Visit Fethiye: Turkey Travel Guide

Fethiye, Turkey is the perfect blend of beautiful nature scenes, rich history, and incredible food that you’ll miss when traveling to the next city. This city is found on the Aegean Coast and, while on the smaller side, presents a long list of activities to pursue.

From ancient ruins to bayside restaurants with stunning sunset views, adding Fethiye to your travel list is a must when you visit Turkey. We’ve compiled this Turkey travel guide filled with activities, restaurants, accommodations, and tips to aid you in planning a trip inside Fethiye’s city walls.

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running.

Table of Contents

Fethiye Fast Facts

BEST TIME TO GO
April–October
POPULATION
163,000
CURRENCY
Turkish Lira (TL)
PLUGS
Standard C | 220 V | 50 Hz
CLIMATE
Hot humid summers
Mild spring & fall
Cold rainy winter
BEST TRIP TYPES
Beach
Historical
Food
Slow

Brief History of Fethiye

Fethiye Turkey was one of the important Lycian cities many years ago. The residents even had their own Lycian language. Initially, it was named Telmessos, meaning city of lights. This name is rooted in legends, noting a love story between the god Apollo and a princess. It is said Telmessos is the name of their son.

This ancient city was found nestled between Lycia and Karya. It grew famous for housing prophets who helped shape the course of Fethiye. Telmessos exchanged hands (and names) multiple times throughout its history. It is now recognized as Fethiye/Muğla.

Starting in 500 BC, Telmessos became a Persian empire. At this point, Telmessos was part of the Attic Maritime Union (also known as the Delian League). Though, it departed from this union shortly after.

Then, in the 300’s, Alexander the Great took reign over Telmessos. It was then owned by multiple kings, the Romans, the Ottoman Empire, and Turkey. Because of Fethiye’s involvement with many cultures, ancient buildings and historical sites with different influences reside in this ancient city, like a Roman theater and stone tombs.

Fethiye, Turkey Essentials

Museum Pass Aegean | 360 TL

Get access to 13 museums to visit over 5 days in Fethiye and the Aegean region, including Ephesus. You can purchase the card through the website, at the first museum you visit or on the Museums of Turkey app. If you’re traveling to other reagions, get the Museum Pass the covers access to museums in ALL of Turkey for 15 days for 600 TL. 

Download the Museums of Turkey App

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fethiye boat harbor

How to Get to Fethiye from Istanbul

Not sure how to get to Fethiye? Here are a few tips to get you to you there from Istanbul

By Airline

The quickest travel method for reaching Fethiye is by airplane. There are multiple airports in the vicinity of Fethiye, though the closest is Dalaman Airport. If you’re in Istanbul already, it will only be about an hour to get to this airport. From here, it’s another 40-minute trip by car to Fethiye. Though, you can also take the bus.

By Bus

The buses run from every major city in Turkey to Fethiye, including Pummakale, Istanbul, Antalya, Izmir, Bodrum, etc. Typically, taking a bus to Fethiye is the cheapest option, though it has a much longer travel time. For example, Istanbul to Fethiye will take about 14 hours via this travel method.

By Car

Driving is another available option, though it also has a longer lead time. If you drive from Istanbul to Fethiye, you’ll have about a 16-hour trip ahead. However, if you’re in nearby cities like Patara or Kalkan, the drive is only about two hours.

where to stay fethiye

Where to Stay

Fethiye, Turkey is a stunning destination. However, you only need 1-2 days to explore the area. If you intend to absorb as much of the local culture as possible by staying longer, there are plenty of hotels and accommodations to stay at.

Jiva Beach Resort

Jiva Beach Resort resides in Fethiye/Muğla, directly on Calis Beach. This location is a luxury resort with a long list of accommodations, like a lagoon, providing a relaxed feeling during your stay.

There is one main restaurant, a snack restaurant, multiple a la carte options, a lounge, and bars to enjoy. Adults will love the spa and pool that hosts parties in the evening. You can choose between a standard suite or a family-friendly suite. With a game center, waterslides, and more, your children will love staying here.

Orka Boutique Hotel

The Orka Boutique Hotel is located in the middle of Fethiye, offering easy access to nearby tourist attractions. It has a more modern, simple décor with stunning views of the nearby sea from each window.

This hotel has friendly staff, exquisite views, and a complimentary breakfast.

