Around Fethiye – Hisaronu and Oludeniz

Hisaronu (sometimes referred to as Hisaronu-Ovacik) is a very popular holiday spot on the route between Fethiye and Oludeniz. Hisaronu is a purposely built holiday destination with hotels ranging from very cheap to very expensive, so it pretty much caters for all budgets. It’s not directly located at the seaside, so if you want to get to the beach you either need to walk down the hill a few miles, or take one of many frequent dolmuses that depart all day until late evening hours.

Book a hotel in Hisaronu if you are on a budget and don’t mind artificiality of the place. I did not get a chance to walk around the place, but on the way to and from Oludeniz noticed numerous English and Irish bars serving fish and chips suppers and offering happy hour promos to the sounds of karaoke. At night time all bars are lit with colourful neon lights, looking cheap and nasty. I think I would struggle to find genuine Turkish cuisine in Hisaronu, as the place is massively dominated by British tourists to whose taste food and entertainment is aligned. Hisaronu is a mekka for package holidays, and for this reason I wanted to stay away from it. It is a tasteless and soulless place and I cannot understand how it grew to such a popular tourist spot.

Oludeniz is, or rather used to be, a paradise-like holiday destination which nowadays suffers from overdevelopment of package tourism. Oludeniz is a small hill town but the name will more likely bring to mind the world-famous blue lagoon which is down the hill on a small peninsula. The peninsula is actually a natural park, and you need to pay TL5 to get in. That does not stop masses of tourists wanting to get to one of the most famous beaches in Turkey – the place gets crowded easily, and you will struggle for space. As this place is highly popular, you will need to pay ridiculous amount of money to hire sun beds or get yourself a drink, and when I say ridiculous, I mean two or three times more than in any other place.

Beach in Oludeniz

Oludeniz – Blue Lagoon beach in the early morning hours

The lagoon looks most attractive from a bird’s eye view, and when you look at postcards or photos, you will know that it is photographed only from this perspective. When you are in the blue lagoon park the place looks like an average beach – it is only when viewed from an altitude that you can see the beautiful contrast between crystal clear turquoise water and white sand of the peninsula. From your perspective, it does not look that impressive at all – you could easily find a beach like that anywhere else, with the benefit of avoiding paying big money for everything, and having to show up early in the morning to grant yourself a space for a towel or sunbed. I honestly thought that a visit to the blue lagoon was totally not worth it. As we went there early in the morning, whilst waiting for our boat to be sorted for a boat trip, the beach on pictures below is still deserted; we spoke to another couple who went there in the peak hours, and they seriously could not get space on the beach or in the water.

The beach is, by the way, not sandy – it’s shingle, though the stones are very small, so it’s better than the public beach at the bottom of the Oludeniz hill, or Calis Beach.

beach in Oludeniz

Oludeniz – morning beach in the lagoon with a view of surrounding mountains

beach in Oludeniz

Oludeniz – morning is the best time to visit the Blue Lagoon beach, when the place is pleasant and quiet

The town of Oludeniz itself is, just as Hisaronu, packed with a range of hotels which have only been allowed to grow in here for the purpose of mass tourism. At the bottom of the hill there is a wide gravel beach and a sort of promenade with pubs, bars and restaurants, and souvenir stalls selling, among all, kitsch t-shirts, neon sunglasses and genuine fakes. Bars and clubs advertise foam parties and other typical holiday entertainment, like karaoke nights or happy hour promos. This is another artificially created tourist place that has nothing to do with real Turkey, so think twice before booking accommodation there. The Blue Lagoon is on the right from the public beach.

Oludeniz entertainment

Oludeniz – one of many clubs advertising foam parties along a promenade on the public beach

How to get to Hisaronu and Oludeniz from Fethiye?

There is fast and frequent minibus (dolmus) service between Fethiye and Oludeniz, passing through Hisaronu and Ovacik as well. Single ticket from Fethiye to Oludeniz will cost you TL5, and the buses run all day every 5 to 10 mins, up until 1am. You just need to wait for one, and when you board it you can pay upfront, but we noticed all locals paid when they were getting off. The journey takes about 15 mins (Hisaronu) and 20 mins (Oludeniz).

You can catch a minibus to Oludeniz or Hisaronyu from a dolmus stop located on Oludeniz Cd (Oludeniz Street), in front of Fethiye’s main bus station (otogar).  On the map below A is the bus station, and B is the dolmus stop.

In Oludeniz, the dolmus stop is right next to the gravel beach at the bottom of the hill.

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