In ancient times, Fethiye was a historically rich and cultured city called Telmessos. Lying at the foot of the Taurus Mountains, today the city has become a major destination in the Turkish tourism industry.
The long and dry summer season has become a haven for visitors from all corners of the globe, providing a valuable source of income for locals. Fethiye is neither traditional nor modern; it is a combination of both, fused carefully together to provide a welcoming and pleasing atmosphere.
Reached via road and by sea, it is a major stopping point on Blue Voyage routes of the Turkish Riviera and a popular seller for mainstream holiday package companies. Anyone looking for a beach holiday should book a hotel on the outskirts of the city in Calisas the town centre has no beach, although there is a long promenade lined with tea gardens and the perfect place to relax on a summer’s afternoon.
The old town section makes for interesting exploration as you wander up and down cobbled streets lined with traditional stores, selling unique souvenirs. There are a few bars in this area, making great places to meet good friends at nighttime to relax in comfortable surroundings. Fethiye town Centre is a great base from which to explore the surroundings areas such as Olu Deniz,Hisaronu, Kayakoy ghost village, and Calis beach.
Fethiye Rock Tombs
Staring down on the town, from the mountain sides are the most famous landmarks of Fethiye, the Lycian rock tombs, once filled with treasures and gold from ancient kings. If you are in a fit condition and can cope with a demanding walk, the panoramic view is one to remember for the rest of your life. The tomb of Amyntas is the highest and most important, dating back to the 4th century BC. Resembling a temple, four columns on the front façade are topped with grand stone carvings, reflecting its importance in ancient society. There is a small entrance fee, worth the cost to see this glimpse of history still overlooking a current day town.
Even though it is not as magnificent as other castle remains in Turkey, Fethiye castle stands as a prominent landmark. Built by the Knights of St John in the 11th century, and repaired in the 15th century, there is very little remaining of the structure but anyone interested in archaeological sites will appreciate the significance of the location for the castle, overlooking Fethiye, it would have been a solid and good base when in full use.
The Telmessos Ancient Theatre
At first appearance, the Telmessos ancient theatre looks quite out of place, located next to a busy road and across from the bustling harbour of Fethiye. It took four years between 1992 and 1995, to uncover the theatre and display as much of its original structure as possible, Built during the late Hellenistic period, it has the capacity to seat around 1000 people. No entrance fee or demanding hike is needed to see this impressive structure.
The Fethiye Archaeology Museum
It will only take an hour to explore this museum at a leisurely pace. Displaying artefacts from Roman, Byzantine, Hellenistic , Ottoman and Lycian periods, it is located in the centre of the town, a couple of streets away from the dolmus bus station. Open every day except Mondays, there is a cheap entrance fee, worth paying to gain a glimpse of history along this coastline.