Fethiye’s a virtual playground for children. Lovely beaches, friendly shops and cafes and green hills just waiting to be explored mean you’re never short of an activity for your little ones.
We’ve rounded up the best things to do with children in Fethiye
Fethiye is full of gorgeous beaches, and many are safe for children. Try Calis Beach
, busy over the summer months but perfect for children with its gently sloping sandy shore. Oludeniz Beach is the area’s most famous
, and is great for children with its sheltered beach and lagoon. Or hop on a dolmus to a more secluded bay: try Aksazlar Bay, Samanlik Bays, Boncuklu or Kuleli. Bear in mind that Sundays can get busy with Turkish families hitting the beach so it might be worth exploring further afield - Ksazlar Bay (before Letoonia Club Hotel), Samanlik Bays, Kuleli, Boncuklull of these bays on the Fethiye Peninsula trek. Sundays will be very busy with Turkish families.
When the sun goes down on Fethiye summer evenings, the fountains turn on and light up. The fountains of Ugur Mumcu Park, behind the town square, appear to “dance” to the music and light up with brilliant flashes of colour. The fountains turn on each evening during the summer season, and times for the fountain shows are posted around the park.
On a rare wet day it’s worth popping into Fethiye
Museum with your older children. Located off the main street, the small but almost perfectly formed museum contains Lycian artifacts from the Bronze, Archaic, Hellenistic and Roman ages, including coins, statues, ornaments, pieces of tombs, jewellery and vases. One fascinating exhibit is the ‘trilingual stele’ from Letoon, a grave artifact that was crucial in the deciphering of the Lycian language. Outside there’s an open air gallery with more fascinating exhibits.
A number of tour operators offer 12 island tours, which is a leisurely island-to-island trip that takes in five of the quiet islands off the shores of nearby Gocek
, and views the remaining seven. There are plenty of stops for swims and sunbathing and lunch is generally provided. 12 island tours usually take the whole day so these trips won’t be suitable for very young children. There are tours that take in just three islands, popular with holidaymakers who want to start their day a little later. Another alternative is to get a group together - befriend another family, for example - and charter a private boat.
An off-road, open-top jeep safari is a great way to see the Turkey that a lot of beach-loving tourists never experience. Jeep safaris take in Fethiye’s natural surroundings and ancient ruins, including the ancient city of Tlos. You’ll see Saklikent Canyon, where you’ll have the opportunity to walk through the cool gorge, and splash in the waters, and you might have the chance to visit some mud pools. Lunch will usually be provided. Not suitable for very young children.
If you’d like to see the surrounding area at a slightly slower - and quieter - pace, you have the option to go on a horseback tour of the area. Tours vary but we recommend taking a horseback trip to the ancient ghost town of Kayakoy. Riding experience isn’t necessary but small children should be left at home.
Visit an aqua park
There are two aqua parks in Fethiye. Oludeniz Water World is in Ovacik
, and is newer (and better) has nine slides, a children’s pool, wave pool and general swimming pool. There’s a restaurant and two bars and a couple of cafes serving up Turkish food. A children’s club is ideal for kids who are confident enough to spend a bit of time away from parents. The older Sultan’s Aqua Park in Fethiye has lots of slides and pools, entertainment for the kids and lots of sunbeds and shade for parents.
For just a few lira your little ones can expend their energy on the huge trampolines at Olgun Trampolin on Cahit Gunduz Street. While your children jump frantically on the trampolines (which are surrounded by safety nets) parents can relax with a cup of cay and have a bit of adult time.
If your kids are good eaters (and let’s face it, Turkey is a great place to introduce them to fresh new flavours) they’ll enjoy the local dishes Fethiye has to offer. Look for gozleme and nar suyu (pancakes and pomegranate juice), fresh figs, cheese, Turkish delight and nuts at the Tuesday farmers market. Head to Popeye’s boat restaurant for fish sandwiches, or pick out some fresh seafood at the Fethiye fish market and have someone cook it for you on the spot. Try an iskender (slices of lamb doner over grilled bread, covered with tomato and butter) from Bursa, on Ataturk Street across from the post office. The great thing about Fethiye is that everyone is friendly and accepting of children, and taking them out to eat - and that includes even the smallest children - is hassle-free.
Gorgeous Yaka Park is an ideal spot to relax and unwind while your kids play on the grass - and tickle the local trout. Located high above the Xanthos Valley, 45 minutes from Fethiye Centre, the cool breeze and ample shade at Yaka is a refreshing change after the seaside heat. The restaurant sits within ample grounds that are filled with waterfalls, streams, shady trees and lots of seating areas. There is often trout in the pool area that kids can get up close and personal with, and at the right time of year you can see baby trout. The food is good: simple, but high quality. Sample the pancakes, meatballs, mezes, salads and - naturally - trout.