Area info

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History of fethiye

The first settlement in the region was Telmessos, which is believed to have been founded in the 5th century BC and was one of the most important cities of Lycia, bordering the lands of Caria. According to the founding legend of Telmessos, the God Apollo fell in love with the daughter of Agenor, the King of Fethiye. Apollo managed to become intimate with the shy maiden by disguising itself as a dog, and they eventually got married. Apollo named their son Telmessos and founded the city of the same namoe.During the Roman and Byzantine periods the city attained a high level of culture, and it also served as a centre of prophesy dedicated to Apollo mostly because of an oracle from Telmessos who interpretcd a dream of Alexander the Great that he had experience during the investment of Halicarnassus (334-333 BC), and saved him from the treachery of one of his men. Afterwards he accompanied Alexander in all military campaigns. The city was attached to the Kingdom of Pergamum by the Romans in 189 BC, and in 133 BC it joined the Lycian Federation.In honouring the Byzantine Emperor Anastasios II, the city's name was changed to Anastasiopolis in the 8th century. In 1284 it was taken over by Menteşeoğulları Principality, and in 1424 it was incorporated into the realm of Ottoman Empire and renamed as Meğri. Its present name was givern to the city in 1934 following the death of pilot Fethi Bey

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Climate

The typical Mediterranean climate prevails in Fethiye with hot and dry summers and winters that are temperate with frequent precipitation. Rains generally start towards the end of autumn and continue throughout the winter. Moving inward from the shore the climate becomes more severe. The lowest average sea water temperature is in January with 15.8°C. During August the average sea temperature is about 28.8°C

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Tour of Fethiye

Fethiye has the atmosphere of an open air museum created by the tombs cut in the steep rock face very high up and tall sarcophagi with intricately carved reliefs standing above ground. The grave of Amyntas, which is accepted as the symbol of the city, is immediately noticeable on the rock face back drop of the city centre. The grave is believed to have been constructed in memory of King Amyntas who was the ruler of Telmessos. On the southern peak there are ruins of a fortress, which was built by the Knights of St. John's over the foundations of the acropolis of Telmessos. The fortress was renovated by the Knights of Rhodes in the 15th century.If you take a strol through the centre of Fethiye, the most ancient thing you may see is the sarcophagus decorated with reliefs of warriors, situated in the gardens of Governor's Office (Hükümet Konaği). Directly behind the pier is the excavated Telmessos amphitheatre, with its 5000 seating capacity. The building, known to have been used as an arena during the Byzantine Period, dates to the early Roman Period. The Ottoman structures in Fethiye are the Old Mosque which was built in 1791, and Fethiye Hammam (Bath House), which is till used and has a magnificent architecture with 14 domes and 6 vaults. Both of them are at the Pasparur Market. There you may also see the Martyrs' Memorial (Şehitler Anitı) which was built in 2001 along the quay. The reliefs surrounding the memorial describe solders fallen in war. The Museum of Fethiye is also among the musa- see sights in the town centre. The museu onsists of an internal exhibition hall and an open air section in its garden. In the internal exhibition hall; ceramic, glass, stone and metal artefacts dated to the period between the 3rd century BC and the late Byzantine Period are on display. You can also see "Trilingual Inscription" unearthed during the Letoon excavations, and rtefacts founded in ancient cities of Tlos and Kaunos. In the open air section of the museum; stone artefacts, sarcophagi, inscriptions, altars and the "Izraza Monument" of Lycian culture are exhibited. The Museum of Fethiye is open all days and coins between the hours 08:00 and 17:00

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Environs of Fethiye

One of the interesting sites around Fethiye is the rocky point called Oyuk Tepesi (Hollow Hill). It is accesible by car or on foot if you are up to it. The closest beaches to the centre of Fethiye are the popular Çalış and Karagözler beaches. Çaliş is suitable for windsurfing with a steady breeze and it has regular bus and minibus services. Along its shores there are hotels and pensions as well as facilities such as markets and restaurants, and there is also a dolmuş (shared cab) service to and from the beach. Karagözler is suitable for all types of winter sports and every year in February, the Mediterranean Cup Rowing Competition is held there.

