For over a decade I have contemplated hiking Turkey’s Lycian Way – truly one of the world’s great walks. Years ago, well before the internet when you looked at books for inspiration, I bought one called The Top Treks of the World. I remember being in awe of the landscape on the Lycian Way and thinking this is one hike I really want to do.
Fast forward to late October 2015 and I can now say that I’ve had a taste of the Lycian Way. Our group of four spent six days hiking it – starting at Gul Mountain Hotel, 30 kilometres south of Antalya and finishing at Melanippe Beach near the Gelidonya Lighthouse. It is an outstanding trek – truly world-class but make no mistake – it’s a challenge.
The full Lycian Way is 530 kilometres long.
It starts just south of Fethiye and finishes in Hisarçandir, just outside of Antalya; you can hike it in either direction. Few people actually backpack the whole trail. (We only met three people in total; mind you we met a lot of Ukrainians and perhaps some of them planned to as well but with no Ukrainian we had no way of knowing.) It’s very challenging with daily ascents and descents in the range of 700 – 1,000 metres. The landscape is rugged and mountainous even though you’re often in sight of the Mediterranean. Finding a campsite can be difficult as can water, especially for cooking in the evening. You need to resupply at villages along the way and be prepared for some route-finding challenges along the more remote sections of the trail. Allow 30 days to do the whole of the Lycian Way. Check out this website for lots of useful information.
Our Lycian Way Experience
We didn’t have the time – or the inclination to do the whole trail. With a recommendation from an old friend who did the same trip, we decided to sign up with On Foot Holidays out of Britain. They booked accommodation, moved our bags every day so we only had to carry a day-pack, provided detailed trip notes and organized taxis at the beginning and end of the trip. They also have an English speaking travel agent on the ground in Antalya who was very helpful with other aspects of our Turkey trip.
Our trip began with an incredibly scenic 90 minute taxi ride through the mountains from Antalya. The actual starting point of our hike was Gul Mountain Hotel – a big sprawling place in the middle of nowhere with so-so rooms but amazing food (and lots of it) and lovely people. It has a great location – just 50 metres off the Lycian Way. Bring warm clothes if you hike in late October. Rooms at several places – including this one – were chilly and it was usually frosty in the morning – especially when staying at altitude. (By 10 am most days we were in t-shirts.) At the hotel we spent most of our time in the dining room where they had a big fire going.
If the Lycian Way is a trail you’d consider, plan to hike it in the spring or fall. Summers would be brutally hot (along the coast temperatures will be 40°C) and in the winter it can be snowy up high and most of the hotels will be closed. In fact, we were the last guests of the season at three hotels along the route. In November it can be rainy but we had ideal hiking weather the entire time with sunny days and cool nights. Spring would be amazing for wildflowers.
Over the next few weeks I’ll have three or four more blog posts on the Lycian Way – showcasing the route and the magnificent scenery.
Have you ever thought of hiking the Lycian Way?
Other posts you might enjoy related to the Lycian Way:
- The Most Beautiful Day of Hiking on the Lycian Way
- Hiking the Spectacular Lycian Way in Turkey – Day 1
- A Great Day of Hiking on the Lycian Way: Beycik to Cirali
- Our Last Day of Hiking the Lycian Way:Adrasan to Melanippe Beach