During your stay on Kos take the opportunity and enjoy a day trip to Bodrum. Situated just five kilometers away from Kos, Bodrum and its ancient wonders is just a ferry ride away. This largely unmentioned Turkish seaside town is blessed with several unique touristic attractions, scores of wonderful shops, and archaeological treasures that are nothing short of amazing.
Docking at the busy harbor the first attraction you’ll want to take in Bodrum Castle and the Museum of Underwater Archaeology Museum where unbelievable ancient artifacts are on exhibit. The castle, built back in 1402 by the Knights Hospitaller, was a stronghold during the Crusades. As for the museum, it houses the underwater discoveries of ancient shipwrecks of the Aegean Sea including the Uluburun Shipwreck and the most spectacular Late Bronze Age undersea treasures ever found.
Next, take in the site of the fabled Mausoleum at Halicarnassus (Tomb of Mausolus), which was one of the seven ancient wonders of the world – unfortunately destroyed by earthquakes in the 12th century – will imbue you with a sense of the magnitude of the place. This was the tomb of Mausolus, the ruler of Caria. Created from the vision of architects Satyrus and Pythis, and with the art of sculptors Scopas of Paros, Leochares, Bryaxis and Timotheus, the tomb was said to be of indescribable beauty.
After taking in a world wonder, shopping might not seem like the best choice for a day tour, but in the case of Bodrum it just fits. The sheer abundance of boutiques and markets in the town rival the awe-inspiring antiquity of the place. Scores of stores rise up from the luxurious marina, and chic shopping malls also pop up here and there if you walk the heart of town. Bargain hunters never miss out in Bodrum, and the craft market stalls of Gümüşlük and Yalikav overflow with very fine quality handmade crafts. You’ll find everything from clothing to greens, electronics, and antiques at the souqs.
After a bite at one of the eateries in the famous Muğla area, you’ll want to visit the Bodrum Amphitheater, one of the best-preserved structures of ancient Halicarnassus. You might also consider taking the short trip to the traditional Village of Karakaya outside of town. And, of course, no visit to Turkey could ever be complete without a genuine hammam experience. On the latter, you’ll find many possibilities for the most relaxing and rejuvenating therapy you can imagine.
Other Bordrum attractions you should not miss include the gorgeous Bardakci Cove, Zeki Muren Arts Museum, Yahsi Beach, the Bodrum Maritime Museum, and the Pedasa Antique. Oh, and lest we forget, Bodrum’s windmills are a must visit for those among you wanting the perfect photo op. Finally, in case you need more suntan and beachcombing action than Kos has to offer, Bodrum is world famous for its beaches, scuba diving, snorkeling, and other watersports. We suggest packing your swimsuits in a carry-all, just in case.
Note that Bodrum is in Turkey – you will need to familiarize yourself with the visa requirements if you are not European – but the effort is well worth it. It’s also easy to apply for e-Visa for the day – it’s just three minutes of your time online at www.evisa.gov.tr and it costs you $20 payable by credit or debit card.