If you continue on the road and pass Karagözler, you come first to Aksazlar Cove, then to Samanlık Cove, and the last cove before the point of the peninsula is Kalemya Cove. The next one is Boncuklu Cove and it is the prime location for water sports and swimming. To the west of Kalemya is Turunç Pinarı Cove, surrounded by hills of Seville orange orchards where visitors are allowed to collect fruit from the trees, and may enjoy an evening meal at the fishermen's restaurant. You may select from the catch of the day and ask them to prepare mcals to your individual taste. Of course you will find starters with lobster or shrimps, salads and olive brcad, which is a local speciality.

Regular boat trips are available from the pier to islands lying to the west and northwest of the Fethiye Bay. Those boats depart at about 10.00-11.00 am and return at sunset. The most popular destinations of day trip boats are the round trip to 12 Islands at Göcek Bay, and the round trip to Ölüdeniz. On both cruises the boats stop at the Chevalier's Island at the entrance of Fethiye Bay. Both routes enable you to visit the most magnificent and scenic bays and islands of Turkey. 12 Islands tour visits Kizılada, Delikli Islands, Yassicalar, Tersane and Domuz Islands, and stops at Cleopatra's Bath, before proceeding to Bedri un Coves. The last stopover is at the Chevalier's Island, the gateway to Fethiye, which is also regularly serviced by boats.

As the eastern shores of Kizılada are protected rom swells, it is suitable as an anchorage and for swimming. Deliktaş, a group of smaller islands ing to the northwest of Kizılada, and Yassicalar are both prime locations for scuba diving or simply enjoying a swim. The southernmost island of Yassicalar is Zeytin Adasi (Olive Island), the only privately owned island in the area, so called because it is home to a workshop containing an olive oil press remaining from the Ottomar Period. The largest island in the bay is Tersane Adası (Dockyard Island), which is an old Greek settlement, and it is a stopover spot for day tripping boats as well as boats on Blue Cruise. The Taşkaya Cove situated at the northwest shore of Tersane Island came to be called by the name of the famous painter Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu since he painted a fish on a rock face there. Along the shore are wooden piers and rustic restaurants serving yachts. Another anchorage is Domuz Adası (Swine Island) which is sheltered from the prevailing winds, and some calls it Prince Island. Th next stopover is Hamam, which is one of the coves for overnight stops, as well as stopover spots for day tripping boats. Next to the pier stands the ruined Byzantine monastery partially inundated

If you wish you have stroll along the shore or through the forest, you may climb up to the site of Lydac, a settlement of antiquity, or take a lunch break in one of the restaurants along the shore. On the south of Domuz Island is the narrow inlet to the Göbün Cove which is an excellent anchorage surrounded by hills covered with olive orchards and pine woods. If you come ashore you can visit rock tombs and ancient remains. The Ölüdeniz route of day tripping boats passes Chevalier's Island, then Şahin and Iblis points towards Gemile Adası (St. Nicholas Island). Then boats proceed to the lagoon of Ölüdeniz, Belceğiz Beach, Kidrak Beach and up to the Kelebekler Vadisi (Valley of Butterflies)

The Ölüdeniz route is more prone to rough seas than the route heading towards Göcek Gemile Island which was formerly known as Hagia Nikola is across a narrow sound separating the cove of the same name. On the island there are ruins of Byzantine churches with well preserved frescoes. While the ruins on the shore are inundated, the 500-metre long tunnel linking two churches is highly interesting and worth a visit. Partially ruined the tunnel has 17 stopping points which are believed to represent the 17 resting stops of Jesus Christ while he was taken to the place of crucifixion. The Gemile Bay and the beach across the bay have sheltered sea and fine sands so many visitors come here by road transport as well. You may have a walk of 6 kilometres to Kayaköy. There are many coves and beaches on the highway berween Fethiye and Göcek. The most popular of them is the Katrancı Cove which is about 17 kilometres to Fethiye. If you follow the trekking path over the hill you arrive in the secluded and pine clad Kizlar Cove (Maidens Cove). The Günlüklü Cove (Swectgum Tree Cove) and Küçük Kargı Cove (Lesscr Reef Cove) which are two kilometres after Katrancı 2 km, 19 kilometres from Fethiye centre are natural wonders covered with woods of Sweetgum trees. There are regular minibus services to these coves so transport is quite easy.

