Fethiye is located in the south western part of Anatolia. The fertile lands, where different cultures have settled and moved on through centuries, are surrounded by the slopes of the Taurus Mountains. With its favourable climatic conditions, natural and historical treasures and hospitable, friendly people, it is a town along the coastline which makes one to think, “just the place to live in”.
Tourism in Fethiye constitutes the greatest source of income after agriculture. With a capacity of about 900 accommodation facilities and 42.000 beds, Fethiye is a holiday centre visited by an average of 500.000 tourists per annum. In recent years some of the tourists coming to Fethiye from various countries of the world have started buying properties in Fethiye and settle here which doubtlessly contributes to the promotion of the region. In addition to holiday villages which are prominently renowned in world tourism, there are alternative accommodation facilities such as two, three, four-star hotels, small boarding houses, campsites and village houses where tourism and organic agriculture exist hand in hand.
As result of endeavors to diversify activities, alternative tourism such as paragliding, diving, jeep safari, truck safari, rafting, canoe, blue voyage, trekking, bird and nature observation tours and such cultural and historical tours as "Mystical Lycian Tour" and "Trekking on the Lycian Way" have become an essential part of the activities of travel agencies. With the tours organized by travel agencies, it is possible to become acquainted with prominent ancient cities such as Xanthos, Pinara, Cadianda, Tlos, Letoon and with renowned cultural and natural treasures like Ölüdeniz, Çalış, Butterfly Valley , Göcek, Saklıkent Gorge, Ören, Kaya Village, High Platous - nomadic villages.
HISTORY OF FETHIYE & LYCIA
Lycia, called the "land of lights" in the Ancient Period, is located on the Teke Peninsula between Fethiye and Antalya. Lycians, renowned for their special language, matriarchal life-style, rock monuments, tombs and addiction to freedom and independence, have been recorded in history as defenders of the Anatolian Union against Egyptians at Kadesh and against Akhas at Troy.
Fethiye was called Telmessos during the Lycian period. Written records state that the city was named after Telmessos, the son of God Apollon. From the 5thCentury B.C., throughout its existence, it fell under the domination of the Persians, Romans and Byzanthians, it succeeded maintaining its original status.
The most splendid work of art from the Ancient Telmessos, still standing in Fethiye, is the rock tomb constructed in the manner of an Ionian temple in honour of Amintas, son of Hermapias, in the 4thCentury B.C. Famous traveller Charles Texier arrived here in the 1850s and carved his name on the entrance to the tomb which is still discernible today. The sarcophagi, which are representative of the elite mastery of the Lycian art and stonework, enhance the attraction of the city. Especially those standing in the courtyard of the Governor's Headquarters, at the Necropolis and opposite the quay are noteworthy.
Telmessos Theatre was re-built in Roman style during the 2ndCentury on the remains of the Hellenistic one which was demolished by earthquakes. It was planned to seat around 6.000 people. Excavations have been carried out by the Fethiye Archaeological Museum and a project was drawn up for the restoration of the theatre.
Citadel is by the necropolis and was built on a hill overlooking the city during the 11th Century. Endeavours are under way by the Fethiye Municipalityfor the restoration of this building.
Fethiye Archaeological Museum has exhibitions valuable works of art from the early Lycian, Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Ottoman periods. The museum is open for visitors every day except on Mondays. In the ethnographical department, interesting samples of Fethiye's richly accumulated culture are displayed.
ÇALIŞ: The Çalış Beach, at a distance of 5 km. from the city centre of Fethiye, is one of the prominent accommodation and entertainment centres in the region. Directly across, there is the Chevalier Island which may be termed as the entrance gate of the Fethiye Harbour. In addition to municipal buses and dolmuş, it is possible to reach the Çalış Beach by sea with small boats, which is a great facility for holiday-makers. The cool evenings in hot summer days is a privilege for those choosing to stay at Çalış during their holidays. The Çalış Beach is one of the major locations where the Caretta Carettas lay their eggs. There is also the Çalış Natural Park - Birds Paradise where about 219 species have been recorded up to now. With the most romantic sunset in the Mediterranean and the Nomadic tent where local culture is displayed, Çalış is a centre possessing all the facilities for a pleasant holiday and for playing host to local and foreign guests.
