There are and overwhelming amount of day boat trip to choose from all over the Bodrum Peninsula, and I've taken boat trips from the larger harbours of Bodrum and Turgutreis, but one of my favourite locations for a day boat, is Bitez.
The Siesta only takes a dozen passengers, so the day is a chilled experience, without pumping, grinding "Maccarena" dance breaks.
The mass-market boats offer a generic selection of lunch (pasta and chicken or burgers) - but the lunch on the Siesta boat is gourmet by comparison. At lunch, the bbq is hooked onto the side of the boat, and the delicious aroma of kofte kebab and fresh fish get your taste buds going. The rest of the meal is a dizzying array of different meze and salads, and because it's a small boat, everyone can fit around the only table aboard.
There are multiple stops throughout the day at different bays and islands. My favourite by far, was Aquarium Cove. The captain timed our arrival just right, and we were the only boat here, and we enjoyed an uninterrupted snorkel expedition.
There's a great little municipal cafe overlooking the harbour. So if you arrive early for your boat trip, pop in here for a delicious coffee and toasted sandwich, which will set you up for the day.
BBC boat trips run from Bitez harbour. For about £12.00 you are taken out from 10.00 am to about 5.30. Lunch is included and you are taken to several bays for swimming and snorkelling. The drinks on board are very reasonable and you pay up at the end of the day. We have been twice now on consecutive years and each time has been great. This is not one of the noisy disco type boats. It takes about 15 people max and is great. Highly recommended.
In the peak of the summer month's Bitez can get pretty busy, but you only have to wander a bit off the beaten path to get away from the crowds.
Follow the path around the bay, and walk past the harbour and jetty, and the dolmus station, and continue onto the small peninsula which separates Bitez Bay from Aquarium Bay.
The hike isn't strenuous, but it can get a little uneven underfoot, and demanding in places, so if you have walking difficulties, it's best to avoid this hike.
As you follow the coastline, you'll pass a couple of small, secluded coves you can easily walk down to for a swim. It'll take you about 10-15 minutes from the harbour to reach the first of these coves.
There's a 3rd, much larger cove, and when you reach here, you'll see a footpath that leads up and over the brow of the hill.
You'll pass a white sarnic (domed water cistern), and then the path will lead downhill and into Aquarium Bay.
The only way to reach Aquarium Bay is via foot, or on a boat, so if you time your visit right, there shouldn't be too many other people around.
The water here is crystal clear and great for swimming or snorkeling.
From the Harbour to this point it's about 2 1/2 km.
(TIP: The local Day Boat Trips usually visit here at the beginning or end of the day, but it tends to quieten down at other times).
If you fancy hiking a little bit further; hike back up to where the path splits (near the sarnic), and travel north, which will lead you directly to Aquarium Cove, which is a great place to swim, but there's no real beach-area to speak of.
(TIP: There aren't any shops or services here -- BRING WATER WITH YOU)
The Sunday Flea market is held in the same location and the Village Farmers Market, and is a good location to stroll around on any given Sunday.
Although this market has second hand furniture and household items - which aren't what you're looking for if you're on holiday or traveling through - it also has a whole selection of treasures worth haggling for.
If you're looking for a holiday read - and you haven't gone digital with a Kindle.... there's a book stall that usually has a big selection of English Paperbacks
You can pick up a cheap fishing rod or beach toys. Much better than paying full price for something brand new that you only plan on using a couple of times.
There are also home-made crafts, jewelry and handmade lace, as well as traditional Turkish souvenirs, at prices cheaper than any shops you'll visit.
I'm a big Kipling Bag fan, and found an original, good condition Kipling Back Pack for 5 Lira, that would ordinarily have cost over $50. You never know what treasures you're going to find here. Quite a lot of the items are from Expats who are leaving the area, and are selling up, lock, stock and barrel....
After you've finished browsing, haggling and buying .. there's a small cafe between the market and the main road, which is the closest place for a quick drink or snack.
FYI -- In the middle of the market is a public toilet.
I've never really had a 'Sun Holiday' and lying on a beach for more than 5 minutes would seriously stress me out. But the beach in Bitez is very tempting and in its early May state of desertion, all those lonely rows of empty loungers were strangely magnetic. The beach itself is nothing to write home about with poor quality, gritty sand and in places, so narrow that it's scarcely there at all. It's the view of the bay that's so amazing and the fact that you can have a lounger so close to the water that you can dip your toes in to cool down. In July or August it's probably quite a different matter but last week strolling along the edge of the water and lounging comfortably with a cool drink, we had the whole place virtually to ourselves. It is possible to spread a towel at the very end of the beach near the windsurfing school but 90% of the beach is sun-loungered within an inch of its life. You don't even have to get up to get a drink or a snack and this is the aspect of life here that I suspect could get very addictive.
Use of the loungers is free as long as you order a drink from the bar. The drinks are not expensive - about 5 Euro for a large beer and a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice.
This village is next one along the coast from Bitez, heading west.
We took a drive over one day. Looked nice, and we'd certainly consider staying there in the future.
Like Bitez, the old village is inland a little with the tourist development on the beach.
Should have gone to see the 17th century Mustafa Paşa tower, but only found out about it afterwards!
Worth a visit even if you don't go round the castle.
Spring and autumn are the peak times for sensible visitors. The summer is for touroids. Too hot, busy and noisy.
Its the Turkish equivalent of Nice - favoured by celebrities and media types.
You can take the hydrofoil over to Kos, or round the coast to Marmaris.
If you are in the Bodrum area, this is a "must see".
Its construction was started in 1406, by the Knights of St John. It came under Ottoman rule in 1523. It became a prison in 1895. it was shelled by the French during WW1.
Now it has been restored, and parts are used to display archaeological artifacts recovered from underwater wrecks.
The views of the town, harbour and beach are amazing
It is well worth 2-3 hours to wander round all the towers, the battlements and the exhibits. If you go in summer, make it early - say 9am. By 11am it is getting to hot to enjoy... Plus its quieter early on.
Entry was 10 ytl in August 08.
This is a small undeveloped (well almost) village on the southwest tip of the peninsula, looking out towards Kos.
The road from Bitez onwards is narrow, badly surfaced, very steep in places and twisting as well. Go slow, and watch out for some of the crazies who pass for other road users. Its worth the trip.
The village is charming, BUT they are building a monster hotel which will probably ruin it. Aaah...progress.
It has a working fishing harbour.
We had a bizarre dinner there after we had looked round. The food was fine, but the service was shambolic.
This water park near bodrum we passed on the way to Turgutreis although we never had the time to go in it looked great fun. Its got everything you need for a great day out including.
Yes its true, if you enlarge the photo you can just make them out. I don't know what these fish were on but they certainly frisky hehehehehe, there were hundreds of them and every now and again one would leap out of the water and swim along on the top of his tail. It was either that or the beer i was drinking hahahahahaha
Bitez has got a small jetty at the far end of the bay which does have some small boats and i think you can hire them out for a trip around the bays, otherwise you have to go via Bodrum or Gumbet
The next few photos are of Turgutreis beach, much of the activities is centered around this area so i will show you as much of the beach as i can, this photo shows the mosque in the background, its a lot bigger than the one in Bitez
This is part of Turgutreis beach looking at one of the streets that heads on up to the town. I would say that the beach is a lot more sandy than it is in Bitez, and also quite quiet, which makes it the perfect place to get that tan without all that noisy music in the background
This is the beautiful view you get from the beach near the Ambrosia hotel at Bitez. But i must say that 15 years ago when we first visited Bitez there was no buildings on the hills in the photo. I just hope they don't go to far and spoil the sceenery forever