Lycian Way is regarded as one of the most beautiful distance walking routes in the world with its stunning scenery. This hike is a combination of Mediterranean landscapes along the turquoise coast, majestic mountains, marvelous beaches, and ancient Lycian ruins that are older than 2000 years. The Lycian Way offers an unforgettable experience for everyone.
The Lycian Way is a 555 km footpath around the coast of Lycia in southern Turkey, from Fethiye to Antalya. It takes approximately 30 and 45 days to walk the whole path.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the Lycian Way. You can learn suggestions, routes, and some stops of this trail in this article.
If Lycian Way takes your interest at the end of this article, HeyTripster can help you to find your ideal trip plan for this adventure.
This writing contains information from 2021.
1. Brief History of Lycians
The Lycians were portrayed as democratic and independent people with their fighting skills. They had a high standard of living. As their relics demonstrate, they developed a unique art style. Their geographic location gave them many advantages such as sea trade and piracy. They saw Persian rule and later Lycians welcomed Alexander the Great. They were influenced by Greek culture. Later, there was the reign of the Roman Empire. At this time there were many developments like ports, roads, theatres, temples… From the 4th century, Christianity was embraced as the Roman empire fell down. And consequently, many Byzantine monasteries were constructed in the Lycian hills.
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2. Best Time to Go
The Lycian Way is located on the Mediterranean coastline. Since this region has a Mediterranean climate the hiking season is quite long. Summer months are highly hot while the winter period is mild. The best time for hiking in the spring months where you can see the flourish of nature without feeling exhausted by hot temperatures. You can also prefer October and November. In these months humidity gradually declines and the climate is very suitable. We don’t advise you to go there between May and August due to the hottest temperatures. Between November and February heavy rains occur so the climate is not desirable.
No matter what season you go there, you can see the breathtaking beauty of nature and historical artifacts.
3. Things You Should Have in This Adventure
Carrying useful and necessary items with you makes your travel more enjoyable. Although preferences differ profoundly, we can give a piece of advice. If you are planning camping, you should have camping equipment. If you want to stay at hotels, you shouldn’t forget personal cleaning products. As an important reminder, don’t forget to take the necessary medicines with you!
Choosing the right clothes and shoes are of great importance in this route. Don’t forget to wear a hat and sunglasses. Select a sunscreen that can protect you from burns. Depending on the season, you can also have a windbreaker or a raincoat and of course a swimsuit. You should have the trekking pole. It will make your job much easier. If you don’t have it or you forget to take it with you, you will definitely see a piece of branch on the way you walk. You can take it and keep walking with it.
In your backpack, you should have a compass, whistle, pocketknife, headlamp, camera, lighter, and a small first aid kit. Portable GPS, a power bank, and a printed map will help you in this way. Flashlight, towel, and insect repellent will make your trekking more comfortable. Above all, always have enough water with you. In some areas, particularly between Karaözü Bay and Adrasan, finding water is impossible. You should have plenty of water and enough food to keep your energy high.
4. Things You Should Pay Attention to
Here is some useful information that can help you find your way.
Throughout the way, there are red and white marks that are drawn on the stones at some intervals. You should follow these signs. In case of not seeing these signs, there is also a tower-shaped sign called “fathers” where the stones are piled on top of each other.
Since marks can be erased over time, you should look carefully. If you don’t see the sign for a long time, you are on the wrong track. If this happens, you can walk back to where you saw the last sign. You can go ahead from there again.
There can be confusing crossroads. You will see a red cross at these points. This sign means that you should not go from there.
5. Routes that You Can Follow
5.1. Korsan Bay – Gelidonya Lighthouse – Adrasan – Çıralı
This route is one of the best tracks of Lycian Way. However, it is also one of the hardest tracks of the Lycian Way. This route starts from Karaöz village of Kumluca district of Antalya. You will see Gelidonya Feneri, Adrasan and Olympos. And it ends in Çıralı.
This route’s total length is 33 km. The distance between Karaöz and Gelidonya Feneri is 8 km. The distance between Gelidonya Feneri and Adrasan is 12 km and Adrasan and Çıralı is 14 km. Along with following the coastline, you will also climb to hillsides and dismount to beaches and ports.
Since you will pass through many seaside towns, you can find various camping areas, hostels, hotels, restaurants, and beaches. The best part of this track is Gelidony Feneri. It is the highest lighthouse in Turkey. It is one of the best landscapes in Turkey. Red pine woods and turquoise water seems like a beautiful painting. Later you will see Korsan Bay. We definitely suggest you swim there. Then you will walk for 4 kilometers. The Adrasan track after Gelidonya Lighthouse is a medium-difficult course with ups and downs. On the Olympos track, you will walk on a rocky way. Then you will reach magnificent Olympos. And after Olympos, you will go to Çıralı by walking on the coast.
