Starting just south of the town of Fethiye, this historic stretch of the Turquoise coast is home to sleepy coastal villages and harbours, a fascinating archaeological heritage dating back to the 8th century BCE (much of which is unexcavated and still overgrown), and where, in the foothills of Mount Babadag quiet rural communities still live off the land much as they have for centuries.
The largest town in this area, Fethiye is overlooked by ancient Lycian tombs and ruins. The town features a long seafront promenade with glorious views of the wide bay, traditional village markets, a choice of great local restaurants (especially good for fish and seafood) and bars to suit all tastes and budgets, as well as water sports, sailing, hiking and beaches for equal measures of holiday relaxation and adventure.
A 20-minute drive from Fethiye takes you into the Taurus Mountains and to the beach village of Oludeniz, which has become a popular spot for Paragliding. Beginners and international pros glide down from the lush 1960 metre heights of the presiding great Mount Babadag, over the Blue Lagoon and onto the world famous sandy Oludeniz Beach. Neighbouring Kabak Bay and the idyllic Butterfly Valley with its hidden waterfalls are also unique and beautiful locations in the region. The cliff top Faralya Village overlooks Butterfly Valley and marks the start of the famous Lycian Way trekking route, which continues southeast for 509 km through the wild landscape of the ‘Pirate Coast’ to Antalya.
The mysterious ‘ghost’ village of Kayakoy is easily visited from Oludeniz. This Greek village was abandoned in the 1920’s after the Turkish-Greek population exchange and today visitors are free to explore the ruins and many ancient churches here, stroll the lovely country lanes, try out local restaurants or one of the village’s celebrated wine houses. Close to Kayakoy is Gemiler Island, a beautiful spot for swimming with a lovely beach, nice walks and a scattering of interesting ruins to be explored.
Head southeast along the coast 2 hours to Kas and Kekova. The relaxed coastal town of Kas features pretty whitewashed houses speckling a hillside, which meets the lovely ancient harbour. Visitors explore the picturesque cobbled streets, classical ruins, soak up the sun and sea air, hang out in the laid back cafes, and enjoy some lovely dining experiences in one of the town’s famous rooftop restaurants. The island of Kekova close by is known for its ruined sunken city and the atmospheric medieval Kalekoy castle at the 400 BCE ancient site of Simena. After exploring, relax on the waterfront in the village of Kale overlooking the enchanting bay. If heading in this direction, en route are the other sites of Xanthos, Pinara, and Patara with its ancient site and sprawling 18 km of sandy beach.
Alternatively head northwest up the coast from Fethiye to discover the marina town of Gocek, now an international center for yacht sailing. This tidy little town offers some great waterfront restaurants, nice shopping opportunities, and is a popular spot for heading out to explore the stunning 12 Islands in Gocek Bay. Another trip in this direction from Fethiye takes you to the wonderful ancient site of Caunos near Dalyan, where you can view the dramatic cliff side ruins from a boat ride on the Calbis River. There are also natural mud and sulphur baths here, which have become a popular attraction. Iztuzu beach also in this area is famous as a sanctuary and a rare breeding ground for the giant Loggerhead Turtle, or Caretta Caretta.
Black Tree Farmhouse and Cottages is situated in the rural hamlet of Karaagac in the foothills of Mount Babadag. The popular beach town of Oludeniz and the magical Blue Lagoon is a 35-minute drive north from here and home to Mozaik Boutique Apartments. The bustling historic harbour town of Fethiye is just under 1 hours drive away and is usually the embarkation point for Exclusive Turkey’s wonderful Blue Cruise yacht holidays.