Welcome to Fethiye, the land of lights, where the torrent of civilizations created in the time tunnel and gliding from inaccessible summits of wild Taurus Mountains meet to the foamy dark blue water of Mediterranean. Believing that, neither the best words nor the limited pages of a large book define such a beauty with all its magnificence and also without any loss, we submit the appreciation of this phenomenon to the testimony of your eyes which are the best witnesses. How lucky for us if we have been able to offer you the sincere hospitality of Mediterranean people as far as we can speak and we can do, during the adventure of one century that you have experienced in such a short time.
Fethiye reminds most of us of; OLUDENIZ. The world famous and one of the most beautiful wonders in the world Oludeniz, worth travelling miles and miles, for the turquoise blue waters wonderful lagoon. The crysyal pure water of Oludeniz is so clean that it is almost cleaner than the water you drink at home -if we omit the salt-. Oludeniz consists of two parts: First part is Belcekiz or Belcegiz which lies too long through the bay to the lagoon. This part is the wavy part of Oludeniz. The second part is the real Oludeniz with the lagoon inside. This part is the calm and shallow part.
Fethiye is a pretty town at the hillsides of the Mount Mendos, the part of the Tourus Mountain chains, and surrounds the bay that it has given its name to. The high mountain range formed by rises and falls of the crust during the Tertiary Geological Period, and hundreds of bays lying at the mountainside seem to embrace each other along the Fethiye shore line. This mountain range (it was called the Kragos and Antikragos in the antique period) with an altitude of more than 6560 feet (2000m.) forms the southwest end of the Toros (Taurus) chain and lies parallel to the shore without a single passage to the inner regions. On a warm and sunny winter day, peculiar to the Mediterranean climate while you are sipping at your Turkish tea or Turkish coffee, at one of the local tea gardens, along the coast, these mountains with pine trees at their skirts, white snow and mist on their summits will once more welcome you to heaven. Dry, long, hot summers and short, warm, rainy winters are climatic characteristics of Fethiye. The temperature which is around 86-105 F (30-40 C) during the summer, is usually above 50 F (10 C) in the winter. Considering the fact that in these turquoise-colored seas that in no season falls below 60 F (16 C) swimming is possible for nine months of the year, we might as well conclude that there are only two seasons in Fethiye: Spring and summer!
All along the Belcekiz beach, -a bit more expensive- you can find everything to eat and drink. The bars and restaurants are every time ready for your service. The place which is called the Blue Lagoon is a National Park, which is fee-payed passing. Again, there are lots of things to eat, drink, and again, full of entertainment like water sports and beach volley, showers and WC. Besides, Oludeniz, is one of the most ideal places in the world for Paragliding. To make this sport, you don't have to be experienced. All you have to do is, to choose which company to fly with, among lots of the agencies including Turkish Aeronautical Association. If you don't have a licence to fly, you will have your first experience with a licensed and experienced pilot. The pilots do everything for you. All you have to do is just to enjoy the beauties of Oludeniz and take lots of photographs from 1400-1700 metres height. The flight takes about 30-45 minutes. And will cost you about ? 150.00.
12 ISLANDS - Daily 12 Islands Boat Cruise in Fethiye
Once you come to Fethiye, you have to go on 12 Islands Boat Cruise. The hundreds of double-Decker boats you see in Fethiye as you wonder around the marina and the harbour are ready to take you to this tour. Each has a capacity from 50 up to 150 people and all of them have toilets and a self-service bar; and most of them are built in the dockyards in Fethiye. They depart between 10:00-11:00 every morning and come back to Fethiye harbour about 17:30 - 18:30 in the evening. The lunch is included in the tours which is usually pasta -meatballs (sometimes chicken or fish)- salad and fruit (water melon) (a good menu if you think that you're on water). If you want to enjoy the sun, then your place is upstairs; but be careful because, the sun burns you a bit too much and you don't feel it since it will be quite windy on the sea. You'll feel it at night after the shower, which usually ends up with the creams and lotions the doctor gives. But if you want to enjoy the tour in the shade and watch around, you'd better stay downstairs drinking your tea, coffee, or a cold drink (maybe playing backgammon with the crew).
The first stop, Gobun bay, is placed in the south-western coast of the Fethiye Gulf, and is a very calm bay with the crystal clear water, 7-10m. depth, and the quietness of a lake; just like all the other bays in the Fethiye Gulf. In this bay. There is also a small cafe-restaurant which is run by a local family, and the bay is one of the certain places where the sailors stop for an overnight. Gobun has another alternative called the Cavy Bay which is just next to the Gobun Bay. Here is also a fascinating place with its pure waters and calm sea which will charm everyone who sees. On the shore, there is a small cave in the rocks, and a stairway leading the cave the strange thing is both of them are natural. So, you can now understand why they called here the Cavy Bay.
