Until the mid-20th century, the Bodrum Peninsula was little known, and its gorgeous coastline was home to fishermen and sponge divers. Then a bohemian set (artists, writers, and painters) discovered Bodrum and put the place on the map. Today, Bodrum is booming—a year-round getaway for Turks and foreigners alike. You’ll be in the center of the action in Bodrum town, the busiest spot on the peninsula, but a stay in one of the smaller villages nearby will reveal the region’s quieter charms and its landscape of tangerine orchards and stone windmills. The lovely, mysterious stone domes that dot the landscape are old water cisterns.
The area's numerous music festivals are an additional draw in the summer months. The Gümüşluk Classical Music Festival, held annually for more than a decade, brings both classical and jazz acts to the seaside village between July and August, with some concerts being held in historical settings. Turgutreis has its own classical music festival held around the same time, when Bodrum also hosts Turkey’s only ballet festival. The newer SunSplash festival in June brings international dance music acts to Bodrum's Aspat Beach.
Each municipality and its surrounding villages have their own style, charm, and ambience, so where you decide to stay will be based on your personal preferences. You can catch a dolmuş (minibus) to almost any town in the peninsula from the central Bodrum bus station (otogar) for 5 TL or less per person. You may have to return to Bodrum to transfer between other towns.