Holidays to Bodrum pack a punch at night – they're full-on, party-hard affairs that give Istanbul a run for its money. By day, you can assume the recovery position on the nearby beach.

Bougainvillea and bars

Bodrum does a great balancing act on Turkey’s south coast. By day it’s a quiet mix of bougainvillea-clad houses, sophisticated shops and a swanky marina that has an Ottoman castle as its centrepiece. And then the nightlife takes over, turning the place into a throbbing, neon-lit hub of bars and clubs.

A choice of beaches

Bodrum only has a tiny strip of shingle to its name, but if you take a 10-minute dolmus ride to Gumbet you’ll feel plenty of sand under your feet. You’ve got a 3-kilometre stretch of the white stuff here. Lots of beach bars will cover you for snacks and ice-creams, and there’s a deluge of watersports, too.

Full-on nightlife

Quiet nights aren’t really Bodrum’s thing. The stretch from Cumhuriyet Caddesi – nicknamed ‘Bar Street’ – and right along the seafront on Alim Bey Caddesi is packed with places to drink and dance. Even the restaurants get in on the act, with Turkish singers keeping up the party atmosphere. As for clubs, they’re very much loud and proud.

Close to Kos

You might be in Turkey, but a 20-minute ferry trip away is the Greek island of Kos. The capital, Kos Town, is a breeze to get round in a day. You’ve got the harbour-side castle to root around, and shops to browse in the winding alleyways. And when you’re ready for a pit stop, the pavement café on the town square should do the job.

At a Glance

  • Tuck into Turkish meze
  • Have a night out on Bar Street
  • Haggle for a magic carpet