The jewel in the crown of the bay of Fethiye, the town bearing the same name was once the most important city of Lycia (a little-attested culture famous for their funerary architecture). As a result, there are plenty of things to see and do in Fethiye!
Fethiye has changed its name a number of times over the years. Originally named Telmessos after Apollo (the sun god’s) son, following frequent name changes in subsequent years, it is now called ‘Fethiye’ after the first Turkish Pilot, Fethi Bey. Fethiye is built on the ancient ruins of the city of Telmessos and the town has been struck by two devastating earthquakes; one in 1856 and one in 1957.
Things to see and do in Fethiye:
The rock tombs
The Pre-Greek people of Anatolia were the Lycians. Making use of the soft limestone in the region, they would carve impressive rock tombs to house and honour their dead.
High and imposing in the rock face above the town of Fethiye resides the world renowned Tomb of Amyntas (pictured below). It is one of the most famous in the region to such an extent that it is now the symbol of Fethiye. It too, is a temple tomb and dates back to the 350 BCE. Fethiye acquired its name after the Ancient Greek inscription to its side proved to be authentic; ‘Amyntas, son of Hermagios’.
Although the pillars on the outside are 6 m tall, the room inside is just 3 x 2.4 m. Although the largest tomb around, it is certainly not the only one. Smaller rock tombs litter the rock face barely 200m away from this site.
Filled with everything from spices to fresh fruit and vegetables a plenty, wandering around the markets is certainly an experience.
There are various things to see on almost every day of the week. Although the biggest market day is a Tuesday, Sunday is also pretty popular for locals and tourists alike.
This museum is pretty incredible. Awash with Lycian artefacts, there are pieces ranging from the Bronze age all the way through to the Roman Period; many having been found in Fethiye itself.
The ‘rosetta stone’ of the Lycian language is also housed here; the so called ‘Trilingual Stele’ bears identical inscriptions in Greek, Lycian and Aramaic and so was key in deciphering the Lycian language. Interestingly, many of the artefacts available for viewing are actually pieces that were confiscated from smugglers.
Day trip to Gemiler
I have spoken about this island time and time again. Although small (1 km x 400 m wide), the island is packed full of history and things to see. The island was inhabited in Lycian times (1500 BCE) and is supposedly the original resting place of St Nicholas (Father Christmas). For more information, click about the Island of Gemiler.
Boat tour to Oludeniz
Situated just a short boat ride away from the island of Gemiler is the world famous beach of Öludeniz. One of the most photographed beaches of the mediterranean, its English translation should be ‘Dead Sea’ but is actually ‘Blue Lagoon’. The name Ölüdeniz came about because the bay is always so calm.
Paraglide from Mount Babadag!
Mount Babadag is 1975 metres high and is widely regarded as one of the best places to paraglide in the World. Views from the high altitude include the world famous resort of Ölüdeniz, the ghost abandoned village of Kayakoy and the stunning mediterranean sea.
Over to you!
Have any recommendations for things to see/ do in Fehtiye? Comment below!