Alesta Yacht Hotel

The Alesta Yacht Hotel resides at the conjunction of the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, offering views of the marina, Fethiye Bay, and the town of Fethiye during a stay. Guests can enjoy a trip on one of the hotel’s many yachts. Other amenities include a beach club and a spa on the premises.

This hotel is only a few minutes from the center of Fethiye on foot.

Remer Hotel

The Remer Hotel is a mid-tier hotel (3-stars) that is a few steps away from Calis Beach. This family-owned hotel offers a cozy place for families, couples, and solo travelers. There’s a breakfast and dinner buffet available daily at the hotel, with the option to add snacks a la carte.

There’s an outdoor pool with bar service to enjoy in the summer. In the winter, guests can take advantage of an indoor bar. Each hotel room offers views of the nearby mountains.

Yacht Boheme Hotel

The Yacht Boheme Hotel is also a mid-tier hotel in Fethiye Turkey. It’s nearby Fethiye’s beaches (private and public) and offers pretty views of the marina. This hotel features trendy décor, complimentary breakfast, and an outdoor pool with a poolside bar and restaurant.

Other amenities include a spa, bohemian-style rooms, and the option to add a sailing experience to your itinerary. You can walk about 20-minutes from the Yacht Boheme Hotel and reach the Tomb of Amyrntas. 

What to Do

Fethiye, Turkey has many activities to enjoy ranging from historic sites to museums and natural scenery. These activities are family-friendly and fun for everyone. You’ll want to add these to your itinerary during a stay in Fethiye.

lycian rock tombs fethiye

Fethiye Rock Tombs

The Lycian Rock Tombs combine temple-style tombs and one civil architecture-style tomb. These tombs sit on a rugged slope and are carved into the rocks that naturally occur in the area.

These tombs held royals as a final resting place. They have a Lycian origin and were built around 350 BC. Here, the Tomb of Amynthas can be found, named after the inscription next to the tomb.

Visiting the Fethiye Rock Tombs has been a popular activity since the 1700s and continues to be a significant draw for visitors in the area. You can expect to see impressive columns at the entrance to the tombs.

fethiye boat trips

Fethiye Boat Trips

As Fethiye is located next to the Mediterranean Sea, many people choose to enjoy a boat trip. Most of the trips last anywhere from six hours to 10 hours, with some extended to a few days.

Cruising through the water, you’ll be able to see additional Fethiye attractions like Butterfly Valley, swim in the turquoise water, and enjoy meals aboard the boat. There are quite a few options for boat trips, so it’s easy to choose one that includes activities you and your family enjoy. 

oludeniz

Ölüdeniz & Butterfly Valley

Ölüdeniz is a tiny village on the coastline of southeastern Turkey, near the city center of Fethiye. It’s famous for tandem paragliding and is most often visited for its lovely beach and lagoon. Ölüdeniz Beach is a must-see for travelers in the area. This beach sits on a protected lagoon and offers views of Mt. Baba and the adjacent national park.

For those looking for an additional activity after spending time in Ölüdeniz, Butterfly Valley is accessible by boat or steep hike (recommended only for advanced hikers). Butterfly Valley is a rich, small green area between the Seven Capes. It’s home to Jersey Tiger butterflies, which give this valley its name. 

calis beach sunset

Calis Beach Sunset

Calis Beach is one of the most highly visited spots in Fethiye Turkey. It features a long sandy beach with restaurants, bars, and hotels that stretch alongside it. Many people head to Calis Beach to see the sunset, which offers a pretty view with a backdrop of the nearby islands.

This beach is only a short distance from the center of Fethiye, making it an easy stop during a trip to this city. It’s also a great way to escape the hot weather during the day.

karakoy greek village

Kayaköy

You’ll need about half a day to explore Kayaköy, a nearby attraction that’s easily accessible from Ölüdeniz Beach. There are two versions of Kayaköy – the ancient city with interesting ruins to explore and the current Kayaköy.

The Kayaköy ruins sit on top of a hillside and feature crumbling churches and old houses. In the early 1900s, this was an Ottoman Greek village. Due to the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, the residents were required to move back to Greece, leaving the village behind. It’s a unique place to explore, allowing you to see into the past of what was once a thriving community.

Afterward, head to the updated village of Kayaköy at the bottom of the hill to shop, grab a bite to eat, and view the ruins from a different perspective.

saklikent gorge fethiye

Saklikent Gorge

Saklikent Gorge is a national park in Fethiye featuring one of the deepest canyons globally. While its name means “hidden city,” many people travel to this location weekly to get away from the summer heat. You’ll be taken on a path through the steep gorge walls that lead to a river water-filled swimming pool, shallow river, and a waterfall.

