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Named for its deep blue waters and natural harbour, the shores of the Turquoise Coast and their promised allure don't disappoint. Once the ancient Greek city of Telmessos, Fethiye is now part of Turkey, but you can still see the ruins of the amphitheatre overlooking the bay. Today, its harbour is full of gülets (Turkish yachts), as boats head out to the nearby islands scattered off the coast. A popular spot for watersports such as stand-up paddleboarding and snorkelling, it's also the start of famously scenic Lycian Way, a long-distance hiking trail.
Hostels in Fethiye are spread through the town and along the coast. You can stay in an eco-friendly hostel surrounded by greenery, family-run accommodation by the harbour, or chic rooms in Fethiye's Old Town. Several Fethiye hostels offer free breakfast – sometimes served on a rooftop terrace with sea views. Options include traditional Turkish-style eggs and börek sausage, as well as vegetarian and vegan. To relax, choose a Fethiye hostel with a swimming pool. If you're keen to get out and explore, go for one with bike and car rental.
Pretty Paspatur is Fethiye's Old Town. There's a long promenade along the waterfront, small shops, a lively fish market, and a popular photo spot in a street under a canopy of dozens of strung-up umbrellas. On the other side of the bay is serene Çalış Plajı beach. Outside Fethiye, places to explore include Ölüdeniz and its blue lagoon, and the abandoned town of Kayaköy. Accessed by boat to the south, Butterfly Valley nature reserve has a white beach and plunging rocky cliffs.
Ancient relics to see in Fethiye include the 4th-century Tomb of Amyntas and the Kaunos Rock Tombs (over 2,000 years old) both tucked into hillside alcoves. Follow one of the world's deepest ravines at the 18km-long Saklikent Gorge and even wade in the rushing waters below. Thrill-seekers can try wakeboarding, or paraglide from the top of Mount Babadağ for soaring views of the region.
From Dalaman Airport you can rent a car (it's 45 minutes' drive to Fethiye), or take a taxi to Otogar bus station (around 15 minutes' drive) and then a bus to Fethiye (taking about one hour). There are buses to Fethiye from a number of other Turkish cities; the journey from Ankara takes roughly 9 hours, and from Istanbul it's around 12.5 hours. To get around in Fethiye, you can rent a car, motorbike or bicycle, catch local buses, or take ferries along the coast.