Bodrum is famous for building yachts or Gulets, and they are parked along the dock awaiting the guests that book them for sailing holidays. The cars come and go, and it appears as a boat departs, another takes its place. 

Your ship will dock at the edge of the large bay (bottom right) and you will around the bay, then walk through the shops to find the castle. The queue can be long in the mornings, so you may wish to walk further and visit the Mausoleum and then the Ancient Theatre. The amphitheatre is worth it for both the stunning example of a 4BC Greco Roman theatre but also the view over the town and bay. An electric scooter might make it more fun and certainly quicker. The castle can then be done in the afternoon. Jean walks this route in the film.

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Bodrum has more stylish shopping and is more at ease that the ‘genuine fakes’ Kusadasi, showing a different face of the Turkish Riviera. It has a long history. Mausolus built the new city of Halicarnassus as the capital of Caria in Asia Minor.

  • Bodrum Cruise Port to Bodrum Castle (through shops) = 2km (30mins pleasant walk)
  • Bodrum Castle to Mausoleum = 1.2km (20 minutes)
  • Mausoleum to Ancient Theatre = 400m uphill (10 minutes)
  • Remember you’ve got to get back.

The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus or Tomb of Mausolus

Needs some imagination and not long to visit. It is a site of ruins, and many stones were taken by the crusaders to build the castle. It was approximately 45 m (148 ft) in height with carvings and sculptures on all four sides. The word mausoleum infers an above-ground tomb, but this was built on an older burial site and there are caves which are visible but not open to visit. When Mausolus died, his wife Artemisia continued building the mausoleum, sparing no expense and finding the most talented artists from far and wide. These included Scopas who was responsible for the 3rd phase of the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus. 

Interesting fact, large-scale marble statues from the Mausoleum of Halikarnassos, including the so-called ‘Mausolus’ and ‘Artemisia’ found their way to the British Museum in 1857. So many items in museums all over the world are now being reclaimed. Turkey has asked for them back.

The wonder of the ancient world stood for 16 centuries until the earthquake in 1304 caused great damage. Then the Knights of St John of Malta invaded the region and took almost every block to build the castle in 1494. They used almost every block which is why so little remains at the site. Writings have been found from the crusaders telling of how they plundered the site taking all the gold and jewels.

The Ancient Theatre

The theatre is an amphitheatre known as the Bodrum Antique Theatre. It had a capacity of about 13,000 guests and an 18m wide stage. There is no one there and no modern infrastructure, but a lone pleasant security guard. It is free.

It is on the main highway. I have no idea how they performed with all that traffic noise. Joking aside, they use it for events now, like the Bodrum International Ballet festival. Here is the QR code for the brochure. So many places have these now, the smart device is essential.

The Theatre at Halicarnassus is easy to find, especially after you have watched the film and seen the way.


Check out my cruise and port accurate mystery thrillers in paperback and eBook with some in large print and as audiobooks. They are all set on a cruise and written like movies or TV shows. Well, that is where I spent the last 50 years! 

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Always remember a ship tour offers the protection of waiting for the trip to return if it is running late. 

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