What does Fethiye mean?
The word Fethiye is derived from the Arabic word Fath, which means victory. The Ottoman Turks gave the name to the town in honour of Sultan Fathi I who conquered the area in 1488.
Fethiye is pronounced Fett-eye-yuh.
The Fethiye area is a beautiful place to visit. Fethiye is on the south-western shore of Fethiye Gulf Bay and is surrounded by mountains often referred to as the Turquoise coast. The slopes and hills of which are covered with cedar and pine forests, but wintertime covered in snow.
The biggest mountains:
- Babadag (The Father’s Mountain – 1,969 m) and
- Mendos mountain both covered with snow.
Also, you can drive up to Nif Village too, when you want to get Christmas feeling and build your snowman all winter months around.
The bay’s peaceful atmosphere is complemented by the dozens of islands that surround Fethiye, making it an excellent spot for yachting and providing shelter from strong winds.
What is Fethiye famous for?
Fethiye is famous for its beautiful mountain scenery, turquoise waters and sandy beaches. Fethiye is also a great place to go rafting, hiking or paragliding. It’s no wonder Fethiye is such a popular tourist destination!
The most famous picture often representing Turkey is Oludeniz (Dead Sea). You can see that literally everywhere!
It’s not just a sign or symbol- it really reminds us what our country stands for: water, sun and vacation spots at every turn.
Famous paragliding Mecca – Oludeniz with Babadag mountain.
I can tell you why paragliding here is so famous. It has heights, sea underneath, easy to take off to master many acrobatic tricks over safe sea to learn and manage landing safely.
And if you fail – the worst what can happen – you land in the sea and professionals are waiting to pick you up out of the water. Done.
Therefore, don’t miss your paragliding experience.
Fethiye area expat zone
Fethiye is popular with many international tourists, but predominantly the British. The area has a large all-year-round expat community living in Ovacik (Ovacık), Tasyaka (Taşyaka), Deliktas (Deliktaş) and Calis (Calış).
The more remote areas of Yaniklar (Yanıklar), Kemer and Uzumlu (Yeşil Üzümlü)–on the outskirts of town–also have a large expat presence and are highly developing areas.
You can sign up for Facebook and join to Fethiye area expat zone here.
Fethiye, what to see?
Fethiye is a great place to spend a few days exploring. There’s plenty to see and do in the town center, including shopping, dining, sightseeing and nightlife.
If you’re looking for something more adventurous, there are also plenty of options for activities such as paragliding, jet skiing, diving and fishing.
Fethiye is also a great base for exploring the surrounding area. There are many beautiful villages and towns to visit nearby, as well as some excellent beaches.
Whatever your interests, Fethiye has something to offer everyone.
Many people know of the famous beach resort of Oludeniz with its stunning Blue Lagoon and Calis beach famous for its spectacular sunsets. However, these are just two of the many beaches in the region.
Kidrak Beach, also known as Paradise beach is a quiet little haven located further around the bay from Oludeniz. It’s not visited often by mass tourism but usually has an active population on weekends when you’ll see many people walking along beaches or playing in water filled pits next to stones
The views overlooking Gemiler beach are breathtaking. Take the long and winding mountain road through Kayakoy ghost village, then keep driving until you get halfway down where it will amaze you at least once more with its beauty before ending up in front of St Nicholas Island or Faralya area depending on which way your going!
The beach is a great place to spend the day with your family. You can enjoy drinks at one of many cafes or get some snacks from their vendors, then head out on watersports such as surfing and kayaking!
The water at the beach is pebbly, so be mindful of rocks as you enter.
The Tuesday market is a great place to find deals on anything you might need. It’s the biggest event where locals do markets, so it must be seen!
What day is Fethiye market
Right in the centre of Fethiye, every Tuesday there is a very busy market, selling an array of goods, with a vast selection of locally grown fruit and vegetables, leather goods, dried herbs, spices and clothing.
