Bodrum is a district and a port city in Muğla Province, in the southwestern Aegean Region of Turkey. It is located on the southern coast of Bodrum Peninsula, at a point that checks the entry into the Gulf of Gökova, and is also the center of the eponymous district. The city was called Halicarnassus of Caria in ancient times and was famous for housing the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Bodrum Castle, built by the Knights Hospitaller in the 15th century, overlooks the harbour and the marina. The castle grounds include a Museum of Underwater Archaeology and hosts several cultural festivals throughout the year. The city had a population of 136.317 in 2012. 

The name Bodrum derives from Petronium, named from the Hospitaller Castle of St. Peter. The site was formerly known as Halicarnassus.


The first recorded settlers in Bodrum region were the Carians and the harbor area was colonized by Dorian Greeks as of the 7th century BC. The city later fell under Persian rule. Under the Persians, it was the capital city of the satrapy of Caria, the region that had since long constituted its hinterland and of which it was the principal port. Its strategic location ensured that the city enjoyed considerable autonomy. Archaeological evidence from the period such as the recently discovered Salmakis (Kaplankalesi) Inscription, now in Bodrum Museum of Underwater Archaeology, attest to the particular pride its inhabitants had developed.

Alexander the Great laid siege to the city after his arrival in Carian lands and, together with his ally, the queen Ada of Caria, captured it after fighting in 334 BCE.


Mausolus ruled Caria from here, nominally on behalf of the Persians and independently in practical terms, for much of his reign from 377 to 353 BC. When he died in 353 BC, Artemisia II of Caria, who was both his sister and his widow, employed the ancient Greek architects Satyros and Pythis, and the four sculptors Bryaxis, Scopas, Leochares and Timotheus to build a monument, as well as a tomb, for him. The word "mausoleum" derives from the structure of this tomb. It was a temple-like structure decorated with reliefs and statuary on a massive base. Today only the foundations and a few pieces of sculpture remain.


Crusader Knights arrived in 1402 and used the remains of the Mausoleum as a quarry to build the still impressively standing Bodrum Castle (Castle of Saint Peter), which is a well-preserved example of the late Crusader architecture in the east Mediterranean. The Knights Hospitaller (Knights of St. John) were given permission to build it by the Ottoman sultan Mehmed I, after Tamerlane had destroyed their previous fortress located in İzmir's inner bay. The castle and its town became known as Petronium, whence the modern name Bodrum derives.

In 1522, Suleiman the Magnificent conquered the base of the Crusader knights on the island of Rhodes, who then relocated first briefly to Sicily and later permanently to Malta, leaving the Castle of Saint Peter and Bodrum to the Ottoman Empire.

20th century

Bodrum was a quiet town of fishermen and sponge divers until the mid-20th century; although, as Mansur points out, the presence of a large community of bilingual Cretan Turks, coupled with the conditions of free trade and access with the islands of the Southern Dodecanese until 1935 saved it from utter provincialism. The fact that traditional agriculture was not a very rewarding activity in the rather dry peninsula also prevented the formation of a class of large landowners. Bodrum has no notable history of political or religious extremism either. A first nucleus of intellectuals started to form after the 1950s around the writer Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, who had first come here in exile two decades before and was charmed by the town to the point of adopting the pen name Halikarnas Balıkçısı ('The Fisherman of Halicarnassus').


Southern shores of Bodrum Peninsula are 43 miles long from Hüseyin Burnu on the west (36°58’ N - 27°15’9" E ) to Akbük Limanı (37°01’50”N - 28°06’23”E ) on the east. In our system here, we explain the best places to dock and anchor along with our suggestions and recommendations which we have developped recently.

The bays on this side afford sheltering from northerlies, but they are open to south. We advise you to be careful about southerly blowing winds while sailing especially in spring and autumn.

The mountains in this side of the gulf rise on the shores then plummet down to the sea. When the breeze is blowing at full strenght, it is funneled by land and tends to blow down on the bays from the mountains and make it uncomfortable.

The coastline and slopes are densily loaded with concrete heaps. A large number of touristic hotels and holiday villages are built. The bays get crowded in summer. Most provisions are found.  Maintenance and service facilities have been improved. Security is well maintained. State clinics, hospitals and pharmacies are available with efficient care. Gökova was a calm region and kept its identity until 80s then has developped over recent years and became one the the prettiest spots for the sailors. 

Meteorological Facts:

Average temperature : 20 C

Average temperature in summer: 32 -34 C

Average temperature in winter : 10 C

Average sea-water temp: 22 C

Average sea-water temp in Aug and September : 24-26 C

Predominant Winds:

Spring : South

Summer: North-Northwest/Southeast

Autumn : Nortwest / Southeast

Winter: South