Kate Moss, Beyoncé, Yves Saint Laurent, Mick Jagger and Mark Zuckerberg, not to mention Harry and Meghan…
With five star fans like these, it’s no surprise that Bodrum is known as the “Saint-Tropez of Turkey”.
A peninsula located in the south-west of the Aegean region, in the province of Muğla: it appeared, for the first time as a fundamental stop on the circuit of the international jet set, already in the 70s.
There are historical courses and appeals in these parts.
Ships have docked at the port of Bodrum for 3,000 years and, nowadays, cruise ships “deposit” on its shores millions of visitors a year, along with those who arrive by yacht or private jet, all looking for a slice of life and – above all – of worldliness.
The panorama (seen) from the sea
The port is an excellent starting point for visiting Bodrum, with a privileged observation point, right among the eucalyptus trees.
Bodrum Marina regularly hosts live music events, while the annual “Bodrum Cup” is an opportunity to see 80 of the most elegant yachts from all over Turkey compete in a beautiful five day regatta.
And you can also spot the traditional ones caiques Turks, 80-foot sailboats built right in Bodrum and traditionally used for fishing and diving (gulets can be rented, with… driver, without bleeding the bank account…).
Known as “Blue Voyages”, gulet day cruises offer a tour of the crystal clear waters of the Aegean, its bays and most secluded beaches, including Iassos, Bağla, Adaboğazı, Bitez, Kızıl and Karaada Island.
Lunch is served on board and some ‘charters’ also include deck yoga and holistic treatments (after lunch).
** Full of style, also to “detox” from stress
Then, it’s back to Bodrum in time for dinner and “Good“, the open-air restaurant of the elegant and minimalist Hotel Editionis a celebrity favorite.
The founder of the legendary “Study 54” from New York, Ian Schrageropened upscale Bodrum ‘branch’ of its hotel chain’Edition” in 2018 and hired the Peruvian star chef Diego Munoz to run his own restaurant and bring Latin American flavors to the Turkish table.
And after dinner, everyone to the bar… to dance under the giant pink disco ball!
Alternatively, to experience Turkish cuisine without sacrificing the luxurious ambiance, you can give it a try “Macakizi”which is a fixture on the scene”night life” of Bodrum since 1975 and has kept its vibes intact bohemian.
Legend has it that once upon a time Kate Moss got out of rehab”LifeCo” – which is located in Bodrum – and immediately went directly to “Maçakizi”. And given that alcohol, caffeine, sugar, meat and dairy products are absolutely forbidden in the “LifeCo” therapy, with a seven-day fast, we totally blame her…
After all, to “detoxify” together with VIPs and showbiz stars, “LifeCo”, on the northern coast of the Bodrum peninsula, is the right place to do it. The company also operates Bodrum’s first vegan hotel.
Nourish body and soul
For those who prefer to be pampered rather than… purified, Bodrum is teeming with spas and one of the most majestic is found at Mandarin Orientalwhich has open-air massage cabins where you can get treatments designed to help with… everything from jet lag to a smartphone overdose.
All treatments with a view of the Aegean and its olive groves!
Even the hotel spa has its own hammam traditional, but for a truly authentic (and cheaper) experience, better a trip to the oldest hamam in Bodrum: the Tarihi Bardakci Hammam, open since 1749.
As the sign on the door says, it offers “scrub, foam massage, oil massage, soap, shampoo, towel” and along with that, an essential slice of Turkish culture. The therapeutic cleansing rituals and hydrotherapy methods of the hammam date back to ancient Roman times and serve to relieve stress, improve circulation and eliminate toxins.
**Dancing, shopping and… gifts
Eliminating toxins could come in handy for the next morning, if you were late the night before…
Because Bodrum is also famous for its nightlife. There Bodrum Bar Street it is a mile long, with clubs, bars and bars of all kinds, where they serve the traditional “Raki” (anica liqueur with 90% alcohol content: be careful!) until the sun rises.
The “Bodrum Marina Yacht Club” has four different bars and has live music every night, overlooking the 15th-century Bodrum Castle, on whose walls Naomi Campbell once wrote a birthday message for Madonna, who was throwing a party in town …
Stuff from Very Important Persons.
But what do you give to a “Material Girl” for his birthday?
Bodrum is spoiled for choice for gifts: a pair of world-famous handmade leather sandals, woven fabrics and the local specialty, the Mandarine marmalade.
On the peninsula, there are also many markets to choose from to shop, but the marinas are the true shopping paradise, strictly high-end.
Yalikavak Marina it’s where the mega-yachts dock, so – of course – this is where mega-brands – including Prada, Dior and Balmain – have set up shop, but you can also find local art dealers, natural products and high quality traditional fabrics, as well as designer products”Made in Turkey“, such as Aybüke Baran, Ipekyol and Misela.