Having a rendezvous with the sea in an evening...
Almost touching the bright blue sky with your hands...
Dancing with the sweet Mediterranean breezes
and leaving footprints on the sand...
Ölüdeniz, "The Gates of Paradise"
Ölüdeniz, "The Beach of Freedom"...
Ölüdeniz with its sheltered, calm waters and the adjoining Belceğiz Beach combine the white foams of the Mediterranean with the greenery of the pine trees. World-renowned Ölüdeniz Kumburnu National Park and the Belcekız Beach is at a distance of 15 km. from the Fethiye city centre and are located at the skirts of Babadağ which deserves the right of being a "world heritage" with its rich flora and suitability for paragliding. The Belcekız Beach offers you facilities for benefiting from the sea, sand and the sun, as well as enjoying all kinds of water sports...
SAKLIKENT GORGE: The Saklıkent Gorge is a unique natural wonder at a distance of 50 km. from Fethiye. The canyon is 300 metres deep and 18 km. long, shaped up by waters flowing down from the mountains for thousands of years, abrading the rocks. As the water level rises during winter, visitors can get into the canyon only during summer months. If taking photographs is among your hobbies, you can catch magnificent scenes of unspoiled panorama which exists in and around Saklıkent.
ISLANDS & BAYS: The island to the north of the Fethiye Harbour has had a strategic significance since ancient times as it could control entrances into the harbour. It is known that the Rhodian Chevaliers controlled the city for a long time by virtue of a citadel they had built on the island in the 11th Century.
In the Gulf of Fethiye, the coves alongside the coastline of Göcek and the islands provide the passengers on the blue voyage a pleasant natural and historical trip. These islands and coves with ruins of the past are a source of inspiration for the artists as well...The Taşyaka Cove where painter and poet Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu drew a picture of a fish on a rock, the sunken bath dedicated to Egyptian Queen Cleopatra at the Monastery Cove, the summer and winter ports on the Tersane Island, Kap-Göbün Cove, Sarsala, Boynuzbükü, Yassıca Islands, Göcek Island and others are some beautiful spots worthy of a visit...
BUTTERFLY VALLEY: The "Valley of Butterflies", one of the most beautiful bays of Fethiye, is located on a level area of ten hectares at the bottom of a steep and deep valley. The valley resembles an open-air museum where all the species of Mediterranean butterflies can be seen at sea level where starting at spring time and throughout nine-ten months the life scope of 30 day-time and 40 night-time butterflies can observed... The Valley of Butterflies can be reached in half an hour by the boat departing from Ölüdeniz, as well as after a difficult walk from Faralya Village.
GÖCEK: Göcek is at a distance of only 12 km. to the Dalaman Airport as it is the closest one to the airport among the tourist centres in the region. Consequently, it is an ideal choice for holiday. The accommodations and boarding houses of various standards are open throughout the year. Göcek is a natural marina town for yachts. 4 of modern marinas in Göcek have a capacity as 1.500 yachts for wintering.
KAYA VILLAGE: The Kaya Village is significant as an area of settlement dating back to the time of ancient Lycian town; Karmylassos, where various cultures blended, lived together and migrated. On the slopes there are stone houses built in typical Mediterranean architectural style, not overshadowing one another, as well as churches, schools, chapels, workshops and other buildings, and narrow streets crossing each other, looking almost like an architectural laboratory... During the population exchange undersigned by the Turkish and Greek Governments in line with the Lausanne Treaty, the Greeks living in the Kaya Village were exchanged by the Turks who were resident in Western Thrace. However, because the Turkish immigrants could not get accustomed to the life-style here, the village has assumed the its deserted appearance. The Kaya Village is preserved as a prominent sample of the cultural mosaics in Anatolia.