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5.2. Kaş – Limanağzı – Ufakdere
You can come to Büyükçakıl Beach by walking from Kaş center or by car and start this track. You will walk for 3 km from Büyükçakıl to Limanağzı. This part is pretty easy. You will see ancient Lycian tombs. You will climb down to Limanağzı by ropes tied to the rocks. Along the way, there are breathtaking landscapes. You can give a break in Limanağzı beaches and swim in the crystal clear waters. After Limanağzı, there is a 1,5 hour walking to Çoban Beach. This beach is quiet and small. When you leave Çoban Beach and proceed to Ufakdere, you will walk on a thorny way. It will take 1 hour. This route is full of nice waters and historical artifacts.
5.3. Aperlai – Üçağız – Kaleköy
Aperlai, a Lycian city, is an ancient city located between Kaş and Kekova. Aperlai’s history is known from silver coins bearing its name that have been found. And its history dates back to the 4th or 5th centuries BC. The path from Aperlai to Kaleköy is 16 km. It takes about 5,5 hours walking. The beauty of nature and history meets in this route. The ruins of the Aperlai are located at the foot of the hill descending towards the sea. Some of the sarcophagi have survived to the present day. There are many sarcophagi along the way.
On the 8th kilometer of the route, you will head towards Üçağız. You can take a break in Üçağız, known as Kekova. And you can join a boat tour there. On this boat tour, you will see the sunken city. From Üçağız, you will reach Kaleköy. It is a small and cute village by walking a 3-kilometer road. Except for this walking path, transportation to Kaleköy is generally provided by boats. There is no vehicle entrance to Kaleköy. And as you get closer to Kaleköy, you will see magnificent royal tombs.
5.4. Ovacık – Faralya – Kabak Koyu
Ovacık is the official starting point of the Lycian Way. There is a symbolic door here. This is a track where you can walk in one with amazing views. The total road is 24 kilometers.Ovacık to Kozağaç takes 10 kilometers. The distance between Kozağaç and Faralya is 5 kilometers. And the way is 9 kilometers from Faralya to Kabak. It is a medium-difficulty track. You will make steep climbs between Ovacık and Faralya. And you will make steep descents between Faralya and Kabak Bay.
In this route, you can watch Ölüdeniz from different angles. If you want to take a break for eating and drinking, Kozağaç and Kirme Villages are suitable. There are also areas to set up your tent along the way. When you ascend from the foothills of Babadağ towards Faralya, you can witness the charming view of the Butterfly Valley. There is also a wide range of accommodation options in the Faralya region. And in the last stop, you will be charmed by Kabak Bay. It has a matchless beauty with its location, untouched nature, and turquoise sea. Kabak Bay has many camping areas. You can either stay in your tent or in bungalows.
Ölüdeniz is a small neighborhood and beach resort in the Fethiye district of Muğla Province, It is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Turkey. With fantastic nature, every year thousands of people visit Ölüdeniz.
Oludeniz beach has two parts are called Belcekız and Ölüdeniz. Belcekız is a long sandy beach. Ölüdeniz meaning the dead sea takes its name from its calm waters. Even during storms and windy days, the sea stays calm like a pool. Ölüdeniz is under protection as a national reserve. Moreover, Fethiye Blue Lagoon was selected as the most beautiful beach in the world in 2006.
Valley is right at the edge of Mount Babadağ that is highly popular among paragliders. It is regarded as one of the best paragliding places in the world with its spectacular view and perfect weather conditions.
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7. The Kabak Bay
The Kabak Bay is 25 km from Fethiye. It is reached via Ölüdeniz by dolmus, taxi, or car. It takes about one hour. Dolmus schedules may change during the year. Taking a taxi would be a good choice. We advise you to bring enough water and food with you since there are no shops or ATMs. Kabak Bay offers a sandy beach, walking trails along the shoreline, and splendid nature. This area has seen historical moments. Lycians built high pillar tombs for their heroes. Later the early Christians anchored on their touristic pilgrimage from Europe to Jerusalem. The Byzantine residents welcomed them and sent them happily on their way. Today the valley is offering an amazing atmosphere to chill out. The beach is quite narrow and may be crowded. And it can be overpriced in mid-season. We suggest you visit Kabak Bay in spring or autumn.
