Having been thwarted last year on our attempt to walk from Kaş to Fethiye, this year we planned a return trip but we were again prevented due to Bob breaking his arm and needing an operation about five weeks before the trip. This meant he couldn’t carry a rucksack and so we put plan B into operation which was a road trip taking in some of the Lycian Way sites and sights followed by a stay in Antalya and a return to Dalaman overland. I’ve summarised the details in the tables below.
I think we covered about 1,000 kilometres (before my work trip which followed) and our schedule was fairly relaxed. I think anyone who was happy driving in Turkey could undertake a version of this trip. Once we’d left Kaş we stayed in budget hotels as these were the only ones available in most of the places – apart from Antalya and Göcek. Little English was spoken away from the main resorts but don’t let that put you off. On the road, the navigation was fairly easy as most of the main sights were well signposted off the highway though Antalya was a little tricky and a Sat Nav made things much easier. I used the GAIA Sat Nav App on my iPhone as usual and most of the walks and tracks were evident on the downloaded maps. When we took to the off-road sections in the car (around Girdev), the road signs were none existent and the Sat Nav was essential without a guide or local knowledge. Gömbe was a bit easier but we even met some Turks in the hills who were looking for the town of Gömbe – that they had almost certainly driven through.
We set off with a fairly flexible schedule and only had a list of places we wanted to visit and pass through. Everything we visited was worthwhile and I would recommend all of it apart from the pension in Tekirova which was a bit rough. It was one of those places where they wanted you to pay in advance and some of the guest’s late night bedroom activities were a little guttural and rhythmic. We avoided Kemer as we’d heard it has become a Russian enclave but it appears that Tekirova has too and whilst I’ve met some very pleasant Russians they do seem to export some of their more socially challenged populace to holiday destinations (which is something the British probably mastered first).
The highlights for me in no particular order were:
- Patara for the evocative ruins and setting.
- Tahtlı Dağı (Mount Olympus) for the views. Check the weather at the top (which is posted at the lower terminus) before you go to the top. It was high 20’s at the bottom and 90C at the top plus a wind chill. We wore jackets and hats and watched all the Russians in their shorts, strappy tops and flip flops turning blue. You can take the path from the top and walk but you are supposed to sign out and back in again.
- Being shown around Antalya by Aysun and Ayça
- Termessos again for the ruins and stunning location and setting.
- Ömer’s lokanta on the main street in Elmalı for the brilliant food.
- Gömbe – for the street life of a proper agricultural working town.
- The walk around Girdev Gölü for the views and location. We approached from the Gömbe side (south east) on jeep tracks which were passable with care in a normal road car but would have been a bit risky if there had been rain due to mud. It’s not a place to get stuck. We exited via the north (the Seki) tracks which were much smoother roads and probably remain passable all year round. We saw a company from Fethiye doing a Jeep Safari up there.
So, if you haven’t got the legs (or even arms in our case) to walk the Lycian Way then you can do it the easy way. Even so, a far richer cultural experience than taking a package tour, I’m sure.
Lycian Easy Way – Blog summary table
Bob and Martin
|Day and Date||Routes||Sights||Meals
(prices for two)
|Monday 21 to Sunday 27 Sept 2015||Local||Patara, Xanthos, Letoon||Lukka, Maya, Dolphin, Blue House, Zaika (Kaş)||Lukka, Kaş||Patara|
|Monday 28||Kaş – Üçağız – Finike||Kale, Simena, Myra||Neşeli Lokanta (Finike) 49 lira||Anadolu, Finike
|Üçağız to Simena and return – 3.5 miles (100 m ascent)||Met German walker with massive backpack wearing Vibram ‘five fingers’ doing Lycian Way. Hmm …|
|Tuesday 29||Finike – Kumluca – Olympos – Tekirova||Limyra, Olympos, Chimaera||Gözden (Tekirova) 59 lira||Turkuaz, Tekirova
|Olympus, Chimaera and return – 9 miles (200m ascent)||Chimaera climbed by very young Turkish mother carrying baby all the way up and down wearing flip-flops. Grandad didn’t seem to want to help.|
|Wednesday 30||Tekirova – Antalya||Tahtalı Dağı, Phaselis||(Falez) Uygulama 24 lira – dinner for two!||(Falez) Uygulama, Antalya, 120 lira||Tahtalı Dağı – 1 mile
Phaselis – 3.5 miles
|Met Tyler from Blackpool. Said he was English … hmm …
Went to wrong Uygulama hotel at first.
