The small port town of Fethiye occupies the site of the ancient city Telmessos, with an impressive ancient theatre and numerous Lycian rock tombs. Situated at the head of a pretty island-strewn bay, Fethiye is a popular destination on the stretch of the Mediterranean known as the Turquoise Coast.
The town absorbs the tourist traffic and still retains a sense of its old-fashioned rural character, with herds of goats and sheep blocking the roads on market days and the smell of herbs and spices in the air. The bazaar is the biggest in the area and is a must for bargain hunters.
Fethiye is home to several remarkable ancient sites. The most conspicuous are the rock tombs dating from the 4th century BC carved in the hillside above the town. Beside the harbour is the Roman amphitheatre and the crumbling remains of a medieval castle built by the Knights of St John.
There is a good selection of restaurants on the harbour front and in the narrow streets of the old town. Around Fethiye are numerous unspoiled rocky coves and beaches, crystalline seas, offshore islands, cliffs and pine-covered mountains affording as much relaxation or activity as one chooses. Gulets (sturdy wooden yachts) can be hired in the harbour for day trips around these coastal waters. The beach resort of Oludeniz is just 25 minutes away by dolmus (the local minibuses) and offers numerous activities, including parasailing, pedaloes, banana boating, diving, snorkelling water-skiing; and most famously paragliding.
Turkey's Fethiye is 3 mls SE of Çalis Beach, 9 mls NE of Olu Deniz and 38 mls E of Dalaman airport by hilly, winding, scenic (and often rough) road. It is set on fairly flat land around a vast, lagoon-like bay which appears almost closed to the sea by an island at the entrance. Pine-clad mountains of the Taurus range surround. At the back and at the W extremity, roads climb steep slopes towards encircling cliffs and hills.