Türkiye is famous for its stunning coasts and golden beaches. The country is the best choice for a leisurely summer vacation, with magnificent resort towns along the southern coastline. And among these resort towns, Fethiye might be the most ideal.
With ancient landmarks, stunning nature reserves, golden beaches, and a turquoise sea, this picturesque Mediterranean town in Turkey’s southwest offers a superb holiday experience. Fethiye provides a fantastic Mediterranean adventure with its secluded coves and scenic nature. If you want to make the most of your time in Fethiye, we put together the best guide to Fethiye for you!
Fethiye is a touristic region located on the southwestern coast of Türkiye. It’s mostly known for its stunning nature, where green, turquoise, and golden meet. In the inland areas of Fethiye, there are lush valleys and beautiful plains, and the shoreline is golden in color, bordered by turquoise Mediterranean water. With many rock tombs, historical monuments, and ruins of ancient cities, Fethiye is a heavenly place.
The oldest settlement in the area is an ancient city called Telmessos, which dates to the 3rd millennium BCE. Until Alexander the Great captured it, Telmessos was an important trade center and a member of the Delian League. Although the names Telmessos, Makri, and Anastasiopolis were all used interchangeably to refer to the settlement, the title Makri replaced the others and became the region’s name after the 10th century.
In the 12th and 13th centuries, Makri was a thriving community. The enormous city walls, a lucrative perfume company, and a commercial hub indicate a flourishing city.
The area was known as Meğri by the Ottomans, who conquered the area in 1424. Until the nineteenth century, the area was inhabited by Greeks who lived in the nearby villages surrounding the Telmessos ruins. The ruins of those villages and the ancient city of Telmessos can still be seen in Fethiye today.
How To Get To Fethiye
Flying to Dalaman Airport, around 50 kilometers from Fethiye, is the quickest way to get there. It would be best to take a taxi or public transportation to Fethiye once you arrive at the airport.
Ferries from Greek islands are another option for getting to Fethiye. If you plan to visit Greece on your way to Fethiye, you can see the Greek Islands and then take a ferry to the city for a reasonable price. Plus, taking a ferry from the Greek Islands will allow you to explore the magnificent beauty of the Mediterranean.
The Best Beaches In Fethiye
Fethiye is home to paradisiacal spots and gorgeous sights. The stunning beaches of Fethiye offer you the perfect summer with sand, sea, and sun. Here, we’re going to list the best beaches in Fethiye.
Ölüdeniz is one of the most famous beaches of Fethiye. The extraordinary landscape of the beach combines green hills covered in forests, golden sands, and turquoise waters. If you follow the Lycian path that starts from Ölüdeniz, you might end up getting to some peaceful coves and beaches where you can spend your time without interruptions.
Blue Lagoon/Kumburnu Plaji
Everyone has seen pictures of this beach! It’s the most famous part of Oludeniz and one that everyone must visit at least once. Locally known as Kumburnu, this national park has the impossible blue sea on one side and the sheltered, unbelievably clear lagoon on the other.
You can swim on either side, and plentiful sunbeds and amenities are available- although you have to pay. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes (even a Starbucks!), and the beach stays open until 7 p.m. throughout the summer.
However, a word of warning – tiny jellyfish are in the lagoon side at certain times of the year. While these don’t cause a severe sting, they can still be quite irritating!
This is the main Oludeniz beach that is open for everyone to use. You can take your towel and lay it on the sand for free, or you can pay for a sunbed. The water here is always quite wavy, which can be good fun; however, it quickly goes from shallow to deep.
The good news is that the water here is super-clear, and it’s a scenic beach to sit and enjoy while watching the paragliders land.
Only accessible by water, Butterfly Valley hosts over a hundred species of butterflies. Although it is challenging to spot butterflies in the summer since they aren’t often around, Butterfly Valley still promises a memorable experience with its serenity and peacefulness.
Are you ready for a real adventure? Then add Kabak Beach to your list! A truly unspoiled paradise, Kabak Beach has yet to be invaded by resorts and hotels. Travelers may initially find the lack of amenities to be a disadvantage; nevertheless, if you enjoy being in nature and getting away from the monotonous city life, Kabak offers you all you need!
Kuleli Beach welcomes thousands of tourists annually with its natural beauty and gorgeous scenery. If you want a relaxing holiday, Kuleli offers you the best option with its crystal-clear water and golden beach. Located between hills, the soothing voice of the wind and the sound of the waves combine and produce a tranquil atmosphere on the beach. From many aspects, Kuleli Beach is one of the best beaches in Fethiye.
Gemiler Cove is a small beach you can reach from Ölüdeniz on a day trip. Around the cove are a few tiny eateries where you can enjoy fish and regional cuisine. You can swim, dive, and rest in the cove without interruption. And, if you have the time, you can take a day trip from the beach to Gemiler Island, also known as St. Nicholas Island, and explore its ancient remains.
No, there aren’t any camels! The beach gets its name from its shape – like a camel’s hump. You can only get to this beach by boat; most boat trips stop here. The beach is quiet, small, and ideal for chilling out away from it all.
You’ll need to bring your own food and drinks as there are no cafes, but a few sunbeds are available for a fee.
