I skipped a few places that I could have visited along the coast and just went to Fethiye straight away. (For bikini pictures scroll to the end of the blog post.) It turned out to be a good choice, since there are many activities and places of interest within a short distance of Fethiye and the town itself is located in a beautiful scenery.
I got a lot of information about Fethiye from the blog Turkey’s For Life, it has loads of interesting and helpful blog posts about things to do not only in Fethiye, but also elsewhere in Turkey.
What can I say, I’m glad I was based in this guesthouse, because I probably have never had such a good service for such a small price. A room in the 6-bed dorm (that I had for myself most of the time) was only 9€ and I could book my tours with them, the breakfast was great and the staff just awesome. They also offer a direct transfer to Selçuk and to Pamukkale from Fethiye.
Paragliding from Babadağ to Ölüdeniz beach
The only thing I knew for sure that I wanted to do was paragliding from Babadağ, so that’s what I did. It was definitely worth the money (300TL pictures+videos included), even if I realized once I was in the air that it would have been better if I had taken a motion sickness pill. I didn’t know it feels like a boat, even after the landing haha.
I booked through Yildirim Guesthouse and went with the paragliding company Skywalkers.
Çalış beach + live music in the tents
First I thought I’d just stay there at Ölüdeniz beach for a while, but I guess I was too knocked out to think (I still felt like on a boat and nothing can top the view from above), so I just went back to Fethiye.
There I took a boat taxi to Çalış beach, which is more panoramic than a dolmuş. The ticket office in Fethiye wasn’t very easy to find, so here is the location. On Çalış beach there are loads of signs notifying of many things, but none of them says there are sharp rocks hidden in the deep water! Ouch, those signs didn’t say anything about the need of wearing beach shoes. After taking care of my foot I treated myself with ice cream and beer for having been brave and waited for the sunset. I actually wanted to take a boat back to see the sunset while on board, but the last boat left at 7pm, a long time before the current sunset time at 7.40pm, so I enjoyed the sunset at the beach.
I came back another night to listen to live music in the tents at the left end of the beach. A nice meal and drink the sound of Turkish music that hardly kept anyone in their seats, most people were dancing and so it usually goes until late at night.
Fish market by night
First I didn’t really get what a fish market at night is about, but I found out when I looked for a restaurant there that the hostel had recommended to me one night. The restaurant was actually looking for was full, but there are enough other restaurants around. I got a quick introduction to how it works: Buy fish at one of the merchants and have it cooked in one of the restaurants. Two octopuses for 15TL and wine+vegetables+bread for 45TL. Not too bad. It leaned back to enjoy the atmosphere that is lively and relaxing at the same time, with music coming from different bands.
Saklıkent Gorge + Tlos
I thought I’d skip crazy hiking adventures now that putting my injured foot into a shoe was already enough of an effort. So I went to Saklıkent Gorge which is nice and cool around lunch time and to the ruins in Tlos on the way back. If I were to do it again I guess I would finish the day in the relaxing Yakapark restaurant.
I was glad I went to the gorge during the week when this popular place for excursion isn’t crowded. A footbridge leads into the gorge where it’s possible to rent shoes and walk further in the water up to a waterfall. I skipped that part to avoid infecting my foot and just sat there a bit to sip a tea, which is nice, too. It also was a good excuse not to enter the cold water. I had lunch at the buffet (salads, fish and a drink only 20TL) and headed back to see Tlos.
I was quite relieved that there is now a dolmuş going up and down the hill between the main road and Tlos. Well, it also goes all the way up the hill to the restaurants there and the driver was very keen on getting me to Yakapark. In fairness the landscape is amazing, it’s a very nice restaurant and I think it’s good to wind up at the end of the day. But I hadn’t planned to go there and just bought ice cream and water while I was waiting to go back down to the ruins.
The views on and from the ruins are amazing. Tlos used to be a Lycian city that served as trade center. Among many things parts of the stadium, the theater, two baths, stone sarcophagi and tombs carved into the rock can be seen.
-entrance to Saklıkent Gorge 6TL, entrance to Tlos Ruins 5TL, Shoes to rent 3TL (the river bed is rocky), or tea for 2TL instead for the elderly and wounded like me who don’t enter the Saklıkent Gorge’s water and just enjoy the scenery
-20TL lunch at the buffet in Saklıkent Gorge+5TL icecream and water in Yakapark
Duration: around 7 hours
How I got there:
-Dolmuş Fethiye to Saklıkent (11TL, around an hour) (… location Dolmuş stop Fethiye)
-Dolmuş Saklıkent to Güneşli, about halfway to Fethiye. I told the driver I want to go to Tlos and he dropped me at the right spot (5TL, 30 minutes)
-there is now one dolmuş from Güneşli to Tlos and back (10TL, 10 to 20 minutes). It goes all the way up to Yakapark, too.
-Dolmuş Güneşli to Fethiye (6TL, 30 minutes)
Sight seeing in Fethiye: Lycian tombs and Fethiye Museum
Who are the Lycians? A people that lived around the 15th to the 5th century B.C., left rock tombs that imitate wooden temples and whose language isn’t fully understood yet. I don’t know much more about them, but I find their monuments pretty cool. They can be seen together with traces of Roman and Greek civilization in and around Fethiye.
St. Nicholas was a bishop in Turkey, seriously? And and he is also the patron saint of the sailors. I had no idea. So he is not just Santa Claus. The church that was built in 520 AD in the location of the church where St. Nicholas had served as a bishop. The church later was flooded and filled with silt, but Russian Tzar Nicolas I restored it in 1862. Now again it’s being restored, but the biggest part of it, showing floor mosaics and wall paintings, can be visited.
The other site of interest in Demre is the Roman theater and Lycian tombs of the ancient city Myra. Finally a theater where you can actually walk up to the seats where spectators would have walked up! Usually this part is destroyed which always left me somehow disappointed.
I guess it’s best to go visit Demre as a stop between Fethiye and Antalya, or being based in Kaş which is about a 45 minutes bus drive away, because from Fethiye it’s a 3 hours bus drive (25TL each way). However, I didn’t have much of a plan for the day, so I just joined a couple I met in the bus to Saklıkent, they wanted to go to Demre on their way to Antalya. The weather wasn’t great anyway that day and hiking or swimming with a wound in the wrong place wouldn’t have been a good idea anyway
It would have been worth to buy the Museum Pass Mediterranean, as I realized now, the sites are 20TL entrance each and the pass is only 60TL, giving access to loads of sites along the Mediterranean.
12 Islands boat tour
Wow, I’m glad I waited through 2 rainy days to do this tour (and give my scratched foot a rest). Swimming, chilling, beautiful landscapes, a very friendly crew. And all that for 60TL for the tour (pick up and lunch included) + 50TL for the pictures taken by the photographer on board.
Sorry, the bikini pictures were just a click bait. (It’s a bad travel blog after all.) You’ll have to go swim with me to see that haha. Now scroll back up and read the article 😉
More soon from Antalya…