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Meeting Point of yachts : Göcek

From Göcek it is 18 kilometres to Dalaman and 37 kilometres to the centre of Fethiye The Göcek section of the Fethiye Bay, which has numerous and beautiful coves, is the most popular spot for yachts and Bluc Cruise boats.

Göcek has become a meeting point for international celebrities and has six marinas and a boatyard serving yachts. The touristic facilities tend to concentrate around those marinas, and restaurants and shopping centres are also there. The land filled shore with its walking paths and street furniture providing seating and resting facilities renewed the shore, and pensions of old Göcek are now being replaced with hotels. There are day trips by boat to islands and coves everyday. You can take trips to Yassicalar, Cleopatras Bath, Tersane and Domuz Islands and Bedri Rahmi Cove.

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From Fethiye to Ölüdeniz

Set amid pine forests, Ovacık and Hisarönü are two resorts that became popular in the recent years. Ovacık is 6 kilometres from Fethiye and 5 kilometres from Ölüdeniz and has all creature comforts with newly built resorts and hotels. Because of its location between Ölüdeniz and Fethiye, it is preferred by those who would like to have a tranquil holiday at a secluded place away from the crowds of the town. Hisarönü is at an intersection on the highway, and is considered as the starting point of the Lycian Road. There are regular minibus services to and from Fethiye. If you continue 5 more kilometres on the highway through the pine forest bypassing Hisarönü, you arrive in the dream village Kayaköy. This is an old Greek settlement with 3500 houses clinging to the ridges. After the War of Liberation, there was an agreement to exchange population with Greece, so the houses left behind by Greek villagers emigrated were filled with Turkish immigrants from Thrace, so the village became a refuge for a population of 2000. The old Greek settlement called Levissi had two churches and 14 chapels, and the Church of Panagia (Our Lady of the Sign) Pirgiotis, nowadays referred as the lower church, is renowned for its frescoes. The Kayaköy Art Camp gathers local and international painters, sculptors, ceramic and photographic artists annually in that site We advise lovers of antiques to take a stroll among the stalls of Kayaköy.

From Kayaköy you may walk 5 kilometres through a pine forest bypassing the o village to Ölüdeniz, or you may walk about 3 kilometres in the direction of Gemiler to reach the rock cut monastery on top of a 400-metre high hill which is said to have been hewn by a r Hagios Elefterios standing on a 10 square metre peak. The place called Afkule is rumoured to be the place where the monk had a life long seclusion. The wide vista of the hill covering iblis Point, Kurdoğlu Point, and in suitable weather conditions, Rodos Island, is remarkable. For those who would like to swim, the closest beach around Kayaköy is at the Soğuksu Cove (Coldwater Cove). There is a 6-kilometre road from Kayaköy to Gemile Bay. The beach is sheltered from winds and waves and you may reach Gemile (St. Nicholas) Island by boat. The excavation carried out on the island recovered a tunnel connecting two churches with well preserved frescoes. The island is believed to have been an important site of pilgrimage during the early period of Christianity and St. Nicholas lived in the island. There are minibus services between Kayaköy and Fethiye between the hours 7.00 and 22.00 during summer season, and until 17.00 in the winter season. The rustic restaurants of Kayaköy are specialised in serving gözleme (parcels made of thin pastry filled with different mixes to your taste and cooked over a hot plate) and open air barbeques.

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Ölüdeniz

Olüdeniz is one of the natural wonders of the world and meets you as you pass Ovacık and Hisarönü and follow the roller-coaster road down to the shore The first spot you meet the sea is Belcekıa Beach, and then suddenly there opens up before you a natural wonder known as the blue heaven - one of the most visited spots in Turkey today. Mirror calm sea, green hills, and white sands and the protected site of Kumburnu Natural Park spreading over a land of 950 hectares make Ölüdeniz a unique area. Annually it is visited by approximately 400.000 people and there is an entrance fee to gain access.

There are restaurants, a picnic area with facilities providing chaise longue and sun umbrella, car parking, showers, etc. There are ample opportunities for water sports. There are gift stalls selling Muğla's regional handicrafts There are also modern hotels, pensions and camping sites providing accommodation at Ölüdeniz. One of the foremost paragliding centres is on Babadağ (1950 m), which has a rich flora and is about an hour's drive from Fethiye. Paragliders departing from Babadağ remain aloft about half an hour to one hour and land on the hot beaches of Ölüdeniz. The magnificent vista, the rich fauna of the ridges and the steep incline to the sea make Babadağ a remarkable place.

