Carian Trail Discovery

The rugged coast and secluded coves of the Bozburun and Datça Peninsulas

The Carian Trail is the most recent achievement in long-distance walking trails in Turkey. Its 800 kilometers of waymarked trail sections follow the Turkish Riviera along both the Aegean and Mediterranean seas and head inland into the rugged Carian hinterland. Named after the ancient Carian civilization that inhabited the area, this tour will allow you to discover a region rich in natural beauty and abundant in archeological points of interest. The trail accesses a lesser known and unspoiled region full of colour and tradition for young and old to enjoy. Follow stone paved caravan roads and mule paths connecting villages through lush forests, olive groves and almond plantations. Come and enjoy this fascinating area’s mix of fact and myth – playground of the gods!

Overview

The region

Datça and Bozburun are breaths of fresh air after the mass tourism destinations of Marmaris, Antalya and Bodrum. Mountainous and forested with sheltered bays, the sparsely populated peninsulas set their own slow pace and are largely unspoiled due to a ban on large hotel development. A combination of favorable climate, warm sea waters, lush forests, rugged mountains, and pristine beaches make this an ideal destination for those wanting to experience a degree of remoteness. Much of the peninsulas are protected and the forest is home to much wildlife, remarkably the mountain goat and the elusive wildcat Caracal caracal, and endemic plant species. With its numerous secluded coves untouched by development, walking here feels like you are in a magical parallel reality to the package tours roaring to the east and west.

Look forward to

As well as being famous for its “Three Bs”: badem (almonds), bal (honey) and balık (fish), the area is also well known as an important boat-building centre in Turkey. Apart from agriculture, fishing, tourism, boat building and sponge diving also make up important parts of the local economy and can be experienced firsthand. Wait until you have tasted wild thyme honey!

Highlights

  • Tread in the footsteps of the ancient Carian civilization
  • Hike with breathtaking views of both the Aegean and the Mediterranean
  • Plenty of chances to swim beautiful bays and turquoise waters
  • Watch traditional boat builders at work
  • Learn about one of the most important agricultural products of the region: honey!
  • Boat trip to see the Lycian cliff face tombs in Dalyan

Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1
Welcome to Turkey! Arrival at Dalaman airport, airport pick-up and transfer to the Bozburun Peninsula and the guesthouse in Bozburun, the main town of the peninsula. Depending on arrival time, leisure time to explore the environs until dinner. Welcome dinner and orientation session at the guesthouse.

Day 2
After breakfast at the guesthouse, a short transfer to Bahçeli takes us to the trailhead. Our route follows a trail with views of the rugged coast and the majestic wooded mountains. Picnic lunch with a view to Rhodes Island to our south. After about a 5-hour hike with views of the rocky crags opening up to the sea, we enjoy refreshments at the teahouse in Tașlıca village, appropriately named “stony” after the local terrain and located in a valley below us. This is the southernmost village on the peninsula. Transfer back to the guesthouse in Bozburun or time permitting, option to visit the Honey House in Osmaniye (Marmaris Bal Evi).

12 km climb up/down 600 m / 600 m

Day 3
A short transfer from our guesthouse takes us back to our endpoint from yesterday, Tașlıca village, from where we will continue our hike today. The road continues south past very old cultivated agricultural terraces. At the end of the 8 km long trail we reach a small natural inlet called Serçe Limanı (Sparrow Bay), in which boats often shelter from storms. We can swim in the ocean here or cool off with a cold drinks. Transfer back to our hotel in Bozburun. Dinner in one of the variety of restaurants stretching along the seafront offering their freshly caught fish for the duration of our stay in Bozburun.

8 km ascent/descent 350 m / 350 m

Day 4
We begin our hike in the village of Cumhuriyet, another seaside village. We follow the path through scrub just above the coastline past the scattered ruins of an ancient port connected to the site of Thyssanos. We continue along the shore past other ancient stone ruins and small seaside villages before we pass the main boat yard of Bozburun, which is famous for its wooden gullets. We end our hike in Bozburun at our guesthouse.

