Well, as far as we’re concerned, surviving winter in Fethiye isn’t about surviving at all. We love it! But we do get many people asking us, “But what do you do in winter? What’s the weather like? Don’t you get bored?” No.
Of course, the long, hot summer days and balmy nights are what immediately comes to mind when Fethiye is mentioned, but life here doesn’t come to a grinding halt just because the last summer flight has left Dalaman Airport.
This is when Fethiye and its residents switch to winter mode and make the most of what’s on offer when the sun isn’t sapping every ounce of energy.
There are many trails around the hills of Fethiye, and a sunny day in winter is perfect for getting away from the centre and enjoying the open spaces.
It’s only in winter that the air is so clear. The summer haze disperses, leaving extensive views and colourful contrasts of the azure blues of the Mediterranean against the lush green of the pine forests.
It’s scenery like this that strips away any tendencies to start becoming blasé about where we live. And, for those of you who are keen on photography, winter time is when you’ll get your best photos of the Fethiye scenery.
You can take a look at all of our recommended Fethiye walks if you need more inspiration, for winter or any other time of year.
Head To The Beaches
We’re not beach people. That doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy beaches. We just don’t like sunbathing, so, if you’re ever looking for us in summer, you’re more likely to find us in a bar rather than horizontal on the sand.
However, once the winter months hit, the beaches around Fethiye are deserted and that’s when they come into their own for these two non-sunbathers.
Take a picnic and enjoy the solitude of the bays as it’s likely you’ll be the only people there, unless you go on a Sunday.
Whilst some of the private bays close in winter, public beaches and many beach restaurants are open all year. This means you can enjoy a swim – if you’re brave – or just enjoy the food and refreshments on offer at the restaurants.
Take In The Sights – And The Sites
The winter months in Fethiye are perfect for hiring a car or taking a bus to some of the nearby archaeological sites and towns such as the supremely pretty Kaş.
Where the archaeological sites are concerned, as with the beaches, this is the time of year where you could well be the only people there, giving you a real feel for the place and you’re not going to be sweltering as you explore the site.
And, of course, it’s much easier to get your photos and choose the angles you want, without people’s heads bobbing in the way or tour buses suddenly coming into shot in the background.
It really does make a huge difference, having the place to yourself.
Build A Snowman
This is one for when winter really kicks in. Once you feel that telltale bite in the winds, you know the snow has started to fall in the nearby mountains.
By February, the snow will have encroached to the lower slopes and we will only be a 20-minute drive away from snowball fun.
This is not an activity we partake in every year but it’s certainly good fun when the folks of Fethiye hit the road and head to the snow above Nif for the day.
If you decide to join the convoy, expect roadside barbecues (despite the snowy weather), people sledging on plastic carrier bags and in washing up bowls and the sculpting of many, many snowmen.
Local travel companies sometime organise day trips to the snow. If you’re heading to the mountains under your own steam, make sure to check Fethiye weather conditions and also ask locally about snow levels. Some areas require snow chains.
Stroll Along The Seafront
In winter, Fethiye enjoys many bright, sunny days. Because we’re in a working town, bars and restaurants along the harbour remain open and are particularly busy in the daytimes; especially at weekends.
Join the weekend crowds along the harbour. Sit at a cafe or restaurant or simply stroll, enjoying the warm winter sun.
Along Çalış Beach, a handful of bars and eateries stay open and they’re often busy on a sunny winter’s day.
And, as it’s winter and the days are shorter, you don’t need to wait long for the famous Çalış Beach sunset. A winter suınset is often far more dramatic than those of the summer months.
Take In Post-Storm Scenery
Winter in Fethiye is not all about pleasant winter sunshine. We can get some bitingly cold weather and some pretty spectacular storms to boot.
Whilst a storm is in progress, hole yourself in your accommodation, bar or restaurant and once the storm has passed, you can witness a whole other dramatic beauty to Fethiye.
In summer, whilst the sea at Çalış can get choppy from the summer surf, in winter, a storm can turn the sea from flat calm to crashing, tumbling frothy waves that sometimes breach the wall along the kordon (promenade).
We filmed this sort video after a February storm once the sea had calmed a little and it was safe to be on the beach.
As you can see, in winter, the sea often washes the pebbles away and we get a sandy beach for a short while. Just one of the natural changing faces of the area throughout the seasons.
And if it’s just a bit of light rain you need to contend with, there are still lots of things you can do when it’s raining in Fethiye.
Enjoy The Local Bars & Restaurants
In summer, we enjoy sitting outside the bars and restaurants of Fethiye, just as we do in winter. In winter, especially at weekends, restaurants along the harbour and along Çalış Beach will have live music on for sunset.
Once the sun goes down, it can be very difficult to tear ourselves away from the warmth of our own home on the cold winter nights – but there’s usually something going on that tempts us to brave the cold occasionally.
Of the bars that stay open during winter, live music is regularly on offer. Restaurants in the town centre and along the harbour all stay open and are fully geared up for winter with heating both indoors and outdoors. Some even have a cosy open fire.
So, if you find yourself in Fethiye in winter, you’ll see there’s lots going on and you can pick and choose between crowds and solitude. Which would you prefer?