2 days on Turkey’s Carian Trail

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles | day 1 | day 2

day 2 – 6:45 am I hoisted the pack.

Unsure of exactly how I was going to get back for my 4pm ferry departure , best get an early start.

In my dreams I’d hoped to get all the way to Palamutbuku … but there is one earlier exit if I am running out of time.

The first section is scrambling over headlands. A series of deserted coves.

Rocky beaches. Much of the stone is conglomerate.

My sunrise.

I was  lost briefly several times. The official guidebook and map are not sufficient to keep you on the trail. GPS is pretty much essential on the Carian Trails. And I didn’t bring my GPS to Turkey. Doh!

So few hikers pass this point I left the next one a Summit Stone. There’s no way to miss it.

If you like this kind of solitude and scenery, plan a hiking trip to Turkey.

The beaches are not littered. But they are full of plastic and junk washed ashore.

Here’s the toughest headland. My guidebook authors nicknamed this scramble Death Valley.

Whew. Civilization.

I was slow getting here. But the only other walkers I saw on the trail were even slower.

This village was the end for me. I’d need to find the mini-bus back to town to be sure not to miss my ferry.

During lunch at a pleasant restaurant I learned that the mini-bus does not run on Sundays. I’d need to hitchhike. A crazy dentist in a beat-up van picked me up.

I was tired on the ferry home. The two days had taken more out of me than they should.

Bodrum castle is most impressive from the sea.

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles | day 1 | day 2

Only 2 days on the Carian Trails. But it was enough.

I decided to return April / May 2019 for 2-3 weeks most likely on the even more remote Bozburun Peninsula section. (141km)

I’ll have two GPS devices and several downloaded routes. I’ll carry the right gear. And I’ll bring some of my food from home. Turns out they don’t sell dehydrated mashed potatoes in Turkey.

related – our Carian Trails information page

2 days on Turkey’s Carian Trail

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles | day 1 | day 2

day 1 – 8am Starbucks, Bodrum.

9:30am – ferry to Datça.

You pass the Greek island of Kos en route.

11am – arrive at the new ferry terminal.

Free shuttle bus to town.

I wandered Datça town for an hour enjoying the peace and quiet after busy Bodrum.

Eventually I found the official trailhead in Eski Datça. This is the start of the 240km Datça Peninsula section.

People visit to see traditional old stone houses on cobbled streets.

Follow the red & white paint.

There are some signs on the Carian Trails, but not many.

I wore long pants due to thorny, stinging vegetation on the overgrown trails. In fact I should have had even thicker pants.

Traditionally this region is famous for fish, almonds and honey.

Most of the day was on logging roads. Good footing.

Alarmingly, the only water source was swarming with wasps. I couldn’t get close.

First glimpse of the ocean.

I was very happy to see my destination — Pig’s Hollow Camp (Dumuzcukuru). Wild boars visit occasionally.

It’s something of a commune. When I was there 3 Turks were in residence. One had been coming for 6 years.

They take care of the garden. Keep the place clean. Maintain the solar power rig and water purification system.

Anyone can stay and probably eat dinner with the guys. By donation.

My pasta dinner, home grown salad and wine were excellent. I was HAPPY to donate.

The guys told me very few Carian Trail hikers pass by. It truly has not caught on yet in Turkey though the nearby Lycian Way is booming. The Carian Trail was only launched in 2013.

I saw one big black snake. They guys said they see about one snake a day at the Camp.

My last night in the tent in Turkey. A nice spot. I had the beach to myself.

I read my kindle as dusk fell.

Trip report by site editor Rick McCharles | day 1 | day 2

best hike – Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey

trip report by besthike editor Rick McCharles

Panoramic viewpoint > Rose Valley > Çavuşin > Love Valley > Uchisar Castle > Pigeon Valley > Göreme

For hikers Göreme is probably the best base for Cappadocia. You can literally go off hiking in any direction.  It’s got a good variety of restaurants and accommodation too.

On arrival in Göreme someone will hand you a FREE hiking map.

Most wander around with this thingfrequently getting lost. We could find no decent map nor guidebook in 2017.

For 6 days I hiked and cycled many of these trails, often lost, before finally deciding on what I felt was the best hike.

Ask the people at your accommodation in Göreme how to get to the Rose Valley Panoramic viewpoint. They’ll likely recommend a taxi and tell you the price. It’s about a 15 minute drive uphill from town.

There is a small entry fee for Panoramic viewpoint. The taxi may drop you outside the gates.

Here begins the Rose Valley trail. 5km to Caveusin. Most feel Rose is the best hike of all. And I’d agree.

Note that most of the trail signage is in Turkish.

There are many twisting and turning trail options. All are good but the very bottom of the valley might be muddy.

Rose is popular with cyclists, too.

Gorgeous, surreal scenery.

End of the trail is the village of Çavuşin.

