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Road Tripping Around Fethiye: Travel and Car Hire Tips

FethiyeThe Fethiye region is a highly popular destination in Turkey, not only for tourism but also for expat living. With an average of 300 days sunshine a year, locals have adapted to the influx of foreigners by providing most facilities, and amenities that enable expats to enjoy living abroad while still obtaining home comforts.

Exploration of the Fethiye region reveals charming sites that deserve full appreciation including surrounding villages, historic ruins, and beautiful natural landmarks. To get around, a regular public bus network exists, but the preferred method is by car. Sold locally in daily or weekly packages, car hire provides flexibility and avoids the need to stick to a fixed schedule.  

To get you started, here are suggestions of nearby towns and attractions, general driving rules for Turkey, and car hire tips. 
 
Surrounding Coastal Resorts to Visit
Each resort on the Mediterranean coast has distinctive character and appearance. The intrigue and delightful surprises prompt foreign visitors to explore each one individually. (All driving times and distances are from Fethiye town centre.)
 
The Small Village of Uzumlu
UzumluUzumlu, sitting high in the mountain terrains is growing from a small, traditional Uzumlu village to a popular destination for luxury holiday villas. An unspoilt ambience, scenic views, and friendly locals are the main attractions.

Due to popularity, the famous “Mushroom Festival,” held annually has transformed to become a local folklore event. The local market on a Friday is the best opportunity to gain a glimpse into life of this village. Cheap, organic fruit and vegetables are sold with the normal market banter and local women sell traditional Turkish fast food such as Gozleme. Also in this area are the small but impressive ruins of Cadianda.

Driving Time and Distance: 21 kilometres or 45 minutes 
 
Classy Gocek
Gocek marinaGocek is highly respected by fans of the Turkish Riviera. This chic yachting destination attracts affluent international visitors as well as Turks from the big cities, who dock expensive yachts and traditional gulet boats into the six fully equipped marinas dotting the coastline. Despite its luxurious vibes, part of the old town remains on the back streets. Lifelong locals owning establishment there, recall tales of traditional times and emphasis the agriculture importance of Gocek for Turkey.  

Driving Time and Distance: 32 kilometres or 55 minutes

Recommended Restaurant: West Café Bistro serves a traditional Turkish menu with an upmarket twist. Visitors also eagerly devour European coffee and succulent seafood dishes. 
 
Stunning Olu Deniz
Olu denizTypically marketed as a cheap, budget destination, Olu Deniz is a favourite holiday resort for British tourists. The resort provides them with British food and entertainment but part of the lure is the beautiful landscape. A long sandy beach is government protected from development, and at the end is the famous Blue Lagoon, that features in most mainstream travel publications for Turkey. Every morning, from the main beach, a water taxi sails to the hippy inspired and artistic ambience of Butterfly Valley, an ideal place for snorkelling and trekking. 

Driving Time and Distance: 10 kilometres or half an hour

Recommended Restaurant: Joseph’s restaurant on the main street attracts repeat visitors, time after time. They serve a typical British menu including breakfast and lunch but international dishes are also served. You will simply love all that Oludeniz offers
 
Charismatic Kas
KasEverything that you would expect from a typical Mediterranean destination exists in Kas. Whitewashed houses with wooden window shutters, pink bougainvillea and seaside restaurants have made it popular with many nationalities. Well known as a scuba diving and paragliding hotspot, there is also a small but intact ampitheatre on the outskirts. Exploration and sports are just part of the attraction though, because Kas promotes a laid-back ambience of wandering cobbled streets, browsing through souvenirs shops and people watching while sipping on frappe coffee.

Driving Time and Distance: 110 kilometres or 2 hours

Recommended restaurant: Ratatouille serves excellent cuisine, and fine wines. Situated on the main square, close to the harbour, it is a small but friendly establishment.
 
Luxurious Kalkan
KalkanAs a luxurious destination on the Mediterranean coast, Kalkan is also a haven for Turkish artists who flock there, seeking inspiration and vibes. The cobbled streets house small boutique shops, an art gallery, and cosmopolitan seaside cafes. 

