With just one day in Fethiye, many travelers find themselves heading straight out of the city to explore the surrounding sights. With some planning, though, it’s possible to do it all—hit the city attractions, cruise the coast, and visit the beaches and lagoons of nearby Ölüdeniz. Here’s how.
Morning: Discover Telmessos
Fethiye is small enough to explore in a morning. Start by visiting the city’s well-preserved ruins, the remnants of ancient Telmessos. Just above the town, check out the series of Lycian tombs etched into the cliffs, as well as the remains of a Roman amphitheater close to the harbor. Artifacts excavated from the sites are on display at the Fethiye Museum.
If you’re lucky enough to be there on a Tuesday, be sure to stop by Fethiye market. A local favorite with dozens of stalls, it’s a great place to pick up traditional handicrafts and souvenirs, and sample some typical Turkish foods. For lunch, try gozleme, a savory pancake served with a variety of fillings.
Afternoon: Visit Ölüdeniz and Kayaköy
Just 20 minutes from Fethiye, the blue lagoon of Ölüdeniz is one of the region’s most impressive natural wonders. Catch a bus there from Fethiye—or join a tour that stops at other attractions along the way, such as the ghost town of Karaköy, a Greek Christian village that was abandoned during the 20th-century Greco-Turkish War.
Swim in the glittering waters, then summit nearby Babadağ Mountain for a sweeping view over the lagoon. The mountaintop is a popular site for paragliding, a must-do for adrenaline seekers. If you want something more low-key, enjoy a drink at the Zirve Bar and Restaurant while watching the paragliders take off over the cliffs.
Night: Cruise the Mediterranean
Get out on the water, setting sail on a sunset cruise and admiring the views of Fethiye. Dine on barbecue onboard as you listen to live music and watch the sun set over the Mediterranean.
For those who prefer to stay on land, Fethiye’s main nightlife is centered around the waterfront, where you’ll find plenty of bars, restaurants, and live music venues. Kick off the evening with a relaxing hammam and massage at a traditional Turkish bath, then head to one of the seafront restaurants for a seafood dinner with a view.