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Gündoğan, Bodrum, Turkey

Last Updated on October 19, 2023

Gündoğan (“Breaking Day”) is a town on the north shore of the Bodrum peninsula between the towns of Göltürkbükü and Yalıkavak (map) backed by hundreds of holiday villas, some of which are perched on the slopes of the hills that surround the broad bay, the better to enjoy sea views.

It is one of the oldest settlements on the Bodrum peninsula, and you can even see the old rock tombs on the hills. Gündoğan's historical name is Farilya. As a matter of fact, this ancient name, Farilya, is often used in the names of streets, restaurants, sites, and beaches in Gündoğan. 

Lodging

The best detail about Gündogan is that it is more local than Bodrum's other towns. The villas here are mostly owned by families who have been on vacation here for years. You can rent a holiday villa and enjoy this beautiful neighborhood like a local, enjoy the clean sea every day, watch a magnificent sunset every evening, and observe the yachts adorning the sea in the breezy air. Of course, if you do not prefer to rent villas or apartments, you can also stay in hotels in Gündoğan. In this way, you can have a more comfortable holiday.

Beach & Activities

The sea of Gündoğan is as clean and beautiful as in other resorts of Bodrum. There are both public and private beaches on the coastline. Gündoğan’s beach is one of the widest on the north shore, with coarse sand with some gravel, but it’s relatively short.

There are umbrellas on the public beaches, which are free to enter, but there are no sunbeds. You can bring your own lawn chairs and put them under the umbrella, or you can sunbathe by laying your towel on the sand.

Gündoğan is also a lovely destination for those who love water sports, where you can do windsurfing and sailing as well as diving. You can also do outdoor sports in Gündoğan, for example, you can rent a bicycle and try to explore the surroundings, so you can enjoy the lush nature. Another sport you can do here is of course walking. You can enjoy the long coastline best on foot. For this, you can choose evening hours, so you will have the opportunity to observe that Gündoğan has a different taste in the evenings than during the day. Those who enjoy the sea during the day enjoy the taverns (meyhane) and restaurants in the evening.

What To Eat

Where to Eat Fish

There are many restaurants where you can eat very delicious fish. The accompaniments that come to mind when it comes to fish in Turkey are appetizers (meze) and, of course, live music (canlı müzik). You can prefer Paragadi Balık, Akbalık, Cana Bodrum, Pamukkale Restaurants, and Midyeci Şehmus Usta’nın Yeri for your dinner to eat tasty fish.

Pide and Grill

If you would like to try Turkish pide, you can visit Naz Pide Salonu and Dedem Meşhur Bahra Pidesi. 

Köşebaşı Restaurant is another right choice that won’t let you down when it comes to the quality of the grill (ocakbaşı) because they have other successful branches in other towns such as Bitez and Türkbükü.

Bitez Dondurmacısı

Bitez Dondurmacısı is an establishment that makes local and delicious ice cream, which you can often see in other neighborhoods in Bodrum. On hot summer days, you can cool off by buying ice cream from here.

Local Food

In Gündoğan, you can eat meze and meals made with Aegean herbs (Ege otları) as well as seafood. Apart from roasted herbs (ot kavurması), you can try stuffed zucchini flowers (kabak çiçeği dolması), which are very delicious in the Aegean and Bodrum, Köpoğlu mezesi made from yogurt, fish soup (balık çorbası), and bergamot jam (bergamot reçeli) for dessert. Sage oil (adaçayı yağı) is also unique here. If you see çibörek (fried dough with ground beef or cheese in it), you need to try that as well. 

To try and buy local dairy products and especially cheeses, you can try Metin Çıngıloğlu, a Bodrum brand that also has a branch in Gündoğan.

Nightlife 

While wandering around Gündoğan in the evening, you can come across live music with instruments in the taverns and dance in the bars where you can drink cocktails. Sail Loft Surf Shack is a great place for a fun evening with a cool atmosphere. Another fun option would be Cielo Beach; in the evenings this place is full of young people. 

In the center, you can try traditional Turkish bakeries such as simit, açma, and börek from Yeldeğirmeni Fırını (Bakery).

Excursions

Apostol Island

You can go to the island of Apostol in just 15 minutes by taking daily boat tours from Gündogan, where you can see the church on the hill (Saint Apostol Church), which is a historical Byzantine ruin.

Yalıkavak and Göltürkbükü

Gündoğan has a very nice location as it is located between Yalıkavak and Göltürkbükü. In this way, instead of staying at higher prices in expensive towns such as Türkbükü and Yalıkavak, you can go and return to these places in just 15 minutes. You can go to Türkbükü during the day and enjoy the sea, and in the evening, you can go to Yalıkavak and walk in its marina full of luxury shops and restaurants.

Bodrum Center

Gündoğan is located half an hour away from the center of Bodrum (when there is no traffic). Since Bodrum is very crowded in summer, the time spent in traffic may increase regardless of the distance.

Çarşı (Market)

Gündoğan has everything you need: from markets, pharmacies, bakeries, and clothing stores to electrical shops. Although this place is not a very large settlement, it meets all your needs. There are cafes and restaurants in the bazaar, as well as tiny places selling jewelry. You can buy seashell jewelry that comes to mind when you think of summer vacation, as well as you can find very stylish necklaces, earrings, anklets, and more here.

You can also buy peştemal (Turkish towels) and dresses made of fabrics specific to Turkey from the shops. In the bazaar, you can find windmill miniatures, which are symbols of Bodrum, and jewelry made of evil eye beads, as well as magnets, key chains, glasses, and coasters, which are classic souvenirs.

Transportation

Traveling by car in Bodrum is always a better choice. Although there is limited parking and parking lots can be expensive, it may be more enjoyable to take a car to explore Bodrum. It takes about 8 hours (696 km) to get from Istanbul to Bodrum by car. From Ankara to Bodrum, it takes about 9 hours by car (713 km). From Izmir, you can reach Bodrum by car in 3-4 hours (242 km). 

If you want to go to Bodrum by plane, you need to fly into Bodrum Milas Airport. You can reach the city center from the airport by buses called HAVAŞ. You can also take the minibusses (dolmuş) to go from the center to Turgutreis; it takes just 20 minutes. Of course, you can also go directly from the airport by taxi.

You can also come to Bodrum by intercity buses. After getting off in the center of Bodrum, you can take smaller buses from the bus station that will take you to Turgutreis in 20 minutes.

—by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Melike Kocaer

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