LYCIAN WAY TREKKING / ANTALYA - MUGLA
The Lycian way is a 509 km way-marked footpath around the coast of Lycia in southern Turkey, from Fethiye to Antalya. It was researched, designed and implemented by Kate Clow with Terry Richardson. The Lycian Way is a coastal walk and mild temperatures mean it can be walked throughout the winter months.
According to the Sunday Times the Lycian Way is one of the ten most beautiful long distance hikes of the world.
The route is graded medium to hard; it is not level walking, but has many ascents and descents as it approaches and veers away from the sea. It is easier at the start near Fethiye and gets more difficult as it progresses. We recommend walking the route in spring or autumn; February-May or September-November; summer in Lycia is hot, although you could walk short, shady sections. The route is mainly over footpaths and mule trails; it is mostly over limestone and often hard and stony underfoot.
On the first part of the route, and in Patara, Kalkan, Kas, Myra, Finike, Adrasan, Olympos, Cirali and Tekirova, you can stay in pensions or small hotels. On other nights, you may stay in a village house, or camp out.
Lycian Way Hiking Turkey.
History of Antalya
Antalya was given the name “Attalia” by King Attalos when he first came to the region in 159 B.C. On account of its fertile land and natural beauty he coined the phrase of it being a “Paradise on Earth”. Many settlers throughout the ages chose Antalya, and the city has had a colourful history with the Persians, Alexander the Great, the Romans and the Arabs, all leaving their footprints on the area.
Antalya and its environs experienced a golden era in the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., as the cities were numerous and reflected unique styles of architecture and decorative motifs. Some of these cities were; Side and Aspendos in the east and Phaselis, Olympos and Xanthos in the west.
When Constantinople fell at the end of the Byzantine era in the 3rd century, the period of the golden age began to draw to a close.
With the coming of the Arab invaders, these cities came to a final end as the Arabs pillaged and plundered them. In 1207 the regions of Antalya and Alanya came under the influence of the Seljuks. The city was redecorated with many Seljuk architectural facilities and mosques. After the Seljuk period, Antalya was conquered by Murat the 1st, the Ottoman Sultan. The city was previously divided into three sections for Muslims, Christians and other religions.
Today, Antalya has been transformed into a modern city attracting many local and foreign tourists with its many cultural, historical and natural attractions. The city has developed with an international flair featuring many shopping centres, international and traditional restaurants, luxury hotels, cafes and bistros and popular coffee chains.
Whatever your taste, you are certain to be delighted in Antalya!
Antalya, formerly known as “Adalia”, is a large town and tourist destination, situated on the Mediterranean coast of southwestern Turkey. It is the capital city of the Antalya province. The population of the city is 603,190 (2000 census) but reaches up to 2 million in summer at the height of tourism season.
Situated on a steep cliff over the Mediterranean, Antalya is a picturesque city surrounded by mountains. Developments in tourism, starting in the 1970s, have transformed the city into an international resort. With its airport and central location, Antalya is “the capital of Turkish tourism”, a gateway to the Turkish Riviera and many historical sites. Furthermore, with its palm-lined boulevards, its prize-winning marina, the unspoilt historical neighbourhood of Kaleici, and the modern developments along the coast, the city of Antalya is a major attraction in its own right.
Antalya has plenty of accommodation, a very hot climate and many places to visit both in and around the city, including traces of Pamphylian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman architecture and cultures.
In 150 B.C., Attalos II, king of Pergamom, founded the city of Attalia (present day Antalya) to base his powerful naval fleet, and the city grew and prospered in the Ancient Roman and Byzantine periods, later becoming a naval base for the Christian Crusades against the Muslims in the Levant and in Cyprus.
The city, along with the whole region, was conquered by the Seljuk Turks in the early 13th century. In the 19th century the population of Antalya increased as Turks from the Caucasus and the Balkans moved into Anatolia. By 1911 it was a city of about 25,000 people, including many Christians and Jews, still living in separate quarters, round the walled mina or port. The city was briefly occupied by the Italians from the end of the First World War until the founding of the Turkish Republic in 1923.
Where To Go?
Sightseeing in and around Antalya
Antalya has several places of historical interest, and you can go on daily excursions to various ancient cities and excavation places.
In the old city Kaleici you can visit the following historical sites:
Ancient City Walls:
Since its founding in the 2nd century B.C., Antalya has had a chequered history. The ancient walls surrounding the city are still standing near the marina.
Situated by the ancient city walls, the clock tower is a part of the old city at the Kalekapisi Square.
