Trekking the Lycian Way, Turkey

View along the Seven Capes Trek, Lycian Way, Turkey.

 Likya Yolu—The Lycian Way

Last month Marianne Sullivan, a friend since third grade, and I signed up for a trek along the southern Turkish coast with Middle Earth Travel. Our trek started near the town of Fethiye, on the west side of the Taurus Mountains and it ended at the ancient city of Patara, home of St. Nicholas. The weather kindly stayed in the high 70’s. We met locals along The Way who invited our group of nine trekkers (Australian, American and Turkish) to rest with them and drink chai (tea).

We also saw a smattering of Greek and Roman ruins here and there. Apparently, our route neared Xanthos, where Alexandra and the Persians clashed forces. Bushwacking up one particularly steep, rocky and narrow section of the trail, I asked one of my hiking partners, a retired general in the Turkish air force, if he knew whether we were really walking in the footsteps of Cyrus and Alexander. He said, “If they did, I question their military intelligence.”

Three books about this region that I have yet to read, which promise to delight are: Lycian Way by Kate Clow; The Western Shores of Turkey, by John Freely; and Lycia: The Land of Light, by Akist.

I recommend this trek to people who want to experience rural Turkish villages as well as those who like walking. We averaged about 8 hrs a day and the elevation gain ranged between 2,100 and 4,200 feet per day.  The meals were FABULOUS and cooked by locals at the villages we stayed in each night. We could not have found better guides or traveling companions. We hope to meet up with them all again one day. Perhaps on another Middle Earth trek…

Snow capped peaks of Taurus Mountains in distance.