You can easily reach Kidrak Beach by car or taxi from Oludeniz, which takes less than ten minutes. You pay a minimal entrance fee, but once you’re in, there is a large cafe, a picnic area, a vast beach, plenty of sunbeds, and even small open bungalows for rent. You get a wonderful view of the huge, soaring mountains behind you and back over to Oludeniz.
While the beach is a little rocky at the shoreline, it’s a great spot to escape the hustle and bustle for a few hours.
Paradise Beach is the perfect spot if you want to kick back and relax away from mass tourism. The only downside is that it takes an hour by boat to get there, but once you do – it’s incredible! This is the best place for anyone who loves to snorkel and check out the underwater world – it’s literally packed with all manner of marine life. The pine forests also give plenty of shade, and the water is as clear as clear can be.
You will need to bring your own refreshments to this beach.
Help Beach/See Me Beach
Around 10 minutes away from Fethiye Marina by car, you’ll find the instead comically named Help Beach. This is a private beach club, but anyone can visit as long as you pay the small entrance fee and buy drinks/food during the day.
You’ll have access to premium amenities such as sun loungers, parasols, showers, toilets, and changing facilities. The water is clear and calm, and there’s entertainment and restaurants on site, too.
See Me Beach is another private beach club close to Help Beach and offers the same experience for a small admission fee.
Calis Beach is a long, sand/pebble beach in Fethiye itself. The beach sits across the opposite end of the arc from the marina and has countless restaurants, shops, bars, and hotels along it. It’s also the best place to check out a stunning sunset.
The beach is free to use, but if you want a sunlounger or parasol, you’ll need to pay a small fee. The water can be wavy, but it’s always clear, and the constant breeze in this part of Fethiye means it feels a little cooler – a welcome break from the intense summer heat!
Best Things To Do In Fethiye
Although Fethiye is famous for its beaches and sea, a trip to Fethiye doesn’t only mean swimming and sunbathing. There are lots of activities to do and places to visit in Fethiye. Let’s discover the best things to do in Fethiye!
Paraglide Over Ölüdeniz Lagoon
If you enjoy the wind and are up for an adventure, paragliding over Ölüdeniz Lagoon should be on your list of things to do in Fethiye! Blue Lagoon in Ölüdeniz is one of Turkey’s top tandem paragliding spots. Don’t worry if you haven’t tried paragliding yet; Fethiye is the ideal starting point. The experience might inspire you to pick up an entirely new pastime!
Visit Kayaköy Ruins
Fethiye has a long and rich history; thus, ancient ruins, monuments, and historic structures are in every corner of this historic territory. Few, however, are as intriguing as Kayaköy Ruins. An abandoned church and old houses belonging to local Greeks contribute to the mysterious ambiance. Visiting this ancient settlement may help you better understand the local history.
You can go on many excursions while you’re in Fethiye, but if you want to pack a lot into a day, go on a jeep safari. It’s a long day, usually picking you up from your hotel at around 8.30 am and not returning back until about 6.30 pm, but you’ll see a lot.
The safari will take you all around the local villages, on and off-road, and you’ll also spend time at Saklikent Gorge. You’ll have a great lunch and you’ll also have a water fight with the locals!
Hike Through Saklikent Gorge
Saklikent Canyon is a must-see for everyone who enjoys hiking! Saklıkent means “hidden city” in Turkish. The canyon is 300 meters in depth and 18 kilometers in length, which makes it one of the deepest canyons in the world. You can participate in organized day tours to the canyon. Although the canyon is open to visitors all year, the deeper areas are only accessible during the summer months due to higher water levels in the winter.
Admire Xanthos Ruins
The Xanthos ruins are about 60 kilometers from Fethiye for those interested in ancient history and architecture. The preserved ruins of the old city, located on a hill near the river Xanthos, are of exceptional magnificence. Roman baths, shops, tombs, and a massive theatre are among the ruins.
You’ll find countless boat trips leaving from both Fethiye and Oludeniz beach fronts, and they’re all very similar. Before you go, you need to decide whether you want a party-style boat or a chilled-out vibe. If you want to party, go for one of the huge pirate-style boats, as they have foam parties, cocktails, and loud music all day.
If you’re more into chilling out, consider hiring a private boat and crew for the day and sail around the countless islands more peacefully. You can also visit Butterfly Valley (Kelebekler Vadisi) without going on a full-day trip that takes you all around the islands. A taxi boat leaves Oludeniz beachfront every hour and returns several times throughout the day, with the last service back at 5 p.m.
This is ideal if you only want to go to Butterfly Valley or you want to spend more than half an hour there, which is all a regular boat trip will allow you before you head to the next spot.
Calis is located ten minutes from Fethiye town or around half an hour from Oludeniz. It’s a great spot to go for the day. We’ve already mentioned Calis Beach and the sunsets, but the town itself is a nice change from the busy nature of many other local resorts. It’s also a little cheaper here for some reason!
You can enjoy a traditional meal on the beachfront and check out the sunset, or you can walk right down to Fethiye marina if your feet allow it.
