FETHİYE An Introduction
Set in a lovely bay, the popular resort of Fethiye is built around a charming town full of restored houses and local bazaars. A hill crowned by the ruins of a crusader fortress built by the knights of Rhodes overlooks the little port. Above the town numerous Lycian rock tombs, reproducing the facades of ancient buildings, are cut into the cliff face. These rock tombs that are in the exact center of the city, have become the symbol of Fethiye.
Fethiye’s former name was Telmessos. It is thought that Telmessos was founded in the fifth century B.C. At first it was an independent city within the borders of Lycia and Carie. Later it joined the Attic-Delian League.
In 333 B.C. Alexander the Great conquered Telmessos. According to Livenel, it is said that the citizens of Telmessos surrendered the city to Alexander the Great without any opposition.
After Alexander the Great, Telmessos was governed respectively by the Ptolemy Dynasty, the Romans and the Pergamum Kingdom. In the seventh century A.D. it underwent the attack of the Arabs and became extreamely weak. In 1284 A.D. Telmessos was conquered by the Menteseogul’s, and joined the Ottoman Lands in 1424. In this period the name Telmessos was changed. The Ottomans gave the name Makri to Telmessos, which means “Distant Country”. After 1914, the name of the city became Fethiye.
Fethiye is a pretty town at the hillsides of MendosMountain, and surrouns the bay that it has given its name to.
Dry, long, hot summers and short, warm, rainy winters are climatic characteristics of Fethiye. The temperature which is around 86-104 F during the summer is usually above 50 F in the winter. Considering the fact that in these turquoise colored seas that in no season falls below 60 F swimming is possible for nine months of the year, one might as well conclude that there are only two seasons in Fethiye: spring and summer.
The naturally protected harbor is a drop-by place for all yachts and cruise ships. The beautiful and unspoiled coastlines, islands and bays are ideal for yachting, water-sports and nature lovers. Archaeological Museum, Lycial Rock Tombs and the Ancient Theater in downtown are the main attractions within walking distance. Daily excursions are available to the famous Oludeniz Lagoon, Kaya Koy, Tlos, Saklikent Kanyon, Dalyan, Caunos and 12 Islands. Also, one may take advantage of overnight tours to Ephesus, Pamukkale (Hierapolis), St. Nicholas Church, Myra, Kekova, Kemer, Telmessos and Belek (Golf) are great opportunities.