Welcome to Fethiye, a beautiful town on the Turquoise coast of Turkey!
Oludeniz near Fethiye is known as one of the best places to paraglide in Turkey (and in the world!). If you’re into adrenaline-pumping activities, then this will be right up your street! However, if that doesn’t take your fancy, there are many other things to do here.
If you’re looking for a relaxing time, then the town’s marina is great for that! You can eat by the sea or shop in the streets parallel to it. There are also a few beaches in the area if you feel like getting some sun. This area’s clear, turquoise waters are known as one of Turkey’s most beautiful.
It seems like Fethiye has a bit of everything for everyone, so let’s dive into top things to do here!
Paraglide in Oludeniz
Oludeniz is known as one of the top places for paragliding in the world, so you can’t miss an opportunity to try it yourself if you’re already here! You can paraglide from almost 2000m straight down to 0m at the town’s beach.
If you want to try it out, you can head to the main street in the town where you can find the companies that offer paragliding. We did it with Reaction Paragliding which is one of the top paragliding companies in Oludeniz.
For all the adrenaline junkies, you can even ask them to do some tricks while in the air to make your heart pump. It’s so fun, trust us!
Travel tip: Make sure to book in advance as this is a very popular activity here, and it’s also weather dependent, so you’ll want to do it in the first days of your stay. It’s a very similar process to hot air ballooning in Cappadocia.
Drive the scenic road towards Butterfly Valley viewpoint
The scenic route with ocean views from Oludeniz to Butterfly Valley is a beautiful drive through the foothills of the Babadag Mountain. It’s stunning just before the sunset. We drove this route a couple of times and didn’t get bored. You can also stop by a few beautiful beaches here!
Butterfly Valley Viewpoint
Since you already drove to the viewpoint, why not check out the view? 😀
Even though you can’t climb down to the Butterfly Valley from this viewpoint, the view is pretty impressive, so it’s worth a short stop.
Travel tip: The viewpoint is pretty popular, so it will be crowded for sure. If you want a more peaceful perspective, just drive about 100 meters further, and you’ll find an equally beautiful view, just with fewer people.
Photo tip: At the end of October, the valley was almost constantly in the shadow. We came three times during different times of the day and never caught it entirely in the sun. So keep that in mind if you want great photos of this place.
Essentially the only way to get to the Butterfly Valley is to go there by boat. You can get a tour in Fethiye, and it usually includes some other spots as well.
Book your Butterfly Valley Boat Trip (with lunch)
Ride the cable car from Oludeniz to Babadag mountain
The cable car takes you from Oludeniz to the top of the Babadag mountain, from where you can enjoy a fantastic 360 view of the area. It is an excellent, newly opened attraction that will just continue getting better with time.
There are a few different so-called levels of the mountain, and you can even grab something to eat or drink while enjoying the scenery. The cable car takes you to the first stop at 1200 meters and the second at 1700 meters. From there, you can also get even higher with a chair lift. There is also a path that leads even higher from the chair lift and reaches the top of the mountain, but it was not open when we were there.
Babadag mountain is also a perfect place to observe paragliders (as they take off from the top of Babadag mountain). Even if you might not want to try it yourself, watching them jump and fill the sky is also a fantastic experience.
Price: about $9 for a round ticket per person
Opening time: 7 am-8 pm every day (some stops may close sooner)
Travel tip: This one is for photographers: drones are forbidden, and you pass through security similar to the one at the airports, so they will see it for sure. We were allowed to bring one to the top as we didn’t know about this, but we promised not to fly. So even if you’d want to, don’t bother trying. Also, it’s really not safe anyway to fly a drone where the paragliders are.
Enjoy the beaches of Fethiye and Oludeniz.
Fethiye has some fantastic beaches (both sandy and pebble ones) with beautiful turquoise water. We couldn’t believe that this color is genuine, so going for a swim here is a must.
Some of the most famous beaches around Fethiye are:
- Oludeniz/Blue Lagoon
- Belcekiz beach
- Kelebekler Vadisi/Butterfly Valley (accesible by boat)
- Kabak beach
- Kidrak beach
- Calis beach
We chose the small Kidrak beach as it looked terrific while we were driving around, and it had the least people at that time. All others are excellent choices as well.
Shopping in Oludeniz
Like many other coastal towns, Oludeniz also has shops that sell clothes, souvenirs, and Turkish coffee. It’s also famous for many fake brand shops with great prices and quality. Let us know if you try it! 😀
Oludeniz is also where you can arrange most of your activities/tours as many companies have offices here.
Also, make sure to go for a drink or food on the street in front of the beach. There you can enjoy the view of paragliders landing right next to you.
Explore the ruins of the Kayakoy abandoned village
If you’re looking for something fun to do outside of Fethiye, a great option is to make a trip to the Kayakoy abandoned village. This village is about a 15-minute drive from Fethiye, and it’s a great place to explore. The village was abandoned in the 1920s, and it’s now a popular tourist destination. The village offers some great photo opportunities, so make sure you have your camera ready!
Travel tip: There is some kind of an opening time, but you can more or less ignore it as you can enter the village whenever you want.
