HalalBooking guide to halal-friendly holidays in Bodrum
Whitewashed houses, gardens bright with bougainvillea, splendid bays, a cultural heritage of 3,500 years, natural beauties and delicious local cuisine... These are the most prominent features of Bodrum, which is known as the holiday paradise of Turkey, as it is one of the most popular summer holiday destinations.
Bodrum is a great holiday attraction for international as well as domestic tourists. Therefore, it is possible to find a great variety of holiday options. Bodrum offers an excellent alternative for an unforgettable holiday experience thanks to the brilliant sea, sunny weather, sandy beaches, cultural and artistic activities, water sports and other appealing activities.
Halal-friendly hotels and villas in Bodrum
Despite Bodrum’s reputation as being a somewhat Bohemian resort, there are numerous halal hotels in Bodrum. It is possible to find suitable accommodation fitting any budget. There are hotels with swimming pools which are allocated for the sole use of women at certain times of the day, spa centres which can be reserved for private use, facilities for children and many others with the halal-friendly features you are looking for.
Bodrum also offers a wide range of halal villas. You can book a villa as a family and prepare your own food, swim in the private pool and sunbathe without any concern for privacy. You also have the alternative of eating at a restaurant in the complex, where available, and spending more of your time relaxing.
If you have more specific criteria for your halal-friendly holiday, we advise you to take a look at the following pages as well:
Alternatively put your own information such as travelling dates, number of visitors, the ages of children, if any, in the search box at the top of Halalbooking website. In this way, you can see the prices of halal resorts in Bodrum and book at these prices. If you become a HalalBooking Loyalty Club (HBLC) member for free, you can benefit from extra discounts which are only offered to members. All you need to do is to register on the website.
Halal food and restaurants in Bodrum
Most Bodrum restaurants cater for foreign tourists and will usually serve alcohol, so halal-conscious travellers generally have the following question in mind: “Will I be able to find an alcohol-free restaurant in Bodrum?” However, it is quite possible to find cafes and restaurants which do not serve alcohol at all. Tea gardens, coffee shops and shisha lounges are some of the places where you can enjoy the alcohol-free ambiance, attractive setting and rich menu options.
In Bodrum, you can also find many patisseries where you can try pastries, cakes and delicious cookies along with refreshing fruit cocktails. Besides, you can taste a great variety of food as you spend a perfect afternoon surrounded by fragrant bougainvillea and jasmines.
It may seem tricky to find a fish restaurant without alcohol in the Aegean region. However, one option is to enjoy eating fish in an alcohol-free environment by buying fresh fish from stalls and having it cooked by the fishermen working by the beach.
Bodrum is also famous for its cuisine full of traditional dishes made with olive oil. You should definitely taste samphire, ladies’ fingers and artichoke salad prepared with olive oil. Try other speciality alcohol-free restaurants where you can have mantı (a kind of dumpling with meat), a village breakfast or an unlimited variety of meze prepared with olive oil. We strongly advise you to taste the local lokma dessert (fried doughnut served in syrup) during your stay in Bodrum.
Places to visit in Bodrum
Located on a small rocky peninsula between two bays, Bodrum Castle was built by the Knights of St. John between 1406-1523. You can reach the interior part of the castle after passing through seven gates. It consists of many sections including 4 towers, 14 cisterns, a Turkish bath and a moat. It is a fine example of a castle dating back to the Middle Ages which has been preserved until today.
Museum of Underwater Archeology
The Museum of Underwater Archeology is located inside Bodrum Castle. In 1995, it was given the European Museum of the Year Award and received the title of ‘Specially Commended’. It ranks among the most important underwater archeology museums in the world. Inside the museum, the Uluburun Shipwreck is exhibited. It is the oldest shipwreck in the world as it dates back 3,300 years. This ship is believed to have arrived from Egypt as there was a gold plated Nefertiti statue and seal on the bow. The museum also exhibits the Cape Gelidonya and Yassı Ada Shipwrecks, a Roman Merchant Shipwreck and many others. The artefacts discovered inside the wrecks can also be seen in the exhibition halls of the museum.
Zeki Müren Art Museum
Called the ‘Sun’ of Turkish music by the Turks, the singer and musician Zeki Müren lived in Bodrum between 1980-1996. The house he lived in then was turned into a museum in 2000 by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and it was opened to visitors. In the museum, you can see some scenes reflecting his life and be a witness to his memories. Zeki Müren’s famous haute couture clothes, personal belongings, rewards and paintings are also exhibited inside the museum.
Bodrum Maritime Museum
Displaying the naval history of Bodrum, the Maritime Museum is not to be missed by those who are enthusiastic about maritime affairs. Special boats used in Bodrum for sponge fishing, fishing and transportation are also displayed here. Besides, you can see collections of seashells and stamps, boat models and mockups inside. One of the most well-known people associated with Bodrum, is Cevat Şakir Kabaağaçlı, who is known as ‘the Fisherman of Halicarnassus’ and he is commemorated in this museum. You can buy his books as well as some products made of seashells, local delights and tangerines from the museum’s souvenir shop.
Another symbol of Bodrum is the windmills. They were built on the windy hills in the 1800s and were used actively until the 1970s. Usually made of wood, the windmills met the regional need for flour for a long time. Today, with their unique architectural design, the windmills take their place on Bodrum’s skyline and they are frequently visited by the tourists who like to have their photos taken.
