Main Path
Demre – Alakilise Ruins
ID: 
43

Westernmost portion of the remote, beautiful 39 km / 24 mi mountain route between Demre / Myra and Finike, usually done over three stages and typically requiring camping.

Goat on outcrop to the south of Belören
Image credit:  
Anna Flack
, All rights reserved

Essentials

Demre (town)
Alakilise Ruins (historical site)
SSW–NNE section with the Alakilise ruins to the NNE while the path itself bulges a bit to the W. Passes through Belören (a village) and Zeytin (a hamlet).
This is flat for the riverbed portion nearest Demre then has a long, steady slope rising to the N for most of the rest of the section (about 18.5% overall, with some stretches over 23%). The NE bit has about a 14% descent to the NE.
The path is mostly rural roads and rugged mountain trails, much of it through very remote terrain. However, there is a long, somewhat unappealing, stretch along the river bed to the north of Demre that is on a paved road.
Way-finding on the mountain can be tricky in many places. We recommend making periodic checks of your position against our GPS tracks to make sure you are still on-route if you haven’t seen a recent signpost or painted blaze.

Metrics

Select the tab below corresponding to the direction you plan to walk.
Towards Alakilise Ruins:
Towards Demre:
12.5 km / 7.8 mi
Distance
1,138 m / 3,733 ft
Ascent
332 m / 1,088 ft
Descent
~5.75 hrs
Duration
Elevation chart.
12.5 km / 7.8 mi
Distance
332 m / 1,088 ft
Ascent
1,138 m / 3,733 ft
Descent
~5.75 hrs
Duration
Elevation chart.

Handy Things to Know

The following notes are gathered from our own experiences and from feedback sent to us by other hikers. Let us know how we can improve these notes – and thanks!

Wayfinding

  • Even with a GPS track, way-finding along this 3-day stretch can be challenging due to the many goat tracks that criss-cross the mountain and the constantly-changing elevation (which, given the normal margin of error on a GPS device, can sometimes make it look like you are on the trail when you might actually be above or below it). Stay extra-alert for trail markings and cairns, and check your position frequently against GPS tracks.

Water

  • Water sources are unreliable – it is extremely important that you bring plenty with you, including extra to cover your needs in the event of delays (a twisted ankle, for example, could double the expected trek duration).
  • It is safest to assume that no water will be available anywhere during the entire stretch between Demre and Finike, though normally Belören and Zeytin both have reliable, clean water and there are numerous cisterns that often have water (filtration needed, though).
  • Most hikers seem to have no problem finding suitable water sources, especially in the springtime. However, on a remote, challenging 3-day section like this it is best to prepare for the worst. One technique is to use a ‘point of no return’ approach wherein you carry just what you feel is appropriate but that you never let yourself get into a situation where  you aren’t carrying enough water to get to the next reliable water source (whether ahead of you or behind you). Whenever you encounter water sources, you’d top-up and thereby extend your ‘point of no return’. If your water dips too low, you’d immediately head to the nearest reliable source, even if that means back-tracking.

Highlights

  • This section has many great views and constantly changing terrain.
  • The Alakilise ruins are quite interesting.

Tips

  • This section isn’t particular long at 12.5 km, but it is deceptively challenging due to the long, steep slope and the rugged terrain (in places).
  • It might be worthwhile to arrange a ride / taxi to bypass the long riverbed portion to the north of Demre. You can get dropped off (or picked up) right where the Lycian Way begins its ascent (or finishes its descent, depending on which way you are walking). This is especially worth considering in really hot weather as this stretch seems to bake you…

Route Planning

  • Typically, camping is required. There are no accommodation options that we are aware of between Myra and Finike.
  • If you aren’t camping, you can take a dolmuş between Demre and Finike (or perhaps even Karaöz) and then continue your trek from there.
  • Note: while camping is normally required it is actually possible to do some or all of this 3-day stretch without camping (and without hiking for 72 hours straight! LOL) if you are willing to put a bit of effort into arranging some logistics. See our article, Doing Demre – Finike Without Camping, for more details.

Alerts / Hazards

  • If you find yourself starting to run low on water make an immediate detour to the nearest community and / or start looking for shepherds (who are almost always friendly and will usually share water with you if necessary). Check the map for streams or for nearby roads where you may be able to hail a vehicle. Look for any isolated dwellings. Don’t push blindly forward in the hope that the next water source will have water available.
  • Between October and late-April check snow conditions on the mountain before attempting a traversal and make sure you have suitable gear. At any time of the year, check general weather forecasts and keep in mind that weather conditions can change extremely quickly on the mountain.
  • There’s portions where you’ll need to hike through large scree patches on steep hillsides and across rock fields. Be suitably cautious, especially if you have a large pack.
  • If you do not have experience with remote mountain hiking it may be better to bypass this portion of the trail.

