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Lycian Way

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Lycian Way (Turkish: Likya Yolu, [1]) is a 509-km, waymarked hiking trail in southwestern Turkey, connecting Fethiye in the west with the southern suburbs of Antalya in the east along the Lycian coast.

Get in

Both Fethiye and Antalya are well-connected to most cities in the country by inter-city buses. The nearest international airports are located at Dalaman for the western trailhead and at Antalya for eastern end.

Fees/Permits

There are no fees or permits to be taken care of for hiking or camping along the Lycian Way.

Understand

Investigated and then waymarked by Kate Clow, a Britishwoman living in Turkey, with the help of a number of volunteers and Turkish Ministry of Culture in early 2000s, Lycian Way connects a number of villages, mountain hamlets, Lycian and Roman sites on its route and ranges from 0 mt (sea level) to 1,800 mt summit of Mt Tahtalı (known by the name Olympos in ancient times) at elevation. For many sites, it's the most convenient way to get to, and still many others let themselves to be enjoyed only by those taking the effort to hike the trail.

Although there are some hikers doing the whole trail in one go, most people prefer to do it in sections, and in fact some sections are more popular than others. Some short section of the trail near the major towns can even be regarded as a day trip.

April-May and October-November is reported to be best to hike the trail, as it's warm (but not infernally hot unlike in summer!) and not rainy (unlike winter) during these months.

Signs and waymarks

Standard waymark of Lycian Way: you'll see a lot of these

The standard waymark of Lycian Way is a half white, half red rectangle. There is no uniform distance between each marks along the route, when the trail start to twist and turn, they become more frequent and when the trail lies as a straight line, converting into an easily-visible path, then they become rarer.

Other waymarks include a "turning" or an "S" rectangle (again half white, half red) with an arrow on, which mean there is a curve (or S-curves) coming ahead. They sometimes can be found immediately before the curve. A "red cross" is marked on "wrong" trails and roads, usually accompanied by the standard rectangle painted on the "correct" way.

Signs, easily-recognizable, distinctive yellow arrows with the header Fethiye'den Antalya'ya Likya Yolu, i.e. Lycian Way Fethiye to Antalya, are nowhere as frequent as the waymarks, but still can be seen, and indeed are useful, on most junctions (where for example trail seperates from a main road) and at village exits. They name the next destination on it with the distance in kilometres. Note the distances on signs are approximate, so don't worry if you see the distance going up or down by 1 km on the next sign.

Prepare

Bring in:

  • Maps and compass— Maps, usually available with some guidebooks, may be useful for spotting the water sources at least, but they are not absolute necessities to follow the trail as waymarks are sufficient to do that. Some maps, with varying details, can also be found online for free.
  • Tent and camping gear— While you'll find some kind of accommodation (mostly family-run guesthouses) in some villages (usually seperated from each other by a distance of average daily walk) along most of the route, there are some sections where wild camping is your only choice for two nights on a row. Even if you don't plan to hike such a section, camping is a great way to reduce your accommodation costs and having camping gear at hand gives much more freedom: Who wants to walk the further 5 km to the guesthouse you plan to overnight while you are totally exhausted and are standing against a gorgeous view? But this choice, of course, has a toll: The lighter the backpack, the happier you will be.
  • A torch— To have a torch or some other source of light is a must as any part of the trail, apart from those traversing the villages, illimunated at night, and it quickly becomes a nightmare to follow the waymarks once the night sets.
  • A phrasebook— Bring in a Turkish phrasebook as the trail goes through really remote mountain hamlets and most villages along the route sees any non-locals, let alone foreigners, other than the hikers - although sometimes only a few km (and a good deal of elevation) seperates these remote villages from mass tourism.
  • Bottles and bottles of water— Hot and dry Mediterranean climate reigns the area, and you'll need lots of water. If it's summer, be ready to walk under the scorching sun for 3-4 hours straight without ever seeing a source of water in some sections of the trail.

Walk

Sleep

Stay safe

Contact

Get out

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