An intimate walk in nature: The best trekking trails in Turkey
by İklim Arsiya
ISTANBULJul 08, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by İklim Arsiya
Jul 08, 2015 12:00 am
Trekking is an activity that was created an alternative tourism sector over recent years. It is growing quickly in Turkey thanks to the country's countless natural beauties, mountains and forests that presents perfect areas for trekking
Trekking, a combination of hiking and walking in which people take day trips to rural undeveloped areas is something nature lovers are enthusiastic about especially with the weather warming up. This on-foot-journey is a hike through mountainous areas along lovely villages, while enjoying the close contact with nature. Here are some of the best hiking trails around Turkey that are worth the adventure. Some of these routes are only places nature enthusiasts know about!
Aladağ Mountains (Aladağlar): Ideal for summer trekking
Aladağlar is the central and southeastern part of the Taurus Mountains following the Mediterranean coast. With its highest peak being 3756 meters, the whole area is within national park grounds. Some great trekking locations are Yedigöller, Sokulupınar, Maden Boğazı, Kapızbaşı Şelaleleri, Sarımadenler and Akşampınarı. Only 60 km away from Niğde, there are minibuses that depart daily to head to Aladağlar. A 90 minute ride later the bus arrives at Çukurbağ or Demirkazık villages where there is a hotel you can accommodate in. If you're one to want to be closer to nature there is a camp site in Sokulupına, an hour walk from the village. A two hour long hike from the village you will also find Emli Valley. From here it is possible to climb up to Kaldı, Güzeller and Alaca summits. The best time for trekking in Aladağlar is the summer months when the weather isn't too cold as you reach the tops of the mountains.
Kaçkar Mountains (Kaçkarlar): A walk that takes a week
In the Kaçkar Mountains the Trans Kaçkar and the Trans Yayla trails are among the most preferred trails to go hiking. The Trans Kaçkar trail is 45 km from Rize to Artvin in the Black Sea region, which is a track that can be complete in a week. The 20 hour walk begins at Helek and ends in the Ayder plateau. There are a couple of hostels in the two areas in which hikers can stay at that also provide transportation. In Hevek there is a church and castle that mustn't go unseen. It also must be said that the Trans Kaçkar trail is a bit harder then the Trans Yayla trail. The Trans Yayla trail exceeds between the Sıratepe highlands that falls between the Fırtına and Ayder valleys.
Likya Route: The most preferred among tourists
The Likya route is one of the most appropriate spots for trekking in Turkey. The route falls just on the historical road that links Antalya to Fethiye. The most important part of the 500 km long Likya route is the Yanartaş region. Transportation is provided by minibuses that go from Kemer to Kumluca. The trekking route that tourists prefer most is the one kilometer section that goes up to the Yanartaş region. On this route you will find hostels in which you can stay at and rest. There are also camping areas which you can set up your tent as well. The Likya route has been shown as one of the world's top 10 long distance hiking trails and is a must see for all nature lovers. The Gelidonya Lighthouse located on the trail has an outstanding view that was selected Turkey's most beautiful scenery in 2007.
Located in the borders of Manavgat's Canyon National Park is the Köprülü Kanyon. With a length of 14 km and depth reaching up to 300 meters, this canyon breaks records for being the longest and most beautiful canyons in Turkey. With an incredible appearance similar to the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, Köprülü Kanyon is suitable for trekking. There are camp areas located on the edge of the river and also food and beverage facilities that meet the needs of visitors. Tents and caravans can also accommodate inside the National Park as well. Along the way as you are trekking about, you will find ruins of the ancient city of Selge such as a theater, temple of Zeus and Artemis, cisterns and aqueducts dating back to 5th century BC. An experience full of history and adventure is awaiting visitors.
Erikli Highland: A walk among fruit trees
An abundance of natural beauties can be found in Yalova's Erikli Highland, located just around Teşvikiye village. The hiking begins at this village and continues through the path in the forest that leads to the plateau. Since the first 90 minute walking distance in the trail is uphill, it can be a little tiering. The second part of the trail is a four hour long walk full of natural beauties like waterfalls. Walking through a forest full of chestnut, blackberry, walnut, plumb, apple and medlar trees is something worth experiencing. If you get hungry along the way stop and pick fruit from the numerous trees full of delicious fruit!
Sülüklügöl (Leech Lake): Where you can find trout instead of leeches
Sülüklügöl is located near Adapazarı near the village of Akyokuşkavağı, about a three hour drive from Istanbul. The 8km path is an adventurous hike with the trail changing from soil to sand to forest. The path leads up to the lake that came to be after a landslide that occurred three centuries ago. Its name meaning 'Leech Lake' is no longer relevant as the leeches no longer exist in the lake ever since breeding of trout started. The best time to go to Sülüklügöl is spring and the four to five hour hike is an oxygen rich, unique experience you will not want to miss.