Fethiye is a large region set on Turkey’s stunning Turquoise coast. The area has long lured property investors and holiday makers alike attracted by its diverse beauty, year-round facilities and relaxed lifestyle.
With traditional villages and lively resorts nestled into rugged pine-clad mountains, a rolling patchwork of countryside or banking onto clear blue waters – there’s something to suit everyone’s taste and budget.
A Firm Favourite Along the Turquoise Coast
Most famed as home to the wonderful Blue Lagoon of Oludeniz, Fethiye is perhaps the most popular area for coastal property in Turkey with established foreign communities, a wealth of holiday let properties which attract premium returns and numerous Turkish apartments and desirable Turkish villas for sale, ideal for a permanent residence or Turkish holiday home.
Residential development in Oludeniz itself is prohibited therefore the nearby resorts of Hisaronu, Ovacik and Calis have become the favoured areas for Turkish property investors.
For those looking for something a little more traditional or rural, Fethiye Town, Tasyaka, Uzumlu and Kemer Village are also popular choices and are still within easy reach of all the amenities.
Dalaman, within a convenient 40 minutes’ drive, offers the nearest airport, and provides year round flights to and from international destinations across Europe and daily domestic flights to Istanbul. Fethiye has an established bus station (otogar) which runs scheduled services to towns and cities across Turkey and local buses (dolmus) operate a frequent jump on/jump off service along most streets.
Fethiye is steeped in a fascinating history dating back to the 6th Century BC with archaeological remains in evidence from its Lycian, Carian, Roman, Greek and Ottoman occupations where it gained prestige as an important harbour town. Striking Lycian Rock tombs stand high above the town and much investment is being put into renovating outstanding ruins of local historical significance, such as the Roman amphitheatre in the town centre.
Fethiye was known in ancient times as Telmessos. The origins of the name are explained in local legend in which it is said that in the early years of the Trojan War, the Lycian god Apollo fell in love with the timid daughter of the King of Finike, Agenor. To attract her, he disguised himself as a small loveable dog and in gaining her affections revealed his true appearance and seduced her. As a result of that love Telmessos was born and in his honour the town of Telmessos was founded. The town’s current name was awarded in 1934 in commemoration of the first air pilot in Turkey, Fethi Bey.
Fethiye's 'Boutique' Facelift
Those that have visited Fethiye recently will have noticed that is undergoing something of a facelift. With Fethiye municipality having placed high investment into urban regeneration plans to transform it into a 'Boutique City', the millions spent to date are now beginning to prove their worth with a new town square and revamped harbour-side and park now complete and attracting a host of brand name retailers who are bringing with them new capital and interest to the area.
Dated hotels, businesses and buildings surrounding the park are following suit with tasteful renovations and work on restoration of historical Fethiye amphitheatre, located to the Karogozler-end of Fethiye harbourside, got well underway towards the end of 2012.
Additionally, the new promenade extension connecting Fethiye centre to Calis is now in its third and final stages; already earning the moniker of 'millionarie's row' owing to the wealth of popular international and traditional restaurants, bars and cafes jostling to claim their piece of the much anticipated palm-lined boulevard. With this raft of investment and construction, the values of property in Calis, Fethiye Town and its surrounding resorts are already reaping steady rewards.
Central Fethiye boasts a long harbour front and newly extended promenade stretching from upmarket Karagozler to the east, with its deluxe private marina at Ece Saray and plethora of boutique hotels and pensions, to the popular shingle beach resort of Calis to the west.
With picture-postcard views to Sovalye Island, the larger of 12 islands circling the Fethiye gulf, the harbour is home to a bustling café and restaurant scene fed by regular sea-taxi services from Calis, ferry services to the Greek Island of Rhodes and gullet cruises popular with day trippers wanting to tour the striking turquoise coastline.
Fethiye town centre itself offers a good high street with modern supermarkets, a cinema, fashion & furniture shops, banks, live music venues and Turkish and international restaurants and recognised food chains in good supply. Turn down a side street and you are drawn into a cool vine covered enclave of traditional bazaars in Paspatur, Fethiye’s ‘old town’. Housed in traditional shuttered Ottoman buildings, Paspatur has an eclectic collection of craft and carpet stores, jewellers, tea houses, cafes and spice and leather shops set around a warren of small squares cooled by overhead water sprays – an ideal escape in the height of Turkey’s summer heat.
