When thinking of Turkey, most people think of famous destinations such as Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Antalya or Izmir… However, sometimes great travel experiences come from places that are not so well-known and you have never heard of before. Fethiye is such a place. So, is Fethiye worth visiting, what to do in Fethiye and how to plan a budget trip to Fethiye perfectly? Let’s check out our Fethiye blog (Fethiye travel blog) with the fullest Fethiye travel guide (guide to Fethiye, Fethiye tourist guide) from how to get to Fethiye, best places to visit, best time to come, what to eat as well as top things to do in Fethiye to help you maximize your trip as follows!
- Izmir blog — The fullest Izmir travel guide for first-timers
- Ankara blog — The fullest Ankara travel guide for first-timers
- What to do in Antalya? — 8 Must, top & best things to do in Antalya
- Turkey travel tips — 13+ dos and don’ts & what to know before visiting Turkey
- Istanbul travel tips — 9 things & what to know before going to Istanbul
Fethiye was once known as the ancient city of “Telmessos”, one of the most important cities of the Lycian civilization. Telmessos was a culturally rich and flourishing city, and is home to a number of ruins that still stand today. It is located in the Aegean region in southwestern Turkey, about 4 hours south of Izmir and 3 hours west of Antalya.
Overview of Fethiye (#fethiye blog)
Located on the southwest coast of Turkey, Fethiye is a wonderful blend of ancient and modern. Modern Mediterranean-style villas, ancient historical sites, majestic mountains, white sand beaches and turquoise waters will please everyone, from history lovers to sea and island enthusiasts, exciting activities.
Fethiye is the treasure trove of the Mediterranean coast. It is located close to popular tourist attractions such as the golden Ephesus ruins of the once Roman empire and the cotton castle of Pamukkale. Especially from Fethiye you can start to traveling around Turkey to explore all the beautiful places of this country. Or you can choose a short boat trip to Olympos, Rhodes, Blue Cave… Fethiye was once voted as the best tourist destination in the world by The Times and The Guardian in 2007.
With stunning lagoons, hidden caves and pine-fringed mountains, a stay in Fethiye promises to be full of heavenly sights. Located on the southwest coast of Turkey in the province of Muğla, this district is a wonderful blend of old and new. Beautiful Mediterranean-style villas stand side by side with historic sites, while majestic mountain ranges overlook the spectacular beaches of the breathtaking Lycian coast. It is suitable for everyone from history buffs to island nation enthusiasts, all kinds of adventures await in the tourist city of Fethiye.
When to visit? (#fethiye blog)
Fethiye is a destination that tourists often visit in spring, summer and autumn. Temperatures usually stay below 15 degrees Celsius between November and January, however the area receives about 300 days of sunshine a year, so you can count on great weather during the warm months. best. Summer is the busiest time to visit when the average daily temperature can reach 28 degrees Celsius. For a more peaceful and less stuffy experience consider visiting in May, June, September or October when attractions are quieter and average daytime temperatures stay below 25 degrees Celsius.
From June to August is the peak season in Fethiye, very crowded with tourists. April, May and September are the best times to come, the weather is perfect – warm and sunny, but not humid and not stuffy. Prices of hotels, resorts, tours also cooled down.
Getting to Fethiye (#fethiye travel guide)
From Vietnam you will have to fly to the Turkish capital city of Istanbul and from Istanbul you can fly domestically, take a bus or drive yourself to Fethiye.
The closest airport to Fethiye is in Dalaman Airport (IATA: DLM, ICAO: LTBS) and it takes about 45 minutes from Dalaman to Fethiye. You can also fly to Izmir or Antalya first, visit these two cities and then take a bus or drive to Fethiye. Turkish domestic airlines such as Pegasus, Turkish Airlines, domestic buses have Kamil Koc, MetroTurizm. Flight and bus fares range from USD 35-70 depending on whether you can book promotional tickets or not and depend on the specific time.
Getting around Fethiye (#fethiye tourist guide)
The best way to visit Fethiye is to rent a car, you can drive yourself (you just need to bring your driver’s license converted to an international license to rent a car) or rent a car with a driver if you are traveling in a large group. Parking is available (paid and free) at most attractions and it is very flexible when you move to places outside of Fethiye. If you go alone, there is a public bus, but it will take more time to travel.