Rafting down the river is an available activity, though it’s not advised for younger children due to the strong river current. You can also elect to take a mud bath while visiting Sklikent Gorge.

After exploring Saklikent Gorge, there are small shops to check out along the river. Plus, a restaurant offering exquisite Turkish tea.

You can generally escape the crowds earlier in the season, though not on Sundays.

Fethiye Museum

It’s worth stopping at Fethiye Museum (distinguished by the word MÜZE above the front door). This museum holds some of the archeological finds of Fethiye, including well-preserved Roman statues.

Besides statues found at excavation sites, jewelry, pots, and coins are found on display at Fethiye Museum. It’s a smaller museum, so it will likely only take about an hour to walk through and look at all of the displays.

where to eat fethiye

Where to Eat

Fethiye, Turkey features many restaurant options throughout, making it challenging to choose only a few, especially during a shorter trip. The below choices are local favorites that offer the most authentic Turkish cuisine options.

Kayıp Cennet Restaurant

In Saklikent Gorge, there is only one recommended restaurant – Kayıp Cennet Restaurant. It’s located above the bridge, offering pretty views of the Gorge as you eat. You can choose between sitting at one of the available tables or sitting next to the river while enjoying lunch at this spot.

For only 10 Turkish lira, you can enjoy the buffet here with a spread of salads, pasta, etc. After selecting your sides from the buffet, the restaurant will grill up your choice of protein.

If possible, try to arrive before the daily Jeep tours. Otherwise, you will be battling crowds at this popular restaurant.

King’s Garden Restaurant

King’s Garden Restaurant is located nearby the Lycian Tombs in Fethiye. There are views of the Fethiye Harbor, bay, tombs, and the city from this restaurant. It’s especially appealing during the sunset.

King’s Garden Restaurant offers traditional Turkish food and is a great spot to enjoy during a visit to the tombs. Depending on the hotel you stay in, there may also be free transport to and from the restaurant.

Pasa Kebap

Pasa Kebap is a local favorite, offering various kebab options along with mezze, soup, and more. Every guest is served complimentary bread and small appetizers as you decide on your meal.

As this restaurant is usually quite busy, it’s best to make a reservation.

Carikli Et Restaurant

Carikli Et Restaurant is owned by butchers and offers delicious steak and burger options. It’s located right by the sea, so you can enjoy pretty views as you eat dinner.

For those that are vegetarian, there are a few options to choose from. However, some options like the halloumi burger still come with meat even though it’s not listed on the menu.

Bogazici Restaurant

If you’re exploring the promenade of Fethiye, the Bogazici Restaurant is great to enjoy lunch with views of the nearby bay. This restaurant offers Turkish and Mediterranean-style food with options like chicken schnitzel, kebabs, seafood spring rolls, and more.

This restaurant is affordable and a local favorite. Friendly staff and a long list of options await you at Bogazici Restaurant.

fehtiye turkey

Final Thoughts on Fethiye Turkey

Fethiye, Turkey is an incredible destination for families, couples, and solo travelers with its diverse attraction offerings. Whether visiting museums and ancient ruins, rafting through the gorge or enjoying a sunset at Calis Beach, the activities are endless in this city rooted in history.

The Turkey travel guide above will help you navigate Fethiye like a local. This way, you can enjoy the best restaurants, attractions, and accommodations regardless of how many days you stay.

Planning on visiting other coastal towns in Turkey? Check out our Kas and Mediterranean Travel Guide. 

Some links on this page are affiliate links—that means that at no extra cost to you, we earn a small commission if you book through these links, and that helps keep this blog running.

visit fethiye turkey travel guide
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Family Travel to Turkey: Enes and Dania

Hi, we're Dania & Enes

We’re an American Turkish couple who’ve worked in the tourism industry and traveled extensively in Turkey. We understand that it can be overwhelming to plan a trip to Turkey when you don’t know where to go, where to stay and the best way to get there. We’re dedicated to helping you confidently plan a trip to Turkey and have a more authentic experience when you get there.

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Play Turkey Travel BINGO!

We’ve created FOUR Turkey specific bingo games to make your trip even MORE FUN.
Included are some insider tips on what to see and eat in Istanbul!