What better on a pleasant sunny day than to get that comfy footwear out and head off on one of the many walks around Fethiye. One of our favourite leg stretches – it’s not too far and not too strenuous – is a walk from Fethiye to Kayaköy (aka the ghost village). It’s a mixture of tarmac road and rubble forest track and takes in some fabulous views over Fethiye marina, the bays and Kaya. So what are we waiting for? Let’s walk from Fethiye to Kayaköy…
How To Walk From Fethiye To Kayaköy
We’re beginning our walk from the start of the Karagözler, opposite the ancient Telmessos Theatre and Iskele Restaurant, at the harbour.
It’s a great starting point just because, for us, the morning views of all the gülets anchored up in Fethiye just look so pleasing. And, for practicalities, if there’s a few of you doing this walk from Fethiye to Kayaköy, it’s a convenient meeting point because most people know this little corner of town.
Anyway, from here, you’re setting off along the Karagözler. This is the main road that follows the bay and you’re keeping the sea and marinas to your right. There’s a couple of shops along here where you can stock up on water or snacks for the route.
You can get the Taşyaka-Karagözler dolmuş along this stretch if you like. But we love to take in the views (and buy treats for the trek) along the Karagözler. It’s so pretty and such an easy stroll. Keep walking, and, after about 20 minutes, you’ll reach Fethiye boatyard.
The road passes through the boatyard and, especially in winter, we think it’s a fascinating place to wander through. This is where gülets, yachts and other boats are built, maintained and repaired. If you’re lucky, you could catch one being relaunched.
It’s an ongoing saga that Fethiye boatyard will be relocated in the future, but, for now, it’s still right where it’s always been so it’s a feature of our Fethiye to Kayaköy walk.
Once you’ve passed this section of the boatyard, the road climbs slightly and you’ll see Marina Boutique Hotel on your right hand side. If you got the dolmuş along the Karagözler, ask the driver to let you off here. Marina Boutique welcomes non-residents so you could have a drink or food here (they’ve got a beautiful seaside seating area) and use the loo. This is your last opportunity for a couple of hours or so to ‘use the facilities.’
Fethiye To Kayaköy – Let The Hike Commence
Still on the same road, you’ll see a block of road signs straight ahead of you, directing you to various bays such as Küleli Beach, Letoonia Club Hotel and the all inclusive hotel, Hillside. From here, take the road to the left so that you double-back on yourself and start to climb.
It’s a gradual ascent but it is a bit of a pull. No rush, though. And, if you start to feel really out of puff, just stop and have a minute and admire the stunning scenery. Besides, you need to stop to keep taking photographs, don’t you!
This is a single, winding tarmac road at this point so you can’t go wrong. Just keep admiring the views over Fethiye marina and the mountains beyond as you continue to climb. As well as the sound of the odd car or scooter engine, you can also usually hear the clanks and sanding sounds of the boatyard, too, from up here.
After about 20 minutes or so, you’ll come to a junction on the road. The road straight ahead goes to Hillside Hotel. The road to the right heads to the bays and is the route of the Fethiye peninsula walk. Today, though, we’re walking to Kayaköy and taking the main forest track to the left.
The Kayaköy Forest Track
This continues uphill – not too steep – and you can still see the gulf of Fethiye and the boatyard through the pine forest. The belediye (local council) resurface this track at intervals as the rains wash the surface away during winter. So you could be walking on a dust track or an uneven rubble track. Either way, the walk from Fethiye to Kayaköy isn’t too bad underfoot.
As you head on up the forest track, you leave the views of the harbour behind and you can now see over to Red Island (Kızıl Adası) through the forest pine trees.
Keep following the track uphill. Eventually, you will come out into a clearing – and a welcome flat part of the track for a breather. These days, there’s a Fethiye Walks way marker, here, letting you know you’re heading in the right direction.
If you do this walk on a Sunday it’s usually busy here with Turkish families barbecuing and picnicking. On any other day, you’ll probably have the space to yourself. Keep to the track, bearing right to continue uphill. Even though it’s not a steep ascent, it can feel a bit never ending as you plod through the forest. But don’t forget, we’ve got views. And who’s rushing, anyway?
