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A beautiful and mysterious landscape full of tradition
On the Beautiful Sapphire Coast

In ancient times, Fethiye was known as Telmossos. Legend has it that in Lycian times the young god Apollo fell in love with the youngest daughter of King Phonecia and turned himself into a small dog to win the love of this shy girl. Afterwards he turned himself back into a handsome young man and together they had a son named Telmossos.

The city was part of the Persian Empire around 540 BC. Very little is known about the town during Byzantium times. It reappears refortified as Telmissos in the 8th century and 12-14th century showed renewed prosperity and was known as Macri, named after the long island near its harbor entrance. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1424.

The town grew over the ensuing years and by the 19th Century had a large Greek population. At the time of the population exchange between Greece and Turkey the Greeks were sent to Greece where they founded a town called Nea Makri (New Macri). The town was resettled with Turks from Greece. In 1934 it was renamed Fethiye in honour of a Fethi Bey, an air force pilot who was killed on a mission.

Located on the beautiful turquoise coast of Turkey and with its mild Mediterranean climate Fethiye is very popular with tourists. It has a modern harbor and marina rebuilt after the last earthquake in 1957.  The harbor is home to many luxury yachts and the wooden Turkish sailing ships known as gulets. It is a popular starting and finishing point for many gulet cruises along the coast.

What to See

At Kayaköy, you can see the past history of the Greeks who inhabited the area from the 13th century to 1922. There are numerous houses, chapels and other structures built in the Greek style. Ancient ruins include Telmessos Theatre, Amynthas Rock Tombs, Kadyanda, Pinara, Tilos and Letoon . Ship Island and Girmeler Cave are important sites displaying many relics from the past.

What to Do

Nearby Oludeniz beach is famous for paragliding from Baba Dag (1975 metres above sea level) over the sapphire waters below. Another attraction is Butterfly Valley in the foothills of the mountain. Cruises go from Fethiye to nearby 12 Islands and Oludenız where it is possible to see ancient sites such as Lydas, Kızılada, Delikli Ada and Yassıcalar.

Another attraction is underwater diving at Af Kule, Üç Tuneller (Three Tunnels), Akvaryum Koyu (Aquarium Bay). Divers of all levels can enjoy these underwater marvels. For those who want to get out of the sun Saklikent is a great day trip where you cool off in the cold waters of Saklıkent gorge.


Turkey Travel Guide Tours