The coast of ancient Lycia hides many secret treasures, in a landscape where the tender green of the pines melds with the infinite blue of the Mediterranean. The sun will be your companion as you walk along well-established paths which lead to hidden villages, never too far apart, which are only accessible on foot. The mountains plunge down into the sea with many small, empty coves perfect for swimming. You will walk along the edge of the sea to reach the archaeological site of Phaselis with its three harbors. The chimera will lead on to Olympos, an ancient city with remarkable mosaics. You will see Lycian sarcophagi with their bases in the sea, and even a whole city underwater. Each walk includes sightings of ancient and Byzantine remains. Each evening you will stay in a hotel at the edge of the sea so that you can swim and, in Ucagiz, stroll around and enjoy the delights of this small fishing village. Hiking the Lycian Way. You will even take a short cruise on a gulet, thus adding yet another dimension to this multi-faceted walking holiday.
YOU WILL ENJOY
Comfortable accommodation and warm welcomes
A trip by boat
A visit to the ancient site of Termessos
5 days of walks
Location: sea coast, sites of historic and natural beauty
Type of holiday: semi-itinerant (stay in hotels each night)
Size of group: 5 to 15 participants.
Number of days of activity
5 days of walks
Number of participants
From 5 to 15 participants
Characteristics of the route
Level: 1 and 2
Average length of walks: 2 to 5 hours per walk
Nature of the terrain : walking mainly on dirt tracks or smaller paths over rocky ground.
Hotel in Antalya : Double room en suite
Comfortable guest houses (pension) by the sea : double room en suite
All bedding and towels are provided.
Picnic lunches during the walks, dinners at the hotel or in a restaurant.
You will be accompanied by an English-speaking Turk.
Most of Turkey lies within a Mediterranean climate zone : winters are mainly mild (average temperature 10 –150), but it can snow between December and February : summers are dry and hot (temperature reaches 35, and 40 is not unknown). The effects of the sun are somewhat mitigated in summer by the regular sea breezes.
Inland the climate is continental. Winters are colder and summers hotter. Less rain falls inland than falls upon the coastal regions.
Turkey is the most populous country in the Mediterranean basin. The country lies between longitude 260and 450 east and latitude 420 and 36o north, and comprises the eastern part of Thrace (Turkey in Europe) together with the whole of Anatolia (Asiatic Turkey).
The country is surrounded by four different seas (Mediterranean, Aegean, the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea) with a total of 8,372km of coastline and 2,753km width between its land borders : in the west with Greece and Bulgaria, in the east with Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Syria.
Turkey is a mountainous country which lies on the central section of the Alpine-Himalayan arc (comprised of a long, folded chain of mountains formed by contact between the African, Arab and Indian tectonic plates with the great European plate). The region is still subject to seismic activity. Hiking the Lycian Way.
Day 1 - Antalya
Fly to Antalya via Istanbul. After a welcome at the airport, we will call at a bank so that you can change money into Turkish Lira, and then you check into your hotel. You are free to dine at your restaurant of choice. Stay the night in Antalya.
Day 2 - Phaselis - Tekirova
A one-hour road transfer by minibus to Tekirova. From here we continue on foot for a two-hour walk through a pine forest bordering the sea and strewn with stone sarcophagi dating from as early as 1000BC, until we reach the archeaological site of Phaselis : three bays at the foot of Mount Tahtali (which is its current Turkish name but, from Hellenistic times until 1923, it was known as Mount Olympus the home of gods and goddesses. It is 2635m high) from which can be seen the important commerical role once played by this ancient Greek city. You will see an ampitheatre, the harbour of Hadrian, an acropolis and the beautiful remains of aquaducts, agora and baths, as well as traces of the Byzantine era. Here there will be a picnic lunch. The walk then continues along the beach, but you will have to take your shoes off to cross two points with submerged rocks where you will walk in the water. To avoid injury on the rocks you will need a pair of plastic sandals. Please remember this when packing for the trip. After an hour or so you will reach the pension, located in a nature reserve well away from traditional tourist haunts and on the edge of a beach. Time for a swim before dinner and an evening in Tekirova.
Walking for the day: 8.5 km, 6.5 hours, ↑190 m ↓190 m
Day 3 - Tekirova - Cirali
After a ten minute transfer we take an easy route along a path overlooking the coast. We will walk for around 6.5 hours today, climbing to 700 metres, much of the time gazing at the harmony of colour where the greens of the pine forest meet the blues of the Mediterranean Sea….. you will have to resist the urge to take a dip in one of the five small bays that we pass en route…..here the loggerhead turtles, Caretta Caretta, appear each year in the month of May to lay their eggs (they will hatch in August). On arrival at our hotel in CIRALI (a pleasant pension next to the beach where we will stay two nights) the kindness of our hosts will soon help you overcome any tiredness from the day’s walking. Time for a swim, then dinner and stay the night in Cirali.