Cleopatra's Baths, (actually The bay of Cleopatra's Baths), is a large bay full of lots of pine trees, and has a dark blue sea which goes to light blue, as you reach the shore. In the south western part of the bay, there are some ruins which came down because of the earthquakes in Fethiye. According to the myth, in one of the visits of Cleopatra to Anatolian coasts, her close friends decided to build a Roman Bath for Cleopatra as a present because, they found a hot water spring in this part of the bay. The water here was very good for the skin, with the minerals and elements it contained like Calcium, Magnesium, etc. Some say that the mystery which lies behind the beauty of Cleopatra is the water here (however, it may be true). The water here was coming from a crater lake (dry now) which was behind the mountain you see at the northern side of the bay. Even today, if you look at the bottom of the sea, where the ruins are, before the wind starts very early in the morning, you can see the sands at the bottom are still a bit moving. This means that there is still a bit amount of hot water coming out today. If you want to try your chance to be as beautiful as Cleopatra and to look 10 years younger, you are allowed to swim around and in the ruins!
The next stop, Dockyard Island, is the first Island you'll see in the tour which is called the 12 Islands Boat Cruise (the ones before were semi-islands). Here is a shallow bay where the water comes towards the land, just like a lake, and you can not realize that there's bay in the island unless you approach. On the land, there are some ruins which belong to the early Greek people lived here in peace during the Ottoman Empire times. The bay on the island was used to build ships by the people lived here (also Turkish), because the shallow waters were very suitable for this purpose. That's why this island is called the Dockyard Island.
Flat islands, are a group of islands so close to each other, located just at the opposite of the Gocek town. The property here is the salty lake in the middle of the long sandy part of the biggest island in the group. Here is also a charming place with the clear, dark blue and very deep waters. But there's a passing from the biggest island to the smallest, which you can easily walk (1.5m depth). On the biggest island, further to the north, there's a long, sandy beach leading to the lake. On the shore, there are two families selling pan-cakes and pastries, who come every morning from the Gocek town, and leave in the evening. And there's a big boat used as a restaurant on this island. And if you want, banana, ringo and water skiing is available.
Red Island - Samanlik Bay
On the way back, your captain will choose one of the two suitable bays. If he chooses the Red Island, enjoy the clear sea and the clean shore of this red ground of the island. Anyway, you won't be able to resist its attraction. here, you can swim to the shore, which is only a few meter to the boat; and after getting on again, you can enjoy the sunset with a Nescafe or Sunset Cocktail. If you go to the Samanlik bay, it won't be more different than this. Again, you can jump (or dive?) from the top of the boat, and let the other watch you under the water just like an aquarium. Don't forget that this one is your last chance to swim, and you'll be back in the Fethiye Harbour 30 minutes later!
Fethiye, has a wonderful historical wealth. It's not only the far history I mean, but also the near history. In the far history, some of the civilisations which ruled Fethiye Region are Lycian, Roman civilisations. They left lot's of wonderful remains all around Fethiye. In the near history, (before 1. world war.) in the village called Kaya or Kayaköy (Karmylassos), Greek people used to live in peace under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. There used to be about 3000 buildings, 5 doctors, 3 pharmacies, 1 school, 2 big churches, and more than 10 small monasteries. The settling of this village (the Greek settlement) date the 15th century. The small church downtown dates 1888. The other church (the bigger one up the hill) said to be built before the small one.
In January 30 1923, there was a population exchange agreement between Turkish-Greek governments. According to this agreement, the Greek people living in Turkey would be sent to Greece and the Turkish people in Greece would be sent to Turkey. The Greek people here, by this agreement, went back to Greece; but the Turkish people living in Greece didn't want to come back to Turkey, because the Greek government did not want to pay the indemnity for any of the goods, lands, or the houses they owned in Greece. So that, the houses which were reserved for the Turkish residence, waited for a long time with allowing noone in.
Later on, the big earthquakes that shook Fethiye Region (especially the one in 1957), really damaged the houses, and the local people used the damaged parts of the houses in their own buildings. That's why the old city is now looking like a ghost town. A long time no one allowed to use the houses, and the local people built their own houses, keeping the old ones empty. Kayaköy is not a far place from Fethiye. It's just 5 minutes from Hisaronu village, which is on the way to Oludeniz. Only 15 km. from Fethiye!
