The Lycian Way is a 540 kilometer hiking trail that stretches from Fethiye to Antalya, traversing 25 historical sites as well as some of the most beautiful Mediterranean views imaginable. We’ve broken down some essential tips to help you make the most of this unique hike.
How to Get There
Antalya has an international airport so make sure to check if a direct flight is available from your city. If not, you can always fly from Istanbul to Antalya with a domestic airline such as Turkish Airlines. The eastern trailhead is located in Geyıkbaşı, which can be reached via a local bus or taxi. If you’ve decided to start the trail from Fethiye, you can get to the city via the Dalaman international airport. The western trailhead can be reached via the dolmuş (minibus) heading for Ölüdeniz. Make sure to get off at the Ovacık/Hısarönü roundabout where you’ll see the trail just a little ahead.
There are no fees or permits necessary to take part in the Lycian Trail. As for the trail itself, it is not a single route but a gathering of ancient trails, forest paths, and roads all connecting villages, mountains, and Lycian and Roman ruins. It also must be noted that the path can reach heights of up to 1,800 meters and can become arduous at certain points, it therefore requires good preparation.
Some people prefer to do the hike in sections, rather than taking on the whole trail, which can last up to 29 days. Either way, the best time to take on the Lycian Way is between April and June or September and November in order to avoid the unbearable temperatures of high summer. The trail is marked by a white and red rectangle, usually painted on rocks. You’ll also come across yellow signs with an arrow pointing in the way and an approximate distance to the next destination.
What To Bring
Whether you’re planning on doing a few days or the whole 29 days on the trail, there are a few essential items that all hikers should take along with them.
The Lycian Way by Kate Clow
Clow is responsible for researching and creating the Lycian Trail (Turkey’s first long distance path) in 1999. Her book contains all the necessary details for tackling the trail including a topographical map and information regarding the historical sights as well as the villages en route.
Even though you’ll find accommodation in the villages dotted along the route, camping is a great way to really get the full experience (and save some money). Pitch your tent whenever you’re too exhausted or when you find the perfect view. If you’re planning on continuing the hike during the night, make sure to bring a flashlight since the path is not illuminated.
The Mediterranean is absolutely beautiful but the area is very dry and hot so you’ll have to make sure you always have plenty of water in your backpack.
You’ll be coming across a lot of remote Turkish villages where English language is minimal or nonexistent. In these cases, knowing a few essential words in Turkish can be a lifesaver, so bring that phrasebook along.