Where to go and what to do in Fethiye
Explore the old town of Fethiye (fethiye blog)
The old towns are always the best areas to explore. Fethiye Old Town is a cute little shopping district that includes umbrella street and the famous fish market where you pick your fish and a restaurant at the market to prepare it and it’s the perfect place to have dinner in town!
The old town of Fethiye (also known as Paspatur) sits at the end of a cliff-lined bay with Lycian tombs and is truly great for dining. There is also a market for local handicrafts which is quite nice.
Le Kordon is actually a promenade running along the sea from the old town near to Calis beach. It’s great for walking around or sipping a drink in the late afternoon when the sun goes down.
Rock-cut tombs in Kaunos
Kaunian rock-cut tombs is located in Dalyan, about an hour by car from Fethiye. The Ancient City of Kaunos is on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and dates back more than 3,000 years with rock tombs, theaters and temples. The port city once held a particularly important strategic location for merchant ships traveling between the Mediterranean and the Aegean Seas. It is one of the best places to visit when travel to Fethiye if you are interested in the history of the region.
Rock-cut tombs with temple-like facades on the cliff edges are seen only in Kaunos, and are surrounded by the beautiful Dalyan River. Today, you can drive to the banks of the Dalyan River facing the rock tombs for a quick look at them from the ground, or take a boat on a half-day trip that includes a mud bath and a visit to Iztuzu beach.
Tomb of Amyntas
Address: Kesikkapı, 117. Sk. No:3, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla, Turkey
Fethiye in ancient times was the ancient city of Telmessos which was one of the most important, culturally rich and flourishing cities of the Lycian civilization. The remains of this period are the rock tombs of Amyntas built in the 4th century BC, carved into the slopes of soaring mountains. The Lycians believed that after death, the soul would be transported to the afterlife by magical winged creatures, so they placed tombs in high places on hills or mountainsides.
From Fethiye you only drive around 45 minutes to reach the tomb of Amyntas. The tomb is carved into the rock, at first sight, the lonian columns have attracted everyone’s attention. In the middle of the left column is the inscription in Greek “Amyntou tou Ermagiou” which means “Amyntas, son of Hermagios”. The uniqueness of this tomb is its size equivalent to a large temple while many other tombs are quite small in size.
Ruins of Ancient City of Tlos
The most important Lycian religious site was the ancient city of Tlos, which dates back to around 2000 BC. Tlos is located 35 km southeast of Fethiye on a hill with picturesque views of the river Esen. Tlos was the most powerful city of the ancient Lycia federation, then it was ruled by the Roman empire, then ruled by the Byzantine empire so in Tlos you can find a lot of traces of different dynasties. The Roman baths and theater can accommodate up to 20,000 people, the Lycian tombs and finally the Bloody Ali fortress of the Ottoman Empire. The most famous Lycian tomb is the Bellerophon tomb nestled in the foothills. It is believed that this is the family mausoleum of the Tlos royal dynasties.
The most famous tourist attraction in Fethiye is Oludeniz or otherwise known as Blue Lagoon. Oludeniz is so magical emerald green under the clear sky, floating clouds, white sand, mountains and stretching trees. The blue sea is surprisingly clear and vibrant. You can immerse and swim in the clear water all day, sunbathe in the gentle sunshine, rent a hotel on the high mountain with a direct view of the sea. From Blue Lagoon you can rent a boat to take you to the Butterfly Valley to enjoy the pristine beach, no electricity, no TV, no wifi, only a coffee shop, watching the wonderful sunset beautiful in this place.
Ölüdeniz is also known as Turkey’s “Blue Lagoon” because of its pristine turquoise waters. It is located near the foot of Mount Babadağ, about 20 minutes by car from the center of Fethiye city. Visiting the blue lagoon is one of the best things to do in Oludeniz.
To access the Blue Lagoon, which is separate from the main beach, you need to walk in. Inside you’ll find several small restaurants, shops, changing rooms and bathrooms, and you can rent a sun lounger for a small fee.
As one of the most famous beaches of Turkey, 15 km stretch of fine white sand surrounded by dense trees. The sea doesn’t get deep quickly, so you can walk for a long time until you can fully dive in the water.
You can also join a tour of paragliding over Oludeniz: From a great height, dropping yourself in the sky, you can capture all the beauty of the Oludeniz sea in sight. This is really a very Yomost feeling.
