The markets or 'pazars' (similar to the Arabic word 'bazaar' for marketplace) of Bodrum are lively scenes where local vendors and their wares come together in an explosion of sights, smells and sounds. Proud farmers push their aubergines and courgettes, traditionally dressed ladies invite you to taste their homemade bread and spinach-stuffed pastries while others hawk their 'lokum' (Turkish delight) or what seems like a 1001 spice varieties. Between all the tons of lettuce, radishes, bananas and cherries, the market is an amazing kaleidoscope of colour that makes for a great day out.
The best and most famous markets are those in Bodrum town centre (separate markets for textiles and fresh produce) and in Yalikavak (both textiles and fresh produce). But they aren't just an opportunity for tourists to take colourful photos; the townspeople of Bodrum do their shopping here so they are also a wonderful snapshot of authentic local life.
The local handicrafts make handy souvenirs to take home and they are found in abundance at any of the markets you may visit on the peninsula. Be sure to pick up a treasure amongst the cotton tablecloths, local weavings, embroidered cushion covers, jewellery, leather items or hand-painted pottery. For your kitchen pantry choose from a dizzying array of spice, nut and olive varieties. If all that shopping has got you feeling peckish, be sure to tuck into some 'gozleme' - a traditional savoury crepe stuffed with minced meat, spinach, potato or cheese - before you continue the rounds!
Bodrum textiles market: every Tuesday
Bodrum fresh produce market: every Thursday and Friday
Yalikavak textiles/fresh produce market: every Thursday
Words by Richelle Harrison Plesse