Turkey's first long-distance hiking trail, the Lycian way, boasts 540 Kilometers of European standard way-marked trail. It roughly following the shape of the coastline between Fethiye and Antalya. This stunning route is mostly along old Roman roads, dirt tracks and forest trails, it runs through thick pine forests, dry scrub and lush valleys as well as passing secluded bays, quaint towns and rural villages. Accommodation can be found in basic Pansiyons or campsites in villages, traditional Turkish breakfast and dinner are usually included and some villages have a small shop selling snacks and dry foods. This is a fantastic cultural experience.
The starting point for the Lycian Way lies on the outskirts of the Ovacik village, just 11 Kilometers from Fethiye on the road to Oludeniz. It is possible to hike just sections of the Lycian way either buy organizing transport with a tour operator or by using public transport links from larger towns. Your first day is a popular option for a day hike; a rocky trail rises hugging the cliffside, with paragliders flying overhead and unparalleled views over the Oludeniz bay and the Blue Lagoon. The trail continues to the clifftop village of Faralya which sits above Butterfly Valley and is a beautiful place to watch the sunset. Another favourite section is from Olympos to Goynuk, over 3 days the trail passes the ruins at Olympos, the ever-burning flames at Cirali, under the 2366 meter peak of Mt Tahtali and finally traverses a pine-clad valley to arrive at Goynuk Canyon where it is possible to swim.
Aside from the incredible scenery, the Lycian way connects 25 archaeological sites, including the ruins of several important Lycian cities and ancient burial sites. Some, like Myra, Patara, Xanthos, have been partially restored while smaller sites, like Pydnii and Trebenna, are still heavily overgrown with wild plants and trees. The trail was initially created and opened in 1999, in order to protect these historical sites while also bringing tourism to some of Turkey's most rural areas.
Every year hikers flock from all over the world to walk this epic trail. The best time of year for hiking is between February-May and September-November, the summer is often too hot and mountain passes can be blocked with snow in the winter.