Bodrum’s historical and cultural heritage
Myndos Gate and the Ancient City
The Myndos Gate, which dates back to 360 BC, is one of the greatest historical structures in the region. The gate was built to protect Bodrum, then called Halicarnassus, from enemies and it played a crucial role in the city defence. As for the ancient city of Myndos, it was founded in 640 BC at the point where the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas meet. In this city, which was surrounded by Alexander the Great many times but could not be conquered, there are as many remnants under the ground as there are on the ground.
Bodrum Ancient Theatre
The ancient theatre which was built in the 4th century BC is one of the oldest in Anatolia. Being home to Dionysos festivals in ancient times, the Bodrum ancient theatre hosts numerous concerts and events today. It bears all the typical features of ancient theatres belonging to the Roman era.
Ancient City of Iasos
Being 17 miles from Milas, the ancient city of Iasos is located on a peninsula in the village of Kıyıkışlacık. There is much historical evidence that this settlement dates back to 3000 BC. Inside the ancient city, the agora, theatre, acropolis, the temple of Artemis and tombs from the Bronze Age are open to visitors.
Ancient City of Pedasa
With its history of approximately 3500 years, the ancient city of Pedasa is one of the numerous ancient cities located in Bodrum. The excavation process in the city is still going on today. The city is known by the locals as Gökçeler Castle. It is estimated that the Leleges - the local community in the Aegean region before the Greeks - immigrated here after the Trojan War. The city possesses all the characteristics that a Lelegian city has, such as agricultural terraces and farm houses.
Ottoman Naval Shipyard
Currently functioning as an art gallery, the Ottoman Naval Shipyard was founded in the 1700s. This shipyard, located in Bodrum - an important coastal town during the Ottoman Empire - was used to construct new ships for the Ottoman Navy. An Ottoman cemetery is located behind the building.
Mausoleum (Tomb) of Halicarnassus
The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is one of the most important historical structures in Bodrum. It was built in commemoration of King Mausolus by his family in 353 BC. The building, which is used as a museum today, was originally a monumental tomb. The mausoleum has elements that are specific to Greek and Egypt architecture. Although preserved for 1500 years, the tomb is thought to have collapsed due to an earthquake. Some of its remnants are displayed at the British Museum in London.
Natural beauties of Bodrum
As Rabbit Island is very close to the Gümüşlük coastline, it is easily accessible from the beach on foot. As the story goes, King Mausolus had a causeway built to access this island so that he could watch the amazing sunsets with his beloved. Aptly named, Rabbit Island is home to a great number of rabbits. Besides, both domestic and international tourists frequently visit the island to take beautiful photos and watch the stunning sunset.
Bodrum is generally very crowded and busy in summer. If you are looking for a quiet, calm, natural and unspoiled place to go during the day, you should definitely go to Yalıkavak, which is only 11 miles from Bodrum. You can relax on the beach and enjoy the enchanting sea view and the silence.
Located in the southwest of Milas, on Mount Manastır, İncirliin Cave is a sight to behold thanks to its geological structure and historical remnants. The cave is 1132 feet long. Inside, there are many rooms which are interconnected with steep passages. There is also a 508-foot-long walking path in the cave. The cave is still geologically active and only a certain part of it can be seen by visitors.
Gökçeler Canyon is around 33 feet long and it is a natural paradise where a great number of plant and animal species coexist. Different plants can be exemplified as wild strawberry, eucalyptus, bay tree, nerium and sandalwood. Olive, walnut and fig trees can also be seen. The canyon provides a natural home for small animals such as hedgehogs, partridges and rabbits as well as for wild species like jackals, foxes and wild pigs. You can survey the canyon from above from the terrace cafe and enjoy the view with your family.
Although it has only 2 inhabitants today, the village of Sandima has a rich history of 600 years. Located on the Yalıkavak hills, Sandima is a village of stone houses and is known as the village where the Turkmen Turks once lived. In the 1950s, the people living in the village moved to a new settlement in Yalıkavak and gradually abandoned Sandima. Now popular with tourists who like taking photos, the village has a peaceful atmosphere and an unspoiled nature.
Things to do in Bodrum
Daily Boat Tours
You can visit the beautiful bays in and around Bodrum with daily boat tours which you can find departing from Bodrum city centre or Gümbet. When there is a break, you can disembark and take a leisurely stroll around. You can explore great destinations such as the German Bay, Rabbit Bay, Karaada, Meteor Hole, Kızılburun and Poyraz Bay by taking the boats which usually run between 11:00 am-17:30 pm. It is also possible to take an alcohol-free boat trip by booking in advance.
Going to the marketplaces in different corners of the city each day is one of the favourite activities of both locals and holiday-makers. It is possible to find a great variety of fresh vegetables and herbs in the local markets selling food. There are also flea markets and markets which sell clothes at lower prices than usual. It is impossible to return home empty-handed from these markets in which one can discover the Aegean culture.
Datça Ferry Tour
You can make a day trip to Datça by taking a ferry from the city centre of Bodrum. If you catch an early morning ferry, it is possible to explore Datça’s beautiful stone roads, historical places and unique sea views throughout the day. Also, we advise you to taste the famous Datça coffee with almonds.
Bodrum offers great opportunities for those who like doing water sports. You can go sailing, windsurfing and scuba diving especially in Gümbet, Bitez, Turgutreis, Gümüşlük and Yalıkavak. You can also take out a paddle boat (pedalo), canoe or try other water sports. If you haven’t tried scuba diving before, half day trips are also available. The tour takes place on boats capable of hosting up to 40 guests with professional trainers provide training on diving with special equipment. It is also possible to join a tour without diving.