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Fethiye Itinerary: Best things to do in one of the most popular towns in Turkey’s Turquoise Coast (map included)

Fethiye Itinerary: Best things to do in one of the most popular towns in Turkey’s Turquoise Coast (map included)

Table of contents

In this post, you’ll find a Fethiye itinerary, including everything from some of Turkey’s best beaches to awe-inspiring national parks. All the tips you need to visit Fethiye and organise your own trip to one of the most popular destinations on the Turkish Riviera.

Turkey is an incredible country that has something for everyone. Places like Istanbul and Cappadocia are absolutely magnificent, but there’s also a certain magic to the Turkish Riviera and, in particular, Fethiye.

Fethiye Itinerary Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon

Fethiye is one of the most popular destinations on the Turkish Riviera – an area known for its beautiful, pleasant beaches and particularly popular in the warmer months. However, don’t be fooled if you think that a Fethiye itinerary is just about beaches.

The Fethiye region is built on the ruins of the ancient city of Telmessos which was once one of the most important cities in ancient Lycia – a region of ancient Asia Minor. So, as you can already imagine, there is a vast historical heritage in Fethiye. And that’s what you can expect from this Fethiye itinerary: a combination of beautiful beaches, walks in nature, mysterious places and cute and lively old towns.

In addition to the best things to do in Fethiye, in this article, you’ll also find other tips such as:

  • How to get to Fethiye
  • Best hotels in Fethiye
  • Best time to visit Fethiye
  • How many days in Fethiye

Where is Fethiye located?

Fethiye is a destination located on the Turkish Riviera and is part of the Muğla province, located in the southern region of Turkey by the Aegean Sea. It is a particularly popular destination in the warmer months, as it has beautiful landscapes, excellent beaches and, above all, very warm weather.

Fethiye Itinerary Kayaköy

So you can locate Fethiye on the map, this is the distance by car between Fethiye and some of the main tourist cities in Turkey:

  • Antalya: 198 km
  • Izmir: 335 km
  • Ankara: 616 km
  • Kayseri (Cappadocia): 762 km
  • Istanbul: 795 km

How to get to Fethiye?

The closest airport to Fethiye is Dalaman Airport. From Dalaman Airport to Fethiye is just 50 minutes by car (about 45 kilometres).

Some buses run between Dalaman Airport and Fethiye. However, I recommend renting a car to have more freedom when exploring Fethiye. In my case, as I was already on a road trip through Turkey and so, I had rented a car in another location.

Fethiye Itinerary Kaputaş Beach
Kaputaş Beach

Even if you’re travelling from other places in Turkey other than Dalaman Airport, several buses connect the different towns. I suggest checking out this website for more information on buses between Turkish cities or, alternatively, Rome2Rio.

Another interesting option is to fly to the island of Rhodes (Greece) and from there take a ferry to Fethiye. The ferry journey takes around 1.5 hours, and the availability of trips depends on the time of year. More information here.

Is Fethiye worth visiting?

Fethiye isn’t just about the beaches! It’s a very interesting destination in the heart of the Turkish Riviera with a lot of history to tell. It has incredible trails you can hike, charming historic centres, beaches that are just perfect for a dip on warmer days and even natural parks with fun hiking trails.

I know that many people who visit Turkey end up focussing more on destinations like Istanbul or Cappadocia. Many times, the Turkish Riviera is associated with all-inclusive beachfront hotels. However, the Turkish Riviera, and especially Fethiye, can be a very exciting and, I would even say, surprising destination. You can make it what you want it to be.

Personally, I enjoyed my visit to Fethiye and would therefore recommend this destination to any traveller who wants to taste a bit of Turkey’s Turquoise Coast.

What is the best time of the year to visit Fethiye?

Fethiye has a Mediterranean climate, so summers are quite hot and winters are relatively pleasant. However, the best time to visit Fethiye depends on the places you want to visit in the region. For example, the summers can be excessively hot, but this is clearly the best season in Fethiye if you want to enjoy its beaches.

Fethiye Itinerary Amyntas Tombs
View of the Bay of Fethiye

So I recommend visiting Fethiye from May to October. In my case, I was in Fethiye at the beginning of October and the temperatures were still high (without being too hot!) and I was even able to go to the beach several times!

How many days do you need to visit Fethiye?

In my opinion, 2 to 4 days is the ideal length of time to see Fethiye’s tourist attractions. In fact, at the end of the post, you’ll find a 2-day itinerary in Fethiye with the main sites I’m going to mention next.

Fethiye Itinerary Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon

However, if you choose to do parts of the Lycian Way, discover more beaches or, for example, go paragliding over the Blue Lagoon, then you may need to add days to this itinerary.

