Turkey’s southwestern coast is a dreamland for all lovers of the big blue sea. Of all the Mediterranean towns in this beautiful country, Fethiye is the favorite of most people with its amazing variety of beaches.
For many who choose to spend their summer holidays in Turkey, hitting the beach is the best way to spend the day.
With a holiday season extending through Fall, Fethiye has both sandy and pebbly beaches, which all make it the perfect location for sunbathing and swimming. The surrounding mountains and forests complement the blue sea, making Fethiye bays uniquely beautiful.
We’ve made a list of all the incredible beaches you can explore in and around this heavenly beach town.
So, what are the best beaches in Fethiye?
7 Best Beaches in and Around Fethiye
1. Ölüdeniz / Blue Lagoon
Being one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Blue Lagoon definitely deserves to be number one on this list. It’s a beautiful, sandy beach with warm, turquoise waters giving a picturesque view.
The literal translation of the Turkish name of Ölüdeniz is “the dead sea.” The name comes from the still waters of the lagoon, protected from the strong winds and waves. Nevertheless, the lagoon waters are always fresh thanks to the currents and spring waters blending with the sea.
The sea has a shallow entrance on one side, creating a pool-like play area for children. To the left, it gets a bit deeper as you walk into the sea, and it’s perfect for swimming.
The Blue Lagoon is a national nature reserve, and you get a ticket to get to the beach, which is also called Kumburnu. Inside the reserved park, you can rent sunbeds and shades, and there’s a café for snacks and refreshments, showers, and toilet facilities for free. You can rent paddle boats and stand-up paddleboards as well.
You pay an entrance fee of ₺9 TRY ($1 USD) per person; if you drive there, the fee is ₺27 TRY ($3.20 USD) for cars and higher for larger vehicles. If you’re there during peak season (July/August), try to head down to the beach early to avoid the long queue at the entrance.
2. Belcekız Beach
If you are in Ölüdeniz but looking for something a bit more adventurous than sunbathing and a calm dip in the sea, Belcekız (or Belceğiz) Beach awaits you. This beach is the one that welcomes you at the coast of Ölüdeniz, right before the Blue Lagoon national reserve park.
Here, you’ll find the same dashing light turquoise waters as with the Blue Lagoon, but they can be a bit rougher. This part of the coast is open to winds and usually wavy. The sea gets deep quickly, so it’s not as comfortable to swim in, but definitely more fun.
The beach is sandy, and you can rent sunbeds and beach umbrellas, or you can just bring your own. The cafes, bars, and restaurants lined up behind the beach offer a variety of foods and drinks, from reasonably priced snacks to luxury dishes. There are also small shops and stores to buy packed goods.
Standing at the beach, you’ll see a rainbow of paragliders descending. The beach lies at Babadağ Mountain’s foothills, enabling paragliders to fly into the breathtaking view of the turquoise gem below. One paragliding session costs about $50 USD.
The crystal clear waters, underwater caves, and aquatic life also attract scuba divers. You can also rent a canoe or a pedalo, sail, or take a boat trip to other bays and coves around Ölüdeniz on a pirate ship.
3. Kelebekler Vadisi / Butterfly Valley
This valley has the most striking view from above, and there’s more to discover down at sea level. The bohemian-vibed “Butterfly Valley” gets its name from over 100 species of butterflies visiting or living in the valley.
The valley is full of various trees, with a few bungalows hidden under them just a few steps away from the shore, making the valley a perfect spot for ecotourism.
This fabulous pebble beach is frequented by many cruise ships, which you should avoid while swimming. The light turquoise waters welcome you to the deep sea, but be cautious.
The sea is often wavy, and the heavy boat traffic adds to the turbulence. And rocky plates at the bottom make the sea entrance slippery. Nevertheless, no one can resist swimming in the breathtaking shades of blue in Butterfly Valley.
You can reach the valley from the land by hiking through a very steep hill, but this isn’t recommended if you’re not a professional climber with the right equipment.
You can board a cruise ship or a boat to get to the beach from Fethiye or Belcekız Beach in Ölüdeniz. The beach is free, but you pay a fee (about $1 USD) for the optional valley hike as it’s privately owned.