If you haven’t yet seen enough Church caves — you might want to visit the World Heritage site Caveusin Kilisesi.

From Çavuşin you need to get to the Love Valley trailhead. Ask in town. It’s about 1km up the highway towards Goreme. (There are shortcuts.)

If walking the highway here’s the turn-off. These pink signs are the best of the admittedly poor and confusing trail signage in the area.

From there you can’t miss it.

Love Valley is the second best trail in my opinion.

Why they call it Love Valley I can’t imagine. 🙂

You can see here how those columns erode away from the valley wall.

It’s about 4km uphill to the end of the Love trail. If not lost you’ll finish at this tourist trap.

Bus tours stop and parade their unwilling passengers through the souvenirs.

Cross the highway and make your way up to the top of impressive Uchisar Castle. There’s a small entry fee.

Exiting on your way down ask for the Pigeon Valley trailhead. Look for these pigeons. It’s not difficult to find.

Some have reported seeing no pigeons in Pigeon Valley. We saw plenty.

Historically farmers built roosts for pigeons in the valley wall in order to later collect their guano.

It’s downhill to Göreme. A nice but often crowded walk.

Looking back to the Castle.

You might spend 4-6 hours including stops on this best hike.

Panoramic viewpoint > Rose Valley > Çavuşin > Love Valley > Uchisar Castle > Pigeon Valley > Göreme

click for larger version

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A shorter alternative would be to loop Pigeon to Love Valley. It’s a 2km walk up the highway back to Göreme, however.

We really need someone to put together a decent map of trails out of Goreme. Hundreds of thousands visit every year and almost all do some hiking.

related – Hike Bike Travel – 21 Photos That Will Make You Want To Hike In Turkey’s Rose Valley

Turkey’s Lycian Way – day 5

2017 trip report by site editor Rick McCharles – day 5 / 6

day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

We enjoyed a leisurely morning on the beach.

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.

Super popular on this trail are sit pads that strap on to your body.

Super popular too is swimming every chance you get on the Lycian. What’s the matter with these people? Don’t they know there are GREAT WHITES and MAN-OF-WARS in the Ocean?

We’d been hanging out with a hermit from Istanbul who spends many weeks each year meditating on this beach. Departing we stumbled on his beach home.

He sleeps up high in a tree hammock. Possibly to get away from mosquitoes that sometimes plague this area.

I was following a guided group from Ukraine. Here they are speculating on what this machinery was used for.

They wish they had brought less gear with them on the hike.

We enjoyed a Ukrainian / Turkish lunch. I contributed the peanut butter.

This would be their last night camping. They wanted a truly memorable beach.

Each one we passed they gave consideration. This was the winner.

I carried on towards Tekirova.

Passing even more lovely bays.

It turned out the beach in Tekirova is dominated by big all-inclusive hotels.

I had to find my way behind those hotels. Back street signage here often includes Russian.

Eventually I wandered though town and reached the water park. I knew I could intersect with the trail here.

I was quickly back out into farmland.

Sundance is something of a Hippy colony.

I considered booking into one of their cottages.

But during my arrival everyone was dancing together. Seems 7-8pm is mandatory dance. My feet were too sore for that.

I continued on to a quiet beach I’d read about in a trip report. Setting up at dusk.

day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Escalante Overland Route

Extreme hiking, scrambling and navigation.

The Escalante Overland Route (OLR) traverses the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, arguably the best, true wilderness in the lower 48. Compared to the millions who visit the Grand Canyon each year, the vast expanse of the Monument below Highway 12 has no trails and few people. Many of the canyons only see a few visitors a year, if any. You are unlikely to see another person on the route. …

Just to be clear, this is Steve Allen’s route. He describes an “Overland Route” in a few terse paragraphs at the end of a 1997 guide book. He presents it more of a challenge than a guide. In the ensuing 20 years it’s remained off the radar, with almost no known completions. In this sense, the OLR is closer to a “revived” route than a new one. Don Wilson, Andrew Skurka and I hope that this trip report will inspire more people to experience the wonders of the Escalante. …

A Very Different High Route – Escalante Overland Route

Greater Patagonian Trail warnings

Fidgit shares some advice on the NEW Greater Patagonian Trail — Routes would be more accurate — in the Andes:

SO YOU WANNA HIKE THE GPT

The Greater Patagonian is not an official trail but rather 1500km or more of connected best routes. You’ll be lost for sure unless you have KMZ and GPX files downloaded from wikiexplora.

Greater Patagonian Trail

Epic Grand Canyon Hike

Have you been following Peter McBride & Kevin Fedarko?

Epic Grand Canyon Hike: A 650-Mile Challenge (Part 1)

Epic Grand Canyon Hike: Frozen Shoes and Low on Food (Part 2)

I liked the 3rd and final instalment best.

Click PLAY or watch Thirst and Threats in the Godscape on YouTube.