The Fethiye To Çalış Water Taxi – There & Back Again

We make every effort not to take too much for granted living in Fethiye – but sometimes, much as we try not to, we overlook things of beauty that are right under our noses.

Daily life throughout the seasons means we just become accustomed to jumping on the dolmuş or the belediye buses to get us from A to B – if it’s too far to walk, that is.

That means, when summer comes along, we often overlook a real Fethiye treasure; the Fethiye to Çalış water taxi. And more often than not, it takes visiting friends to remind us it’s there – they love it, you see!

Fethiye To Çalış Water Taxi At Sunset

If you are in Fethiye in the summer season and you’re fancying a wander over to Çalış Beach, well, why wouldn’t you go by boat? What a perfect way to travel!

And if it’s a night out in Çalış that you’re pondering, not only are you going to get a sail across the bay, you’re going to get a sunset sail across the bay…it just gets better and better, doesn’t it?

Fethiye Calis Beach Water Taxi At Sunset

The scene as the Fethiye Çalış water taxi pulls out into the bay

For catching the sunset from the Fethiye to Çalış water taxi, check the sunset times before you set off and try to get a boat just as the sun begins to lower.

For us, on this journey, we were on a little double-decker boat so we clambered up to the top deck to get sunset photos of the 40-minute sail across the bay of Fethiye towards Çalış Beach. We were going for a night out at the Çalış tents and this was the perfect way to get there.

Fethiye to Çalış Water Taxi At Sunset

Markers help boats along lanes as the bay is shallow in parts

Fethiye is a huge, natural harbour so the sea remains calm more often than not. This means that even if you’re not brave on boats, the Fethiye Çalış water taxi should be great for you – no rocking and rolling about all over the place; just a gentle chug across the water.

We know Fethiye bay is beautiful. We know we always enjoy our time on the water taxi. But, when we’re actually on the water taxi, we’ve always forgotten just how lovely this little trip is.

One of our visiting friends once even described it as the highlight of his holiday and we’d taken him to different places, all over the Fethiye area.

Sunset Viewed From The Fethiye To Çalış Water Taxi

You wouldn’t guess this was a sunset in Fethiye, would you?

We’ve got thousands of photos of Fethiye and Çalış in our archives but, until this trip, we’d never taken the water taxi at sunset – a significant addition to the collection then because the sky changes colour significantly as the angles change.

The dolmuş boat zigzags between the beacons that guide it through the shallows; one minute you’re facing the harbour, next you’re heading towards Club Letoonia and then, eventually, you reach the canal.

The Fethiye to Çalış water taxi chugs along the canal slowly, being careful not to get grounded, and meanwhile, swallows are darting and diving through the reeds before swooping towards the water and back into the reeds again.

Çalış Canal From The Water Taxi

The water taxi chugs slowly along the canal towards the mooring points

After a dreamy little sail across Fethiye bay and gliding through a mini-reeded wilderness, the Çalış water taxi eventually reaches the jetty; passing docked water taxis and day-trip boats.

Back to real life with a jolt as you disembark to the sounds of music and jumbled sports commentary spilling out from the nearby Çalış bars and restaurants.

Scenes From The Çalış Water Taxi – Back To Fethiye

So, once you’ve gone from Fethiye to Çalış on the water taxi, that’s it is it? Been there, done it? Well, no. You’re missing out if you don’t go back the other way on the Çalış to Fethiye water taxi.

A whole different experience because the scenery before you is of the Mendos and Babadağ mountains and the harbour of Fethiye – and one of our Facebook readers recently described the Çalış Water Taxi as quite simply the best possible way to get to Fethiye Market.

Again, we did this trip on a whim. Just about to jump on the dolmuş to take us into town when we looked down at the water, saw the people waiting on the boat and, “Shall we go on the water taxi?” And so we did.

The Çalış To Fethiye Water Taxi

There’s something very pleasing about the sight of the canal stretching to the sea

Little unplanned journeys are often the best, aren’t they? This time, we were on one of the single decker boats with benches lining the edge of the boat.

Time to manoeuvre ourselves to the front so we get photos of the journey from Çalış back to Fethiye.

The Çalış To Fethiye Dolmuş Boat

Not a bad way of travelling between Çalış Beach and Fethiye

Ahhh, the putt, putt, putt of the boat’s engine, the fishermen wading through the shallows, the small fee for a 40 minute sail across the bay, the refreshing breeze of the open water and occasional spray from the sea as a stray wave slaps against the boat.

Yeah, if ever there was a great summer idea for Fethiye, it has to be the Çalış water taxi…and yet we really do make so little use of it.

Each time we travel on it, we vow not to leave it so long until the next time. And then we do leave it so long.

Fishermen From The Çalış Water Taxi

There’s always something to watch from the Çalış water taxi

The Çalış water taxi doesn’t have to be reserved for just for those people enjoying their summer holidays in Fethiye. When the weather’s baking hot, it’s great for us, too.

Yes, it’s a few lira more expensive than the dolmuş and the belediye bus, but hey, they’re not ferrying you across a short stretch of the Mediterranean, are they?

