Bodrum, a city steeped in ancient history is also one of Turkeys leading tourist attractions. Scholars of history will know it as Halicarnassus, home to the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The modern term “mausoleum” comes from his name. Unfortunately, we cannot see this site anymore since the Knights Hospitalier used the mausoleums stones to build another impressive structure, the imposing Bodrum Castle. This 15th century edifice sits on the waters edge and was the founding point of the city of Petronium, which is today Bodrum. The castle contains Bodrum’s underwater museum of archeology.
The Dodecanese Island of Kos has become one of the most popular islands in the region, arguably second behind only Rhodes. Its rich history includes the impressive fortress, the Castle of the Knights of Saint John close to the Town harbor, the ancient plane tree under which Hippocrates taught students and the Asklepion (his ancient sanatorium). Old Corinthian columns still gather weeds by the roadside. The purpose- built marina is just a short distance south of the ferry port. Kos Town has numerous restaurants, tavernas, cafes and shops and ‘’night owls’’ will find things stay open until late.
Mandraki, the main port of Nisiros is also among the largest settlements on the island. It is traditionally laid out with whitewashed houses, typical of many Greek islands. There are a number of historical sites around the village including the Paleokastro, an ancient fortress and the ruins of an ancient city dating back to the 4th century BC. After enjoying these sites, there is a good choice of tavernas and bars.
Tilos in the Dodecanese is located between Kos and Rhodes with mass tourism not really a factor. You can visit on a yacht charter and you will find nice beaches and small settlements. Livadia is the island’s port but the place to visit while there is Mikro Chorio, an abandoned village, now a ‘’ghost town’’. On an island with few visitors, the beaches are quiet with no real facilities.
Chalki is another place where peace and quiet is virtually guaranteed. The beaches are great and some will be entirely deserted. There is one small settlement, a port with cafes and tavernas on the promenade.
The small uninhabited Dodecanese island of Alimnia is close to Chalki between Chalki and Rhodes. It had a small population in prehistoric times judging by excavations that have been undertaken. Fishing and agriculture were the locals’ activities in days gone by. The terraces that the people built to counteract erosion can still be seen.
Panormitis is a village 12 kms to the south of Symi Town. There is an important monastery, Archangel Michael Panormitis in the Village, argubably the top landmark on this lovely island.
Symi, off the Datca Peninsula of Turkey is another relaxing island. It is fairly small but offers plenty of chance to explore. The landscape is lovely and once back in Ano Symi there are bars and tavernas offering delicious Greek cuisine which you should try with the local wine.
Rhodes, with its Old Town a UNESCO World Heritage site, is the largest of the Dodecanese and offers everything a tourist would want. There is a 200 kilometre coastline, a fascinating interior, good nightlife and plenty of history. It has been home to several ‘’civilisations’’ in its history and also to a former Ancient Wonder of the World though the Colossus was destroyed by an earthquake many centuries ago. The narrow streets of this walled Old Town can be crowded at times but worth visiting with the Palace of the Grand Master and the architecture of the Knights of St. John notable features.
Right between the Aegean and Mediterranean sea sits the small inhabited islet of Arap. This spot of nature has a small village called Taşlıca, and when you anchor off the beach, you can just stretch your legs for a 3.5km walk to town on this quiet island and experience the silence of nature.
Just west of Marmaris you come to the blue flag awarded and shelter Kadirga Harbour. Aptly awarded since it has amazing clear waters and provides a nice respite for a quick dip.
Kumlubuku is one of those lovely places along the Turkish coast that you can just lie back and relax. With sandy beaches and cool clear water. You can either enjoy the sea, the sand, or sit under the shade in one the many local tavernas and partake in an exquisite local culinary feast supported by local wine.
One of the nicest peninsulas near Marmaris is Yildiz island. This island offers visitors a number of cafes and restaurants dotted around the island for its many visitors. This is one of the few islands that you can literally spend a whole day at, and never get bored. There is plenty of swimming and snorkeling opportunities to choose from. There is also a bay area called “the wrong channel” that’s because it resembles a channel at night, and many a sailor has made the mistake of going down I, ending up crashing on its rocky ending.
After finishing your long and exhilarating voyage across the Mediterranean, maybe the Aegean and Adriatic too, you arrive back in Marmaris and prepare for your return home. This is a great moment to enjoy a day’s stay over in this amazing city. Marmaris is a jewel, its name is appropriate “Turquoise coast” and it provides you with every taste of the Mediterranean and Turkey before you leave for home. This is the time to take that last shopping walk and collect the memorable items and local wares before leaving.