What to See and Do in Fethiye, Turkey

Last Updated on April 19, 2024

Fethiye Coast

Are you looking to visit Turkey but are not sure where to go? Check out Fethiye, a popular beach city with natural harbors in the province of Muğla along the Aegean Sea. It’s home to some of the best beach clubs, rock tombs, and the famous Butterfly Valley. Additionally, Fethiye is known for many of its picturesque beaches, like Ölüdeniz Sahili (Beach) and Kalemya Bay

 Top Sights 

Tomb of Amyntas (Amyntas Rock Tombs): Also known as Fethiye, the Tomb of Amyntas is the ancient ruins of the Lycian rock tombs built in 350 B.C. for Amyntas, son of Hermagios.

Lycian Sarcophaguses (Likya Lahiti): While the main point of attraction is the Tomb of Amyntas, you will still see Lycian rock tombs, most notably near the Fethiye Governorship building, when strolling around the town. Signs and an ominous atmosphere will make it impossible for you to miss them.

Castle of Fethiye (Fethiye Kalesi): Located on the west side of the hillside, Amyntas Rock Tombs (Amintas Kaya Mezarları), Castle of Fethiye was probably built by the Lycians, and in the 15th century, it was fortified by the Knights of the Order of St John. It offers a panoramic view of Fethiye to those who climb upon it.

Fethiye Ancient Theatre (Telmessos Theatre): While the exact date of construction is not known, this small Hellenistic theater was built on a slope near the marina. Stone stage houses were added in 2 A.D. After being abandoned for years, it was finally restored by the Fethiye Museum. While not so impressive, it still serves as a good stop when strolling in the town.

The Lycian Way (Likya Yolu): The Lycian Way is a 520 km (320 mi) marked hiking trail that stretches from Hisarönü (Fethiye) to Konyaaltı (Antalya). During the hike, you pass through many historic sites, such as Olympos and Chimera. There is even a yearly Lycian Way Ultra Marathon.

Ölüdeniz: 17 km south of Fethiye, is the calm beach resort town of Ölüdeniz, popular for its "Blue Lagoon." Here, you can enjoy many beautiful beaches, water sports, paragliding, and more.

Kayaköy: Also known as Levissi, this small "ghost town" was inhibited by Greeks until 1923's population exchange. Karmylassos Ruins, Watch Tower Church, and Kayaköy Old Church are among the popular sites in this small village.

Fethiye's Knight Island (Şövalye Adası): Knight Island is a small island with accommodations and restaurants. Taxi boats take travelers visiting Fethiye to the island daily.

Fethiye's Çalış Beach
Fethiye Downtown Tourist Area

Top Experiences

1.   Explore Butterfly Valley and Oludeniz

Butterfly Valley is a must-visit site where travelers can catch a glimpse of the many butterfly species that call this place home. For backpackers, this is the place where you can choose a trail and go hiking in the mountains to find some amazing waterfalls and creeks. Be sure to bring out your best camera and get some cool shots from the highest point of Butterfly Valley, overlooking the sandy beach from above.

2.   Spend the Day Lounging at Çaliş Beach 

Çaliş Beach is one of Fethiye’s most popular places to visit. It’s located 8km (5 miles) away from Fethiye’s Ece Marina and is kid-friendly. It also has a boardwalk where dozens of beautiful restaurants lie right along the beach. This makes it the perfect location to have a delicious meal while watching the sunset. After sunset, there are plenty of bars with nightlife and live entertainment to keep you busy in the evening. 

3.   Take a day trip to the popular Greek Island of Rhodes

A fun fact and a big surprise to many is that Greece isn’t so far away from Turkey’s coast! The popular Greek island of Rhodes is only two hours away from Fethiye’s marina by ferry. The ferry to Rhodes leaves daily at 9:00 a.m. and departs from Rhodes back to Fethiye at 4:30 p.m. It’s an easy day trip to take when you want to visit another country near Turkey without traveling too far.

Rhodes has a lot of historical and archeological sites, including the 14th-century castle Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights, the beautiful and white-washed Acropolis of Lindos, and the sandy beach of Tsambika. Make sure to wear comfortable shoes, as some of Rhodes’ streets can be uncomfortable to walk on.

After a long-day trip to this historical island, a fantastic place to grab dinner is Rozanna. It’s a trendy café and restaurant just outside Fethiye’s Marina. The location is great and easy to access, making it a good option for a quick bite and offering delicious, high-quality meals at reasonable prices.

4. Explore Old Town Fethiye

Old Town Fethiye is a beautiful local bazaar where you can find many small shops, artisan workshops, and cafes to relax after a long day on the beach. Also, you can find many types of souvenirs to bring home with you.

5. Have a Village Breakfast

Turkish breakfast is a well-known phenomenon for travelers, especially with its rich array of food. Enjoying it with a cup of Turkish tea while surrounded by Fethiye's beautiful nature is an unforgettable experience.

Çalış Beach in Fethiye, Turkey
oludeniz beach in Fethiye, Turkey

6. Swim at a Beach Club

Fethiye has some of the most photographed beaches on Turkey's turquoise coast. Its stunning blue lagoons and warm Mediterranean Sea waters are just waiting to welcome you. If you're seeking a more exclusive experience, consider swimming at one of Fethiye's renowned beach clubs.

7. Visit Ancient Lycian Ruins

Fethiye is a city with a rich and lengthy history, having been inhabited by various civilizations such as the Hittites, the Lycian League, the Greeks, and the Romans over the years. As a result, many ancient structures, such as the Tomb of Amyntas (also known as the Amyntas Rock Tombs), the Castle of Fethiye (or Fethiye Kalesi), and the Ancient Theatre (also known as the Telmessos Theatre), can be found along its shores, waiting to be discovered by travelers.

8. Paragliding 

Paragliding is an unforgettable experience that one must try at least once in their lifetime, especially at Fethiye's Ölüdeniz beach. With stunning views of the Mediterranean coast, greenery, and crystal-clear waters, this is a unique experience that can only be found in a few select places.

View of Mediterranean from peninsula in Fethiye
Man paragliding in Oludeniz Fethiye

9. Visit Saklikent Gorge

Just 50km away from Fethiye, Saklikent National Park is a must-visit if you enjoy taking hikes in nature, water sports such as river rafting, or even swimming in its beautiful pools. Remember to wear water shoes since the ground here can get very slippery.

10. Take a Boat Tour

If you are looking for a one-of-a-kind experience, consider taking a boat trip around the stunning Mediterranean Sea. Boat tours departing from Fethiye will take you to Butterfly Valley, Ölüdeniz's "Blue Lagoon," nearby islands, and many other beautiful locations. These tours offer a breathtaking view of the sunset and are truly unforgettable.

-By Kimberly Price and Can Turan

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