Planning a Trip
By Plane -- As a major British (and German) haven, Fethiye (via Dalaman Airport) is served by a number of regular and charter airlines from a number of cities in Europe. They are Onur Air (www.onurair.com.tr), Atlasjet (www.atlasjet.com.tr), Easyjet (www.easyjet.com), Monarch Airlines (www.flymonarch.com), Thomas Cook (www.flythomascook.com), and British Midland (www.flybmi.com). While there are more flights into Antalya Airport, the drive to Fethiye takes about 4 hours, so choosing Antalya will most likely be a result of fully booked flights into Dalaman, or a desire to explore the coast from east to west. Though flights are not as frequent into Dalaman Airport, it's less than 40km (25 miles) from Fethiye.
Havas (tel. 444-0487) shuttle buses will be waiting for you at the Dalaman airport to whisk you away to either Marmaris or Fethiye (separate buses for opposite directions). The bus into downtown Fethiye (the marina) takes about an hour and 10 minutes and costs 17YTL ($15/£6.80).
There are also car-rental counters at both airports, sensible if you've arrived here exclusively for a land tour. A taxi from the airport will cost around 110YTL ($96/£44).
By Bus -- Ulusoy (tel. 444-1888) buses run once-daily service between Istanbul and Fethiye (11 hr.; 76YTL/$66/£30). Pamukkale (tel. 444-3535) connects Fethiye daily with Izmir (via Ortaca; 6 hr.; 25YTL/$22/£10) and Antalya (3 1/2 hr.; 20YTL/$17/£8). The otogar is about a mile east of the town center, at the turnoff for Ölüdeniz. There is no dolmus service running to the hotel listings in Fethiye town. Instead, a taxi will cost around 13YTL ($11/£5.20).
In Fethiye town, the tourist information office is located at Iskele Karsisi 1 (tel. 0252/614-1527), across from the harbor nearest the yacht marina. In Ölüdeniz, there's a "Tourism Development Cooperative" at the end of the road before the beach (tel. 0252/617-0438).
Downtown Fethiye, along with its busy harbor and marina, sits at the southern edge of the Gulf of Fethiye. It's hard to miss the Antique Theatre across from the main harbor, located on the main road that cuts through town (called Atatürk Cad. in the city center, Fevzi Çakmak Cad. to the west).
Çarsi Sokagi cuts through the Old Town Bazaar perpendicular to Atatürk Caddesi, forming a triangle of shopping, restaurants, and cafes known as Paspatur. The new bazaar is located on Çarsi Sokagi, which then curves around to continue east until it meets up once again with Atatürk Caddesi and turns into Inönü Bulvari. Amyntas Tomb is southeast of the town center amid the barren brush, and farther east are the Lycian Rock Tombs. A few lone sarcophagi are scattered about town, one in the garden of the municipality building on Atatürk Caddesi, the other on Kaya Caddesi, between the old bus depot and the castle. A pedestrian promenade runs along the marina between the theater and north to Calis Beach, and is lined with boats of all sizes touting day trips and private charters. The taxi boat to Calis Beach is located here as well.
As you continue eastward out of Fethiye, Inönü Bulvari intersects with the road to Ölüdeniz, located about 15km (9 1/3 miles) up in the hills to the south. After the turnoff for Ölüdeniz, the road arrives at Hisarönü, a town that has degenerated into a stopover for mass-marketed British groups on package tours. About 4km (2 1/2 miles) farther is the little country village of Kayaköy, which grew around an abandoned Greek settlement vacated in the population exchange of 1924.
Ölüdeniz, which means "Dead Sea" (but is better known as the "Blue Lagoon"), describes the beach and lagoon bearing its name and the long stretch of Belcegiz Beach. This deservedly ultra-popular seaside resort sits in a small valley at the bottom of a steep hill. Beach bums, daredevil paragliders, and at least one too many partiers base themselves in Ölüdeniz, but with a car or scooter, you can easily make this a day trip. To the left is the public beach, enclosed by the steep slopes of Babadag. The beach is tastefully lined with travel agents offering adventure tours, beach restaurants, Internet cafes, and the Club Belcekiz Beach Hotel at the far end. To the right is the overcrowded natural preserve with its lagoon of Mediterranean dreams, pristine and a deep shade of aqua.
By Car -- To really enjoy Fethiye and the surrounding areas, it's important to have your own wheels. Car-rental agencies are located near the marina, and all of the holiday resorts offer on-site car-rental services. Because the British pound sterling is the primary quoted currency of the area, the price of renting a car locally might seem a bit high. Surprisingly enough, it's better to book your vehicle from one of the major international players for the most competitive rates. The only major in town is Avis (Yat Limani Körfez Apt. 9/A2; tel. 0252/612-3719). Lesser-known firms around the yacht marina and in near the Old Town Bazaar are also a decent bet; try Fethiye Rent-a-Car (Atatürk Cad. 106; tel. 0252/612-2281; www.fethiyerentacar.com), which currently charges £27 ($54) per day for a compact.
By Scooter -- This is my mode of choice, but be very careful, as the roads are gravelly and the drivers are no better at the resorts than they are on the highways. Take particular care in rounding steep hilly curves, as oncoming vehicles tend to make wide turns into your lane. Otherwise, riding a scooter through the countryside is a rare joy, a good way to maintain your suntan, and the best way to solve the parking question. Most car-rental agencies have scooters available, and there are several outfitters in downtown Fethiye that will rent you a scooter for about 35YTL ($30/£14).
By Minibus/Dolmus -- Dolmuses congregate at the intersection of Atatürk Caddesi and Sedir Sokak (across from the hospital) in downtown Fethiye and provide frequent (about every 15 min.) transport to most of the sites and destinations listed in this section. The most useful routes leave for Ölüdeniz, Kayaköy, Tlos, and Saklikent. A ride will cost 2YTL ($1.75/80p).
The Ölüdeniz Minibus Coop runs an hourly shuttle between Fethiye and Kayaköy (3YTL/$2.60/£1.20); less frequent are the minibuses that run about six times a day between Fethiye and Faralya/Kabak and three times daily between Fethiye and Gemiler Beach.