When I mentioned that I was going on a walking holiday in Turkey, people were genuinely puzzled and probably thought I was crazy. After all, sea, sun and Istanbul are what most Brits go to Turkey for. Furthermore, hiking is not in the Turkish culture, but our guide was proud to tell us that among the Brits, Germans and Scandinavians etc many Turkish people have now discovered the joy of walking. In particular, the Lycian Way, is becoming ever more popular. This 540 km long way-marked path was opened in 1999 and is Turkey's first long distance route. A British woman, Kate Clow, was instrumental in the creation of this now iconic path, joining up old roads and tracks to create a continuous route. Since the opening of the Lycian Way further long trails have been opened, e.g. the St Paul Trail (2008), and the Evliya Celebi Way (2011).
I have no idea whether I will ever return toTurkey for more walking but I would certainly love to. This was, of course, much more than a simple walking holiday. Thanks to our local guide we learnt so much about the ancient Kingdom of Lycia. The history of the area was brought to life by the many historic remains and ruins of past civilizations. Many of the archaelogical sites, rock tombs, aqueducts etc are located within stunning scenery, sometimes next to wonderful beaches. And what could be better than go for a refreshing swim after a strenuous walk and equally strenuous wander around ancient ruins? We also had the pleasure of visiting old villages and meeting local goat herders and farmers. Without exception, the Turkish people were most welcoming and friendly, whether that was in the countryside or in the towns.
Read more about my Lycian Way experience and check out the photos