Fethiye From The Çalış Water Taxi

Can never resist taking photos through the life belts

And, unless you’re fortunate enough to get near an open window, they’re also not giving you a refreshing sea breeze with views all around Fethiye and the marina; gülets moored along the jetty.

It’s a more-than-pleasant way to arrive in Fethiye and it’s not something we’re going to do every day. The few extra lira is good enough for us!

Some of the boats even have refreshments for sale so you can enjoy a little drink as you chug along. There is nothing unpleasant about this journey.

Viewing Fethiye From The Çalış Dolmuş Boat

Panoramic views of Fethiye are your reward from the water taxi

As the boat nears the harbour, Fethiye’s famous Lycian rock tombs and the ancient castle ruins (thought to be a castle of the Knights of St John – but no one seems entirely sure) with its Turkish flag emerge from the hillside and the harbourside cafes and restaurants come into view.

Çalış Water Taxi Pulling Into Fethiye Harbour

We’re almost at the other side in Fethiye

Our boat pulls alongside the jetty and is secured with ropes before we all hop off, already in the centre of Fethiye.

In 30 minutes time, this Çalış water taxi will be once more filled with passengers leaving Fethiye for Çalış and the beach, and we walk off along the harbour promising not to leave it another few years before we take the water taxi again…

Çalış To Fethiye Water Taxi

Our Çalış To Fethiye Water Taxi

But we know very well that summers will come and go, they’ll pass us by without us noticing…and then, one day in the future, a few years down the line, we’ll be ambling along the harbour and the familiar sight of the boat will, for some reason, pique our interest.

That’s when we’ll say again, “Shall we get on the Çalış water taxi?”

Fethiye – Çalış Water Taxi Information

  • The Fethiye Çalış water taxi runs throughout the summer season between May and October.
  • It runs every 30 minutes, on the hour and the half hour, between Çalış and Fethiye and vice versa. Boards at the ticket booths tell you the times of the last water taxi, both ways. This changes according to low, mid and high season.
  • For the 2020 season, the water taxi started running on Monday 8th June. The boat is every hour on the hour. The first boat from Çalış to Fethiye is 10 am and the last one is 22:00. The first boat from Fethiye to Çalış is 11 am and the last one is 23:00.
  • In Çalış, the Çalış Boat Co-op ticket booth is the conspicuous construction on the canal by the bridge that leads to the beach. In Fethiye, the ticket booth is along the harbour by the children’s park. It’s between Cafe Geniş and Address Restaurant.
  • For the 2020 summer season, the cost of the crossing is 12.50TL (less than £2) per person.
  • The crossing takes around 40 minutes.
  • The sunset crossing is particularly beautiful. Also, try the night boats from Çalış to Fethiye. The water is completely flat and the lights of Fethiye reflect all along the shore.

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  1. Barbara J. Isenberg says

    This sounds so incredibly beautiful! I’m definitely bookmarking this for our next trip to Fethiye this August!

  2. @ Barbara: It is lovely. It’s just become a part of the furniture for us so we forget about it. Lovely to reacquaint ourselves with it. Ohh, August? You couldn’t by any chance fit a certain book in your luggage could you? 🙂

  3. Such an idyllic location. I know what you mean about taking things for granted where you live. Often it takes a visitor to make you realise what you have!

  4. @ Corinne: We’re really conscious of it but it’s inevitable that there’ll always be something we forget about. Nice to rediscover the boat.

  5. What a lovely time to be on the water,Julia. Your photos are really wonderful. I’d love to make that trip atsunset. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  6. I love getting the water taxi to Calis – so much more convenient and pleasant than the dolmus! Nice Photos.

  7. @ Mary: I know. We were very lucky. It wasn’t planned at all. Just happened that way. 🙂

    @ Liv: Yes, a bit more pleasant than the dolmus. It’s just that the dolmus is quicker – most of the time. 🙂

  8. Oh my, this is stunning. What a great travel tip – Fethiye is on my list if I make it back to Turkey!

  9. @ Jennifer: Hope you do make it back to Turkey. Lots to see in this part of the country! 🙂

  10. Does the water taxi have any toilets On board?

  11. 7 lire? That’s gone up then

    • Life. 🙂 The price has only gone up in small increases from 4 TL a few years ago and these days, 7 TL is less than £2 – still a bargain for a 40 minute sail on a water taxi across the bay, for us. 🙂

  12. We always use the water taxi from Fethiye to Calis & back, you mentioned the swallows going back & forth , what about all the other wildlife ? Kingfishers, cormorants etc etc. Absolutely adore the area !

    • Hi Linda, thanks a lot for your comment. Yeah, you’re right, so much bird life around this area. On the day we took these photos, it was just the swallows so we were writing the post from the day. Cormorants in the shoulder seasons. We’ve also got lots of ducks, coots and egrets around at the moment that you might see from the Çalış water taxi too at particular times of year. 🙂 Yeah, a special area and still protected.

  13. Nilgun Mandal says

    Is there a water taxi that goes between Letoonia Club Hotel and Fethiye?

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