Welcome to our page about the best things to do in the Fethiye area – our hometown on the blue waters of the Mediterranean coast.
There’s only so much you can do on one holiday in Fethiye so you can pick and choose from this list of things – and then return again and again to complete the rest.
And there’s sooo much else to see and do once you’ve exhausted this list of essentials.
All recommendations are what we love about this area. And what we would like to recommend to you’re about to visit the Fethiye area of Turkey.
Recommendations are in no particular order.
And we’ve assumed your visits will be in the summer season when the weather in Fethiye is at its hottest.
Otherwise, we would have a lot more trekking suggestions on this list – we are home to the start point of the famous long distance footpath, the Lycian Way.
Should you find yourself here in the cooler and colder months, we’ve got a few tips for surviving Fethiye in winter.
And if you do fancy a wander in cooler months, here are some walks around Fethiye.
Also, this isn’t a page of Turkish food & drink.
For ideas on filling your stomach and quenching your thirst while you are in Fethiye, see our page about Eating & Drinking In Fethiye.
We also have a page featuring all of our Turkish recipes, too, if you fancy making some of your favourite Turkish dishes at home.
Okay, let’s dive into Fethiye’s popular attractions – and into some of its quieter places, too.
Fethiye Old Town
Stroll around shaded Paspatur, the old town of Fethiye, and visit the many shops for all your souvenirs.
These are the historic alleyways and streets of Fethiye.
You’ll find anything from traditional Turkish carpets and ceramics to top of the range jewellery, watches and sunglasses.
Fake goods also feature. As do the obligatory dried herbs, spices and lokum (Turkish Delight).
Lots of places to feed yourself and quench your thirst in Paspatur.
Fethiye Rock Tombs
As you can see in the photo below, the impressive Lycian tombs are carved into the rock face.
You can always reward yourself with an ice cold tipple when you come back down into Fethiye.
Fethiye Boat Trips
Fethiye is blessed with a huge, stunning natural harbour. It is therefore home to a plethora of day trip boats as well as charter gülets, yachts and fishing boats.
There’s not just the 12 Island Boat trip that you might have heard about.
Although the 12 Island Boat trips are certainly amazing value for money, prices change throughout the season but are always very reasonable.
8 hours, about 5 swim stops and your lunch included for a whole day boat tour. If that feels too much, there are also half day tours and shorter sunset trips.
Boats leave from Fethiye harbour.
If you’re based in Ölüdeniz, there are also daily boat trips from the beach, there, too.
If you’re looking for a fun boat trip with music and entertainment, Ölüdeniz boats have something for you.
If you don’t like the idea of a big boat, lots of other people and music, then there are smaller, quieter boats, too.
The full-day cruise from Belcekiz Beach takes in historic Gemiler Island with its links to St. Nicholas of Myra.
There’s also a taxi boat to the beach at the famous Butterfly Valley.
These smaller, private boats usually visit the quieter bays of Fethiye.
For a public boat trip from Fethiye, our personal favourite for a great value day out is the Sunday Market boat trip to Göcek.
If a full day on a boat sounds a bit too much, many of the boats now do half day trips. There are also sunset trips in Fethiye, too.
And, if you just like the idea of getting from A to B via the sea, be sure to make use of the Fethiye to Çalış water taxi boat service.
Beautiful at any time of day but particularly spectacular at sunset.
(Sail time of around 40 minutes. Departs every 30 minutes in high season from both Fethiye and Çalış.)
Hit The Beach!
Yes, Fethiye has beaches!
In summer, take the Karagözler dolmuş (bus) to visit the bays around the Fethiye peninsula.
Perhaps the most popular beaches around the peninsula are neighbours Help Beach and SeaMe Beach.
You will need to reserve a bed at these places during the season.
If it’s not too hot, you pass all of these bays on the Fethiye Peninsula trek.
Sundays will be very busy with Turkish families.
For a full list of dozens of bays in this area, take a look at our complete guide to Fethiye beaches with an annotated and interactive map.
Go Shopping At The Local Markets
Great if you’re self-catering rather than staying in one of the many hotels in Fethiye.