But you can visit markets almost every day of the week in different locations of Fethiye. By the way, Monday Market is in Ovacik too – up the road from Oludeniz.
There is also a shopping mall Erasta in the Tasyaka area. A modern two-floor centre, with designer shops, shoe shops, big Migros supermarket and a food hall with a selection of fast food outlets.
The old town of Paspatur is a lovely shopping experience, with traditional style shops lining the alleyways selling handmade rugs, Turkish ceramics, linen clothes, beautiful glass mosaic lamps and an abundance of other traditional Turkish goods.
What’s more to offer than a marketplace with all your needs met? There you will find also an Umbrella street that has clothing and spice shops for anything in need.
An evening out in Fethiye should be on your to-do list on your visit to the area.
The local fish market in the centre of the town is an experience you will never forget. Set in an enclosed square with central stalls selling almost every type of fish you could wish for.
Choose your fish and then decide which of the restaurants you would like to eat in. The fish monger will prepare your fish ready to cook and they will deliver it to your table freshly cooked and served with salad, a plate of mixed meze (cold snacks with yoghurt or other sauces) and soft fresh bread.
The national drink of Raki is also a brilliant complement to the fish. It tastes similar to Greek Raki Ouzo, usually mixed with water, but Turkish Raki is sharper. But magic works either way – mixing transparent Ouzo or Raki with water – drink turns white! Magic, isn’t it?
It’s quite potent, so probably not a good idea if you are not a fish lover. Take a walk along the harbor, where you will find an array of fine waterfront restaurants offering a wide variety of dishes, from steaks to traditional Turkish dishes.
This part of town really is a beautiful setting, for a nice romantic dinner for two as you watch the amazing sunsets and the town’s lights glistening across the water.
Most of Fethiye’s nightlife is in the old town of Paspatur, with a strip of bars and nightclubs mostly frequented by locals. The strip gets very busy later in the evening with seating areas lining the street and live music playing – the atmosphere is electric.
Hisaronu is another great place for nightlife, though more tourist orientated, with an abundance of bars and nightclubs.
The bars play more international music and are having more live music shows in recent years, rather than the old favourite karaoke.
The nightclubs are open to the early hours, and play a good mix of Turkish and international music, often with well-known DJ’s visiting for the evening.
Fethiye is awash with history and there are so many wonderful historical sights to visit and explore.
A visit to Kayakoy, also known as the Ghost village, is a must. It takes around 30 minutes on the local Dolmuş (mini bus) from Fethiye. There is a small fee to enter the site of the Greek ruins, but it’s worth it to see the fantastic sites of the old churches, school and around 500 abandoned Greek houses.
While exploring, you can pop into one of the many restaurants for a traditional Gozleme (Gözleme) – stuffed pancake with plenty of fillings to choose from as chocolate, feta cheese and spinach, minced meat and cheese baked on a special round pan (could be like wok pan with open fire underneath), or a nice cold beer and swim in the pool.
Another fantastic site to visit is the Lycian Rock Tombs, which are carved into the cliffs overlooking the bay of Fethiye. It is a bit of an uphill climb but well worth it even if it is just for the amazing views of Fethiye.
Ancient Lycian Site of Tlos
Tlos is an important Lycian archaeological site. The city was occupied by the Persians, Greeks, and Romans.
The ancient theatre at Tlos is well preserved and in use today for concerts and cultural events.
There are also many other interesting structures to see at the site, including a stadium, baths, temples, and rock-cut tombs. Admission is free and it’s easy to spend a few hours exploring this fascinating place.
Saklikent (Saklıkent – Hidden city)
The Saklikent Gorge is a natural wonder located in Fethiye district of Muğla Province, Turkey.
The gorge was formed by the river flowing through the limestone mountains over centuries. The river has worn away the soft rock to create a deep and narrow canyon.
Saklikent is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Fethiye and well worth a visit if you’re in the area. There’s a small entrance fee, but it’s worth it to explore this amazing place. You can walk, climb or raft through the gorge. Be prepared for some wet and wild fun!
