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Getting There

By Plane -- As a major British (and increasingly German) haven, Fethiye (via Dalaman Airport, only 40km/25 miles away) is served by a number of direct regular and charter flights from countless cities in Europe. They include Onur Air (www.onurair.com.tr), Atlasjet (www.atlasjet.com.tr), EasyJet (www.easyjet.com), Monarch Airlines (www.flymonarch.com), Thomas Cook (www.flythomascook.com), Pegasus Airlines (www.flypgs.com), SunExpress (www.sunexpress.com.tr), and British Midland (www.flybmi.com). It's also possible to fly into Antalya. While there are more flights into Antalya Airport, the drive to Fethiye takes about 3 to 4 hours, so choosing Antalya will most likely be a result of fully booked flights into Dalaman, or a desire to explore the coast from east to west.

Havas (tel. 444-0487) shuttle buses from Dalaman Airport into Fethiye are scheduled to coincide with the arrival of domestic flights. (A separate shuttle leaves for Marmaris which is in the opposite direction.) The bus into the new bus terminal at the junction of Inönü Bulvari and Ölüdeniz Caddesi takes about an hour and costs 20TL.

There are also car-rental counters at both airports, sensible if you've arrived here exclusively for an independent land tour. Koral Travel (tel. 0252/616-7375; www.dalamanairport.net) runs private shuttles for as little as 13€ per person. A taxi from the airport will cost around 110TL.

By Bus -- Ulusoy (tel. 444-1888) buses run once-daily service between Istanbul and Fethiye (11 hr., 75TL). Pamukkale (tel. 444-3535) connects Fethiye daily with Izmir (via Ortaca, 6 hr., 25TL) and Antalya (3 1/2 hr., 20TL). If you're coming to town from one of the other resort towns along the coast, or you simply want to take the (not necessarily scenic) coastal route, you'll need to hop on a comfortable minibus run by Bati Antalya Tur (tel. 0242/331-4081; www.batiantalyatur.com.tr). From Antalya, expect to sit for at least 5 hours and pay 18TL. The otogar is about a mile east of the town center, at the turnoff for Ölüdeniz at Inönü Bulvari[id and Adnan Menderez Bulvari/Ölüdeniz Caddesi. From the otogar, dolmus service is sketchy: none run to the hotel listings in Fethiye town and it will take some self-propelling from the drop-off point to get to several of the hotels listed here. If you're headed to Ölüdeniz, Uzunyurt, or Kayaköy, theoretically you could manage with the dolmus, but if your destination is central Fethiye, the Hillside Club or the Montana Pine Hotel, I'm afraid you'll have to take a cab.

Tourist Information

In Fethiye town, the tourist information office is located at Iskele Karsisi 1 (tel. 0252/614-1527), across from the harbor nearest the yacht marina. In Ölüdeniz, there's a "Tourism Development Cooperative" at the end of the road before the beach (tel. 0252/617-0438; www.oludeniztourism.org).

Orientation

The Gulf of Fethiye spans Turkey's Mediterranean from Göcek to the west, through the crowded mass tourism resort of Çalis, to the ancient city of Telmessos, poking its nose above Fethiye's town center, to the famous Blue Lagoon of Ölüdeniz. Unlike other regions of Turkey, where the primary town is also the region's capital, Fethiye falls under the jurisdiction of the province of Mugla (pronounced MOO-lah). Still, notwithstanding the fact that Marmaris and Bodrum are also located within the boundaries of Mugla, Fethiye is nevertheless one of Turkey's major commercial and tourist heavy-hitters.

Downtown Fethiye, along with its busy harbor and marina, sits at the southern edge of the Gulf of Fethiye, accessible via a turnoff off of the D400, which runs the length of the coast from Datça to Adana. Süleyman Demirel Bulvari, the main road into downtown Fethiye from the highway, becomes Inönü Bulvari at Adnan Menderes Bulvari. This intersection is also where the new, full-service bus station is located. Inönü Bulvari forks off further into Fethiye central; the central "tyne" is Atatürk Caddesi (until it arrives at the marina and becomes Fevzi Çakmak Cad., which continues along the peninsular coastline to the west).

