Bodrum has a history that goes back to the 12th century B.C. The city was called ‘Halicarnassus’ and it was the birthplace of Herodotus; the ‘Father of History’ who lived in the 5th century B.C. The ‘Mausoleum’ of King Mausoleus (350 B.C.) one of the Seven Wonders of the World is in this city. The only structure that survived from the Classical Era is the Amphitheatre. It is one of the oldest theatres in Anatolia with a capacity of 13.000 guests and it is still hosting many shows and concerts for the art-lovers of Bodrum. Another place that you should visit when you arrive in Bodrum is the landmark of the city, the ‘Castle of Saint Peter’. It is one of the best preserved pieces of architecture with a history dating back to the Medieval Ages. ‘Myndos Gate’ through which Alexander the Great entered Halicarnassus is another place that you should not miss to visit.
Bencik is located at the narrowest part of the peninsula that divides the Hisaronu Gulf from the Gokova Gulf but it is located on Hisaronu side. In 550s B.C. the Cnidus people wanted to dig a tunnel in the narrowest land piece of the peninsula between the Hisaronu Gulf and the Gokova Gulf as a defence line against the Persians. In that way, they would make two peninsulas one island and the defence would be easier. They started with diligence and put in a lot of effort; however, in the end they could not manage and the city was conquered by the Persians.
Although quieter than Marmaris bay’s two centers of tourism of international renowned (Marmaris and İçmeler), Bozburun is a precious discovery for visitors due to its natural beauties and the exceptional flora. Its thyme honey is famous across Turkey. It has a small yet lovely harbour is also one of the key stops on the popular nautical tourism route of Blue Cruise. Its pristine sea is surrounded by coves.
CLEOPATRA (SEDIR) ISLAND
This unique island with its small beach and unbelievable clear water is like an open-air museum. You can see the city walls, the temple from the time of Dorians’ reign (later restored as a church), the amphitheatre with 1.500 guest capacity and some vaulted historical buildings. You can walk around the wrecks of pillars with antique writings on them or the ancient stones decorated with reliefs. Cleopatra Beach, located on this island, has a very special kind of sand that can only be found in the deserts of Northern Africa. According to the myth, King Antonius brought the sand from Egypt via sea for Cleopatra.
Datca was founded by the Dorians who came from Aegean Sea to the southern coast of Ionia in the 7th century B.C. The island has no humidity at all and has fresh air with plenty of oxygen. The historian Strabon was right when he remarked of Datca’s weather: “God would send his beloved servants to Datca to live longer”. According to a myth, while the Spanish pirates were passing by the coast of Datca, they disembarked people with Hansen’s disease in Sarıliman Bay and these abandoned people recovered from their disease with the help of the clean weather of Datca. Datca Peninsula is a prized location for tourists visiting Turkey, especially by sea, because of the beauty of its many coves and larger bays, which are favored ports of call for those undertaking the celebrated Blue Cruise along Turkey’s spectacular southwest coast.
Fethiye, which was known as Telmessos in the ancient times, was the most important city situated on Lycia’s western border with Caria. It is believed that the city’s name comes from Apollon’s son Telmessos. As the name suggests, the city was the city of light and was famous for its prophets. Fethiye stretches in a half circle along the bay protected by 12 Islands.
Set at the deepest point of the gulf of Fethiye, Gocek nestles at the foot of the pine clad mountains looking out over the ’12 islands’ of the bay. Gocek which has recently started developing in tourism is becoming a famous yachting harbour both in Turkey and in the world. One of the pleasures of a visit here is a stroll around the Marina to admire the array of boats of all shapes and sizes moored here. The waterfront is lined with bars and restaurants. With Dalaman Airport is only 30 minutes away, Gocek makes an ideal base while waiting for guests or visitors.
The Bay of Skopea, which stretches out from the village, is a perfect place for cruising; its twelve islands offer abundance of sheltered coves. Tersane Island features the partially submerged ruins of a Byzantine monastery and an ancient boat-yard. There is a restaurant on the island, making it a favorite overnight anchorage. Thought this area is called the 12 islands, there are, in fact, far more than that and you could easily explore a different one each day of your holiday.
Cnidus was a developed city in science, art and architecture. Eudoxos, a very popular astronomer and maths professor; Dr. Euryphon; Polygontos, a popular painter; Skopas and Bryaksis of Faros, the most famous sculptors of the era; Sostrates, the architect of Alexandrian light house -one of the seven wonders of the World- and Ktesias the doctor, who saved the life of a Persian king from a disaster, lived on this island. Dr. Euryphon and his students founded the second biggest medical science school in Cnidus. The island also hosts the largest sun clock of its time which was erected by Eudoksos. Cnidus was the home for Aphrodite’s monument and in those times the city was famous for brothels and became popular among sailors and Arabic tradesmen. You may also take a walk on the shore to see the ruins.
Marmaris, which was built upon one of the antique Karian cities called Phyckos, has been under the rule of many different civilizations. The most valuable work of art that you can see today is Marmaris Castle dating from 1577. There is also a mosque and an 8-room caravansary covered with arches from the Ottoman Period. The ruins of the Antique times lie on Asar Hill; a small, low hill located on the northern side of the city. Being one of the best-known touristic places of Turkey, Marmaris has also a large marina and night life.