As to be expected of a resort destination, bars and small clubs are in good supply and both Turkish and international tourists head to Fethiye each year to enjoy its nightlife and convenient access to the many beaches and private bays in and around Gocek, Calis and Oludeniz.
Main Fethiye Regions and Resorts
Set at the north-west end of the Gulf of Fethiye and blissfully unspoilt, the port town of Gocek is blessed with magnificent scenery and a lovely selection of high-end boutique shops and cafes. Backed by majestic mountains and substantial pine forests, it looks out over Fethiye’s twelve islands which provide shelter for its almost circular bay making it an ideal, natural harbour. Lured by such perfection, the yachting community has long made Gocek a favourite Turkish property investment spot.
Calis Beach is a delightful 4km stretch of shingle and sand, well known for its mesmerising ruby sunsets and year round breeze. A mere 15 minutes from Fethiye town centre, the area has seen much development in recent years with a good selection of high end Turkish villas and spacious apartments being built within five to 10 minutes’ stroll of the beachfront. A wide selection of hotels and restaurants serving international and local cuisine border its palm-lined promenade which is currently being extended to offer a direct route into Fethiye. Alongside frequent dolmus services, a scheduled river-taxi operates between Calis and Fethiye for those seeking a more scenic journey. Calis has built up a firm British expat community and is a popular choice for those seeking affordable homes within a stone’s throw of a beach. It recently played host to filming of the new James Bond movie, Skyfall.
Uzumlu village takes its name from the abundance of grapevines (uzum) that grow in the area. Surrounded by rolling fields filled with grape, citrus and olive groves, babbling brooks and pine forests, the area is an ideal location for those desiring the quiet of country living within a short distance of the coast. Renowned for its local wine making, the village is just 15km from Fethiye and is growing in popularity with overseas investors who relish in its locally grown produce and outstanding country vistas. Uzumlu is at its prettiest in springtime when its fields burst into life with a beautiful array of poppies and wild flowers. Gourmets will delight in its annual Morel (Kuzu Gobegi) mushroom festival. The village has many old wood and stone houses and narrow lanes giving it a great character so far removed from the commercial holiday resorts. As Uzumlu sits further inland, buyers are often able to gain more property for their money compared to many estates in more prominent beachside locations.
Ovacik and Hisaronu
The hillside resort town of Ovacik and its livelier neighbour Hisaronu straddle the mountain road leading from Fethiye to Oludeniz. Lying in the foothills of the majestic Babadag Mountain, the areas are a firm favourite of holiday makers owing to the wide choice of recreational activities, restaurants and budget and family-run hotels all nestled into the mountainside within 10 minutes’ access of Oludeniz Beach and lagoon. With a range of easily accessible and well positioned resale and new-build properties available, both areas have proved popular with people seeking a holiday apartment or villa in Turkey. The area is ideal for those after healthy rental rewards from their Turkish property, with premiums achievable from early May to mid-October.
Not to be confused with the purpose built resort of the same name in Antalya, Kemer Fethiye is the polar opposite. A small traditional rural Turkish working town dependant on farming, Kemer has a peaceful atmosphere. With a patchwork quilt of open fields, a river running through the town and the pine clad Taurus mountains behind, the views in the town are superb. With plenty of day to day shops, a few restaurants, lokantas, cafes and a weekly open market, Kemer has everything you need for everyday living. Fethiye is just a short drive of 20-25 minutes along a good road. Not as well known as other local small villages and towns, Kemer does not have such a large foreign resident population. However, it offers as much if not more than most. If you want some 'elbow room' and the peace of the countryside while being within easy reach of the 'bright lights' of the resorts in the Fethiye area, then Kemer may well be for you. Patara beach is under 30 minutes away and the ski centre at Seki is about one hour away. The town has a good bus service with Fethiye so getting out and about is simple. Nearby places of interest include Saklikent gorge, the antique site of Tlos and the natural beauty of Yaka park.