Fethiye, 200 km/124 miles (3 hours) west of Antalya, and 131 km/81 miles (2 hours) east of Marmaris, rests on a broad Mediterranean bay (map) boasting some of Turkey’s best beaches and yachting. Plenty of hotelsprovide a place to stay, and Dalaman Airport makes access fairly easy.
The wide swath of Çalış Beach, several kilometers long, is only 5 km (3 miles) northeast of Fethiye (maps). Ölüdeniz, perhaps Turkey’s most beautifully-situated beach, is 8.5 km (5.3 miles) south of Fethiye, over the hills. Both beaches have their own selections of hotels and restaurants.
Besides the beach, visitors like the ruins of ancient Telmessos scattered through the city, and the day-long 12-Island yacht cruise of the bay, especially the stop at Gemile Island, covered in unrestored Byzantineruins. Boats depart on the cruise every day in the warm months from Fethiye’s busy harbor.
Fethiye is a favorite getaway for British travelers. You may hear English spoken in the streets, shops and markets.
Some 2400 years ago, Fethiye (FET-hee-yeh) was the prominent town of Telmessos, but earthquakes have left only a few Lycian stone sarcophagi from the old town, along with the dramatic Tomb of Amyntas carved into the sheer rock cliff high above the town.
—by Tom Brosnahan