This article was written for Fethiye Times by Sian Midgley.
A majority of people come to our corner of paradise to kick back, relax, eat, drink and get a tan – and quite right too, it’s the perfect spot to do that.
There’s also plenty of options for those looking to be a little more energetic whether it be horse riding, rafting, paragliding, jeep safaris…the list is endless. But one of the most popular and well known things the more active among us can do is hike some, or all, of the Lycian Way which starts near Hisarönü and finishes over 500km away near Antalya.
An Idea Starts To Form
A few weeks ago I was chatting to a friend, who happens to run a local hiking company, about how I love hiking and cycling. After him gazing into the distance for a while and me thinking I’d lost him to boredom, he turned and said “you know, I’m sure I could organise a combined cycling and walking weekend without too much difficulty.”
Skip forward a couple of weeks and, after a few hours pouring over maps together, a few more hours cycling unknown routes, and just ten minutes of me persuading six of my ‘bubble’ it was a great idea, the day finally arrived and the first Hiking & Biking group holiday was born.
And So It Begins
Day 1 saw us all dropped off at the very start of the Lycian Way. We then hiked for three hours to the small village of Kozağaç, stopping often to admire the stunning views of the coastline. After a delicious lunch of gözleme (pancakes to you and I) at a small family run restaurant we grabbed our bikes, which had been dropped off there earlier, and cycled just over 15km to our first night’s stay at a rustic, dare I say hippie, retreat in Kabak. After a swim, a few beers and a delicious buffet dinner we all turned in early in preparation for the challenging day ahead of us.
Day 2 began with a sumptuous buffet style Turkish breakfast prior to heading down to Kabak beach to start the next leg of our hike. After weaving our way through the largest gathering of beards and man buns I’d ever seen, we embarked on around three and a half hours of mostly uphill walking before we reached our destination of Alınca – a very small Turkish village that probably wouldn’t be on the map if it wasn’t for the Lycian Way. After eating the packed lunch provided by our previous hosts we again grabbed our bikes and headed off on a challenging 29km cycle, with plenty of climbing, along mountain roads and through villages to meet our transfer vehicle in the small town of Karadere where we were then taken to our second night’s delightful beach side accommodation in Gavurağılı. Another superb meal was consumed and our heads again hit our pillows early to ensure we were well rested for our final day of cycling.
Day 3 started early with another traditional Turkish breakfast and, once packed lunches were again handed out, our transport took us to the ruins at Pinara where we had free time to roam among the tombs and amphitheatres. We then grabbed our bikes for one last time for the 36km cycle to Çalış where our tour ended, via the hill that never seemed to end!
After a relaxing drink in a beach side restaurant in Çalış and a recap of how the weekend went, eight very happy, but very tired, adventurers agreed that hiking & biking were a great way to see and experience the beautiful landscapes that this part of Turkey has to offer.