Fethiye Travel Guide
Fethiye Marina © Natalie Sayin
The small port town and holiday retreat of Fethiye
occupies the site of the ancient city Telmessos, with an impressive
ancient theatre and numerous Lycian rock tombs. Situated at the
head of a pretty island-strewn bay, Fethiye is a popular holiday
destination on the stretch of the Mediterranean known as the
The town absorbs the tourist traffic and still
retains a sense of its old-fashioned rural character, with herds of
goats and sheep blocking the roads on market days and the smell of
herbs and spices in the air. Around Fethiye are numerous unspoiled
rocky coves and beaches, crystalline seas, offshore islands,
cliffs, and pine-covered mountains affording as much holiday
relaxation or activity as one chooses.
Shopping The Tuesday bazaar is the biggest in the area and is a must for
bargain hunters. In the town centre there are craft shops making
everything from carpets and kilims to lace and leather
goods. The gold shopping presents opportunities for good deals. Be
prepared to haggle, but be wary of touts who try to sell you
antiques, which are illegal to export.
Restaurants There is a good selection of restaurants on the harbour front
and in the narrow streets of the old town with an emphasis on local
cuisine, though you'll find plenty of English-style eateries as
well. La Cantana Pesa Kebab is a popular restaurant with
reasonably-priced dinners, and Cafe Genis is a great spot for
people-watching. There are several good wine houses which offer a
selection of local varietals.
Nightlife Much of the nightlife in Fethiye is hosted by resorts and
hotels. The Paspatir old town has a number of bars and clubs
ranging from traditional Turkish music to live cabaret and discos,
while the Belcegiz Beach promenade has a few loud clubs. There are
also two cinemas in town.
Activities Fethiye is home to several remarkable ancient sites. The most
conspicuous are the Lycia rock tombs dating from the 4th century BC
and carved in the hillside above the town. The Fethiye Museum is
also highly regarded for its collections of ancient artefacts.
Beside the Fethiye Harbour is the Roman amphitheatre and the
crumbling remains of a medieval castle built by the Knights of St
John. Gulets (sturdy wooden yachts) can be hired in
Fethiye's harbour for day trips around these coastal waters.
The beach resort of Oludeniz is just 25 minutes away by
dolmus (local minibuses) and offers numerous activities,
including parasailing, pedal boats, banana boating, diving,
snorkelling, water-skiing, and most famously paragliding. Butterfly
Valley and Kabak are nearby canyons that both feature good hiking
Negatives A lack of signs in the city make it difficult to find points of