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The Complete Lycian Way

The Complete Lycian Way

Overview

Take this demanding but rewarding three-week trek following the best sections of the Lycian Way East and West, winding its way above the Mediterranean’s most dramatic coastline to the limestone peaks of Mount Olympos. Your hike will take you to high-alpine paths that offer fantastic views of the coast and the peaks of the Taurus Mountains, up to 3,000 m high. The tour ends at the impressive ruins of Patara, located near one of the finest and whitest beaches of Turkey.

Highlights

  • Walk the eastern and western sections of Turkey’s Lycian Way
  • Experience an authentic, less-travelled side of Turkey
  • See the eternal flames of Chimaera
  • Explore the ruins of Olympos, dating back to 300 BC
  • Fantastic views over turquoise seas from Cape Gelidonia’s lighthouse
  • Enjoy the wild beaches of Patara and the Ölüdeniz Blue Lagoon

Itinerary

Day 1: Antalya

Arrive at Antalya Airport and enjoy our complimentary transfer (45 minutes) to your hotel in Kaleiçi, the historical centre of Antalya.

Day 2: Hisarcandir – Göynük

A car transfer will bring you from Antalya to the beginning point of the walk (1hr 15mins). You will walk through the Hisarcandır traverse with beautiful forests of pine and cedar and several viewpoints towards Antalya. The trail is mostly downhill and leads down to the bottom of the canyon at Göynük.

  • Accommodation: guesthouse in Göynük
  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 6 hours, ↑260 m ↓1525 m

Day 3: Göynük – Göynük Yayla

You walk uphill all day starting at the Göynük gorge entrance and going over switchback ridges beneath pine trees, with excellent views to pastures and orchards; it is possible to swim where the river forms a beautiful pool in the canyon. You meet your transfer vehicle near a bridge (alt. 850m) from where you transfer to your hotel in Ovacık. Your destination is the mountain village of Ovacık, where you will have dinner and enjoy a magnificent view of the sea and the high mountains of Taurus from your hotel.

  • Accommodation: Gül Mountain Resort
  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 6 hours, ↑1200 m ↓500 m

Day 4: Göynük Yayla – Yayla Kuzdere

You transfer back to where you left the walk the previous day. Then you trek along high mountain paths and tracks to the village of Gedelme where you can explore a Roman castle. From there you walk up to the mountain village of Yayla Kuzdere (alt. 900m) enjoying views of Mount Tahtalı. Dinner and overnight in Sevim’s village house in Yayla Kuzdere.

  • Accommodation: homestay in Yayla Kuzdere (private rooms, shared facilities)
  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 5 hours, ↑460 m ↓530 m

Day 5: Yayla Kuzdere – Beycik (Optional climb of Mt Olympos)

From Yayla Kuzdere you start with a steady climb up a stream bed to the pastures of Çukur Yayla, just below Mount Olympos (Tahtalı Dağı). Optional ascent of Mount Olympos. You climb the pass from Çukur Yayla (alt. 1950m) through a forest of pines and impressive cedar trees and descend via a winding path through the lovely forest to the village of Beycik (alt. 900m). Your transfer vehicle takes you to Çıralı (30 mins). Dinner and overnight at Emin Pension or Kiyı Pension in Çıralı.

Note: Day 4 can be changed to include an optional ascent of Mount Olympos (2365m). In that case, you don’t descend to Beycik but climb from Yayla Kuzdere to the saddle and from there to the top. From the summit, you take the cable car to the lower station and transfer to Çıralı (cable car ticket c. 22 euro one-way pp not included, payable on-site).

  • Accommodation: guesthouse in Çıralı (Emin Pension or Kiyı Pension)
  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 6 hours, ↑1000 m ↓1130 m (standard route) or 11 km, 6 hours, ↑1450 m ↓180 m (optional climb of Mt Olympos)

Day 6: Rest Day / The Eternal Flames of Chimaera

Today you can make an optional exploration of the ruins of the ancient Olympos (total appr. 6km along the beach). Walk to the “Burning stones” with their natural earth fire, the eternal flames of the Chimaera. Mount Chimaera was the name of this place in ancient Lycia, where methane and other gases emerge from the rock and burn constantly. Some ancient sources considered it to be the origin of the myth of the monster called the Chimera. Lunch not included. Dinner and overnight at the same pension in Çıralı.

