Lycian Way – what, where and how?

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What is the Lycian Way?

The Lycian Way (Likya Yolu) is a ~500km long-distance coastal trail in southern Turkey stretching around the Teke Peninsula (once known as Lycia) between the popular tourist cities of Fethiye and Antalya. Waymarked with red and white GR blazes, setting out on the trail you’ll encounter stunning Mediterranean views, olive groves, rocky mountain trails, ancient Lycian, Greek and Roman ruins, goat-herding shepherds and tiny forgotten hamlets oozing Turkish charm and hospitality.

'We know that the Lycians had powerful sea and land forces by the second millennium BC and had already established an independent state. The earliest historical references to the Lycians date back to the Late Bronze Age (ca 1500-1200 BC) in numerous Egyptian, Hittite and Ugaritic texts.’  http://www.lycianturkey.com/who_were_the_lycians.htm

The Lycian Way is Turkey’s first long distance trail, opened in 1999, researched and designed by Kate Clow.

Where is the Lycian Way?

The Lycian Way is in southern Turkey, stretching around the Teke Peninsula between the popular tourist cities of Fethiye and Antalya.

How to hike the Lycian Way

The trail is usually split into 29 walking days and if planned in advance, it’s possible to stay in accommodation along the entire trail except for a three-day mountain section between Demre and Finike. (Keep in mind that November – March is the off-season for tourism which can substantially reduce the number of accommodation and food options.) It’s also possible to do various sections of the trail guided or self-guided with a number of tour companies (Explore, Macs Adventure, Walks Worldwide, Ramblers etc). Wild-camping is supposedly permitted but be considerate and Leave No Trace.

Which direction to hike the trail depends on personal choice. The Lycian Way guidebook by Kate Clow is written from Fethiye to Antalya, allowing for a gentler ease-into the trail, with the larger mountains at the end nearer Antalya.

Guidebook / apps

Although a little dated, there is one guidebookThe Lycian Way by Kate Clow, 4th edition May 2014. If you buy the book, you can email the Culture Routes Society to receive GPX tracks.

The Lycian Way is waymarked with red and white GR-style blazes but a GPS or app is a must-have if you want to stay on track.

  • Komoot – (Komoot premium was gifted and we also received sponsorship for this hike) – I uploaded the Lycian Way GPX tracks to Komoot and used the multi-day planner to split the trail into 23 days – we then used these tracks to navigate each day, with voice directions. As well as using the app for navigation, we recorded our own tracks and added recommendations like camp spots, water sources and photos. Recording the tracks also gave us helpful info like distance, speed, elevation etc (which in turn helped us adjust our plan each day). You can see our recorded tracks on the Komoot app here.
  • TrekRight – we used this app for info including history, stage details, accommodation and navigation. You can never have too much help with navigation on the Lycian Way!
  • Trekking in Turkey – this app by Kate Clow and the Cultural Routes Society has interesting cultural information (which might be nice to read in your tent/bed each night) but it’s lacking on the map/navigational side so I would recommend using this in conjunction to the above apps.

Visa

British citizens currently (Nov 2019) require a visa to enter Turkey and this can be obtained electronically, costing US$35. For more info, see the FCO site.

Getting there and away

The closest airport to Fethiye is Dalaman (DLM), with various airlines offering a seasonal service (British Airways operates a direct 4-hour flight from London between May to November). Antalya has its own airport (AYT), also with seasonal direct services from London (May to October with British Airways).

If you have any questions that I haven’t answered, leave me a comment and I’ll add a FAQ post at the end of the trip.

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