Fethiye was one of the most significant cities of the Lycian civilization and known as the ancient city of “Telmessos”. Telmessos was a culturally rich and growing city. It is located in the Aegeon region in southwest Turkey.
This town, located at the harbourside, has an important position for visiting the surrounding beaches or going inland to discover the remnants of this region’s ancient Lycian culture.
There are many historical sites throughout the city, but the most famous is the rock-cut Tomb of Amyntas in the south of Fethiye. As you walk up the hill towards the tomb, on Kaya street, you can see Lycian sarcophagi along the way.
Fethiye’s theatre, small and only partially excavated , was built in the 2nd century BC. It was when Telmessos had become part of Rome’s Asia Minor dominion. Go to the top seating for magnificent views across town and over the sea beyond.
Fethiye Museum is a perfect place to get a hold of Lycian history, especially if you’re planning to engage in attractions such as Tlos and Letoon. Talentedly prepared information panels clearly explain Lycian culture, and the pottery, jewelry, and stele are beautifully exhibited. The Trilingual Stele (inscribed with Lycian, ancient Greek, and Aramaic) found while excavating Letoon, is the proud of the museum. Thanks to this stone, archaeologists finally could understand the Lycian language.
The town itself is a rich but relaxed kind of place; just what you need to return to after a day’s busy sightseeing of huge rock-cut tombs and mountain-top, UNESCO-protected ruins or sunbathing bliss, boating, paragliding, diving, jeep safari actions.
Turkey’s most famous beach, Ölüdeniz-Death Sea or Blue Lagoon is 15 kilometers from Fethiye. The calm torquise sea, with its white-pebbled beach is why people have been coming here for years now. Baba Dag- Mt. Baba has a commanding position over the scenery, and paragliders push themselves off the peak throughout the summer months. Even beginners can fly with a tandem parachute.
Butterfly Valley, this lovely beach, hidden between two sharp cliffs, is home to the Jersey Tiger Butterfly. One of the interesting characterics of Butterfly Valley is that it is unreachable by road. You either have to walk here from Faralya village, high above on the cliff, or take a boat from Ölüdeniz. Great trekking paths are in the lush forested gorge behind the beach, though most people are happy to just lie on the sand. The daily boat tour offers a full day cruise from Ölüdeniz, visiting Butterfly Valley to relax or hike, as well as anchoring at other coves for swimming.
Kayaköy (ancient Karmylassos), 8 kilometers from Fethiye, had a prosperous mixed population of Greeks and Turks who had lived together for centuries up until 1923. The 1923 Population Exchange changed all of it, moving ethnic Greeks across Turkey to live in Greece and making ethnic Turks who lived in Greece leave their homes there. The exchange created heartbreak and much trauma among those who were made to leave, that is why it is also called Ghost Town. Katapongagia Church and Taxiarchis Church, which are among the ruins, still have some stunning interior decoration.
30 km.s from Fethiye, the gorge is cut deeply into the mountains of the Akdaglar row. Most visitors come to trek the gorge, which has wooden boardwalks along part of the trail high above the river. The last part of the trail is reached by crossing the swift-running river itself and then walking through the narrow opening to the end. Sitting lodges with big cushions are beside the river, if you don’t fancy walking through the freezing cold water. Canyoning and rafting activities are also there along the river for the more adrenalin seekers.
The Saklikent Gorge Jeep Safari tour is a good way to bring main attractions together in one day. In that day, you’ll walk through Saklikent Gorge, have lunch by the river, and then travel on to Patara beach for swimming, and visit the ruins of Tlos afterwards.
At the southeast of Fethiye, the ruins of the Lycian city of Pinara are mainly interesting for their infiltrated cliff with rock tombs and monolithic house tombs. The spectacular scenery that surrounds the ruins is really amazing, especially around the theater area overlooked by snow-topped peaks and intense forest. This is one of the silent Lycian sites in the area and rarely gets busy with tourists.
Letoon, another UNESCO-protected ruin, was an important Lycian religious center dedicated to the Greek goddess Leto who, according to local mythology, was banished to Lycia by Zeus’ jealous wife Hera after an affair with the great Greek god. The three temples here are dedicated to Leto and her twin children by Zeus, Apollo and Artemis. The site is incredibly nostalgic and an easy passage to Xanthos, the ancient capital of Lycia.
Xanthos, also called “the oldest republic’’ in the world, was a league of 20 cities governed by a popular assembly and a president who ruled from Xanthos. The site is now protected by UNESCO. Although many of Xanthos’ most beautiful monuments were taken to England in the 19th century, some fine mosaics are still in site, the theater, agora, and acropolis can still be seen.
High up in the hills that surround Fethiye, Tlos is another Lycian city ruin. Forming the top of the rounded acropolis hill are the remnants of an Ottoman fortress. On the east side of the acropolis, the remains of the Lycian and Roman city walls can still be seen. Beyond lie the scattered ruins of houses and public buildings, including a hall-like edifice (possibly an indoor market), an agora, necropolis, and a restored theater.
Patara is Turkey’s longest beach, so it’s the perfect spot for a sun and sand break. This was also once a significant city in the Lycian League, and a lot of ruins are just off the beach area when you’ve had enough of the sea. Patara is also the birthplace of St. Nicholas of Myra (modern Demre, near Kas), the 4th-century bishop, who became “Santa Claus.” There are so many more to see and experience. You can enjoy this natural beauty and activities at the same time with getting the medical treatment by Dr. Barış Yiğit. Dalaman Airport is only 35 km.s away from the Barış Yiğit Clinique based in Fethiye and approximately 3,5-4 hours flight from England.