Holidays in Fethiye, detailed descriptions and photos

Fethiye

Fethiye (Turkey) – the most detailed information about the city with photos. The main sights of Fethiye with descriptions, video and map.

Fethiye City (Turkey)

Fethiye is a city on the southwestern coast of Turkey in the province (ila) of Mugla. It is a popular resort located on the shores of a natural harbor, which is an ideal starting point for exploring the many tourist attractions and activities on the famous Turquoise Coast. Fethiye is a relaxed and pleasant city with an ancient history and a dynamic modern rhythm, and the surrounding area boasts many majestic rock tombs and ruins protected by UNESCO.

Things to do (Fethiye):

Dalyan Reserve from Fethiye

Dalyan Nature Reserve from Fethiye

The 4-in-1 Group Tour: Beaches, Boating, Mud Baths and Stories

Geography and climate

Fethiye is situated along a sheltered bay in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea’s bay of the same name, surrounded by the western ranges of the Taurus Mountains. It was once the site of the ancient Telmessos, but much of the modern city is new, having been rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1958. Fethiye has a Mediterranean climate, which has very hot, long and dry summers.

Oludeniz

Oludeniz

Tourist information

  1. Population – 162.7 thousand people
  2. The language is Turkish.
  3. Currency – Turkish Lira.
  4. Visa – for up to 60 days, it is sufficient to have a passport that is valid for more than four months from the date of entry into Turkey.
  5. Time – UTC +2, in summer +3.

The best time to visit

The climate of the city is typical of southwestern Turkey. January and February are the wettest months, and at the height of summer it is very hot and dry. Therefore the best time to visit Fethiye is early or late season, in May, June, September and October, when the weather allows you to walk and enjoy the beaches without the risk of getting sunstroke.

History

Modern Fethiye is located on the site of the ancient city of Telmessos, whose ruins can still be seen in modern streets, such as fragments of a Hellenistic theater near the waterfront. The city became part of the Persian Empire after the invasion of Harpagos in 547 BC, along with other Lycian cities of Caria. Telmessos then joined the Delos union, which was under the control of Athens, and gained de facto independence in the 4th century BC.

On the history of Fethiye in the early Middle Ages very little is known. Surviving buildings testify to the prosperity of the city in the late Antiquity, but most of them were abandoned in the 7th and 8th centuries AD because of the Arab-Byzantine wars.

The panorama of Fethiye

Fethiye Panorama

In the 8th century the city was renamed Anastasiopolis after the Byzantine emperor Anastasios II. A century later it was renamed again and named Makri, meaning “long or oblong”. In the 12th century the city began to develop intensively. During this period the city walls were expanded and Makri itself became an important trading center.

The area passed to the Turks in the late 12th or early 13th century. Makri grew significantly in the 19th century. At that time, it was home to a large Greek population that left the city after World War I. In 1934 Makri was renamed to Fethiye after the famous Turkish pilot.

How to get there

The nearest airports are located in Dalaman and Antalya. Fethiye is relatively easy to reach by bus from Izmir, Istanbul, Antalya, Marmaris, Bodrum, Denizli and many other cities in Turkey.

A ferry connects Fethiye with Rhodes, as well as several other coastal towns and islands.

Shopping

On Tuesdays, a giant bazaar opens to the east of the old town, where Ataturk Street merges with Inönü Boulevard. This is the best place in Fethiye for shopping for nuts, pickled and smoked olives, dried fruits, fruits and vegetables as well as all kinds of spices and cheeses.

Attractions

Oludeniz

Oludeniz

Ölüdeniz is one of Turkey’s most famous beaches, located 15 km south of Fethiye and is Blue Flag rated. It is a stunning crescent-shaped enclosed bay with white pebbles and clear water of mesmerizing turquoise color, surrounded by a dense pine forest. The beach is adjacent to the mountain Babadag almost 2000 meters high, where in the tourist season paragliders take off.

