The Best Hiking Trails in Turkey

Cappadocia is home to tall, cone-shaped rock formations
Cappadocia is home to tall, cone-shaped rock formations | © funkyfood London - Paul Williams / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
5 September 2021

With its many national parks and mountains, Turkey has some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the world. We brought together some of the best hiking routes from around the country so all you need to do is choose, pack your gear and book your tickets.

Lycian Trail

One of the most famous hiking trails in Turkey, the Lycian Trail stretches around 509km (316mi) from Fethiye to Antalya, with amazing views all around and great stops along the way, such as Patara Beach, the natural beaches of Kaş and the historic ruins of Olympos.

Go hiking along the famous Lycian Way in Turkey | © Galyna Andrushko / Alamy Stock Photo

Uludağ Mountain

Uludağ is usually known as one of the most popular destinations in Turkey to go skiing, yet in the warmer months, the national park is also an excellent spot for hiking. Explore the meadows, rocky areas and glacial lakes while traversing the trail that leads from Sarıalan to Çobankaya.

Kaçkar Mountains

Another fantastic Turkish mountain to climb and explore, Kaçkar is in the beautiful Black Sea region of Turkey, whose natural alpine beauty is often compared to Switzerland. Walk past the wildflowers and sheepherders with their flock, and challenge yourself to reach the peak at around 4,000m (13,124ft).

The Kaçkar Mountains offer stunning views | © Sadik Yalcin / Alamy Stock Photo

Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a hiking paradise because of its unique landscape and an abundance of historic sights. The most popular trails are in the Pigeon and Love Valleys, the Zemi Valleys and the Rose and Red Valleys, where you’ll come across Cappadocia’s famous fairy chimneys, rock churches and stunning rock formations. You can enjoy a guided hike through the Rose and Red Valleys on Culture Trip’s action-packed 12-day Turkey adventure.

Cappadocia is home to spectacular fairy chimney rock formations and rock pillars | © funkyfood London - Paul Williams / Alamy Stock Photo

Via Egnatia

The Via Egnatia once served as the road that connected the western and eastern parts of the mighty Roman Empire and was used for both trade and military purposes. Nowadays, passionate hikers can traverse the trail that starts in Durres, Albania and goes through Macedonia, northern Greece and Turkey, with the final stop in Istanbul.

Taurus Mountains

Another very important mountain range in Turkey, the Taurus Mountains are flanked by sheer rock walls, deep valleys and canyons, with beautiful alpine pastures and lakes. The western Taurus (with the ancient city of Termessos) and central Taurus (with the beautiful Karagöl Lake and the bridge in Adana) are the most popular. On Culture Trip’s specially curated small-group Turkey tour, you’ll pass through the Taurus Mountains on a spectacular journey en route to Antalya from Konya.

The Taurus Mountains are especially beautiful in spring | © Ayhan Altun / Alamy Stock Photo

Mount Nemrut

We wouldn’t recommend that you climb Mount Nemut in the winter because of the thick layers of snow, yet in warmer months, the climb up to the 2,150m (7,054ft) peak is thoroughly rewarding. It is here that the famous temple tomb of the late Hellenistic King Antiochos I of the Commagene Kingdom continues to stun hikers.

Mount Nemrut is home to one of Turkey’s key ancient sites | © funkyfood London - Paul Williams / Alamy Stock Photo

St Paul Trail

This trail has plenty of historic significance because it was used by Saint Paul during his first journey through Asia Minor. The 500km (311mi) St Paul Trail (which can take up to 27 days) also goes through the Taurus Mountains but passes through the ancient sites of Perge and Aspendos in Antalya, as well as rural villages and breathtaking natural landscapes.

Mt Olympos

It’s hard to overlook the magnificent Mount Olympos, which towers above the beautiful beach at Çıralı. Known as Tahtalı Dağ in Turkish, the well-marked trail is more reachable after being dropped off at the village of Beycik. Needless to say, the view is awe-inspiring, stretching all along the Mediterranean coast.

Mount Olympos is a top Turkish hiking spot | © Joana Kruse / Alamy Stock Photo

Yenice Forest Trail

One of the lesser-known hiking trails in Turkey, this particular path leads through the natural beauty of Yenice Forest. A true discovery for nature lovers, the trails go through forests and canyons and can also be traversed on bike or horseback. Safranbolu, which is famous for its well-preserved Ottoman-era houses, is also nearby and definitely worth a day trip.

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