A short but scenic drive from Dalaman Airport, Fethiye is a laid-back port city that attracts many tourists, mainly from Europe. It has some beautiful beaches, museums, and plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy.
If you’re looking for a relaxing break, then Fethiye is the place to be. It has the bonus of being an excellent base for exploring the Turquoise Coast.
If you’re planning a holiday in Turkey, you’ll want to visit this region to experience turquoise sea shores, friendly locals, impressive blue waters, and historical rock tombs.
The town is quite spread out, with several good hotels and restaurants within walking distance from the marina.
Here are 12 things to do in Fethiye
1. Private Gulet Cruise
A gulet is a wooden motor sailing boat that has become extremely popular in Turkey since the 1900s. You can take one of these and set off on a Fethiye to Olympos gulet cruise. These cruises offer luxury and convenience and deliver a truly fascinating experience.
One of the things you will love about these gulet cruises is that you can always find one that suits your budget and needs. Even private gulet cruises have different price points to appeal to a diverse clientele.
You also get similar facilities to those you’d find in good hotels. These include free Wi-Fi, comfortable cabins with reasonably sized beds, air conditioning, water sports options, and even jacuzzis on deck.
The features you get with the type of gulet depend on your budget. The options include standard, luxury, deluxe, high deluxe, and VIP classes.
2. Paragliding Over Oludeniz
Oludeniz is Turkey’s most famous beach and sits 15 kilometers south of Fethiye. Visitors from all around the globe flock here yearly to enjoy the turquoise waters, perfectly sheltered from the sea. Oludeniz has a white-sand beach, perfectly framed by a pine forest.
While the area has undergone some changes as package tourism has grown, it has been able to maintain most of its allure. This is partly because the lagoon area has not suffered the massive construction development as other exclusive tourism spots.
Guests to Oludeniz enjoy swimming, and those looking for something more exciting can paraglide here. The aerial views of the blue waters and lush forested hills make paragliding in Oludeniz an activity you must have on your bucket list.
3. Faralya and Kabak
If you delight in immersing yourself fully in nature, the Faralya and Kabak cliff-side track will satisfy your craving for nature.
This trail is moderately steep but gets dramatically steep as it comes around the head of the Butterfly Valley, a hippy beach only accessible by boat. It then heads out to the scattered hamlet of Faralya.
The hillsides are thickly wooded and are home to cozy, idyllic hotels. This trail also makes for a beautiful hiking trail, with the sea breeze in your face, the soothing sounds of waves, and sweeping views of the gorgeous sea below.
There are also multiple points to sit, catch your breath and enjoy snacks and freshly-squeezed juices.
4. Butterfly Valley
Butterfly valley has been preserved over the years thanks to being declared a nature reserve. This has protected it from construction.
The butterfly valley is among the most beautiful and magical bays in Turkey. It’s located on the western coast of the Gulf of Belceiz, located to Oludeniz, and is not accessible by boat or through trekking from Faralya village. However, if you visit during the summer, you can catch a delightful shuttle boat to the butterfly valley.
The butterfly valley gets its name from the tiger butterfly, primarily seen in the valley in June. The butterfly valley also has most if not all species of butterflies found along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
5. Kayakoy (Ghost Town) Ruins
Kayakoy, ancient Karmylassos, had a bubbling population of Greeks and Turks until the 1920s. This changed in 1923 when a population exchange moved Greeks to Greece and displaced Turks from Greece.
The unfortunate result of this exchange yielded what Kayakoy is today. All schools and churches here are from the 18 and 19th centuries. Like other buildings in this village, these give off an eerie, abandoned, dilapidated feel.
Some of the architecture was restored, but most of it stands as ruins. The ruins serve as an open museum today.
6. Saklikent Gorge
Saklikent, which means ”hidden city”, is 18 km long, 300metres deep, and among the deepest canyons in the world.
Saklikent was opened to the public as a national park in 1996 and has become a beloved spot for tourists to visit.
Once here, you can embark on a trail into the gorge, following a wooden boardwalk above the river. Then, for a more exhilarating experience, you can go water rafting and canyoning.