Olyudeniz is also the village of the same name, which is adjacent to the famous beach.

The Tomb of Amintas

The Tomb of Amintas

The streets of Fethiye preserve fascinating traces of the ancient Telmessos. Walking around the city you can come face to face with a tomb that is several thousand years old.

One of the peculiarities of the Lycian culture was that, unlike in ancient Greece, the dead were buried throughout the city, not in a single necropolis. This was also the case in Fethiye. Ancient tombs built from local limestone, stood here for thousands of years, and around them grew and developed a modern city.

The most interesting monuments of the Lycian funerary culture are in the high limestone cliffs, which are located south of the old city. You have to walk a steep path along the base of the cliffs to get close to the ancient tombs, which were carved out of the rocks and decorated with friezes, pediments, and Ionic columns.

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The most beautiful tomb is at the highest point, with a spectacular view of Fethiye and its bay. It is the tomb of Amintas built around 350 BC. The inscription on the side reads “Amyntou tou Ermagiou” which translates as “Amintas son of Hermagios.

Old City of Fethiye

The Old City of Fethiye

The old city of Fethiye or Paspathur is east of the harbor. It is a network of narrow pedestrian streets, literally saturated with aromas of spices. Here you can wander the stores or sit in the cozy restaurants. In the old town, you can see the old mosque of the 18th century with an interesting minaret, and visit the fish market to take in the local color.

Ancient Theatre of Fethiye

Ancient Theatre of Fethiye

A small and only partially excavated Roman theater is located in the harbor area. It was built in the 2nd century B.C. when Telmessos became part of Roman rule. It could once hold 6,000 spectators.

Climb up to the top tier of the seats for a magnificent view of the city and the sea.

Fethiye harbor

Fethiye harbor

Fethiye harbor promenade stretches along the harbor for hundreds of meters to the marina, which is located on its south side. It is an excellent promenade with beautiful views and many restaurants.

The ruins of Xanthos

The ruins of Xanthos (Xanfa)

The ruins of Xanthos are some of the most impressive sights around Fethiye. Xanthos or Xanthus was the capital of ancient Lycia, called “the oldest republic in the world”. The Lycian League consisted of 20 cities and was governed by a popular assembly, the chairman of which was located at Xanthus. The city was founded at the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C. and was destroyed several times during its history. Xanthos was abandoned in the 8th century AD during the Arab raids.

The ruins of Xanthos and the neighboring sanctuary of Leton are listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Although many of the most beautiful artifacts were transported to England in the 19th century, some beautiful mosaics remain. The city walls, large sections of which still surround the ancient city, probably date back to the 3rd century B.C. You can also see an impressive Roman theater, acropolis and agora.

Leton

Letoion

Letoön was the most important sacred center of ancient Lycia. This religious sanctuary, just 6 km south of Xanthos, is home to three temples, the most important of which was dedicated to the Greek goddess Leto. It is also home to a Greek style theater, which has been well preserved until today. The Letoion was abandoned in the 7th century AD and was rediscovered in the first half of the 19th century.

It is interesting that official excavations in Letoin began only in the 70s of the 20th century.

Ancient Tlos

Ancient Tlos

Tlos is a ruined Lycian city founded over 3 thousand years ago and resting on a rocky plateau. Located 35 km east of Fethiye it is one of the most interesting archeological sites on the Turquoise Coast. Tlos is best known for its abundance of impressive Lycian rock tombs. In addition, you can see the ruins of the agora, necropolis, baths, restored theater, Byzantine basilica and fragments of the Ottoman fortress crowning the hilltop. Tlos is a striking combination of cultural layers from the Lycian civilization and the ancient Romans to the Byzantines and the Ottomans.

Kadiyanda

Kadianda

Kadianda is a great archeological site, located 25 kilometers from Fethiye on a hilltop surrounded by a pine forest. It was an outstanding city, as evidenced by the size of the ruins. There is an agora, a stadium, a theater, baths, impressive tombs, a defensive wall and the remains of several temples. Cagianda was founded five thousand years ago and was inhabited until about the 7th century AD.

