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Fethiye

Getting to know Fethiye

If you’re looking for a place in Turkey’s Mediterranean region that’s easy to get to, consider Fethiye. To begin your exploration of the Turquoise Coast, a famed length of green coastline, this harbor town is a great place to begin.

As a starting point for exploring the region’s beaches and ancient Lycian ruins, Fethiye is a great location. Boat day cruises and multi-day yacht tours are also popular activities in the area.

When you’ve had your fill of mountaintop sightseeing at UNESCO World Heritage Sites like massive rock-cut tombs and mountaintop monuments, or sunbathing, boating, and paragliding fun, Fethiye is the perfect place to kick back and unwind.

Letoön

Visits to Letoön, Xanthos’ religious sanctuary, are often part of larger Xanthos excursions. Both Letoön and the ruins of Xanthos are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Hera’s jealous wife Zeus banished Leto to Lycia after an affair with the great Greek god, according to local mythology, and the sanctuary here was dedicated to her.

Leto has a shrine, as do her Zeus, Apollo, and Artemis-given twins, each with their own shrine.

this is a must-see stop on your way there. Look for the well-preserved mosaic in the Temple of Apollo’s floor.

The Harbor

Located in Fethiye, Turkey, is one of the country’s most beautiful natural harbors and a popular starting point for yachting trips. The Blue Cruise, a three-night yacht trip along the coast from Fethiye to Olympos with stops in Kaş and the Kekova Island area, is the most well-known of these excursions.

During the summer months, Blue Cruises depart every day for the duration of the season. With plenty of room for sunbathing on the boat and a few swimming stops, they’re a great way to see this beautiful and rugged coastline.

You can also take a one-day cruise from Fethiye harbor if you don’t have enough time to make the trip described above.

Kayaköy's Ruins

There were Greeks and Turkish people living together peacefully in Kayaköy (ancient Karmylassos) for centuries until the 1920s, when the Turkish-Greek population began to decline.

The 1923 Population Exchange, which took place in Turkey in 1923, displaced ethnic Greeks across the country and sent them to Greece, while forcing ethnic Turks who had lived in Greece to leave.

This exchange caused heartbreak and trauma for those who had to flee, and Kayaköy is the best place to see it.

Since the Greeks departed, this eerie stone village has been left to slowly decompose across the hillside.

Two churches in the area’s ruins, Katapongagia and Taxiarchis, still retain much of their original interior decor.

Paragliding in olüdeniz Lagoon's surface

Fethiye is 15 kilometers south of the world’s most famous beach. As if the white-sand beach and dense pine forest that surround the turquoise water weren’t perfect enough, tourists have been flocking to this idyllic spot for years.

It’s true that package tourism has dulled the once-glowy surface of lüdeniz somewhat in the last two decades, but the lagoon area hasn’t seen the development of other tourist hot spots, and the village attached to the lagoon is still a modest affair.

If you don’t want to go swimming or sunbathing on the beach, tandem paragliding is a popular alternative.

The Ancient Sites of Fethiye

This stretch of Turkish coastline was ruled by the Lycians beginning in the year 200 BC, and Fethiye is built on the ruins of Telmessos, a major Lycian city. The rock-cut Tomb of Amyntas on the cliff face above the city is the most famous of the city’s monuments.

On Kaya Caddesi, you can see Lycian sarcophagi on the way up the hill to the tomb. There are also more Lycian sarcophagi in the city center, near the town hall.

Even though the Romans allowed the Lycians to govern themselves after conquering Asia Minor, they still left their mark on the Lycian cities.

Butterfly Valley's Beach

Inaccessibility by car is one of the attractions of Butterfly Valley. There are two ways to get here from the village of Faralya, which sits atop a cliff: by foot or by boat. In the summer, shuttle-boats leave from olüdeniz beach several times a day for Butterfly Valley.

The lush, forested gorge behind the beach provides excellent hiking opportunities, but most visitors prefer to relax on the sand.

The Butterfly Valley boat tour departs from olüdeniz and includes stops at Butterfly Valley, where guests can relax or hike, as well as other coves where they can cool off and swim. I highly recommend taking advantage of this opportunity to admire the coastal scenery. Lunch is included in the ticket price.

Hiking through Saklikent Gorge

Located about 30 kilometers southeast of Fethiye, the Akdalar mountain range, this ravine is carved deep into the mountains. Most visitors to the gorge come to see the soaring cliffs from a hiking trail.

Toward the end of the cliff, there is a wooden boardwalk that descends into the gorge. For the final waterfall, hikers must first cross a fast-moving river and then squeeze through a small crack in the rock.

Many teahouses with cushion-strewn benches line the riverbanks at the gorge’s entrance and the gorge’s base, where hikers must cross it to continue their journey.

Xanthos' Ruins, Number Six

It is sometimes referred to as “the oldest republic in the world” because of its role as the capital of ancient Lycia.

The ruins of Xanthos, the capital city of this league of 20 cities, which was ruled by a president based in Xanthos, are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Many of Xanthos’ most impressive structures were removed to England in the nineteenth century, but the theater, agora, and acropolis can still be visited today.

Left of where you’re standing now, you’ll see the plinth where the Nereid Monument once stood. It was an ionic temple with ornate sculpture (now displayed in the British Museum).

It can be seen on the right side of the road. In the 3rd century BC, the city’s walls, some of which can still be seen, are likely to have been built.

Patara

If you’re looking for a long stretch of golden sand, head to Patara Patara (70 kilometers south of Fethiye).

Ancient Patara’s rambling ruins can be found just behind the sand in this Lycian League city. Make your way there and then take a dip in the sea to cool off.

Roman-era triple-arched gate, a well-restored bouleuterion, a colonnaded street, theater, and baths complex, as well as plenty of tombs can be found in the ruins of Patara, which date back to the 4th century BC.

As far back as the Byzantine era is concerned, the city still has a basilica visible.

Patara is also the birthplace of Saint Nicholas of Myra (modern Demre, near Kaş), the 4th century bishop who became ‘Santa Claus’.

Tlos Rock Tombs.

There’s no better place to see a Lycian city ruin in Turkey than Tlos, which sits 35 kilometers east of Fethiye.

There are numerous Lycian rock tombs carved into the acropolis hill’s rock face, as well as an agora, necropolis, baths, restored theater, Byzantine basilica, and the scattered ruins of houses and public buildings to be found in Tlos.

An Ottoman-era fortress is also visible on the top of the acropolis hill, demonstrating that the Lycians weren’t the only ones who valued a good mountain stronghold position. During Ottoman rule, a number of local brigands occupied this fortress.

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