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One of the most popular starting points for sailing the Aegean coast of Turkey. The Gökova Gulf is acknowledged to be one of the best cruising areas in Europe. With abundant sunshine, crystal clear waters, continuous blue skies, good anchorages and friendly people, this coast offers many diversities. There are many unspoiled areas rich in natural beauty and in costal settlements and villages it is still possible to observe local people going about their lives in traditional Turkish village fashion.

Archaeological ruins and historic sites abound in Turkey's southern coastal regions. Many ruins and sites such as Cleopatra's lsland, Knidos, Caunos, Patara and Kekova can be seen directly from the sea.

Others such as Ephesus, Dydima, Miletos can easily be reached from anchorage points.

The climate of this region also contributes to the cruising excellence of this area with a season that can begin in April and end in October. June, July and August are of course the hottest months. May and September are cooler and quieter and April and October still offer 8 to 9 hours of sunshine a day, with the opportunity for walking and exploring as well as cruising.



The harbour area was colonized by ancient Greeks in the 11th century BC and the city later fell under Persian rule. It was the nominal capital city of the satrapy of Caria; its location ensured the city enjoyed considerable autonomy.

Herodotus, the historian, (484–420 BC) was born here. Mausolus ruled Caria from here on behalf of the Persians, from 377 to 353 BC. When he died in 353 BC, Artemisia II of Caria, who was both his sister and his widow, employed the ancient Greek architects Satyros and Pythis, and the four sculptors Bryaxis, Scopas, Leochares and Timotheus for to build a monument, as well as a tomb, for him. This tomb gave us the word “mausoleum”. It was a temple-like structure decorated with reliefs and statuary on a massive base. It stood for 1700 years and was finally destroyed by earthquakes.[citation needed] Today only the foundations and a few pieces of sculpture remain.

Crusader Knights arrived in 1402 and used the remains of the Mauseoleum as a quarry to build the Bodrum Castle (Castle of Saint Peter), which is one of the last examples of Crusader architecture in the East. The Knights Hospitaller of Rhodes built it after the Mongol leader Tamerlane (Timurlenk, in Turkish) destroyed their previous fortress that was located near Izmir. The castle and its town became known as Petronium, whence the modern name derives. In 1522, Suleyman the Magnificent conquered the base of the Crusader knights on the island of Rhodes, who withdrew to Malta, leaving The Castle of Saint Peter and Bodrum to the Ottoman Empire.

Until the 20th Century, the economy of Bodrum was dominated by fishing and sponge diving. The founding of Halicarnassus is debated among various civilisations; but they agree in the main point as to its being a Dorian colony, and the figures on its coins, such as the head of Medusa, Athena and Poseidon, or the trident, support the statement that the mother cities were Troezen and Argos. The inhabitants appear to have accepted as their legendary founder Anthes, mentioned by Strabo, and were proud of the title of Antheadae.


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