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BLOG Why We Love Fethiye

14 April 2016 / Culture

From Fethiye with Love

Fethiye is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Aegean region of Turkey and has long been a town of choice for foreign property investors and expats from the UK and Europe. Apart from its wonderful Mediterranean climate, natural beauty and rich history, Brits are attracted to Fethiye thanks to its less expensive lifestyle and the hospitality of the local people. Currently, the British population in Turkey is approximately 28,000 (2014), over 7,000 of these British citizens have bought property in Fethiye and live there permanently. In addition to these figures, over 600,000 British tourists visit the town every summer, making it one of the most popular destinations in Turkey.

With its prime location in the area, forward thinking mentality, stunning vistas, numerous restaurants, cafés and modern culture, it is no wonder European investors choose to buy property in Fethiye. With Dalaman on your doorstep and Fethiye boasting fantastic schools and hospitals, amazing local attractions and a wealth of history and culture, it is easy to see why we love Fethiye so much.

But it is not only the facilities, hospitality and cultural history of the area of Fethiye that attracts people to move to Fethiye from Britain, it also boasts a fantastic buy to let business. For years, Fethiye has been one of the most popular holiday destinations in Turkey, and with more and more people choosing to rent apartments and villas rather than stay in hotels, Fethiye’s rental market is booming. If the British aren’t buying properties in Fethiye to live in, they are certainly buying properties to rent to the tourism market. Buying properties to let in Fethiye has always been a popular investment opportunity in Turkey, but with the recent stamp duty increase and surcharge in the UK on buy to let properties, Fethiye is looking more and more attractive to investors, due to the lower property values, cheaper running costs, lower set up fees and a heavy tourist trade.

Fethiye itself is a huge draw for tourists wishing to rent properties for their holidays in Turkey. The town is still beautiful despite some development over the years, which has only added to its accessibility and beauty. The town may be more cosmopolitan in the modern day, but it has managed to keep its traditional Turkish charm which moulds well with the town’s cultural heritage and rich history which can be found on nearly every corner. Fethiye is also a prime location for exploration, with dozens of fantastic attractions within half an hour of the town. These are just some of the reasons why we love Fethiye.

 The History

Fethiye is located on the ancient city of Telmessos, which was once the largest city in Lycia, near the Carian border and many ruins of the ancient city, such as the Hellenistic theatre, can still be seen today in the modern city of Fethiye. The city gained its modern name in 1934, in honour of Fethi Bey, one of the first pilots of the Ottoman Air Force.

Fethiye also has an interesting past with Greece, housing a large Greek population in the 19th Century prior to the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1923. The ghost town of Kayaköy is an interesting landmark now in relation to this historical event, a village sitting approximately 8km south of Fethiye. Kayaköy is now preserved as a museum village, consisting of hundreds of abandoned buildings such as Greek-style houses and churches, which cover a small mountainside and is a huge calling for tourists in Fethiye. Kayaköy is a UNESCO World Friendship and Peace Village and is protected by the Turkish government. Just a few kilometres hike from Kayaköy is the Af Kule Monastery, fantastic clifftop ruins for exploring, with amazing views of the sea and the vista of Babadağ, the Father Mountain, in the distance.


One of the most photographed beaches on the Mediterranean, thanks to it’s pristine pebble beach and famous turquoise and aquamarine waters, Ölüdeniz is frequently rated among the top 5 beaches in the world by travellers and journalists alike. Its official English translation is Blue Lagoon, referring to the stunning colours of the seawater and its secluded sandy bay and shallow lagoon waters. The literal translation of Ölüdeniz is “Dead Sea”, due to its spookily calm waters, even during storms. The calm, clear, shallow, aquamarine lagoon has long been a draw for visitors to Fethiye as it is located just 14 km to the south of the town and is easily accessible by car or dolmuş.

If the beach isn’t reason enough to love Fethiye, Ölüdeniz is also regarded as one of the best places in the world to paraglide, due to its unique panoramic views and Mount Babadağ’s exceptional height. The surrounding stable weather conditions make Babadağ the perfect launch site. In an afternoon, you can witness dozens of brave visitors jumping from the top of Babadağ and enjoying a slow and stunning float across the sea before landing gently on the beach of Ölüdeniz. If you choose to try the jump yourself, you will enjoy a thrilling 45 minute jeep drive up the side of Babadağ, with miraculous views from all angles, and following your brave leap of faith off the top of the mountain, you will enjoy a 30 minute glide above Ölüdeniz, the Mediterranean, the many majestic mountains and of course the famous Blue Lagoon.

