Fethiye and the surrounding area has plenty to offer the active visitor. From cycling to scrambling over the ruins at Patara there’s an activity to suit most tastes. Updated for 2013.
Visit Historic Sites
There are plenty of ancient sites to visit in and around Fethiye. An entry fee is payable to nearly all the sites if a guard is on duty (sometimes).
The great thing about Turkey, unlike many other European countries, is the freedom to roam once in a site – very few areas are restricted. So if you want to stand in the amphitheatre and sing to your fellow visitors sitting on the seats you can. Likewise if you want to have a picnic in the ruins of a temple you can.
In high summer it is best to visit early in the morning or in the late afternoon to avoid the scorching sun.
Our top 4 picks are:
Patara near Kalkan – Just an hours drive from Fethiye this site is very large and continues to grow each year as further excavations and renovations take place. It has a large amphitheatre, baths, ancient lighthouse, a newly refurbished government building (2012) and more.
You could, if you are energetic, spend a good half day exploring this site. Entry to the site also gets you access to the long sandy beach where you can cool off after your trip around the ruins so don’t forget your swimmers!
Kadianda near Uzumlu – Around half an hour drive from Fethiye is the site of Kadianda. It sits on top of a high hill in the forest over looking Fethiye. Although most of the site was levelled as a result of an ancient earthquake there are still some interesting things to see.
Tlos – This site is popular with day trippers in the holiday season who arrive by bus and Jeep Safari from the resorts. Its high position provides wonderful views of the valleys below. The best time to visit is in spring when the whole site is full of wonderful wild and colourful flowers. Recent works have seen the stadium cleared and more items unearthed.
Xanthos – This site is on the main road between Kemer and Kalkan above the village of Kinik. It has some interesting mosaics, the tall Harpy tomb ( a replacement after a the original was ‘stolen’) and more. Check out the mosaic’s too.
Take a Trip to the Top of the World
Well not quite the top of the world but at nearly 2,000 metres (6,500ft) the Babadag mountain is certainly a fantastic place to take in the spectacular views over the azure Aegean sea and rugged but lush countryside.
Starting in 2012 a new mini bus service run by the local bus drivers cooperative makes the long climb to the top of the mountain where you can enjoy cooler air, watch the paragliders launch and marvel at the views.
On a clear day you can see as far as 160 km (96 miles) from that height. No wonder they have a fire lookout on the very peak of the mountain.
The mini bus service price is quoted as a single fare at the bus stop. We are not sure why unless you plan to paraglide back which in that case you would take one of the paragliding services.
Full details of the service can be found here.
If you don’t like cycling up hills then Fethiye offers a huge flat area so you can explore the outer town on two wheels easily. But if it’s off road you seek then the area has some fantasticly varied routes that will test your fitness and skills to the limit.
Fethiye has its own cycling groups that meet on set days. Rides vary in difficulty and distance but all will take you on amazing routes mostly off road. If you don’t have a bike you can hire one locally.
You can find out more by dropping into the Lykia2Teker Bike shop on the Migros Road about 200 metres from the tax office roundabout or the bike shop over the junction from the Zakkum Restuarant again on the Migros Road. If you want a bespoke tour or to hire a bike just ask in the bike shop for more details.
If you want to really go off road and make a full holiday on two wheels then take a look at local cycling tour company Eye4Cycling website. They offer guided and accompanied tours with great food and accomodation.
Fethiye has more to offer walkers than just the world famous Lykian Way. Some tour companies offer guided walks to suit your fitness and time. Ask around for more information and take a guide to make sure you don’t get lost. One such experienced local guide can be found here.
You could also join the local Hash walkers too. See our link here for more information.
The calm seas around Fethiye make it a wonderful place to mess about on water. Kayaking is a great way to see the area without impacting on the environment. Seven Capes kayaking offers a range of trips to suit all abilities. From a night paddle around Gemiler Island to a full blown multi expedition there’s something for everyone. More information can be found in our article Night Kayaking.
The blue warm waters around Fethiye are the ideal location for SUBA diving. There are plenty of diving companies that serve the resorts around Fethiye and Oludeniz. They offer a wide range of courses from beginner to the experienced diver.
If you have a head for heights then paragliding might be your thing. Companies offering this activity are based in the resort of Oludeniz and the flights take you from the 2,000 metre high Baba Dag Mountain for a gentle landing on the beach at Oludeniz. The flights last around 45 minutes and your pilot will fly with you – known as a tandem flight.
Of course if you don’t want to jump you can just take the bus up and down as eplained earlier in this article.
If you fancy combining a holiday with helping out at a local organic farm then the village of Yaniklar some 15km outside Fethiye has just the place for you. Pastoral Valley Farm is located in an idyllic location and has a range of comfortable rooms either in mud brick houses (Adobe), wooden chalets or stone houses.
The farm also has a natural swimming pool fed from the nearby river. For more information see this link.
Go to the Canyon
And finally….Saklikent Canyon really is a must see.
If you visit in the heat of summer you will enjoy walking through the ice cold waters to explore this impressive feature of water and weather.
Full details of a trip to the gorge can be found in our article here.