Ölüdeniz (official translation name Blue Lagoon, literally Dead Sea; because of being calm even during storms) is a small resort village in the Fethiye district which is in the Muğla Province the South West coast of Turkey on the Aegean Sea to the south and the high, steep sided Babadağ Mountain, 14 km south of Fethiye. The town is a beach resort. Ölüdeniz remains one of the most photographed beaches on the Mediterranean. It has a secluded sandy bay at the mouth of Ölüdeniz, on a blue lagoon.The beach itself is a pebble beach. The lagoon is a national nature reserve and building is strictly prohibited. Ölüdeniz is famous for its shades of turquoise and aquamarine, and is an official blue flag beach, and is frequently rated among the top 5 beaches in the world by travelers and tourism journals alike.
Ios is a hilly island with cliffs and beautiful beaches. Ios was the setting for movies such as “Ginger and Cinnamon (Dillo con Parole mie)” or “Big Blue” partly shot at Manganari, one of the most beautiful beaches in Greece. The bustling city of Ios is located at Ormos Harbor in the Northwest and forms there a steep road to Chora, a very picturesque Cycladic village only accessible to pedestrians. Ios is famous with its night life.
Pothia Harbour is the capital of the island. The islanders ensured their livelihood with sponge diving for centuries. There are nice beaches such as Massouri, Mirties and Vlyhadia around the island.
Kos, known to be the birth place of Hippocrates, who is ‘the Father of Medical Sciences’, also Asclepion, the best known health center in antiquity is located here. All the people from the east Mediterranean with health problems were treated in Kos. Kos; the second largest island of the 12 islands (the Dodecanese Islands) has a very mild climate and very fertile lands. The island houses a 560-year-old tree, a 211-year-old fountain and a 290 km long beach. You may take a quick swim in Lambi Beach which is very close to Kos Harbour. Kos is one of the islands with the best night life. Nafklirou, a street full of bars, is always crowded, colourful, and full of life.
Leros is a mountainous, green island with high cliffs and many small bays and villages. You should visit Platanos the main city of Leros with steep stairs, narrow streets, and flower gardens. From Platanos you can take the steps leading up the Castle of Leros climbing 300 steps. Rent a bike or explore this island on foot.
On Lipsi Island there is beautiful sandy beaches and crystal green waters. The capital with its white houses, numerous taverns, cafeterias and restaurants is located in the small natural port. On the island, the Church of the Catopanaghia constructed in the 7th century deserves a visit, along with the Church of Panopanaghia from the 15th century.
Without any question Mykonos is one of the most famous and picturesque Islands in the Mediterranean and a jet set spot, known for its night life, whitewashed landscapes and beautiful sandy beaches. A walking tour of Hora must include visits to the windmills, to the Paraportiani Church, the Maritime and Cycladic museums and stops at designers’ shops and Little Venice cafes. Make sure you meet “Petros” the Pelican, the mascot of Mykonos.
The Island of Naxos is the largest and most central island in the Cyclades. Approaching the island by boat, you can see two small islands to the left and right of the harbour, one with the little church of Myrtidiotissa, and the other called Palatia which is linked to Naxos Town. The imposing gate, Portara is an ancient marble temple dedicated to Apollo. Ligdamis ordered this to be built in the God’s honor in the 6th century B.C.
The volcano on Nisyros Island erupted in 1422 and is still active. Nikea village is located on the side of the crater is constituted with white streets and a mosaic-style square. You can still see the gases coming from the underground of the crater (volcano).
Paros is located in the central Aegean Sea. It became known for its fine white marble. A must see is the bay Naoussa a natural harbour, closed by a chain or boom in the ancient times. The three villages of Dragoulas, Marmara and Tsipidos, situated in an open plain on the eastern side of the island occupy the site of an ancient town. They are known together as the “villages of Kephalos” after the steep and lofty hill of Kephalos. On this hilltop stands the abandoned monastery of Agios Antonios (St. Anthony).
Patmos is a small volcanic island in the Aegean Sea. It is at the coast of Asia Minor, to the south of Samos and west of Miletus. The island of Patmos is famous in history as the place of St. John’s exile: “I John…… was in the island which is called Patmos, for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 1:9); there according to general belief the Beloved Disciple wrote the Apocalypse, the imagery of which was part inspired by the scenery of the island. The spot where St. John was favored with his revelations is pointed out as a cave on the slope of the hill, half way between the shore and the modern town of Patmos.
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands.The Island is quite a popular holiday destination as it has one of the best-preserved and the largest European Medieval cities and has warm weather for 300 days of the year. Rhodes has been the cradle of many civilizations; starting with the knights of St. John in the Middle Ages, then Ottomans and Italians. Thus, the island has a unique historical harmony and beauty. The main port of Rhodes is Rhodes City which bears the same name as the island. The other very touristic areas of Rhodes island are; Lindos and Kamiros. This city, which is still surrounded by a 12 meter thick city-wall which gives you the feeling of travelling back to Medieval times especially when you walk around its narrow, stone-paved roads. After dinner, we highly recommend you to enjoy in Rhodes Town night out.
Santorini is today what remained after an enormous volcanic explosion which occurred some 3600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization destroying the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island and leading to the creation of the current geological Caldera. Its spectacular physical beauty, along with a dynamic nightlife, has made the island one of Europe’s tourist hotspots. A giant central lagoon surrounded by high steep cliffs on three sides. The capital Fira, as well as Imerovigli and Oia –a must see- cling to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon.
Symi is a mountainous Greek Island once known for shipbuilding and sponge industries to the point that the population reached 22500. Today Symi’s main industry is the tourism and the population has declined to 2500. Its interior is dotted with small valleys and its coastline alternates between rocky cliffs, beaches and isolated coves. Its main town located in the Northeast coast, is also named Symi and consists of the lower town around the harbor, typically referred to as “Yialos” and the upper town called “Hora”. Panormitis is the island’s famous monastery which is visited by people from all over the world, and many Greeks pay homage to St. Michael of Panormitis each year.