Lycian Way (Lukka’s Road)
The Lycian Way is an essential long-distance hiking trail in Turkey. It goes back to a trade route for camel caravans in ancient times and runs over 509 km from Fethiye to Antalya. It is one of Turkey’s vital cultural routes, developed along historical and religious paths, which are also on the List of Unesco.
UNESCO World Heritage List and Tentative List
Lycian (Likya – Lukka) is one of the most favoured walking paths. These long trekking roads origin go very back to BC 14 Centuries. According to historians, the populations are called ‘Sea people Lukkies and the ‘Lukka’ or ‘Luka’ means ‘Land of the sunshine‘ This road offers many things depending on what you are looking for: Adventure, adrenaline, serenity, and a journey to your inner self. The way itself is on Unesco World’s tentative List, and the antique city Xanthos-Letoon, the capital of Lycia, is on the main list.
Lycian cities were mainly built on seashores or hills overlooking the sea. From this, we understand how meaningful the relationship of these people with the sea was.
The Lycian Way along archaeological and cultural-historical sights would fill a stay of several weeks in Turkey. The privilege of practising our sport in such an environment can be compared to very few flying areas worldwide. Let’s see what the cities today live on these ancient historical sites.
And, of course, all these ancient cities, which constitute the Lycian civilisation, are under protection as first-degree archaeological sites in Turkey.
In this trendy holiday region, 167 thousand of people live. However, its population rises to over a million in the summer months. Also, many tourists come to this popular holiday destination during official and religious holidays.
Fethiye is the biggest district of Muğla. According to the Ministry of Tourism, Muğla ranked 4th in the list of provinces visited by foreign visitors to Turkey in 2019. 3.221 million travellers have chosen Muğla.
The closest airport to Fethiye is Dalaman International Airport is 50km away.
Fethiye is very famous for its nature and also its nightlife.
It is a unique environmental protection zone, a naturally protected area, and an archaeological site. It is also famous for its Important Natural Areas and is located in a part of the mountain range where tectonic activities were intense in the past. The coastline consists of many small beaches.
Fethiye’s name was ‘Telmessos’ in ancient times, and it was the most important city of Lykschien. Since it was on Lykien road, the city offers many things to lovers of antiquity.
In addition, Xanthos-Letoon, which is on the UNESCO cultural heritage list, is 63 km away from Fethiye. Therefore, it should be on the must-see list.
Flora and Fauna
The Galium globuliferous plant, whose world distribution is known to be limited to area, lives.
Fethiye is one of the critical habitats of the globally endangered Mediterranean monk seal (Monachus).
And, of course, it’s also home to many reptile species—Caretta caretta, a sea turtle species that love the Mediterranean climate, nests here.
Ölüdeniz is a town in the Fethiye district of Muğla province. The beach was chosen as the most beautiful beach in the world in 2006. The city is entirely developed in terms of tourism. However, it could not grow because of its geographical structure and naturally protected areas. Nevertheless, in our opinion, it has been perfect.
Originally a tiny fishing town is defined as the land of light and sun in the Lycians and as distant lands in the Middle Ages.
Kumburnu gives its name to Ölüdeniz. It is called the Dead Sea because of its calmness and serenity. It is a place that should be experienced with its lush pine forests extending to the shores.
The main activity here is, of course, paragliding ( Turkish: Yamac Parasutu). Whether you fly single or with a tandem pilot, this place offers you a stunning flying experience. That’s why every paragliding pilot in the world has heard about and aimed to experience these flights (it is not an overstatement!).
Besides flying, you can do many nature sports in this unique bay, allowing you to swim for ten months for a year. Other activities include hiking, camping, nature walks, daily sea tours by boat, diving, snorkelling, water sports, safari tours, and horse and ATV Safari tours.
Kas is a small and lovely tourist town with its back resting on the slopes of the magnificent Tarsus Mountains. In front of it is the clear blue-turquoise water, which you will think is Photoshopped. But not :).
This beautiful neighbourhood is an Antalya district with a population of approximately 60 thousand, located more or less 200 km west of Antalya Airport. Correspondingly, it’s 150 km from Dalaman Airport.
