Turkey's longest footpath and ranked among the best "walks" in the world, the Lycian Way is an intriguing avenue into the people and landscapes of what was once the ancient civilization of Lycia. Located in one of the more highly visited corners of the country, the Tekke Peninsula, this track runs 509 kilometers (316 miles) along the coast from Ölüdeniz to Antalya and is far less remote and far more tourist-centric than its partner footpath, the St. Paul Trail. Whether as a day trip from popular destinations along the sea like Fethiye or Kaz or as a sometimes challenging few weeks of trekking, the Lycian Way is an essential Embark adventure.
If you set yourself to the challenge of the Lycian Way, make sure you're in durable condition, especially if your looking to climb the famous Tahtalı Dağı (Mount Olympos). You might also want be sure that you can go a few days at a time without a hot bath and your Keurig coffee-maker. This is roughing it like it's meant to be, although the modern communities along the route (Myra, Finike, Patara, Kalkan, Adrasan, Olympos, Kas, Cirali and Tekirova - that's all of them) will have accommodations and food. Otherwise you'll be on the track, so keep your belongings locked down tight to keep the scorpions out and your water and sodium in full supply, for it can get quite hot, even in winter.
Where are our manners, getting all of the warnings out of the way before we even start describe all of the incredible aspects? Shame on us! One of the biggest highlights is Olympos, a selection of unkempt ruins near the tourist meeting point of Cirali. The remains of the seaside fortresses here are quite popular, as is the strenuous, day-long trek up the aforementioned Tahtalı Dağı and the ruins of Phaselis at its base. Take the cable car to the top if you aren't up for a full day of ascending.
Another huge highlight is Cape Gelidonia and the mountain of Baba Dag, which (as you can see by the photograph) is quite the frequent take-off point for paragliders. Then again, Üçağız, Kaz, and Patara are all known for their proximity to Roman ruins, although Patara is the only place yet to give up much of its authenticity for resort status. Add the cliffside tombs near Myra and the hamlet of Faralya (which overlooks the gorgeous and aptly named "butterfly valley"), and you'll begin to realize just how much there is to experience on the Lycian Way.
Unfortunately, this summary merely scratches the surface of a culturally significant collection of footpaths that ventures into one of Turkey's most beautiful coastal regions. For much more painstaking detail on the various stages, locations, and preparation, browse our included links.
Note:The map marker is centered on popular natural landmark, Baba Dag.