💡 EXTRA TIP: If you have more days available and would like to discover more of this incredible country, I suggest you read the post with my 12-day itinerary in Turkey or even this one on the 30 things you should know before travelling to Turkey.

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Best places to stay in Fethiye

Since Fethiye is a popular destination in the summer, there’s a lot on offer when it comes to accommodation. In fact, it’s very common to find all-inclusive hotels in Fethiye when you search for accommodation there.

However, I confess that I’m more of a fan of other types of accommodation! In my case, I ended up staying in Ölüdeniz, near Fethiye. Although I found the accommodation I chose (Olympos Hotel) quite old-fashioned and the breakfast very poor, the room was clean and spacious. But for the price (20€/person per night), the truth is that I can’t complain too much 😁.

However, the good news is that there are many more interesting places to stay near Fethiye! Here are some suggestions for accommodation in Fethiye:

Activities & tours in Fethiye

Powered by GetYourGuide

Map of the best places to visit in Fethiye

Fethiye Itinerary: What to Visit

01 | Visit Fethiye’s town centre

Fehiye’s Old Town is relatively small but quite interesting. Without a doubt, one of my favourite ways (and the one I recommend!) to visit this place is to walk through the streets of Fethiye without much of a destination in mind.

In the historic centre of Fethiye, you’ll find a few streets with shops, cafés and a few bars. Most of the streets are covered, making it an excellent option for escaping the heat, especially in the warmer months.

The shops scattered around the historic centre sell a bit of everything, from jewellery to spices. This is also a great place to try some Turkish cuisine. For example, it was at Servet Fethiye that I tried lokum (commonly known as Turkish Delight) for the first time. The shop had lots of things and it was hard to choose what I wanted to try. But I loved the experience!

💡 EXTRA TIP: If you visit Fethiye on a Tuesday, make sure you take a look at the local Fethiye market.

02 | Admire the Amyntas tombs

Relatively close to Fethiye’s city centre, you can also visit the tombs of Amyntas. These rock tombs are carved into the rock and date back to ancient Lycian times. Although the tombs are large on the outside, their interior is rather small.

The visit is relatively quick, as the tombs can only be seen from the outside and there aren’t that many of them in this particular place. What’s more, this is one of the best viewpoints over the Fethiye region, including Fethiye Bay!

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The ticket to visit the Amyntas rock costs 60 TRY (~1.8€), but is included in the Museum Pass. Honestly, since the tombs are visible from the street, I only think it’s worth visiting if you have the Museum Pass.

03 | Travelling back in time in the ghost town of Kayaköy

Did you know that you can visit an abandoned city near Fethiye? Personally, I always find these places very mysterious, which is why it was one of my favourite places on the Turkish Riviera. What’s more, it’s certainly one of the most unique things to do in Fethiye.

Kayaköy was evacuated in 1923 and since then the town’s houses and other buildings have been abandoned and only ruins remain.

This city was home to mostly Greek Orthodox Christians, who coexisted with the rest of the country’s Muslim population. However, after the Greek-Turkish war in the early 1920s and following a treaty, there was an exchange of population between Greece and Turkey.

Access to the village is quite easy and can be found next to this restaurant.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: There is a ticket office next to the entrance to the city and the ticket costs 60 TRY (~1.9€). As for parking, you can leave your car on the side of the road.

04 | Enjoy the calm and turquoise waters of the Blue Lagoon

Without a doubt, one of the most popular spots in Fethiye is the Blue Lagoon. Located in Ölüdeniz, the Blue Lagoon is a long sandy beach and the perfect place for a few swims.

Although this is one of the best-known beaches in Turkey and is considered by many to be the best beach in Fethiye, it is quite long, and so, I didn’t think it was too crowded (note: I visited at the beginning of October). This beach has good facilities, such as a few cafés and restaurants. There are also some water sports options to add some fun to this trip to the beach.

05 | Paragliding over the Blue Lagoon

Ölüdeniz is one of the most popular paragliding destinations in the world. So don’t be surprised when you get close to the Blue Lagoon and see hundreds of paragliders in the air.

Departures are made from Babadag Mountain, located at an altitude of 1960 metres. Seeing the ramp from which the flight takes off imposes a certain respect, I confess. In my case, I didn’t dare to try it. But the truth is that the views you get of the whole area and the Blue Lagoon look absolutely breathtaking.

Fethiye Itinerary Oludeniz Paragliding
Stock photo

If you’re one of the brave ones who dare to try paragliding over the Blue Lagoon, I suggest a few options for booking your flight:

One of the most popular options among tourists who do this experience is this 2-hour tour, which has excellent reviews and includes hotel pick-up.

