Global Adventure - Trek the Best of the Lycian Way on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast


Global Adventure - Trek the Best of the Lycian Way on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast

TREK THE BEST OF TURKEY'S LYCIAN WAY April 8-21. Hike 89 miles with an expert guide along Turkey's Mediterranean coast from Oludeniz to Antalya, gazing out across the turquoise sea from high cliffs, walking white-sand beaches, wandering among the ruins and tombs of ancient Lycia, Greece, and Rome, and experiencing a rural village and nomadic lifestyle that is truly unique to this narrow strip between the high Taurus mountains and the sea. Cruise and swim over sunken ruins and stay in a city topped by a castle built by the Knights of Rhodes upon ancient Lycian foundations. Visit a 6th-century church covered with vibrant frescoes of the life of St Nicholas. Watch the unending flames of the Chimaera. End the trip with a hike up Mt Olympos (take the cable car down) and an exploration of the lovely old town and medieval harbor of Antalya. Stay in small village homes and hotels, eat simple but delicious homemade meals, and carry only a daypack. NOTE: THE MEMBER FEE GIVEN BELOW IS FOR THE 50% DEPOSIT ONLY. APPLICATIONS AND PERMISSION REQUESTS WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED UNTIL REGISTRATION OPENS.

  • Mon, Apr 8, 2024 — Sun, Apr 21, 2024
  • Global Adventures Committee
  • Day Hiking, Global Adventures
  • Adults
  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 86.8 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 14,334 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 7,757 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2 mph

Fly into Dalaman Turkey via Istanbul.  Arrive no later than April 8, 2024, by 1 pm, as guide service will pick us up to transfer to our hotel in the pastoral village of Kayakoy. 

On day 13 we will arrive in Antalya. The next day our guide services will transport participants to the Antalya airport.  Some may want to stay a few extra days in Antalya on their own, to enjoy the Old Harbor and turquoise beaches. Guide service may be able to make recommendations for lodging and food.  

Itinerary Highlights:   Most people think of Turkey for its mosques, ancient ruins, and fantastic joining of eastern and western cultures.  What many may not know is that Turkey is also a growing trekking destination, with well-marked historic trails, great services, and no crowds!  The Lycian Way is the best of these.

Our 13-day sampling of the Lycian Way will include the best 89 miles of this first and best known of Turkey’s historic trails with a friendly local guide, fluent in English and expert in ancient history!  We'll start at the western end at Oludeniz (above the famous Blue Lagoon), and ending with an optional non-technical climb to the top of Mt Olympos and descent into the seaside town of Antalya to the east.  Our route spends much of its time climbing and descending between white-sand coves and cliffs and bluffs covered with wildflowers and offering panoramic views across the aqua blue Mediterranean to islands off the coast.  We’ll pass through villages where the same pastoral lifestyle persists from centuries ago.  We’ll wander by old Roman cisterns and follow the 10-mile course of a Roman aqueduct that remains water-tight today.  And scattered all along the route, among the fields, trees, and wildflowers, are the tumbled remains of Lycian civilization including ornately carved sarcophagi with their lids resting in the flowers.  We’ll board a boat and cruise for two hours over the sunken ruins of Kekova, taking a swim in the warm waters along the way, and ending the day in the hillside town of Simena with a castle on top built by the Knights of Rhodes.  We’ll visit the ruins of a 10th century church now surrounded by grazing sheep and a nomadic herders camp.  We’ll see stunning frescoes in a 6th century church dedicated to St Nicholas.  And there’s so much more!

Our route ascends to the top of coastal ridges and bluffs and descends to the seacoast multiple times along the way – approx. 16,000 feet total elevation gain and loss, on exceptionally rough and rocky trails. Trekking days will range from 6 to 12 miles with 250 feet to over 3000 feet daily gain.  Minibus transport will connect the various trail segments, and our luggage will be transported for us, and food prepared for us along the way, so that we only need to carry a light daypack. Along the way we’ll stay in simple village hotels and homes, eat tasty local foods simply prepared, and enjoy the warm hospitality of the Turkish people. 