|Thursday 1 October||Local||Museum, Kaleiçi||Antalya with Aysun and Ayça||(Falez) Uygulama 120 lira||City am – 4 miles
Kaleiçi pm – 2.5 miles
|Friday 2 October||Antalya – Elmalı||Termessos, Karataş||Omer the Sheesher’s Place (Brilliant!)
|Arzu Hotel, Elmalı
|Termessos – 3 miles (100 m ascent)
Elmalı – 1 mile
|Met the four Yankies|
|Saturday 3 October||Elmalı – Gömbe||Elmalı Museum (Karataş relics),
Yeşil Gölü, Üçarsu (şelale), Subaşı Yaylası
|Karaman Hotel, Gömbe||Yeşil Gölü – -5.5 miles
Gömbe – 1.5 miles
|Met a group of female Turkish judges who had very little English but they found out for us that the strange building was a traditional beehive. Met lost Turkish family on jeep track to Yayla looking for Gömbe.|
|Sunday 4 October||Gömbe – Girdev Gölü – Ceylan – Fethiye – Göcek||Girdev Gölü||Tea and Ayran with Hüseyin on his trout farm – 15 lira (Must have seen us coming)
Sofra Restaurant , Göcek, 50 lira
|Mesken Hotel, Göcek
|Girdev Gölü – 8.5 miles (100 m ascent)
Göcek – 1.5 miles
|Met the policeman and driving instructor. Saw a dead snake.|
|Day and Date||Routes||Sights||Meals
(prices for one)
|Saturday 26 Sept 2015||Local||Beach||Lukka Kaş||Bike ride – Kaş to Üzüm Limanı and return 18 miles (500 m ascent)||Met farmer building his house and had tea with him and his wife, and their friends Ahmet and Dürsün. He played a folk song on his Bağlama to us. Showed me the black scorpion he’d just killed. Met young couple who had car stuck on rough track on hill and I pushed them off. Met young German couple doing Lycian Way who had 50,000 series maps of Lycian Way. (ISBN 978-3-9817216-1-4)|
|Sunday 27 Sept||Local||Patara||Lukka, Kaş||Patara – 3 miles on part of Lycian Way (100 m ascent)|
|Monday 5 October 2015||Local||Town||Dim-elit Hotel, 40 lira||Mesken Hotel, Göcek||Bike ride around town and environs – 12 miles||Asked for directions to bike shop a few times (for language practice) but no decent bikes available to hire.|
|Tuesday 6 October||Local||Coast line||Sakman Bar, mezeler and beer, 57 lira||Mesken Hotel , Göcek||Göcek coast along forest t west of town – 18.5 miles (~500 m ascent)||Got moved on by coast guard for sitting outside their station.
Uninspiring walk but swam in sea. Needed that!
|Wednesday 7 October||Göcek to Ören||Coast line||Site Guest House||Guest House||Travelled to project sites for my work. Took coast road to Ören – very scenic – very narrow and twisty in places. ~140 km and 2 hours 20 m|
|Thursday 8 October||Site Guest House
Fish Restaurant in Ören
|Guest House||Site – 4 miles||Dinner for 20 at fish restaurant (but he was expecting only 10). Two of our guests played and sang folk songs on Bağlama.|
|Friday 9 October||Ören to Göcek||Site Guest House||Mesken Hotel, Göcek||Site – 4 miles||Took route via Milas and Muğla as no fuel in Ören. About ~180 km but also took 2 hours 20 m|
|Saturday 10 October||Local||Coast line||Natural restaurant, Göcek. 4 meze, cheese and fruit, 53 lira.||Göcek coast along forest t west of town – 9.5 miles (~100 m ascent)|