- HOTELS (BEST RATED)
- HOTELS (BEST VALUE)
- COFFEE & DRINK
- SIGHTS & LANDMARKS
- MUSEUMS & GALLERIES
- THINGS TO DO
- FESTIVALS & EVENTS
Fethiye is in Lycia on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.
Fethiye is a tourist town with an international atmosphere. It has an excellent marina and good night life. The town also serves as an excellent base for touring the inland country-side, and is probably the only city in the world where you'll find sarcophagus in the streets. These pre-Roman Lycian relics are especially spectacular when floodlit at night. The town has a population of around 50,000 but the population increases dramatically during the high season, from April to end of October, when off-shore residents spend their summers at their second homes.
Fethiye is one of Turkey's well-known tourist centres and is especially popular during the summer.
The British population in Turkey is between 34,000 and 38,000. As a result of the large British population and the high numbers of Britons going there for holiday, Fethiye-Ölüdeniz was chosen as the best tourism centre in the world by The Times and The Guardian newspapers in 2007. Over 7,000 British citizens permanently live in Fethiye, while approximately 600,000 British tourists visit the town every summer.
The Fethiye Museum, which is very rich in ancient and more recent artifacts, displays and testifies to the successive chain of civilizations that existed in the area, starting with the ancient Lycians.
Fethiye is also home to the Tomb of Amyntas, a large and beautiful tomb built in 350 BC by the Lycians. What makes this tomb unique is its massive size and beautiful carvings.
Some of the other historical sites worth visiting are: Kadyanda Ancient City, Kayakoy- old Greek town, Afkule, Gemiler and Aya Nikola. Most popular touristic towns of Fethiye are: Ölüdeniz, Calis Beach area, Hisaronu and Ovacik.
The island Kızılada in the Gulf of Fethiye, which is 4 mi (6.4 km) off the city, is a popular stopover for boat tours. The Kızılada Lighthouse on the island houses a seafood restaurant and a hostel with nine rooms.
Butterfly Valley is in the Fethiye district.
Modern Fethiye is located on the site of the ancient city of Telmessos, the ruins of which can be seen in the city, e.g. the Hellenistic theatre by the main quay.
Telmessos was the most important city of Lycia, with a recorded history starting in the 5th century BC.
A Lycian legend explains the source of the name Telmessos as follows: The god Apollo falls in love with the youngest daughter of the King of Phoenicia, Agenor. He disguises himself as a small dog and thus gains the love of the shy, withdrawn daughter. After he reappears as a handsome man, they have a son, whom they name 'Telmessos' (the land of lights). The city became part of the Persian Empire after the invasion of the Persian general Harpagos in 547 BC, along with other Lycian and Carian cities. Telmessos then joined the Attic-Delos Union established in mid-5th century BC. and, although it later left the union and became an independent city, continued its relations with the union until the 4th century BC.
The oracle of Telmessos, devoted to Apollo, had great impact on the course of ancient history.
Legend says that Alexander the Great, on a mission to invade Anatolia in the winter of 334–333 BC, entered Telmessos harbour with his fleet. The commander of the fleet, Nearchus, asks permission of King Antipatrides of Telmessos for his musicians and slaves to enter the city. On getting the permission, the warriors with weapons hidden in the flute boxes capture the acropolis during the feasts held at night.
Very little is known of the city during Byzantine times. Surviving buildings attest to considerable prosperity during late Antiquity, but most were abandoned in the 7th–8th centuries due to the Arab-Byzantine Wars. The city was fortified in the 8th century, and appears as "Telmissos or Anastasioupolis" ca. 800. By the 10th century, the ancient name was forgotten and it became known as Makre or Makri (Μάκρη, "long one"), from the name of the island at the entrance to the harbour. In the 12th–13th centuries there are signs of renewed prosperity: the city walls were enlarged, a report from 1106 names Makre a centre for perfume production, and geographical works from the 13th century describe the city as a commercial centre. The area fell to the Turks in the late 12th or early 13th century.
Telmessos was ruled by the Anatolian beylik of Menteşe starting in 1284, under the name Beskaza. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1424.
