I think Fethiye is overlooked by a lot of tourists, with some people not straying further than the Tuesday market, but it has so much more to offer. The harbour area is so pretty, especially early in the morning when it’s quiet, the only people around are those getting the boats ready for a day trip around the islands or going out fishing. I love the green hills in the distance, the masts of the boats and the calm water the boats bob up and down on. If you’re lucky, you might even see a turtle or two popping his head up for food!
There are so many things to see in the Fethiye area, the whole area is so diverse and it’s easy to overlook the small things. My favourite place of all is Fethiye town centre, there’s no doubt about it. It’s busy all year around and it doesn’t become a ghost town when the summer season is over and the tourists have gone home, life continues as normal and businesses stay open.
There is so much to see and sometimes even just taking a walk the long way around while doing daily errands can provide you with beautiful sights and surroundings.
On Friday we needed to pop into town to go to the bank, change some money and pay some bills. We waited til the late afternoon, the bank was empty and we were in and out so quickly we had some time to spare. We took the back road to the exchange office and walked under the much photographed multicoloured umbrellas. I love this idea. Fethiye is a beautiful area, and you could easily get carried away taking photos of the amazing views, who would have thought a few coloured umbrellas tied to some string would be so popular? They look amazing, and it certainly brightened up our trip to the bank to pay bills!
There are also lovely water features and topiary around the town. One display being opposite the exchange office we use. It’s an old boat with fake sand, stepping stones and sea creatures made from bushes – it’s pretty, well kept and makes for an interesting photo.
In quite a contrast to the rest of this area of town, there is an ancient Lycian Sarcophagus just behind the marina area, next to the Nufus office/town hall. It looks like it doesn’t belong there, it’s very random. I’ve seen old photos of Fethiye from hundreds of years ago (1800’s!) and the sarcophagus can be seen surrounded by water, now obviously it is inland due to development – it’s interesting how things have changed and built around it while it just sits untouched. (Link to the old photo HERE)
We took the long route back to the bus station via the ‘new’ town square, which has actually been completed for nearly 2 years now! The most interesting and quirky parts of this area are the wonky buildings next to the main concrete square. They’ve been wonky for as long as I can remember, and after various earth tremors have become worse. The rows of houses on the other side of the road behind these are also slanted, they lean backwards. Apparently they have become more slanted in recent years after work to improve the pavements in the town took place – but I don’t know for sure about that. I can’t imagine they’re very safe to live in, I don’t think they’d meet the minimum safety requirements required for earthquake insurance etc..!
Aside from the wonky buildings, the park hosts a statue of Atarturk, (there are several of these in Fethiye and at least one in every town in the country) water fountains, flowers and pretty wooden benches. The fountains don’t seem to run on any kind of schedule, sometimes they’re on, sometimes they’re not, and sometimes it looks nicer than others, but it seems to be well-kept during the season and it is a lovely place to wander around and kill some time. There’s a playground for children which is often busy with passing tourists and locals, and yet more impressive topiary along the pathways. I love to watch the fountains here at night, they are all lit up and look beautiful. I’ve written a post about it previously – click HERE.
I love just walking through Fethiye, it has a real working town atmosphere. I love how there are elements of the old town mixed in amongst the new, modern, fit-for-tourism town – like the ancient sarcophagus sat surrounded by hotels and restaurants and the modest fishing boats sat in the harbour amongst the bigger daily tour boats which take hundreds of tourists out sunbathing and swimming around the islands everyday.
I think that’s what I love about Fethiye the most, it can be as quiet or as loud as you want – it’s so diverse with so many things to see, but sometimes it’s just the simple things that make your walk to pay the bills that little bit more fun, that are the best.