Between Fethiye and Antalya along Southern Turkey's Tekke Peninsula, or Lycia as it is historically known, is one of the country's first waymarked trails, the 509km Lycian Way. This mountainous route encompasses spectacular coastal views, archaeological treasures dating back to the 8th century BC and interesting villages with their unique Lycian flavour. During a series of day walks in the company of an experienced guide, we discover sections of the route with well preserved Greek and Roman cities, a Lycian necropolis lost in vegetation and a side excursion to the remains of the immersed city of Kekova. At other times we traverse rugged mountain trails to meet the gracious local people, sample culinary specialties and swim in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
The walking is moderate (3) grade with daily walks of around 3-5 hours per day. There are some steep sections over loose trails during the walk and such sections of the trail require care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a reasonable level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure.
On arrival in Antalya make your way to the group hotel – there will be one group transfer arranged from the airport. Attalos II, King of Pergamum, founded Antalya in the 2nd century BC. Later the city was overtaken by Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk civilizations before it came under the control of the Ottomans. Today Antalya is an attractive city with its shaded palm-lined boulevards and lively marina. The picturesque old quarter known as Kaleici, with narrow streets and old wooden houses is where our hotel is located. A group meeting will be held later in the afternoon. Overnight Antalya.
Drive: 20 min, 11km
We leave Antalya in the morning for a drive of 4 hours to the Fethiye area. The beginning of our trek is in Kayakoy, originally named "Karmilassos". This is an old Greek village given up at the beginning of the 20th Century, in accordance with the treaty of Lausanne which envisaged an exchange of population between the two countries. Two churches are still found between ruins of the stone-built houses. After a short visit we begin our trek along a forest path which offers a splendid panorama on the limpid turquoise water splits. We walk directly down to the Oludeniz lagoon. In this part of the Mediterranean, it is possible to bathe very late in the season, and if the temperature allows it, there will be time for a swim. Transfer to Fethiye where you will overnight. Tonight is our first of three nights in this delightful coastal town.
Drive: 4 hours, 190km. Walk: 6-7km. Ascend: 120m, descend: 240m
After breakfast a short transfer takes us to the trailhead point near to Ovacik village, at the southern foot of Mt Babadag (1969m). The trail takes us along the coast to a viewpoint with an excellent vantage point over the blue bay of Oludeniz. Later we continue past small villages including Kozagac to reach Kirme village where our transport awaits us. Return to Fethiye for overnight accommodation.
Drive: 30 min, 25km. Walk: 10km. Ascend: 495m, descend: 85m
A short transfer (40 minutes) takes us to Faralya village where we begin our walk. After a small climb there is a magnificent view over Butterfly Valley. Continuing along the coastal trail the view transforms with every bay we pass. In the afternoon we reach Yuva Beach where we have lunch and spend time at the beach before returning to Fethiye.
Drive: 40 min, 30km. Walk: 8km. Ascent: 30m, descent: 145m
Today we travel by boat to discover well preserved archaeological sites. Along the northern coast of Kekova Island (Apollania), a number of the old houses were completely immersed by earthquakes during the Byzantine period. By boat, we travel round the island, where you will see down to 1 to 2m depth. By foot we walk up to the Simena castle rewarding us with outstanding views. The day ends with a stroll through Tersane (meaning dockyard), the site of the ancient city of Xera and its dockyards. Afterwards we are transferred to Adrasan. On the way we visit the ancient city of Myra. We spend the night in Adrasan.
Drive: 4hrs, 215km. Boat tour: half day (approximately 3-4hrs)
Today is a superb day of coastal walking. We begin today's walk from out hotel climbing steadily to a pass at 470m. We then drop down closer to the sea's edge, the route twists and turns amongst limestone crags, under pine trees and occasionally along the cliff edge. As we walk along the range of hills which form the backbone of Gelidonia there are views down to hidden coves and across to deserted islands. We climb again to arrive on a rock ridge overlooking the peninsula of Cape Gelidonia with its two lighthouses. We descend a stony path to the upper lighthouse and then follow a wide trail down through pine forests to our waiting vehicle and drive back to Adrasan.
Drive: 20 min, 14km. Walk: 18km. Ascent: 400m, descent: 400m
After breakfast we leave Adrasan and drive to the village of Ulupinar where we join the Lycian Way and follow the trail south. We continue to Chimaira, where according to the legend, Chimerae; the monster blowing fire from its mouth was killed by the Lycian hero “Belle heron”. Today, situated at 300m above sea level, you can observe flames escaping among the rocks. Afterwards we walk down a gradual descent to the coast, finally arriving at the beach at Cirali. There will be an opportunity for those who wish to visit the ruins of Olympos which extend right down to the southern end of the beach. From here we drive to Antalya, overnight hotel.
Drive: 1 hour, 80km. Walk: 9km (optional walk to Olympus +2km). Ascent: 390m, descent: 120m
After breakfast there will be a group transfer to the airport, trip concludes.
Drive: 20 min, 11km
This was my first UTracks trip and I am 71 years old. In fact this Lycian walk was my first "walk"; I did my physical fitness class for about 3 months prior and I believe I turned out to be fit for this trek, although I fell down almost immediately; actually I fell "up" because we were on a steep ascent winding through Kayakoy, the ruins of a Greek village given up early in the 20th century. Our guide, Tuna, was very good; he taught me how to trek and I did not fall again; Tuna is a trained, licensed, guide, knowledgeable re history, both ancient and modern, and geography. I enjoyed all the accommodations which were small and local, especially the pension in Adrasan near the Chimerae. Food was wonderful, all local, traditional and lots of it. Our fellow trekkers were very congenial. To sum up, I got to see Turkey, with local Turkish people, not tourists. And great value for my money. Thanks a lot.
L. James, Ca. USA
Per Person, Twin Share