Cost of living is subjective and differs according to your budget, expectations and lifestyle. Compare Fethiye to other European ex-pat destinations and it will certainly perform favourably and represent excellent value for money. Although prices have risen, it is still far cheaper to live in Fethiye than most other established resorts. The cost of daily groceries, property, utilities and household taxes is cheaper than that in many countries, and the quality of life, climate, history and views are superb.
Turkey is a non-eurozone, the exchange rate favourable to the pound. Many in retirement enjoy a wonderful quality of life whilst still keeping a healthy pot put aside for that rainy day. Turkey boasts one of the most stable European economies at present with interest rates on TL savings standing at over 9% in 2012. Generally, an average private villa with a pool costs far less than an apartment in the UK, and the yearly council tax is less than most people pay per month.
As is the case with everything, if you want to spend money, you can! There are numerous luxuries available with serious price tags; cars, petrol, fine dining, imported drinks, genuine designer gear and electronics all tend to be expensive. For those on a budget, simple tasty food, restaurants, local beers, clothes and everyday goods are fairly cheap, there’s even the all important ‘genuine fakes’ for those that want to look the business without the cost!
Fethiye is popular with investors and there’s a property available to suit every taste and budget. Two bed apartments are advertised from around £35,000, although for something decent, modern and well built, budget from £55,000. A private villa with pool starts from around £130,000 going up to over £1m depending on the view, location, quality and size. Fethiye is popular with those wanting buy to lets due to the premium rental returns, and those looking to live permanently often choose the quieter areas and suburbs just outside the noisy resorts. Fabulous off-plan, custom built, distressed, resale and new build properties are all readily available at decent prices but ensure you employ the services of an accredited agent and an independent lawyer to protect your interests.
Some of the popular areas for investment in Fethiye include:
Oludeniz. A 20 minute drive from Fethiye will take you to the famed little bay and lagoon of Oludeniz. A charming beach resort with some lovely hotels, bars and restaurants, residential building has been prohibited meaning foreigners need to look towards Ovacik and Hisaronu to purchase property nearby.
Hisaronu. Just 5 minutes bus ride up the hill from Oludeniz is the thriving tourist resort of Hisaronu. Offering a party atmosphere from May to October, it has a small ex-pat community and offers some of the best buy to let rental returns in Turkey.
Ovacik. For those looking for great views, a little peace and quiet yet still want resort life on hand, Ovacik may well be the answer! A rapidly growing resort just 10 minutes from Oludeniz, it has a strong foreign community and some excellent properties on offer.
Fethiye Town. Fethiye is one of the prettiest harbour towns on the Turkish coast. With a wonderful marina and bustling town centre it now has a well established foreign and Turkish community. There are more apartments than villas in the centre itself, and most tend to be older in style without pools, but these are ideally suited to permanent living. Fethiye central has no beach but the impressive beach of Calis is easily reached by water taxi or minibus ride from the town centre.
Tasyaka and Deliktas. Located just a 5 minute dolmus (bus ride) from Fethiye are the growing suburbs of Tasyaka and Deliktas. Once traditional villages, they are now becoming popular with foreigners and those choosing to buy a good new property at an affordable price. Some of the sea views available from Tasyaka Hill are breathtaking!
Calis. The popular resort of Calis is just a 10 minute bus ride from Fethiye. It has a friendly mixed community, a lively centre with many restaurants and bars, and a glorious, seemingly endless beach. A good selection of reasonably priced villas and apartments are on offer and the area is flat so great for those that want to cycle or get around easily.
Uzumlu. A 25 minute drive inland takes you to the stunning mountain village of Uzumlu. Famed for its local wine (uzum means grape in Turkish), you tend to get more for your money here with larger properties and plots available at lower prices. Uzumlu is suited to those wanting a rural retreat and those wanting to hide away from the hustle and bustle of busy life.
Gocek. This cosmopolitan and sophisticated bay of Gocek is a yachting haven. As one of the most exclusive bays on the Turkish coast, it could be considered the Cannes of Turkey! Beautiful boutiques, jewellery shops, fine restaurants and trendy cafes surround the harbour front, and an evening stroll star spotting and wandering past the luxury mega yachts is recommended. Properties here do tend to be pricey, but there is little land left available in the bay so a great investment for those who can afford it!
COST OF SHOPPING
Fethiye is a modern, cosmopolitan town with a good variety of shops. Designer clothes and jewellery shops are dotted throughout the town centre and Paspatur Old Town. Imported names do cost more but often “inderim” signs can be seen in windows meaning a sale is on. For local goods head to the smaller shops and markets on the back streets or around the fish market.
It is certainly possible to live in Fethiye on a budget. Most locals tend to purchase their weeks groceries from the travelling market that comes to town every Tuesday. A hive of activity where everything from a dishcloth to fake Calvin Klein underwear, a bag of potatoes to a jam-jar of leeches can by found, haggled over, and brought at reasonable cost. Larger supermarkets like Kipa, Migros and Tansas are less fun, slightly more expensive, but far more convenient, and budget markets like BIM, Sok and Gempa offer everyday goods at discounted prices.
The shops around the tourist resorts and on the beach front do tend to be pricey so head off the beaten track or into the town centre for a bargain. Costs do vary according to brand and quality, with electronic and imported goods working out expensive. Ask a local if in doubt and shop around.
All of the main Fethiye resorts offer a good choice of restaurants and bars selling everything from fish, chips and mushy peas to authentic Ottoman dishes. Contemporary cuisine and fine dining can be found in the boutique restaurants, finer hotels and on the sea front, but check the menus first as some dishes are costly. For those on a budget cheaper choices include lokantas (local restaurants) where you choose from a variety of freshly cooked meat and vegetable dishes displayed and have it served to your table with rice, salad and traditional lavas bread. Doner kebab shops are scattered all over Fethiye serving traditional lamb or chicken kebabs with all the trimmings in a variety of breads. Turkish pizza (pide) is also a budget option worth a try, and filled local pastries called borek makes for a great breakfast!
Airports: Dalaman International Airport is a 45minute transfer from Fethiye Town and the region’s main airport. Its new modern terminal operates regular international flights throughout the summer season and frequent domestic flights to Istanbul or Ankara with international connections during the winter months.
Inner-City Buses: Cheap local dolmus buses run on given routes throughout Fethiye and its outskirts. Convenient but often crowded, they are the locals preferred mode of transport.
Inter-City and International Buses: Fethiye Otogar (bus station) is situated just outside the town centre and runs first class bus and coach services throughout Turkey as well as nearby resorts. Buy a ticket online, from one of the many travel agents in town, or from the terminal itself.
Calis Water Taxi: There is a regular water taxi service leaving the turtle bridge in central Calis to the harbour side in Fethiye during the summer months. Far nicer than taking the dolmus (local bus), for a few lira you can enjoy a lazy boat ride across the bay.
Taxis: Registered yellow taxis are available from every resort charging either metered or set fares to local destinations.