Xanthos was one of the most important cities in Lycia and was occupied by the Persians, Greeks, and Romans. The city is known for its many rock-cut tombs including the Tomb of Payava.
Today, Xanthos is an archaeological site open to visitors. Admission is free and it’s easy to spend a few hours exploring this fascinating place.
Amynthas Rock Tomb
The tomb is carved into a large rock and was used as a necropolis during the Lycian period. It’s an interesting example of Lycian architecture and well worth a visit if you’re in the area.
The monastery was founded in the 11th century and is home to many beautiful Byzantine-era frescoes. It’s an interesting place to visit if you’re interested in Byzantine art or history.
There are so many excursions on offer, that you may be a little spoilt for choice. One of the most popular daily trips in Oludeniz is the 6 Island boat trip. It takes just from Oludeniz beach at 11 am and lasts till 5 pm. You will step off the boat at 6 locations:
- Cold water spring
- Camel beach
- Butterfly Valley
- Blue Cove
- St. Nicholas Island
- Aquarium Cove
12 Island boat trips leave from the Fethiye harbor around 10 am and head off around the bay, making several stops at some of the secluded bays including:
- Kizil Adalar (Red Islands)
- Tavşan Adası (Rabbit Island)
- Yassıada (Flat Island)
- Sazlıada (Willow Island)
where you can go off on foot and explore or simply take a dip in the cool Mediterranean waters.
It really is a great way to see much of Fethiye that you would not normally get to see.
Fethiye offers some of the most spectacular coastal views for paragliders to safely enjoy. Fethiye’s peak season for paragliding runs from April through November when the weather is best.
Skywalk Fethiye Cable Car – Top Attraction of Fethiye
Fethiye Skywalk or Fethiye Teleferik, as the locals call it, is a great way to see Fethiye from above. You can take in spectacular views of Fethiye and its surrounding area with ease on this cable car ride.
The one-way trip takes about 12 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time to snap some amazing photos too!
Areas in Fethiye to Consider Living
If you’re considering moving to Fethiye, here are some areas that are worth checking out:
- Ovacik (Ovacık) and Hisaronu (Hisarönü) are popular expat areas located on the outskirts of Fethiye. It’s a great place to live with plenty of restaurants and bars, and stunning views of the mountains.
- Hisaronu (Hisarönü) is an old town on Fethiye Gulf located near Fethiye. It’s a great place to live with lots of bars, restaurants and shops catering for tourists.
- Tasyaka (Taşyaka) is also an expat friendly area with good facilities and easy access to Fethiye town centre.
- Deliktas (Deliktaş) is a small village near Fethiye that’s perfect for those looking for peace and quiet.
- Oludeniz (Ölüdeniz) is a beautiful beach resort town located about 20 minutes from Fethiye. It’s a great place to live if you’re looking for sun and beach.
- Kaya (Kayaköy) is a small village near Fethiye that’s perfect for those who want to get away from it all. It’s surrounded by mountains and pine forests.
- Calis (Calış) is Fethiye’s second largest town with plenty of facilities, bars and restaurants. It has easy access by road or boat to Fethiye city centre too. There are also nice beach in the area – Calis Beach (Calış Plajı) which is one of the best places to go swimming in Fethiye.
There are many rental apartments available throughout Fethiye.
Is Fethiye worth visiting
Yes, Fethiye area is definitely worth visiting if you’re interested in history, culture, nature or outdoor activities.
There’s something for everyone in this beautiful town on the turquoise coast. Stunning nature, history and culture of Fethiye is a great place to wander around, relax and soak up the atmosphere.
Whether you’re looking for a city break or want to enjoy some outdoor activities with your family Fethiye has something for everyone.
For more blog posts about Fethiye and other areas of Turkey, please visit:
Fethiye in Winter: 10 Amazing Things To Enjoy!