The history of Kaş dates back to 2000 BC, i.e. the Hittites, and its oldest known names are Habesos or Habeas. Later Kas as it is founded in BC.4th century; it is located directly above the ancient Lycian City Antiphellos (which means rocky place). The old city gained importance in the Roman Period and became the bishopric centre in the Byzantine Period. During this period, it was attacked by Arabians. Turks XII. In the first half of the century, they came to the front of the region and started to be effective.
Between Antalya and Fethiye, this area is known as the ‘Teke Pen pomegranate insula’, and Kaş is located in this region. Here, mountains in this region extend parallel to the sea. Inhabitants earn their life with greenhouse farming and olive cultivation, and apple production is carried out in the inner parts. At the same time, the people who live on the coastline get along with fishing and tourism on the 70 km longshore.
Kaş’s bed capacity for tourists is 26 thousand, according to 2018 data. Many businesses open their doors on April 23rd and close on October 29th.
The highest number of rainy days occurs in January and December. Conversely, the months with the least rainy days are July and August.
When we look at the average wind direction, it’s been found that the wind blowing the most is from WSW (West Southwest), NNE (North Northeast), and ENE (East Northeast) directions.
Before the fires in forests in 2021, 66% of Kaş was forestland. Unfortunately, this number has changed. Kaş geography consists of many heights, hills, and mountains. For this reason, driveways can be very bumpy and winding. Its shores are rockier. Most goats are grown due to their mountainous structure.
Dalyan, a peaceful holiday resort, is located on the canal that connects Köycegiz Lake and the Mediterranean. It is a rather calm and relaxed city compared to other Turkey summer-holiday-cities. The city’s population of 5,000 in the winter months is only the people who live there.
Generally, the summers are dry and hot, and the winters are warm and wet, allowing you to swim between April and November.
Although its lands are fertile in Dalyan, like the other provinces of the region, tourism has passed and taken the place of agriculture. In the past, the most crucial income of inhabitants came from fishing and then cotton fields.
This area is famous for its ancient city of Caunos (Kaunos), its old town of Kaunos with its royal tombs, healing waters (springs), and mud baths.
The meaning of the word Dalyan is: It is a prominent fishing place created with nets and piles near the shores of the sea, lakes, and rivers. Since it is built on the natural water channel, mosquitoes should always be considered during the Dalyan tour.
Dalyan is not a place to have crazy parties. Here, there are restaurants, bars, and cafes for every pocket and taste, but Dalyan is a town that offers peace for those who want to escape from the density of the city.
There are public bazaars in Dalyan every Saturday. It is a typical village bazaar with colourful stalls with a thousand kinds of spices next to each other, locals putting the fruits and treat they have grown entirely organically, fabrics, souvenirs, cheese, olive varieties, and fresh eggs. The local people and villagers are warm-hearted and always welcome.
Adrasan is 95 km away from the centre of Antalya, 45 km from the Kemer, and 10 km from Olympos. It is the right place for those seeking tranquillity, peace, and leisure, with its paths with a view of the deep blue sea and behind Mountain Musa.
This tiny town has a beach about 2km long. The south of the beach is delicate, sandy and shallow enough that your feet will touch the ground even if you open for about meters. Suddenly the stony northern beach can become unexpectedly deep.
Actual city centre is a few kilometres from the coast. Adrasan, this tiny holiday town, is a sluggish place. You go, you reset your head, and come back.
Even if you don’t stay here, you can go while walking the Lycian Way. First, you enter directly from the mountain through the pomegranate orchards. The next is a straight road. Especially if you go in September or October, red pomegranates welcome you. The pomegranate is very important here anyway.
There are not many restaurant options by the beach, and those that do close early in the evening. However, most of the hotels offer breakfast and dinner in the morning.
Olympos (Olimpos, Hause of Gods)
The word Olympus means the House of the Gods in Greek mythology. 12 Gods lived on this mountain. The name is from mountain Olympos, also known as Tahtalı Mountain (Tahtalı Dağı).
This important harbour city is 16 km from Olimpos mountain, which is 2,365 m from the sea level. The ruins of this ancient harbour city are still seeable, and this place host history enthusiast, sightseers and regular tourists. Olympos was once an important port city where pirates were also based.
He entered the last harbour and anchored, never to depart,In the tomb belongs one of the Olympian pirates (Captain Eudemas) is written a short poem
For there is no help from the wind or the sunlight.
After leaving the light-bearing dawn, Captain Eudemas,
Buried there, like the day, the short-lived ship, like a destroyed wave.