Marvel at the array of fresh fruit and veg on the main huge Fethiye Market before strolling around the hundreds of fake designer clothes, shoes, sunglasses stalls.
Can’t say we ever buy any of the fake stuff but it’s worth a wander around.
Fethiye centre also has a covered daily market where you can buy fruit and vegetables as well as a host of other locally produced foodstuffs such as dairy products, poultry and Turkish coffee.
This area is also home to the famous Fethiye Fish Market where you can dine at one of the surrounding restaurants or buy seafood to take home to cook yourself.
- The big market is every Tuesday in Fethiye.
- There is a good-sized market every Sunday in Çalış, just off Yerguzlar Caddesi.
- If it’s the local seasonal food you’re looking for, there’s a pleasant, low key village Friday market on the site of the Tuesday market.
- If you’re staying in Hisarönü, you can have a mooch around your local market on Mondays.
- For those of you in the Çiftlik area, Çiftlik Market is every Thursday.
- And if you’re up in Üzümlü, your market is on Fridays.
No holiday to Fethiye, Turkey is complete without a visit to Ölüdeniz.
Famous for its breathtaking panoramic views, taking in the Kumburnu stretch of sand, this has become one of the most-photographed beaches in the world.
Belcekiz Beach, commonly known as Ölüdeniz Beach, has the crashing waves, shopping, bars, restaurants, paragliding companies – and paragliders coming in to land from the slopes of Babadağ.
Or you can swim in the calm, shallow water of the lagoon.
After paying as far as Ölüdeniz, the dolmuş from Fethiye will take you the extra way down to the private beaches of the blue lagoon for free.
Just ask the driver.
- The dolmuş leaves the dolmuş station in Fethiye every few minutes.
- In high season, the last one back to Fethiye is around 2am. Check with the driver.
- Journey time from Fethiye – about 45 mins one way.
Kayaköy (often called the Ghost Village or Ghost Town) has many ruins left as a result the population exchange between Turkey and Greece in 1923.
Beautiful countryside, Turkish village life and a sad reminder of the past.
Wander amongst the ruins, breathe in the views from the top of the village. For us, Kayaköy is one of the most beautiful places in the Fethiye area.
There are lots of places where you can eat and drink in Kayaköy, with prices to suit all budgets.
- The dolmuş to Kaya from Fethiye is every hour, on the hour, from the dolmuş station. Every half an hour in high season.
- The last dolmuş back to Fethiye is around 8pm in low season and 10pm in the summer months.
- Be sure to check with the driver if you don’t want to end up in a taxi.
- Journey time from Fethiye – about 40 mins one way.
- Or you can walk to Kayaköy from Fethiye if you feel like it. Enjoy the green pine forests of the area.
Not the most typical of tourist attractions, perhaps, but if you’re in the Fethiye area during football season (Aug/Sept to Apr/May) and Fethiyespor happen to be playing at home, you could always go along to give them your support.
It’s very cheap compared to football prices you might be used to in the UK or elsewhere.
If you’ve never been before and don’t know what to expect, neither did we before we first went.
It’s an experience, and it’s good fun.
Şehit Fethi Bey Parkı
There’s something for everyone at Fethiye’s Şehit Fethi Bey Parkı, the largest recreation area in the region.
Chill by the water, walk, run, cycle, use the outdoor gym.
And, if the kids are bored, there’s a large play area with lots of features to keep them entertained.
Just outside the park, you can stand on the viewing terrace and feed the ducks – and other feathered friends – at Duck Island.
Or you can sit on the benches along the seashore and look out for jumping fish and loggerhead turtles (prevalent in May and June).
There’s also a skate park for the BMX, skateboard and roller blading fans.
Here’s our photographic tour of Fethi Bey Park.
Çalış Beach Sunset
Whatever your views on Çalış Beach, there is no denying that this little area of Southwest Turkey is one of the best places to catch some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world.
If beach areas like Çalış are just not your thing, you really ought to make the effort to go down there, if only just to watch the sun go down.
Our photo archives are packed with Çalış sunset photos. No two are the same.
Yes, lots of tourists go there in high season – but places become top attractions for a reason.
We never get bored of Saklıkent Gorge.
