The Most Beautiful Hikes in Turkey

Hiking in Turkey will let you get up close with ancient ruins and natural splendour
Hiking in Turkey will let you get up close with ancient ruins and natural splendour | © Aliaksandr Mazurkevich / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
2 September 2021

With an ever-changing landscape that includes everything from hidden beaches to alpine pastures, Turkey is a fantastic experience for hikers. Check out the best trails that traverse the most beautiful areas in this pearl of West Asia.

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Lycian Trail

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The Lycian Trail is 509km (316mi) long and stretches from Fethiye to Antalya. There are plenty of stops to make on the way, such as Patara Beach, the natural beaches of Kaş, the historic ruins of Olympos and much more. The trail has plenty of accommodation opportunities for those who would rather not camp the entire time. There may be steep inclines, but weather them and you’ll be rewarded by amazing views of the sea.

Kaçkar Mountains

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Kaçkar is located between Çamlıhemşin and Yusufeli in the Black Sea region. The many trails traverse the mountain range where alpine pastures are full of wildflowers and sheepherders are out with their flock. The altitude can reach as high as 4,000m (13,123ft), but novice hikers can opt for traversing traditional villages at lower heights, especially in summer when the pasture is exceptionally green and beautiful.

Yenice Forest Trail

One of the newer hiking routes in Turkey, this trail makes full use of all of the natural beauty contained within the Yenice Forest. With many varieties of trees and beautiful canyons, this is one for nature lovers who are also fond of biking and horseback riding. The forest can easily be reached from major cities, such as Istanbul and Ankara, and is also quite close to Safranbolu, which is home to well-preserved Ottoman-era houses.

Saint Paul Trail

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This amazing trail, which was used by Saint Paul during his first journey through Asia Minor, runs all along the paths of the Taurus Mountains. Stretching about 500km (311mi) from the ancient site of Perge and Aspendos in Antalya and Yalvaç in the Isparta province, the trail takes around 27 days to complete and is full of rural villages and resplendent nature.

Via Egnatia

Once the road that connected the western and eastern parts of the Roman Empire, the Via Egnatia stretches from Albania (specifically, the town of Durres) and goes through Macedonia, Northern Greece and Turkey, with the final destination being Istanbul. Once used as both a military and trading road, the trail is nowadays an excellent walking path that goes through valleys, and past lakes, seasides, villages and cities. History enthusiasts will also appreciate that several of the old roads have managed to survive in some parts.

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