Photograph brightly coloured window scenes

All over the town , restaurants , hotels and shops go out of their way to create fake window scenes that include curtains and flowers. Quaint but beautiful I soon found myself popping into coffee shops and pensions just to photograph them. It became an addiction.

Smell the wisteria

This purple beauty can be seen dangling over walls and hanging out of trees. It exudes a sweet scent that floods the pleasure centre in ones brain. Once I had spotted one in a small ally way I made sure I walked down there at least twice a day so that I could get intoxicated by the smell. Photographing them is another moment I love

How to get there

I flew Turkish Airlines that has daily flights from Istanbul. The flights arrive at Milas/ Bodrum airport and then you can take a taxi for around 100 TL to Bodrum. Another option is the bus station which is a couple 100 metres from the main area in the town. All major bus companies arrive daily from Istanbul and other cities of Turkey.Having used both, the scenery from the sky was breath taking at the plane came in, probably one of the best photos i have ever taken from a flight. The ground looked like one big patchwork carpet.

Most holiday makers spend the lion’s share of their time lounging on the beach or strolling the back ally ways. Its laid back and beautiful.
Its hard to say goodbye to Bodrum ! but the plus side is that once you have gone once you will continue to return each summer.