Excursions from Bodrum, Turkey

Last Updated on September 20, 2023

There are many quaint seaside towns in Muğla that are ideal for taking away the stress of daily life.  These are the types of places to go if you want to eat organic food, meet local people, avoid crowds and the stress of fast-paced city life, take a break from social media, swim and sunbathe for hours in clean bays, and relax with a good book.  In short, if you want to spend a quiet and peaceful holiday, you can visit these towns close to Bodrum. 

In Muğla, there are also places such as Marmaris and Milas, which are not as big as Bodrum but still relatively large. Here you can find recommendations that will meet your expectations from the holiday destination.


Datça, a sleepy town located at the intersection of the Aegean and the Mediterranean, is a great destination to escape to, offering an even more peaceful and secluded environment than Bodrum. You can reach Datça by making a very pleasant journey by ferryboat departing from Bodrum Harbor. Datça will fascinate you with its calm, peaceful, unexplored bays, and beautiful streets with the smell of flowers. Most of its beaches are relatively unknown to foreign tourists. The ferry ride from Bodrum to Datça takes only 50 minutes. 

You can take your bike or car for this journey though the passenger car transit tariffs differ. If you want to travel to Datça by road, and not by sea, a winding 4-hour road awaits you. If you want to go directly to Datça from Bodrum Airport, you can take Datça minibuses from the airport.

You can visit the ancient city of Knidos in Datça, swim in Palamutbükü Bay, discover the adorable houses in the cobblestone streets of Old Datça, sunbathe and swim in the sea in Kargı Bay.


Marmaris is a wonderful place with its green scenery. Apart from being able to get fresh air with its slopes full of pine trees, what you can do in Marmaris will be typical of a beach holiday. 

You can swim and relax in its magnificent bays. If you don't have a car or don't want to worry about getting to the bays, you can also take a boat tour and explore the bays. You can have a great holiday by staying one day in towns such as İçmeler and Turunç. Also, you can enjoy the magnificent sea, nature, and sweet bazaar of Selimiye by staying in a boutique hotel in Selimiye, one of the most popular places of Marmaris in recent years.

After going to Datça in 50 minutes by ferry from Bodrum to Datça, you can reach Marmaris in an hour by car or minibus. This route will take about 2 hours. So, you have the opportunity to visit Datça and then Marmaris, as well as the small towns between Datça and Marmaris such as Bozburun, Söğüt, Bayır, Çiftlik, Turunç and İçmeler. Direct transportation from Bodrum to Marmaris by road will take approximately 2.5 hours. You can also take the buses from Bodrum to Marmaris from Bodrum Bus Station to Marmaris Bus Station.


Located 2.5 hours from Bodrum, Akyaka is a place preferred by both domestic and foreign tourists, as it is one of the few slow cities, “cittaslow”, in Turkey. Cittaslow is a concept born in Italy and by evaluating many criteria, cities where life flows more slowly are determined and published around the world. It is one of these peaceful places in Akyaka.

Akyaka is now one of the first places that comes to mind when it comes to windsurfing, due to the fact that it gets much wind, and it is also an ideal option for those who want to spend a holiday enjoying the breeze in the summer. You can stay here a little longer and take windsurfing lessons each day. 

The Azmak River, which runs through Akyaka, offers a great way to cool down for those who don’t mind the chill of its ice-cold water. It also allows travel on the river by boat and makes it even more enjoyable to eat at the restaurants located by the river.


Mazı Village is 1.5 hours away from Bodrum by car. In this charming village, which has eight coves around the Gulf of Gökova, you can stay in a hostel for one night, fall asleep to the sound of crickets, and open your eyes to the deep blue sea in the morning, offering an even more relaxing experience than what you would find in Bodrum.


A place in Çökertme with the same concept as Mazı. In this small town where there are few restaurants and pensions, you can swim during the day and eat delicious fish in the evening.


Ören is a holiday resort known to Muğla residents but only recently discovered by tourists.

This sweet town, which is a recent choice for those looking for holiday destinations away from the crowd, has a long coastline and an aquarium-like sea. 

One of the most famous details about Ören is that the mountain view has the silhouette of a pregnant woman when looked at carefully. You can stay here for a night or two by renting an apartment, living the summer life, going to the sea within walking distance, and taking a walk in the fresh air. In the evenings, simple restaurants where you can eat delicious fish and appetizers (meze) will await you. Ören is a 2-hour drive from Bodrum.


Akbük Beach is located between Ören and Akyaka. A paradise 25 minutes from Ören and 40 minutes from Akyaka. Swimming in the clear turquoise sea and enjoying its green nature is very pleasant. This is a cove with restaurants and beaches around. If you decide to take a stroll along the coastline by car, you should definitely stop by here to swim in Akbük.

Greek Islands

When you come to Turkey, there is a great way to go to its neighbor Greece: ferries! From Bodrum, you can go to many Greek islands in a short time at affordable prices if you have a Schengen visa. For more information, you can read more here.

More Options

With Bodrum or another town on the Bodrum Peninsula as your base, you can make excursions to several of Turkey’s top sights.

With a rental/hire car, or car and driver, you can make an excellent day trip to some (but probably not all) of these sights:


When I think of a ruined Greek temple, I think of the Temple of Zeus at Euromos, the perfect Hollywood-like example: most of its columns standing, dignified but forlorn, in the midst of olive trees. You can easily stop here on your drive north, as the temple is just east of the highway.


One of Turkey’s most famous sights, the vast and monumental ruins of the Roman Empire‘s largest Asian city are a must-see if you have the time. This may be the centerpiece of your excursion. Near it are several other important sights: the scant ruins of the Artemision, the St John Basilica, İsa Bey Mosque, the excellent Ephesus Museum, and, high on a hill above Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary.

Didyma (Didim)

The gigantic oracular Temple of Apollo at Didyma (Didim) rivaled that of Delphi in wealth and prestige. Though ruined, visitors are still impressed with its huge size and beautiful decoration.


Among the largest and most impressive Hellenistic theaters in Anatolia, the Theater of Miletus is set at the southern edge of the Meander River floodplain.


From its dramatic setting on a steep hillside with an even steeper mountain behind it, the ancient city of Priene looks out onto the Meander River floodplain from its northern edge. This was the first city to use a grid street plan.


A historically-preserved Ottoman Greek mountain village famed for its olives, olive oil, fruits, and wines, Şirince is worth an hour’s stroll, a half-day’s exploration, or even overnight.

—by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Melike Kocaer

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