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A Fethiye city guide – 2,400 years of history, paradise beaches, and Turkish delights

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Ancient rock tombs, sandy beaches and mouthwatering seafood lie in wait on a Fethiye city break. With a wonderful marina and lively nightlife, Fethiye is a haven for sun-lovers from around the world. However, this town is also home to pre-Roman Lycian relics and is the only city in the world where you’ll find sarcophagus in the streets. From the yachting town of Gocek to the beach resort of Calis, there is fun, mystery, adventure and cultural delights for everyone.

Mehmet Gozen

My Destination local expert on

Fethiye (Aegean Coast)

Historic treasures

 

In ancient times, Fethiye was the most important city in Lycia, one of the oldest Anatolian civilizations. Today the city’s rich past is evoked in Lycian rock tombs, Fethiye Castle and the Telmessos Ancient Theatre. Dating back from the 4th century BC, these majestic Lycian rock-cut tombs are the place where great rulers and their grand wealth were buried. Set by the harbor is the Telmessos Antique Theatre, built around the 2nd century with a capacity for 5,000 spectators. Built by the Knights of St John in the 11th century, the Fethiye Castle is a must-see for anyone interested in archaeological sites.

 

Natural wonders

 

History might have made Fethiye unique, but nature blessed the city with eternal beauty. Known as The Hidden City, Saklikent is a 300-deep canyon. Nature lovers will have the time of their lives trekking between the gorge’s sculpted walls, rock cliffs, plane trees and spring waters. Another unmissable natural wonder is The Blue Lagoon of Oludeniz, which breaks from the main beach to form a small cove. The beauty of this natural formation and emerald waters will dazzle visitors from far and wide. If you want to see something magnificent, visit Butterfly Valley, a deep gorge that features hidden waterfalls and sandy beaches.

 

Fun in the beach

 

Every summer, sun worshippers flock to the paradisiac beaches of Fethiye. Five kilometers from the town center is the long beach of Calis, a favorite holiday destination. Watch the sunset for a vision to last forever, sunbathe or practice a water sport in this fabulous beach. The famous beach of Oludeniz ranks among the top five beaches in the world and its warm temperature during the summer make it the ideal place to swim in its crystalline waters. Boasting secluded bays and modern marinas, Gocek is a great place to take a boat trip around spectacular islands, bays and forests.

 

Mezze, seafood and pastries

 

Traditional mezze and fresh seafood are a Fethiye must. Head over to Fethiye Fish Market, choose one of the fresh seafood they offer - such as bream, bass, prawns and calamari - and take it to one of the restaurants in the market to get it cooked. Traditional restaurants stand alongside fish and chips stores and many different establishments serving international food; from Chinese to Indian, Mediterranean or English cuisine, Fethiye caters to all tastes. At dusk, join the locals and indulge yourself in some sweet Turkish pastries.

 

Exhilarating activities

 

Fethiye is also a destination to experience some action. Prepare yourself for an adrenaline rush and go paragliding from Babadag Mountain and fly over paradisiac beaches, mountains and the Blue Lagoon. If you are into water sports, try out rafting and kayaking in the crystalline waters of Dalaman, Karacay and Esen. Discover a whole new world underwater by scuba diving in the crystal clear waters of Oludeniz, where the visibility is exceptional. Include yachting in your to-do list to explore secluded natural bays and the coves Fethiye is famous for.