Aeons ago Bodrum rose to fame on the back of the Mausoleum, the spectacular tomb of the Carian King Mausolus that Roman historian Pliny the Elder designated one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Sadly, not much remains to be seen today. Most visitors will be more impressed by the Castle of St Peter, standing sentinel over the town’s twin bays.
Herodotus (c 485–425 BC), the ‘Father of History’, was Bodrum’s most famous son. Between the two World Wars, writer Cevat Şakir Kabaağaç lived in political exile here and wrote an account of idyllic voyages along the Carian and Lycian coasts, then completely untouched by tourism. The ‘Fisherman of Halicarnassus’ called his most famous book Mavi Yolculuk (Blue Voyage), a name since co-opted for all cruises along these shores. More recently the late singer Zeki Muran settled in Bodrum, putting it on the map for gay travellers.