Hike through the Saklikent Gorge
The Saklikent Gorge, meaning a hidden city, is an 18 kilometer long and 300-meter high canyon. It’s one of the deepest canyons in the world!
Even though it’s 18 km long, only around 4 km is walkable. The first part of the path (very short) is on a wooden boardwalk, and in the second part, you walk through ankle-deep water. Although the water can get up to knee-deep, depending on the season you visit.
The gorge is about a 45-minute drive from Fethiye, and it’s well worth the trip. The scenery is absolutely stunning, so don’t miss out on this unique attraction!
Travel tip: Even though you can rent out their rubber shoes, we suggest taking your own. Maybe take something you don’t feel that much sorry for or that can survive walking through water and clay/mud.
Price: around $1 per person
Check out the Lycian Tombs of Fethiye
A short visit to the Lycian Tombs (also called Amyntas tomb) right inside Fethiye is a great way to explore ancient ruins. The Lycian Tombs were built in the 4th century BC, and they provide a great example of Lycian architecture. Plus, you can see a beautiful view of the marina from the top.
The tombs are carved into a rock and look impressive, but unfortunately, they are not really well maintained. There is graffiti all over them and all kinds of carvings which is so sad to see.
Price: around $1 per person
Travel tip: You can see it pretty well from the street too if you don’t want to climb up (it only takes a few minutes, though).
Hike a part of The Lycian way
The Lycian Way is a marked long-distance trail that stretches from Fethiye all the way to Antalya. Altogether it’s around 500 kilometers in length. The trail follows the coast of ancient Lycia and offers some of the most amazing views.
Of course, you don’t need to hike the whole trail (unless that’s what you’re in Fethiye for), but you can walk a small part in each of the coastal cities on the route. We’d definitely recommend it if you like chasing amazing views.
Unfortunately, we came on the trail too late and didn’t manage to get to any good viewpoints before the sun came down, so we had to turn back.
Travel tip: Be on the trail above Oludeniz for sunset, and you’ll see the sun setting down directly into the ocean.
Day trip to Pamukkale
Pamukkale is a fascinating natural wonder in Turkey and is easily reachable from Fethiye or Oludeniz. You can make a day trip there by car or go on a tour, and it should take you around 4 hours to get to Pamukkale from Fethiye. You can explore its incredible white travertines and hot springs, as well as bathe in the pools or stroll around the ancient city of Hierapolis.
Day trip to Patara, the longest beach in Turkey
Patara beach is the longest beach in Turkey, and it’s surprisingly still not built out, but what makes it so unique are the sand dunes at one part, plus the ancient Patara city nearby.
And not just that, this is also one of the last few beaches in the world where endangered Caretta sea turtles still lay eggs. That’s why this area is also a protected National Park.
The Patara beach is about a 1-hour drive from Fethiye.
Make sure you plan for at least 4 hours at the beach, so you have enough time to enjoy it. Unfortunately, we only made a short stop as we arrived very late.
Time to see turtles: between May to October
Admire the Lycian Rock Tombs of Tlos
Tlos Ruins are one of the less-visited of the area, so they’re perfect for anyone who wants to avoid the crowds and still want to see some beautiful ruins.
The tombs are located on a hill overlooking the village of Tlos. The Lycians built the tombs in the 4th century BC, and they’re a fascinating example of Lycian architecture. Make sure you plan for at least half an hour to an hour at the tombs so that you can explore them properly!
The drive from Fethiye to the Rock Tombs of Tlos takes about 35 minutes and is a scenic one, and you can see some great views of the countryside.
Price: about $1.5
Opening hours: 09:00-20:00
Take a cruise from the Fethiye harbor
The harbor in Fethiye is a starting point for a few cruises of the area. Here are a few different tours that you could take from there:
- A cruise featuring stops at Butterfly Valley and Yali Beach
- A full-day boat excursion
- A Turkish lunch cruise to sample some delicious local food
Book your Bays Cruise from Fethiye
How many days should I spend in Fethiye?
Fethiye is one of our favorite places on the Turkish coast as there’s quite a lot to do there. We’d suggest at least two up to 4 full days in Fethiye, depending on your interests.
Some other things you can also do in Fethiye and Oludeniz:
Where to stay in Fethiye
Fethiye has a lot of different accommodations to offer, so if you’re interested in staying in a resort, you can do that, but if you would like to save money (and maybe have a car), then an apartment would be a good choice. Booking accommodation a bit out of town will get you a better deal, and you will still be able to reach anything very fast, as it’s not a big area at all. We stayed in F48 Apartments, which wasn’t really close to the town center or the beach, but it was very well equipped with everything we needed.
Book your stay: Fethiye & Oludeniz Hotels
How to get to Fethiye
There are two ways of getting to Fethiye and Oludeniz by air – one is via Antalya Airport (AYT), and the other is via Dalaman Airport (DLM). There are buses from both Antalya and Dalaman that go to Fethiye. You can also rent a car in either Izmir or Antalya and then drive yourself to Fethiye. It should take around 3 hours to drive from Antalya and about 4-5 from Izmir.