This ancient city was made famous by the heroism of its residents. The people of Xanthos burned tier city down to prevent it from being captured by the enemy.
Today, Xanthos’ ancient ruins of Lycian tombs attract tourists from far and wide.
Some of the city’s most beautiful monuments were taken to England in the 19th century. However, some mosaics are in their original setting, and the agora, theater, and acropolis can still be viewed.
If you want a slow day on your vacation, set aside a day to explore the ancient, well-preserved buildings in Xanthos and enjoy some bites and drinks for old times’ sake.
Patara is an 18km beach situated on the Turkish Riviera. If you only have time to visit and take in the Mediterranean coast in all its splendor, plan to spend some time at Patara.
Patara was once the main port of western Lycia and has become recognized as an amalgam of Roman and Christian traditions.
In addition, the beach envelopes the ancient ruins of Lycia. These ruins contain:
- Excavated theater
- Triumphal gate
- The seat of the oracle
- A cemetery of Lycian tombs
- A ruined basilica
- A public bath
- Vestiges of the castle
- Parliament building
9. Tlos Ruins
This is a fantastic place to spend a couple of hours if you are steady on your feet and love ancient ruins.
The ruins first took shape 4,000 years ago, and visitors enjoy guessing which ruins resulted from which era. For example, there is a decayed Ottoman at the top, but with Lycian and Roman stonework on the walls.
Here, you can walk around and learn from the signposts placed in specific areas. The view is also to die for.
Once a religious center in the belt of Lycian settlements, Letoon is today an archeological site. Letoon was built during Roman times and is today considered to be among the most remarkable archeological sites in Turkey.
The features on this site include:
Three temples are dedicated to goddess Leto, god Apollo, and goddess Artemis
- Modern-day amusement parks
- Hellenistic theater
- Porticoes (now covered in water)
The tomb of Amyntas or Fethiye tomb is a Greek rock-hewn tomb in ancient Telmessos built in 350BC by cutting into stone.
To reach here, you will need to go up a flight of steps leading up to the mountain. While this will call for some energy, the views from the top will make it worth the trouble. From the top, you get great views of the tombs and the city of Fethiye.
You can take stunning photos of the city with the sea as a backdrop.
Amyntas is a short trip, depending on how long it takes you to go up the steps. Therefore, you can plan it alongside other activities to make the most of your day. Bring comfortable shoes and a bottle of water.
12. Lycian Way
This is a 540km trail waymarked by red and white stripes and takes you to tombs, ruined cities, and remote villages.
The route will take you through some unforgiving but magnificent mountainscapes. This path naturally follows mules and footpaths and is best taken in spring.
For most of the trek, walkers are mostly shielded from the sun by the cover of pine trees, but the route can still be challenging. Luckily, the Fethiye end of this trail is on the coastal ledge. This makes it less punishing and more rewarding.
Dalaman Airport serves the famous port city of Fethiye and is approximately 46 km west of Fethiye. Our company’s transfer service will pick you up from the airport and bring you to your hotel.
If you’d love to relax on a beautiful Turquoise Coast beach, you won’t want to miss Fethiye. It’s the home of Katranci Bay, which is a major draw for tourists, but there are other beaches to visit here, including Inlice, Calis, and Kumbrunu Beaches.
There are many activities, including visiting the local archaeological sites, hiking up the Lycian Way route, and exploring the surrounding area. Be sure to bring a towel and a swimsuit to make the most of the summer weather while you’re here.
We recommend at least five days in Fethiye to take full advantage of the beautiful seaside city.
Is Your Wanderlust Awakened?
If you can’t wait to tour Turkey, Fethiye is just about the best break or ending spot you can get. However, if you have no idea where to begin, let us create a fantastic itinerary, including Fethiye.
Fethiye has ridiculously cool archeological and heritage sites, pristine lagoons and beaches, and towering mountains. Travelers often have to pick between mountain and beach locations when planning a vacation. Fethiye allows you to have both in the same area. What else can one ask for a wonderful trip?
Hit up some famous restaurants and bars in Fethiye to sample the best cuisine in the city, and you will have created the experience of a lifetime.