More than any other Turkish seaside getaway,
Bodrum has an enigmatic elegance
that pervades it, from the town's grand crowning castle and glittering marina to its flower-filled cafes and white-plastered backstreets.
Even in the most hectic days of high summer, you can still find little corners of serenity, in the town and especially in its outlying coastal villages.
Today Bodrum is a favourite getaway for everyone
from European package tourists to Turkey's prime movers and shakers. But it was Kabaağaçlı's early influence, giving the town its arty identity, which saved it from the ignominious fate of other Turkish fishing-villages-turned-resorts.
Urban planners have also sought to preserve Bodrum's essential Aegean character
, which was influenced by the Cretans who moved here during the population exchange of the 1920s. Today, laws restrict buildings' heights, and the whitewashed houses with bright-blue trim evoke a lost era.
The evocative castle and the ancient ruins and Ottoman mosques
around town also help keep Bodrum a discerning step above the rest.