Bodrum on the Turkish Aegean coast is the gateway to a land full of ancient mystery, fascinating culture, beautiful landscapes and warm clear waters.

The 15th century castle looks out over the marina, reminding visitors of the diverse cultural influences that 5000 years of history have had on this once small fishing village.Although now a major resort with nightlife and entertainment for even the most hedonistic of travellers Bodrum never lets you forget it’s cultural roots, with gentle reminders all around from the Mediterranean style white painted houses to to the open air amphitheatre.

A destination that can mean something different to each traveller, each facet having it’s own appeal. Bodrum is alive all year round with a welcome as warm as the sun.

The Istankoy Hotel provides the perfect base in the centre of Bodrum, the rooms may be small but the welcome is large. Simple and clean this hotel is perfectly placed to sample all the colourful life that the centre offers. Just a stones throw from Bar Street this hotel is truly ideal for the fun loving visitor.

If traditional architecture appeals then be sure to book the Hotel Atrium with it’s Roman Villa styling. Small and friendly this family run hotel offers excellent traditional Turkish evening meals inclusive in their great value rates. Clean, tasteful modern bathrooms complete the simple yet effective style of the rooms.

4kms from Bodrum centre lies the Ersan Resort and Spa, a holiday within a holiday, this modern 5 star spa resort offers full leisure facilities, five international restaurants and a full range of activities that will be sure to appeal to the whole family. The chic rooms are styled to create modern open spaces with full length windows offering spectacular views across the grounds and the ocean.

Turkish food and particularly the food on the Bodrum coastal region is all about fresh local ingredients, freshly caught seafood is plentiful so don’t miss the experience of watching the fisherman catching octopus the traditional way. Enjoy the regional speciality of freshly caught octopus stew with onions.

Other specialities include stuffed pumpkin flowers and Ot Kavurmasi; a selection of spiced local herbs slow roasted, enjoy them both as part of a Meze platter served in most local restaurants. The Mediterranean influences with Eastern promise make for a culinary experience like no other.

Don’t visit Turkey without sampling a proper Turkish Kebab, these are not to be confused with the fast food variety that we see back at home. Made with fresh healthy grilled meats, herb salad and smothered in Cacik; the local speciality of cucumber, yoghurt and mint.

Bodrum has many good local tavernas that serve local fresh produce made to traditional recipes, listen to word of mouth and follow the locals, they always know the best places to eat. For a different experience some of the larger hotels offer a range of international cuisines and welcome non-residents into their restaurants.

Take a cruise around the coastline and visit isolated beaches, beautiful hidden coves and dramatic landscapes. Cruise holidays on traditional Turkish Gulets are very popular during the summer season, the tranquil turquoise seas making for the perfect sailing experience.

There is no shortage of culture and history in Bodrum and the Bodrum (Helicarnassus) Mausoleum is evidence of this, although not much more than a collection of foundations and ornamental friezes the mausoleum is of great historical importance. Before it’s destruction around 1200AD it’s 140ft height secured it’s place as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Slightly better preserved is the recently uncovered and restored amphitheatre, dating back to 4000BC this open air museum proudly stands amidst the spectacular landscape, the sense of history unmistakeable with an ability to almost transport you back to ancient times.

Pleasant weather all year round makes Bodrum a popular destination with both winter and summer appeal. Over 300 days of sunshine a year and low rainfall almost guarantees good conditions.

However not all the resort amenities are available all year around and this quieter feel may appeal to those seeking some winter sun.