With its historical ruins, turquoise blue seas and natural wonders, Turkey invites you to leave your footprints on its lands by trekking and hiking
With its position between Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Turkey is a unique destination that is veiled by the remnants of civilizations that left their mark on history, the sunshine and vivid blue coasts and its tradition. Being at the top of tourists' must-see list for a long time, Turkey offers many different spots that let you enjoy your stay across the country.
Accepted as a great way to get off the beaten track and feel the diversity of the country, walking in Turkey will lead you to the core of history in rural villages, mountain climbing and cozy backstreets. This wonderful country invites you to go trekking with its fascinating scenery, different trails and predictable weather. It does not matter whether you want to see green places on Turkish lands or find the turquoise sea at the end of your walking journey because Turkey has something to offer each type of traveler, especially to those who would love to go trekking and hiking. In Turkey, you can find a growing array of walking routes and hiking hotspots that range from a few hours to treks spanning over 1,000 kilometers.
As with all countries, you have three options: join an organized trip, use a specialized company to arrange everything or arrange everything yourself. There are many European and Turkish trekking companies that organize trips to Turkey, and these can be an excellent alternative to organizing everything yourself or with friends and family. These companies will meet you at the airport, provide transport, arrange your accommodation and food and guide you all the way throughout your trek.
For the first time visitor to Turkey or for the visitor who wants an easy, hassle-free trip, these can be very enjoyable and provide excellent value for money. The holiday will include the best sights, and the guides will do their best to make sure you have a great time. Some good news too is that the prices for trekking in Turkey are usually lower compared to other trekking destinations. If you are a beginner or are visiting Turkey for the first time, an organized trip may be a good option for you. From the most touristic spots to rural villages, every traveler will find something to mark their holidays as one of the best.
If you go trekking in rural areas, you should bear in mind that English is not spoken widely. So, do not consider it as an obstacle, but as an opportunity to improve your Turkish, at least to have basic Turkish skills. Here in this article, you will find certain trekking and hiking spots that you can experience.
The Lycian Way
The 509-kilometer-long Lycian Way is one the country's first waymarked trails. Located between the touristic destinations Fethiye and Antalya along southern Turkey's Tekke Peninsula (historically known as Lycia), the route will let you discover the spectacular coastal views and archaeological treasures dating back to 8 BC. On your way, you can also see interesting villages with their Lycian traditions.
The route includes the remnants of Greek and Roman cities, and the vivid blue sea of the Mediterranean will be your main trekking friend on your route on the Lycian Way. The route is rated medium to hard; it is not level walking, but has many ascents and descents as it approaches and veers away from the sea. You can hire a guide for your walks in this fascinating spot or participate in a trekking group. The route includes coastal paths, remote highlands and villages, so you can also meet villagers who may even invite you to their homes for lunch or dinner to show you Turkish hospitality.
The Lycian Way is not only a trekking activity, but also a social, cultural and historical discovery for travelers. You can prefer a trekking route that spans a day, a weekend or a full week according to your schedule and desire to discover. Lastly, this route is definitely the best way to get to know the real Turkey behind the touristic façade.
Hidden Trails of Cappadocia
With fairy chimneys and a secret valley, Cappadocia in Central Anatolia is a great way to witness Anatolian history by trekking. Central Anatolia's historical region of Cappadocia is an amazing destination offering breathtaking experiences with its ancient and natural treasures. Cappadocia can be described as a trail paradise with its volcanic landscape offering challenging, slick rock with lush, green tracks, caves, tunnels and canyons waiting to be explored. This magical region, with its historic remains that stand as some of the most renowned ancient natural wonders, invite you to ride to the core of Anatolia. Through wind and melting snow, the region has been carved out of volcanic rock over centuries and displays amazing colors and shapes unique to Cappadocia such as the fairy chimneys (also known as hoodoos). When you walk in Cappadocia, you will witness one of the most fascinating hidden trail experiences of your life, not to mention traditional Turkish culture as well.
St. Paul's Trail
Being one of the top walks in Turkey, St. Paul's Trail is a waymarked trail of around 500 kilometers from the start to the ruins of Perge in eastern Antalya and runs through the Yazılı Canyon National Park. Owing its name to the path St. Paul supposedly took on one of his journeys to spread Christianity throughout Anatolia, St. Paul's Trail will let you engage yourself in nature and rural villages where you can discover the life of the inhabitants of picturesque old stone and timber villages on your route. You can stop by small villages and discover the daily life of villagers by seeing local handcrafts, watching cheese yoghurt being made and seeing Turkish hospitality. The route starts at sea level and climbs up to 2,200 meters or to the optional 2,800 meters. In Perge, where your route starts, you will find historic Greek and Roman remnants as well as natural wonders, including canyons and forests, but it will get wilder as you climb. Compared to the Lycian Way, it can be said that St. Paul's Trail is slightly wilder, but it is actually what turns your journey into an adventure.