Sea Views From The Forest
Views over the gulf of Fethiye and the Blue Bays suddenly appear, giving the opportunity for another breather. And a few minutes to take some photos. And you know when you get to here, you’re not too far from the top of our particular section of this hill.
Keep following the track up a gradual hill. This is good tortoise spotting territory, actually. Keep your eye on the rocks and shrubbery to your left, and, if you hear any rustling, that’s probably your tortoise. As you round a bend, continuing uphill, you will come to this junction (see photo below).
Your eyes, your brain and your legs are itching to take you downhill at this point. But no, sorry. Keep to the main track to the left continuing uphill. After about 5 minutes, you will come to another (very similar-looking) junction.
This is it, people! Now you really can indulge your eyes, your brain and your legs. The track to the left continues uphill but you can completely ignore that, forget all about how tired you are and head on, straight down that hill, you can see. Happy days!
Take A Break
Sometimes, we take a minute here. There’s a couple of rocks just to the right that are just big enough to sit on. Eat your goodies and quench your thirst.
A few years ago, we were sat here, munching tangerines and two traffic policemen on motorbikes were patrolling. They stopped, looking concerned and asked us if we were okay. Hiking for a hobby wasn’t too common in Turkey in those days. When we told them that we were hiking from Fethiye to Kayaköy, they just looked at us like we were from the moon and rode off up the hill. That little memory always makes me smile when we reach here.
This is another of our favourite stretches of the Fethiye to Kayaköy walk. An easy trundle, now, down the steep road. You’ll pass an Ottoman cistern to your right and more way markers. As well as the cistern, if it’s prickly pear season (late summer), you’ll see oodles of cactus plants abundant in brightly coloured prickly pears.
And you’ll also see what is one of my favourite views in Fethiye. The whole of the valley opens up in front of you. A huge bowl. From this angle, the summit of Babadağ looms large, dramatic and rugged. And the whole of the Kayaköy ruins are nestled into the hillside. Getting a decent photo is difficult because the sun is always ahead of you. But that makes it all the better when you see the view again the next time you walk from Fethiye to Kayaköy.
The track eventually becomes a road again, and, at the base of the hill, in the village of Belen, there’s a water tap. You can grab a quick thirst quencher here and splash your face. Follow the road to the first junction (you’ll see a huge tree on the left with a wall round it) and turn left. When you come to the next junction with a big tree in the middle of the road, take a right to bring you into the village square.
Arrival In Kaya Village
You’ll see all the local men drinking tea and playing Tavla (Backgammon) and Okey. Look to the left and you’ll see what used to be the clock tower in the middle of the road. (We have no idea what happened to the clock). Turn right at the clock and this road will take you to the ruins of Kayaköy.
And that’s it. You’ve done it – a good leg stretch of a walk from Fethiye to Kayaköy. If you’re now feeling hungry and thirsty for something other than your water bottle and snacks, gözleme at Bülent’in Yeri is yummy, cheap and cheerful. Or you could splash out on a barbecue at Cin Bal. There are loads of other places to eat and drink in Kayaköy, too. We add new places to the Kaya section of our eating and drinking page whenever we try anywhere new.
Walk From Fethiye To Kayaköy – Useful Information
- If you are walking from the start of the Karagözler, allow around 3 hours for the Fethiye to Kayaköy walk. Allow between 2 and 2 and a half hours for the walk if you’re setting off from Marina Boutique Hotel.
- Any walking boots, comfortable trainers or sturdy sandals (not flip-flops/thongs) will be okay.
- Although the Fethiye to Kayaköy route is forested, there isn’t much shade. Stock up on water in Fethiye as the only public water tap on the route is in Belen, close to Kayaköy.
- If you are feeling particularly strenuous then you can continue this walk by hiking from Kayaköy to Ölüdeniz. (Allow a further 3 hours for this stretch – walking boots recommended.)
- If you’re heading back to Fethiye then you can get the dolmuş back from Kayaköy to Fethiye every hour, on the hour (every half an hour in summer).
- If you want to stay in Kayaköy, then there is camping available or you can click here to book Kayaköy accommodation.
- If you enjoyed this walk then why not try some of our other suggestions for hiking in Fethiye.