The beautifully decorated, three-arched gate was built in honour of Emperor Hadrian when he visited the city in 130 A.D.
This tower was probably first built as a lighthouse in the lovely Antalya City Park in the 2nd century.
This theological school dates from the 13th century, and is situated in the Kaleici. The stone carvings on the portal and mihrap (prayer niche) are fine examples of Seljuk art.
One of the largest and most interesting monuments is located in the Cumhuriyet Square within the city centre. The other one is in the centre of Vatan Square.
This quaint area surrounding the Kaleici Marina is full of small hotels, pensions and restaurants as well as restored houses that all reflect the city’s historical past.
With magnificent beaches warmed by the exotic sun and surrounded by copious forests and mountains you are sure to enjoy your holiday in the romantic Turkish Riviera.
You will be able to arrange visits to coastal areas through tour operators, and some of the best sites are:
This lovely town is located at the west of Kekova and is surrounded by mountains. When you feel like exploring further, the choice of caves, bays and beaches is almost endless. The local fishermen are very friendly and are happy to run a water-taxi service to take you to a favourite bay along the coast. The area around Kas has remained completely unspoiled, and for people who enjoy swimming, it is ideal. Kas is an underwater paradise for divers who want to explore the underwater world.
An hour from Dalyanagzi by sea, especially enjoyable for yachtsmen, is the island of Kekova, “the home of the sun.” Kekova is also the name for this entire area of picturesque islands, numerous bays and ancient cities. Geological shifting along the northern shore of Kekova Island (Apollonia) over the years has caused some of the ancient structures to sink under the clear water, creating this magnificent sunken city.
This ancient city is situated on the southern foothills of Mt. Tahtali. The designs of the mosaics in the Olympos baths are enhanced by the play of light. There is a temple gate and a theatre which are of interest as are the other walls and towers around the bay which date back to the Middle Ages. North of Olympos and up from Cirali Beach is Yanartas (at a height of 300 metres), where, according to mythology, the fire breathing monster, Chimaera, was slain by the Lycian hero Bellerophon, who was mounted on his winged horse, Pegasus.
The 42-kilometre road from Antalya has spectacular mountain scenery. This resort town has been designed to blend in with the scenery and offers the perfect environment for a wonderful holiday. The fully equipped marina, the untouched bays and beaches at the south of the town are a yachtsman's dream. There is a beach promenade on the northern part of the marina, which has steps leading down from its cafes and shops directly to the beach. Kemer Beach is rated Blue Flag (meaning “clean beach”) by the European Union. Along the adjoining bay is a charming and delightful spot with sports and entertainment facilities discreetly hidden in pine groves.
CARIAN WAY TREKKING TOUR / MUGLA - AYDIN
Carian Trail is an 800 km hiking trail in the south western part of Turkey comprising Muğla and Aydın cities. The trail passes through some intact beaches, small villages, ancient sites, forests, olive grooves, paths, stone paved roads thus unveiling an unknown region to hikers all around the world.
The trail takes its name from the Carians that were an indigenous people of Asia Minor (today’s Turkey). Although we do not know what they called themselves, as their language and sctript have not been deciphered yet, they are mentioned in the pages of history as Karuwa, Karka (meaning peak, head or promontory) or as Krk. As for the borders of Caria, it used to extend from Indus river in the south (today’s Dalaman Çayı) to Meander River (Büyük Menderes) in the north. The traces of the Carians can be seen along shorelines of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, on some of the Greek İslands and upon the mountains. The greatest time for Caria was during the rule of Maussollos (377- 353 BC) for whose name one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Mausoleum, was built. According to early historians like Herodotus who himself was Carian they were the first people to use crests in helmets, put handles on shields and make depictions on them.
Carian Way Hiking Turkey.
HITTITE WAY TREKKING / CORUM
The Anatolian Peninsula is a cultural mosaic, a synthesis of successive civilisations that left their mark on this land and on humanity. Of these civilisations, the Hittites were a ‘superpower’ of their times. The Hittites are famous for producing the first written constitution and an advanced criminal code; for making lightweight war chariots, the awesome weapon of the era; for kings who were masters of strategy; for a pantheon with one thousand gods and goddesses; and for splendid cities. The ancient city of Hattussas is one of ten Turkish sites that form part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Hittites also left us extraordinary cuneiform tablets, now part of the UNESCO Memory of the World Register. The Hittite Routes explore the region’s rich cultural heritage amid tranquil surroundings – a truly special experience for lovers of history, culture and nature.
