15 Best Things to Do in Fethiye Turkey – Complete Guide

Ancient ruins, azure waters, and vibrant marketplaces… Fethiye is much more than your average beach resort, remaning at the top of Turkey’s best traveler pilgramages to this day.

Are you wondering “What are the best things to do in Fethiye Turkey?”? Here is all you need to know.

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Nestled on the southwestern coast of Turkey, Fethiye is a captivating destination that seamlessly blends history, adventure, and relaxation. With its roots dating back to ancient times, the city boasts a rich collection of historical sites, including the awe-inspiring Lycian rock tombs carved into the cliffs overlooking the city. But there is much to Fethiye’s charm than the ancient ruins that effortlessly embellish its land. Fethiye is the ideal summer spot for youthful travelers, merging contemporary social hubs and the authentic Mediterranean vibes of the Turkish coast.

We gathered all the amazing things to do in Fethiye Turkey for you to choose from.

Best Things to Do in Fethiye – FAQs

Situated on Turkey’s picturesque southwestern coast, Fethiye holds a significant place in both historical and contemporary contexts. Originally known as Telmessos, the city boasts a rich history dating back to ancient times, with evidence of settlement dating as far back as the 5th century BCE. As a prominent Lycian city, Fethiye played a vital role in the region’s cultural and economic landscape. Over the centuries, Fethiye has been influenced by various civilizations, including the Persians, Greeks, and Romans, each leaving their mark on its architecture and culture.

Today, Fethiye serves as a bustling center for tourism, renowned for its stunning natural beauty. Among its most popular spots are the famed Blue Lagoon and nearby Ölüdeniz Beach, home to some of the best things to do in Fethiye. While you are there, you will get a chance to indulge in outdoor adventures and immerse yourself in the more laid-back side of Turkish culture.

What is Fethiye Turkey famous for?

Fethiye is famous for its ancient Lycian rock tombs, carved into the cliffsides overlooking the city. These impressive burial sites date back thousands of years. One of Turkey’s most iconic beaches, Ölüdeniz Beach is famous for its stunning turquoise waters and picturesque surroundings. Fethiye is also a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a wide range of activities such as paragliding, hiking, sea kayaking, and scuba diving.

In addition to the Lycian rock tombs, Fethiye is home to other ancient ruins and historical sites, including the ancient city of Telmessos, the Fethiye Museum, and the ruins of Kayaköy, a ghost town abandoned during the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s.

what is fethiye turkey famous for

What is the best time to visit Fethiye?

The best time to visit Fethiye is typically during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) months. During these times, the weather is pleasantly warm, and the crowds are relatively smaller compared to the peak summer season. Spring offers blooming flowers and lush landscapes, while autumn provides comfortable temperatures for some of the best things to do in Fethiye. But, to experience Fethiye in its most popular season, visit in the summer months (July to August) and revel in all that the Turquoise Coast has to offer.

Is there an old town in Fethiye?

Fethiye does have an old town area known as Paspatur. Paspatur is a charming maze of narrow streets lined with old stone houses, vibrant shops, cafes, and restaurants. It retains much of its traditional Turkish character and offers visitors a glimpse into Fethiye’s history and culture. The area is perfect for leisurely strolls, exploring local crafts, sampling authentic Turkish cuisine, and soaking in the laid-back atmosphere.

Paspatur also hosts a bustling bazaar where you can find everything from spices and souvenirs to handmade crafts and jewelry.

Why is it called Fethiye?

Fethiye is named after Fethi Bey, an Ottoman air officer who died in a plane crash during a military mission in the Balkans in 1914. The city was renamed in his honor in 1934, previously known as Makri. Fethi Bey is remembered as a hero in Turkish history, and the renaming of the city was a tribute to his bravery and service to the country.

Is Fethiye worth visiting?

Absolutely, Fethiye is definitely worth visiting! It offers a diverse range of attractions and experiences that cater to various interests. Whether you’re drawn to its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, outdoor adventures, or vibrant culture, Fethiye has something to offer every traveler. Plus, its convenient location on Turkey’s southwestern coast makes it easily accessible for travelers seeking a memorable holiday destination.

How many days are enough for Fethiye?

Most travelers find that spending at least 3 to 5 days in Fethiye allows for a fulfilling experience. During this time, you can explore the city’s historical sites, such as the Lycian rock tombs and the Fethiye Museum, relax on the beautiful beaches of Ölüdeniz and visit the nearby Blue Lagoon, and engage in outdoor adventures like paragliding, hiking, or boat tours to the surrounding islands and coves.

Can you see turtles in Fethiye?

You can see turtles in Fethiye, particularly around Ölüdeniz and Dalyan. The Loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and Green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas) are known to inhabit the waters along the southwestern coast of Turkey, including the Fethiye region.

In Ölüdeniz, particularly at the Blue Lagoon, it’s also possible to encounter sea turtles while swimming or snorkeling in the crystal-clear waters.

