The Lycian Way – Fetiyhe to Kalkan
Fragrant pine forests, antique Roman roads and mule trails high above the sea
The Lycian Way is one of Turkey’s first long-distance footpaths, and winds 540 km along the mountainous southwestern coast of Turkey between Fetihye and Antalya across what is called the Tekke Peninsula. It offers magnificent views of the Mediterranean, provides access to over 25 remote historical sites from a parade of ancient civilizations like the Lycian, Greek and Roman empires; rugged scenery and fragrant forests; and some of the most friendly, welcoming locals you’ll meet. The highest altitude is 1,800 m, with an alternative route to climb Mt. Olympos (2,366 m). The level of difficulty varies. The Lycian Way follows ancient cobbled Roman roads, centuries-old footpaths, goat and mule trails, and forested paths. It has only quite recently been mapped and marked, opening in 1999 due in large part to the efforts, research and hard work of the British hiking and walking enthusiast Kate Clow. The main goal was to identify and protect some of Turkey’s ancient roads – for which advocacy continues.
This area is part of ancient Lycia, home to the Lycian civilization - one of the oldest of the ancient world. Its political sophistication, culture and commercial success was the envy of many a larger and better-known civilization. The Culture Routes Society writes: “The Lycians were a democratic but independent, warlike people, with a developed art style and a high standard of living. Their strategic position gave them unique opportunities for sea-trade and (at times) for piracy. After Persian rule, the Lycians welcomed Alexander the Great and absorbed Greek culture. Later, Lycia became a province of the Roman Empire.” Lycian graves and ruins are scattered across the peninsula.
Look forward to
The variety of the trail and the natural beauty of its landscapes is its biggest delight: the rugged peaks and ridges rising steeply from the rocky shore, olive and citrus groves, meadows blooming with wildflowers in spring, pine, juniper and cedar forests, agricultural fields under intensive cultivation, rural villages, coastal bluffs, and long, white sandy beaches. In particular, the trail also gives insight into modern rural Turkey, and allows hikers to interact with friendly and welcoming villagers – often farmers – in whose village houses it is often possible to overnight. This too, adds to the charm of the trail. Trekking is best in spring or autumn.
- Breathtaking clifftop sea views
- Good walking paths at low altitudes and medium intensity
- Stay overnight in the village house of a local family
- Enjoy Patara’s long, sandy beach
- Explore an ancient Roman aqueduct and the ruins of Xanthos
Welcome to Turkey! Arrival in Antalya. Airport pick-up and transfer to hotel in the charming old city of Antalya (Kaleiçi).
Breakfast at the hotel and a quick orientation meeting. Transfer by minibus from Antalya to Fetiyhe. We will leave our luggage in the minibus and walk only with day packs the whole week. For our first day walking we take it slow and go on a three-hour warm-up hike starting at the former Greek settlement of Karmylassos abandoned in the population exchange in the 1920s. In stark contrast, we continue our walk to the famous turquoise blue lagoon at Ölüdeniz. The lagoon is a national nature reserve with a secluded bay and pebble beach and often features as Turkey’s most beautiful beach. Transfer to the village of Kaya Köyü in the late afternoon to our guesthouse. Kayaköy was adopted by UNESCO as a World Friendship and Peace Village.
Today we walk from Hısarönü to Faralya. This leg of the walk will be almost 6 hours with breathtaking views high above the beautiful Ölüdeniz lagoon at the foot of Babadağı Mountain (ancient Mount Cragus), known for its rich maple and cedar forests. The more experienced walkers can choose to climb over a 300 m high hill to get a view of the world famous Butterfly Valley (Kelebekler Vadisi) – an ecotourism destination that takes its name the diverse butterfly species found here. We overnight in a guesthouse in Faralya.
Today’s walk will be a glorious but demanding day with our route taking us from Faralya to the village of Gey. We will follow goat and mule tracks and walk through the shade-dappled forest with regular views for 7-8 hours. This long walking day will be rewarded by the friendly faces we see when we arrive at the local village house where we will stay for the evening. Here you will be welcomed by a young Turkish family and learn about their culture and the village.
We say goodbye to our hosts after breakfast and continue along goat paths and follow ancient Roman roads, leaving the village of Gey behind us. The path leads through Maquis shrubland, which gives the walk today a different and decidedly Mediterranean flair. After we enjoy a cold beer or hot Turkish tea in Gavurağılı we drive to Gelemi to our guesthouse, where we will remain for two nights.
After we strengthen ourselves with yet another delicious Turkish breakfast, we begin the day with a short transfer to Akbel, where we will begin today’s leg of the journey. 14 kilometres of our route will follow one of the most amazing features of Lycian civilization: their aqueducts and water canals. The highlight of today is the Delikkemer siphon, a feat of Roman engineering. After so much history it is time to relax on the beach of Patara and go for a swim.
Today we will have a more relaxed day and visit the ruins of the ancient city of Xanthos. Xanthos was the capital city of the Lycian Federation and its greatest city for most of its history. The neighboring settlements of Xanthos and Letoon – Lycia’s ancient cult centre – have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. The very well-preserved funerary monuments on the property – stone tombs, sarcophagi and pillar teams are nothing short of amazing. We conclude our day at the vibrant market of the village of Kınık, where an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as household items are bought and sold by the locals. We enjoy coffee and cake at the patisserie. Our minibus takes us to our hotel in the old city of Antalya for our last night.
Departure day and transfer to Antalya airport. Farewell! Option to extend your trip to visit Olympos and Chimaera or Çiralı.
Included in the Price
airport transfers on arrival and departure days
3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner); water, coffee and tea included
English-speaking, local guide
4 nights guesthouses, 2 nights hotel, 1 night local village house
Guesthouse and hotel based on double occupancy with your own facilities
Children 10 years and over are welcome, Children aged 7-12 have a 50 % discount
Excluded: return flights to Antalya, personal expenses & drinks
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