The town grew considerably in the 19th century, and had a large Greek population at this time. Following the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, the Greeks of Makri were sent to Greece where they founded the town of Nea Makri (New Makri) in Greece. The town was resettled with Turks from Greece. At nearby Kayakoy, formerly Levissi, the abandoned Greek Orthodox church is still standing (and was reported in the Daily Telegraph in August 2014).
In 1934, the city was renamed 'Fethiye' in honor of Fethi Bey, one of the first pilots of the Ottoman Air Force, killed on an early mission.
Fethiye has experienced many earthquakes. Last significant ones date to 1957 and 1961, with 67 casualties and 3200 damaged buildings after the 25.04.1957 earthquake. The town has been rebuilt since then and now has a modern harbor and a marina.
On August 3, 1953, Air France Flight 152, while en route from Rome to Beirut, ditched into the Gulf of Fethiye off Kızılada. Of the 8 crew and 34 passengers on board, four drowned. The survivors were hosted by the residents during their stay in the town.
Fethiye has a Mediterranean climate consisting of very hot, long and dry summers with an average of 34°C (93°F) in the daytime, winters are cool and rainy with a daytime average of 16°C (61°F).
Climate data for Fethiye
|Average high °C (°F)||16.0|
|Average low °C (°F)||5.3|
|Source: Devlet Meteoroloji İşleri Genel Müdürlüğü|
The overall metropolitan area of the city of Fethiye stretches inland from the harbour for more than seven miles, incorporating several villages into the city. To the north of the city centre is the area of Çaliş Plaji (Beach), which incorporates the main street of Bariş Manço Bulvari alongside an extensive promenade along the coast, on which a lot of hotels are based. This beach serves as Fethiye's beach in its own right, since Fethiye does not actually have one itself. To the east, lie the areas of Gunlukbaşi, Çamkoy, Cumhuriyet, and also Esenköy to the south-east. The city centre is defined as the area between the Marina and the Fethiye Market near the football stadium. Approximately two miles to the south-west and south respectively, lie the towns of Kayaköy and Ölüdeniz, the latter being world-famous for its beach spit and associated Blue Lagoon. The opportunity to para glide is available from the mountain of Babadağ next to Öludeniz.
Transportation - Get In
Fethiye has direct connections to many cities in the country including Marmaris, Bodrum, Denizli/Pamukkale (25 TL, 4 hours), Antalya (40 TL, 3.5 hours, leaving about every hour), Izmir, and Istanbul (about 90 TL, around 14 hours) among others. The 2 main bus terminal. is about 1km east of Atatürk Cd.
Private cruise companies operate non-scheduled services to Marmaris and along the peninsula to Antalya. Day trips on wooden sailboats, called "gulets" include lunch and stops at different places. Prices and quality of food vary so shop around.
"Before Lunch Cruises" provides excellent food on board its three day cruises. Do remember to bring your own towel, soap and shampoo. Bedding doesn't seem "fresh" but looks clean. Boat is very clean. Most people sleep on deck in the summer.
The nearest airports served by international airlines are at Antalya or Dalaman. Antalya is about three hours driving and Dalaman about one hour from Fethiye. There is a bus service from Dalaman Airport to Fethiye, run by Havaş.
D400 highway links Fethiye with north (Akyaka, Marmaris, and onward to Muğla and Southern Aegean) and east (Antalya), along the Lycian coast in the latter case. However, from Antalya, there is also a mountain road (numbered D350—and E87 for part of its route) through sparse juniper woods of inner Lycia, that is in quite good condition (if not actually better than coastal highway) via Korkuteli, which also has a branch going north to Denizli. D350 significantly shortcuts coastal D400, which has a good share of windings on its way along the heavily indented coastline.
Transportation - Get Around
There are multiple dolmuş busses running through the city. The Karagözler–Otogar bus runs from the main bus terminal along Atatürk Cd & the port area for 2 TL per trip.
