Without a doubt, scenic landscapes in Fethiye on the southwest Mediterranean coast of Turkey drive the tourism trade. Its picturesque appeal is hard to ignore, and every year, thousands of foreigners of different nationalities and Turks descend on the area to enjoy sandy beaches, laid-back coastal resorts, and outdoor tourist attractions. Of course, though, a typical Mediterranean lifestyle is another big lure.
The Fethiye region comprises of a town and smaller coastal resorts adored by tourists and foreign expats, who bought property to indulge in the lifestyle all year round. Throughout Turkey, beautiful landscapes make you look twice. However, Fethiye’s knack of captivating you for years to come means its status as a popular touristic and expat hub is set to continue.
General Travel Information for Fethiye
Weather and Best Time to Visit
Fethiye’s warm Mediterranean climate (CSA Koppen Classification) differs slightly from the Aegean because of more dry months and higher winter temperatures. July and August can be absolute scorchers with temperatures reaching 40 degrees while January to March is when the most amount of rainfall occurs.
The main tourist season runs from May to October, and during this time, all bars, restaurants, hotels and tour agencies are open. Councils also clean beaches and vendors set up their pitches to rent out sunbeds, umbrella rentals and water sports making these months perfect for beach lovers. If you like exploring touristic attractions, or hiking the Lycian way, visit during April, May, October and November as these months are cooler.
Most tourists arriving by air, use Dalaman airport (DLM,) an hour away. Another alternative, during winter, is Antalya with year-round flights. Coming by road is easy because Fethiye sits off the main D400 highway, running from the west to east of Turkey. In the centre, a fantastic bus station offers regular routes to connect Fethiye with other cities, towns and villages. Otherwise, a ferry service from Rhodes runs during summer and is a terrific opportunity to island hop, for Greek inspiration.
Fethiye is also home to ultramodern marinas where yacht and boat owners can book short and long-term berths. Before you travel to Turkey, buy an e-visa from the official government website. This entitles you to stay in Turkey for 90 days out of a 180-day period. If you plan to stay longer, you will need a residency visa instead.
Where to Stay and Hotel Accommodation
Although Fethiye town is the hub and busiest place, many tourists prefer the smaller resorts and their typical summer vibes. These include Oludeniz, Calis Beach, Hisaronu, and Ovacik. Gocek is another holiday destination with an upmarket vibe. Whichever you choose, a wide range of room only, bed-and-breakfast, self-catering, or all-inclusive accommodation are available.
In smaller resorts, clean but cheap hotels make a roaring trade with families. Otherwise sailing communities and celebrities hang out in luxury five-star plus hotels near the marina. Camping and Glamping have also taken off in Fethiye. Most sites are in the Faralya region and available to book online. They suit travellers who like to go off the beaten track and experience Mother Nature at her best.
Shopping, Nightlife and Eating Out
For everything and anything in one place, shop in Fethiye town centre. Families like Erasta shopping mall near the central bus station because you get food, kids entertainment and a vast choice of shops under one roof. Smaller resorts also have a wide selection of shops, but in particular souvenirs, jewellery and clothing, all of which are popular with tourists.
Fethiye’s nightlife scene is about the great outdoors and cool, evening air. Many restaurants offer perfect alfresco, and seaside dining, while conservationists in life enjoy plenty of sit-down family friendly bars. Head to the old part of the centre for live Turkish music or try bars in touristic parts like Hisaronu who play western tunes and do an excellent job of keeping kids entertained. We personally love upmarket restaurants near Fethiye marina for their exceptional dining menus.
Fresh fish and seafood lovers should also visit Fethiye fish market. Set in a large courtyard, choose your fish from vendors in the middle and take it to any of the surrounding restaurants. They will cook it to your liking and serve it with side dishes including salad, potatoes and the traditional Turkish mezes. Otherwise, budget travellers should seek out the popular Turkish lokantas, where you can buy a full plate of delicious Turkish food for next to nothing.
Using Local Transport
By far, the most popular method for getting about is local dolmus buses. Seating 20 people, they are frequent, cheap and run between the centre and all resorts. To go further afield to other places in Turkey, catch large 42-seater buses from Fethiye main bus centre. Only use licensed and yellow taxis, which you can call to your hotel, home or catch from designated taxi ranks on corners of main streets.
Otherwise, Dalaman airport and local shops also sell daily car hire, and by using the D400 highway, you can visit surrounding resorts like Kas, Kalkan and Marmaris. For a quirky method of transport, catch the water taxi from Fethiye to Calis or Solvaye Island, or Oludeniz to Butterfly Valley.
