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The Fethiye To Çalış Water Taxi – There & Back Again

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The Çalış water taxi is an institution and its running signals the start of the summer season each year.

A ramp and steps lead down to a waiting water taxi in Çalış.
Your water taxi awaits at the boarding point in Çalış

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 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?

A Fethiye Calis Beach Water Taxi sails in front of the peninsula 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.

We were going for a night out and this was the perfect way to get there.

A water taxi boat sails around a marker buoy at dusk.
Markers help boats along lanes as the bay is shallow in parts

A Calm Bay

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 near Çalış Beach.
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 perfect 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.

Meanwhile, swallows are darting and diving through the reeds before swooping towards the water and back into the reeds again.

A canal leads out to the sea with reeds on either side. Mountains can be seen in the background.
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?

A row of boats lined up in the canal. Apartments and mountains form the backdrop.
The water taxis waiting in Çalış

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.

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.

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.

A view from the boat as it reaches the end of the canal and approaches the sea.
Not a bad way of travelling between Çalış Beach and Fethiye

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

A seagull perches on a marker in the shallows of Fethiye gulf.
A bit of wildlife spotting from the water taxi

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.

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.

A water taxi crossing the bay in Fethiye. Mountains are in the background.
Wave at the water taxi passing in the opposite direction

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

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!

The water taxi approaches Fethiye Harbour and you can see the ruins of the castle and a Turkish flag behind.
We’re almost at the other side in Fethiye

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.

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.

Pulling into the floating jetty in Fethiye. A water taxi is on the far side of the jetty.
The guys wait on the jetty to secure our water taxi 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.

We walk off along the harbour promising not to leave it another few years before we take the water taxi again…

A few passengers get onto the a medium-sized blue and white boat named Zeynep Beren.
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 April and October .
  • In high season, 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 so make sure you know the times if you want a return trip.
  • For the 2024 season, the water taxi started running on 5th April with a few crossings, daily.
  • In high season, the first boat from Çalış to Fethiye is usually 10am and the last one is 10pm. The first boat from Fethiye to Çalış is 11am and the last one is 11pm.
  • In Çalış, the Çalış Boat Co-op ticket booth is the conspicuous construction on the canal by the bridge that leads to the beach (see map below).
  • In Fethiye, the ticket booth is along the harbour by the children’s park. It’s between Cafe Geniş and Address Restaurant.
  • For the 2024 summer season, the cost of the crossing is 100 TL (around £2.50) per person – this may increase in high season.
  • The crossing takes around 30 to 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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Susan Clarke

Sunday 7th of April 2024

What a great descriptive article, I love the water taxi, one of our favourite things to do when on holiday. This year, (May), we will certainly take your advice and do a sunset trip. Thank you for your newsletters, they are full of good information and ideas. Keep up the good work!

Turkey's For Life

Sunday 7th of April 2024

Hi Susan, Thanks a lot for your comment and the lovely feedback! :) Hope you have a great trip in May and enjoy the water taxi.


Wednesday 24th of January 2024

Please could you recommend the best beach to swim around Fethiye ? Thank you

Turkey's For Life

Thursday 25th of January 2024

Hi Lamia, it depends what type of beach you're looking for. In Fethiye itself, there are beaches around the peninsula where the sea is calm. Sea Me and Help are the most popular. There's a big public beach in Çalış and some beaches further along where you can use beds and umbrellas for free if you buy food and / or drink.


Wednesday 24th of January 2024

Thank you for all the details, I got all the information I needed !

Turkey's For Life

Thursday 25th of January 2024

Hi Lamia, glad you found the article helpful. The Çalış water taxi is a really lovely way to travel. :)


Thursday 27th of April 2023

Are you able to get the water taxi from Liberty Febay hotel to Fethiye?

Turkey's For Life

Monday 1st of May 2023

Hi Alison, Liberty Fabay is a way from where the water taxi goes from. There is a high speed boat run by the hotel that takes passengers into Fethiye. Not sure how much is is though, sorry. You can also get the dolmuş to both Fethiye and Çalış from there. If you want to use the water taxi, you could just get the dolmuş or a taxi to Çalış and jump on the boat from there. It might be cheaper that way. :)


Monday 3rd of April 2023

Definitely one of my favourite parts of a Calis holiday. Daytime/Nightime are both lovely

Turkey's For Life

Tuesday 4th of April 2023

Hi Ruth, thanks a lot for your comment. Yeah, our friends love the water taxi, too. :)

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