Another day in Fethiye, (if you had enough of Oludeniz) you can choose a different place to see. This may be Saklikent. I advise you to be on your way in the morning time, because the roads really become bad with the sun above, and you may sweat as you never did before. Saklikent, is a huge valley and a canyon which goes inside 14 km. It is unbelievably high and narrow between two mountains. You'll have to walk through ice cold waters to get to the other side of the river, if you want to see the beauties inside the canyon. You can also drink this ice cold water if you want to, because it is a very cold natural spring which comes out just where you walk through! It is so cold that you feel like you are loosing your feet inside the river, even in Summer time. This place was found about 15 years ago by a goat shepherd and rented the place from the government for 49 years. Now, he runs the cafe-restaurant in Saklikent. On the way back to Fethiye, you can have a small break to taste the home made pancakes of the local villagers with the Ayran (a mixture of yoghurt, cold water and salt), and experience the Turkish village life. When you are leaving, do not forget to leave some tip for the children helping you to be in comfort in their houses, because they really show the best hospitality you may ever see.
You can spend another day in Dalyan, which is about 1 hour from Fethiye. It is near the pretty Dalyan River (the ancient Calbis River), which connects the Koycegiz lake to the sea. Most of the people don't know the name of Dalyan, even if they come to Fethiye for their Holiday. But Dalyan has a very pretty atmosphere with its ancient and natural beauties. As soon as you reach Dalyan, don't waste time and bargain with one of the local fisher boat captains to take you to places to see. First stop is the mud-bath which is said to be very healthful for your skin because of the minerals and the elements it contains like Calcium, Magnesium and Sulphure. It will take only 10 minutes from Dalyan by the boat which will take you there among the marvellous landscape of the ancient Calbis river. After that, you can go back to town center and have a good lunch including the famous fish which was caught in Dalyan river. After lunch, you take your boat to take you to the Iztuzu Beach (The Turtle Beach) after a 30 minutes boat trip among the plants, birds (and maybe the turtles!) of the famous Dalyan river. I am sure you will be impressed after your trip on this river. This beach is one of the rare beaches on the world where the Marine Turtles come and nest. Because of that, the beaches is seriously protected by the Turkish Association of Protection of the Natural Life. As you reach the beach, please obey the rules to use the beach which are written on big plaques on the beach, to protect the Sea Turtles and to let them live. The one side of this beach is the river (fresh water), and the other side is the Sea (salty water). So you can decide where to swim as you entered the beach. I can suggest you a long walk on the sands on the Iztuzu beach, to forget all your troubles and relax. After (or before) the beach, you can also visit the ancient city of Caunos on the way back to Dalyan town center. The place to see on this hill (10 mins walk) are, the Ancient Theatre, the Roman Bath, the Temple of Apollon, and the Acropolis up the hill. Also the Carian Rock Tombs which welcomes you as you enter the town, are really amazing.
Outdoor Activities - Paragliding
If I couldn't make you interested in Fethiye so far, if you are nearly bored, if only visiting the places doesn't make you satisfied, if you feel like adventurous, you can go to Oludeniz and go for a Paragliding! Climbing to the Mount Babadag (1400 - 1700m.) with the jeeps, you'll prepare for the flight which will take about 30-45 minutes. The qualified staff and the pilots will take the care of you and you'll be flying with a pilot tied with you to the parachute. You don't have to be experienced and although you didn't do this kind of thing before, the only thing you will do during the flight is, just to enjoy the scenery and take photos of the unbelievable beauty and charm of world famous Oludeniz Beach and Lagoon. Then you will land on the white sand of Oludeniz Beach. You'll probably live your live's most unforgetable experience. Oludeniz will charm you with this magic too (if you are lucky, you'll be here during the international sky contests!)
If the thing above didn't make you swet enough, I suggest you a Jeep Safari Tour in Fethiye. Only some of the things what you can face during the tour are; a flat tire, stuck in mud, engine stop while passing a river, etc. Approximately 20 jeeps will be in your convoy, and the speed limit is 70 km/h. To make you feel in safe, there are driver-guides and first aid staffs in the convoy. One leading the tour, second at the end, and rest of them will be in the convoy, separate places. I don't want to tell you the route, since it will be just a surprise for you as it is an adventure tour.
If you can swim and want to discover the depths of the cleanest part of the, Mediterranean, you can join the scuba diving tours in Fethiye, which will take you to the magic of the depths with the staff all licensed and experienced (BSAC, CMAS, PADI, DIWA, SSI, IDC courses available). During this tour, -if you are lucky- you have the chance to see the dolphins and even the sea turtles passing by. But the common thing is to hand-feed the fish! While doing all these, don't forget to smile at the cameras taking your pictures! And another important thing is, to see the historical wealth of Fethiye Gulf also under the sea!