Driving time and Distance: 80 kilometres or 1 hour 30 minutes

Recommended Restaurant: With a sea view, Sade restaurant is popular with families, couples, and groups of friends. They have a standard menu including steaks, but it is the chef’s attention to detail that earned them a highly respected reputation. 
 
Rustic Dalyan
DalyanDalyan stands in a market of its own when comparing it to other destinations in Turkey. Despite its popularity in tourism, it remains a rustic village. The charming and friendly village is a delight to explore and surrounding attractions include the sulphur mud baths, sandy Iztru beach, Lycian rock tombs, and ruins of Caunos. 

Driving time and distance: 63 kilometres or 1 hour 30 minutes

Recommended restaurant: Café central serves hundreds of traditional Turkish dishes every week, along with a few international choices for fussy eaters. Well respected for its excellent quality of food at reasonable prices, this establishment is also a favourite with ex-pats.  
 
Other Nearby Attractions
Ten minutes away from Fethiye is the Ghost village of Kayakoy. Listed by UNESCO as a world friendship destination, this small village housed Turks and Greeks, living side by side with no conflict. After the Turkish war of Independence, an official treaty forced Greeks to return to their homeland and vice versa with Turks. However, the returning Turks could not adapt to life as farmers because their trades were different from those of the former occupants. Eventually, the village was deserted but houses, churches and schools are still intact. 
Kayakoy housesYaya Park

Yakapark is a quirky restaurant high in the mountains. They operate a nearby trout farm and regularly serve BBQ fish for lunch. Although at a long distance, the scenic drive makes it worthwhile. 

Saklikent Gorge is a natural canyon, of which no one is entirely sure how it was formed. Traditional restaurants, near the gorge serve tasty gozleme, a Turkish version of crepe served sweet or savoury. Experienced trekkers can walk along the gorge but for novices and sightseers, the main entrance view is enough to grasp an idea of the power of Mother Nature.  
Saklikent gorgeTlos

The historical ruins of Tlos date from the Lycian Empire that occupied the coastline until roughly 500BC. Restored Roman baths, and an agora ensure interesting viewing but the prize are the majestic Lycian near the old castle. Overlook Xanthos valley, they are marvellously intact.
 
Car Hire Tips and Driving Rules
Turkey has one of the highest prices in the world for petrol but many car rental suppliers also lease diesel cars, to cut travelling costs.

By law, suppliers should provide you with a contract. You will need your passport and international driving licence when signing it. The legal age to drive in Turkey is 18.

Inspect the vehicle for damage before signing paperwork. Ensure that all existing damage is noted on the contract. When leaving the car hire centre, remember to drive on the right. 

The number of the traffic police is 155 / 154, but if you have an accident, also ring the car hire contractor. In the boot of the car should be two warning triangles, to place at the front and rear of your vehicle until the police come. 

Occasionally, local gendarmes make roadside stops at entrances to villages and towns. They will ask to see your passport, driving licence, and car documentation. These are just routine stops but ensure you have those papers in the car wherever you drive.
Driving views

On most major roads, speed control is in operation. A car sitting by the roadside has fully installed speed radars to record drivers speed. If you are over the limit, another patrol roughly 300 to 500 metres further along the road, will stop you, and issue a fine. Instructions will be given on how to pay it.

Kilometres are used for speed limits and within towns; it is 50 km/h, 90km/h on major roads and 120 on motorways. Seat belts are mandatory. 

The drink-driving limit is 0.05% but it is wise to refrain from alcohol completely. Breathalysers are used and penalties are severe.

In some places, the attitude of Turkish drivers alarm foreign visitors but do not let this deter you. Just pay the same amount of attention that you would do in European countries and do not presume the actions of other drivers. Lack of use for indictors is the most common.

Traffic on roundabouts do not have right-of-way. In certain towns, you may even have to stop twice, to let oncoming traffic in front of you. In busy areas, traffic lights are installed on most roundabouts.

Avoid driving at nighttime in remote areas, because of a lack of streetlights and poorly constructed roads with potholes.

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