A great way to get around Fethiye and the surrounding district is renting a motor-powered scooter. It costs about 35 TL, plus gas, for a full day. They are widely available on the streets. The beaches and the countryside are easily accessible. Regular bikes are also available, and the town is very walkable.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
Beaches in Fethiye
The city of Fethiye offers many wonderful activities for visitors. One of the most beautiful aspects of this area are the many Fethiye Beaches. The crystal clear waters shimmering nearly every imaginable shade of blue and green are both soothing and inviting. Fethiye also has some of the most exquisite diving in the world.
Oludeniz each is also known as the Blue Lagoon. It has a stunning display of shimmering water to calm nerves and get your mind into holiday mode. Oludeniz Beach has areas available for water sports for visitors who desire a bit more activity in their holiday. Camping and picnic facilities are also near by for extended stays.
Calis Beach is a gorgeous 5 km stretch of beach which offers the most beautiful sunsets in the country. Calis is also known for its cool ocean breezes that bring relief in the hot summer months when temperatures can soar into the 90s. Visitors who enjoy water sports and resort activities will find plenty in Calis Beach.
Butterfly Valley Beach
About 3 to 4 miles from Fethiye lies the Butter Fly Valley Beach. The Butter Fly Valley is an area of immense natural beauty where visitors can view nearly every type of Mediterranean butterfly in existence. Within the valley there is also one of the areas most popular beaches. Set in a canyon with mountains on either side toppling 1000 feet. The Butterfly Valley Beach offers spectacular scenery as well as calm ocean waters.
Katranci Bay lies about 10 miles away from the city of Fethiye. It is known for the dense pine tree coverage that extends down to the shores of the sea. Katranci Bay has camping facilities available and is an idyllic setting for campers and hikers.
Kucuk Kargi Beach
Kucuk Kargi Beach is decorated with trees as well as other forms of foliage. It offers camping facilities and a promenade area for guests to explore. Kucuk Kargi Beach is about 12 miles away from Fethiye along the Mulga highway.
The Oyuktepe Bays are a series of natural bays formed by peninsulas jutting into the sea. There are 10 in total for visitors to explore. The area is one of natural beauty and is equipped with good services and facilities. The beaches are meticulously cared for and the water clear and relaxing.
Fethiye, Turkey is a vacationer's paradise. In addition to the majestic scenery, warm ocean waters, cultural and historical sites Fethiye shopping is some of the best in Europe. Fethiye is the largest market town in this region of Turkey. There are plenty of shops to purchase local goods and the regular markets for those in search of a bargain.
The Tuesday Market
Every Tuesday in Fethiye there is a large market in the center of town. Vendors by the hundreds show up selling locally made, hand-crafted goods. The Tuesday market is frequented by tourists and the vendors are aware of this. You might end up paying a higher price due to the fact that visitors from the northern European countries do not like to bargain. Bargaining for a lower price is completely acceptable and expected. Just be careful because these vendors make a career of this. You may eventually get the price that you want but also may get talked into purchasing items that you never intended to buy.
Try to dress appropriately when attending the market. Turkey is quite liberal when it comes to clothing. The Turkish are also quite welcoming to westerners. However, walking around the market in bikini tops may offend people. You are in no way expected to cover from head to toe. Dress comfortably but conservatively. Tourists use this market but so do the locals.
There are some great items for sale at the Tuesday market. Everything from fresh fruit and vegetables, to leather goods, crafts and t-shirts are available. The prices are reasonable but can improve further if you can bargain properly.
Turkey is known for making some of the most beautiful carpets in the world. If carpets are what you desire than Fethiye is the ideal shopping excursion for you. There are carpet shops on nearly every corner of the city. The carpets vary in size from small to large. The shops are beautifully laid out displaying some of their most beautiful works to entice you in. Be ready to bargain because leaving a carpet shop without one of these gorgeous, handmade items will be very difficult.
The Gold Center
The Fethiye Gold Center is a must see if your even remotely interested in gold or other pieces of jewelry. The gold is purchased from the national bank of Turkey. It is then heated, melted and carat weight changed. The Gold Center also sells precious stones from India and South Africa.
Good quick eats including a fish-sandwich (balik ekmek) can be found in the area just east of the corniche. The fish market in the middle of town is surrounded by small restaurants that will cook your own fish to your liking, very reasonable and delicious.
