The Lycian Way stretches from Fethiye to Antalya and is undoubtedly one of Turkey’s most scenic areas. In fact, it’s been named one of the most beautiful hiking areas in the world. Istanbul may be wooing hordes of tourists by boasting majestic architecture and straddling two continents, but some people look to get away from all that. This is when they may consider taking their hiking boots and heading south. Walk on…

Taking off to southern Turkey

Once you step off the plane from one of the many flights to Turkey and visit the southern coast, you’re in for a treat. The area is a feast for sore eyes, with its immense beaches, hidden Lycian cities and, of course, the warm waters of the Turquoise Coast. Turkey on the whole offers good value for money and your cash will stretch a lot further here. If you can afford the time why not spend a few weeks exploring this magnificent coastline. Small, comfortable and inexpensive hotels and pensions are dotted all along the coast enabling your to travel the 509 kilometers route at your our pace.

Resplendent beauty in the national parks

The southern coastline is the place to seek out national parks such as Patara, Termessos-Gulluk Dağ and Olympos Beydaglari. One thing all of these parks have in common is unspoilt beaches, the best of which is probably the 12km long stretch of golden sand in Patara. This has been named one of the best beaches in the world and is where you can view the ancient site of Patara. Don’t miss the chance to explore the 600 meter high canyons or the Güllük Mountain in Termessos, described as the “Macchu Pichu” of Turkey.

Rambling on the world’s best walks

The Lycian Way is regarded as a walker’s paradise with well-marked paths ranging from medium to hard. If you commence from Fethiye you’ll find that this is the easiest part of the route, but travel further and you’ll encounter some steep and mountainous terrain. Mount Olympos is one of the highlight’s of the Turkish Riviera. You can take a cable-car ride to the mountain station located at 2365m above sea level. This will provide you with one of the most spectacular views consisting of sea, sun and yes, even snow.

Down into the valley

Exploring Turkey’s southern coast means witnessing some dazzling sights, none more so than the famous Butterfly Valley near Ölüdeniz. The scene that greets you on arrival is something similar to stepping into the set of Jurassic Park. Crashing waterfalls, steep canyons and lush green plant-life are all located just behind the beach area. However, the trek to the waterfalls is not for the faint-hearted and will take a climb of approximately 900 meters.

These are just some of the highlights of what is arguably one of the world’s most amazing natural beauty spots. If you have the time, make your trip an extended one… a week at least. This will be time enough to tick off some of the major points on your list.

 

Images by Borya (1 and 2) and Christine McIntosh used under creative commons license.