There is a whole host of reasons why having Christmas in Fethiye is such a great idea – not least the chance of sunshine. There are great places to walk; just for fun, or to work off an excess of good food, or to work up an appetite for the next meal. On the other hand, maybe you just want to find a sunny spot to relax. We’ve come up with our top five reasons for being in Fethiye this Christmas but you of course may have some ideas of your own.

Have a Turkish breakfast

A full Turkish breakfast is a tradition that shouldn't be missed
A full Turkish breakfast is a tradition that shouldn’t be missed – 3rd December 2016

The full Turkish breakfast has become a right of passage for anyone coming to or living in Fethiye. It’s impossible to list all the places where you can enjoy this uniquely pleasurable banquet – and of course it is something that can be eaten at any time of the day – not just in the morning.

Go for a long walk

Winter in the Fethiye highlands
Winter in the Fethiye highlands

If your energy levels are high, there is nothing better than a trek along the Lycian Way or a hike in the mountains along a goat track. Fancy a white Christmas? Just drive, cycle or walk up to the highlands. Thinking about a stroll? There is nowhere better than the Fethiye Kordon

Many places to walk
Many places to walk

Have a picnic lunch

Arpacik/Nif for a winter barbecue (Jan 5th 2015)
Arpacik/Nif for a winter barbecue

Wherever you plan to be at lunchtime, on the beach or in the countryside, take a picnic with you. The markets and shops are full of food perfect for a festive al fresco meal but on a serious note, please remember to take your rubbish home with you or use one of the town’s many recycling centres.

Watch sunset on Çalış beach

Top 5 ways to celebrate Christmas in Fethiye
Christmas sunset on Çalış beach

Watching the sunsets from Çalış beach at any time of year has become a tradition, so watching it set at Christmas will surely be one to remember.

Christmas sunset in Fethiye
Christmas sunset in Fethiye

Have Christmas dinner

Christmas fishing on the beach in Çalış
Christmas fishing on the beach in Çalış

With so many of Fethiye’s restaurants serving Christmas-themed meals this weekend, don’t be surprised to find yourself nose twitching, Bisto-kid fashion, as aromas of roasting turkey, goose, stuffing and Christmas pudding waft through the town. As with the Turkish all-day breakfast, a dinner at Noel Bayram has become a tradition in the town.

Don’t despair if you can’t be there…

But what about those of you who cannot be in Fethiye for Christmas? Do not despair… help is at hand. We know how much you all love Turkish cuisine so why not add a few Turkish touches to your festive menu this year?

For starters…

One of the best meze ever in our opinion is patlican salatası – aubergine salad. This recipe from Özlem’s Turkish Table is excellent. Add a scattering of flat leaf parsley and jewel-like pomegranate seeds to create a very season effect.

patlicanli-eksileme-ve-yogurtlama-003-700x488 A different way with green beans

zeytinyagli_taze_fasulye2One of our favourites is taze fasulye. The fresh green beans on sale in Fethiye’s manav (greengrocers) and markets are perfect for this Aegean dish but green beans from anywhere will work well too. This recipe on the Peter Sommers website is delicious warm or cold. Serve with a main meal or as a starter. Mop up the juices with some crusty fresh bread.

The ultimate rice pudding


With or without Christmas pudding we think this will surprise and delight you. Turkish Sütlaç is a creamy rice pudding. Even though Yotam Ottolenghi doesn’t actually say so, we think this recipe is a take on Sütlaç and the cherries, such a famous Fethiye fruit and the inclusion of cinnamon – the Christmas aroma – makes this a winner.

In the summer there is an abundance of cherries in Fethiye but unless you had the foresight to freeze or bottle some, you will have to use the dried ones that are available in some specialist shops.

Wherever you will be this weekend, afiyet olsun, bon appétit and Happy Christmas!

All the photos of Fethiye (except one) were taken during the 12 days of Christmas in the last few years.