💡 EXTRA TIP: If you’re not flying over the Blue Lagoon, one of the best viewpoints over the Blue Lagoon is the Montana Seyir Tepesi. Although I haven’t been there in person (for lack of time), it looks like an incredible place from what I’ve seen online.

06 | Take the cable car up to Babadag mountain

For those who aren’t so fearless and don’t have the courage to go paragliding in Fethiye, I suggest a cable car ride to the top of Babagad mountain. This is where the paragliding flights depart from!

The cable car has four stops, but it’s from 1700 metres up that the views start to become more worthwhile. It starts at around 200 metres and then there are stations at 1200 metres, 1700 metres, 1800 metres and also at 1900 metres. There are restaurants with panoramic views at all the cable car stations.

Fethiye Itinerary Babadag
Stock photo

From 1700 metres, the ascent is made using a chair lift and not the cable car. Also, be aware that the opening hours of the cable car and chair lift vary according to the time of year and it even closes in some months. Check the Babadag cable car opening times in advance.

07 | Visit the uninhabited island of Gemiler

One of the most popular day trips from Fethiye is to visit the uninhabited island of Gemiler, located quite close to the Turkish coast. The island is small (1000 x 400 metres), but it has an interesting history. It is commonly known as the island of St Nicholas of Myra, as it is estimated that there was a tomb of this saint on this island.

Although the island is not currently inhabited, there are several ruins scattered around the island (namely several churches) that tell us stories of other times. This is an excellent addition to an itinerary in this part of the Turkish Riviera and one of the best things to do in Fethiye.

Although it’s an uninhabited island, it’s a very popular spot during the warmer months, as it’s a stopping point on many of the boat trips departing from Fethiye. So, without a doubt, one of the most convenient ways to visit the island of Gemiler is an organised tour with a stop on the island. For example, this full-day tour includes a stop at Gemiler Island as well as other popular sites in Fethiye, such as the Butterfly Valley.

Fethiye Itinerary Butterfly Valley
Butterfly Valley

💡 EXTRA TIP: Although the Butterfly Valley features in most of Fethiye’s travel guides, I chose not to include it in this guide. The viewpoint from which you can see the valley is, in my opinion, quite dangerous to access. It also gets crowded very quickly. So I don’t recommend visiting this viewpoint. Alternatively, you can visit the valley on a boat trip. I didn’t get to try this option, but it might be more interesting.

However, if you like travelling at your own pace and don’t want to go on excursions, there are alternatives for getting to this island. There are water taxis from Gemiler Beach (in mainland Turkey). In addition, this option will allow you to spend more time on the island as most tours only stop there for a short time.

08 | Trail into the Saklıkent gorge

Just a 45-minute drive from the historic centre of Fethiye, you can visit one of the must-see places in Fethiye – Saklıkent National Park. In fact, this was one of my favourite places on my trip to Turkey.

In this park, you can walk along the Saklikent Gorge and the experience is incredible. The gorge is over 18 km long and 300 metres deep. However, you can’t walk the entire route.

💡 EXTRA TIP: At certain times of the year (usually from November to March), it may be impossible to visit this gorge due to the high water level.

The good thing about including this experience in your Fethiye itinerary is that you can walk only part of the gorge or be adventurous by taking a longer and more difficult route. For example, in my case, I chose to walk only about 2 kilometres (round trip). And even though I only walked a few kilometres of the gorge, I still had an unforgettable experience.

💡 EXTRA TIP: If you don’t have a car when visiting Fethiye, I recommend this full-day tour which includes a visit to this natural park and lunch.

The water is quite cold (so cold that your bones ache!!), but the initial part where the water flow is stronger is the worst. From that point onwards, the volume of water decreases and it’s much easier to walk through the gorge. There is also a lot of mud along the way, which can lead to a few funny moments.

Some useful information for visiting Saklikent Gorge:

  • The car park costs 50 TRY (~ 1.6€)
  • Entry to the gorge costs 24 TRY (~ 0.77€)
  • If you don’t have your water shoes, you can hire them. I rented mine in the car park and it cost 60 TRY (1.9€). The quality was poor, but without them, you won’t be able to walk through the gorge.
  • There are helmets at the gorge’s entrance, but most people don’t use it. I confess I only saw them when I had finished the route.
  • There are some cafés with drinks and light meals near the gorge’s entrance

09 | Diving into the icy waters of the Gizlikent Şelalesi waterfall

Relatively close to the Saklikent Gorge, there is also an easily accessible waterfall. Although it’s not as impressive as walking along the gorge, the waterfall is majestic nonetheless.

To get there, you have to walk for about 1 km from the entrance, the last 300 metres of which are over water. As such, you also need waterproof shoes to make it all the way. Again, I ended up renting some more waterproof shoes for 40 TRY (~1.3€). There is also a staircase along the route, which is the hardest part on the way back (but perfectly doable 😉).

