Turkey's first long-distance hiking trail, the Lycian way, boasts 540 Kilometers of European standard way-marked trail. It roughly follows the shape of the coastline between Fethiye and Antalya. This stunning route winds along old Roman roads, dirt tracks and forest trails, running through thick pine forests, dry scrub and lush valleys as well as passing secluded bays, quaint towns and rural villages. This is a fantastic cultural experience.
The starting point for the Lycian Way lies on the outskirts of the Ovacik village, just 11 Kilometers from Fethiye on the road to Oludeniz. It is possible to hike just sections of the Lycian way either by organizing transport with a tour operator or by using public transport links from larger towns. Your first day is a popular option for a day hike; a rocky trail rises hugging the cliffside, with paragliders flying overhead and unparalleled views over the Oludeniz bay and the Blue Lagoon. The trail continues to the clifftop village of Faralya which sits above Butterfly Valley and is a beautiful place to watch the sunset.
Aside from the incredible scenery, the Lycian way connects 25 archaeological sites, including the ruins of several important Lycian cities and ancient burial sites. Some, like Myra, Patara, Xanthos, have been partially restored while smaller sites, like Pydnii and Trebenna, are still heavily overgrown with wild plants and trees. The trail was initially created and opened in 1999, in order to protect these historical sites while also bringing tourism to some of Turkey's most rural areas.
Every year hikers flock from all over the world to walk this epic trail. The best time of year for hiking is between February-May and September-November, the summer is often too hot and mountain passes can be blocked with snow in the winter.