Leave the City behind!
Weekend trekking intensive in the Latmos Mountains
Contemporary lifestyles contribute the perfect feeding ground for chronic stress and depression. Getting out into nature and reconnecting with yourself, other people, your environment and what is important to you through physical activity – aka hiking up a mountain! – might be just what the doctor ordered. Join us to do just that: fill up your batteries and reenergize by trekking in the Latmos Mountains on this weekend intensive. With this tour, we would particularly like to target high-powered, busy professionals who feel like they have no time to go on a ‘proper’ holiday but have identified they need a break from the daily grind to restore a sense of health.
The Latmos Mountain range, called Beșparmak Daǧları (Five Finger Mountains) due to their rugged silhouette, rise up steeply to the north of Bafa Lake, in antiquity forming the northwestern tip of the kingdom of Caria. Their wildly fissured masses of gneiss, granite and slate dominate the landscape from afar, creating a bizarre rocky labyrinth to pick through on our way to the top – a landscape that has enabled this area to remain effectively untouched to this day. This is also one of the archeologically richest areas in western Turkey, with hundreds of Neolithic rock paintings having been found in caves and overhangs scattered throughout the landscape. It is no wonder that the mountains have been a sacred site for all manner of cults and religions since time immemorial, and the setting for the ancient myth of Endymion and Selene.
Look forward to
Get your heart pumping, then wind down around the campfire after a long and strenuous hike, enjoy a glass of wine from your tin cup and breathe the clean mountain air. Regain a renewed sense of health and well-being. Enjoy the view from the top. Put it in perspective, the Latmos way. We hope you return to tackle your projects and challenges with renewed vigour.
- Slow down, refuel and reenergize
- Camp for two nights under the stars of an Aegean sky
- Enjoy breathtaking 360° views from the summit of the Latmos Mountain range
Welcome to Turkey! Arrival in Izmir or Bodrum, airport pick-up and transfer to Bafa Lake and the Agora Guesthouse in Kapıkırı Village (ancient Heraclea). Orientation and welcome dinner at the guesthouse.
We set off bright and early after a delicious homemade Turkish breakfast, leaving the village of Kapıkırı behind and immediately beginning our climb on foot. We will be carrying all of our own food and tents for the two overnights. Over 5-6 hours we will ascend from 35 m to 500 m over 11 km of footpaths taking us first along remnants of the city walls of ancient Heraclea, and then following parts of the ancient Carian Trail in this mythological and historically significant area. We walk and climb through bizarre rock formations and glittering schist. We pitch our tents in the garden of a local shepherd for the night and cook together over the campfire under the stars.
We rise with the sun and enjoy an abundant breakfast around the fire, fortifying us for today’s climb to the summit of the Latmos Mountain range at 1375 m. Our walking time today will be 6-7 hours. On the way, we visit Stylos Monastery perched high in the mountains and dating back to the 10th century. It is known for several stunning monastic frescoes and was the home of St. Paul the Younger, who is said to have lived here as a hermit for twelve years. The remaining ascent to the summit – also called Tekerlek Dağı locally – is not long. Our hike is rewarded with a breathtaking 360° view of Bafa Lake and its islands to our south, and the Anatolian plain to the north. We will descend back to 1250 m to a small freshwater spring to make our camp for the evening. Time really stands still for us in our mountain camp this evening.
We begin our descent today down the north face of the Latmos range, which is greener and lusher than the drier, rockier south side. We walk through pine forests, olive groves and fields, often meeting local shepherds, seeing donkeys at work, or cows grazing along the way. Our destination is the village of Karahayıt, nestled at 240 m and a 13 km and 6-7 hour walk from our summit camp. Time permitting, we will visit several Neolithic cave paintings along the way. In Karahayıt we will take a well-earned break at the teahouse and our mini-bus will transfer us back to the Agora Guesthouse (25 min). As this will be the farewell evening, guests can choose to follow their own interests for the afternoon, or choose to help with the preparations for an extravagant barbeque. A local musician will accompany the dinner on his saz and serenade guests late into the night. We will celebrate and toast to a successful hike!
Return day and transfer to Izmir or Bodrum airport feeling relaxed and rejuvenated! Farewell and until next time!
Included in the Price
- airport transfers on arrival and departure days
- 3 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner); water, coffee & tea included
- English-speaking, local guide
- 2 nights at the Agora Guesthouse based on double occupancy with your own facilities; two nights in a tent under the stars
Excluded: return flights to Izmir or Bodrum, personal expenses & drinks
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