Fethiye Beach & Attractions That Will Blow Your Mind!

April 8, 2024

fethiye beach

Fethiye is a laid-back port city on Turkey’s southwestern Turquoise Coast. It’s known for its natural harbor, blue waters, and ancient Lycian rock tombs. People have lived in this town for as long as 5,000 years. Fethiye beach and attractions abound.

There are so many things to do in Fethiye that revolve around fascinating history, stunning nature, turquoise beaches, rich culture, and adventurous pursuits. It has the bonus of being an excellent base for exploring the Turquoise Coast and offers a more authentic Turkish experience than its more touristy neighbor, Antalya.

Best Time to Visit

Fethiye is open all year round but most of the tourist bars and restaurants close at the end of October. The best weather is between May and October; we visited in September and it was glorious. Take note that July and August have quite high temperatures and larger crowds, so you might want to avoid visiting at that time.

Here are Fethiye beach and attractions you can’t miss!

10 Butterfly Valley

butterfly valley

Butterfly Valley is a remote and serene cove located along the Aegean coast, surrounded by towering cliffs and lush vegetation. It has been preserved over the years thanks to being declared a nature reserve. The valley gets its name from the tiger butterflies that visit in June. The calm beach can be a little rocky in places, so it’s best to bring along water shoes.

Above, Butterfly Overlook is a vantage point at the top of a high cliff that looks down on the canyon to the pretty secluded beach. Intrepid hikers used to be able to scale the steep cliff down to Butterfly Valley, but the path has been closed due to multiple deaths and injuries. The only way to access Butterfly Valley now is by boat from Fethiye Beach.

9 Oludeniz Beach

fethiye beach

The most famous beach is Ölüdeniz, near Fethiye. It’s a national park which includes the world-famous Blue Lagoon, one of the most photographed beaches in all of Turkey (see #1 below). Protected by the Turkish government, the waters are extremely tranquil, making it a family favorite.

The beach is also surrounded by beach clubs, small cafes, and waterside restaurants where you can enjoy local cuisine while watching paragliders land on the beach.

8 Old Town

fethiye beach

Fethiye Old Town is a maze of narrow, walkable cobbled alleys, all lined with cafes, small shops selling Turkish carpets, spices, textiles, tea sets, and other souvenirs.

During the summer months, the Old Town can get extremely busy but it’s also a great way to beat the sun, as the whole area is shaded.

7 Amyntas Rock Tomb

amyntas rock tomb

The Amyntas Rock tomb was just a short distance from our apartment. The impressive ancient Lycian rock-hewn tomb was carved into the cliff in 350 BC. Not much is known about the Lycians, but we do know Amyntas was important because his tomb is higher and larger than the others carved into the cliff.

Visitors have to climb a steep hill to access the well-preserved tombs which feature carved columns and reliefs depicting captivating mythological scenes. They also provide insight into the religious and cultural beliefs of the ancient Lycian people.

6 Dalyan Overlook

dalyan overlook

Even though it is a difficult (auto) climb, it is worth going to Radar Hill to see the Dalyan Overlook. The ascent up the mountain is via a bumpy, windy road that requires a slow drive, preferably with a 4-wheel drive. When you get as far as you can (still not the top, but it becomes impassable), look for a dirt parking area to leave your car and the rest is on foot, not too far. At the top, you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the Dalyan Delta and Iztuzu Beach.

5 Marina

fethiye beach

From the balcony of our apartment, we had the most magnificent overlook out over the Gulf of Fethiye. The waterfront has a promenade leading to the Old Town. Just above the marina are the ruins of the Hellenistic theater of Telmessos, built in the 2nd century B.C.

4 Kayakoy Ghost Town

kayakoy ghost town

We spent a morning exploring an under-the-radar gem rarely visited – the ghost town of Kayakoy. It’s now an open-air museum with about 500 well-preserved abandoned stone houses and three churches set into rolling hills. Its history goes back to the Lycians (4th century B.C.); in the 1700s, the Orthodox Greeks built a newer town (Karmylassos in Greek) on top of the ancient one. Anatolian Muslims and Greek Orthodox Christians were living peaceably together in a thriving and harmonious community.

