Dining in the Gemile Peninsula
Typical dining in the area includes being presented with a selection of meats to barbecue yourself (kendine pisir) and melt-in-the-mouth, slow-cooked lamb known as tandir.
There is a good selection of restaurants in nearby Kaya several of which have been created in fully restored, village houses nestled on the edge of the ghost town, offering fine dining and often wine tasting too, overlooking the valley floor. Turn back the clock dining in Ottoman style balconies covered in foliage and an alfresco Turkish dining room and try an extensive range of Turkish wines matched with traditional dishes (Borek, colourful mezze, traditional casseroles) against a backdrop of the illuminated old village. Many of the restaurants offer a complimentary taxi service home as part of their dining service.
Twenty minutes away in Fethiye there is also a wide selection of dining options from the Fish Marjet through to the Bazar area and the more elegant establishments which surround the harbour and marina.
Fethiye Fish Market
The must-do dining experience is the lively Fethiye Fish Market. It is tucked away in a square in the old city, hidden behind what appears from the outside as a regular square of bazaars selling jewellery and textiles. The fish market has four entrances that lead into the courtyard. (Located directly between Migros near the sea front and the post office one block back from the waterfront. Belediye Cad., Fethiye 48300).
Open all day, it is situated in a cool, partially covered square ringed by bustling restaurants. Browse the stalls to pick the best of the day’s catch – from sea bass to red mullet, bream and more exotic varieties - and watch the fish being prepared and lightly steamed before sitting down to a fine fish lunch or supper. A mezze platter and a glass of chilled local wine (or a cold beer) are de rigour entrées. A special recommendation here for Mercan Seafood Restaurant (located in the far left corner). The family provide a wonderful dining experience in theatrical surroundings and just happen to be the owners of Aleyna, our luxurious daily gulet!
The bazaar area – located close to the fish market – is another traditional area for dining in Fethyie which is popular with locals. We particularly like establishments such as Mozaik Bahce and its unassuming team, which serves traditional Turkish dishes on antique metal plates. Open from Monday- Saturday, dishes are typically from the South East with the main emphasis on skewered meats and casseroles.
Harbour/ Marina Side
Waterside dining in Fethiye is relatively sophisticated, popular with locals working in the city and expats. It attracts a more discerning local following and we are always impressed with their excellent service and high quality produce. As a general rule it is more European than traditional, but there are of course Turkish influences on an otherwise Mediterranean menu.
One of our favourite ways to spend a night in Fethiye is to visit Calis beach in the early evening to watch the Kite Surfers impressively riding the waves and then take dinner on the harbour under the setting sun with views out to the island of Sovalye. It’s a short hop to the Mancero Kitchen where you can dine next to the water with an extensive cocktail menu and an excellent selection of succulent meats from the Butcher’s grill.
Dining on the tiny island of Şövalye, just off the harbour at Fethiye, to enjoy the stunning views across the Gulf of Fethiye and out to Göcek in the distance. You can only reach the island by water taxi or boat and the Ada Waterfront restaurant and beach club is open for lunch and dinner. The menu is a fusion of Mediterranean and Turkish dining, the emphasis on meat or freshly caught fish.
Hop on a complimentary water taxi from Calis or Fethiye which will drop you at the jetty at the top of the peninsula. If you are here for lunch, pack your swimmers and try snorkelling over the roman ruins, or paddling in one of the sea kayaks. For those seeking a more relaxed pace, enjoy lazing on the enormous cushions whilst listening to some classical music or call ahead and order the slow cooked leg of lamb!