2017 trip report by site editor Rick McCharles
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 m (sea level) to 1,800 m summit of Mt Tahtalı (known by the name Olympos in ancient times) at elevation.
It’s not a single footpath that has been intact since times immemorial, rather it’s a collection of ancient paths, mule and caravan trails, forest and backcountry roads.
I planned to do about a week on the 500km+ Lycian Way in May.
But what section?
Kate Clow and the staff of Cultural Routes Society in Antalya gave me advice and — more importantly — instruction on how to reach the trailhead.
I took a local bus out to the gigantic Migros grocery store to pick up last minute supplies.
Then caught an intercity bus in transit to Kumluca.
The driver pointed me in the direction of Mavikent, a coastal town. I’d walked about 2km on the road before the local dolmuş (taxis van) passed by taking me the rest of the way to the coast.
I’d assumed the van would stop at some town centre plaza or Mosque. It did not. The driver ended up in the middle of nowhere parked, I’m guessing, at his home.
I walked back about 2km to a very impressive hotel called the Şah Inn Paradise to get directions to the Lycian Way. Hotel desk staff speaks English.
The manager kindly put me in a golf cart and had a driver take me to the Mediterranean. A great way to begin.
A great way until this hotel staff woman began yelling at me.
I was taking photos close to the ladies beach, not allowed in Muslim nations.
Still, this was an ideal start, the last of a very long beach section.
Kate Clow told me literally no hikers walk the flat, boring 20km delta of the Alakir Cay river. They all take public transport around the flats to this point.
Sea turtles nest here. Sadly this one had (somehow) been killed.
When the sand ended I walked the road past many family campgrounds. This one had a Mosque.
Though I carried 3 days food my plan was to eat at least one big restaurant meal each day.
Chicken kabobs in Karaoz.
I never eat alone in Turkey. There are always friends hanging out hoping for a morsel.
I was feeling pretty good about the hike at this point.
My restaurant host recommended I not hike as far as the lighthouse. Instead I should find a quiet spot close to water about an hour past Karaoz. Good advice.
I walked in on a farm road and set up my tent atop this cliff.
Red wine as the sun set fell on the Mediterranean.