Saklikent National Park (#fethiye travel guide)
Address: Kayadibi, Saklıkent Sokak No : 26, 48300 Seydikemer/Muğla, Turkey
The national park including Saklikent Gorge is known to the whole world! Saklikent Gorge is recognized as the longest and deepest canyon in Saklikent Turkey and the second largest canyon in Europe. Its length is 18 km and the elevation at various locations is up to 1000 meters. Throughout its path, it features fascinating steep cliffs of natural beauty, waterfalls, and 16 caves. Altitude difference between inlet and outlet of Saklikent gorge in 720 meters!
Saklikent gorge stands out for its pristine beauty! Red pine forests grow around it and there is a river that flows at an amazing speed on its territory that even in summer is as cold as ice. The high cliffs of Saklikent gorge transmit almost no light into the canyon interior.
Saklikent National Park was established in 1996. It is an example of Turkey’s wild nature and a unique tourist center for those who love trekking, climbing and picnicking. Its area is 12,390 hectares and the word Saklıkent in Turkish means “hidden city”.
Hike through Saklikent gorge: You will hike through a gorge with soaring cliffs, wade through a fast-flowing river and then walk through a narrow ravine to reach a waterfall at the end of the gorge. With such natural conditions and weather and being in the upper reaches of the river, this Fethiye tourist attraction offers visitors a walk along the breathtaking gorge. The bravest who are about to reach the end of the Saklikent gorge should have a special outfit!
Fethiye’s Kelebekler Vadisi, or Butterfly Valley in English, is a secluded beach accessible only by boat. The Butterfly Valley is located south of Oludeniz and is one of the best kept secrets of Fethiye. You can get there by taking a shuttle boat from Oludeniz main beach for 30TL both ways – boats depart from Oludeniz at 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm and 3pm and return back from Butterfly Valley in the afternoon.
Once you get into the valley, you’ll find yourself surrounded by lush forest and breathtaking beaches to explore. There are treehouses and modest accommodations here and there. Local and international visitors to Butterfly Valley make nighttime bonfires a tradition and community spirit much like the hippie movement of the ’60s.
There are more than 85 different species of butterflies that inhabit in the valley, hence the name. The best time to see the butterflies is in June. If you really want to see butterflies resting, be careful not to be loud and avoid large groups.
There is also a waterfall at the end of the valley. The way to the waterfall requires climbing, so have a good pair of waterproof shoes ready as you might slip while wearing flip-flops!
Shop with the locals at the Weekly Market
If you really want to learn about culture when traveling to Fethiye, you should visit the local weekly markets, and Fethiye is no exception. The market takes place along the canal next to the stadium every Tuesday, this huge market offers vegetables, fruits, clothes, home appliances, food… everything you can think of. This is the cheapest way to shop as well as the richest in the variety of services.
Discover the longest beach in Turkey
Fethiye owns wonderfully beautiful turquoise beaches, fine white sand, bright yellow sun, I have never seen the sea anywhere so blue and so clear. No wonder Fethiye is known as Turkey’s blue sea paradise.
As Turkey’s longest beach, Patara is an idyllic spot for sunbathing. Once an important city of Lycia, you can also see some beach ruins in Patara, a perfect combination of history and coast. Legend has it that Saint Nicholas of Myra, “Santa Claus” as we call him today, was born in Patara in the 4th century!
Patara is 70 km south of Fethiye, is home to Turkey’s longest beach so it’s the perfect place to sunbathe and relax.
Coming to Fethiye, rent a boat to go along the bays to immerse yourself in the beautiful water, enjoy delicious dishes from seafood, beef and passionate glasses of wine, lie on the boat listening to music watching the sky. If you know how to scuba dive you can go free diving or be accompanied, the underwater world in Fethiye is very unique and interesting. Boat tours to the bays usually have two types: half-day and one-day, the number of bays to visit depends on the tour you choose.
The nearby archaeological site of Pinara is less touristy than other Lycian sites in the area. There are more than 900 monolithic house tombs and dolmens in the ruins of the Lycian city of Pinara. The area around the old theater is amazing, as you enjoy the mountain peaks and dense forest that surrounds you.
Overnight in lovely Faralya (#fethiye tourist guide)
A hidden hilltop village, Faralya is home to spectacular boutique hotels. Locals love these hotels for their honeymoon. Others visit because their yoga sessions take place on the Mediterranean coast or in the deep woods. You can only imagine how fresh the air is here!
Kabak Bay is a beautiful state protected body of water, located just below Faralya. This is a valley of clean beaches and lavish nature with campsites. There are different types of animals and plants in the area.
