Greetings! My name is Gizemce (Gizem for short) and in this article I will be sharing my experiences on the Lycian Way. I was born and raised in Turkey but just moved to Berlin for work. My main occupation is Business Analyst. Apart from my career, I also love to travel around the world. I believe that my purpose in life is to see as many destinations as I possibly can.
One extraordinary place that I immersed myself in recently was the Lycian Way. My husband hiked this route five years ago and often talked about it. Last year, I booked a hotel for my husband’s birthday on the Lycian Way. It was incidental because I didn’t know that the location was on this trail – in the middle of the Alinca and Gey Path. We walked it in four hours without hiking gear and it turned out to be a short, difficult and wonderful journey.
This experience showed us that we needed to take on the Lycian Way in a more serious fashion. Over the course of the next year, we prepared with the right hiking equipment and started to walk it in April 2022. In total, my husband and I trekked together for 75 kilometers which took us five days. We had the chance to see valleys, meet the sea and admire viewpoints. The Lycian Way boasts ancient cities, mountain views and bays for swimming.
Landscapes & Seascapes of the Lycian Way
The Lycian Way is defined by different kinds of terrain. Sometimes you walk straight across a path, other times you have to climb by holding a rope and occasionally you need to jump over rocks near the sea. Most of the route has breathtaking landscapes, my favorite part being from Ovacik to Faralya. The Lycian Way has more than 20 routes and the difficulty level of each one is different. For us, some days were easy while other days were really tough.
I remember once we had to pass a rock tomb while holding a rope. That was a special place on the Lycian Way. The rock tomb was positioned on the edge of a cliff. Walking by the rope on a cliff face was quite interesting for someone born and raised in a big city. The trail is full of surprises like this, you just have to keep your eyes peeled for what comes next.
Learning about the Ancient History of Lycia
Throughout our adventure we had the opportunity to learn more historical information about Lycia in Turkey. Before setting off, we read two different books and browsed several websites to learn of the Lycian Way’s history. Centuries ago people used this road for trading and traveling. Knowing that our ancestors walked this route makes it absolutely fascinating.
The Lycian Way, as a tourist attraction, officially opened in 2004 with the help of the author Kate Clow (who lived in Antalya for many years) and the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. Kate helped to prepare all the routes. Year by year, the popularity of this trail has grown and it’s easy to see why. Having so many ancient cities and beautiful landscapes on the Lycian Way was always going to attract visitors, both domestic and international.
Where We Stayed on the Lycian Way
Along the way, we preferred to stay in guesthouses or small hotels in the villages. Because our trip was long, we didn’t fancy carrying heavy camping equipment. I prefer to carry less weight when I go hiking as it makes the experience much more enjoyable. If I go for a day then maybe I can carry a heavier load but for five days it’s important to travel light. When you attempt the Lycian Way, I highly recommend bringing lightweight items.
Since we stayed at houses or motels in the villages, we met a lot of locals. The most interesting people were in Aperlai. A man we met there looked after his family so well. His house, guest houses, gardens, etc. were all made by him. He installed the electricity for his house and guest houses, and collected rainwater to use in the gardens and bathrooms. He was talented and knew how to survive naturally. We also met many travelers as well.
Tips for Hiking the Lycian Way
The most crucial consideration for the Lycian Way is choosing the right time to go. Summer is beautiful but it can get extremely hot. The shoulder season of April/May and September/October is nice because it’s not sweltering. Since we did the hike in April, the weather for us was generally good. However, on the third day the weather changed to rain for a while.
We had to skip three sections due to the rain. We continued where it was sunny in Kas. The Lycian Way has flexible routes, so we managed this easily. All in all, if you love being with nature, seeing mountains, swimming in turquoise bays, marveling at the stars at night and taking in breathtaking views you will love the Lycian Way. Just pack light and have fun!