Occupied since the 13th century, Bodrum has served as inspiration and retreat for intellectuals, artists, sailors and even crusaders. Overlooking the city center is the Castle of St. Peter. Built in the 1400s, this Catholic church became a refuge for Christians in the region during the crusades. Today, under Turkish care, it is one of the finest museums in the region. The tradition of Bodrum as a refuge continues every summer as unique boutiques, elegant restaurants and nightclubs open giving relief to weary city dwellers.
Summer starts early in Bodrum; mild winters lends to long summers starting in early April. As summer arrives, so do yachts and sailboats that set off from the harbor that is the heart of Bodrum. This ideal starting point in the Aegean Sea leads to small fishing villages, ruins and hidden beaches and coves. Days become filled with sunbathing on pristine beaches, outdoor sports, and strolling around the city center's winding streets searching through local artisans' shops, boutiques and markets. As night falls, the lights brighten, and open-air bars and nightclubs fill up with relaxed partiers until the early hours. Nightlife in Bodrum comes second-best only to Istanbul. The summer winds down in October with Bodrum's annual regatta for gullets that gives everyone from beginners to professionals opportunity to compete. Even as cooler months set in, many attractions and business remain open. Many of the ruins, restaurants and galleries that are bustling in the summer are still enjoyable in the less-crowded winter.
Staying in step with Bodrum's relaxed tone, transport to and from the area is easy and manageable. The modern Milas-Bodrum Airport resolved many transportation hassles when it was built in the late 1990s. 36 km northeast of Bodrum, the airport serves both domestic and international flights. Many taxis, buses and dolmuses offer service from the airport to the city center. Once in Bodrum, there are many options to escape the more popular beaches and sightseeing areas. Local dolmuses and buses offer service to smaller beaches and villages and historical sites on Bodrum Peninsula: neighboring Gumbet offers long beaches dotted with windsuffers and parasailers; nearby Turkbuku offers a relaxed intellectual scene with some of the best fresh-fish restaurants. Many family-run boats and gullets offer day trips to a number of beaches and coves only accessible by sea. There is also ferry service to Greece's Kos and Rhodes islands.
Once on Bodrum Peninsula, the stress of everyday life falls away and what remains are all the advantages of the city and a warm sea breeze.
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