Turkey

Best walks, hikes and treks in Turkey [View list of walks]

About Turkey

This sometimes overlooked country has a  magnificent and representative selection of well over 3,000 year of eastern Mediterranean history – indeed, one of the wealthiest collections of world history. Hittites, Lycians, Phrygians, Persians; Greeks to Romans to Byzantines to Ottomans… the country holds an immense collection of fantastic remains, from Ephesus, Afrodisias, Troy, Cappadocia, and of course unforgettable Istanbul and fabled Trebizond. Idolaters to Christians to Muslims have left an extraordinary legacy littered across this superb country.

And the people, at least once out of the tourist traps, are delightful.

This is varied but tough county, with great mountain ranges – the Kaçkar, the Taurus and others – surrounding the high central Anatolian plateau.It has plenty of oddities such as the weird and truly wonderful Cappadicia.

Oh, and, we mustn’t forget the lovely coastline, with little fishing and (fairly) unspoiled beaches still to be found, and gullit boating.

So, Turkey has things to fascinate everyone, children included. The variety of travel and tours you can make in Turkey  is as a result huge. We tell you about walking below, but have a look here for a selection of the Turkey travel, tours, holidays and activities available.

Walking, hiking and trekking in Turkey

Turkey  has some of the world’s best walks, hikes and treks, ranging from famous mountain hiking and trekking areas such as in the Kackar and Taurus to geological absurdities like Cappadocia to historic routes (the 500km+ Lycian Way, which doubles up as a coastal beauty) and equally long Evliya Celebi Way (St. Paul's Trail). Ancient sites are everywhere - think Istanbul to Ephesus to Afrodisias to troglodytic Cappadocia.  Mount Ararat (5165m), believed to be the resting place of Noah’s Ark, is an extinct volcano, requiring a supported expedition and some scrambling.

Lodging can be found in the villages on the better known trails (Lycian, St Paul’s), but camping can be needed elsewhere.

Avoid the burning summer. Spring and autumn are the best times to trek.

So, walking, hiking and trekking tours and holidays in Turkey are so varied that everyone’s taste and energy levels  can be met. Walking in Turkey isn’t just for hard-nuts, although there is plenty to get their juices flowing. The lazy and youngsters alike will be enthralled by what it offers:  Turkey walking, trekking and hiking holidays and tours really can be for everyone.

See the list below for a (currently incomplete – please give us your recommendations!) list of the best walks, treks and hikes in Turkey. Various of these are in our world’s Top 100 list.

Famous walking regions include:

Famous walking, hiking and trekking regions include:

-          the northeastern Kaçkar mountains, an alpine range with meadows,  lakes and peaks reaching up to almost 4000m.

-          bizarre Cappadocia: trogladytic churches, monasteries and even cities in an incredibly eroded volcanic tufa landscape

-          the south-eastern Taurus, high, tough, magnificent mountain walking

-          the Lake District, with its delightful combination of history and fine landscape

We intend that our walk pages contain detail and photos on walking, hiking or trekking routes, including books, best times and weather, how to get there, possible problems, walking, trekking and hiking firms, organisers and guides in Turkey, accommodation in Turkey and useful links. But this takes a lot of research, so if they are not "there" yet, please give us any suggestions you may have.

Cappadocia
Chimneys near Goreme - © William Mackesy Zemi Valley
Above Zemi Valley - © William Mackesy Ala Daglar
© By Mark Daley

Best walks, hikes and treks in Turkey

You can sort the walks by category by clicking on the category titles.

(The rating of walks marked * is currently provisional.)

Region Walk Name Walkopedia Rating Difficulty Day Walk
Possible?

  Afrodisias
88*
Straightforward Yes
  Bozburun / Hisaronu Peninsula
83*
Variable Yes
  Cilo / Sat Dağlari
85*
Strenuous Yes
  Dalyan to Ekincik
84*
Moderate Yes
  Dilek Peninsula
80*
Variable Yes
  Gallipoli Peninsula
81*
Moderate Yes
  Lake District
84*
Yes
  Nemrat Daği NP
84*
Moderate Yes
  Sivri Dağ
82*
Strenuous Yes
  St Paul Trail
88*
Variable Yes
  Suphan Daği
83*
Strenuous No
  Uludağ
82*
Variable Yes
 Cappadocia Ak Tepe
90
Variable Yes
 Cappadocia Cappadocia
93.5
Moderate Yes
 Cappadocia Devrent Valley
81
Straightforward Yes
 Cappadocia First Ridge East of Goreme
98
Moderate Yes
 Cappadocia Hasan Dagli
84
Variable Yes
 Cappadocia Ilhara Valley
97
Variable Yes
 Cappadocia Rose Valley
98
Strenuous Yes
 Cappadocia Soganli
93
Variable Yes
 Cappadocia Zelve
98
Moderate Yes
 Cappadocia Zemi Valley
97
Moderate Yes
 Kackar Altiparmak Range
86*
Strenuous Yes
 Kackar Kackar Massif
88*
Strenuous Yes
 Kackar Kackar Mountains
85*
Variable Yes
 Lycia Andriake unspoilt coastline
0*
Yes
 Lycia Fethiye Area
85*
Variable Yes
 Lycia Lycian Way
87
Variable Yes
 Lycia Tahtali Daği (Mt Olympos)
84*
Strenuous Yes
 Lycia The Chimaera
76
Moderate No
 Lycia Yazili Canyon
88*
Strenuous Yes
 Taurus Mountains Ala Daglar
84*
Variable Yes
 Taurus Mountains Alaca Plateau, Ala Daglar
83*
Variable Yes
 Taurus Mountains Cimbar Canyon, Ala Daglar
83*
Strenuous Yes
 Taurus Mountains Eznevit Plateau, Ala Daglar
83*
Strenuous Yes
 Taurus Mountains Mt Embler, Ala Daglar
84*
Strenuous Yes
 Taurus Mountains Narpuz Valleys, Ala Daglar
80*
Strenuous Yes
 Taurus Mountains Taurus Mountains
85*
Variable Yes
 Taurus Mountains Yedigŏller Seven Lakes, Ala Dăglar
87*
Strenuous Yes


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