No longer the sleepy Aegean fishing village it once was, the resort town of Hisarönü still retains quite a lot of its old charm, surrounded by wooded mountains and set against the Turquoise Coast of southwestern Turkey. It’s not all rest and repose though (although that can be good from time to time) and in the last 20 years Hisarönü has evolved into something of a sleeper hit in the party holiday stakes.
Brilliant summer sun all but guaranteed, but the edge is taken off the more fearsome temperatures found elsewhere in the region by the cool breezes off the Taurus Mountains to the north and east. There’s a thriving bar scene and every activity you can think of, from kayaking on the River Dalyan, to sea-based water sports, mountain hiking and biking. Fethiye’s finest might have all you need for a perfect trip and, with exchange rates as they are, there’s no better time for a party!
The Turquoise Coast is aptly named, judging by its stunning aquamarine waters. The white sand is reminiscent of a Caribbean island, and the Turkish waiters are as free with the raki and ouzo as Barbadians are with their rum.
“Dead”? Not by a Long Shot
The beach’s name translates as “dead sea”, a reference to the incredible calm of the water – but with plentiful beach bars and restaurants the area is anything but dead! If you fancy something to help you work up a thirst, then we have a few suggestions:
- Babadag Mountain is a popular jumping-off point for paragliders, if you’re chasing a little adrenaline. You’ll also see wakeboards, parasails and jetskis zipping by. Get on board!
- It’s a protected nature reserve (so go and explore) and the beach has Blue Flag status – it’s often been voted among Europe’s top five beaches.
- If you’re feeling particularly active, the Lycian Way stretches 510km from here to Mount Olympus…
Top Tip: Boat hire’s a pretty popular pursuit for those who want to strike out and explore the many hidden coves and inlets along the coast.
When night falls (or even earlier – you’re on holiday, after all!), Hisarönü has plenty of bar-hopping options. Whether it’s classy cocktails you’re after, a quiet pint, or a roaring foam party, this character-filled little place has you covered. The relatively small urban area means that once you’re here, all the major attractions are a short walk away. Start the night slow, ramp up to some proper clubbing, and then wind down while keeping the party mellow. Hisarönü seems purpose-built to deliver every option!
There’s a wide choice of early openers if you’re planning a serious crawl. If something familiar appeals to you try the London Garden Bar. I’m always curious when it comes to British-themed places abroad (and you don’t have to go far to find some pretty weird representations of Ye Olde English Pubs), but this place does cold beer, traditional Turkish food, and Shisha! It’s not exactly steak and kidney pie with a pint of John Smith’s but I think I prefer it this way…
Top Tip: If it ever gets too hot around town – which at peak season is always a possibility, mountain breeze or no – London Garden Bar is built around a lush garden with plenty of shade. If you’re starting early, this is the place to do it.
When the night starts to get going, the town comes alive with echoing techno beats and flashing neon. Locals and tourists alike start to cut loose when the sun goes down.
Some of my favourite nights here – I think – were spent at:
- Time Out: This place is widely publicised as serving up the best strawberry Daiquiri in Hisarönü – and they’re probably right. Either way, they keep them flowing while rattling out the best in chart and up-to-the-minute tunes, and even karaoke. Time Out treads the line between full-on club night and fun cocktail bar. I’d suggest starting here and moving on if the urge strikes. Even if you don’t, it’s a cracking night out.
- Zombie: Known across town for its high-class DJ talent and a well-stocked bar, Zombie has a reputation as the only place worth being seen if you’re around the Turquoise Coast – which means there’s usually plenty to see… And if it all gets overwhelming, the chill-out space outside is ideal for a break.
- Grand Boozey: Come for the brilliantly daft name, stay for the late opening hours, the highly reasonable drinks, and the best in club tunes from across the Med. It doesn’t stop here until the wee small hours.
Top Tip: The perfect top-off to a night in Hisarönü is an authentic Turkish kebab. Not your usual high-street variety though – they’re fresh, tasty and an excellent hangover antidote.
Where to Stay
Infinity Olympia Apartments – These excellent apartments are self-catered, which means the staff leave you in peace to get on with – what happens on tour. Aside from that appealing aspect, though, the outdoor pool and mountain views are pretty hard to pass up.
Tayfun Apart Hotel – This casual hotel offers similar hospitality to the one above, but with a great poolside bar, balconies and a hard-to-beat proximity to the town’s best bars and clubs.
New St. Nicholas Garden Hotel – If you’re looking for something a bit different, the sun terrace and surfboard-shaped pool set this place apart. As does the 24-hour snack bar, which is very handy for late-night nibbles after a night on the tiles.
How to Get There
Dalaman Aiport (DLM) is well-served even outside peak season, and it’s around four hours from London. There are at least seven airlines offering a total of 37 flights per week. It’s a trek from there to the resort though – and unless you fancy learning Turkish, I’d suggest booking a transfer in advance with Shuttle Direct. It’s much easier and friendlier than public transport.
About Shuttle Direct
With the best prices and most professional service, we at Shuttle Direct have been getting holidays moving across Europe and the Mediterranean for over forty years. Choose from shared or private transfers and make an easy online booking before you leave home.