Kayakei

Kayakei

Kayakei is an abandoned Greek village about 8 km south of Fethiye. This settlement was founded around the 7th century AD and abandoned after World War I, when most of the Greek population left Turkey. There are Lycian-style tombs here, but most of the buildings and churches are from the 18th and 19th centuries.

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Fethiye Museum

Fethiye Museum

The Fethiye Museum includes a wealth of artifacts of the region’s rich history from the Bronze Age to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. There are ancient coins, jewelry, amphorae, busts, tombstones, statues, amulets, pottery, altars and architectural fragments such as column capitals and pedestals. There is even an entire tomb brought from the ruins of Tlos. But the most important exhibit of the museum is the trilingual stele discovered during the excavations at Letoon. The stele has inscriptions in Lycian, ancient Greek and Aramaic. The artifact was a key tool in helping scientists decipher the Lycian language.

Butterfly Valley

Valley of the Butterflies

Butterfly Valley is a beautiful beach hidden between two cliffs, accessible only by boat or on foot along mountain trails. This place will impress you with its almost untouched nature, the pearl of which is a sandy bay with crystal clear water. The valley got its name because of the many species of butterflies that live here.

Çalış Beach

Chalish beach

Çalış is located to the north of the natural harbor of Fethiye. It stretches for kilometers and is a mixture of dark sand and pebbles.

Pinara

Pinara

Pinara is a ruin of an ancient Lycian city located 33 km southeast of Fethiye. The place is located in the mountains and there are very few tourists. Among the most interesting sights of Pınara are the well-preserved theater and hundreds of ancient rock tombs, some of which boast richly decorated facades.

Lycian Trail

Lycian Trail

The Lycian Trail is a legendary 540 km long trail in southwestern Turkey which runs through the Aegean and Mediterranean regions. Oludeniz is its western starting point and here is probably its easiest and simplest section. This interesting but challenging hiking route is marked with red and white stripes that lead to ruined cities, tombs and remote villages. Hiking the Lycian Trail is best done in spring.

Interesting tours

Old Antalya - Journey to the Past

€150 per excursion

Old Antalya – a journey into the past

A stroll through the winding streets of the historic city center with ancient squares, towers and mosques.

Photo date with Istanbul

200 €170 for the tour.

Photo date with Istanbul

Capture yourself in the most interesting scenery of the city on a walk with a professional photographer.

Fethiye: A Recipe for a Great Holiday

Fethiye is a resort for introverts: it’s quiet, peaceful and not quite touristy. We share our personal experience of holidaying in Fethiye and give some useful tips.

We have prepared this guide with the support of Tripster, a service for unusual excursions. There we easily found experienced guides who helped make our holiday in Turkey vivid and had an incredible experience from the locals. Thank you Tripster for the experience!

Content:

Impressions of the resort.

Fethiye is a very peaceful and quiet town, very different from Antalya and other Turkish resort classics. This is another Turkey! There are no huge hotel complexes, most popular are villas, houses and low-rise small hotels. Almost the entire resort is located on a plain, and only a very small part of it climbs the mountain.

All tourist life is concentrated in the center, under the mountain – the Old Town of Paspatur. It is quite small: there are bazaars and stores, cafes, bars, museum, hotels, old houses with balconies, marina and yacht club, waterfront. Cozy and nice place! Most of all I liked the long promenade and the beautiful marina with rows of yachts. In the evenings we enjoyed walking by the sea, admiring them.

In general, Fethiye left a very pleasant impression – it is a comfortable place for a quiet life by the sea, but without too much traffic, like in Marmaris. A kind of resort for introverts and pensioners. :) From here it is easy to go by car to the sights in the neighborhood and Oludeniz beach.

