Thanks to its idyllic location on Turkey’s ‘sunshine coast’, Fethiye is a glorious place to enjoy the quintessential beach holiday. What makes Fethiye holidays so popular is that the beaches here really vary, from the lively and water sports-friendly to the uber quiet and off-beat hidden gems. Here’s our pick of the best beaches in Fethiye so you can plan where to lay your towel.
Best for the stunning scenery: Ölüdeniz Beach
Ölüdeniz Beach, or Blue Lagoon Beach as it’s also known, is part of a protected reserve and is one of Fethiye’s most scenic spots – lush greenery and soaring mountains hug the coastline behind you and the sparkling shallow ‘lagoon’ sparkles in the sunshine in front of you. Look up and you’ll spot the paragliders soaring above the mountain tops – one of the best activities in Fethiye. Go early to avoid the crowds.
Best for a local vibe: Katranci Bay
Katranci Bay, part of the Katranci National Park, is a popular spot, with regular buses and boat trips coming here in summer. Locals often gather on Katranci Bay at weekends for BBQs and picnics and it’s one of the most scenic bays in the whole of Fethiye, overlooked by cliffs carpeted in eucalyptus and sweet gum trees. There’s a restaurant serving up local favourites like kofte and fresh fish and you can also camp here.
Best for families: Kumbrunu Beach
Kumbrunu Beach is the stretch of sandbank that adjoins Ölüdeniz Beach and while you’ll have to pay to use this beach, it’s a great place for families to come. Spend a day here, try out some snorkelling and take pedalos and kayaks into the shallow waters. There are usually lifeguards on duty and restaurants and bars where you can go for a spot of lunch.
Best for serenity: Kabak Beach (Gemile Beach)
It’s a steep 30-minute walk down to Kabak Beach (you can only access it on foot), so arrive before the sun gets too hot. However, the journey certainly pays off when you get to revel in the complete unspoilt feel of this sandy bay favoured by locals. You’ll find a couple of no-frills beach bars but it’s best to come with plenty of supplies and perhaps a parasol. This is Turkey at its most serene.
Best for watersports: Çalış Beach
Some might say Çalış Beach is one of the most touristy beaches in Fethiye, but this narrow, 4km-long bay is a great all-rounder for its abundant amenities and watersports facilities, from kite surfing and windsurfing to sailing. You’ll find Çalış Beach a few miles north of Fethiye town and it’s great for watching the sunset from one of its lively bars. By visiting Çalış Beach you can also say you’ve been to a beach that featured in the James Bond film Skyfall.
Best for a taste of island life: Şövalye island
Şövalye island is just minutes by water taxi from Çalış Beach yet has a totally different feel to the mainland. While away an afternoon on its super laid-back beach, which has a rustic feel thanks to the sea hammocks in the water and natural shade provided by the trees. The island’s Ada restaurant is a lovely place to enjoy lunch while you take in panoramic views – you’ll feel uber-relaxed by the time you’re done here.
Best for escaping the crowds: Inlice Beach
Inlice Beach, close to Göcek, is around a 30-minute drive from Fethiye town and while it doesn’t attract hordes of tourists, its small beachfront restaurant doesn’t make any shortcuts when it comes to the food, serving up lovely salads, omelettes and Turkish coffee. The beach has dark shale-like sand and the water is incredibly calm. You’ll easily while away a full day here.
Best for feeling like you’re in paradise: Kidrak Beach
A mile or so down the road from Ölüdeniz Beach, Kidrak Beach is a beautiful secluded bay that’s part of the Kidrak Natural Park. And while you have to pay to use this beach, it’s certainly worth it for the heavenly setting and out-of-the-way feel. Far away from overcrowded beach bars (there’s just a small snack bar) and with water that’s a bit choppier than other bays, it’s more popular among couples than families with children. You’ll see why they’ve nicknamed it ‘paradise beach’.