For most, Turkey is a resort where you can inexpensively relax in a five-star hotel on an all-inclusive basis. But few people realize that the country has a rich historical and cultural past, as well as charming corners of nature, hidden from the eyes of an ignorant tourist. And confirmation of this is the Lycian Trail, Turkey, which is a unique route of hundreds of kilometers, having overcome that yourself, you will forever change your mind about this amazing country. What can await you on this path and how to prepare for the trip, we tell in our article.
The Lycian Trail is the longest route in Turkey and one of the most popular hiking trails in the world. Independently organize a trip to this area can any tourist, even without special training. The trail stretches along the southwestern coast of Turkey and runs along the peninsula located between the province of Antalya and the city of Fethiye.
Earlier in this territory, the ancient state of Lycia flourished, which was an association of independent cities connected by trade relations. The first settlements began to appear here as early as 1500 years BC. e., which gradually grew into cities with a high standard of living. This state has always been a tidbit for the conquerors, and it has been repeatedly captured by the Persians, Romans, Alexander of Macedon and the Turks. But, despite the dependent position, Lycia always managed to remain an autonomous territory. It was in honor of its free residents that the route popular in Turkey was named.
The total length of the Lycian trail is 509 km. Its path runs along the mountain slopes, along dirt, and sometimes asphalt roads. Many tourists who have climbed the trail on their own note that the most spectacular landscapes are concentrated in the east near the village of Hisachandysh. It is noteworthy that the route of the Lycian Trail not only differs from the picturesque area, but also passes through many famous sights of Turkey, which we will talk about later. Not surprisingly, the famous English edition of The Sunday Times included this path in the top 10 most beautiful routes in the world.
If you look at the map of the route of the Lycian trail, it becomes clear that its starting point is the province of Antalya, namely a point located near the international airport. The final part of the track is the city of Oludeniz, which is located 60 km southeast of Dalaman airport and 15 km south of the famous resort of Fethiye.
In 1999, the English traveler Kate Clow went to Turkey to explore the Lycian trail and independently did a great job of placing markers on her route. After she published the book “The Lycian Way”, thanks to which this path has gained immense popularity among hiking enthusiasts.
Today, along the entire route, you can find special tags painted in red and white. Typically, such markers are located on trees and stones, they are constantly updated by volunteers, so that they are clearly visible. If you decide to conquer the Lycian Trail yourself, you should consider that in some parts of the route marks are common, in others – rarely. And when for a long period you no longer come across markers, then you should turn back.
The Lycian trail also has many signposts, which are most often located at forks and large crossroads. Thanks to these signs, you can find out the direction you need and the distance to the nearest settlement. If you yourself could not figure out where to go next, you can always ask for help from local residents who will be happy to point you in the right direction.
Attractions on the Lycian Trail
The uniqueness of the Lycian trail route lies both in its pristine landscapes and in historical and natural attractions located along the route. By independently exploring the corners of this area, you can visit:
- The ancient city of Olympos. The ruins of a once prosperous town today rest in the picturesque surroundings of the Lycian trail in Turkey. The ruins are pretty well preserved, so this is an ideal place for those who want to penetrate the ancient atmosphere.
- The historical city of the World. Here, a piece of antiquity found its life in the ancient Greek amphitheater, which was restored by the efforts of the Turkish authorities. Restoration work continues to this day. Old tombs, which found their refuge in the rocky mountain slopes, deserve special attention.
- Goynuk Canyon. The famous gorge, surrounded by turquoise mountain waters, is one of the main attractions of Kemer. Here you can not only enjoy the natural beauty, but also conquer the icy river of the canyon by swimming.
- Yanartash or Fiery Chimera. If you look at a detailed map of the route of the Lycian trail, you can see that its path runs through the famous mountain of Yanartash in Turkey, called the Fiery Chimera for its ever-blazing lights. Natural gas that accumulates in the bowels of the mountain seeps out through crevices and, coming into contact with oxygen, spontaneously ignites, forming flames on the mountain surface.
- Mount Tahtali. The highest point on the described route was Mount Takhtaly with a height of 2365 meters. Everyone has the opportunity to climb the mountain peak on the funicular in order to see spectacular bird’s-eye views, as well as to join paragliding.
Photos of the Lycian trail and its attractions can awaken in any traveler the desire to immediately pack their things and go to conquer one of the most beautiful routes in the world.
Of course, not a single trip will bring positive emotions if you do not know all the practical information in advance. Going to Turkey on a hike along the Lycian trail on your own, it is important to prepare the necessary equipment and money, consider options for overnight and communication with the outside world.
Communication abroad is very important, especially if you are going to travel on remote mountain routes. The mobile network on the Lycian trail is working properly, because most of the cell towers are located in the mountains, so your phone can always catch the signal from one of the Turkish operators. Here it is possible to use the services of a cellular company familiar to you by connecting the appropriate travel tariff, or upon arrival in the camp you can purchase a SIM card of a local operator. The second option will be beneficial only if you often visit Turkey: SIM cards here are quite expensive and cost about $ 20.
