Fethiye is one of Turkey’s well-known tourist centres and is especially popular during the summer. 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.
- Area: 3,059 km²
- Weather: 23 °C, Wind N at 2 km/h, 55% Humidity
How To Go
- By bus: Fethiye has direct connections to many cities across the country including Marmaris, Bodrum, Antalya, Izmir, and Istanbul (which costs 135 TL per person and takes around 14 hours) among others.
- By Boat: Private cruise lines operate non-scheduled services to Marmaris and along the peninsula to Antalya. Day trips on wooden sailboats, called “schooners”, include lunch and stops at various locations.
- By plane: The nearest airports served by international airlines are at Antalya or Dalaman.
What To Do
- Beach activities – swimming, lounging, parasailing, paragliding, canoes etc.
- Island Day Cruises – An armada of boats of all sizes leave their harbor berths each day at approximately 10:00AM and return at approximately 6:00PM. While you can charter the entire boat in advance, most are run on a first come first serve communal basis.
- 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.
What To See
- Fethiye Museum: is an excellent place to get a grip on Lycian history, especially if you’re planning to head on to attractions such as Tlos and Letoön. Brilliant information panels clearly explain Lycian culture, and the exhibits of pottery, jewelry, and stele are beautifully displayed.
- Pinara: In the hills southeast of Fethiye, the ruins of the Lycian city of Pinara are chiefly interesting for their honeycombed cliff of more than 900 rock tombs and monolithic house tombs. The site was so inaccessible that the tomb-builders had to be lowered on stages secured with ropes. The beautiful scenery that surrounds the ruins is lushly stunning, especially around the theater area overlooked by snow-topped peaks and rimmed by verdant forest.
- Xanthos: It was the capital of ancient Lycia, sometimes called “the oldest republic in the world.” This league of 20 cities was governed by a popular assembly and a president who ruled from Xanthos. The site is now protected by UNESCO.
- Butterfly Valley: This lovely beach, secreted between two sharp cliffs, is home to the Jersey Tiger Butterfly. One of the joys of Butterfly Valley is that it is unreachable by road. You either have to trek here from Faralya village, high above on the cliff, or take a boat from Ölüdeniz.
- Patara: It is home to Turkey’s longest beach, so it’s the perfect spot for a sun and sand break. This was also once an important city in the Lycian League, and plenty of ruins are just off the beach area when you’ve had enough of the sea.
- Saklıkent National Park: Deep into Fethiye’s rocky hinterland you can journey to the Saklıkent Canyon, some 40 kilometres east of the resort, in a national park created in 1996. The statistics for this natural wonder are mind-boggling: The canyon is 18 kilometres long, up to 300 metres deep, and narrows to just two metres across. This was all carved out by the, Karaçay a branch of the Eşen River, and which can be violent between November and March.
Directly east of the marina is Fethiye’s old town, or Paspatur. You can duck into this mesh of tight, walkable alleys, and mill around shops selling souvenirs, Turkish carpets, tea sets and the like. The scent of spices floats on the air, and even when the sun is beating down Paspatur stays dark under a mantle of vines on pergolas, or large awnings covering the width of the alleys. In this dim and cool environment there are plentiful cafes and restaurants with terraces.
What to Eat
Town centre has a number of local fast foods offering the usual Tavuk Döner for 2.5 to 3 Turkish liras. Pasa Kebap has great meat and vegetarian options at good prices. 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. Costs about 6 liras to cook your fish that you buy, including tea, salad and bread. 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. ‘Raki’ a traditional Turkish spirit, produced by fermenting grapes offering an aniseed flavour. A common comparision is the Greek ‘Ouzo’.
Summers are extremely hot with temperatures well above 40°C in July and August, you should drink plenty of water to keep hydrated which is important in a very hot place such as Fethiye. Winters are cool with temperatures around 14-20°C. Spring and Autumn are the wettest seasons, yet still very sunny, which is the best time to go for people who want a warm holiday that is not too hot like the summer, with temperatures around 20-28°C.