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Fethiye, Muğla, Turkiye

Fethiye, Muğla,TurkiyeFethiye is a district and a port city of Muğla Province in southern Turkiye. It is known for its natural harbor, beautiful blue waters and numerous rock tombs including the 4th-century B.C. Tomb of Amyntas, carved into a bluff overlooking the city.

Near-shore islands are popular for day trips by boat. In the south, the beach at Ölüdeniz is sheltered by a lagoon, and Butterfly Valley is a designated nature reserve.

It is and remains one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Turkish Riviera. In 2019 its population was 162,686.

Fethiye was formerly known as Makri (Greek: Μάκρη). Modern Fethiye is located on the site of the ancient city of Telmessos, the ruins of which can be seen in the city - e.g. the Hellenistic theatre by the main quay.

A Lycian legend explains the source of the name Telmessos as follows: The god Apollo falls in love with the youngest daughter of the King of Phoenicia, Agenor.

He disguises himself as a small dog and thus, gains the love of the shy, withdrawn daughter. After he reappears as a handsome man, they have a son, who they name 'Telmessos' - or the land of lights.

The city became part of the Persian Empire after the invasion of the Persian general Harpagos in 547 BC, along with other Lycian and Carian cities.

Telmessos then joined the Attic-Delos Union (Delian League) established in mid-5th century BC. and, although it later left the union and became an independent city, it continued its relations with the union until the 4th century BC.

Fethiye, Muğla,TurkiyeVery little is known of the city during Byzantine times. Surviving buildings attest to considerable prosperity during late antiquity, but most were abandoned in the 7th and 8th centuries due to the Arab-Byzantine Wars.

The city was fortified in the 8th century, and appears as "Telmissos or Anastasioupolis" ca. 800. By the 10th century, the ancient name was forgotten and it became known as Makre or Makri, from the name of the island at the entrance to the harbour.

There are signs of renewed prosperity in the 12th and 13th centuries: the city walls were enlarged, a report from 1106 names Makre a centre for perfume production.

Geographical works from the 13th century describe the city as a commercial center. The area then fell to the Turks in the late 12th or early 13th century.

Telmessos was ruled by the Anatolian beylik of Menteşe starting in 1284, under the name Beskaza. It became part of the Ottoman Empire in 1424, and was called مكرى Meğri until 1934.

The town grew considerably in the 19th century, and had a large Greek population at that time. Following the population exchange between Greece and Turkey.

The Greeks of Makri were sent to Greece where they founded the town of Nea Makri (New Makri) in Greece. The town was resettled with Turks from Greece. At nearby Kayaköy, formerly Levissi, the abandoned Greek Orthodox church is still standing.

Fethiye, Muğla,TurkiyeIn 1934, the city was renamed Fethiye in honor of Captain Fethi Bey, one of the first pilots of the Ottoman Air Force, who died along with First Lieutenant Sadık Bey during an airplane crash on the 27th of February 1914.

Their aircraft went down near Al-Samra, while attempting to complete the first flight from Istanbul to Cairo.

On the 3rd of August 1953, Air France Flight 152, while en route from Rome to Beirut. The plane ditched into the Gulf of Fethiye off Kızılada.

Of the 8 crew and the 34 passengers on board, four drowned. The survivors were hosted by Fethiye residents during their stay in the town.

Fethiye has experienced many powerful and occasionally destructive earthquakes, most notably the 1957 Fethiye earthquakes on the 24th and 25th of April with 67 casualties.

It caused 3,200 damaged or destroyed buildings, which constituted 90% of the buildings in the entire city. The town has been rebuilt since then and now has a harbor and a model marina.

On the 14th of January 1969, Fethiye was struck by an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2, which caused no deaths, but there were some injuries and significant damage to buildings.

On 10th of June 2012, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.1, struck Fethiye. Again, there was no loss of life, but there were several injuries and many houses and workplaces were damaged.

Fethiye, Muğla,TurkiyeAt Telmessos the theatre was late Hellenistic, with a new stage added in c. 200 AD. It was abandoned with the city, but excavated in 1992–95, and with seating capacity for 6,000 spectators on 28 rows.

Fethiye is one of Turkey's well-known tourism centers and is especially popular during the summer. The Fethiye Museum, which is rich in ancient and more recent artifacts, displays and testifies to the successive chain of civilizations that existed in the area, starting with the ancient Lycians.

Some of the historical sites worth visiting are: Kadyanda (Cadyanda) ancient city, Kayaköy - the abandoned Greek village, Afkule, Gemiler and Aya Nikola. Fethiye is also home to the Tomb of Amyntas, a large tomb built in 350 BC by the Lycians.

Most popular touristic towns of Fethiye are: Ölüdeniz, Calis Beach area, Hisarönu and Ovacık. Butterfly Valley is also in the Fethiye district.

The island of Kızılada in the Gulf of Fethiye, 4 miles or 6.4 kilometers off the city coastline is a popular stopover for boat tours.

Alternatively, there are also great diving sites, Afkule being one of the most famous. The Kızılada Lighthouse on the island houses a seafood restaurant and a hostel with nine rooms.

Fethiye has a Mediterranean climate consisting of very hot, long and dry summers with an average of 34 °C or 93 °F in the daytime, winters are cool and rainy with a daytime average of 16 °C or 61 °F.

Dalaman Airport serves the Fethiye areas. The most common type of public transportation in Fethiye and nearby area is minibus.

