3 Best Routes From Istanbul To Fethiye (Fethiye From Istanbul)

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Post author Nicky

Written by our local expert Nicky

Nicky, originally from the UK, is now a local in Turkey. She moved to Marmaris, Türkiye for love 12 years ago and is now your Turkey travel planner.

This is your ultimate guide on traveling between Istanbul and Fethiye – two of the best places in Türkiye. The approximate distance separating İstanbul and Fethiye is about 542km (337 miles).

I have covered the various transportation options for going from Fethiye to Istanbul in Turkey—you’ll find at least one mode of transportation that suits you to get to this beautiful city and see the ancient ruins.

Travel From Istanbul To Fethiye Route Guide

  • The fastest way to get from Istanbul to Fethiye is by taking a domestic flight
  • The cheapest way to travel from Istanbul to Fethiye is by direct bus
  • If you’re looking for a scenic experience, taking a road trip by car from Istanbul to Fethiye is best
  • There is no direct train connection from Istanbul to Fethiye
  • I have not listed ticket prices or even the average ticket price as the Lira fluctuates so much, and plane tickets vary so much from month to month. That said, the best price will be in winter, and when you book earlier

You can use Google Maps to take a closer look!

Most people dream of visiting İstanbul at least once in their lives. The trouble is, visiting once is nowhere near enough!

If you’re anywhere in Turkey, the good news is that you can quickly reach this huge city via public transport.

Of course, you might also decide not to visit for sightseeing (although you should) but to go to the airport. Istanbul Airport is one of Europe’s busiest airports and connects major cities worldwide. There is also another airport on the Asian side, Sabiha Gokcen, and that’s not particularly small either.

If you’re in Fethiye, a wonderfully chilled-out beach town with plenty to see and do, how do you get to Istanbul?

Fethiye is located in the Dalaman region on the south coast. It’s famous for the historic Lycian way, fantastic beaches, nature to make your jaw drop and delicious food. But if you want to check out Istanbul while you’re there, here’s how you can do that.

1. Flight From Istanbul To Fethiye

Beaches in Fethiye - Belcekiz Beach, Ölüdeniz
Fethiye, Turkey

The easiest way to travel from Fethiye to Istanbul and even back again is to fly domestically. Depending on traffic, you will need to head to Dalaman Airport, which takes around one hour.

The Havas shuttle bus connects Fethiye and Dalaman Airport several times daily, in both directions, and is relatively cheap. Alternatively, you can book a private transfer or even a taxi, although that’s not the most affordable option.

There are around 3-4 direct flights to Istanbul daily, either to Istanbul Airport on the European side or Sabiha Gokcen on the Asian side. The flight time is about 1 hour and 10 minutes and is operated by both Turkish Airlines and Pegasus Airlines.

Once you arrive in Istanbul, the HavaIst shuttle buses are available to take you wherever you need to go. However, you can also use the Metro or taxis.

Airports In Istanbul

Istanbul has two main airports: Istanbul Airport (IST), located on the European side, is the primary international hub, known for its modern facilities, extensive flight connections, and as a key transfer point for global travelers.

Sabiha Gökçen International Airport (SAW), situated on the Asian side, serves both domestic and international flights. It offers passengers an alternative with its accessibility and a range of airline options. 

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2. Driving From Fethiye To Istanbul

Travel Tips For Istanbul - Hagia Sophia Crowds

If you don’t mind a long journey (and fuel costs), you could hire a car and drive, although it certainly isn’t the most time-sensible idea. The journey will take around 9 hours via the O-5 road, a major road connecting the south coast with Izmir, Bursa, and Istanbul. There are tolls on the road, so bear that in mind and check with your rental car hire company that this is covered via the electronic system.

If you don’t mind driving, the road is very easy to navigate, and you’ll see a lot on the way, as part of the journey is very scenic. You could even next stop off in Izmir or Bursa as you make your way up to Istanbul.

The only thing to mention is that once you are near Istanbul, around an hour out of the main heart of the city, you’ll hit the famous Istanbul traffic. And in some cases, it DOESN’T MOVE! Seriously, you can’t say you’ve seen traffic until you’ve experienced it in this city.