4. Kabak Beach
Kabak Valley is a true hippie haven. The turquoise sea beats the pebbly shore with a background filled with pine trees.
You can take it all in here, the salty, fresh air, the oxygen, the blue skies, the starry sky at night, the sound of the waves, crickets, and the occasional guitars of the campers.
The sea is not always calm, though it looks that way from the charming village of Faralya above. The waves are strong when the winds blow, and the entrance is not very shallow. But it’s safer than the Butterfly Valley for kids.
You can reach Kabak Bay from the land or the sea. If you choose the land, be prepared to hike through the forest. Although most standard daily cruises don’t visit this beach, you can rent a small boat from Belcekız Beach in Ölüdeniz to enjoy the bohemian vibes of the valley.
5. Gemiler Beach
This beach is a lovely, quiet beach that’s not far from Ölüdeniz. Gemiler Beach is located across Gemiler Adası (St. Nicholas Island), where you can see the church of St. Nicholas and other Byzantine ruins.
Surrounded by pine trees, this beautiful bay is great to swim with the fish, snorkel, and relax. The beach is pebbly, and the sea entrance is shallow. There’s a snack bar and fish restaurant to enjoy lunch on the beach as well.
From land, the beach is near Kayaköy, the thrillingly beautiful historical ghost village. You can take a dolmuş (minibus) from Fethiye to Gemiler Beach.
You can also enjoy a scenic walk through the trees from Kayaköy, following the signpost that reads Gemiler Adası. The postcard view of this dreamy bay will surprise you as you walk out of the Kınalı town.
6. Kıdrak Beach
Kıdrak beach is a 7-minute drive (about 3km/2 miles) away from Ölüdeniz. It is also a natural park, a preserved area like the Blue Lagoon, where you can relax in the shade of pine trees.
This is another sandy beach with crystal clear waters for those who want to get away from the crowds but enjoy the same waters as Ölüdeniz. There’s a picnic area, a snack bar, toilets, and showers on this beach.
7. Çalış Beach
Çalış Beach is a 2.5-mile long sandy beach near Fethiye city center. It has a fascinating view, especially at sunset, as the beach looks right at a group of small islands.
The beach is frequented by Caretta Carettas as well as local and international tourists. It’s a nesting beach for these turtles, and you can spot one if you’re lucky.
The water does not get deep quickly at Çalış Beach. However, it’s open to winds so expect to swim with the waves.
The pleasant breeze will keep you cool under the hot Fethiye sun and allows you to experiment with windsurfing or kitesurfing. You can add a little adrenaline to your lazy summer days at the surf school on Çalış Beach.
You can also spend your nights at Çalış Beach, which offers a variety of bars, pubs, and nightclubs. Accommodation options also vary from private villa houses to more affordable hotels.
Where to Stay
- Symbola Ölüdeniz Beach Hotel (link to see availability on Expedia) blends so well with the surrounding natural beauties. You’ll still be within walking distance of Belcekız Beach and the lively ambiance of the beach clubs, but also feel absolutely relaxed while staying here. The hotel has got an amazing terrace with a sea view from where you can watch paragliders against the azure background, a lovely garden, and a swimming pool.
- S3 Seahorse Beach Club & Hotel (link to see availability on Expedia) is situated on the back side of the Blue Lagoon and is perfect for both a romantic getaway and quiet a family trip. Its private sandy beach and the tranquil shallow waters of the lagoon are perfect for small children and the elderly. The hotel has got an amazing terrace restaurant surrounded by green trees and overlooking the sea.
- Monastery Suites Hotel (link to see availability on Expedia) is for those who want to stay close to the Blue Lagoon and the famous beaches, but a bit far away from the crowds. This hotel with a serene atmosphere is a 6-minute drive away from Belcekız beach, but it’s got a swimming pool and a great nature view.
There are many more beaches, bays, and coves, as well as exciting things to do in and around Fethiye. The beaches and coves are famous for their crystal clear waters and natural beauty.
To discover all, a daily boat cruise is a must-have experience in this coastal town. Pack a towel, a pair of hiking sandals, swimming shoes, and sunscreen, and you’re ready to immerse yourself in a wonderful holiday experience.