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15 Reasons to Visit Fethiye, Turkey: Beaches, History, and Unique Experiences

Posted by BlogEditor on 29 June 2024
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1. Home to One of the Most Beautiful Turkish Beaches

What’s not to love about Oludeniz? Its long sandy beach juts out into the blue Mediterranean Sea, creating a peaceful lagoon where kids can splash about safely. It’s a protected area, which means it will never be built up and will be left as natural as possible for future generations.

2. Skiing and Beach in One Day

Fethiye is not just a sun-filled destination. During winter months, a short drive takes you deep within snowy mountains. You can enjoy snow activities and then head down to the shore for lunch on Oludeniz Beach, experiencing the best of both worlds in one day.

3. Historical Rock Tombs

The Lycians buried their dead in these intriguing rock tombs, believing that the spirits of their ancestors would watch over the living below. Today, the rock tombs are a constant visual reminder of the incredible history of this part of Turkey, which was once a powerful Lycian kingdom.

4. Walk Among Ghosts in Kayakoy

Almost 100 years ago, Kayakoy’s Greek population left Turkey’s shores and returned to Greece as part of the population exchange. The Turks who were meant to move in never did, leaving Kayakoy’s homes and buildings abandoned to the elements. Today it’s an atmospheric ghost village and UNESCO heritage site, perfect for exploring old buildings and peering into the church and school.

5. The Bustling Fish Market

Fethiye’s lively fish market is the town’s social center, especially on weekends. It’s the perfect place to pick up fresh fish, meet locals, and people-watch. You can also have seafood cooked on the spot, enjoy a beer, and a slap-up supper while listening to live music.

6. Mild Winters

Fethiye never gets too cold. While nights can be cool, and there is occasional rain, daytime temperatures can reach about 20 degrees Celsius, making it a pleasant winter escape for those from colder climates.

7. Hidden Beach Gems

Besides the famous Oludeniz Blue Lagoon, Fethiye offers secret spots that most visitors don’t discover. Hidden gems like Aksazlar Bay, Kuleli, Boncuklu, and Samanlik await those who hop on a dolmus and explore.

8. Amazing Markets

The Calis Sunday market is a favorite for locals and visitors alike, offering dried fruits, nuts, produce, honey, and cosmetic items. The Fethiye market on Tuesday includes all of the above plus fake designer gear. Combine market visits with boat trips for a unique shopping experience.

9. Environmental Crusader

Retired Imam Ismail Baloglu has launched a one-man crusade to get people to pick up after themselves. He drives around the region picking up rubbish and educating others, seeing the Fethiye region and the wider world as a gift to be preserved for future generations.

10. Bird Houses for Winter

Town officials were so concerned about birds catching a chill this winter that they erected 10 bird houses in trees around town. These uniquely designed bird hotels provide shelter, food, and water for the unique species found around Fethiye.

11. Passionate About Sea Turtles

The endangered caretta-caretta turtle nests in the Fethiye region. Dedicated volunteers help improve the turtles’ chances of survival by cleaning up beaches, informing visitors about hatching areas, and educating the next generation about preserving this ancient sea creature.

12. Active Expat Community

Fethiye has a large expat community that likes to get things done. They open charity shops, hold craft fairs and car boot sales, organize Christmas get-togethers and murder mystery nights, rescue stray dogs, and generally involve themselves in the community.

13. A Cool Story Behind the Town’s Name

In 1934, Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk renamed the town formerly known as Makri to Fethiye, after the daring Ottoman Air Force pilot Captain Fethi Bey. Fethi was one of the force’s first pilots but was killed when he crashed over Damascus. The pioneering pilot is remembered with a statue in the town.

14. Hidden Butterfly Valley

Accessible only by boat, Butterfly Valley is worth the trip. This incredible valley with its beautiful beach is home to numerous butterfly species. Explore the lush terrain and enjoy the dizzying array of butterflies in this natural paradise.

15. Escape to Sovalye Island

Just a short water taxi ride from Fethiye centre, Sovalye Island offers a peaceful escape from holiday crowds. With few homes and no roads, the island is perfect for kayaking, exploring sunken Lycian ruins, swimming, and dining at one of two restaurants. It’s totally peaceful and idyllic.


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