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Kelebekler vadisi(butterfly valley)

Boats depart from Ölüideniz for half an hour cruises to Kelebekler Vadisi which is squeezed into the lower slopes of Babadağ. There are two paths in the valley, and one of them leads to Faralya, a stop over spot of Lycian Way. That path is mainly used by trekking groups. It provides a beautiful vista of the valley and sea, and is recommended to those who are keen to enjoy nature. There are pensions and bungalows for overnight stay or you may erect your own tent if you wish to do so. Kelebekler Vadisi has bcen declared a first degree protected site of Environmental Protection Zone and closed to any type of construction activity. Walking deep in the valley you are amazed by the strange scenery created by billions of colourful butterflies clinging to tree trunks and rocks. When the butterflics take to the air altogether you realise that the colour texture was indeed created b butterflies, and they create a splendid colourful display in the air. You have to travel to Ölüdeniz first to take a boat ride here, and walk inwards after getting ashore.

One of the virgin spots around Fethiye is the Kabak Bay situated on the ancient Lycian Way. It is quite close to the Kelebekler Vadisi, and the available options of accommodation are bungalows and tents. The beach in the cove is about 500 metres long and sheltered from the wind so it is very good for swimming. That cove is also the only place you may see Tiger Butterflies out of their habitat of Kelebekler Vadisi, and 16 plants endemic to this cove have been recorded.

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Tlos yakapark saklıkent

The ancient settlement of Tlos is 40 kilometres from Fethiye and 8 kilometres from Saklıkent, situated on a steep hill near Yakaköy and behind the Ottoman Fortress. When you climb to the Fortress you should not fail to notice the rock tomb of Bellerophon depicting him on the back of a winged horse Pegasus fighting with three-headed Chimera.

You may reach the site by bus or byô organised by travel agents, and visit the ci alls and the amphitheatre which is quite well preserved, and the ruins of a bathhouse, and gymnasium. Yaka Park is at 1 kilometre distance from Yakaköy and it is a good spot to have a rest.

In the nearby canyon of Saklıkent you can walk single file over the scaffolding attached to the canyon wall und! You come to the spot where the stream comes to the surface at that point you may walk in the ice-cold river to th Bepth of the canyon. As the riverbed is gravel, you nmust have your shoes on. On the return leg, you can let the river carry you out of the canyon on its stream of cold waters. There is an entrance fee and the canyon is abou 18 kilometres long. Even in the hottest days of August you will feel the chills, and having a dinner in that atmosphere is quite special. You may reach Saklıkent which is about 45 lometres from Fethiye by minibus or by joining in a tou arranged by travel agents.

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Ancient settlements

The highway from Fethiye to Kalkan is dotted by several ancient sites. The tour into history starts with Cadianda. Cadianda is situated nearby Yeşil Üzümlü Village, which is famous for its vines, and about 20 kilomctres to Fethiye. Cadianda's history goes back to the 5th century BC. During the Roman Period it was a lively and rich settlement, and there are four Lycian tombs at the entrance of the city. There are ruins of a temple at the entrance of its acropolis and the remains of a dressed masonry bathhouse commissioned by Emperor Vespasianus during the Roman Period. There is a theatre, and a stadium, which suggest that athletic competitions were held here. From the centre of Fethiye you may take minibus service departing from the old terminus, and municipal buses of Üzümlü. On the highway from Fethiye to Kalkan, 2 kilometres before Kınık, you notice the signage for the ancient settlement of Letoon. The first settlement in Letoon was in the 7th century BC The city was abandoned in the 7th century as it had lost its commercial importance. There are temples for Leto, Apollo and Artemis as well as a Byzantine church and a Roman theatre. If you walk past the ruins through the woods you came across the sand filled road leading to the coast. If you follow it you will come to Letoon Beach which is part of the 18-kilometre long beach of Patara.