Fethiye, Muğla,TurkiyeIn Turkiye it is called a dolmus (dole-moose) and numerous routes connect Fethiye with Oludeniz, Yaniklar, Kargi, Hisaronu, Ovacik, Seydikemer, Karaçulha.

The overall metropolitan area of the city of Fethiye stretches inland from the harbor for more than 11 kilometers, incorporating several villages into the city.

To the north of the city center is the area of Çalış Plajı (Chalice Beach), which incorporates the main street of Barış Manço Bulvarı alongside an extensive promenade along the coast, on which a lot of hotels are located.

This beach serves as Fethiye's beach in its own right, since Fethiye does not actually have one itself. To the east, lie the areas of Günlükbaşı, Çamköy, Cumhuriyet, and also Esenköy to the south-east.

The city center is defined as the area between the Marina and the Fethiye Market near the football stadium.

Approximately 4 kilometers to the south-west and south respectively, lie the towns of Kayaköy and Ölüdeniz, the latter being world-famous for its beach spit and associated Blue Lagoon.

The opportunity to experience para gliding is available from the mountain of Babadağ next to Ölüdeniz.

Saklikent Canyon is an amazing deep gorge that is an inexpensive day trip . There are often big crowds during high season but won't spoil the experience all that much. It's cool in the canyon and the water - that appears from under a cliff, is ice cold and crystal clear.

Fethiye, Muğla,TurkiyeThe stream from the main canyon was more like a trickle in dry weather, with throngs of people covering themselves in the clay/mud although I have no idea if there are any health or mystical benefits of doing so.

Visitors can walk up this part as far as their curiosity allows, and it's likely a sure bet that there were more marvels to be seen further up.

The gorge itself is quite beautiful with the first part being easy walking through streams. After about 1 kilometer you get to tougher climbing where there are guides available to take you to the waterfall.

Likely if you are confident with climbing and have no children you can manage without a guide - otherwise they are really useful.

If you want to go further than the waterfall the climbing gets very challenging and rather scary - it doesn’t feel safe at all - impossible without a guide.

As for amenities? - Restaurants and cafes are plentiful, so no need to bring food in with you.

Butterfly Valley is as beautiful as you have probably heard. However getting to it is another matter. There are several ways to get there.

1. Take a taxi to the top and hike down to the beach.

Some say they only recommend this if you have proper hiking shoes as it requires climbing down rocks. There are plenty of blogs that explain the hike, but I do not recommend believing everything that's said about Butterfly Valley.

Fethiye, Muğla,TurkiyeIf you're walking the Lykian Way I highly recommend not trying to climb down to the beach. In the past there have been several individuals that fell. Not a climb for amateurs.

2. One of the many boat tours will take you to St. Nicholas and other islands along with Butterfly Valley. But you'll need to go on a long boat tour that spends time at other islands.

3.There are private speed boats that can take you to Butterfly Valley - rather costly, or book the Butterfly Valley shuttle boat - which is the most affordable.

A few things to note though. It can take forever to find table and umbrella for the shuttle (on the beach). Finally, once you find the shuttle table located on the beach, they will provide you with the hours - boats went to the valley at 11, 2 and 4 pm, coming back at 10, 1, 5. So you do have to plan around this, with 5 pm being the last boat going back from the valley.

Once you are at the valley, it's pretty simple. Do as you please. There are a few bars there so if you buy something from one of them, you can use the beach chairs. Otherwise bring your own chairs or towels so you can sit down.

You can also hike to the waterfall but that it is a bit of a hike and you have to be very careful. You can bring your own food and booze as well if you prefer to save some money.

Should you decide to go by using the shuttle, It is highly recommend you take the afternoon shuttle.

Fethiye, Muğla,TurkiyeWe were informed that all the boats go between 11 and noon during which time the small beach can get very crowded. Take the 2 pm shuttle, which reaches the beach at 2:30pm. All the big tour boats will be gone with a few smaller boats and private boats left.

Tlos was one of the 6 important Lycian cities, The location of Tlos alone is stunning. It's an hours drive from Fethiye/Oludeniz by car.

Tlos ruins are located 35 kilometers to the southeast of Fethiye, on a hill with a picturesque view. It's one of the oldest cities of the Lycian state.

Directions are clear and easy to follow There are areas that are off limits, but for the most part you can walk around most areas and get lots of photos of the theater, basilica, baths, stadium, and the highlight - the rock tombs.

Climb to the top where the views are amazing. You can get up close to the tombs. And the views across the valley behind you are incredible as well. It will take a good 2-3 hours to see it properly.

Tlos is an ancient Lycian town which is 4,000 years old - recently discovered by archeologists: there are tombs, a theatre, hammam, water reservoirs, temples, as well as burial tombs.

To visit the tombs on the hill dominating the town, you will need a ticket (TL 12.5 as of November 2021), while the theatre, temples, baths and the rest are accessible free of charge.

Fethiye, Muğla,TurkiyeIf you are traveling around Turkiiye it is a good idea to purchase a museum pass which is good for a year and affords you entry into all the antiquities.

Fethiye is on the path of the famous 'Blue Cruises' that navigate around the southern coastline of Turkiye. It is in striking distance for daytrips to locations like Gocek, Dalaman, Marmaris, Datca, Bozburun and other holiday destinations on the Turquoise Coast.


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