Guided trek & sea adventure onLycian Way
The Lycian Way is a 540 km trek around the coast of Lycia in southern Turkey, from Fethiye to Antalya. The trail consists mainly of Roman roads, old footpaths and mule trails, our two week itinerary starts off at the port city of Fethiye on Turkey's south western Turquoise Coast, famous for its natural harbour, blue waters and rock tombs, including the 4th-century B.C. Tomb of Amyntas. We'll finish off the trip over 100kms away in the southern seaside town of Kaş, after a private Gulet cruise on the Mediterranean and sea kayaking adventure off the uninhabited island of Kekova where we'll explore the sunken ruins of the ancient city of Simena.
Located along the picturesque Turquoise Coast the Lycian Way is still a relatively unknown trail even though it is regularly voted in the top 10 long distance trails of the world. The views are breathtaking, the local people are very friendly and welcoming and every step along the trail is steeped in ancient history. The pristine beaches and endless coastline are set to a backdrop of rugged mountains and fascinating hamlets and small towns with what is deservedly famous Turkish hospitality in the remote communities.
Some of the ancient Lycian tombs in Fethiye
What are the main highlights of the Lycian Way?
For this section of the Lycian Way the following are some of the highlights and experiences during our two week itinerary;
- Exploring the coastal city of Fethiye and the ‘ghost town’ of Kayaköy at the official start in Ovacık
- Beaches, blue lagoon and stunning views of Oludeniz which was once a hideaway for pirates and smugglers
- Coastal trek on rugged trails along the cliffs and through the forested mountains to Butterfly Valley
- Incredible food, probably best described as a fusion of Central Asian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Eastern European cuisine
- Ancient history and historic ruins of interest along the whole trail (you’ll literally be tripping over them)
- Recent excavations at Patara and its 12km long beach
- Boutique and characteristic accommodation throughout the itinerary
- Exploring the Mediterranean sea and Lycian coast on a traditional Turkish gulet
- Sea kayaking over the sunken ruins around the island of Kekova
- Down hill mountain biking in the hills and mountains that frame the small fishing town of Kas
- The famous Turkish hospitality
Lycian Way map showing trekking and vehicle routes
Blue dotted line is the trekking route / black line is the vehicle route
What is the route on the Lycian Way like?
The Lycian way is a mix of steep hills, rocky goat tracks, ancient footways and coastal paths designed and created by British expat Kate Clow in 1999. Since then, this 540 kilometre long trail has led trekkers along the ancient ruins, tombs, pathways and port towns of this unique part of Turkey.
When is the best time to trek along the Lycian Way?
It's possible to trek on the Lycian Way all year-round, although the best time to visit would be in the spring (March - May) or in autumn (September - November). Traditionally the summer months in this part of the world would be for beach holidays as it is much hotter from June to August. The best time to see some of the nearly 100 species of butterflies at Butterfly Valley, including the endemic orange, black and white Jersey Tiger, is during their breeding season in October.
Why is the trekking route called the Lycian way?
The Lycian Way is named after the Lycians, an enigmatic ancient civilisation dating back to at least the 14th century BC. At various points they came under Greek, Persian and Roman rule but always maintained their culture and unique way of life. In the first millennium AD the Lycian civilisation dwindled away due to a combination of earthquakes, plague, and pirate raids. Evidence of Lycian culture is found along the southwest coast of modern-day Turkey, including impressive rock-cut tombs – elaborate and detailed creations carved from the limestone hills that look out across the Mediterranean Sea, fortunately they remain well preserved.
Why was the Lycian civilisation impressive?
Lycia was a collective of around twenty cities which combined individual freedom and independence with a strong political unity. In fact the Lycian Federation is the first known instance of a democratic union which contrasted markedly with the constantly warring Greek city-states. Throughout their long history they remained fiercely independent and would defend themselves to the bitter end, on two occasions, rather than surrender against vastly superior invading forces, the population of the principal city of Xanthos committed mass suicide. They held out against Greek rule for many centuries and were the last region of Mediterranean coast to fall to Roman rule.