Two extra good ideas for you to consider :
Between your hotel and the entrance to the site of Olympos (less than half an hour’s walk) there is an excellent patisserie selling ice cream, home-made cakes and drinks, which you consume in a garden with small sheltered sitting areas, amongst ancient artefacts with soft jazz playing in the background. It is called the ‘Ipek Pastanesi’.
Organising a visit to the Chimaera by night. A fabulous idea but it involves finding a way to travel the 3km of asphalt road from the hotel to the foot of the mountain, and the same on the return journey.
Walking for the day: 19 km, 6.5 hours, ↑700 m ↓100 m
Day 4 - Chimaera – Cirali and a visit to Olympos
A short ten minute transfer takes us to the Uludag restaurant from where today’s walk of 2.5 hours, climbing around 200 metres, begins. After ¾ of an hour or so we leave the main route to cross a river bed (dry in summer) and take a smaller path up the mountain to reach the Chimaera: a place where natural gas emerges from the earth and spontaneously bursts into flame on contact with the air. These flames have been known for at least 4000 years and are the origin of the legend of the Chimaera (now a generic word for a mythical beast in many languages) who was killed by Bellerophon riding his famous horse Pegasus. There are the remains of Greek and Roman temples and of a Byzantine church. From here we go back down to Cirali for lunch which can be a picnic if that is preferred.
In the afternoon we go to the site of Olympos: entering from the furthest western end of the beach at Cirali. You have one and a half hours to explore the site in which can be seen significant remains (necropolis, ampitheatre, baths, temples, warehouses…..) of this ancient port which was active from before the Hellenistic age right through to the Arab invasions in the 7th and 8th centuries AD. Most of the remains are in the shade of a forest of scented bay trees. After the visit to Olympos we return to the hotel (passing the pattiserie!) for dinner and another night in Cirali.
Day 5 : Kapaklı – Kale –Ucagız
After breakfast we drive for three and a half hours to the village of Kapaklı where we begin our walk to the very picturesque village of Kale.
About half an hour before Kapakli, we reach the town of DEMRE, where we will take half an hour to visit the site of the magnificent antique city of MYRA : with a necropolis carved out of a cliff face, and a remarkable theatre that has seen many amazing performances……
From Kapakli to Kale, is a 2 hour easy walk via a flat route. We will pass two isolated coves where you may wish to cool off in the deliciously refreshing water. There will be a stop for a picnic lunch during the walk. The small port of Kale (known as Symena in ancient times) is only accessible from the sea or, as for us, on foot. The houses are covered in flowers and they rise up the hill from the sea. There are Lycian sarcophagi dotted around, with some of them actually in the sea.
After we have visited Kale the minibus will be waiting just outside the village to drive us (15 minutes) to the hotel in Uçagiz, located on the sea shore facing the island of Kekova, where we will spend the next two nights. Dinner in the hotel.
Walking for the day: 9 km, 3 hours, ↑150 m ↓100 m
Day 6 : Ucagız – Aperlae – Yoruk Ramazan – Ucagız
After breakfast a lovely 3 hour walk on a clear track, without much gain in elevation, to the site of ancient Aperlae. Picnic lunch. Then we return via the bay of Yoruk Ramazan where a caïque (a kind of large motorised barge) will be waiting to take us back to our pension in Ucagız. During this return voyage by sea you can swim in the cove called « Aquarium » (an unforgettable experience), and we will also pass the Island of Kekova which has remains of Lycian, Greek, Roman and Byzantine civilisations that are protected by archaeological authorities so it is forbidden to land on the island, however we shall get a good view from our boat. Some of the remains (quays, warehouses, houses…) actually lie underwater and we shall sail over them. Back at the hotel we eat dinner and spend a second night in Ucagız.
Walking for the day: 7 km, 3 hours, ↑50 m ↓400 m
Day 7 – Termessos- Antalya
In the morning we return to Antalya by bus. With its shaded boulevards, and an old town of narrow streets bordered by wood-framed Ottoman mansions, a marina, a port laid out in Hadrian’s time (around 130 AD), mosques (notably the Fluted Minaret built in the 13th century by the Seljuk sultan Alaadin Keykubat) Antalya is considered the pearl of the Turkish Riviera.… The Archaeological Museum has excellent collections from both paleolithic and Roman eras. Or you could try the relaxing experience of a Turkish Bath.