History and Adventure Hand in Hand – Fethiye

History and Adventure Hand in Hand – Fethiye

Fethiye is a tourist town with an International atmosphere. It has a history of thousands of years. Fethiye is a vacation town not only due to its history but its wonderful beaches and adventure packed attractions.

Fethiye has an excellent marina and good night life. The town also serves as an excellent base for touring the inland country-side, and is probably the only city in the world where you’ll find sarcophagus in the streets. These pre-Roman Lycian relics are especially spectacular when floodlit at night. The town has a population of around 50,000 but the population increases dramatically during the high season, from April to end of October, when off-shore residents spend their summers at their second homes.

Summers are extremely hot with temperatures well above 40°C in July and August. Winters are cool with temperatures around 14-20°C. Spring and Autumn are the wettest seasons, yet still very sunny, which is the best time to go for people who want a warm holiday that is not too hot like the summer, with temperatures around 20-28°C.

Private cruise companies operate non-scheduled services to Marmaris and along the peninsula to Antalya. Day trips on wooden sailboats, called “gulets” include lunch and stops at different places. There are also catamarans from Rhodes, Greece, which run during the tourist season.


The nearest airports served by international airlines are at Antalya and Dalaman. Antalya is about three hours driving and Dalaman about one hour from Fethiye. There is a bus service from Dalaman Airport to Fethiye, run by Havaş.

D400 highway links Fethiye with north (Akyaka, Marmaris, and onward to Muğla and Southern Aegean) and east (Antalya), along the Lycian coast in the latter case. However, from Antalya, there is also a mountain road (numbered D350—and E87 for part of its route) through sparse juniper woods of inner Lycia, that is in quite good condition (if not actually better than coastal highway) via Korkuteli, which also has a branch going north to Denizli. D350 significantly shortcuts coastal D400, which has a good share of windings on its way along the heavily indented coastline.


The 2400 year old Lycian Amintas Rock Tombs are located in the cliff in the back of the town center. These massive rock cut tombs are very worth seeing as they are literally the symbol of the town offering superb views of the archipelago. It is a little hilly but a scenic walk to get up there. It is pretty straightforward route finding since the tombs are clearly visible from the harbor but you may also follow the road signs to navigate your route. There is an admission fee but they already look great from the entrance anyway.

The Lycian sarcophagus… There are a number of stone sarcophagii carved in typical Lycian style scattered around the town, with one of the most preserved ones lying in the yard of town governor’s office (kaymakamlık) at the main street and other on the middle of the road heading uphill towards the cave tombs and Kayaköy.

The Kadyanda Ancient City is a 2500 year old ancient city that opened its doors to visitors 10 years ago. The city is situated 24km away from Fethiye, and has a Hellenistic theatre, Roman baths, agora, temple and cave tombs.

Afkule is a ruined monastery that is worth visiting.

Beach activities like swimming, parasailing, paragliding, canoeing etc. are popular in Fethiye. The Dead Sea/Blue Lagoon, called “Ölüdeniz” in Turkish, has pretty warm water temperatures during summer season.

Fethiye marks the beginning of the Lycian Way – a 500 km marked hiking trail running to Antalya.

There is a tuesday Farmers’ Market hat you can visit.

Fethiye is one of the most popular places around Europe to try paragliding. The activity starts from Babadağ, a mountain around 1900 mt high, and ends on the beach after a nice trip above Ölüdeniz. There are many schools and training centers which can provide training even for fresh beginners, or you are free to enjoy tandem flights which include the pilot and a passenger.

The Fethiye Amphitheatre, a Roman Amphitheatre in the Fethiye Harbour) is a coastal amphitheatre dating back to Hellenistic times, as far back as Alexander the Great. It is free to visit.

Fethiye’s natural harbour is perhaps the region’s finest, tucked away in the southern reaches of a broad bay scattered with pretty islands, including Şövalye Adası, glimpsed briefly in the James Bond film Skyfall.

South of Fethiye, the picturesque valley dominated by the atmospheric, formerly Greek ghost-village of Kaya Köyü, made famous by the author Louis Des Bernieres in the novel Birds Without Wings, is attracting an increasing number of discerning visitors happy to forsake the pleasures of an easily accessible beach for the joys of a land-locked but lovely pastoral location. Exploring this eerie, abandoned Greek village is delightful.


The fish market in the middle of town is surrounded by small restaurants that will cook your own fish to your liking, very reasonable and delicious.

Saklikent Gorge is a stunning geological site located inland on the Teke Peninsula (between Fethiye and Antalya), about 40 km southeast of Fethiye. This is a great place for a leisurely hike. If you want to explore the gorge a bit further upstream, be prepared for some clambering and getting wet!

Butterfly Valley and Kabak, two isolated canyons bordering the seashore to the south of Fethiye. They both feature waterfalls. Butterfly Valley is a hippie haven situated in a narrow canyon with almost no overland connection to the rest of the world, while remoter Kabak is the perfect place to escape large tourist groups.

Weekly boat tours around the spectacular Lycian coast, also known as “Blue Cruise”, all the way east to Olympos can be arranged through numerous companies from Fethiye during the high season.