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Pınara

The road splitting off from the 45th kilomet of Fethiye Esen highway to the west takes into Pinara city of Lycian civilisation. In Lycian language Pinara means round referring to the hil on which it was built. Among the ruins of Pin the most famous one is the Lycian type rock tomb called Royal Tomb which bears a depiction of the city. The odeon and theatre which stood outside the city parameters remain intact. Sidyma is about 500 metres above the sea level near Dodurga Village and as it is on the high ridge of Mount Cragus, the views are spcctacular. You travel by leaving the highway between Fethiye and Xanthos at the junction which is 6 kilometres south of Eşen. After the road ends, you should climb about 250 metres on a path to reach the ruins, most ot which are dated to the Roman Period. When you reach the top of the hill, all ruins lay before you, and small funerary monument and other ruins prove the riches and importance of Sidyma during the Classical Age.

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Xantos patara beach

The 500-metre road splitting right towards the Kalkan to Fethiye highway at the 17th kilometre mark takes you to the ruins of Xanthos. The city believed to have been founded in 1200 BC was the capital city of the Lycian Federation. During the Byzantine Period Xanthos was the scat of a bishop, and it was abandoned after the Arab raids Among the ruins are the Triumphal Arch built for the honour of Roman Emperor Vespasianus who had contributed greatly to the glory of the city, and parts of the magnificent Nereid Monument, a great portion of which was carried off to Britain by boat in 1841-42. On the highway between Fethiye and Kalkan (10 kilometres before Kalkan) the road junction of Patara-Gelemis Village reaches the famous Patara Beach. Patara was one of the principal six cities of Lycian Federation, and according to the legend it was founded by Patarus, son of the nymph Lycia and the God Apollo. Two kilometres after Gelemiş Village along the road stands one of the most magnificent remains of Patara, the Triumphal Arch, which dates to the 1st century. Walking along the incline to the top of the hill, bathhouses, the Byzantine basilica, temples of Corinthian order and temple of Athena become visible. The natural wonder of Patara Beach has an 18-kilometre long coast line and is among the must-see sights with its fine sand beach and shallow waters. As Patara is an egg-laying area for sea turtles it is under environmental protection.

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Diving centres sport activities

The underwater plants and life of the Fethiye and Göcek coasts make diving conditions special. We advise you to contact specialist travel agencies and scuba schools. There are boats leaving Fethiye Harbour every morning between the hours 09.00-10.00 and they remain on the diving spots until 17.00. Following a briefing the dives are conducted under the supervision of trained professional divers. The prime diving spots are Dalyan Cove, Afkule Sea Cave, Barakuda Reef. and Sariyarlar. There are also quite good grounds for rowing.

Near Fethiye, on the summit of Babadağ, is the world-famous centre for paragliding with its altitude of 1975 metres. The steep incline of the mountain slopes breeds thermals, allowing paragliders to gain altitude rapidly following take- off. Soaring over the sea, rich flora and magnificent earth formations, pilots enjoy the privilege to see the magnificent vista of Ölüdeniz, which renders flying from Babadağ a remarkable experiencc. There are many scuba diving schools and clubs organising diving tours in Fethiye. Travel agents organise rafting and canocing trips to Esen River and Dalaman River. Çalış and Patara beaches are preferred by windsurfers and water skaters because of its constant sea breeze. Jeep safari quad safarí, trekking and surface water sports are other alternative activities. Moreover, skiing opporrunity is available until May at Erendağı Winter Sports Centre located on Mountain Eren (2863 m), on the 74th km of Fethiye Antalya highway.

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Lycian way

Trekking the 504-kilometre long Lycian Way has become popular in recent years and it is quite an experience. The network of paths connecting Lycian cities during antiquity is known as "Lycian Way". The trekking route starts from Fethiye, and crossing settlements of antiquity such as Faralya, Dodurga, Pinara, Letoon, and Xanthos, leaves the county boundaries to continue in the counties of Kaş and Kemer connecting several Lycian sites and mountain top villages. The route reaches to Antalya.

Trekking is a unique opportunity to learn the rich flora of Fethiye. The jeep safari and quad bike tours to the ruins and natural beauty spots may remain the happiest memories of your holiday. As an alternative to the Lycian Way, there are short routes to explore the beauty of the region around Kayaköy and its environs, which are about 15 kilometres to Fethiye. The path from Kayaköy leading to Ölüdeniz starts with the ticket office at the entrance of the antique city. Climbing the road with a slight incline would take you to the top of the hill and when you reach the fantastic vantage point, you realise that it's worth the effort. Another walking route starting from Kayaköy would lead to Afkule.

