The Bodrum peninsula, at the centre of Turkey's Aegean coast, has attracted tourists for some 2,500 years. What those early travellers came to see - the natural beauty attested to by Herodotus and the architectural splendours of the civilisation into which he was born - remain the major attractions of the area today. Some spend their days enthralled by the sea - sailing aboard one of the distinctive broad-hulled gulets, snorkeling round a rocky headland or slicing an athletic crawl through the aquamarine water. Others head inland, exploring the ruins and travelling back in time to rediscover the peace and harmony of a world which, for most of us, has all but disappeared.

Away from the coast, this area of Turkey is an agricultural region, where the lifestyle of the farming community continues much as it did in ancient times. Living sometimes right amongst the ruins, with their animals stabled in antique houses, these families live off the land, relying on goats, bees, chickens, sheep and smallholdings for the majority of their food. Water bubbles from the very same springs that gave rise to the ancient settlements and the air seems as pure as it must have been in the days when Homer breathed it. In spring wild flowers of all sorts - anemones, cyclamen, orchids and irises - carpet the ground, while the air is suffused with the achingly sweet scent of citrus fruits.

Map - Byzantine Chapel - Halicarnassus
Ionian Coast - Inner Ionia - Carian Coast