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Hike the Lycian Way

  • Mediterranean Region, Turkey

Last updated: 05 April, 2024

The Lycian Way – or Lykia Yolu – is a rugged and scenic hike through ancient Lycia’s epic coastlands from Fethiye to Antalya.

At around 540km in entirety, it takes 25-30 days to hike the whole trail. Thankfully, it’s readily enjoyed in manageable chunks – as day walks or in longer sections where overnight accommodation allows.

Some wonderful ancient sites – like Olympos, Patara, Sidyma and the Roman aqueduct at Delikkemer – lie on the route of the Lycian Way; visiting them provides a long day’s walking with fascinating archaeological punctuation points.

The waymarking can be intermittent by European standards, but the combination of magnificent landscapes littered with historically resonant ruins and the hospitality of the locals truly makes for exceptional, if often demanding, walking.

It’s a great way to immerse oneself in the rural life, history and culture of Mediterranean Turkey.

Who to go with: tour operators

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Hike from Adrasan to Cirali

  • Cirali, Mediterranean Region, Turkey

Hike from Adrasan to Cirali

Experience

A long but exhilarating day walk across the high pastures of Musa Dagi (Moses Mountain) before descending to the shoreside ruins of Olympos. Finish at Cirali, a charming sleepy resort with two lovely beaches.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 7-8 hours

Hike from Oludeniz to Karadere

  • Fethiye, Mediterranean Region, Turkey

Hike from Oludeniz to Karadere

Experience

This route, the Lycian Way’s stand-out stretch, offers 3- to 4-days’ exceptional hiking combining outstandingly dramatic scenery and golden beaches.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 4 days

Hike from Ulupinar to Cirali

  • Ulupinar, Mediterranean Region, Turkey

Hike from Ulupinar to Cirali

Experience

A popular 3-hour hike down through a wooded valley to Cirali beach, passing the famous Chimera flames at Olympos – thought they have been burning here for over 2,500 years. Cirali is a charming sleepy resort with two lovely beaches.

Good for age: 13+

Duration: 3 hours

Logistics

Price: Free
Minimum age: 0
Age suitable: 18+
When: All year around
Duration: 1-30 days

Getting there & doing it

Despite the grand-sounding name, the ‘way’ is actually a stitched-together route of old roads, goat tracks, and paths; the route is waymarked, but some signs are difficult to spot. Facilities are also intermittent.

Independent walkers are better tackling established shorter day walks; if you want to hike for several days, or hike the entire route, sign up with an organised trekking operator where guides, accommodation and food are arranged. Some operators offer gulet-based Lycian Way tours, putting walkers ashore for cherry-picked day hikes and picking them up in the evening.

Kate Clow’s The Lycian Way is a helpful guide to plan your own trip and to take with you.

When to do it

The Lycian Way is walkable all year round. Spring (March to May) or late autumn (late September until the end of November) is best, when conditions are dry and comparatively cool for walking. June to September is ferociously hot. Day walks on dry bright winter days can also be a joy.

Who to go with: organised tours

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