In 1923, at the conclusion of the Greco-Turkish War, Kayakoy was forcefully emptied of its 6,500 Christian inhabitants. Both Turkey’s Christian citizens and Greece’s Muslims were part of a population exchange with Christians expelled from their homes to ensure that each country had only one main religion in pursuit of ethnic and national homogeneity.

3 Kaputas Beach

kaputas beach

Although it’s not the closest beach stunning Kaputas Beach with its golden sand and crystal clear turquoise water surrounded by high cliffs is the prettiest beach on the Turkish Riviera. It is, however, a bit difficult to get to.

The first view of the magnificent Fethiye beach will take your breath away. Driving on the road high above the coast, the sight will almost make you drive off the cliff. But the euphoria is soon replaced with dismay as you realize you’ll have to park a couple of miles away, next to the cliffside, and walk along a dangerous, narrow, winding mountain pass because the beach has no parking. We were about to give up when on our second pass a car literally right across from the entrance backed out to leave. We quickly zoomed into the vacant spot!

More adventure awaits, as you can only get onto the beach by a series of 187 stone steps leading down to the sand. Not too bad going down, but climbing back up under the scorching sun was a killer. It was worth it, though, because this is the most beautiful beach in all of Turkiye, at least in my experience.

2 Saklikent Gorge

saklikent gorge

This was one of our favorite adventures in Turkey! Recognized as the longest and deepest canyon in Turkey, Saklikent (“hidden city”) Gorge’s incredible natural beauty will take your breath away. Encompassing steep cliffs, waterfalls, and 16 caves, it’s a must-see when visiting the Turkish Riviera (about a one-hour drive from the coast).

We started our trek on an easy, scenic wooden boardwalk cantilevered over the river. But soon after, we got to the spot where the adventure began; namely, we had to cross a cold, rushing river with strong rapids, scrambling over slippery boulders, to get to the path. I won’t lie, it was hard to keep my balance, and I was glad for the rope to hold onto. It was dry season…I can’t even imagine doing it during the wet season when the water would be chest-deep.

saklikent gorge

The rest of the hike was much easier, due to the low water level, and we took frequent stops to take in the splendor (and photos, of course!).

At the end, we stopped to have some refreshments at a charming restaurant with plush, colorful cushions on the river.

1 Paraglide Blue Lagoon

paraglide blue lagoon

It’s been said that the #1 place to paraglide is over the gorgeous Blue Lagoon in Oludeniz, just south of Fethiye. So naturally I had to find out if this was true! Well…it is!

To launch, I had to run OFF the 6,500-foot Babadağ Mountain to take to the sky. I won’t lie, running off a cliff is a bit daunting, but once you’re lifted by the thermal current into the air, it’s sometimes a peaceful, sometimes exhilarating ride through the air.

The Blue Lagoon is famous for its ever-varying shades of turquoise and azure, and soft white sands framed by a lush pine forest, and nothing is quite as spectacular as getting a birds-eye view.

Several certified paragliding operators in the area offer memorable tandem flights. You’re strapped to an instructor the whole time, and they do all the steering; you just need to enjoy the view. It’s a thrilling but safe way to see the Blue Lagoon. Hotel pick-up and drop-off are included.

What to Eat in Fethiye

Fethiye has lots of delicious food to try. Here’s a guide to famous food in Turkey.


Fethiye rings every bell from ancient archeological ruins to pristine lagoons, crystal-clear beaches, and towering mountains. It’s a great place to begin your exploration of the Turkish Riviera.

Most photos by Kary Kern.

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About the Author

Patti MorrowPatti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning international blog Luggage and Lipstick and the southern travel blog Gone to Carolinas. TripAdvisor called her one of the “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials” and she was named one of the “Top 35 Travel Blogs” in the world.

She is also the star of the upcoming TV series “Destination Takeover” which is scheduled to premiere in the next few months.

Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled extensively through six continents looking for fabulous destinations, exotic beaches, and adventure activities for her Baby Boomer tribe.

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