Lycian Way Trail on the Med Coast of Turkey

Lycian Way SignsThe information on this page has been gathered from members of the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum on Turkey, regional contacts and Kaş colleagues who have walked the trail and have shown they have experience with the Lycian Way Trail on the Med Coast of Turkey.

Trekking the entire length of the famous Lycian Way Trail on the Med Coast of Turkey may take up to a month, more or less. It is over 500 km long, some of it is easy and some parts are quite difficult. Several professional tour guides have mentioned that some of the distances on some Lycian Way websites or books may be shorter than they are, meaning a 10 km hike could be 12 or even 15 actual km!! Plan accordingly. Unless you plan to hike the entire Lycian Way, it is recommended that you determine the specific areas you want to see and then trek between them only. There are parts of the Lycian Way Trail, where you are better off to take a dolmuş (a public bus) to another start place farther on.

Trekking on the Lycian WayBefore you start out on the trail, make sure you have a mobile phone, preferably with GPS, confirm that it works in Turkey and charge it fully before you start on each trek. Let someone know where you plan to trek each day. If you trek alone make sure you check in with friends or relatives frequently. Wear comfortable, ankle-high hiking shoes or boots. Something as simple as a sprained ankle can delay or stop you and make you a casualty as several places on the trail are remote. During the hot months starting in May and continuing well into September, it is recommended you wear headgear to shade your face and your neck. A long-sleeved shirt in summer for cool nights is also recommended.

There are scorpions and snakes in the areas you will be walking. If you keep your hands out of places they do not belong, you should not have a problem. You might want to take along a small kit called The Extractor. (Search for other sites to purchase one.) They are also excellent for easing the discomfort of a fresh mosquito bite. Take along mosquito repellent, which is easily available in Turkey.

The Jandarma emergency number is 156, if calling on a mobile phone, the call is directed to Antalya. Someone should be available who speaks English if you have an emergency and need to call for assistance.

You can start with this Google Map of many Ancient Lycian Sites in the regional area around Kaş.

Here you can see average temperatures around Kaş, which is almost equidistant on the Lycian Way between Fethiye and Antalya. Higher elevations, especially in winter, will be MUCH colder and you can expect snow; whereas snow is almost never found in the Kalkan, Kaş, and Kekova region.

The Lycian Way can be ruggedMost of the Turkish villagers along the Lycian Way have seen many, many trekkers. Most you will find very friendly, but do be careful about where you pitch a tent AND where you build a fire.
NOTE: Fires are forbidden during the dry season.

Many hikers tell stories about villagers offering them tea, food, and even a place to sleep in their house. None that we know has ever said a villager asked for money for such an invitation but that may have changed. Others will have to advise you about that.

If you plan to hike considerable distances on the Lycian Way trail, you would be well advised to do some detailed research to include some of the links below. I hope they will help answer your questions. Then, after you have researched it carefully, go to the Lonely Planet Thorntree Forum if you have more questions. You should mention to the forum the inclusive dates you plan to be on the trail for weather and clothing advice.

Guidebooks to start with:

Dean LivesleyThe Sunflower Plus Series by Michael Bussmann, Gabriele Tröger, Dean Livesley:

The Lycian Way by Kate Clow
If you start the Lycian Way in Fethiye, I suggest you contact Dean Livesley at Seven Capes. He is an English tour guide and co-author of Sunflower Plus series of books. He is currently writing a new one about a different trail, not so well travelled.

If you start or trek up near Tlos the ancient Lycian site, you can contact Mel at her Mountain Lodge for information or stay at the lodge. A nice “two for one” is to visit Mountain Lodge and Tlos and later stop off at Yakapark for an interesting lunch with ice cold water running water everywhere under where you sit in the shade of huge shade trees.

Lycian Way-Dave Crann and villagerWhen you get to Kaş, ask for Dave Crann, a retired British SAS trooper who has been hiking and guiding professionally on the Lycian Way nearly 20 years. Contact Dave direct at davidcrann [at hotmail.com or the folks at Amber Travel, Dragoman Travel or Bougainville Adventure and ask them to call Dave. He can do group or private tours or just visit with him for expert advice and great conversation for the price of a cup of coffee, tea or a beer.

Try some of these web pages for more on hiking in the Kaş region:

Lonely Planet Stuff:

You can read through this Lonely Planet forum discussion which also has detailed route suggestions. Or, you can see the Lonely Planet articles by stratophile who made daily postings along the way.

Articles about the Lycian Way:

Ruins on the Lycian WayThis WikiTravel Lycian Way page is full of great information.

Terry Richardson, a seasoned traveller around Turkey, writes about his experiences with the trail called: Ten years on The Lycian Way.

Luis Gallo writes in this Hürriyet Daily (English) News story called Adventure seekers find paradise while trekking Lycian Way: “The iconic Lycian Way, popular among globe-trotting hikers, draws travelers who prefer an alternative, off-the-beaten-path getaway experience. The straight-out-of-a-storybook landscapes around the villages on the 509-kilometer-long trail attract backpackers, nature lovers and the occasional meditating hippie”

Nigel Richardson in his article titled Turkey’s Lycian Way-Walking on the trail of ghosts “tackles the long-distance Lycian Way, and encounters ancient civilisations, sublime scenery – and a challenge that takes him by surprise.”

We hope this will help you get started on your discovery of The Lycian Way and its mysterious ancient history.

This entry was posted in Lycia, Turkey and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.