Why are the ruins at the island of Kekova underwater?
The sunken ancient remains on the coastline of the island of Kekova are the ruins of a Lycian trading post called Simena, destroyed by earthquakes in the second century. It was declared a 'Specially Protected Area' by the Turkish government in 1990, and in 2000 the island of Kekova was submitted to UNESCO for consideration as a World Heritage Site. It currently sits on the organisation’s Tentative List.
Our itinerary for the Lycian Way trek is based on a less strenuous trek plan to allow for free afternoons to enjoy the different historic locations and the facilities and views at the variety of intimate hotels along this section of what is a famous trek along the Turkish coastline. It's perfect for families or people that would like to combine trekking with some R&R and adventures on a traditional Turkish Gulet on the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean. The final couple of days includes sea kayaking over sunken cities and downhill mountain biking.
Each day there will be suggestions for extra activities and places to explore, for example, on day 1 you can hike down to the private Gremiler Beach from Kayaköy (6 km), on day 6 you can hike from Patara to the ancient site of Letoon (8 km - Letoon was the religious centre of Lycian times where you can visit an ancient amphitheatre and various temples) or on day 12 you can hike from Kaş to Uzumlu Harbour (14 km).
|1||1 hour 15 min||57 km||Dalaman airport - Fethiye / Kayaköy: Collected from Dalaman airport for the short drive to Fethiye / Kayaköy where accommodation will be provided at the Villa Rhapsody Hotel, near the Ghost Village where we start our adventure on the Lycian Way. Team meeting with your guide in the evening and out to a local restaurant in town for dinner. Accommodation: Villa Rhapsody Hotel or similar.|
|2||3 hours||12 km||
Kayaköy – Ölüdeniz - Ovacik: Early start to trek to the entrance of the Ghost Village (anciently known as Lebessos and later as Livissi) which was abandoned after the population exchange between Greeks and Turks started in 1915. Adopted by UNESCO as a World Friendship and Peace Village it has around 500 abandoned houses and two Greek Orthodox Churches. From here we follow the trek to Ölüdeniz, leaving the afternoon to explore this small beach resort in the Fethiye district of Muğla Province, on the Turquoise Coast of south-western Turkey. Accommodation: Hotel Pine Valley or similar.
|15 km||Ovacik – Kozağaç – Kirme – Faralya: Starting today’s trek from Ovacik, the official start of the Lycian Way from Fethiye side, we trek to up to the tiny village of Kozağaç (6 km) through pine forests which open up to give stunning views of the Blue Lagoon. From Kozağaç it’s a gradual 4km descent to Kirme and a further 5km trek to Faralya, above the beautiful Butterfly Valley. Accommodation: Yörük Evi Hotel or similar.|
|4||3 hours||9 km||
Faralya - Kabak: There are options to climb down in to the Butterfly Valley whose name comes from the large swarm of endemic butterflies, the habitat of which is around the waterfalls on the canyon walls. From Faralya it’s a forest trek to Kabak, a beautiful beach next to Butterfly Valley where locals and trekkers like to practice yoga. Accommodation: Sea Valley Bungalows or similar.
|5||3 hours||10 km||
Kabak – Alinca - Yediburunlar: We’ll drive up to the small hamlet of Alinca and trek uphill along coastal cliff paths towards Yediburunlar. There are dramatic cliff top views over the Mediterranean Sea throughout the day. Accommodation: Yediburunlar Lighthouse or similar.
|6||3 hours||14 km||
Yediburunlar – Bel – Belceğiz - Patara: Three hour trek to Belceğiz via the ancient city of Sidyma and the village of Bel. From Belceğiz we’ll take a vehicle transfer to the ancient city of Patara to explore the remains where recent excavations have revealed fascinating statues and features. Patara is known as the capital of the ancient Lycian civilisation and was the one city that Alexander the Great never conquered. Its also famous for its 18km beach and Saint Nicholas or Santa Claus, who was born here sometime around 300 A.D. Its also the one city that Alexander the Great Accommodation: Ferah Hotel or similar.