One of Turkey’s many national parks, Saklıkent actually translates as ‘hidden city.’ Not very hidden anymore.
If you’re here early in the season, however, go on any day except Sunday and it should be free from crowds.
You could have the gushing rapids and colossal cliff faces to yourself.
Eat at the fabulous Kayıp Cennet Restaurant, if you manage to arrive before the jeep safari crowds.
- The usual scenario. The dolmuş leave the dolmuş station for Saklıkent on a regular basis.
- If you’re in a car, take the D400 towards Antalya and it’s signposted from here.
- Journey time from Fethiye – about 50 mins one way.
- Drive a little further along the Saklıkent road and you can also visit Gizlikent Şelalesi – a waterfall.
- If you don’t want to go to Saklıkent and Tlos under your own steam, there are day trips that you can book locally. Jeep safari tours also head to these areas.
Very underrated as far as we are concerned.
Amazing views over the Xanthos Valley. Lycian and Roman ruins intermingled with mountain village life.
And, as settings go for Roman baths, this one is spectacular!
No visit to Tlos is complete without stopping in for a drink or a bite to eat at the Original Yaka Park.
Hire a car / moped and you can go to Saklikent and Tlos in one day.
Tlos is worth 2 or 3 hours of your time. Journey time from Fethiye – about 50 mins one way.
And once you’ve explored the fabulous ancient ruins of Tlos in their beautiful setting, history buffs will find a visit to Fethiye Museum well worth the time.
Including the Roman statues that were recently unearthed at Tlos.
The museum is only small but it’s well worth a visit. Especially if it’s raining.
You’ll also find artefacts from Fethiye’s ancient Telmessos Theatre, which dates from the 2nd Century BC, in the museum, too.
Fethiye Umbrella Street
‘Umbrella Street’ has a Sunday name; Çarşı 95 Sokak.
But you can see why people refer to it as Umbrella Street.
And in Fethiye, it’s become a bit of a tourist (and local) attraction.
As well as shopping, people now come to 95 Sokak to take photos of the umbrellas.
And photos of themselves standing underneath them.
The umbrellas are definitely a must see for Fethiye.
And you can feed and water yourself along here either by sitting at Cafe Cafe or wandering into the hidden garden of Kukina Caferia.
Fethiye’s Babadağ Mountain
This is the mountain from where you soar should you choose to do the paragliding in Ölüdeniz.
If paragliding is not your thing, you can go up to the top by road and enjoy the views from the restaurants once you get there.
Click here for photos and write up about our drive to the top of Babadağ.
A cable car service – Skywalk – has started to take passengers to different levels of Babadağ with further open cars continuing to the very top. If you’re brave enough.
There are two restaurants that will feed and water you whilst you admire the breathtaking views.
From the highest restaurant and walkway, you can view the mountain’s best launching site.
You can also watch paragliders take off and soar into the thermals before descending to the resort below.
Fethiye Water Parks
If water parks, slides and splashing are your thing, check out Sultan’s Aqua City in Çalış or Orka World Waterpark in Ovacık.
Transfers and pick-up services can be arranged from your hotel. Or you can get to either water park easily under your own steam.
Fethiye Water Sports
Staying with the water theme, if you would rather be out on the sea rather than in the pool of a water park, Fethiye has lots of different activities to offer when it comes to water sports.
In the Koca Çalış area, along the stretch of beach, there are surf schools offering paid sessions where you can try the local favourite; kite surfing.
Windsurfing is also on offer.
These are also great spectator sports – from your beach lounger or bar table!
If serenity is preferred to adrenaline, you can head over to Ölüdeniz and try your hand at stand up paddle boarding (SUP).
Sea kayaking and canoe tours are also on offer via local companies.
If you’d rather be submerged than on top of the water, Fethiye has accredited PADI diving companies where you can do anything from a first time try dive to courses at various levels, depending on your level of experience.
A bit of a white knuckle ride for some, Faralya village is a 50 minute drive from Fethiye centre.
Drive (or be driven) along the high, winding road that hugs the slopes of Babadağ to Faralya village – Uzunyurt.
The Mediterranean views from this road as you slowly climb away from Ölüdeniz towards the mountain village can only be described as stupendous!