- Pasa Kebap has great meat and vegetarian options at good prices. Upstairs has cushion/floor seating but there is also lots of inside and outside table seating.
- Peymane, Eski Cami Sok. No. 7 (In the old town on Sokak 41 where it intersects with Sokak 43), . Cute little family owned place that is a little more expensive than some of the other restaurants in the area, but is still cheap and has more variety and better ingredients.
They also have probably the best vegetarian options available in town including a daily special (which is sold at an absolute bargain of a price). Cheap.
Coffe & Drink
Ayran is a popular yogurt drink some find refreshing. Beer is widely consumed, though neither Beer or Ayran have a special connection with Fethiye. The wines are acceptable, but generally not of a very high standard.
Sights & Landmarks
- Cave tombs (located in the cliff on the south side of town at the eastern end of Atatürk Cd). 5 TL.
- The Lycian sarcophagus — There are a number of stone sarcophagii carved in typical Lycian style scattered around the town, with one of the most preserved ones lying in the yard of town governor's office (kaymakamlık) at the main street and other on the middle of the road heading uphill towards the cave tombs and Kayaköy.
Museums & Galleries
Fethiye is full of history, but it basically has only one main museum, being as most of the history of the town is shown through its many archaeological sites instead of traditional museums.
The Fethiye Museum was originally the Byzantine Pammakaristos Monastery Church, but is now an informative, centrally located museum. It is made up of an archaeological section and an ethnographical section. Artifacts such as vases, coins, pedestals, ceramics, and statues all all on display, as is the famous Trilingual Stele which helped the Lycian language be deciphered due to the 3 languages shown on it-- Greek, Lycian, and Aramaic. It also contains some gorgeous mosaics. The Fethiye Museum is open every day except Monday.
Archaeological Sites and "Open Air" Museums
Kayakoy is an amazing ghost town located only 8 kilometers from Fethiye. The village is filled with the ruins of houses, churches, streets, and fountains, but the ruins are in surprisingly good shape. Abandoned in 1923 due to a shift in the population, the entire site has a rather creepy atmosphere to it, which is why it is now known as a ghost town. The upper and lower churches can still be easily spotted,--the upper one containing a spectacular mosaic courtyard. There is also a nice fountain in the center of Kayakoy.
Things to do
- Beach activities - swimming, lounging, parasailing, paragliding, canoes etc. The Dead Sea/Blue Lagoon "Ölüdeniz" region has pretty warm water temperatures during summer season.
- Hiking - Fethiye marks the beginning of the Lycian Way - a 500 km marked hiking trail running to Antalya. From here you can start hiking to Ölüdeniz, the next stations would then be Faralya and Kabak.
- Tuesday Farmers' Market
- 12 Island Day Cruise. An armada of boats of all sizes leave their harbor berths each day between 10:00 and 10:30AM and return at approximately 6PM. While you can charter the entire boat in advance, most are run on a first come first serve communal basis. The typical trip visits 12 islands, including 4 stops of about an hour each, where you can jump of the boat into crystal clear blue and turquoise water. Lunch is usually provided, but ask ahead what to expect. Also choose a boat that seems comfortable to you, is not too crowded and ask if they’ll be playing loud music if that disturbes you. Bring your swimsuit, sunscreen, a towel and water. Starting from 25/50 TL pp (low/high season).
- Yacht charter in the Aegean Sea
- Windward Islands, one of the worlds largest yacht charter companies, can take care of all charter requirements, from bareboat to luxury yacht in the Aegean Sea. Operating from 9 offices worldwide (USA, Spain, UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Switzerland, Caribbean, Honk Kong and Dubai).
- Paragliding Fethiye is one of the most popular places around Europe to try this extreme sport. The activity starts from Babadağ, a mountain around 1900 mt high, and ends on the beach after a nice trip above Oludeniz. There are many schools and training centers which can provide training even for fresh beginners, or you are free to enjoy tandem flights which include the pilot and a passenger. The following link belongs to a very professional school.
- Aquila Tandam Paragliding (Libtour), Cloud 9 Restaurant, Oludeniz, , e-mail: [email protected]. Professional pilots for tandem experience. Accepting Bitcoin payments as well as traditional forms of payment since the beginning of May 2015.