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Beaches and islands

The principal beaches of Fethiye are as follows: Çalış, Hisarönü, Ovacık, Ölüdeniz, Belcekız,kıdrak, Kelebekler Vadisi. Saklıkent, Yaka Park, çalışand Göcek.The Kapıdağ Peninsula is adorned with several beautiful coves and islands. The region defined by the fisherman as "the inner dark sea" has several stopover spots for Blue Cruise. Yassıca ands, Hamam Cove, Kurşunlu Cove, Yavansu, Bedri Rahmi Cove, Tersane Island, Göbün Cove, Boynuzbükü, Göcek Island, Domuz Island, Zeytin Island, Kizıl Island are locally known as "12 Islands" and the prime spots for stopover for day tripping boats departing Fethiye and Göcek.

The bars and discos situated in the Paspatur Market at the centre of Fethiye present varied options catering to all styles and alternatives. Also you may have a drink or two in one of the bars and restaurants sited along the Çalış Beach during the sunset to get rid of the tiredness of the day and get yourself invigorated for the live music performance of the night. You may also enjoy traditional Turkish music performances in a wool tent erected towards the Fethiye end of the beach. Hisarönü is mainly frequented by foreign visitors and has entertainment lasting till sunrise. Belcekız Beach of Olüdeniz is a nice place to sit in the Fading light and watch paragliders coming down from Babadağ, preparing you for a remarkable evening.

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Shopping

The shopping venues in the centre are Balıkpazarı (Fish Market) and Paspatur Market. There you may find any thing you like from hand woven textiles to pieces of art, from clothing items to reasonably priced groceries. The Tuesday Market of Fethiye is a must for shopping enthusiasts. There you can find fresh products as well as gift items and household goods. Similar markets operate in Günlükbaşı and Göcek on Sundays and in Hisarönü on Mondays. Hisarönü has lots of stalls and shops squeezed between bars and restaurants selling small gift items, carpets, leather goods, and jewellery.

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Gastronomy

The staple of the local cuisine, spiced with the herbs and greens of the Aegean and Mediterranean, is fish. Many of the local herb and wild plants of Fethiye and its environs are used in dishes. Some of them are kiyışak, labada (dock), körmen, pavrotu, cbegüimeci (mallow), turpotu (wild raddish), çımkişak, nünü, inek memesi, ebegümeci, devetabanı (foalfoot), eşek turpu, kayazak (sickle weed) and kokulu ot. These herbs and wild plants are sautéed in cooking oil with onions, and served cold with tomato paste and ground pepper. Balık Pazarı (Fish Market) is the place at the centre where you can find most variety in sea food and fishes. You buy your fish or crustaceans from the stalls of the market, and small fish restaurants are happy to prepare them for you in consideratiorn of a small charge. There are fish and grilled meat restaurants in Paspatur Market. The Paspatur Stream, where ducks play their antics under the thick shade of the large trees, makes your time at those restaurants quite enjoyable. Another option is to have an al fresco dinner in one of the restaurants sited along the Çaliş Beach while enjoying the sunset. Hisarönü and Ölüdeniz serve international cuisine as an alternative to the traditional Turkish Eating a few gözlemes in small restaurants and stalls lining the roads around Saklıkent is also a pleasure. In small and large restaurants of Yakaköy the main speciality is wild trout fried in butter Moreover, you could catch your own fish from the pond Cuisine.

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Transport

There are several options when considering travel to Fethiye. Three highways reach Fethiye through the counties of Muğla, Antalya and Burdur, connecting Fethiye to every major city of Turkey. If you opt for air transport, the Dalaman Airport is the most suitable one, situated about 50 kilometres from the centre. The other principal airport is Bodrum-Milas Airport, which is about 225 kilometres away. Turkish Airways have round hie year service, and during the holiday season fights from several European airports arrive in those airports. The Antalya Airport, which is about three hours drive away from Fethiye, is another alternative for air transport. Those who wish to travel by sea can sail their own boat to the Fethiye Marina, secluded in the perfect natural harbour.