Day 7: Çıralı – Adrasan

You start directly from Çıralı and walk through the ancient city of Olympos and up Musa Dağı (Moses Mountain, alt. 650m). The climb is through dense forest with many strawberry trees and passes some minor ancient ruins. After having a picnic lunch near an old hut, you descend through a forest, past deserted farmhouses before you reach sea level and your accommodation in the beautiful bay of Adrasan.

  • Accommodation: Deniz Hotel in Adrasan or similar
  • Walking for the day: 19.6 km, 6-7 hours, ↑720 m ↓720 m

Day 8: Adrasan – Gelidonia Lighthouse

Again you start directly out of your hotel, and the route leads south via Kızıl Sırt (alt. 450m) along a remote and isolated coastline. You follow a path parallel to the coast at a high altitude along cliffs and green slopes, overlooking the sea and enjoying magnificent views towards some little islands. After arriving at the lighthouse at the tip of Cape Gelidonia (alt. 200m), you walk down to a dirt road to meet your transfer vehicle for the transfer back to Adrasan. Dinner and overnight in the same hotel in Adrasan.

  • Accommodation: Deniz Hotel in Adrasan or similar
  • Walking for the day: 18 km, 7 hours, ↑700 m ↓700 m

Day 9: Kapakli – Simena

Transfer from Adrasan to Kapaklı (1hr 20mins) to start the walk via rocky pastures to ancient Istlada and onwards to a small inlet (suitable for a swimming break), before crossing open fields towards Simena. You climb past impressive ancient Lycian tombs to the medieval castle which dominates this remarkable harbour town. The houses are built between the ruins, and it can only be reached on foot or by boat, thus retaining a lot of its charms. Your pension is situated right on the shore with lovely views across Kekova lagoon, also known as the Sunken City.

  • Accommodation: Ankh Pension
  • Walking for the day: 9 km, 3 hours, ↑150 m ↓100 m

Day 10: Kılıçlı – Aperlaı; Boat Trip to Simena

You transfer to the village of Kılıçlı (10 mins) from where you climb to Apollonia to explore the ruins of yet another ancient Lycian city. You descend over mule paths to the seaside ruins of Aperlai, a Lycian harbour town. After its exploration and a short coastal walk, you will be collected by boat. You enjoy a short cruise over the Sunken City, with supper on board, before returning to your pension in Simena. Dinner and overnight in the same pension in Simena.

  • Accommodation: Ankh Pension
  • Walking for the day: 7 km, 3 hours, ↑50 m ↓400 m

Day 11: Boğazcık – Okçüoldüğü

Transfer to the village of Boğazcık (10 mins) from where you walk past Roman watchtowers to the beach. You enjoy a swimming break and a seaside walk to a beach called Üzüm Iskelesi. After another 2,5 hrs of walking along the rocky coast, you reach the hamlet of Okçüoldüğü from where you have a transfer to Kaş (30 mins). Dinner not included.

  • Accommodation: Kayahan Hotel
  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 4-5 hours, ↑200 m ↓560 m

Day 12: Okçüoldüğü – Limanağzı

You transfer back to Okçüoldüğü from where you enjoy a short walk on coastal paths with many opportunities for swimming breaks. You can have lunch at a restaurant in Limanağzı where your walk ends and transfer by boat to Kaş (pay locally). Picnic and dinner not included. Overnight in the same hotel in Kaş.

  • Accommodation: Kayahan Hotel
  • Walking for the day: 9 km, 3-4 hours, ↑220 m ↓380 m

Day 13: Kayaköy / Rest Day

There are many opportunities in Kaş.for activities such as diving, canoeing, paragliding or just some souvenir shopping, swimming and relaxing. Late afternoon transfer to Kayaköy (2 hrs) for your check-in at the accommodation.