The snow-white yachts in Fethiye Marina are an eye-catcher! The seafront of Fethiye stretches for many kilometers. From the observation deck you can see that almost the entire city is on a plain. Fethiye is a colorful city.

How to reach Fethiye

The closest airport to Fethiye is Dalaman. See ticket prices on Aviasales.

If you are an independent tourist, look for Havaş buses at the airport or buses labeled “Dalaman havalimanı – Fethiye otogar”, which take about an hour to Fethiye bus station. The ticket price for Havaş is 25 liras.

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If you want more comfort you should book a cab or a private transfer. We book transfers in Turkey on three websites: Intui.travel, Gettransfer.com or Kiwitaxi.ru – we compare prices for the right date and choose the most convenient and inexpensive one. With an individual transfer you can save a few hours of vacation, especially on the last day of vacation not to leave for the airport too early.

We came to Fethiye by rented car, as we have been traveling around Turkey for a long time. We rented a car in Antalya on the service Localrent. Read more about car hire in Turkey.

Where to live in Fethiye

Fethiye is quite a big city with suburbs and neighborhoods:

The center is the Old Town, the busiest and most beautiful part. Stay here if the beach is not important, but if you want to live in a cozy place with cafes, bars, stores, and a marina. Here are the most beautiful boutique hotels with great reviews:

    – A stylish boutique hotel with view rooms and a pool. Adults only. – The suites are impossibly cozy! Take the top floors with a view of the marina.

Chalish is a remote area with a beach. We stayed here – we rented a nice two-storey house, and we drove to the center and Oludeniz. In Çalış is very quiet and peaceful, the infrastructure is mainly by the seafront. There are houses for rent, apart-hotels and usual hotels, even some all-inclusive and 5*. Few stores, but you can take a shuttle to the huge Migros. Here are the best hotels:

    – A large and beautiful all-inclusive hotel on Chalish beach. – natural lake, water slides, all-inclusive and rooms with access to the pool.

Oludeniz is a resort village with a beautiful beach, azure waters and a quiet bay surrounded by green mountains. Here you can live in the mountains cheaper, but to go to the beach on the shuttle, or to settle near the beach.

    – Mediterranean boutique hotel on 1 line with a stunning poolside garden! – A hotel for secluded rest and relaxation.

Look for the hotel in advance on Hotelluk. So you can choose the best accommodation according to the reviews of tourists. Tours we also buy only online at services Travelata and Level.Travel – they quickly find the most profitable trip, plus the sites you can read reviews.

Conclusion: For the beach holiday sit in Calis or Oludeniz, and urban – in the center of Fethiye. Hotel booking in advance, and inexpensive trips buy on proven services online.

We rented a house rather than a hotel in Fethiye, and I think it’s perfect for such a quiet resort! There are beautiful boutique hotels and aparthotels on the mountain near the port overlooking the sea.

Where to swim in Fethiye

The only beach in Fethiye itself is the sandy and pebbly Çalış . It is long and wide, with a promenade and cafes. We did not like it very much: the sea is a bit muddy, and the sand is gray with litter. According to the reviews of tourists, there are also stones in water – we did not swim there. Those are in Oludeniz!

If you appreciate beach rest, you need to go to Oludeniz – and it is even better to live there. The water in Oludeniz is azure, sandy and light with pebbles and picturesque green mountains. In general, a heavenly place.

Oludeniz has a public beach Beldzekiz and the famous Blue Lagoon with Kumburnu beach. Beljekiz is an open sea, so there are small waves. We liked it: long, spacious, with a comfortable entrance, blown by the winds.

Blue Lagoon is fenced off from the sea by a sand spit and closed by mountains, so there is always quiet water. It is beautiful and private! Kumburnu beach is two-way: when there are waves on one side and calm on the other. The lagoon is shallow, and in the reviews of some tourists called the lagoon frogs – but for children is very good. More tourists do not like that all beach potted with paid deck chairs, and the entrance to the lagoon and parking are also paid. The entrance to the lagoon and the parking lot are also not free of charge.

