Turkey enjoys fame as one of the most visited holiday destinations in the world. It also ranks as a popular haven for expatriates. Part of the credit for its popularity lies in the vast choice and diversity of places to visit.

Thousands of foreign nationalities, scattered all over the country, live here permanently and every year, millions of people enter through the road, air and sea ports for a brief visit. Whether, it is the Swiss-like green plateaus of the Kaçkar Mountains or the long, sandy beaches of the Mediterranean coast or the hundreds of towns, villages and cities – each present a unique, individual style.

One of these areas is the Fethiye district on the south west coast. Adored by hundreds of expats who say it “feels like home,” even some Türks who have moved there, insist it is the best place in the country. It’s the golden child of Turkey, and most travel companies, scrambling to please their clients, sell it with confidence that holidaymakers will be pleasantly surprised.

How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination

However, with its masses of worshipping fans, almost viewing it with a goddess-like status, is the attention over exaggerated travel talk? No, because Fethiye has carefully, quietly, and unobtrusively risen to become Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination for a few specific reasons.

Beautiful Landscapes Worth Seeing

As an ideal holiday destination, Fethiye has never had to sell itself because the landscapes do all that and much more. They say a picture is worth a thousand words and one glance at the blue Mediterranean waters, backed by mountain ranges and jagged coastline,  has everyone hooked. Fethiye is stunning and every landscape photographer’s dream destination.

The small village of Hisarönü overlooks Ölüdeniz, nestled in a green valley that is also home to the Blue Lagoon, one of the most photographed beaches in the world.

How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination
Ölüdeniz – home to the world famous Blue Lagoon

The village of Ovacık is just a short bus ride away from Fethiye centre, where life at the harbour front, although bustling, is devoid of the typical city ambience and fast-paced lifestyle.

Meanwhile, Çalış Beach, aptly named because of the long stretch of sand inviting you to soak up the rays of the sun, also presents the most marvellous sunset views.

How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination
Çalış Beach
How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination
Çalış sunset – Photograph with permission of Hülya Yamanoğlu

From many vantage points around Fethiye, the perfect picture postcard view invites you to stop, and admire the power of Mother Nature.

How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination

Being bored in Fethiye is impossible

Surrounding landmarks have become popular tourist attractions, mainly because they are unique to the region. The abandoned houses, churches and schools, scattered over a small hillside belong to Kayaköy Ghost Village, an open-air museum of bygone eras when Greeks and Turks lived side by side.

How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination

Boat trips from Ölüdeniz stop off at the ruins of 4th-century churches on the hills of Gemiler Island and gulet cruises regularly drop anchor to spend the night there.

How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination
Gemiler Island (also known as St Nicholas Island)

Snorkelling fans head to the hippy inspired vibes of Butterfly Valley, easily accessible via water taxi from Oludeniz beach.

How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination
Butterfly Valley

Otherwise, those who are after a slow-paced lifestyle, explore the old town, cruise the coastline or visit the Lycian rock tombs with a fantastic view over Fethiye centre.

How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination

Going further afield presents more possibilities of unique things to do and see, which is why the area attracts the explorers in life.

Riviera lifestyle on a budget

Fethiye is a major hub of the Turkish Riviera however, while the idea of waterside living in places like France depicts luxury and indulgence, Fethiye offers the pleasure at lower prices. During summer, many RTW backpackers descend on the region for cheap cabin cruise charters heading east to Olympus or to the Greek islands with food and accommodation included; an affordable activity, in particular for couples.

Likewise, expats who have bought property in Fethiye enjoy a lower cost of living while tapping into the benefits of a Mediterranean Riviera lifestyle. Although the region does luxury with style, eating out is cheap if you know the right places to go to, and it enjoys some of the lowest monthly rent prices in Turkey. Thanks to the excellent transport structure, expats don’t need to own a car, and household maintenance costs are a fraction of other countries, mainly attracting British buyers.

An extensive portfolio of property in Fethiye

Hooked by the beautiful landscapes and Mediterranean lifestyle, many people also take a keen interest in the wide choice of apartments and villas for sale in Fethiye. Despite becoming a fully-fledged city as well as a popular holiday destination, property prices are some of the cheapest in the country, with apartments starting at £45,000 and villas at £130,000.

How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination
Stunning Sea View Fethiye Apartments

Tolga Ertukel, director of Turkey Homes, an estate agent in the area, says “As well as affordable prices with lucrative long-term return on investment, many people buying property in Fethiye remark on the wide choice on the market. Including stone renovation, traditional houses in Kayakoy or a luxury, seafront villa on Solvaye Island, buyers really can find the home of their dreams.”

“One area attracting interest is Ovacık. Exciting off-plan projects showing the latest in architectural designs and modern living are raising the bar, Some British buyers, also buy land plots and design their homes to tailor-make living spaces according to their lifestyle and preferences.”

How Fethiye Became Turkey’s Sweetheart Destination
Ovacik Luxury Custom Villas

Tolga says “This is an appealing choice because we cut out the hassle of finding architects and builders as well as navigating the red tape and legal issues, so they can focus on customising their home. Fethiye is an ideal area in Turkey for property, either as a holiday home or for permanent living because of the potential long-term return on investment. It also has an advantage because other places in Turkey have completely messed up the concept of urban structuring, therefore devaluing the appearance of neighbourhoods. Fethiye hasn’t done this.”

Although it has proven itself as a star performer on the tourism scene and as an ideal expat destination, life in modest Fethiye continues in an almost non-eventful manner. It does not have to market itself at tourism fairs across the globe, nor does it need to think up ingenious ways to capture the attention of the masses. It really is Turkey’s sweetheart destination, and once you visit for yourself, you will understand why.

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