Also opposite the harbor is Çarsi Sokagi (the lower "tyne" where Inönü Bulv. ends), which cuts through the Old Town Bazaar perpendicular to Atatürk Caddesi, forming a triangle of shopping, restaurants, and cafes known as Paspatur. The new bazaar is located on Çarsi Sokagi, which then curves around to continue east until it meets up once again with Atatürk Caddesi and turns into Inönü Bulvari. Amyntas Tomb is southeast of the town center amid the barren brush, and farther east are the Lycian Rock Tombs. A few lone sarcophagi are scattered about town, one in the garden of the municipality building on Atatürk Caddesi, the other on Kaya Caddesi, between the old bus depot and the castle. A pedestrian promenade runs along the marina between the theater and north to Çalis Beach, and is lined with boats of all sizes touting day trips and private charters.

Ölüdeniz, which means "Dead Sea" (but is better known as the "Blue Lagoon"), describes the beach and lagoon bearing its name and the long stretch of Belcegiz Beach. This deservedly ultra-popular seaside resort sits in a small valley at the bottom of a steep hill. Beach bums, daredevil paragliders, and at least one too many partiers base themselves in Ölüdeniz, but with a car or scooter, you can easily make this a day trip. To the left is the public beach, enclosed by the steep slopes of Babadag. The beach is tastefully lined with travel agents offering adventure tours, beach restaurants, Internet cafes, and the Club Belcekiz Beach Hotel at the far end. To the right is the overcrowded natural preserve with its lagoon of Mediterranean dreams, pristine and a deep shade of aqua.

Getting Around

By Car -- To really enjoy Fethiye and the surrounding areas, it's important to have your own wheels and surprisingly enough, it's better to book your vehicle from one of the major international players for the most competitive rates. And if you're going to go with a major brand, you may as well get the car at the airport. Still, local car rental agencies will deliver a car to you at the airport on request, generally at no extra charge. The only major in town is Avis (Mugla Yolu, in the BP Petrol Station; tel. 0252/612-3719). Lesser-known firms around the yacht marina and in near the Old Town Bazaar are also a decent bet; try Fethiye Rent-a-Car, an arm of Oscar Travel (Atatürk Cad. 106; tel. 0252/612-2281; www.fethiyerentacar.com), which currently charges from £25 per day for a compact. Because the British pound sterling is the primary quoted currency of the area, the price of renting a car locally might seem a bit high.

By Scooter -- This is my mode of choice, but be very careful, as the roads are gravelly and the drivers are no better at the resorts than they are on the highways. Take particular care in rounding steep hilly curves, as oncoming vehicles tend to make wide turns into your lane. Otherwise, riding a scooter through the countryside is a rare joy, a good way to maintain your suntan, and the best way to solve the parking question. Most car-rental agencies have scooters available, and there are several outfitters in downtown Fethiye that will rent you a Honda scooter for about 35TL. One such operator is Kaan Car Rental, Fevzi Çakmak Cad. 31A (opposite the Ece Marina; tel. 0252/612-9563; www.kaanrentacar.com). Kaan also rents cars from £32 per day.

By Minibus/Dolmus -- Dolmuses congregate at the intersection of Atatürk Caddesi and Sedir Sokak (across from the hospital) in downtown Fethiye and provide frequent (about every 15 min.) transport to most of the sites and destinations listed in this section. The most useful routes leave for Ölüdeniz, Kayaköy, Tlos, and Saklikent.

The Ölüdeniz Minibus Coop runs an hourly shuttle between Fethiye and Kayaköy (3.75TL); less frequent are the minibuses that run about six times a day between Fethiye and Faralya/Kabak (5TL) and three times daily between Fethiye and Gemiler Beach (4TL).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.