The focal point of the Hittite Routes is a beautiful National Park, established in 1988 over 2634 hectares of land in Boğazkale County. The National Park contains the ruins of the ancient Hittite city of Hattusa and the Alacahöyük earthen burial mound. The Hittite Trekking Routes and Bike Trails follow the historical roads connecting corners of the triangle formed by Hattusa, Alacahöyük and Şapinuva. The routes were drawn up by the Governorship of Çorum and the work was completed in October 2010. The 17 trekking routes covering 236 km. are marked along the old roads plied by the trading caravans and by successive waves of migration. Counting the alternative roads, its total length reaches 385km. Six exciting mountain-bike trails stretch over 406km.
PHRYGIAN WAY TREKKING TOUR / AFYONKARAHISAR – ANKARA – ESKISEHIR – KUTAHYA
The Phrygians appeared in Anatolia in the 11th century BC, migrating across the straits from Thrace. They settled in the region covering the territories of the present day provinces of Afyonkarahisar, Ankara, Eskisehir and Kutahya. By the mid 8th century BC a vibrant civilisation centred around the capital Gordium (Gordion), present day Yassihoyuk, Polatli County of Ankara, was flourishing.
The legendary Midas was the most renowned Phrygian king. Besides the Phrygian capital Gordium, other important settlements were Pessinous (Ballihisar), and the city of Midas (Yazilikaya). The region was covered with volcanic ashes thrown out by Turkmen Mountain (called Mount Elaphoeis in antiquity), and the consolidated tuff created easily carved rocks. The Phrygians left behind many carved rock monuments in the region. The easily worked nature of the local rock also aided in the creation of ancient roads which are still visible in many parts of the region.
The Phrygians were defeated by the Cimmerians, who migrated from the Caucuses in the 7th century BC, and disappeared from history. Phrygian writing is still to be deciphered, but we knew that they were the inventors of flutelike woodwind instruments.
About the trail
The Phrygian Trekking Route is one of the longest trails in Turkey. Planned with great care for the comfort and enjoyment of hikers, the route passes through the renowned Phrygian Valleys Frig where hikers may visit the ruins of ancient civilisations and enjoy the natural beauty of the region. The Trekking Route is 400 kilometres long, and is marked in accordance with international standards. The Route has three starting points and the trails meet at the Yazilikaya (Inscribed Rock), which was a focal point for the Phrygians. Hikers may join start the route at the following points: 1) Gordium (Polatli, Ankara), 2) Seydiler (Afyonkarahisar), and 3) Yenice Farm Ciftligi (Ahmetoglu Village, Kutahya). The first stage of the project will be completed in 2010 and the 2nd and 3rd stages will be completed in 2011. The FRIGKUM (Association for Development and Protection of Phrygian Cultural Heritage) assigned Huseyin Sari and a small team for to complete the project. The Route was planned in order to introduce trekkers to Phrygian culture, and to enable them to enjoy a safe journey through the Phrygian Valley along trails once used by the Phrygians.
The trail starts at Gordium, the political capital of the Phrygians, then follows the valley of the Porsuk (ancient Tembris) River, passes through Sivrihisar (ancient Spaleia), and arrives at Pessinous (Ballikaya), another important Phrygian settlement. The trail then enters the valley of the Sakarya (ancient Sangarius) River, where you enter a completely different world. After the Sakarya Valley, the trail enters the region known as Mountainous Phrygia. The trail then reaches the Yazilikaya, the site of the Midas monument which formed the cult centre of the Phrygians. Here the trail splits into two. One branch leads to Findikli Village passing through the Asmainler, Zahran, and Inli Valleys, once home to Phrygian settlements. This branch terminates at Yenice Farm on the highway between Kutahya and Eskisehir. The other branch passes through Saricaova, a picturesque Circassian village, and Doger, town in Afyonkarahisar. The trail then takes you through Ayazini Town before coming to an end at Seydiler, on the highway between Afyonkarahisar and Ankara. Hikers who complete these trails will treasure the memory forever.
The route can also be started at Seydiler, on the highway between Ankara and Afyonkarahisar. The Yenice Farm starting point is on the highway between Kutahya and Eskisehir. Hikers can begin the trail directly from their vehicles. Gordium can be reached over Polatli or by turning off at the highway between Ankara and Eskisehir at the junction marked with the road sign indicating “Gordion” . The trekking route from Gordium crosses over the highway between Eskisehir and Ankara to reach Yazilikaya. Hikers may pick up the route at that crossing.
Phrygian Way Hiking Turkey.
ST.PAULOS WAY TREKKING TOUR / ANTALYA-ISPARTA