In addition, the country has a well-developed network of telephone booths that can be found in almost any locality. Cards are sold in local markets and in PTT post offices and are designed for different talk times (from 10 minutes or more). It is especially beneficial to use vending machines when calling abroad to landline numbers.
Although in Turkey almost everywhere they accept dollars and euros, it is more profitable to pay here in Turkish lira. It is best to change the currency in city exchangers. If you are the owner of a Sberbank card, then you have nothing to worry about at all. Just a couple of years ago, Sberbank bought the lion’s share of the Turkish bank DenizBank, and now tourists who come to Turkey can withdraw cash in Turkish lira without any commission. DenizBank is a very popular institution in the country, and its terminals are available in almost all settlements, so finding it yourself is not difficult.
Another important issue that should be considered in advance is the place of your future overnight stay. You can guarantee yourself a place to spend the night at any point of the route if you go on your own on the Lycian trail with a tent. Of course, in the cities and towns that run along this path, you will find many hotels where it is quite possible to rent a double room for $ 15-20 per night. But sometimes the distance between such objects is more than 30 km, which is difficult to pass without rest and sleep. Therefore, the tent must be present in your arsenal of the traveler.
In addition to the tent, you should take care of other necessary equipment. Of course, you will need sleeping bags and rugs, as well as kitchen utensils in the form of a boiler, burner, fuel for the burner, dishes, matches / lighters, basic spices. Be sure to form a first-aid kit with the required medical supplies and grab a needle, thread, tape and glue. To navigate on the Lycian trail on your own, you will need a map, compass or GPS, and for a dark time of the day, preserve a flashlight. Well, and, of course, comfortable hiking shoes will become an obligatory item in the list of equipment. If desired, you can capture trekking poles.
To prepare food on a hike, you can not do without gas and firewood. It should be borne in mind that the route of the Lycian trail often passes through national parks, where campfire is strictly prohibited. In general, you will not have problems with firewood, but gas can not be found in familiar threaded cylinders everywhere. In Turkey, old models of gas cylinders that need to be punctured are common, and you can buy them even in a small village. You can purchase gas in threaded cylinders in advance at Decathlon and TibetOutdoor Antalya stores.
After studying the stories of travelers who independently conquered the Lycian trail in Turkey, we identified some very useful recommendations, following which you can make your trip 100% successful.
- The ideal time for a tour of the Lycian Trail is in the autumn and spring months. It is quite hot in the summer, so your trip can turn from an exciting adventure into an unpleasant and exhausting wandering in the mountains. In winter, heavy rains are frequent, which also will not create comfortable conditions for a hike. In spring and autumn, the air temperature in the region is optimal for overcoming the route and averages 25 ° C during the day and 17 ° C at night.
- If you go camping in the winter, be sure to stock up on warm clothes, including a jacket, gloves and a hat. In the summer, you will need light clothes, sunglasses and a hat, but in the evening it’s colder high in the mountains, so a warm jacket will also not be out of place.
- Take a Russian-Turkish phrasebook with you or download a translator program to your phone. It should be borne in mind that in remote rural parts of Turkey, few speak English and, especially, Russian. And the likelihood that you will have to seek help from local residents is very high. Therefore, be sure to learn a few colloquial phrases and do not forget to take the dictionary.
- Beware of scorpions and snakes. There are quite a lot of snakes in Turkey, especially in the forests, so you need to be prepared to meet them. Usually these reptiles do not attack humans, unless provoked, so when you see a reptile, let it crawl quietly and continue on your way. Be sure to check your bags, tent and sleeping bags, as there may be an unexpected guest in the form of a scorpion. They often hide under the branches, so be careful when collecting firewood.
- Learn to recognize the sources of water. Throughout the route you will meet sources of drinking water in the form of wells and columns. As a rule, they are marked on the maps of the Lycian trail with a special sign, but sometimes it is difficult to understand that there is a well in front of you. If you see a stone with a thorn or a stone covered with boards, then know that this is a source of drinking water. Also pay attention to the level at which the water dwells: if it is deep, it means it is suitable for drinking, but if the water is on the surface, then you should not drink it without boiling.
- Be sure to bring sunscreen with you. You will need it at any time of the year: the sun’s rays in Turkey are very powerful, so that with prolonged exposure to the sun you can burn out even in winter.
- You don’t have to pack your bags with food. On the trail in small villages you will meet shops where you can buy the necessary goods. Here, outside the tourist zone, you will have the opportunity to find a budget cafe, so you definitely will not stay hungry.
The Lycian trail, Turkey, will show you a completely different country with breathtaking pristine nature and rich historical heritage. Here you can feel like a real pioneer and independently conquer the paths along which the army of Alexander the Great himself once followed. Such a very unconventional rest will give you a lot of new emotions, and you will no longer look at Turkey with an indifferent look.
Video from the Lycian trail. For those who are going on a trip it will be useful to see, for the rest – just interesting.