Bodrum is a city located in Southwest Turkey. The climate is Mediterranean though I believe it is on the Agean. The area has become a tourist destination for beaches, nightlife, and shopping. We flew from Istanbul to Bodrum on Turkish airways. Although the flight was only 1 hour, they still served a hot meal in business class (and I as I would later learn, they also serve hot meals in economy on one hour flights!).
In order to properly explore the area, I recommend renting a car from the airport. We used Enterprise and it was a relatively straightforward process. The roads in Turkey are well maintained.
We decided to stay at the Caresse hotel which is located in Bodrum and about 45 minutes from the airport. I really liked the hotel as it has a nice pool, beach, clean/modern rooms, and views of the sea. Here is a tour of the room we stayed in.
After settling in, we decided to have lunch at one of the hotel restaurants – Barbarossa – a Greek restaurant. The setting is beautiful and right on the water. We also got to see the beach areas of the hotel.
We started with a crab salad which was not as fresh as possible and just meh:
We also ordered the shrimp saganaki which was one of my favorite dishes to eat in Greece, but unfortunately, this was not up to that standard. I remember in Greece the server mashing the heads of the shrimp tableside to release all the goodness inside to mix with the sauce which gave it an amazing shrimp taste.
Lastly, the carabineros which were grilled nicely, though I wish they left the heads intact.
Overall, service was ok and the setting was beautiful. However, for the price paid and quality of food, there is no way I would go back.
After lunch we found a nice ice cream shop/cafe near the restaurant. This place had good macarons and really good ice cream (and Turkish tea and coffee of course). The place is called Vakko and I believe they have other locations around the country. I gor the macaron ice cream two days in a row! That’s how good it was.
After this, we decided to hit up the pool before dinner. Here are some gorgeous sunset and night shots.
As we made our way to dinner, we got our first glimpse of the Bodrum night scene. It was nice to see the city so lively with restaurants packed on the main strip. I would definitely say Turkey has a very European vibe in most parts we went to.
Dinner – Marina Yacht Club – This is an interesting restaurant as it has a live music bar/club downstairs and the main restaurant upstairs. I would recommend getting a table upstairs and try to get a table near the edge so you will be able to see the main stage and Bodrum Castle in the distance!
For dinner we started with a simple green salad and calamari which were good.
For our main we ordered catch of the day prepared in salt crust. It was simple and fresh. You will also notice in the vid below, the venue below getting filled up and the live music started.
Overall, the service was good and so was the food. The scene, atmosphere and setting made this a very unique and enjoyable dinner and I would recommend it to someone.
After dinner we decided to check out the Yalikavak Marina. It is a 30 minute drive from Bodrum. The area is known for nightlife, yachts and shopping. It reminded me of St Tropez or Marbella.
As we made our way around the marina we approached a section with loud music and luxury shops that were open past midnight!
After enjoying the novelty of some late night shopping, we decided to check out the scene at Zuma, and it was bumping! You cant see it in this video, but the bar was packed and everyone was dancing!
Overall, this was a nice change from Istanbul and a good first day in Bodrum.