25 Major Attractions and Things to Do
- Visit Saklikent Gorge, also known as the hidden city and longest canyon in Turkey
- The Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz is by far Fethiye’s most famous landmark
- See crumbling but nostalgic ruins of 4 Christian churches on Gemiler Island
- Enjoy a 12-island daily boat cruise with swimming breaks in scenic coves and bays
- Walk the green canyon and see hidden waterfalls in Butterfly Valley
- Paraglide from Babadag mountain
- History lovers will enjoy Tlos ancient city ruins
- High in the hills, Yaka Park is a favourite, scenic place for lunch
- Book a local tour to the Dalyan ruins and mud baths just one hour away
- Trek parts of the 516-kilometre Lycian Way, home to many ancient ruins
- Enjoy a traditional Turkish bath to de-stress and cleanse your skin
- Shop in the large and traditional Tuesday market of Fethiye town
- Catch the ferry across to Rhodes for some Greek inspiration
- Marvel at the view from the Lycian rock tombs overlooking the centre
- Join a jeep, quad or horse safari to get off the beaten track
- The longest beach in Turkey, Patara is just an hour away
- Explore Kayakoy Ghost Village and eat lunch in a traditional restaurant serving lamb tandir
- Enjoy a slow stroll around the cobbled streets of Paspatur, the old town
- Belcekiz beach in Oludeniz is favoured for its sand and beautiful views
- Go to Calis beach, grab a cold beer in a beach-side restaurant and watch the sunset
- Fethiye Museum is small but full of interesting artefacts
- Splash around in the Calis and Oludeniz Waterparks
- Book a three-night blue voyage cruise on a traditional gulet boat to Antalya
- Book a tour to see Xanthos and Letoon, both UNESCO world heritage sites
- Hire a car for a road trip of all major attractions at your own pace
Fethiye Area Guide
Town Centre: Called Telmessos in ancient towns, the town is now a significant player and centre of excellence on the Turkish Riviera. Their excellent marina is proof of their expertise and known as the modern part of town. Otherwise, for nostalgic traces of bygone day and past civilisations, stroll around the harbour, Paspatur, the small amphitheatre and tour the Lycian rock tombs.As the centre of the region, this is where all the action is.
Calis Beach: Also called Calis, this small resort attracts many package holiday tourists but is also home to a large expat community who fell in love with the laid-back charms. The long beach and promenade, with many hotels, bars and restaurants can take credit for its success. Water sports enthusiasts also love the resort, because you can rent jet skis for the hour, and wind conditions make it an ideal spot for windsurfing.
Oludeniz: By far, this is one of the most scenic places of Mediterranean Turkey. The town is clean and easy to get about. As you approach Oludeniz from the backing hillside, you will get an idea of just how beautiful it is. Follow the main road leading to the beachfront, to arrive at masses of golden sand, the Mediterranean Sea and a stunning picture postcard view.
Hisaronu: Hisaronu has proven itself as the ideal holiday destination, garnering favour with British holidaymakers and expats. However, its success was accidental. As package holidays took off, demand for Oludeniz went crazy, but they couldn’t build any more hotels because of a lack of land. Hence they built in Hisaronu instead, and the village grew in size and popularity.
Ovacik: Like Hisaronu, Ovacik is set back from the coastline, at the foot of the Babadag mountain, but a quick bus ride takes you to Oludeniz promenade. Ovacik is lower key than Hisaronu, but both have a distinct advantage because their elevated land status ensures a gentle breeze, which is welcoming in the height of summer.
Uzumlu: Mainstream holiday companies stay away from the mountain resort of Uzumlu, but it is popular with expats and independent travellers. Many foreigners bought villas in the Uzumlu region, just because it offers excellent prices per square meter. Therefore they make up for the lack of being away from the coastline by having their own private swimming pools.
Gocek: As a crucial point of the Turkish Riviera, Gocek offers an upmarket lifestyle full of decadence and indulgence. Six ultramodern marinas accommodate the whims of the many luxury yachts docking in, during the sailing season from May to October. Called Kalimche in old times, the beaches are nothing to boast about, but spectacular coves, islands and bays sit just off the coastline. Building laws prohibit multi-story apartment buildings, so Gocek maintains it typical seaside ambience.
Kayakoy: This abandoned ghost village might seem like the weirdest place in Turkey, yet it is one of Fethiye’s top attractions with a small community of Turks and expats. People looking to buy authentic stone cottages for renovation or a quiet, rural lifestyle, often go to Kayakoy. Although it lacks significant amenities, these are all within a short bus ride to the town centre.
Living and Buying Property in Fethiye
Fethiye has a large expat community, many of whom are British. Attracted to the area because of beautiful landscapes, a healthy diet, and the Mediterranean climate, the excellent price of property is another incentive. As well as low priced apartments and luxury villas, the property portfolio also includes off plan, new build and resale homes.
See our Fethiye property portfolio here, or contact us today via email, telephone or by dropping into one of our regional offices to speak to knowledgeable sales consultants about investing in the Turkish real estate market.
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