14 km, ascent/descent 600 m / 600 m

Day 5
Today is our last day on the Bozburun Peninsula and we begin our hike in the small mountain village of Bayır, where a centuries-old plane tree shades one of the main cafes. The trail takes us through green meadows and shadowy pine forest. We will take plenty of time to enjoy the Turgut șelale (waterfall) with its cool cascades of spring water, the liquid amber and plane trees. We will explore the ruins of Hydas, which include a Byzantine church, cistern and castle walls and enjoy breathtaking views towards the bay of Selimiye and the fortification of Hisarönü. In the village of Turgut we will enjoy refreshments and then drive to Mesudiye on the Datça Peninsula.

14 km climb up/down 530 m / 640 m

Day 6
Free day in Mesudiye. Option to go on a short hike. Leisurely explore the town, which is spread out over the hillside with spectacular views of the coast, on your own time, or curl up with a good book to rest your legs for tomorrow, our longest hiking day. In recent years many of the old stone villa have begun to be restored.

Day 7
Our morning begins early on the northwest of the Datça Peninsula in Murdala. Our destination today is the ancient ruins of the seaport of Knidos. The ancient trail takes us high up onto the mountain, with amazing sea views and a glorious panorama of the Greek Islands as our guide. Halfway we stop for a picnic lunch and have the opportunity to enjoy a swim. Knidos was an important sea trading port and a centre of arts and science. It is also known for its nude statue of Aphrodite, the first monumental nude in classical sculpture. Return by mini-bus to our accommodation in Mesudiye.

14 km, climb up/down 500 m / 500 m

Day 8
We will set off directly from the guesthouse this morning and walk west through olive terraces and aromatic bushes of wild thyme. We walk at a height of about 150-200 m above the coast with magnificent views, ending in the tiny resort village of Palamutbükü with its turquoise waters and an opportunity to swim. Transfer back to our guesthouse in Mesudiye for the night.

15 km, total ascent/descent 917 m

Day 9
Again setting off from our base Mesudiye, today we explore the Carian Trail to the east, following various types of trails but always with a wonderful view of the sea and the Greek islands of Symi, Tilos and Rhodes. We will while away our afternoon at beautiful Domuz Çukuru bay for swimming and to a midday rest. Our hike ends in Kargı bay and the mini-bus transfers us to Datça, where we will spend the night in a guesthouse.

15 km, total ascent/descent 700 m / 700 m

Day 10
After breakfast we will transfer to Dalyan. A half-day boat trip for relaxation and culture today. Depending on the interest of the group we can choose to take a boat trip towards the Lycian rock tombs of Caunos cut out of a sheer cliff face above the Dalyan River, around which life in the town revolves; or take a route along the coast to Iztuzu beach, famous as a protected area for sea turtles. Free time until dinner in Dalyan. Overnight in guesthouse in Dalyan.

Day 11
Return day. Transfer to Dalaman airport. Depending on departure time, free time in Dalyan in the morning. Farewell and see you again next time!

Included in the Price

  • airport transfers on arrival and departure days
  • three meals a day (breakfast, lunch & dinner); water, tea & coffee included
  • English-speaking, local guide
  • all entrance fees
  • 7 nights guesthouses or small hotels, based on double occupancy with your own facilities
  • Children and infants 0-6 years old are free, children 7-12 years old receive a 50% discount

Excluded: return flights to Dalaman airport, personal expenses, drinks

  • moderate
  • 10 nights
Booking Code: KARDATCA
Region: Bozburun and Datça Peninsulas
Duration: 11 days
When to go:
Group size: 12 max, guaranteed departure starting at 4 people
Price per person: 1145 €
Single Room: add 150 €
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23.03 – 01.04.2019

06.04 – 16.04 2019

20.04 – 30.04.2019

04.05 – 14.05.2019