|7||5 hours||20 km||
Patara – Gökçeören – Hacıoğlan Deresi - Phellos: A 45 minute vehicle transfer takes us up to the village of Gökçeören where we trek to the creek at Hacioglan valley (8 km) for lunch. It’s a further 11 kms of trekking to get to Phellos in the western Taurus mountains where there are many ruined tombs. Accommodation: Villa Yoda or similar.
|8||3 hours||15 km||
Phellos – Çukurbağ – Kaş: Trek down to the seaside town of Kaş via Çukurbağ where we’ll have lunch overlooking Kaş Harbour. At Kaş our a private gulet (traditional broad-beamed wooden coastal sailing boat) will be waiting for us to explore the Mediterranean Sea. Accommodation: Private Cabins.
|9||Mediterranean Sea: Full day on our private gulet to enjoy cruising the Mediterranean, swimming in its crystal clear water, sampling the local cuisine and watching the stars above at night. Accommodation: Private Cabins.|
|10||2 - 3 hours||5.5 km||
Kekova - Kaş: Drop off on the small but scenic Turkish island of Kekova where we paddle over the sunken Lycian city of Simena on what will be an intimate sea kayak adventure (3 nautical miles). At Themussa Harbour on Kekova we’ll head out to sea and along Kekova Island to Kekova Sound, drifting over the ruins with clear birds-eye views over this unique archaeological site showcasing mysterious walls, rooms carved in to rocks and sunken stairwells all within a protected area. Other highlights include the likes of Simena Castle and Shipyard Bay and there are plenty of opportunities to get in the water for a swim. After the sea kayaking tour we’ll transfer back to Kaş. Accommodation: Linda Boutique Hotel or similar.
|11||3 hours||35 km||Kaş: The mountain biking terrain above Kas is superb and the scenery is spectacular; streams, canyons, mountain valleys, unknown ancient cities and authentic mountain villages. The routes are a mix of little-used asphalt and backwater rough roads which descend from the mountains and offer stunning views of the Mediterranean coast (support vehicle throughout). Accommodation: Linda Boutique Hotel or similar.|
Kaş: Leisure day to enjoy the quiet cafes and small bars of Kaş, and to explore as you please. There’s plenty more to consider if you’re not looking to relax; diving, mountain biking, live music, canyoning and much more. Accommodation: Linda Boutique Hotel or similar
|13||2 hours 15 min||150 km||
Kaş - Dalaman airport: Transfer back to Dalaman airport after breakfast
Lycian Way Cost - £1,995.00
The advertised price is based on us putting together a team of 4 people or more, for smaller groups of one, two or three people there will be a supplemental charge - contact us for details.
- Airport transfers
- All accommodation (12 nights at hotels listed in the itinerary)
- All meals provided (excludes breakfast and lunch on day 1, dinner on day 2, 10 & 11 and lunch and dinner on day 12)
- Licensed tour leader / guide
- Private vehicle support (used to carry kit from each location)
- Private gulet (days 8-10)
- Sea kayaks used to explore the sunken city
- Complimentary Adventure Alternative branded tote bag and water bottle
NB: The support vehicle will follow the team from the main roads. If anyone would like to or needs to stop hiking, the guide will arrange to make it to a vehicle collection point. All our tour leaders, guides and drivers are first aid trained and are authorised to carry first aid kits. They are not authorised to administer medication, however they will have the contacts of good hospitals, clinics and doctors along the trail.
- Return flights to Dalaman airport in Turkey (check with airline if an international airport departure tax is due before departing)
- Visa (not required for a lot of nationalities, ask us if you are unsure)
- Meals on the arrival date, dinner on day 2, 10 & 11 and lunch and dinner on day 12
- Hard and soft drinks
- Optional activities or services not mentioned in the itinerary
- Tips and personal expenses
- Personal travel insurance
Choose a scheduled date or contact us to set up private dates or a bespoke itinerary. The minimum deposit is £100.00 and the balance is due six weeks before travel.