the evil eye for good luck!
Favorite thing: In Greece and Turkey the evil eye jewelry is very common. You can find it in numerous different sizes and shapes, from plates, dishes and cupss to pens, colorful beads, bracelets and necklaces. This popular symbol is common to see it on almost anything, from babies, horses, doors to cars, cell phones and even airplanes! Although in Greece still the people use it for the babies I got surprised in Turkey seeing it everywhere around, up on the walls of every house of store or down on the street!
The evil eye is a folklore belief that the envy elicited by the good luck of fortunate people may result in their misfortune! They believe that some people can bestow a curse on victims by the malevolent gaze of their magical eye. The most common form, however, attributes the cause to envy, with the envious person casting the evil eye doing so unintentionally. Believe it or not it’s nice to buy one for souvenir, you don’t have to be superstitious. That’s what I did! :)
Summary of towns on the Bodrum Peninsula
Favorite thing: The Bodrum Peninsula isn't very large, so no matter where you stay, you'll be able to get around easily by Dolmus.
The two major areas on the Peninsula are Bodrum and Turgutreis, so they have the most facilities. There's no real beach in Bodrum - so you'd have to travel next door to Gumbet - and they can get a bit party-townish. But Turgutreis and lots of beaches along their coastline - some within walking and some not.
If you want a quieter area to stay in:
- Yalikavak - on the northern part of the peninsula, is an option. I really like it here. It's still big enough to have a Marina, but the town itself is a lot smaller.
There are a lot of property rentals available in this area (about 50) on Owners Direct. So lots to choose from.
If you want a place that's even smaller:
- Ortakent/Yahsi (these towns start inland, but spread all the way to the beach) - the beach joins up to make one long beach
A good reference site for all of the area's within the peninsula is:
There is a "Locations" page which will show you which part of the peninsula these towns are in. http://www.bodrumpeninsulatravelguide.co.uk/locations/
A good place to start for self catered accommodation is Owners Direct or VRBO (Vacation rental by Owner)
Hope this is useful, and if you need any additional information about the Bodrum Peninsula, please let me know.
Fondest memory: It's so easy to get around the peninsula. Get off the beaten track, discover new locations, and definitely go on a boat trip for the day.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
One week in Halikarnas, The Castle
Favorite thing: The best to see in Bodrum is the Castle. Its construction began in 1402 under the German Knight-Architect Heinrich Schlegelholt. Each tongue of the Order has its own tower. The castle came under attack between 1453 and 1480 by Mehmet III. In the 16th century when faced by attack from Sultan Suleiman, Philippe Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, the Grand Master of the Knights Hospitallers ordered to strenghten the castle again. Much of the mausoleum stones have been used for the fortification. After the surrender in 1522 the chapel has been turned onto a mosque with a minaret, which minaret has been destroyed in 1915 by a French soldier during the World War I. It has been reconstructed in its original shape in 1997.
You will have to visit the Bodrum Underwater Archeology Museum where you can admire a collection of amphoras and vases from the Myceanan Age to the Roman Era.
Fondest memory: My best moments in Bodrum was visiting the old monuments and sites, but, above all, was my days on the beach... doing nothing. Just watching the movements of the sea and the boats going and coming back to the harbour full of visitors.
You can lie down on a "chaise longue" at some restaurants, eat and drink for only £10 a day.
One day in Bodrum
Favorite thing: Hi if you are going to stay only one day in Bodrum , I would suggest you to visit the castle first. And afterwards you can wander down to the harbour see the stunning gulets (traditional Turkish wooden boats).You can also walk to the bar street where you can find small shops & bars.On this way have a cup of coffee at Mado where you have nice Castle view. There is nothing to do in Bodrum in winter time so I would suggest you to hire a car & visit the villages bays of Bodrum. You can make a peninsula tour starting from Gumbet, Bitez, Ortakent, Yahsi, Camel Beach, Akyarlar, Turgutreis, Gumusluk, Yalikavak, Turkbuku , Torba & back to Bodrum.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Currency: YTL - New Turkish Lira
Favorite thing: The YTL or New Turkish Lira is the currency you will need for your holiday to Turkey.
There are 100 YKr (Kurus) to 1 YTL. The exchange rate is generally much better if you change your money in Turkey rather than changing it in home - I always take a small amount of Lira and the rest of my money as Sterling/Euro/Dollar travellers cheques to change in the town.
You can exchange at banks and money changers but you can also change it in many shops at a very good rate and usually no charges.
If you receive old Turkish Lira in change you must refuse it as banks will not change it for you anymore (The old notes are in millions so are easily recognisable and this is not as much of a problem now that most of it is out of circulation).