From here, you can also take in the breathtaking views of Butterfly Valley hundreds of feet below.
Visit Faralya for the views, the mountain air, a hint of village life, a bite to eat.
A handful of small pensions and motels cling to the cliff faces where owners are, first and foremost, beekeepers (Faralya honey is famous in the area) and goat herders.
Grab yourself a simple but tasty village meal at these places.
If you want an overnight stay in more luxurious surroundings, the village is now home to some of the Fethiye area’s smartest boutique hotels where people come to completely chill out, honeymoon or to attend yoga retreats.
- For those hiking on the Lycian Way, Ovacık to Faralya is a popular first stretch – a great day hike outside high season.
- There is a dolmuş from Fethiye to Kabak (via Faralya) that runs regularly in high season. There are only a few a day outside high season so make sure you check timetables in low season.
Just a few short kilometres along the road from Faralya is Kabak Bay (Kabak Koyu).
One of our favourite things to do in Fethiye – jump on the dolmuş and spend the day (or a night or two) in beautiful Kabak. Another world.
Lots of places to eat and stay. Wooden bungalow accommodation – ranging from basic to luxurious – sits on the hillside as well as along the bay below.
Make your way to the beach for a swim or paddle in the (often) crashing waves.
Or hire a speedboat to take you Cennet Koyu (Paradise Bay) and other places to swim.
Formerly an enclave for young bohemian backpackers, Kabak is now much more popular, but it is still a great place to come and chill in relative peace.
- There is a regular dolmuş in summer from Fethiye centre.
- Access to the beach is by the beach dolmuş or foot. Private vehicles are not allowed to use the track to the beach.
Formerly known as Üzümlü, Yeşilüzümlü is a pretty mountain village.
The village is famous for its grapes (‘üzüm’ is the Turkish word for grape), a local weave known as dastar and the annual Yeşilüzümlü Mushroom Festival that takes place each April.
Just over 17 kilometres up the hill from Fethiye centre, if you’re here in the summer months, go to Yeşilüzümlü for some much-appreciated cooler mountain air.
Yeşilüzümlü used to be a sleepy village with just a tea shop opposite the mosque.
These days, there’s a sizable expat population which means there are now a handful of bars, restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy the village surroundings.
Drive yourself up here or hire a driver so that you can also visit the historic site of Cadianda.
Ruins date from the Hellenistic and Roman period – but you’ll be awed by the views as much as the ruins.
Beyond Üzümlü, continuing up the mountain road are the villages of Nif and Kırkpınar. Nif has annual cherry festival in July.
Kırkpınar has a village restaurant of the same name and is a perfect place to drive to for panoramic views on the way up.
Here, some of the area’s highest mountain peaks feel close enough to touch.
Home to a swanky marina packed with private yachts and mega yachts, Göcek still retains a quiet, laid back atmosphere.
A lovely place to visit, if only to walk along the harbour, enjoy a long leisurely lunch or do some shopping in the pedestrianised street running parallel to the seafront.
Artisan shops, boutiques and specialist sailing shops are the order of the day, here.
As mentioned in the section above on boat trips, it’s possible to visit Göcek from Fethiye centre every Sunday via a boat trip.
If you want more time, however, it’s worth a drive there. Or jump on the dolmuş in Fethiye centre to take you there.
Day Trips From Fethiye – Further Afield
Aside from Tlos and Saklıkent, all of our suggestions so far have been within Fethiye boundaries.
However, we are blessed in that we are in the heart of the Turkish Riviera in Fethiye.
Both to our east and our west, pretty coastal towns and villages abound. Pristine beaches, ancient history, shopping, eating and drinking all await.
And they’re all just a short drive – or organised day trip – away.
We have individual articles on each of the places mentioned below.
Simply click on the links for more information.
Letoon & Xanthos Ancient Cities
If you know this area of turkey, you’ll know its rich history.
You can do this trip by dolmuş and follow the Lycian Way between the two sites on foot.
Alternatively, you can hire a driver or drive yourself. Jeep safari trips from Fethiye also often make a stop at Xanthos.
Roughly 1 hour away from Fethiye by car, stunning Patara Beach is a vast stretch of soft sand complete with sand dunes and shallow waters.
