Ancient route and coastal walk from your dreams- Lycian Way /Turkey

Lycian way is 509 km long footpath in Turkey located in southern part of the country.The idea for walking on this long path come after i saw several pictures from this trail. Lycia is the historical name of the Tekke Peninsula, which juts into the Mediterranean on Turkey’s southern coast. The mountains rise steeply from the rocky coast, giving beautiful views and varied walking. Forestry predominates; pines are mixed with strawberry trees and carob, and give way to juniper and cedar at higher elevations. Along with coastal tourism, high-intensity agriculture is crowded onto the deltas.

History of the lycian way

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. The Romans developed many cities and ports, linking them with paved roads and equipping them with theatres, baths, forums, temples and ceremonial gates. From the 4th Century, Christianity took hold and, as the Roman empire crumbled, many Byzantine monasteries were founded in the Lycian hills. Lycian graves and ruins abound on the peninsula and the Lycian Way passes about 25 remote historical sites.

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Routhe- Lycian way

Investigated and then waymarked by Kate Clow, a Britishwoman living in Turkey, with the help of a number of volunteers and Turkish Ministry of Culture in early 2000s, Lycian Way connects a number of villages, mountain hamlets, Lycian and Roman sites on its route and ranges from 0 m (sea level) to 1,800 m summit of Mt Tahtalı (known by the name Olympos in ancient times) at elevation. It’s not a single footpath that has been intact since times immemorial, rather it’s a collection of ancient paths, mule and caravan trails, forest and backcountry roads. For many sites, it’s the most convenient way to get to, and still many others let themselves to be enjoyed only by those taking the effort to hike the trail.

Although there are some hikers doing the whole trail in one go, most people prefer to do it in sections, and in fact some sections are more popular than others. Some short sections of the trail near the major towns can even be regarded as a day trip. Most people walk the trail west to east, that is, from Fethiye towards Antalya and the waymarks are easier to follow in this direction.

Once littered, it is very hard to clean the trail up, as it mostly lies on a remote and rugged territory. Therefore, following leave-no-trace guidelines is important. Also, think ahead carefully about what you will need and what you won’t, as anything that is regarded as “trash” will need to be carried to the nearest garbage bin – a convenience even some of the mountain hamlets completely lack, let alone the trail itself.

 

April-May and October-November is reported to be best to hike the trail, as it’s warm (but not infernally hot unlike in summer!) and not rainy (unlike winter) during these months.

Most small villages featuring a “shop” will actually be selling overpriced snacks and drinks. Do not rely on them for proper meals. They do sell bread though, usually kept out of view (ask for “ekmek”, 1 Turkish lira a piece is a fair price).

There are plenty of camping places with nearby water mentioned in the book; you do not have to ask permission to camp out.

The walking is moderate  grade with daily walks of around 3-6 hours. 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.