Bodrum has plenty of cash points (ATMs) but you will obviously be charged the banks withdrawal rate for foreign currency and atthe daily exchange rate.
Rough exchange rates are as follows:
- $1 = 1.38 YTL
- £1 = 2.68 YTL
- 1 Euro = 1.80 YTL
Vegetarian Options in Turkey
Favorite thing: Turkish people are fans of vegetables and meat in equal measure! The quality of vegetables is usually excellent (Bodrum has a fantastic weekly market that is oozing with huge, juicy fruit and colourful vegetables) and most restaurants will have vegetarian options or will be willing to prepare something for you.
The traditional Meze (starters) are often vegetable options. The Turkish word for vegetarian is vejetaryen so if things are not looking hopeful on a menu then just ask for that (pronounced pretty much as it looks!). The Turkish people do not understand the concept of total veganism as they have rich meat available in the form of beef, mutton etc.
Money, Money, Money...
Favorite thing: Taking money to Turkey is an easy decision nowadays and thankfully all those zeros are gone from the notes. I take enough YTL to last for a day or two, sterling and travellers cheques (I know they are old fashioned now but I like the security of having them replaced if I lose them). For quite a few years now, you should be able to get a better exchange rate in Turkey for YTL than in the UK so try not to change too much untill you get over there. I don't change any money in the banks as there are shops that will change cheques for no commision, but even with commission charges at some exchange booths - the exchange rate should still be in your favour at any exchange facility. If you change sterling cash there will be less or no commission (they like sterling). You should be able to use Maestro and visa debit in the Turkish ATM's as well as Mastercard and Visa credit cards. Just check before you get over about how much the cash withdrawal charge will be from your bank AND what YTL/GBP rate they will be making the charge in.
Turkish Treats!! Food Experience in Bodrum
Favorite thing: A Turkish food menu is a treat and anyone used to mediterranean/Greek food will find Turkish food a delight. The usual precautions should be taken regarding eating meat (ensure it is well cooked) and veggies (washed well) but the food is worth trying. It tends to be fairly spice free and most stomachs can cope.
There will be an array of UK foods but try some of the following
* Stuffed Vegetables - usually a regular starter in most restaurants and vary between meat and rice/additional vegetable fillings. Make a nice starter or a light snack if you do not want something heavy.
* Meze - just like Tapas. An assortment of small plates with snack size tasters of Turkish foods. Sometimes just melon and sometimes more adventurous.
* Bodrum is a fish lovers dream and there is usually calamari on the menu. The fishermen still ply their trade by the harbour daily and the restaurants near the front get their fish fresh.
* Kebab - the favourite of every drunken person but so different when you have the genuine article from it's homeland! Usually served with lashings of fresh salad and bread. Doner and shish just like at home.
* I'm not a pudding fan but you will always find Baklava (it's Turkish not Greek apparently!) and pastries - Turkish sweet is very sweet.
Appropriate Social Behaviour in Turkiye
Favorite thing: Turkey is a very traditional country and it is a good idea for anyone who visits to think about how Turks would like you to behave. Some Islamic manners are generally expected even if Turkey is secular.
* Old people are always treated with deference and respect.
* You should not show the sole of your foot to people in social situations - NO NO
* You should avoid passing food and objects with your left hand - the right hand is used to greet & eat, the left hand is used for washing & wiping ;-)
* Public displays of affection are OK but keep it real - you are guests in a country with many Muslims and it is manners to be discreet and proper...
* You should try not to cross your legs when you are sitting with old people or VIPs (not sure why this is??)
* Turks are all about hospitality. Their family life is very important and they welcome people to share in their extended family. An offer of hospitality should be accepted if you are comfortable with it and you can be sure that you will be offered great food and fascinating conversation :-)
Flag of Turkiye
Favorite thing: There are certain symbols of every nation that are held in great esteem - and are given a level of respect because of what they mean to the people.
The flag of Turkey (much like any national flag) is held in high regard. You will see it all over Bodrum flying from governmental institutions and shops alike. It would be hugely offensive and could possibly get you into a huge amount of trouble if you were to show disrespect to the flag - orally or physically.
Be mindful of the history behind the flag and the symbolism. The flag is red to remind the people of the massive blood shed during the end of the Ottoman period. The moon and stars represents the independence of Turkiye.
