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 countryside, and is probably the only city in the world where you'll find sarcophaguses in the streets.
The 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.
In Greek times, it was named Telmessos, a flourishing city on the Glaucus Sinus (now known as Gulf of Fethiye). It was famed for its school of diviners, consulted among others by the Lydian king Croesus, prior to declaring war against Cyrus, and by Alexander the Great, when he came to the town after the siege of Halikarnassos. Telmessos was a member of the Delian League in the 5th century BC. It was taken by Alexander in 334 BC.
The main area of interest is in the southern part of the city around 1 Atatürk Cd. covering the tourist harbour, the bar & club area to the cave tombs. Most budget hotels are west from this street near the harbour. Resort hotels are mainly found in the north of the city near the beaches.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Fethiye's climate is subtropical and Mediterranean, with hot, dry summers and mild winters with occasional but often severe rainstorms.
Summers average around 30-35°C, but expect temperatures of up to 40°C during the hottest days of the year, especially if you're further inland. Rain virtually doesn't fall at this time of year, and any cloudy weather (if it ever happens) dissipates very quickly.
Winters are mild with occasional cooler periods, but generally springlike for temperate climates. It does, however, cause plenty of problems to tourists with its heavy rainfall, which can bring damaging winds and frequent lightning.
Sea temperatures tend to be above 24°C from June to October, which makes September and October a great time to go, with the air temperature being more reasonable.
In short, May to October is summerlike, but warm weather can linger until December. Winter is generally mild but January and February can bring stabs of chilly weather. March and April is a relatively warm spring. You can visit the whole year around if you're willing to experience the different sides of the city.
Fethiye has direct connections to many cities in the country including Marmaris, Bodrum, Denizli/Pamukkale (25 TL, 4 hours), Antalya (40 TL, 3½ hours, leaving about every hour), Izmir, and Istanbul (about 90 TL, around 14 hours) among others. The 1 main bus terminal. is about 1 km 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. 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.
There are multiple dolmuş buses running through the city. The Karagözler–Otogar bus runs from the main bus terminal along Atatürk Cd and the port area. You can either get a local transportation card to pay for trips or you can use your contact-less debit/credit card. Money payments are accepted bus discouraged.
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.
- 1 Cave tombs (Fethiye Tomb) (in the cliff on the south side of town at the eastern end of Atatürk Cd). Lycian tomb. Visible from outside the paying area. Great view of the city if you decide to go in. 10 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.
- 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
- 1 12 Island Day Cruise. An armada of boats of all sizes leave their harbor berths each day between 10:00 and 10:30 and return at approximately 18:00. 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 world's 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 m high, and ends on the beach after a nice trip above Ölüdeniz. 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. Trips can cost in the range of €90 and €30 for photos (Nov 2017).
Be informed before you buy a "Turkish" carpet. Do your homework before leaving home. The supply of Turkish carpets is getting low and Chinese copies are being sold. Also, real antiques are not allowed to leave the country.
- Isa.M Turizm, Atcilar Sokak no 6 (Yaniklar Köyü), ☏ . 2. Horse-riding stable in Yaniklar with 14 well trained horses for advanced and novice rider. Trail rides and riding holidays €40.
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 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 price). Cheap.
If you are going to drink only one local special, let it be the Kar Şerbeti (Ice/snow sorbet). It is a refreshing drink/dessert, basically icy snow, mixed with pectin/grape molasses. The snow is collected from summits of Toros (Taurus) Mountains throughout the year. You can find it easily in the market/bazaar.
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. You should be careful about the cocktail bars spread around the city, as some of them might be using cheap alcohol to compensate the expenses. Always listen to trusted recommendations.
- Keçı Coffee Roastery Cumhuriyet Mahallesi (east of the Fethiye Marina). Excellent coffeeshop and roastery, they serve V60, Aeropress, Chemex, etc. as an alternative to ubiquitous Turkish coffee and Nescafe. 14 TL for a single serving custom coffee.
Fethiye has hundreds of places to stay, like hotels, motels, hostels, pensions, apartments, caravan and camping grounds. They are all spread around the city in different districts. Even though there are a lot of places to stay in downtown, more options available in districts like Hisarönü/Ovacık (10 km from downtown) or Ölüdeniz (12 km from downtown). Many people choose to stay in those districts and travel to downtown for fun, shopping, and sightseeing.
- 1 Yildirim Guest House (just a few steps west from the Fethiye Marina). The hostel has six basic rooms, and three dorms—a female one, a male one, and a mixed one with showers, restroom, television, and internet. This is the only hostel in town with air-con dormitories. Hot water may not always work so check it out. Friendly and helpful staff. Air conditioning and laundry services are available for small additional charges. Smoking permitted outside. Laundry for an additional 10 TL, home-made dinner 10 TL, drinks are same price as shops. Single from €25, dorms from €13, breakfast included.
- 2 Çim apartments, 30. Sk (just a few steps west from the Fethiye Marina). Run by the very friendly and welcoming Çim, the spacious & clean apartments are a good alternative to traditional hotels/hostels. In the evening Çim may cook a great Turkish dinner for 15 TL pp, and travellers often share a bottle of Rake in the evening. Shared bathrooms, breakfast included, some apartments have kitchen and a washing machine that may be used for free. apartment for 2 from 50 TL per night (off-season).
- [dead link] Yacht Boutique Hotel. It is located on the south side of town, close to the yacht pier and international port of entry. Very short walk to the boat tour docks and harbor attractions. Very clean and well furnished rooms with an outdoor pool and lounge. English speaking staff will help you with setting up local activities. Rooms start at around US$100/night.
- Hillside Beach Club, Kalemya Koyu PK: 123, ☏ . Large resort set on a private bay amidst pine trees, organizing the only international water ski cup in Turkey, with activities such as spa, tennis, fitness, aerobic, step, stretching, basketball, beach-volley, archery and water sports including wakeboard and scuba-diving.
- The Blue Lagoon — a famous (perhaps the most famous in Turkey) beach area located in Ölüdeniz to south of Fethiye, with a pretty nice lagoon separated from open sea by a sandbar. About 30 minutes away by dolmuş.
- Saklikent Gorge — a stunning geological site located inland on the Teke Peninsula (between Fethiye and Antalya), about 40 km southeast of Fethiye. This is a great place for a leisurely hike. If you want to explore the gorge a bit further upstream, be prepared for some clambering and getting wet!
- Lycian ruins — located on outer islands, take a boat from Ölüdeniz.
- Kayaköy Village — a hiking destination, these are the ruins of a Greek settlement abandoned in 1923 when the governments of Turkey and Greece mandated population swaps. Features some well-preserved structures, including a church.
- Butterfly Valley and Kabak — two isolated canyons bordering the seashore to the south of Fethiye. They both feature waterfalls. Butterfly Valley is hippie haven (though with the growing interference of the mass tourism) situated in a narrow canyon with almost no overland connection to the rest of the world, while remoter Kabak is the perfect place to escape the package tourist groups, and a great place on the Turkish Mediterranean to camp and have a truly laid-back experience.
- Weekly boat tours around the spectacular Lycian coast, also known as "Blue Cruise", all the way east to Olympos can be arranged through numerous companies from Fethiye during the high season (April to October).
|Routes through Fethiye|
|Marmaris ← Göcek ←||W E||→ Kınık → Antalya|