Stunning Fethiye is located in the heart of the Turkish Riviera. This ancient city, once named Telmessos, was the most important city of Lycia, with a history on record starting in the 5th century BC. The location of Fethiye is just one of the reasons it was voted number one for best tourism centre in the world by The Times and The Guardian in 2007. One of the other reasons is because it’s one of the best spots to begin a blue cruise on a traditional Turkish gulet.
Explore the vibrant market place or visit the Tomb of Aminthas cut high in the rocks of Fethiye, or continue on to Kayakoy "the ghost town", where the entire village is a standing museum containing many ancient Greek-style houses and churches that cover a mountainside. Historic ruins such as the Hellenistic theatre are located in the city centre and are currently being renovated in the hope of holding grand open-air concerts and operas under the stars.
Fethiye is a true treasure of the Mediterranean coast. It's located close to tourist hotspots such as the thermal springs of Pamukkale and the ancient wonders of Ephesus, but most importantly it's the ultimate jump-off point for sailing around the Mediterranean. From here you can begin to sail around Turkey in luxury exploring all the natural aquatic wonders this beautiful country has to offer. A trip to Olympos, Rhodes, and the Blue Cave are only a few of the magical places that are just a short sail away.
How to get to Fethiye
The tourist town of Fethiye is easily accessible by bus, car, boat and plane. There are regular bus services to Fethiye from Istanbul, Izmir, Antalya, Bodrum and Marmaris. Dalaman and Antalya are two of the closest airports from Fethiye. Dalaman and Antalya are one and three hours driving distance from Fethiye. The D400 highway connects Fethiye with northern areas of Turkey, therefore, those travelling by car can take this route to reach the town.
Fethiye is also just 1.5 hours from Rhodes, Greece. A short ferry ride will bring you to the epicentre of accommodation, restaurants and travel agencies.
Where to eat in Fethiye
Fethiye is quite known for its variety of food and drinks in the many restaurants and cafes that line the marina and alleyways in the old town. Being a marina town, seafood is obviously one of the main delicacies and most people with a taste for fish will visit the fish market at least once during their visit to Fethiye. Dining out in the fish market can be a little bit pricey though, so the more budget-friendly option would be to head down to Popeye’s boat located by the Fethiye park and have a freshly caught fish in a sandwich, also known in Turkey as “Balik ekmek”.
For authentic Turkish cuisine dine at Mozaik Bahce for Eastern-style cuisine, Pasa Kebab for a range of kebab dishes and Nefis Pide for Turkish pide. For those wanting a meal on the run, visit one of our favourites, Yengen Burger, for a delicious meat doner kebab. We still like to claim that it’s the best kebab in Turkey! These restaurants are just the tip of the iceberg, great restaurants can be found all over Fethiye from the beachside of Calis up into the hills of Kayakoy.
Things to do in Fethiye
Fethiye is both generous in sites and activities available for travellers. Here, your journey may begin at the ancient Lycian Rock Tombs of Amintas which are more than 2400 years old. You can gain fascinating views of the archipelago from the platforms of these massive tombs and the rest of Fethiye standing in the archway of this looming tomb.
Located down the mountain and tombs is the main yacht marina and the main jump-off point for the Fethiye to Kekova blue cruise. Travelling on a traditional Turkish gulet, there are cruises from three days to one week visiting the major highlights along the Lycian coastline including Butterfly Valley, Oludeniz, Kas, Kekova and the Sunken City. These types of cruises are one of the major highlights of not only Fethiye but all of Turkey.
Located in the centre of Fethiye, behind the harbour is the Telmessos' Roman theatre which has more than 6000 seats. It was built in the 2nd century BC and is currently being restored to its natural glory. Not far from the Roman theatre is the Fethiye Museum which contains many exhibits from the ancient settlements of Telmessos, Kaunos and Tlos. You can find many ancient pieces of jewellery, potteries, votive stones, few ancient Stelae and many other artefacts.
For those staying in Fethiye for longer periods of time, there is many day tours and trips to fill up your days. The first to mention is the Jeep Safari visiting inland sites including Saklikent Gorge, local mud baths, Yaka Park, Tlos Ancient City and the long, sandy stretch of Patara Beach. Other activities include paragliding over Oludeniz, trekking through Kaya Koy – the Greek Ghost town and taking a day cruise to the 12 Islands region.
To make the most of your time in Fethiye, it is important to remember you are very close to many other fantastic cities and towns including Rhodes in Greece, Marmaris and Antalya.