Conclusion: to swim it is necessary unequivocally in Oludeniz. And you can choose where to swim, in open Beldzekiz or closed Blue Lagoon.

We went to Chalish beach in the evening. I liked it a lot. Not so many tourists, but the locals with children and dogs saw. The atmosphere there is very peaceful, and what a sunset we saw!

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We didn’t swim in Chalish beach because it didn’t seem clean enough to us. We only came for a walk by the sea. Kumburnu beach on the spit of the Blue Lagoon. Sun loungers are in line, despite the pandemic.

Is it expensive to stay in Fethiye?

According to travelers, holidays in Fethiye is cheaper than holidays in Oludeniz, but more expensive than in Kemer. We have not noticed any differences in the prices of food, transportation and tours in 2022, compared with other resorts in Turkey. Everywhere you can adjust the vacation to your budget!

The most expensive restaurants and cafes in Fethiye are near the port and yacht club. We ate on a budget: we ate at loquante Sahil closer to the center, in Café Ametist in Çalış, we also cooked at home. We bought groceries at the big Migros. Find out how much food costs in Turkey.

Holidays in Fethiye

View of Fethiye.

What to see

In Fethiye itself there are no impressive places, but something to look at.

  • The Old Town is mostly stores, cafes and bars. There is an “umbrella street” and the Lycian tomb. However, I was more interested to walk along the waterfront and look into the yacht club (ask the guard’s permission) – I love the slender silhouettes of white yachts. By the way, from the port you can raft to the Greek Rhodes.
  • Lycian tombs in the rocks . You can walk up close to them for 12.5 liras, but you can’t get inside. The most famous is the tomb of Amintas.
  • The fortress and viewing platform . From the tombs it is easy to go even higher, to the ruins of the fortress and the observation deck. Come at sunset or early in the morning for the best photos.
  • The amphitheater is still being restored.
  • Fethiye Museum . It contains findings from the ruins of Tlos.

But there are many spectacular places around Fethiye! It is very advisable to spend a few hours walking around the ghost town of Kayaköy, where the Greeks once lived until they were expelled by the Turks a century ago. It is best to go there at sunset, when there is a touch of mystery and the place reveals itself in full force.

Go to the ruins of the ancient cities of Tlos and Xanf, the cool gorge of Saklikent, visit the observation deck of Butterfly Valley, swim on both beaches in Oludeniz and fly paragliders. Do not be lazy to go to Patara – there are ruins and unusual for Turkey barchans! The most beautiful in Patara is at sunset.

We also wanted to go to the antique town Pinara, but it needs an off-road car and we need to allocate more time.

Conclusion: You can see the sights in Fethiye in a day, but the surrounding area will take several days. You can get to Oludeniz by dolmush, but the other places only by rented car or guided tour. If you have a driver’s license, rent a car to see the most interesting things!

In Fethiye there are Lycian tombs in the rocks – just like in Mir or Dalyan. “Umbrella Street” is an ordinary shopping street, which is colorfully decorated to attract tourists. We saw the same one in Antalya. Walk through the Old Town and climb up the mountain to see non-touristy Fethiye. Church in the ghost town of Kayaköy.

Where to rent a car

If you have the license, the desire and the time, rent a car for a couple or three days and see the sights around Fethiye on your own. It is very easy! The roads in Turkey are excellent, the rules are ordinary, the police are kind, and the driving style of the locals is quite adequate. And it’s also advantageous if you’re vacationing as a family or a company – it’s cheaper than taking a cab. Read our tips for car hire in Turkey.

We booked a car on the website Localrent and were completely satisfied. We rented a car to drive along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, and to see Cappadocia and Pamukkale. Around Fethiye we saw everything on our own, except Dalyan, where we took an excursion.

Holidays in Fethiye

In Antalya we rented a car to drive along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, and to see Cappadocia and Pamukkale.