As a result, you can be stuck for an hour or more, just slowly creeping towards your destination.

Stops Along The Way To Fethiye From Istanbul

If you want to expand your road trip and make some stops along the way, here are a few ideas:

  • Bursa. Known for its historic mosques and thermal springs
  • İzmir. A vibrant city with a rich history, seaside promenades, and culinary delights
  • Muğla. Acts as a gateway to many of Turkey’s famous coastal destinations, including Bodrum and Marmaris, before reaching Fethiye
  • Aydın. Famous for its ancient ruins and proximity to Ephesus

3. Take The Bus From Istanbul To Fethiye

Fethiye, Turkey Guide - Tlos ruins and tombs, an ancient Lycian city_Turkey_Depositphotos_625459582_S

The final option – and my personal favorite- is to go by bus. Several long-distance coach companies operate between the two cities, with Pamukkale, Kamil Koc, and Metro the main ones.

You can book your bus ticket online or at the Istanbul or Fethiye bus station. The bus from Fethiye to Istanbul gets busy, so it’s best not to leave buying your ticket until the day of travel, as seats tend to be booked up on that Istanbul bus by all bus companies.

Depending on traffic, the journey will take 9.5-10 hours, but you will first stop a few times on the way. These buses are also very comfortable, offering entertainment, WiFi, and refreshments.

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Turkey Travel Blog_How To Get From Istanbul To Fethiye

Ferry Trip From Istanbul To Fethiye FAQs

There isn’t a direct ferry service from Istanbul to Fethiye. Ferries are available from Rhodes (Greece) to Fethiye, which could be an option if combining your trip with a visit to the Greek islands. However, a direct ferry service from Istanbul to Fethiye does exist. Go To Fethiye From Istanbul FAQs


What is the easiest way to get from Istanbul to Fethiye?

The easiest way to travel between Istanbul and Fethiye is to fly domestically. The flight is a little over 1 hour, and multiple flights take off daily.

How long does it take to drive from Istanbul to Fethiye?

The journey is not short – you can expect a 9-hour road trip between the cities. Use Google Maps to find the shortest distance.

What is the cheapest way to get from Istanbul to Fethiye?

The cheapest way to travel from Istanbul to Fethiye is by bus. This, however, is the longest travel option, coming in at about 10 hours. Buses are usually quite comfortable with WiFi and refreshments.

What are the best routes to travel from Istanbul to Fethiye?

The best routes to travel from Istanbul to Fethiye are:

  • By flight: Taking a one-hour flight is the fastest and most convenient way
  • By car: Driving from Istanbul to Fethiye takes around 8 hours and allows for exploration along the way
  • By bus: Taking a bus is an affordable option, although it takes approximately 12 hours

What can I expect in terms of travel experience?

When traveling from Istanbul to Fethiye, you can expect:

  • Stunning natural beauty
  • A rich cultural experience
  • Warm hospitality

What are the recommended travel accessories?

Recommended travel accessories for your journey include:

  • A phone holder mount
  • An emergency kit
  • A universal phone charger
  • Luggage tags
  • A portable handheld scale

Is there a night train from Istanbul to Fethiye?

No, there is no direct train from Istanbul to Fethiye. Alternative transportation options include flying, driving, or taking a bus.

Which is more expensive, Istanbul or Fethiye?

In general, Fethiye is cheaper than Istanbul.

How long should I plan to stay in Fethiye?

3-4 days is usually sufficient to explore Fethiye, but you can also consider visiting nearby attractions and extend your stay accordingly.

What’s the distance between İstanbul and Fethiye?

It’s about 542 kilometers (337 miles) or 488 kilometers (303 miles) as the crow flies.

How long is the journey from İstanbul to Fethiye?

The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours by plane and bus. Driving takes around 8 hours and 10 minutes.

Which is the fastest route from İstanbul to Fethiye?

Combining a flight with a bus ride is the quickest way to get to Fethyiye, totaling about 2.5 hours.

What’s the cheapest mode of transport from İstanbul to Fethiye?

The most economical way of going from Istanbul to Fethiye is by bus. Traveling to this beautiful country by bus is easy, especially for your first visit.

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