The beach is a short walk away from the ancient ruins. And a short distance away is the pretty village of Gelemiş where there are low-key eateries to grab some food and drink.
About 1 hour 15 mins drive from Fethiye, the historic coastal fishing village of Kalkan sits on a steep hillside and is picture-postcard pretty.
If narrow, cobbled alleyways; shuttered windows, wooden Ottoman Greek balconies and whitewashed walls of villas are your thing, Kalkan is the day trip for you.
Further east along the D400 from Kalkan, about a 90 minute drive from Fethiye, sits one of our favourite places to visit.
This is the small town of Kaş.
Like Fethiye, Kaş is a working town. So you get a happy mix of tourism and local life, coexisting.
The drive here is wonderfully rewarding.
Views reaching over the Taurus Mountains, before you hit the coast and hug the cliff faces, snaking past Kaputaş Beach (do stop here for photos) and beyond until you reach the main town.
About 1 hour’s drive from Fethiye is the pretty waterway village of Dalyan.
We love the village and the surroundings so we visit often.
The dolmuş from Fethiye to Dalyan is an easy journey, as is a self drive.
Organised day trips from Fethiye with local companies also take in the famous mud baths and a boat trip along the river to Iztuzu Beach (more famously known as Turtle Beach).
If you’re like us and mud baths are not your thing, make the trip to Dalyan under your own steam.
Then hop across the waterway in a taxi rowing boat or car ferry and visit the ancient ruins of Kaunos.
North of Dalyan at the top of Köyceğiz lake is the small town that takes its name from the lake.
Köyceğiz is about a 60 minute drive from Fethiye.
Come here for a slow pace of life and a bit of tranquility. Köyceğiz has Cittaslow status.
Ephesus & Pamukkale
Whilst this trip isn’t a day trip from Fethiye, it’s still one of the top things to do if you’re holidaying here.
Lots of local travel agents run organised trips that are usually 2 days; sometimes 3.
Ideally, we recommend doing this trip in your own time, under your own steam so that you also get time to spend around the ruins of Hierapolis.
But if time is tight and you only have a few days to play with, the organised trips are invaluable because they make sure you don’t miss out on anything.
Getting To The Greek Islands From Fethiye
(At the time of writing, sea travel between Turkey and Greece is still not possible. We hope for the situation to be resolved later in 2022.)
From Fethiye, it is easy to do day trips to two Greek islands; both in the Dodecanese.
Take the catamaran from Fethiye harbour to the Greek island of Rhodes and spend the day wandering the mediaeval alleyways of Rhodes Town.
The crossing takes 90 minutes.
For a peaceful day sat along a Greek harbour with pastel coloured houses nestled into the hillside, head over to Kaş (see above) and make the 20 minute sail across to the island of Meis (Kastellorizo).
Fethiye Things To Do – FAQs
The Fethiye area is a huge place to visit as you can see from the list above. It is a great place to base yourself for exploring as well as relaxing.
Give yourself at least one week – and then keep coming back for more.
That would be Dalaman Airport – about 45 minutes away by car.
That’s a big yes. Nightlife in Fethiye can be a relaxing meal by the water or a late night around the bars of Paspatur.
Paspatur tends to attract both a Turkish and international crowd.
There’s too much to mention when it comes to Hisarönü and Ölüdeniz. Bars, clubs and restaurants galore.
Nightlife in the Çalış area of Fethiye tends to be a bit more low key.
Restaurants along the beach and the road leading away from the beach. Some bars do have live music, however, if you want something a bit more lively.
Friendly people. Ölüdeniz & its Blue Lagoon. Rock tombs. Local honey. Great climate. Bill Gates & Jeff Bezos holidays. And much, much more (see above)!
The tap water in Fethiye is considered safe to drink, but it is on the hard scale – and prone to lime scale – so many people prefer to drink bottled water.
We both drink tap water all the time though.
We have a separate page for that. Check out our top tips for places to eat & drink in Fethiye here.
Most of the suggestions above are outdoor activities. However, sometimes, the heavens do open in Fethiye.
If this happens to you whilst you’re in the area, check out our top tips for what to do in Fethiye in the rain.
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