Fethiye is located in south-west Turkey on a stretch of coastline often referred to as The Turquoise Coast or The Turkish Riviera. It has a scenic harbour with a pretty promenade, quirky old town, and lively nightlife. Some of the country’s most stunning beaches lay within a short bus ride from Fethiye as well as the starting point of Turkey’s first long distance hiking trail and certain sites such as Lycian Rock Tombs, a Hellenistic castle and the Ghost town of Kayakoy, can be visited using marked forest trails directly from the centre.
Despite all this Fethiye is often mistaken for being quiet port town suited just to those who plan a relaxing vacation. In fact, Fethiye is also ideal for thrill seekers and a number of Fethiye tours are available. The surrounding area boasts some of the best locations in the world for adventure sports, whether you want to launch yourself from the peak of Babadag, dive into the Blue Lagoon or hike 500 kilometres across the stunning region.
Paragliding from Babadag Mountain
This is said to be one of the best paragliding spots in the in the world, Babadag overlooks the famous Oludeniz bay on the Mediterranean sea with crystal clear waters and the breathtaking Blue Lagoon below. The take off point is nearly 2000 meters above sea level, you will see all the way along the rugged hills and jagged cliffs of the coast line. Tandem jumps are available with experienced guides so no previous experience is necessary, just trainers and strong nerves. You can enjoy 30-45 minutes floating in the air or making 360° spins before landing on Oludeniz beach where you can swim, get lunch or hop on a bus back to Fethiye.
Swim, snorkel or Scuba Dive
The stretch of coastline from Fethiye to Marmaris, to the west, and Antalya, to the East is known at the Turquoise coast and the gorgeous shade of the sea certainly does not disappoint. The Blue Lagoon at Oludeniz is a protected area and home to many types of fish, best to go early before the crowds arrive and scare the wildlife away. For a quieter cove, you could head to Gelimer beach which is less developed but equally beautiful. Opposite the beach is Gelimer Island, within swimming distance, which hosts the ruins of a Byzantine monastery, this is also one of the sites on 12-Island day cruises which stop in multiple places to jump into the sea and snorkel above coral reefs and sunken ruins.
Another option is Calis beach, a built up sandy beach just 5 kilometres from Fethiye’s old town, popular with both sunbathers and windsurfers, the windsurfing centre sits at the north end of the beach.
For something more extreme you can join one of the dive boat excursions, the sea around Fethiye is particularly good for beginners and many companies offer PADI, SSI and CMAS courses. The clear waters provide superb visibility and the deep bays are host to brilliant coral reefs, ancient ruins, sea walls and a variety of sea-life.
Trekking on the Lycian Way
The Lycian Way is Turkey’s first long distance hiking trail and the starting point lies just 11 kilometres from Fethiye at Ovacik. The route is marked with European standard red and white markers and stone piles, it follows the shape of the coastline for over 500 kilometres between Fethiye and Antalya, traversing lush valleys, dry scrub, rural villages, high mountains, and beaches. Named the Lycian way because the route connects many archaeological sites and ancient Lycian cities throughout the region. Hikers can wild camp in the forests and beaches along the trail or stay in basic guesthouses in the villages. Trips can be organised from Fethiye for day hikers. The Lycian Way is a fantastic way to explore the region, the trail offers the opportunity to experience local culture, history, and adventure.
Climb a Waterfall
Butterfly Valley is a unique and stunning feature close to Fethiye, access is only possible by speed boat or day cruise from Oludeniz, or via a difficult trail that descends from the village of Fethiye at the clifftop. Butterfly Valley is a grade 1 protected area, home to the Jersey Tiger Butterfly and a small waterfall. A trail leads from the beach into the valley through green plants and grass, gradually becoming steeper and rockier until you are actually scrambling over boulders alongside the falls. The final 4 meters is vertical and slippery and a rope has been attached to the cliff face to help your accent. Standing on top of the falls, sandwiched between the cliff face you can look back across the valley and to the sea.
White Water Rafting
Fethiye white water rafting is a must for all adrenaline seekers. The white waters of the Dalaman river, near Fethiye, descend from the Kocas mountain, cascading over waterfalls through pine forest and lush valleys, the river offers grade 3-4 rapids and is one of the favourite spots in Turkey for rafting. Rafting excursions usually join the river at Gurleyik and voyage downstream for 12-14 kilometres. River kayaking is also available for the braver individuals, on the Dalaman river or in the icy waters of Saklikent Canyon where you can also visit mineral rich natural mud baths.