If you prefer, you can be transferred in the morning and you can do the optional Kayaköy-Ölüdeniz walk. The walk takes you right through the ruined Greek village of Kayaköy. Once a thriving Greek village, Kayaköy had over one thousand houses, two churches, fourteen chapels, and two schools. It was completely deserted in 1923 when the Christian inhabitants had to move to Greece following the Turkish War of Independence. You then cross a green headland to arrive at the famous white beaches of Ölüdeniz lagoon where you may swim and relax. From the beach, you can take the minibus back to the hotel (pay locally). Dinner and overnight in Kayaköy.

Day 14: Ovacık – Faralya

A short car transfer to the beginning of the Lycian Way West where you start your hike with spectacular views of the sea and Ölüdeniz lagoon. You ascend the lower slopes of Baba Dağı (Father Mountain) following a paved mule path. After passing the villages of Kozağaç and Kirme on a stretch of road, you descend an ancient path to the small village of Faralya on the green slopes above the Butterfly Valley. Dinner and overnight in Faralya.

Day 15: Faralya – Alınca

You walk from Faralya to Alınca along a forested path passing high above the secluded cove of Kabak. You will climb up a beautiful old mule trail to Alınca, with impressive views over Yedi Burun (Seven Capes). Dinner and overnight in Alınca.

  • Accommodation: Bayram Ali’s village house
  • Walking for the day: 13 km, 5-6 hours ↑750 m ↓450 m

Day 16: Alınca – Gey

From Alınca village, you walk along a spectacular coastline towards a pasture with an old Ottoman cistern. There you have the choice to descend along a cobbled stone trail to the secluded beach of Kalabantia, explore the ruins of the ancient harbour and swim in the crystal clear waters. After returning to the main trail, you continue to Gey village partly along a quiet tarmac road. Dinner and overnight in Gey.

  • Accommodation: Muhtar’s Pension
  • Walking for the day: 16 km, 6 hours ↑600 m ↓850 m (easy option: 11 km, 3.5 hours ↑200 m ↓450 m)

Day 17: Gey – Boğaziçi

You start from Gey and walk to ancient Sidyma where you explore the ruins of this once colossal city scattered around an inland valley and two hills. The village houses are constructed using ancient building blocks; inscriptions, tombs and city walls are still visible. You can have lunch in a lovely village house. After exploring the ruins, you walk down to Boğaziçi village from where a transfer (30 mins) takes you back to the accommodation in Gey. Dinner and overnight in the same pension in Gey.

  • Accommodation: Muhtar’s Pension
  • Walking for the day: 10 km, 4-4.5 hours ↑325 m ↓670 m

Day 18: Gey – Gavurağili/Patara

You trek along a tiny goat path around a spectacular, secluded bay of Gemili to the village of Bel. After a short section of dirt road, you arrive at Belceğiz and start your descent along the last of the Seven Capes following a steep rocky Roman road down to Gavurağili. You meet our vehicle here for a short transfer to Patara. Patara is famous for its long beach where the giant sea turtles, caretta caretta, are known to come for laying eggs. It was also the birthplace of St Nicholas, who became known as the bishop of nearby (Myra) Demre. Dinner and overnight in Patara.

  • Accommodation: Flower Pension
  • Walking for the day: 10 km, 4-4.5 hours ↑325 m ↓670 m

Day 19: Delikkemer – Patara

After a short transfer, you visit the remains of a Roman aqueduct spanning a ravine at Delikkemer. It was part of a system that supplied water from high up in the mountains to ancient Patara on the coast. You walk back from the aqueduct to the ancient site of Patara partly following the course of the old water pipes. You may explore the ruins of this important coastal city, where you can admire a theatre, bath complexes, temples and other remains of this once leading city of the Lycian League or simply relax on the beach.

