9 of Bodrum's best beaches for every type of sun worshipper

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Tristan Rutherford

Tristan Rutherford

Bodrum* is one of Turkey's most popular destinations for holidaymakers. While this port city is flooded with attractions ancient and modern, the surrounding resorts offer ample opportunities to catch some sun on the beaches of Turkey's southwest coast.

The best beaches in & around Bodrum © Hanak Takan - Adobe Stock Image
The best beaches in & around Bodrum © Hanak Takan - Adobe Stock Image

Here, we take a look at some of the very best, from facility-free stretches of golden sands to lively beaches with chic waterfront bars. Take your pick!

Getting to Bodrum: find great value holidays to Bodrum with First Choice*, which offers breaks for all budgets.


  • Best for: lazy days

Gümüşlük is a slice of old-school Ibiza served up on a tranquil Bodrum bay. Wealthy hippies sip cocktails in beachside bars, which are garlanded with prayer beads and bougainvillaea. The village's fabulous seafood shacks are set back from Gümüşlük's skinny strip of sand.

Laidback living at Gümüşlük © Ekinyalgin - Dreamstime.com
Laidback living at Gümüşlük © Ekinyalgin - Dreamstime.com

These simple restaurants work on a pick-a-fish premise: you point and they cook the sardines or shrimp of your dreams.

After lunch, it's time to bag a lounger on the sand. Gümüşlük Beach offers one more surprise. There's a 100m-long Roman road that has sunk into the shallow sea. Walk out to Rabbit Island in the bay, then swim back for more sand.


  • Best for: all ages

This 300 m slither of silky white sand is perfect for families. At a 20 km distance from Bodrum, the beach is seldom crowded. Better still, the water shelves in stages (check out the deepening shades of blue from turquoise to navy), so swimmers can choose a depth to suit.

Hot? You betcha. Gündoğan* takes its name from gün, the Turkish word for sun, as the beach catches its first rays at sunrise. Sunshine also warms the pine forest behind, casting a gentle aroma over the bay.


  • Best for: edge-of-the-world sands

Gümbatımı sits at the western tip of the Bodrum peninsula. The last Turkish beach before Greece is where soft sand and sun loungers gaze over the Aegean Sea.

You could conceivably kitesurf across to the Greek Islands in 10 minutes - provided you wedge your passport in a waterproof bag.

Gümbatımı's other attraction is that it snuggles up against the cute resort of Turgutreis. It's like Bodrum 20 years ago with handicrafts, tea shops and knockout food.


  • Best for: partying hard

Türkbükü is the Turkish St Tropez. Istanbul high society marches along the resort's promenade to the gentle thump of house music.

Granted, the beach clubs sell pricey beers and Turkish chardonnay. But all have swimming pool ladders leading into the mirror-calm Aegean Sea, which glows emerald in the searing sun.

Beach club on Türkbükü Beach, Bodrum © Images & Stories - Alamy Stock Photo
Beach club on Türkbükü Beach, Bodrum © Images & Stories - Alamy Stock Photo

At dusk, the volume is turned up to maximum. Superclubs play big tunes as lasers shoot across the dancefloors. Türkbükü is Bodrum's best hands-in-the-air experience - hands down.


  • Best for: Turkey back in time

Akyarlar is a gentle crescent of sand far from the madding crowds. The sea is uproariously warm and shallow, which allows bathers to wade far from shore as if they were strolling through a bath.

The best thing about Akyarlar* is that it's a time capsule of 1990s Turkey. There's a weekly market, working fishing boats and a jetty for cheap boat trips around the Bodrum peninsula. Even the price for a fish sandwich and Turkish coffee is less than elsewhere.


  • Best for: yachties

What a view! The private Xuma Beach (yep, you pay up to get in) has a prime panorama over the luxury yachts cruising into nearby Yalıkavak Marina. The best position is on a sunlounger, shaded by a tamarisk tree, with a raki-on-the-rocks in hand.

Chic Xuma Village - photo courtesy of Xuma Village
Chic Xuma Village - photo courtesy of Xuma Village

The coolest cats stretch out on the wooden jetty that juts out into a crystalline sea from Xuma's sandy beach. Our tip: pretend you've swum in from your superyacht anchored in the bay.

At sunset, the atmosphere goes up a gear. Trendy Turks sink strawberry daiquiris and throw shapes on the seafront dancefloor.


  • Best for: empty sands

Don't expect chilled Efes beer on Kadıkalesi. You can forget sun loungers and Calippos too. This gentle arc of tickle-your-toes sand curves against the Aegean Sea.

Think Turkey on the quiet side. The only sights of note are a rickety jetty poking into the sea (dive off if you will) and the occasional windsurfs screaming past.

The crowd? Holidaying Turks who have frequented the same Kadıkalesi tea shop for decades. Plus a handful of hikers exploring the citrus groves above the beach.


  • Best for: totally chilling

A beach to yourself? Time your arrival well and the golden sands of Aspat could be your Robinson Crusoe escape.

Sheltered behind a hefty hill, the bay in front of the beach is pancake flat, aside from the palamuts (bonitos) that regularly leap from the sea. The ruins of an ancient castle and hammam steam bath are scattered through an olive grove.


  • Best for: a big day in the sun

Bitez* is big, bold and beautiful. Just 10 minutes from Bodrum (and one bay along from the party beach of Gümbet) it's a bohemian go-to with facilities to match.

Lounge in style at Bitez Beach © Peter Forsberg - Alamy Stock Photo
Lounge in style at Bitez Beach © Peter Forsberg - Alamy Stock Photo

Think cushions strewn under palms to form an impromptu café. Or hammocks and parasols to rent for the day. And sun loungers dragged into the lapping sea.

There are enough water sports activities to occupy an entire day. Just arrive early, as both Turkish and foreign holidaymakers feel the same way.

Weather in Bodrum

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Maximum daytime temperature °C
Hours of sunshine (daily)
Days with some rainfall
Sea temperature °C

The above guide shows the weather in Bodrum. You can find out more about conditions across the region in our complete guide to the weather in Turkey.

Ready to bask on Bodrum's beaches? Don't miss the latest offers on escapes for all budgets with First Choice.

First Choice: Low deposits & flexible payments on holidays in 2023, 2024 & 2025

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Tristan Rutherford

Tristan Rutherford

Tristan Rutherford is a multiple award-winning travel journalist based in the UK. When he's not travelling in the likes of France, Croatia and Turkey he's found writing about them for the likes of The Time and the Daily Telegraph. He also lectures in travel writing and leads luxury yacht tours of the French Riviera and Croatia.

Posted on Monday 29th May 2023 in: Beach Europe Summer

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