White Water Rafting!
If you can swim, (not so necessary actually!) and if your heart is strong enough, if you are not pregnant, and if you don't have asthma, I would suggest you a White Water Rafting tour on Dalaman River which is only 90 minutes to Fethiye. Don't miss this tour, if you want to fight with the strong bubbles, paddling down the river (sometimes falling and capsizing), and if you don't mind getting wet. The distance is 12 km. and the lunch is given on the shore, nearly midway. If you are brave enough, you must choose the inflatable kayaks for two, and if you are not, you'll travel on a big raft with a guide. The tour is completely safe, Noone injured (as yet). Don't forget to smile to the cameras on the hardest rapids with the helmets, life jackets, and the paddles in your hands.
History of Fethiye
Fethiye, known as Telmessos in the antique period, is the most important city of LYCIA -one of the oldest Anatolian Civilisations- at the western borderline with CARIA. Despite lack of information regarding its establishment, it is stated in the history of the city reaches far back to 5th century BC. A Lycian legend explains the source of the name Telmessos as follows: "God Apollon falls in love with the youngest daughter of the King of Finike (Phoenike), Agenor. He disguises himself as a small dog and thus gains love for the shy, withdrawn daughter. After he reappears as a handsome man, they name their son 'Telmessos' (the land of lights). The city, with its name believed to have come from that of Telmessos, -son of God Apollon-, forms the first state of the Persians after being invaded by the Persian King Harpagos in 547 BC. along with all other Lycian and Carian cities. Telmessos then, joins the Attik-Delos Union established in mid. 5th century BC. and, although it later leaves the union as an indipendent city, continues its relations till 4th century BC. A rumor that the city, invaded by the Alexander the Great on his Asian cruise of invasion in the winter of 334-333 BC. has has yielded to him with his own will. Another legend says that Alexander the Great on a mission to invade Anatolia, enters Telmessos harbour with his fleet. Their commander Nekros asks permission of Antipatrides, ruler of the city, for his musicians and slaves to enter the city. On getting the permission, the warriors with guns hidden in the flute boxes capture the acropolis during the feasts held at night."
The city has been handed over to the son of Lysimachos in 240 BC. by Ptolomy III. By the treaty signed in 189 BC. after the Magnasia war, the Romans have left the city to Eumenos, the King of Bergama (Pergamon) Kingdom collapses, Telmessos, in 133 BC., joins the Lycian Federation and is one of the six most important cities in the group. In the 8th century its name as Anastasios II. The city, taken over in 1284 by Menteseogullari, receives the name MEGRI, meaning far city, after its inclusion in Ottoman land in 1424. In 1934, the city has been renamed as FETHIYE to the honor of Fethi Bey, a martyr Pilot.
Amynthas Rock Tomb, one of the most splendid examples of the Lycian civilisation, lies noble with its long years, coupled with the grandeur of the mountain whose slope it rests upon, and seems like a volunteering guide to your journey through history. This tomb is in the form of a temple built in Ion style, and has a landing with adjacent pillars at the two sides, with four steps leading to it. In the middle of the leftmost pillar, "Amynthas: son of Hermapias" is engraved in 4th century BC. letters. At the top, there is a head piece with three actoters, one in ruins, and at the bottom there is a dentile fresco.
Three stone benches go along the three walls of the flat-topped tomb chamber, with a door leading into it that has iron nail-like joints carved out of stone at its four corners. Although two of the numerous other tombs at the left of the hill look like the Amynthas tomb, they are much smaller. Within the town and in the vicinity a lot more tombs may be found, some sarcophagus tombs and some cut-out pieces of rock.
One of the best examples of these sarcophagii, is located to the east of the government building. Both sides of its arched, Gothic style lid are decorated with war scenes and the two-storey front face has carvings that look like wooden, square joists.
At the high acropolis hill behind the city a mediaveal castle, believed to be the remains of Saint John's knights, catches the eye. There is not much in the castle except some writings carved on the walls and a cistern of unknown origin.
Another old building in Fethiye that has remained up to this day is an ancient mosque that Cezayirli Hasan Pasha has ordered to be constructed in 1791. An ancient peculiarity of the city is that it has been famous for its soothsayers. It is known that soothsayers of this city that has been devoted to God Apollon have had great impact on the course of history.
Here are some other resort information for further reading if you are not satisfied what fethiye has to offer for you.
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