Festivals and events
Turkey is bursting with activity, and Fethiye, located in the Aegean region of the country, is no exception. Colorful, bold and vibrant, the city of Fethiye offers a rich history and culture to any visitor willing to delve beneath its stunning exterior. Fethiye Festivals are a burst of color and life – and here are some of the main ones.
International Children’s Festival
Running for a week in April, the International Children’s Festival is a big deal in Fethiye. The city traditionally hosts children from a variety of other countries – from Bali in Indonesia to the neighboring United Kingdom. An exchange of culture takes place, and as much as this is a children’s festival, it celebrates and honors the diversity of both Fethiye and Turkey, as well as the entire European region. The festival features performances put on by students, local and international alike, at various locations around the city over the course of a week. The final celebration takes place at a large auditorium in the facilities of a resort hotel or theater, where the youthful vibrancy and innocence of children of the world are celebrated.
Another major event in Fethiye, the ÇalÄ±Å Carnival, is a week-long run of activities leading up to the main event of a carnival for two days in May. In its third year in 2010, the carnival is a good way for any visitor to experience local life to its fullest. Local, homemade handicrafts are available for sale, as is the tasting of Turkish cuisine and street food. The highlights of the carnival include the procession on the first day, as well as a free, open-air concert on the second that concludes the event. The carnival is popular among the younger crowd, who not only are active goers to carnival activities and shows, but also volunteer their services for ushering and crowd control. Proceeds from the sale of goods go to a good cause in helping underprivileged children.
As with many of the other Turkish towns, Fethiye celebrates the harvest of a local produce – in this case, tomatoes. Being a large part of the Turkish diet and export goods, it is no wonder that the humble tomato is being honored by a festival of its own. Held on the second Sunday of May, the festival is celebrated by the picking of ripened tomatoes, followed by a customary family dinner. Visitors can witness the plucking of the fruit, followed by a meal in one of the hospitable Turks’ houses, or at a restaurant nearby.
Whether you want a chatty meal with friends or a frenetic night of dancing, the various Fethiye nightlife hangouts will suit your taste. Fethiye lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Taurus Mountains, on the southwest coast of Turkey. With its combination of bars, beaches, and sights, the charming city is one of the most-in-demand tourist destinations in southern Turkey.
Car Cemetery Bar
This joint in Paspatur is a combination of bar and club where one can drink fresh fruit cocktails or dance the night away. Alternatively, one can go to the chill-out rooms and relax in the cushion seats featuring unique car designs, while smoking "nargile” (traditional water pipes). Others sit outside and enjoy the evening. Popular with residents, Fethiye’s premier bar is always noisy and lively–a good place to meet old friends.
Club Bananas is a popular nightclub where one can relax and listen to a mixture of local and Western music. It charges admission fees with complimentary drinks and sponsors one party night–similar to that of Car Cemetery and Ottoman–each week. It is open until 5:00 a.m.
Much like Car Cemetery, it allows lively and noisy dancing, but on a small and cozy floor space. The bar–located along Cumhuriyet Sokak in Paspatur–also has a wooden terrace for those who simply want to relax and enjoy summer evenings with cocktails or traditional water pipes in hand. Inside, intriguing Ottoman regalia hang on the walls, and some are for sale. The bar is open past midnight, but it is best to enter before 10:00 p.m. to get good seats in this popular hangout.
Enjoy dancing on the beach’s wide open space with open-air discos. You can choose between Disco Marina which is close to the yacht harbor and Cumhuriyet Caddesi. Both of these discos offer wonderful cocktail drinks and offer pop music. Although not as popular as the Car Cemetery and Ottoman, they provide an enjoyable evening for those who simply want to sit at the beach and watch others dancing.
Georges Cocktail Bar
For a taste of Turkey’s excellent cocktails, go Georges Cocktail Bar, where Efes (beer) flows freely and the cocktails are surprisingly quite affordable. This bar, located along a row of restaurants near Hisaronu Marina, provides an atmosphere that is relaxed and cozy, where tourists and locals alike can sit and enjoy the great weather, or observe local customs.