The locals in Faralya really love bees and produce organic honey. The honey here is high quality, so be sure to buy a few jars on the way back home! If you like to cook, you should also buy some sage as a souvenir when traveling to Fethiye. The ingredients used are all organic and therefore healthy. You can also buy olive oil produced from local olive trees!
If you walk up to Faralya, you will be able to watch the sunset from the cliffs. Just take your time to relax, enjoy the view and think about your life as you gaze at the mesmerizing views of the Mediterranean!
Abandoned Village of Kayakoy
Address: Kayaköy, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla, Turkey
Right next to Fethiye is a rather impressive site and obviously well worth a visit: the abandoned village of Kayaköy. This village was actually inhabited by Greeks before the First World War. But after the ensuing war between the Greeks and the Turks, the Greek inhabitants of Kayaköy were forced to leave Turkey. But unlike the village of Sirince, here, no Turks have settled in the abandoned village (especially since the area suffered a terrible earthquake in 1957). Only the ruins of a few hundred houses remain, left there as an open-air museum.
A village built entirely of stone formerly inhabited by Greeks and Turks. In 1923, after the ethnic cleansing, the people left this place, Kayakoy has been abandoned since then. Among the ruins left in Kayakoy are the Greek-style churches of Katapongagia and Taxiarchis, which are still relatively intact.
Address: Kesikkapı, No:4, 505. Sk. Fethiye Müzesi No:4, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla, Turkey
The Fethiye Museum is a great place to learn about Lycian history, especially if you’re planning on going to attractions like Xanthos, Tlos, and Letoön.
What to eat?
As a bustling and vibrant Mediterranean city, Fethiye is famous for its delicious eateries, cafes, and rooftop bars. Must-try dishes are assorted meat kebabs, roasted chicken, spinach borek (a savory dish with spinach inside).
Going to Fethiye you must definitely go to the Fethiye balık pazarı fish market, here there are hundreds of types of seafood, fresh fish for you to choose from such as Mediterranean snapper, oysters, lobster, octopus… The shops sell seafood can be prepared on the spot for you to enjoy or there are many restaurants around if you don’t want to sit at the stalls.
Address: Cumhuriyet, Balık Pazarı, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla, Turkey
If you really want to get to know a city’s culture, you should definitely visit the local markets and Fethiye is no exception. If you are in Fethiye on a Tuesday, do not miss the market with local products such as vegetables, fruits, clothes, food, souvenirs….
Where to stay?
Fethiye has a full range of accommodation services from 5-star hotels, resorts, hostels, guesthouses… The price of guesthouses and hostels ranges from 20USD–50USD, while the price of resorts and 5-star hotels will range from 300USD – 1,000USD. For convenient transportation, rent a hotel in the center of Fethiye, if you want to rest comfortably and enjoy life, you can rent a hotel in the mountains or a resort on the coast of Oludeniz. Go to booking sites like Booking.com, Agoda.com… to find the hotel that best suits your trip budget.
Below we recommend more best budget, mid-range and upscale hotels with good ratings and reviews you can refer to.
- Infinity City Hotel (Agoda, Booking)
- Liberty Fabay (Booking)
- Orka Boutique Hotel (Agoda, Booking)
- Sundia Exclusive By Liberty Fethiye (Agoda, Booking)
- Club & Hotel Letoonia (Agoda)
- Yacht Classic Hotel – Boutique Class (Agoda, Booking)
- Jiva Beach Resort (Agoda, Booking)
- TUI BLUE Sensatori Barut Fethiye (Agoda, Booking)
Turkey tourist attractions are known for their exceptional charm and endless natural beauty, and visitors to Fethiye will not be disappointed by the region’s charming landscapes and beautiful beaches.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in, from and to Fethiye you can refer to
- Blue Lagoon Ölüdeniz Tandem Paragliding from Fethiye
- From Fethiye: Jeep Safari to Saklikent Gorge with Lunch
- From Fethiye: Tandem Paragliding with Hotel Pickup
- Pamukkale and Hierapolis: 1-Day Tour from Fethiye
- Oludeniz: Butterfly Valley Tour & St. Nicholas Island Cruise
- Oludeniz: Tandem 30-Minute Paragliding Flight
- Fethiye: Professional Scuba Diving with Lunch
- From Fethiye: Horse Riding Adventure
- Paragliding in Fethiye
- Luxury Airport Transfer From Fethiye To Dalaman Airport
Read more Turkey guide here.