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Review: Fethiye

City/Town/Region/Island

Fethiye, Turkey

A great base to see this area

  • By SilverTraveller coolonespa

    205 reviews

    Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon Ribbon

  • Oct 2014
  • Wife

29 people found this review helpful

The ancient city of Telmessos (probably founded in the 5th century BC) was also known as Makri (far off land in Greek) but was renamed Fethiye in 1934 after the pilot Fethiye Bey, the first pilot in the history of civilian aviation. We saw his impressive commemorative statue by the Marina, behind which are the ruins of a Roman theatre currently undergoing restoration. Fethiye is found in the South Western Anatolia region of Turkey and boasts some of the most impressive bays, backed by pine forests and the imposing Taurus Mountains. With Dalaman airport just 50 minutes away, it's within easy reach of the UK, although we arrived here following our week on a Gulet with Blue Cruise. There have been many influences on Fethiye and since it's inception the town has been ruled by the Persians, Alexander the Great, Romans, Byzanthians, Ottomans and Menteseoglu Beylic. Before I took a dive into all that history though, I took advantage of a very rigorous massage at an Old Turkish Bath while Linda enjoyed some retail therapy. To enjoy Fethiye you need do no more than take a stroll around the impressive harbour. You can enjoy a very long flat walk admiring the clear water, the mountain backdrop, the huge variety of craft moored or heading in or out of the harbour. There are plenty of shady seats to rest on and cafés, bars, or restaurants to refresh and refuel in, plus if you watch carefully, you may see the odd turtle pop it's head up or a fish leap out of the water. There are an interesting number of sculptures and monuments to see as you wander around, shaped topiary and if you have energy to burn, there is some outdoor exercise equipment to use. We contented ourselves with a stroll and a ice cream. Dog lovers will be impressed by the frequent dog drinking stations to be found around the town. Fethiye is a great base to explore the area, with many things, such as Kaya Koy (Ghost Village), Oludeniz, Kelebekler Canyon (Butterfly Valley), Saklikent Canyon, Pinara, to name but a few. Many can be reached cheaply by Dolmush from the Dolmush Station in town. Tuesday is market day at Sali Pazari close to the sports centre. Roughly split into a fruit and veg, then everything else you could imagine. There was a massive number of British customers on hand, amongst the large number of people at the market. Top marks for the traders who had learnt we hate to be hassled, so each stall greeted customers with "come and browse, no hassle" or the like. The better comedians would add "very cheap, Turkish Primark" or similar but my prize goes to Jimmy who's stall was "cheaper than shoplifting". We then worked our way behind the mini bus station and up a pretty steep hill to the Amynthas Rock Tombs, carved into the southern hills above Fethiye. The main tombs have an Ionian column frontage and are said to date back to the 4th century BC. They are also set in the residential area of the town, so it's nice to be away from the tourist spots and to see where the locals live. On the way up there we spotted a Lycian Sarcophagus, one of 3 we spotted in the town and further up the hill there is the castle, thought to belong to the Knights of St. John. There are plenty of places to stay in Fethiye and we had chosen a very nice luxury boutique hotel, ECE Saray, right on the Marina. As well as being a very nice hotel, our room enjoyed spectacular views over the Marina. There are a vast number of restaurants to chose from in the town and all along the harbour front. One "must visit" place is the Fish Market, where the central portion of the square is dedicated to stalls selling all manner of fresh fish, the surround being made up of restaurants. The process is to chose your restaurant and table, then go and chose your fish, add any requests e..g. If you want it filleted and pay for your fish at the centre market. Tell them which restaurant you are using, tell the restaurant how you would like it cooked and order the rest of your food and drink. There is a butchers on hand as well if fish is not your thing. Highly atmospheric, including a couple of gypsy brothers who roam around playing music (they do requests too), this is the place to eat great food in lively surroundings. At the other end of the scale you could go for something inexpensive and simple like Pasamzade. I would highly recommend Fethiye as a place to stay in this part of Turkey.

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Other Members' Thoughts - 2 Comment(s)

  • Su
    over 4 years ago
    We visited here whilst doing a gullet cruise. We liked the fish market.
  • Kenbob
    over 5 years ago
    Nice place.