Since the beaches aren’t that great, the best way to enjoy the pristine waters around the Bodrum peninsula is to take an all-inclusive day cruise. You’ll be able to visit a few different coves inaccessible by land and jump off the boat into the water.
First, don’t buy any cruise excursions online. Wait until you get to Bodrum. They’re advertised for prices up to €25 but I got mine for just 25TL with lunch included and drinks extra. You’ll find every single tour operator in town selling these trips. Shop around until you get a price that’s acceptable.
After you purchase the excursion, you’ll get a voucher and given a time and location to go to your boat. I arrived at my boat before 11am and settled into a spot on the upper deck. We started cruising and reached Karaada just after noon.
At Karaada, we stopped and entered a small cave to take a mud bath. The mud supposedly is rich in minerals and has healing properties. Legend has it that Cleopatra bathed in this very mud to keep her skin smooth and youthful. We had to pay a few liras for the entrance fee to the cave. It wasn’t that great to be honest but I’m glad I did it.
Next, we headed to one of the coves for a swim. This is where everyone on the boat started bonding. Most of the people were from Turkey and there was a family from Holland as well. We got to know each other much better after lunch. We had such a great time together that we all met up in the evening at a nightclub in Bodrum.
We were able to visit four coves in all. When the water got choppy, the boat headed back to Bodrum, arriving around 5pm.
Overall, I had a great time and would do it again minus the gimmicky mud bath. The music at times was obnoxiously loud, but you only noticed it when you were cruising. The crew was great and served a surprisingly good lunch. I wasn’t expecting much for 25TL so it was a nice surprise. The best part was making several new friends that I continue to keep in touch with.