Religions in Turkey
Favorite thing: Much is said about religious issues in Muslim countries. This is not an issue in Turkey which is a secular country since the days of Ataturk. This means that all religions in Turkey are entitled to be treated equally - Turkey is 99% Muslim and the remaining 1% is mostly Jewish and Christian but all religions are free to worship openly and suffer no discrimination. When you visit Bodrum yu will be delightfully woken by the sound of the muezzin calling Muslim people to prayer. You will hear this a five times daily and the sound is enigmatic. There a quite a few mosques in Bodrum and some are open to visitors. Of historical interest are the Tepecik Mosque and the Mustafa Pasha Mosque which both date from the 18th Century.
Should you find yourself visiting a mosque you ned to remember the apropriate behaviour and dress to be respectful - no shorts, no short skirts, no visits during prayer times, women need to cover their arms and head and shoes will have to be removed. It might be handy to travel with a light scarf for occasions where you happen upon a mosque to visit.
Entry Visas For Turkey
Favorite thing: Check out the entry requirements before you head to Turkey. Visas vary between countries as does the amount of time the visa allows you to stay. UK passport holders are issued with a 3 month multiple entry visa. It will be issued as soon as you get off the plane and enter the terminal building - you will gp through passport control before you go to collect your bags. The visa is a sticker that is put inside your passport and stamped. It will be restamped when you leave Turkey. The cost of the visa varies too. UK passport holders pay £10 and it must be a £10 note as no change will be given and £5 notes are not accepted. Irish pasprot holders pay 10 euros and US passport holders pay $20. Should you wish to return during the 3 month duration it will be checked and restamped - no further money is payable.
Respect For Atatürk
Favorite thing: Atatürk was the President of the Turkish Republic from 1923 until he died in 1938. He became known as Father of the Turks for the groundbreaking changes he made to Turkish life.
He created a modern secular government with education at its heart. Everyone in Turkey is free to worship the faith they choose without governmental interference. He was responsible for introducing the Latin alphabet and voting rights for women.
Atatürk is so widely thought of that it is highly offensive to make any negative comment about his reforms. There are statues and pictures if Atatürk all over Bodrum - including a large one by the marina of him on horseback. This tip is really to remind you to show respect to the memory and work of Atatürk.
Emergency Numbers and General Information
Favorite thing: CHEMISTS:Called "Eczane" in Turkish (and usually sporting a green cross)
There are approximately 15 chemists in Bodrum Town. They are open all day and during the off duty times each chemist is open on a rota basis (they will have an "on duty" sign on the door.
HOSPITALS:Called "Hastane" in Turkish.
There are 4 hospitals in Bodrum and all have a good reputation. Each has a 24hr emergency service. I have the numbers of 3 should anyone need them. PRIVATE HOSPITAL: Tel - 0252 3136566, UNIVERSAL HOSPITAL: Tel - 0252 3171515, STATE HOSPITAL: Tel - 0252 3131420
Situated near the Castle area (Baris Meydani), Tel: 0252 3161091
POST OFFICE: Called "Postane" in Turkish
There are 2 large post offices in Bodrum, easy one to find is on Cevat Sakir Caddesi
POLICE: called "Polis" in Turkish (Police Station is "Karakol")
Emergency Number is 155
Emergency Number is 110
BUS STATION: Called "Otogar" in Turkish
Cevat Sakir Caddesi (all dolmus and buses congregate here)
UK travellers especially may need the HSBC branch number in Bodrum - 0252 3139145
BODRUM AIRPORT: Called "Bodrum-Milas Havlaani" in Turkish
United Kingdom Consular office in Bodrum
0252 3170093 - 94
Public Toilets in Bodrum and Paper Waste!
Favorite thing: Bay = men Bayan = Women
Public toilets are few and far between in Bodrum and the only one I ever remember seeing is one on a small square around the corner from St Peter's Castle (on Karatiina Sokak).
These toilets are supervised by a very friendly man who will charge you for the pleasure of using the toilet (approx 1 YTL but possibly less actually).
Try to have the correct change to avoid the man becoming slightly grumpy! There is a sink area to wash your hands and there is a ready supply of the lemon scented cooling/cleaning lotion. This toilet is very clean and nice smelling.
Remember also that toilet paper must not be put down the toilet in Turkey as the sewage system is unable to cope with that type of solid waste (water pressure issues and an often seen problem in the countries from the Med and Aegean). Tissue needs to be put in the small bins found in every establishment. These are generally cleaned out regularly during the day and night so there should be no collection of mess - if there is just tell the staff, it will be sorted.
These are traditional western toilets folks so no squatting (phew!!), Bodrum is quite advanced like that but when you go on excursions this might not always be the case soremember to bring some spare tissue (just in case) and if you are squemish about squatting watch what you eat and drink :-)
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