>>>Bodrum, the Turkish Saint-Tropez

Bodrum, the Turkish Saint-Tropez

“Paradise of eternal blue”, according to Homer. More than 2,000 years later, there are other reasons why this Turkish port town attracts curious bon vivants and jet setters, who inflate the number of inhabitants each summer.
Y
our mood is your destination”, said Greek historian Herodotus, native of what was then known as Halicarnassus. In modern-day Bodrum, it is the destination that decides your mood, with its lust for life and exuberant madness.
While this town has come to be associated with fun and the most exclusive pleasure, until very recently, it was a fishing village, where dissidents of the then newborn Republic of Turkey buried themselves away. One of those, writer Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, went to Bodrum in 1925. So enamoured was he that he passed his passion on to a generation of artists and writers, who have not ceased coming to this Aegean domain since the mid-40s.
Several international chains have resorts along the coast, with every comfort.

For shopping victims

100 km north of Bodrum, you will find Kusadasi: a former fishing village and current spa resort, not to mention a stop-off for worldwide cruises, owing to its proximity to the ruins of Ephesus. It is well-known among shoppers for its leather goods, textiles, precious metals, ceramics and jewellery.

This is what gave rise to the legend of Bodrum, but not to its history. You can still read its glorious past in its stones. Corners like the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and the Castle of St Peter, built with the aid of the Order of Malta and which now serves as a Subaquatic Archaeology Museum, are two of its relics.
However, most visitors don’t go looking for remnants of Alexander the Great’s invasion. They come for the climate, magnificent bay and clean waters, and as a result of the gentrification that has taken place here over recent years. Modern-day fashion archaeologists will find destinations like the most renowned nightclub in the country, Halikarnas, and its posh restaurant, Secret Garden, designed by Jade Jagger; or the Billionaire Club, which Flavio Briatore used to reinvent the standards for elitism and glamour. This club, which has a 700 m² swimming pool, is on a private island, where models, celebrities and beautiful people dance to the DJ’s beat.
This part of the Aegean coast is known as the Turkish Riviera.
Hundreds of tourists flock to Bodrum each day, most of them youngsters looking for entertainment. They invade its beaches, swim by day and, by night, they storm the open-air bistros, nightclubs and bars, on Cumhuriyet and Dr. Alim Bey, where they party until dawn. At Palmarina port, you will find rivals for the latest yachts presented at the Miami Yacht Show, halfway between elegance and the most ostentatious bling. Less affluent lovers of marine sports have the opportunity to rent a schooner for a day, and explore the gorgeous coves and islets along the coast.
The Castle of St Peter was rebuilt using the stones of the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus.
The Bodrum peninsula is a collection of stunning beaches with names that foreigners find difficult to pronounce: Bardakçi, Gumbet, Akbuk, Aktur, Bagla, Akyarlar, the list goes on. The one at Ortakent seems endless, while Karaincir has a heavenly feel and its own style of dolce vita. These offer the greatest promise of days of dolce far niente, and lively evenings in the company of those dedicated to glorifying youth and beauty. That is the mood at Bodrum.

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