This is another stunning route put together by the Turkish Cultural Routes Society http://cultureroutesinturkey.com and our congratulations go to Kate Clow and all others involved for creating such a wonderful experience for those lucky enough to have tried even parts of it.
The historical sites we choose to visit were those recommended in Kate’s book as being the most significant but there are so many other things to see too. Yes, it would be great to take three or four weeks to walk the whole route but many people don’t have the time, energy or physical ability for that and our approach suited us well as we still walked 10 to 20 km most days, on and around these main sites.
Of course we only scratched the surface of the walking that’s available on the SPW though some of the parts we did experience were so enjoyable. Highlights include the descent from Pednelissos towards Hasgebe, Yazılı Kanyon (Çandır), the Roman road up to Adada (though very slippery when wet – nay lethal), the views from Prostanna near Eğirdir, the hilltop around the Temple of Men and the Adam Kayalar (Rock Men) near Selge.
We rented a car from Turtas Cars https://www.antalyarentacar.com/en who are well established and have had good feedback on review sites. Their communications were efficient and their administration team speak very good English (though the guys at the airport less so) and though they managed to display another customers name at arrivals we still found them easily. Originally I’d intended to hire something like a Ford Focus but they had a Dacia Duster for the same price (including three drives and full CDW insurance) and the 4WD probably saved us from getting stuck after heavy rain turned a mountain track into a very slippery mud bath.
We used GAIA GPS https://www.gaiagps.com again for route plotting, trail navigation and recording. Once we were off the main coastal roads there were no road signs and you’d be stuffed without a GPS. I would not rely on the information provided by any car’s satnav either.
These are the details of the accommodation we used:
- Baba Farm House, Perge.
Wonderful location and superb hosts. Live music too!
3. Canlar Alabalık Otel, Çandır
Quite an unusual proposition as it’s a hotel on a commercial trout farm and fish market though it’s right on the SPW and only about one mile from Yazılı Kanyon. You’ll need to like trout though – which made an excellent supper
4. Göl Pension, Yeşilada, Eğirdir
Wonderful lakeside location and charming family hosts.
5. Otel Oba, Yalvaç
Typical city budget hotel with very friendly and helpful staff. Convenient for Antioch and Temple of Men. Plenty of dining options in the town.
6. Erdinç and Emin Barça’s Pension, Çaltepe
Wonderful location and superb hosts. Very soft and friendly dog which can be a little over familiar with some 😉 Spectacular views.
7. On our last night we’d booked into the Four Season’s “Hotel” in Ilıca (via booking.com) as we wanted to be relatively near the airport and the thought of a swimming pool seemed a good idea. It turned out to be a private apartment in a gated residential complex and whilst it was comfortable I think we’d have been better off staying in Antalya or Manavgat and exploring the museums there.
On the Sunday we visited the Kurşunlu Şelalesi (the Leaded Waterfalls) though as you may expect at this time of year there wasn’t a lot of water to fall and the crowds of visitors made it for a less than enjoyable experience. I’m sure on an early Wednesday morning in May it’s a very different proposition though.
Budget and Costs
You won’t actually be able to spend a lot of money on this sort of trip. The whole week including car hire, fuel, all accommodation, meals and snacks cost us around £300 each. The exchange rate for the Turkish lira has almost halved in the past year.
Planning Your Trip
This book (The St Paul Trail: Turkey’s second long distance walk https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0957154712/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_cHLXBbF8A3SYT)
and the website http://cultureroutesinturkey.com/st-paul-trail/contain all the information you should need for your trip and the GPX files can be down loaded once you’ve bought the book. There is also an App though this is being updated so we weren’t able to use this.
On arriving at the historical sites, a key piece of information is the layout of the main buildings and structures so you can locate and identify them. Map boards are erected at some sites though none were evident at Pednelissos, Antik Kent Prostanna, Temple of Men or Selge and some previous research of the plans of these would have helped us significantly.
There are many other long distance routes in Turkey and we are already planning our next one.
Our Navigational Surprise
Had we approached ascent of Sivri from its north side then I don’t think we’d have missed this clue that this area is the base of Turkish Commando Unit.
Anyway, just one sign at the top of the mountain road would have kept us from accidentally walking into the Commando base. Maybe I should drop a line to them ….