Lycian Way

  • Upper Gelidonia peninsula - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • From Phaselis - © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • © William Mackesy
  • The Lycian Way - © From Flickr user Chany14
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Lycian Way - © by Elaine Teo
  • Cape Gelidonia - © From Flickr user I was in Turkey
  • Trekking the Lycian Way - © From Flickr user BabelTravel

Key information: Lycian Way

  • The magnificent Lycian Way winds some 510km along Turkeys south-western coast.
  • The ruins of Lycian, Greek and Roman cities litter the area. Enjoy spectacular views over the Mediterranean coast and the rugged, mountainous scenery.
  • The path avoids the main tourist areas, and allows you to experience the natural beauty and welcoming locals of the Tekke Peninsula.
  • Some dull sections, but they can be hopped across using local transport.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating87
  • Beauty31
  • Natural interest14
  • Human interest10
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating87

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 510km
  • Optional
  • Maximum Altitude: 1,800m ( (2,366m if you climb Mt. Olympos)
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
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From Phaselis - © William Mackesy

WALK SUMMARY

The Lycian Way, in the partly protected Tekke Peninsula in Turkeys south-west, has only relatively recently been created, mapped and marked, and was opened in 1999 as the first long-distance way-marked trail in Turkey, comprising some 509km of ancient roads, mule trails, and forest paths between Fethiye and Antalya. The Way was the brainchild of the remarkable Kate Clow, who researched, planned and way-marked it. Most of us will only be able to walk sections.

The huge variety of the trail is a particular delight: the high, lonely peaks of the Taurus Mountains southern flanks, to tough, rocky plateaus, to olive groves to meadows (revel in the wildflowers in spring), to wheatfields, to the coastal cliffs and long, glorious beaches of the Turquoise Coast. You will pass Greek and Roman remains temples, theatres and amphis, houses, whole cities, even this was a highly prosperous backwater for centuries Byzantine churches and towns, Genoese and Ottoman forts, medieval-feeling hamlets.

 
Highlights are endless, and include:
  • The climb of 2,366m Tahtali Dagu (Mount Olympos), an "alternative" section of the trail;
  • Patara (for the amphitheatre, aqueduct and other ruins of what was once a 20,000 strong Roman city, and for its 12km beach);
  • Ucagiz (for its harbour, sunken ruins, and a castle);
  • Goynuk (for a swim in the canyon);
  • On the east coast, the ruins of ancient Olympos and Phaselis, and the wild, beautiful Gelidonia Peninsula, with its lighthouse looking over islands and a graveyard of ancient ships; and you need to take a side-walk to The Chimaera if in the area.
  • The remote, rugged inland Baba Dagi massif;
  • Kas to Sura or Uchaz (Kate Clow?s favourite coastal stretch);
  • Mira to Finike, through cedar forest with fine views;
  • Lovely, (relatively) remote Butterfly Valley near Faralya is just off the trail itself but a particular favourite, and a day expedition if you want. Walk in down the spectacular cliffs from Faralya ? not for those with vertigo. Great walking, and a fine beach ? but you won?t be alone when you get there.

The historical background and ruins of the area endlessly enhance the walk, as you follow in the footsteps of Alexander the Great through a parade of Mediterranean civilizations. The Lycian coastline came into historical focus in the Bronze Age, on the shipping routes between Greece and Egypt. The area was conquered by the Persians, then Alexander the Great, then, after a couple of hundred years of independence, the Romans; it flourished for centuries, then went into decline while part of the Byzantine Empire, as central weakness and Arab raids turned the area into an impoverished backwater. 

Although the Lycians absorbed many aspects of Greek and then Roman culture, they had an individual style (synthesized over time, with Persian, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Turkish influences) which permeates their art and architecture; this fascinating trail leads its followers past many of their remote archaeological sites, as Lycian graves and ruins are scattered all over the peninsula.

Captivating history and culture aside, the Lycian Way has much to offer: the natural beauty of Turkey without tourist crowds, as the track winds through forest, along beaches, up mountains and past small bays, usually with glorious views of the Mediterranean and the surrounding landscape. The folded, eroded limestone peninsula contains excitingly changeable landscape, from peaks and ridges, to pockets of high pasture, to gorges, to lovely varied forest and farmland in the lower reaches. Animal life is not its strongest point as a result of fairly unregulated hunting, but is interesting nonetheless, with a variety of birds. The spring wildflowers are gorgeous.

The trail also gives a fascinating insight into contemporary rural Turkey, and introduces hikers to the friendliness of the local villagers, in whose houses it is often possible to stay. Accommodation is more likely to be small, characterful hotels, which are almost all run, in our experience, by charming and helpful people.

It is difficult to find problems with this walk, although you need to be reasonably fit. There are some dull (dreary, even) sections of polytunnels and towns, but they can be skipped over using local buses or taxis. Having a firm to anticipate and leapfrog you across those to the next good bit has real advantages.