Ölüdeniz is also the perfect place in Turkey for scuba diving and snorkelling, with crystal clear waters and many underwater caves with various types of fauna and sea life. At just a 20 minute drive from Fethiye, could you imagine living somewhere with this kind of beauty and excitement on your doorstep? Ölüdeniz is just one of the many reasons why we love Fethiye!

Butterfly Valley

Just 30 minutes from Fethiye is one of the most important and beautiful ecotourism attractions in Turkey, Butterfly Valley. Accessible by shuttle boat from Belceğiz Beach in Ölüdeniz, the valley attracts visitors who enjoy camping, hiking, canyoning, canoeing and scuba diving. Butterfly Valley is a real treat for the outdoorsy and adventurous types. The valley is open to the public all year round and in peak season, can attract around 200 campers a day.

Here you will find the perfect opportunity to get back to basics and feel at one with nature. Designated a protected area, any type of construction in the valley is strictly prohibited by law, therefore only temporary structures are allowed here. The valley is a 4km stretch, located at the foot of Babadağ, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The canyon walls are steep, at around 400m, and the trail in the valley leads you through the plethora of butterflies, to two small waterfalls. The area was originally discovered by hippies in the early 90s and its isolation attracts backpackers, hikers and naturalists.


Fethiye has beautiful marinas of its own, scattered with yachts and boats, but Göcek is just half an hour away from the old town and well worth a visit for a day of snooping at the rich and famous of seafarers. Göcek hosts six magnificent marinas that not only house the yachts of the wealthy, but also serve the yacht tourism in the region, and is the launch pad for the infamous 12 islands tour, one of the most popular day trips of the area. One of the major characteristics of the town is the fact that it harbours islands and coves located in a large and secluded bay and like much of the region, since 1988 has been declared a Registered Area of Special Protection.

Göcek is one of the smaller resorts of the area, home to just 4,500 people, despite its huge draw for keen sailors, so it is renowned as a much more peaceful and quiet settlement than its surrounding areas. The 12 islands are described as a hidden paradise, with crystal clear waters, green pine forests and white sandy beaches. It is also the perfect place to be if you want to explore the Turkish coast line, with several water taxis able to take you to the area’s most famous beaches, Sarıgerme, the protected beach of Iztuzu in the Dalyan Delta and of course, Ölüdeniz. If you want to explore the 12 islands, there are several yachting companies that will take you out for a day of swimming, snorkelling and island hopping in the warm Turkish sunshine.

Göcek itself not only attracts visitors for its quite suburban feel, but also for a slightly higher class of living. With it’s beautiful views and calm waters, there are many restaurants, cafés and bars lining the promenade, quirky independent shops and beautiful gardens to enjoy. Everything moves at a slightly slower pace in Göcek, it is a spot of tranquility and luxury on the doorstep of a traditionally bustling and Turkish town, Göcek is just one of many reasons why we love Fethiye.

Fethiye’s Old Town

After exploring what the immediate area has to offer, Fethiye’s Old Town is the place to be, with its winding cobbled streets and many shops. Climb the hillside streets and explore the farmer’s market for fresh organic produce and have a gander at the many traditional tea shops filled with old Turkish men playing backgammon and smoking their hookahs! It is this kind of traditional local life that is the basis of the charm of Fethiye. But it’s not only the farmer’s market that is worth exploring, the fish market is a permanent structure in Fethiye and sports the freshest of fish every day. You can either buy your own fish in the stunning covered market place, or you can choose to lunch at one of the many restaurants that surround the market and you can pick your fresh, locally caught fish to be cooked for you.

The bazaar in Fethiye is great fun. The shops are traditional and if you are there on market day, there is a great deal of fun to be had in Fethiye, bartering and bargaining for your wares and souvenirs. Fethiye also has some of the best baklava and Turkish delight shops in the area and plenty of traditional cafés to stop at and rest your weary feet with a çay and some künefe. Leather is a big business in Fethiye and you will come across many good quality shops selling ‘designer’ leather bags and purses and a very reasonable price. Of course, they are all fake, but they are good fakes, proper leather and good quality if you buy from the shops and not the stalls.

With everything that the district of Fethiye has to offer and the hundreds of attractions in the province of Muğla so accessible, it is a prime location for expats in Turkey and for investors to consider when looking to buy property to let in Turkey.

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