Leader encourages participants to spend a few days in Istanbul before going on to Dalaman and will help with group arrangements if there is enough interest.  

Time of Year:   We’ll travel during April, when wildflowers are at their peak, snow is melting from the peaks, and weather is warm but not hot and crowds haven’t yet begun to swarm. 

Lodging:   Basic village homes and hotels, plus nice 3-star hotels in larger towns (double occupancy). Bathroom facilities may be shared and could be quite basic in some places. In one of the villages, we will be staying in a home with some communal beds and one shared toilet facility.

Food:   We’ll enjoy simple traditional Turkish meals along our route, mostly prepared for us in our lodgings.  Turkish food is an addictive mix of sun-ripened vegetables with olive oil, spices and roasted meats, a fusion of Asian, Ottoman and Western.  Vegetarian diets can easily be accommodated but other special diets may be more challenging. 

Leader’s Experience:   Jacqui Sinatra has led many Mountaineers hikes, Mountaineers and private backpack trips, and a weeklong Global Adventure trip to southern Utah in 2023.

Strenuousness or Difficulty rating:   This itinerary is rated strenuous, less because of sheer distance and gain and more because of the very rugged and rocky trails that are common across the southwest coast of Turkey.   We will hike at a 1.5 to 2.0 pace.

 Limit:   Maximum of 12, minimum of ten, including the leader.

Participant Requirements:   

Must be a current Mountaineers member with an up-to-date waiver on file. This outing includes hiking for up to 9 hours a day on rugged terrain for multiple successive days.  For these reasons, participants need to be in good cardiovascular condition with good balance and sound joints.  Recent experience with multi-day strenuous backpacking, scrambling, or hiking, plus a positive attitude and a demonstrated ability to get along well with groups under demanding conditions, will be very important.   NOTE:  Your leader makes most of the arrangements and provides logistics support during the trip but is NOT a tour guide!  As a Mountaineers group we will operate as interdependent, capable travelers making our way together and helping one another succeed and be safe. 

NOTE:  Participants must be fully vaccinated and at least one booster for COVID-19 to participate in the trip.  In addition, participants are expected to practice conservative covid behavior before and during transit to the trip including masking and avoiding crowded indoor spaces whenever possible; and that they will carry covid self-tests on the trip and use them at any time when they experience a symptom commonly related to covid.  Any positive test will mean that the participant will need to leave the group and quarantine at their own expense for at least 5 days (or longer if not symptom free) before flying home.

Trip Price Detail:  $3,400 including all lodging, transportation, guide and most meals.  Your airfare (~$1500), travel insurance ($75-350), tips (~$250 per person) and a few meals in town (<$100) are not included.  Please note: the price includes a significant contingency to reflect the high uncertainty in the final outfitter price due to the incredible pace of inflation in Turkey. The final payment might possibly be reduced (or less likely increased) if actual inflation turns out to be different from the contingency that was built into the budget.

Registration Instructions:   First please submit the application form below, which will automatically be sent to the leader.   After the leader’s approval, go to the trip listing and click the REGISTER button to pay the 50% deposit and hold your space on the roster. Registration will close on December 1, 2023 or whenever the roster fills. A place on the roster can only be held with payment of the deposit.   The final payment due date will be announced by the leader as the outfitter’s payment schedule is finalized.

Application   Trip Agreement     Release

Supplement Information

Cancellation Policy: If you cancel more than 60 days before our departure, you will be entitled to a refund of all the money you've paid less the $100 Mountaineers admin fee.  if you cancel between 30 and 59 days before our departure you will be entitled to a refund of what you've paid less $1250 plus the Mountaineers $100 admin fee.  No refund will be available to you if you cancel within 30 days of our departure.   It may be possible to waive all cancellation fees less the $100 Mountaineers admin fee if you get someone to register in your place within 15 days or more of departure.


Trek the Best of the Lycian Way on Turkey's Mediterranean Coast

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

After receiving your deposit, the leader will send out a series of letters or emails providing information to help participants succeed on the trip, including recommended and required gear, recommended maps and guidebooks.


Trip Reports