Olympos Mountain (Tahtalı Dağı)
It is possible to go to the peak by cable car. You reach the first station (735m) with your private car or public transportation. The road to the first station is well maintained, asphalt and takes less time in the forest.
Paragliding on the House of Gods
Up at the summit, there are not only observation terraces but also a cafe and restaurant. You can relish the moment with your loved ones by glancing at the exquisite scenery. Another opportunity is to start from 2350 m with a glider on your top and flare to sea level. It would be best if you did not miss this chance that you will not come across so often. The change in paragliding from the mountain Olmpos cannot be missed.
Kemer is a holiday town 40 km away from Antalya. According to 2017 figures, its population is 42 thousand people. In the region dominated by the Mediterranean climate, summers are hot and dry, and winters are warm and rainy.
The town, with an average of 8 months of swimming duration, has a 52 km coastline and a marina. It offers many types of accommodation, from boutique hotels to 5-star hotels, from campsites to bungalows.
It has an average of 300 days of sunshine per year. However, showers can be seen in December and January.
The rich history of Kemer, which also attracts tourists in winter, dates back to 690 BC. Phases Ancient City is 15 km from Kemer, whose foundation dates back to these dates. Life in Kemer, which came under the domination of the Turks in the 12th century, began in 1910. Originally, Kemer’s livelihood was agriculture and animal husbandry, but since the 1990s, with the revival of tourism, the economy is also based on tourism.
In short, Kemer is a beautiful holiday city with historical and natural beauties, nightlife, and appealing to everyone.
The coastline of Bodrum peninsula, originally named Halicarnassus, has around 650 km, and the traces of settlement in the centre of Bodrum date back to 484 b.c.
Whatever your dream in your holiday – Bodrum will deliver… Nothing is impossible, and you will find anything you want in Bodrum.
For more info about Bodrum, click here.
Ephesus (Ephesos, Ἔφεσος, Efes)
Ephesus, one of the largest ancient cities of the Mediterranean world, is the first to be made entirely of marble in history. It is one of the numerous important archaeological and historical sites in Turkey. This is the most active tourist destination dating back to 6000 BC.
This ancient Greek settlement should be visited at least one time in your life.
There are magnificent temples all over the metropolis, an ancient theatre of 24,000 people capacity, many libraries, a philosophy school and a town hall were established here. There is even a brothel just opposite the library. According to a rumour, a secret passage led from the library to this brothel. A fun part of it: people went to the brothel this way without attracting attention in society or being caught by his wife. Whether it is accurate or just a joke, it is amusing.
Ephesus started to play a significant role in the spread of Christianity. It is known that the mother of Jesus, the Virgin Mary, spent her last years in this region with Saint-Jean. Her house and Saint-Jean’s grave are still here for their visitors.
The Ancient City of Ephesus entered the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2015 and started being mentioned and known worldwide. So, the best time to visit, in our opinion, is spring or autumn.
The ancient city of Hierapolis (“holy city”) – today Pamukkale – is one of the most precious historical sites on the globe.
Hierapolis stands out as one of the region’s great Christian pilgrimage places. St. Philip, a prophet of Jesus, was killed here, and a monumental tomb was built in his name.
The UNESCO World Heritage includes the historical site of Hierapolis and the travertines – the white chalk terraces formed from crystal clear thermal water, rising just next to the antique site.
The Kingdom of Pergamon built the ancient heritage in 197 BC and, even then, was widely known for its thermal sources of recreating and healing nature.
The city of Pamukkale is just a stone throw away from the thermal pools. It is located around 18km north of Denizli, surrounded by the remains of 19 ancient cities and about a thousand cultural assets that have been identified close to Denizli. The most popular are Hierapolis, Laodikeia, Tripolis, Apollon Leirbenos, Tabae, Colossae, Eumenia, Herakleia Salbace, Dionysopolis, Attuda, Apollonia Salbace, Trapezapolis, Mossyna, Motello, Sala, Aetos.
The name of Pamukkale (cous castle/cotton castle) is related to the white stones formed by the thermal calcareous water over thousands of years.
A monument of white terraces has been naturally built, which appears from a distance and reminds one of a white castle.
The ancient city Hierapolis and the white travertines are known worldwide and attract more than 1 million local and foreign tourists annually.