The entrance to the area where the waterfall is located has a car park which costs 50 TRY (~ 1.6€). There is a whole supporting infrastructure where you’ll find souvenir shops and restaurants. This is also a popular spot for other activities such as zip-lining.

10 | Walk part of the Lycian Way

One of the best things to do in and around Fethiye is to hike part of the famous Lycian Way. My suggestion is to only walk part of this long-distance trail, as it is actually over 500 kilometres long. On average, it takes around 30 days to walk this trail.

Fethiye Itinerary Lycian Way
Stock photo

This trail runs mainly along the southern coast of Turkey, in what used to be Lycia. Most visitors choose to dedicate a day to a part of what is considered one of the most beautiful trails in the world or, in some cases, even a few days. For example, in this article you’ll find lots of information on what it’s like to walk this trail for a week.

11 | Enjoy the famous Kaputaş beach

While Blue Lagoon is often praised as one of the best beaches around Fethiye, there’s another beach that’s just as popular. It’s called Kaputaş and can be reached by taking some stairs near the beautiful road that runs along the coast of the Turkish Riviera.

The beach is really quite beautiful. However, it’s small and, given its popularity, it gets crowded very quickly. Not only is it difficult to find free space on the beach in the summer months, but parking can also become a nightmare. Even so, it can be interesting to stop by, if only to admire the beach.

💡 EXTRA TIP: If you’d like to relax a little on the beaches of the Turkish coast while avoiding the hustle and bustle, try one of the following alternative beaches (Küçük Çakıl, Büyük Çakıl or Inceboğaz).

12 | Take a day trip to Kaş

Kaş is another of the most popular towns on the Turkish Riviera and is located about 1.5 hours by car from Fethiye, making it an interesting option for a day trip from Fethiye.

Fethiye Itinerary Kaş

The city is very lively (especially at night) and has a few souvenir shops where you can easily get lost. The centre isn’t very big and you can quickly wander around the main points of interest. In fact, one of the best ways to explore this city is to get lost in its historic centre.

Other places you can also include in your visit are the market that takes place every Friday, Kaş Square and the Antiphellus Amphitheatre.

Finally, don’t miss out on one of the best views of the city at Kaş Panorama, even though it’s slightly further away from the historic centre.

13 | Visit the Tlos ruins

The list of things to do in Fethiye can continue to Tlos. This was one of the most important cities in ancient Lycia. Like many of the other ruins you can visit in Turkey, the ruins of Tlos are very well preserved and tell us stories of other times.

Fethiye Itinerary Tlos Ruins
Stock photo

Here too we can see some of the tombs so typical of the buildings of ancient Lycia. Many of these tombs were built directly into the mountains, as the population believed that there was a figure with wings that carried the dead to the afterlife.

📝 USEFUL INFORMATION: The ruins of Tlos are open every day from 8.30 am to 6 pm and the ticket costs around 3€, which is included in the Museum Pass. All the most up-to-date information is available here.

14 | Visit some of the islands near Fethiye

There’s no denying that Fethiye is an especially popular destination in the warmer months: the beaches are beautiful and the sea is warm. So one of the most popular activities in Fethiye includes taking a boat trip around the main islands off this part of the Turkish coast.

There are several options available, but I particularly recommend these two tours:

Powered by GetYourGuide

Fethiye Itinerary – How to organize your visit

As I said at the beginning of the post, a trip to Fethiye can be as long as you want it to be. This is a very complete destination in Turkey… it suits beach lovers, nature lovers and history buffs as well.

However, in my opinion, a 2-day itinerary in Fethiye will allow you to visit the main points of interest in the region. This is how I’d organize my 2 days in Fethiye:

  • Day 1: Ghost town of Kayaköy+ Fethiye Old Town + Amyntas Tombs + Blue Lagoon
  • Day 2: Saklıkent National Park + Gizlikent Waterfall + Kaputaş Beach + Kaş Historical Centre

If you’re also keen to take one of the boat trips to the various islands around Fethiye or if you’re brave enough to go paragliding over the Blue Lagoon, then I suggest adding one or two days to this Fethiye itinerary. I don’t think you’ll regret it 😉!

Disclaimer: this post may contain some affiliate links, which means I get a small commission if you buy something through my links. This doesn’t represent any additional cost to you and you’ll be supporting my work here on the blog😊

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about me

A Ticket To Take Off About Me

I am Mariana from Porto, Portugal. I am truly passionate about traveling and all things travel related. And that’s exactly what led me to create this page: so I can inspire others to travel and help plan all those trips with my tips and itineraries.





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