Many first time buyers on the Bodrum Peninsula ask Luxury Property Turkey which area they should purchase in. With an approximate area of 650 square kilometers and 10 major towns, each area of the Bodrum peninsular has its own distinctive, unique feel.
Working clockwise and starting with Bodrum itself, this is the busiest hub on the peninsula. As a working town, it is active all year around, and extremely lively during the summer months. Excellent restaurants, a first class marina, boutique and large hotels, weekly markets and ample shops offer a variety of activities for all interests. Unlike many towns, private residential houses and commercial shops in Bodrum mingle and blend throughout the town, with the exception of the ‘’sanay sitesi,’’ (the industrial and mechanical strip of workshops located at the entrance to Bodrum). The gentle slope of the town from the harbor up towards the local hills means that many homes have excellent views of the Castle of Saint Peter, and the Aegean Sea.
Once viewed as a working class neighborhood divided by the main highway that runs through the Bodrum Peninsula, the district of Konacik has not only grown substantially in recent years, but also contains some of Bodrum’s most coveted homes. Just three miles west of downtown Bodrum, Konacik has both planned multi-homed sites with modern architecture, single homes with contemporary designs, and traditional stone villas. The area is significantly greener than Bodrum with lots of forage offering privacy on many properties. Villa Oliva is an example of fusing traditional and modern elements.
One of the flattest areas on the Bodrum peninsula, Bitez combines the charm of a true Turkish village with an amazing sandy beach and seafront. The newly constructed promenade is a haven for joggers, cyclists and kids on roller skates. The waterfront is lined with dozens of excellent restaurants, and located further inland are some of the peninsula’s landmark hidden gems, such as Bağevleri, a family run restaurant out of their home in the middle of a tangerine grove. Bitez has a laid-back, hippy feel to it, and hosts one of the area’s best local flea markets on Sundays. Winter weekends are also the days when elite Turks arrive on the water front for long, lazy all-day brunches in the sun with the water lapping at the table legs.
While not as trendy as some other Bodrum towns, Ortakent has recently become the official location for a number of government offices, including the title and deed office, social security and records offices. The impressive shopping center of Mid-Town is located here, as is the major Metro wholesale supermarket, and a number of DIY chain stores. Architecturally, the original inner village of Ortakent (formerly called Müskebi) contains a number of amazing stone houses, many in fixer-upper condition. Well known residents of Ortakent include renown sculptor Uluhan Ataç, and the recently restored Ottoman Tower Houses have become a landmark in the center of the village.
This is the point on the Bodrum peninsula which is physically closest to the Greek Island of Kos. On clear evenings, one can see the lights on in individual homes on the neighboring Dodecanese island. With a very small beachfront and a handful of restaurants, Akyarlar is quiet and laid-back. Most of the properties are located on the slopes extending away from the water, and most are in the form of organized sites with central management.
The western most tip of the Bodrum peninsula is Turgutreis, named after an adventurous Ottoman admiral who led many conquests throughout the Mediterranean. The original, old village of Turgutreis is set inland on a tight hill; the beachfront is thoroughly modern and boasts many cafes, bars and restaurants. Turgutreis D-Marin marina contains hundreds of commercial and private yachts, and a daily ferry boat in the summer months offers trips to the nearby Greek Island of Kalymnos. Turgutreis is a favorite destination for British and Irish buyers, and there is a close knit community all year around.
Known as Myndos in antiquity, modern day Gümüşlük is one of the few villages on the Bodrum peninsula which forbids development along its waterfront. There are approximately a dozen seafood restaurants scattered along the beach, for which approval is required by the municipality even for routine maintenance on buildings. This gives a timeless feel to Gümüşlük, but it also means that there are no private properties which can be built or developed without venturing further inland.
Named after the poplar trees which line its shady streets, Yalikavak offers a variety of lifestyles, from lazy to active. The new Palmarina yachting hub has brought a significant amount of glitz and glamor to the waterfront area, with a top notch shopping center and one of the peninsula’s best art galleries. Nestled in the green hills above the town are some of Bodrum’s most sought after and prestigious private properties, most of which are impossible to see from town or the main highway. The view from the summit as one descends into Yalikavak itself is one of the most breathtaking scenes on the entire Bodrum peninsula.
Low-key and local are adept descriptions for these two towns. Both are situated on the northern side of the Bodrum Peninsula and receive a very pleasant summer time breeze. Pine forests and the ancient ruins of a Lelegian city are in the green hills that extend away from the waterfront. Popular with Turkish citizens for summer homes, the towns have quiet water fronts with a few restaurants, fishing boats and small daily boats for excursions.
While the ride into these twin villages is at first unimpressive, the sheer number of Istanbul license plated luxury vehicles indicates that there’s more than meets the eye initially. On the waterfront are a lineup of some the most prestigious hotels and restaurants found on the Bodrum peninsula. There isn’t a beach; instead, each venue has its own jetty stretching out over the water for the ultimate experience in people watching. Hidden high in the hills overlooking the bay are beautiful custom villas with views of nearby Dodecanese Greek Islands. A playground for the rich and wanna-bes, the bay becomes very crowded in the summer months with private motoryachts.
Having traversed the entire Bodrum peninsula, our last town is Torba. Quiet and sleepy, Torba has a lovely, large bay and a small jetty with casual, informal restaurants on the pier. There are some up-market hotels which have integrated very discretely with what is largely a residential town. Nearby is the hip, chic resort of Nikki Beach, and Torba itself is just a 5 minute car or taxi ride from the bustle of Bodrum. In the hills above the bay are some stunning properties, and closer to the water are well-looked after residential developments.