Where to Buy Tours

There are plenty of excursion offerings on the waterfront! And almost all are boat trips around the islands and coves. We took a boat trip to Dalyan on Tripster: we caught blue crabs, admired the caretta-caretta turtles, swam in the mineral springs and admired the Lycian tombs in the rocks. And we saw the rest of the sites on our own because we had a car.

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Is it worth it to go with children?

With children it is better to rest not in Fethiye, but in Oludeniz, where there is a good beach. According to what tourists say, the climate in Fethiye and Oludeniz is milder than in Antalya, and the children endure the heat better.

There are almost no entertainments for children, except for water park Sultans Aqua City. You can take a boat trip to the islands. In order not to bore a child, it’s better to settle in the hotel, where there are children’s animation and playgrounds. Learn about holidays with children in Turkey.

GoLumos: “We came back from a vacation with my child at Club Tuana Fethiye. I was thrilled with the hotel, area, service, sea and of course the prices! For that kind of money in Europe you can only get apartments for breakfast. Good animators in the children’s club.

Holidays in Fethiye

In Fethiye, as well as in other resorts, there are a lot of seals.

When is the best time to come.

We were in Fethiye in mid-May, and I was a little hot even then. I think for sightseeing you need to come even earlier.

But it’s more comfortable to swim in September and October, when the water is well warmed up, but the sun is not so scorching. This velvet season: warm, sunny weather and almost no rain.

According to reviews of tourists, in May and June in Fethiye to swim is still cool. The Aegean Sea warms up to +23 … +24 ° C only the first days of July. However, everything is subjective: Lyosha took a bath in Oludeniz in mid-May, and the water seemed very warm to him. July and August are the hottest months of the year.

Conclusion: In my opinion, September and October are ideal months for comfortable bathing and excursions without suffering from the hot sun.

Anya Maslova: “I’m a cold person, but even for me the sea seemed very warm. The water temperature was +29°C – fantastic! It was nice to plunge into the sea after such a heat.

Holidays in Fethiye

It was too hot for me in Fethiye in the middle of May.

Our verdict

I think Fethiye is a good place to live quietly for a few days and drive around the area. Even in high season there are no crowds of tourists, everything is nice and quiet. We rented a house rather than a hotel in Fethiye and I think it is perfect for such a resort!

Yachting and boat trips are good here: the resort is surrounded by lush Mediterranean vegetation, beautiful bays and islands. Take a boat trip in the harbor along the lagoons, or take a trip to Rhodes.

Lovers of antiquity and beautiful sights will also like it, because there are many interesting things around. From the resort it is convenient to leave for the day to see the surrounding area.

But the most important thing to come to Fethiye are the beaches and the nature of Oludeniz. Over Oludeniz tourists like to fly paragliders. We did not fly it, but we launched a drone – views from above are really great! So we advise at least once to come on holiday in Fethiye and Oludeniz.

Tips:

  1. Look for bargain tours on Travelata and Level.Travel, and hotels with discounts on Hotelluk.
  2. If you want to live like a local, rent a house.
  3. You can vacation cheaper at the beginning or end of the season.
  4. The beaches of Oludeniz are the most beautiful. You can get from Fethiye by shuttle bus.
  5. For a beach holiday, settle in Oludeniz or Çalış.
  6. For the most comfortable beach holiday choose September and the first half of October.
  7. Look for the most inspiring experiences on the service of unusual excursions Tripster.
  8. If you have a license, rent a car and see the sights in the surrounding area.
  9. On your own or with a tour go to Kayaköy, Patara and Tlos – these are the places near Fethiye that impressed us the most.

Maximova: “It’s worth coming here for the sake of the beautiful marina, and of course to walk along the waterfront, where the tourist ships are moored. I was pleasantly surprised by the absence of crowds of tourists. It’s the quietest and least crowded seaside town I’ve ever been to.

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