Explore The Rock Tombs Of Tlos
The Rock Tombs of Tlos are an extraordinary complex of ancient ruins that include an acropolis, an Ottoman fortress and stable, a necropolis, a stadium, a massive theatre, a Christian-era Basilica and a temple, many school complexes, and an agora. The ruins are 30 kilometers from the ruins of Xanthos. So, take a day to visit these ancient cities and immerse yourself in Fethiye’s archaic environment.
Walk The Lycian Way
The Lycian Way is a famous long-distance walking trail that runs from Hisaronu, close to Oludeniz, to Antalya. That’s around 520 km long. Don’t panic; nobody expects you to walk the whole way, but you can walk just a little and check out the sights along the way. Remember to take plenty of water and sun cream with you during the hottest months.
The trail is clearly marked and will take you around what was ancient Lycia, with countless ruins to pass by and explore. This was formerly the trade route of the Lycians, a civilization that dates back to the 14-15th centuries BC.
The walk isn’t challenging in terms of terrain for the most part, but the length is obviously what makes it stand out! With that in mind, walk a little of the coastline and say you’ve been on this famous trail!
Eat In The Clouds
Even if you don’t like the idea of paragliding off the massive Babadag Mountain in Oludeniz, that doesn’t mean you can go up there and check out the views. There is also a lovely restaurant at the 1700 meter mark, where you can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner, a coffee, ice cream, and check out the view. It’s incredible at sunset, too.
A Day Trip To Gemiler Island
Gemiler Island, also known as St. Nicholas Island, is located off the coast of Türkiye and has ruins of historic churches, ecclesiastical buildings, and over fifty Christian burials. This island is said to contain the grave of St. Nicholas, the primary model for Santa Claus. You can take a day trip from Fethiye to Gemiler Island for quite an affordable price. Plus, since the island is relatively small, you can spare a few hours to visit the entirety of Gemiler Island.
Where To Stay In Fethiye
Where you stay in the Fethiye region depends on what you want and who you travel with. For instance, the Oludeniz area is ideal for couples, friends, and families but is considerably more expensive than other resorts. The reasons for that are unclear, but it’s possible that it’s because of the famous Blue Lagoon and the fact that this resort is world renowned for paragliding. Of course, you’re never more than a few minutes’ walk away from the beach too.
However, if you want a chilled-out time, some great food, and close proximity to amazing experiences and natural sites, it might be worth paying a little extra.
Alternatively, you will find both Hisaronu and Ovacik around a ten-minute taxi drive up the hill. These hilltop resorts do not have a beach but offer a cheaper holiday experience with countless bars, restaurants, and shops. It’s also effortless to get down to Oludeniz beach by taxi (around 50-60 lira) or by dolmus (around 10 lira).
These two resorts are ideal for groups, families, or those who want to save a little cash. Hisaronu, in particular, is very lively during the evening hours!
Fethiye, including Calis, offers similar holiday vibes, albeit more spread out and in a more city-like structure. Fethiye offers cheaper accommodation than Oludeniz, but you will need to get a bus or taxi to the beach in most cases. Calis is an excellent spot for families and couples, while the rest of Fethiye is an all-around kind of deal!
Most people don’t realize the sheer scale of the Fethiye region. So, make sure you double-check the area you intend to stay in so you do not have to spend a large amount of cash on buses and taxis to visit the beach or a particular site regularly.
Fethiye hosts many luxury hotels with high-quality facilities for its international visitors. As one of Turkey’s most popular tourist destinations, most resorts and hotels in Fethiye provide a delightful stay – here are a few to choose from…
TUI BLUE Sensatori Barut
Address: Çiftlik, Kargı Mahallesi 202, 226. Sk. No:4/1, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla
This comfortable hotel is located on the green land adjacent to Karataş Beach. It offers stylish rooms with TVs, free WiFi, and other quality amenities. Almost all of the hotel’s accommodations have pool access, and some offer sea views. The hotel’s 15 bars and restaurants serve the highest quality food..
Club & Hotel Letoonia
Address: Karagözler, Fevzi Çakmak Cd. No:82, 48300 Fethiye/Muğla
Club & Hotel Letoonia is a five-star, all-inclusive resort with three private beaches and excellent facilities. The restaurants and bars at the resort provide delicious meals. In addition to its facilities, Letoonia guests get access to the hotel’s disco, pools, and fitness center. It is adjacent to rock tombs and offers excellent lodging for travelers who want to make the most of their time in Fethiye..
Address: Uzunyurt, Kızılcıkaya Mevkii, 48300 Faralya – Fethiye/Fethiye/Muğla
Located 4 kilometers from Butterfly Valley, Nautical Hotel is an all-inclusive resort with a peaceful atmosphere. There are several stones and wooden accommodations with sea views. We recommend trying the hotel’s organic restaurant -they serve some of the healthiest food you can find..
Hera Beach Fethiye Hotel
Address: Foça, Köçek Mustafa Cd. No:40, 48301 Fethiye/Muğla
Hera Beach Fethiye Hotel is a nice hotel set on a residential street next to Çalış Beach along the Mediterranean Sea. The hotel includes a private beach for visitors to enjoy and high-quality facilities to make their stay even more comfortable..