The walking, although not inherently difficult, can be tiring as a result of the heat and sea-humidity in much of the year: a rest day or two is as a result a welcome delight. Explore ruins, take a boat (gullit) out for the day; swim and snorkel; and just hang out in lovely, tranquil spots.

It will take you up to four weeks to walk the entire route, although most people walk shorter sections, usually (but by no means always) supported by a company that moves their luggage between stops, or even guides them along. A lot of this trail can be walked as day walks.
 
On the western parts of the trail, accommodation is easy to come by, ranging from small hotels to rooms in houses, often in atmospheric settings. Further east, it is less plentiful in some places and you will need to camp some of the time.
 
Marvellous as it is, the Lycian Way is overhyped on the basis of a Sunday Times article including it in the worlds top 10 walks. They haven't travelled.
 

WILLIAM MACKESY'S ACCOUNT
of this walk

Journey-excitement, poor sleep and a 3am get-up made for dopey travel and a very early bed last night. We are now up, hugely breakfasted and ready to march on the porch of our ”atmospheric” if dimly lit hotel on a high ridge back from the Lycian Mediterranean. Bright sunlight and huge views down a gorge to the distant sea heighten our anticipation.

We will be winding.....

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Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION

We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

COMMUNITY COMMENTS AND PHOTOS

Name: Administrator
Posted on: 08/12/2014

Walk-friendly Hotel near Antalya
Hello, We would like to give you some info about our nature and ecology friendly boutique hotel which hosts various types of walking and hiking tours in Turkey around Lycian Way routes and areas. 

Please find our detailed information below and visit our website www.erendiz.de ERENDIZ HOTEL Aslanbucak Mah. 263 Sk. No:5 07980 Kemer/Antalya/ Turkey Relaxed vacation in a peacefull green oasis. · Our privately owned hotel (german owner) stands for ecology and environmentally - ..sensitive Tourism. · Completely german and english speaking team. 

· We offer guided outdoor walking tours and a variety of side trips for your leisure time (no shopping stops on any of our excursions). TREKKING TOUR KESME CANYON HIKING TOUR TO KEMER CALISTEPE MOUNTAIN PHASELIS HIKING AND SWIMMMING HIKING TOUR TO THE BLACK MONOLITH CHIMAERA, ULUPINAR, YANARTAS, CIRALI HIKING TOUR ADVENTURE TOUR GOYNUK KANYON OLYMPOS HIKING AND SWIMMING ·

 Child-friendly atmosphere. Pets are allowed. · Car rental and bicycle rental within the hotel premises. · Information about culture, country and people. Guide availiable. · Individual sports such as yoga, fitness and the posibility of individual sessions for stress ..reduction. · Beach area located at the Kemer Kindlbeach Park. Discover more on our following pages www.erendiz.de www.facebook.com/erendizhotel OUR RESORT • 3 ½ Stars. • half board / Breakfast and dinner • Time table of the reception 24h • time check-out is At 12.00 o’clock • Children are free until 5.9 years. • All our rooms are Non Smoking rooms • All rooms have a big double bed + 1 single bed. • SPA, Hamam (massages are extra charge) • We accept Visa, Mastercard, Maestro • Most of our rooms are triple rooms (1 double bed + 1 single bed). • There is actually no room with just 1 single bed. 4.500 sqm garden paradise. . Private beach at the Kemer Kindl Beach with shuttelservice · Many lovely small details in the garden and in the rooms. · Turkish teahouse. · Small cabanas to relax, read and dream. · Hammocks. · Romantic pool bar. · Large pool 25 x 15 meters. · Romantic evening lighting. · Yoga / Fitness place. · Table tennis and table football. · Garden pond with a small bridge. · Many tame animals such as peacocks, cats, dogs, chickens, chicks, ducks, rabbits and ..guinea pigs (of course in a small enclosure). · WLAN / WI FI free of charge throughout the resort.

Name: smalltrek
Posted on: 23/04/2015
Your write up  has plenty of great information and links. It would also benefit from a link to http://trekopedia.com/?page_id=471 A free wiki completely dedicated to the Lycian Way trek itself. Route Sections, Communities, Accommodations, Attractions, Services, Points of Interest, Resources/Links, and gps tracks.

Name: Map
Posted on: 13/09/2015
Lycia West Hiking Map (http://www.map-site.de/onlineshop/Hiking-trekking-maps/Lycia-West-Hiking-Map-1-50-000-Martin-Hoepke::18.html) Lycia East Hiking Map (http://www.map-site.de/onlineshop/Hiking-trekking-maps/Lycia-East-Hiking-Map-1-50-000-Martin-Hoepke::19.html) (Also available over several bookstores and Amazon.de/Amazon.co.uk I'am the publisher of the maps.

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.

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© William Mackesy

OTHER ACCOUNTS
share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

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© William Mackesy...
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