15 Best Things to Do in Fethiye Turkey – from sailing to city tours

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1. Explore the Lycian Rock Tombs

These ancient tombs, carved into the cliffsides overlooking Fethiye, offer not only a glimpse into the region’s rich history but also a fascinating architectural marvel. Dating back to the Lycian period, these rock-cut tombs serve as a testament to the craftsmanship and burial practices of the ancient civilizations that once thrived in this area. What is more is that you can reach these must-see marvels in nearly 20 minutes on foot from the Old Town! They are hard to miss once you get close enough, rising over the lovely little town as testaments of Fethiye’s historical heritage.

2. Relax at Ölüdeniz Beach

With its stunning turquoise waters and pristine sandy shores, Ölüdeniz Beach is the epitome of paradise. Nestled within a sheltered lagoon and surrounded by lush green hills, this beach offers visitors the perfect spot to unwind, sunbathe, and take refreshing dips in the crystal-clear waters. Visit in the summer months, which are easily the high season in Fethiye, and you will witness one of the trendiest beach resorts in all of Turkey. The coastline of Ölüdeniz is lined with hip restaurants and beach clubs where nightlife is most happening.

As a speacial treat, we recommend swimming in Ölüdeniz at sunset and enjoying the laid-back energy as the beach transforms from tranquility to a hopping atmosphere in the evening.

3. Visit the Blue Lagoon

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Adjacent to Ölüdeniz Beach, the Blue Lagoon is a protected nature reserve known for its mesmerizing shades of blue and tranquil ambiance. Whether you choose to lounge on the soft white sands, snorkel amidst colorful marine life, or simply admire the breathtaking scenery, a visit to the Blue Lagoon is a must for any traveler to Fethiye.

4. Take a Boat Tour

Explore the scenic coastline of Fethiye and its surrounding islands and coves on a leisurely boat tour. From full-day excursions to sunset cruises, these boat trips offer the opportunity to discover hidden gems, swim in secluded bays, and marvel at the stunning coastal landscapes from the comfort of a traditional Turkish gulet. If you are worried about busy boats, good news! You can choose from a variety of boat sizes—some tours only take small groups so your boat won’t be overcrowded. And, almost all tours make a pit stop at the most beautiful coves across the coast of Fethiye.

5. Paraglide over Ölüdeniz

Experience the thrill of paragliding from the dizzying heights above Ölüdeniz Beach. With experienced instructors and panoramic views of the coastline, this adrenaline-pumping activity provides an unforgettable adventure and a unique perspective of Fethiye’s natural beauty. How to find the best paragliding experience in Ölüdeniz? Just search “paragliding in Ölüdeniz” and you will get to choose from a variety of companies offering the service.

6. Hike the Lycian Way

Follow in the footsteps of ancient traders and adventurers on the Lycian Way, Turkey’s first long-distance hiking trail. Stretching over 500 kilometers along the rugged coastline of Lycia, this trail offers hikers the chance to explore remote villages, ancient ruins, and breathtaking landscapes while immersing themselves in the region’s rich history and culture.

7. Visit Saklıkent Gorge

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Escape the summer heat and venture into the cool depths of Saklıkent Gorge, one of the deepest canyons in Turkey. Carved by the rushing waters of the Xanthos River, this natural wonder offers the chance to hike along wooden walkways, wade through icy streams, and marvel at the towering cliffs that surround them. So, if you are willing to take on a little adventure, this is your chance you get to know the truest spirit of the region and some of the best things to do in Fethiye that off the beaten path.

8. Experience Turkish Night

Step back in time as you explore the eerie ruins of Kayaköy, a deserted village nestled in the hills above Fethiye. Once home to a vibrant community of Greeks and Turks, Kayaköy was abandoned during the population exchange of the 1920s and now stands as a haunting reminder of the region’s tumultuous past. During the summer, visit in the early morning to avoid the scorching sun if you wish to walk every alleyway of this labyrinthine village.

9. Shop at Paspatur Bazaar

Lose yourself in the bustling lanes of Paspatur Bazaar, Fethiye’s charming old town market. From colorful textiles and handcrafted souvenirs to aromatic spices and traditional Turkish delights, this vibrant market offers a sensory feast for visitors looking to experience the sights, sounds, and flavors of Turkey.

10. Relax in a Turkish Bath

Indulge in a luxurious spa experience at one of Fethiye’s traditional Turkish baths, known as hammams. Treat yourself to a steam bath, invigorating scrub, and relaxing massage as you unwind and rejuvenate both body and mind in the soothing ambiance of these historic bathing rituals. You can find the best of these hammams in and around the city center and the old town.

11. Explore Fethiye Museum

Dive deeper into the region’s rich history and cultural heritage at Fethiye Museum, home to an impressive collection of artifacts spanning various periods of antiquity. From intricately carved sarcophagi and statues to delicate pottery and jewelry, the museum offers valuable insights into the art, religion, and daily life of ancient civilizations that once flourished in the area.

12. Sample Turkish Cuisine

sample turkish cuisine

A Turkish gastronomy tour is arguably one of the best things to do in Fethiye due to the exceptional practices of Mediterranean cuisine. Savor the flavors of Turkey at one of Fethiye’s many restaurants and eateries, where you can indulge in a mouthwatering array of traditional dishes and culinary delights. From savory kebabs and mezes to fresh seafood and sweet baklava, Turkish cuisine offers a diverse and delicious gastronomic experience that’s not to be missed.