  • Accommodation: Flower Pension
  • Walking for the day: 11 km, 3 hours ↑200 m ↓350 m

Day 20: Departure

Complimentary transfer to Antalya Airport or extra night Antalya.

Hotels

Accommodation is in hand-picked and regularly monitored hotels and guesthouses offering various levels of comfort. During this tour, you’ll stay in places that make you feel good and safe in lovely villages surrounded by trees and mountains. The properties are run by friendly people who will make you feel part of the family and the local community. Nineteen of the overnights are in private en-suite rooms, and one is in a village house with shared facilities.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will give you the exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast are always included, as well as 16 picnic lunches and 16 dinners. During the tour, you will enjoy natural, regional and rich Turkish food. Evening meals consist of a soup or salads, a main course and fruit or sweet for dessert. Lunches will be picnics. Our packed lunches are wonderful, and we include plentiful trail snacks such as dried fruits and nuts.

Travel

Recommended arrival and departure airport: Antalya.

Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Private Transfers

You have all private transfers to/from trailheads arranged for you according to the itinerary above, including complimentary transfers from/to Antalya Airport or city.

Baggage Transfers

Luggage transfer on walking days is included where needed as per itinerary, and we will arrange it from your current hotel to your next hotel. After check out, you will leave baggage at the hotel reception, and you can start hiking. When you arrive at your next hotel, your luggage will be waiting for you at the hotel reception.

Country Info

  • This region of Turkey is considered safe. For up to date travel advice and country info, please check here.
  • Timezone: GMT +3
  • Language: Turkish. In big cities, many people speak English, but in remote areas, this might not be the case. However, most of the hotel staff where we stay speak English and are ready to help you. Road signs/markers are normally in both Turkish and Latin alphabet – and you can always call our 24/7 helpline if there are any problems.
  • Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50Hz, two-pin round plugs.
  • Currency: Turkish Lira. We strongly recommend taking sufficient cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are not available outside of cities.

Trip Info

Difficulty Grade: Moderate

This holiday is suitable for walkers of very good fitness. You will walk 5-7 hours per day on average. Some days include optional longer walks (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation and Terrain

The terrain is varying from steep rocky footpaths to cobbled paths. The optional ascent of Mount Olympos is over scree and involves some light scrambling. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to Go

We can organise this walking tour between April and early June and September till the end of October. July and August are too hot for making this trip. Weather is best in the autumn. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking.

Weather

Winter temperatures are quite mild, with average highs around 15 °C (59 °F), while in summer the maximum temperatures are hot, ranging between 30 and 35 °C (86 and 95 °F). Rainfall is concentrated from mid-October to mid-April, when it can be abundant, and can sometimes be torrential, particularly in the slopes facing west and southwest. In Antalya, about 1,000 mm (40 in) of rain per year fall, but it seldom rains from June to September. For more details, https://www.climatestotravel.com/climate/turkeyvisit.

What to Bring

Main luggage is limited to 25 kg. On walking days your main luggage is transported to the next accommodation. For your daily essentials, you should bring comfortable rucksack. Bringing good hiking shoes and a waterproof jacket is essential. Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. We will include more detailed info in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Good hiking boots;
  • Walking sticks;
  • Hiking socks;
  • Several t-shirts (cotton or preferably breathable/fast drying);
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood;
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece;
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation;
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve;
  • Hat/Baseball cap;
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies).

Included

  • Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions and road notes; maps with daily routes and optional hikes marked
  • 18 nights in 2 and 3-star quality hotels and guesthouses (private en-suite rooms)
  • 1 night homestay (private rooms, shared facilities)
  • 19 breakfasts
  • 16 dinners
  • 16 packed lunches
  • Luggage transport to next hotel
  • Transfers to trailheads as detailed in the itinerary
  • Transfers to/from Antalya airport
  • Boat trip to the sunken city of Simena/Kekova
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers. As costs are not shared, a supplement is payable on the standard trip cost.

Options and Extras

Self-Guided+

  • On request, we can provide a private guide.

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not explicitly mentioned in the programme

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