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8. Butterfly Valley
Located on Lycian Way, Butterfly Valley is home to approximately 105 species of butterflies, from the endemic orange to a white Jersey Tiger. It is one of the most picturesque places in Turkey. Butterfly Valley is open to free-spirited and adventurous travelers to take pleasure from this excellent place. The organization of the valley’s purpose is to keep the valley as a sanctuary that can be enjoyed forever. Their slogan represents this objective that is “living in harmony with nature”.
Since this place is an isolated area, restaurant facilities are basic. When it comes to accommodation, you can rent a tent or you can sleep on the beach. Numerous outdoor activities like camping, hiking, canyoning, canoeing and scuba diving are available in this valley.
Just keep in touch with this heavenly nature and feel the peace.
With its hippie atmosphere, beaches and ancient ruins Olympos is one of the best stops of Lycian way. Olympos is a bohemian place full of bungalows and Lycian ruins. It is also the nesting place of Caretta Caretta sea turtles. Due to its natural and historic importance, the area is under protection. It means, no resorts, no luxury hotels. There are cute little huts and treehouses. This tranquillity has made this spot famous among backpackers. In Olympos, there are various activities. You can dive, go rock climbing, swim at the beach and spend your day on an ATV safari. In addition, renting a canoe can be an enjoyable activity. And we definitely suggest you visit the ancient city of Olympos for those who are interested in history.
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10. Gelidonya Lighthouse
Gelidonya Lighthouse is another stunning place on the Lycian Way. The lighthouse is located in the Taşlık Cape of Kumluca district of Antalya. It is one of the highest lighthouses on Turkey’s coast. Gelidonya Lighthouse is 227 meters above sea level and 3 km inside. With its wonderful view, this spot can remind you of a fairy tale. If you look beyond the cape you will see the tricky islands of Bes Adalar. This group of islands has been popular for many wrecks including an ancient wreck that gave a great amount of treasure to archaeological divers in the 1960s. The shipwreck dates back to the Early Bronze Age up to the 13th century. The area of the lighthouse is a perfect place to watch the sunrise or the sunset. You can even set an enjoyable picnic close to the peninsula.
Kaş is a small fishing, yachting, and seaside town in the district of Antalya Province. The best thing about Kaş is that the town is relatively untouched and not impaired by mass tourism. If you go there you will see the uniqueness of this town with its Bohemian atmosphere and splendid landscapes. It is quite disconnected from the fast-paced life and it is full of peace.
Kaş offers a wide range of activities such as trekking along the Lycian way, sea kayaking, paragliding, canyoning, mountain bike riding, blue voyage cruising, daily boat trips, scuba diving in the clear seas surrounding Kas. Kaş especially gained popularity as a scuba diving hotspot of Turkey. People from all over the world come to Kaş to explore underwater life. Since Kaş has low tides and no currents, it is a suitable place for easier dives.
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Patara is one of the most fascinating spots on the Lycian Way. Located near the Gelemiş village, Patara is an ancient Lycian harbor city. It is one of the most important and oldest cities in Lycia. Its history can be dated back to the 8th century B.C. Patara is known as the birthplace of the god Apollo and the center of Apollo’s prophecy. We definitely suggest you visit this ancient city and watch the landscape from the antique atmosphere. While walking towards the end of the ancient city, the road continues with Patara Beach, the heavenly work of nature. Caretta Caretta sea turtles are residents of this beach. In the spring, hundreds of Caretta Carettas come to this beach and lay their eggs. In the autumn, they left Patara with their newborn babies and they return to the sea.
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Kalkan is a historical town along Lycian Coast. Kalkan is a charming and unspoiled spot with its nature, historic architecture, and ancient history.
The region has a great history. The famous Greek historian Herodotus described Kalkan as “The world’s closest place to the stars”. It has been a significant point in different civilizations. It attracted attention due to its strategic location. This region was home to many major civilizations, from the Hittites to the Lydians, from the Romans to the Ottomans.
You can go to Kaputaş Beach, Büyük Çakıl Beach, Saklıkent Canyon, Firnaz Bay… In Kalkan, you can do paragliding, join blue tours, dive, and canoe trips.
14. Kate Clow
Kate Clow, a British woman, and budding historian is an important figure for the Lycian Way. She is the creator of the Lycian Way. Motivated by her wish to protect Turkey’s history, she pioneered the Lycian Way. In the 1990s, with volunteers, she way-marked the entire path. She is the author of the most comprehensive Lycian Way guidebook. You can read her book The Lycian Way: Turkey’s First Long Distance Walk to have more detailed information.
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🌳🌏 HeyTripster donated a sapling on behalf of Sevilay Aydoğdu for sharing this blog post with us.
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