13. Attend a Turkish Night

Immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of Turkey at a traditional Turkish night show, where you can enjoy live music, energetic folk dances, and sumptuous feasts fit for a sultan. With colorful costumes, lively performances, and warm hospitality, Turkish nights offer a memorable and entertaining glimpse into the country’s rich cultural heritage. Check the schedule of some of the more traditional venues in Fethiye to see if your visit coincides with one these epic nights.

14. Go Scuba Diving

Dive into the underwater world of Fethiye and discover a mesmerizing realm teeming with marine life, colorful coral reefs, and ancient shipwrecks. Whether you’re a seasoned diver or a novice looking to take the plunge, Fethiye offers a variety of dive sites and dive centers catering to all levels of experience. Even if you don’t try one of the more professional diving experiences, get a snorkel and underwater goggles from one of the local shops and enjoy the marine life of the most beautiful coves in Fethiye at your own pace.

15. Visit Butterfly Valley

visit Butterfly Valley Fethiye

Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and retreat to the natural sanctuary of Butterfly Valley, a hidden gem nestled between towering cliffs along the Mediterranean coast. Accessible only by boat or via a challenging hike, this secluded paradise offers visitors the chance to relax on pristine beaches, swim in crystal-clear waters, and admire the vibrant flora and fauna that thrive in this idyllic setting. Keep an eye out for the valley’s namesake butterflies, which flutter among the wildflowers in the spring and summer months, adding to the valley’s enchanting charm.

16. Bonus: Have a Budget-Friendly Beach Day at Çalış Beach

çalış beach fethiye

Çalış Beach is everyone’s favorite public beach in Fethiye, offering quality time and extraordinary views for evey type of vacationer. With its long stretch of sandy shoreline and tranquil waters, Çalış Beach is perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and simply relaxing by the sea. Set up a beach towel, soak up the sun, and enjoy the peaceful ambiance of this idyllic coastal retreat.

The most recent addition to Çalış Beach is a small breezy cafeteria set up by the municipality, offering ice-cold beers, fresh snacks, and bar food at very affordable prices. You will find it right on the beach near the entrance. The cafeteria offers a great opportunity to take a break from sun-soaking and swimming.

Where to See the Best Views in Fethiye

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Babadag Mountain: Head to the summit of Babadağ Mountain for one of the most spectacular views in Fethiye. Whether you hike to the top or take a paragliding flight, you’ll be rewarded with sweeping vistas of Ölüdeniz Beach, the Blue Lagoon, and the surrounding mountains and valleys.

See the location of Babadağ Mountain in Maps.

Afkule: Visit Afkule, an ancient watchtower located near Kayaköy, for panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and coastline. From this elevated vantage point, you can admire the rugged terrain, lush valleys, and sparkling sea stretching out before you.

See the location of Afkule in Maps.

Fethiye Marina: Wander along the waterfront at Fethiye Marina and marvel at the views of the boats bobbing in the harbor and the majestic mountains rising in the distance. This bustling area is perfect for enjoying a waterfront meal or simply taking in the sights and sounds of the sea.

See the location of Fethiye Marina in Maps.

Day Trips from Fethiye: Kas, Turkey

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With an unforgettable journey from Fethiye to Kas, Turkey, you will discover a world of stunning coastal landscapes, ancient ruins, and vibrant cultural experiences. Located just a scenic drive away from Fethiye, Kas offers an array of exciting day trip opportunities. The journey itself is a feast for the senses, with panoramic views of turquoise waters, rugged cliffs, and lush green hillsides stretching as far as the eye can see. Along the way, you’ll pass charming villages, olive groves, and citrus orchards, providing a glimpse into the traditional way of life in this picturesque region of Turkey.

Upon reaching Kas, you’ll be greeted by a charming seaside town steeped in history and culture. Known for its laid-back atmosphere and bohemian vibe, Kas is the perfect destination for a day of exploration and relaxation. For history enthusiasts, we recommend a visit to the ancient city of Antiphellos. Perched on a hillside overlooking the town, this archaeological site offers a fascinating glimpse into Kas’s rich past.

Whether you prefer secluded coves, sandy shores, or rocky cliffs, Kas offers a variety of pristine beaches to choose from, each offering crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Day Trips from Fethiye: Demre, Turkey

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Upon reaching Demre, you’ll discover a treasure trove of historical and cultural landmarks waiting to be explored. Start your day trip with a visit to the ancient city of Myra, an archaeological site renowned for its well-preserved Lycian rock-cut tombs and Roman-era ruins. Wander through the ancient streets, marvel at the intricate carvings and reliefs adorning the tombs, and imagine life in this ancient city centuries ago.

One of the highlights of any visit to Demre is the Church of St. Nicholas, also known as the Church of Santa Claus. Located in the heart of Demre, this historic church is believed to be the final resting place of St. Nicholas, the inspiration behind the modern-day Santa Claus.

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