Sunday, January 13, 2013


Best For Walking

 a stretch of the picturesque Lycian way, between Kale and the coastal town of Kas

Executive summary by darmansjah

Drive five hours southeast on the D550 and E90 via Muglia and Fethiye.

Of all the ancient civilization that rose and fell on the Anatolian plateau, the Lycians were the most enigmatic. Aside from being mentioned in Homer’s Iliad  as valiant fighters in the Trojan War, little is known about them – their language baffles scholars, and their culture and customs were unlike any other in the region. Their kingdom was the Tekke Peninsula, where cliff tombs and sarcophagi still litter the hills above the Mediterranean.

Meandering the past these ruins is one of the world’s most beautiful walks, a 15-miles-long path known as the Lycian Way. It leads along the coast and across the Tekke hinterland, through holiday towns and tinny hill villages, following ancient trails from goat tracks to Roman roads. Above the harbor town of Kalkan, the trail climbs to a yayla (pasture). A line of mountains perfectly encloses the plateau, seemingly protecting the fields and the shepherd dozing under a tree with his flock. A mile further on, Bezirgan is a village with stone Ottoman farmhouses overlooking tidy streets and fruit trees. The trail leads past a line of old-timers on a bench and climbs out of the yayla into wilder countryside, following mule tracks along rocky, mottled ridges.
The Lycian Way offers a precious opportunity to genuinely encounter the landscape and people of this region. Small pleasures dot the rural by ways: drinking from wells, breaking for cay (tea) and a chat with an old man in a sapka (flat cap) leaning on his stick in the shade of a wooden hut. Often, the only company for hours on end are goats, which scatter into bushes and onto rocks as you pass.

paints on rocks indicating th route

Eventually the path reaches the edge of the plateau and drops dramatically towards the coastal town of Kas. Far below, terracotta roofs spill down the hillside towards a multicolor line of masts in the marina, and an anchor-shaped peninsula arcs through the blue. Taking a rest on a rock, Mick Douglas is at the end of 1 12-day odyssey along the trail. After camping most nights, the Australian artis says walking the path has brought him a much deeper understanding of this region and its people. ‘I just met a guy tending his cows – they were all over the path. We exchanged bits of English and bits of Turkish, established that we both had a sense of humour, and decided to eat lunch together. That’s what it’s been like throughout the journey. I’ve loved the whole spirit of it.’

Further Information
The Lycian Way runs between Ovacik, three miles north of Oludeniz, and Antalya ( The Lycian Way, by trail founder Kate Clow, describes the route.

Where To Eat
Overlooking the beach, sea valley restaurant is popular for a bite. In the kitchen, village ladies roll pastries and bake bread. Seafood dishes and pide (pizza) are also on offer (mains from US$8; kabak).

Where To Stay

Turan Hill Lounge, at the bottom of a forested valley, this beatific retreat with yoga platforms is perfect for meditation – even if that just means popping olives and taking in the sea views. The Lycian Way passes track from the main road. The chalets have astrological names and varying degrees of luxury; best are the Special Boutique rooms, with glass doors opening onto balconies. The nearby beach, the terrace bar and restaurant and paths to waterfalls invariably convince guest to extend their stay (from US$62;

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