Camping

  • There are numerous camping spots along this section. However, take care to find yourself a suitable spot well before sunset – there are many long stretches of uneven ground. Most people camp at or near the Alakilise ruins (there is something deeply moving about camping next to an ancient church at a truly remote location 800+ m / 2,600+ ft up a mountain!).

Amenities

  • While the trail passes through the village of Belören and the hamlet of Zeytin, neither have any amenities available (to our knowledge).

Attractions & Highlights

Notable highlights along the trail and at either endpoint include:
  • Myra Ruins in Demre
    Historical Site
    Myra Ruins
    In Demre
  • Church of St. Nicholas in Demre
    Historical Site
    Church of St Nicholas
    In Demre
  • Lycian Tombs South of Belören
    Historical Site
    Lycian Tombs
    Between Demre & Belören

Accommodations

Here’s what we’re currently tracking for this trail section:
  • Annotated map of Mina Suit Apart in Demre
    Hotel
    Mina Suit Apart
    In Demre
  • Dufa Bungalow in Demre
    Hotel
    Dufa Bungalow
    In Demre
  • Şahin Paradise Hotel in Demre
    Hotel
    Şahin Paradise Hotel
    In Demre

Wild Camping Locations

Here are the wild camping locations that we’re currently tracking along this trail section:
  • Campsite south of Belören
    Wild Campsite
    Campsite
    South of Belören
  • Campsite at Alakilise Ruins
    Wild Campsite
    Campsite
    At Alakilise Ruins

Water Sources

Here are the water sources that we’re currently tracking along this trail section or at either endpoint:
  • Water Source South of Belören
    Water Source
    Water Source
    Between Demre & Belören
  • Fountain in Belören
    Water Source
    Fountain
    In Belören
  • Fountain in Belören
    Water Source
    Fountain
    In Belören
  • Fountain in Zeytin
    Water Source
    Fountain
    In Zeytin
  • Fountain North of Zeytin
    Water Source
    Fountain
    Between Zeytin & Alakalise Ruins
  • Well West of the Alakilise Ruins
    Water Source
    Well
    West of the Alakilise Ruins

Where to Next?

From Alakilise Ruins:

  • Map of the Lycian Way between the Alakilise ruins and Yatıkardıç Yayla.
    Main Path
    Alakilise Ruins – Yatıkardıç Yayla
    Distance
    12.2 km / 7.6 mi
    Ascent
    1,128 m / 3,701 ft
    Descent
    487 m / 1,598 ft
    Est. Duration
    6.0
    Middle portion of the remote, beautiful 39 km / 24 mi mountain route between Demre / Myra and Finike, usually done over three stages and typically requiring camping.

From Demre:

  • Map of the Lycian Way between Kapaklı and Demre via Gürses.
    Main Path
    Kapaklı – Demre (via Gurses)
    Distance
    16.6 km / 10.3 mi
    Ascent
    665 m / 2,182 ft
    Descent
    755 m / 2,477 ft
    Est. Duration
    6.5
    Winding, often-rugged section connecting Kapaklı with a junction at the N end of Demre, by the Myra ruins. Partly follows the coast and partly ascends and descends a steep hillside overlooking Çayağzı / Demre.
  • Map of the Lycian Way between Kapaklı and Demre via Çayağzı.
    Alternate Path
    Kapaklı – Demre (via Çayağzı)
    Distance
    11.4 km / 7.1 mi
    Ascent
    84 m / 276 ft
    Descent
    180 m / 591 ft
    Est. Duration
    3.0
    Popular alternative to the main path between Kapaklı and Demre / Myra, going via the hamlet of Çayağzı instead.

Pretty Pictures

Sometimes nothing beats a good photo. Or even a bad photo! If you’d like to share some or all of your photo collection with the Trekopedia community, contact us at photos@trekopedia.com and we can arrange a transfer of them. And thanks!
All photos are copyright by their respective owners and are used with permission.
  • Alakilise ruins
    Alakilise ruins
    Photo by 
    Anna Flack
     – 
    Fall 2022
  • Trail to the SSW of Zeytin
    Trail to the SSW of Zeytin
    Photo by 
    Anna Flack
     – 
    Fall 2022
  • Hut on northern edge of Belören
    Hut on northern edge of Belören
    Photo by 
    Anna Flack
     – 
    Fall 2022
  • In Belören
    In Belören
    Photo by 
    Anna Flack
     – 
    Fall 2022
  • Goat on outcrop to the south of Belören
    Goat on outcrop to the south of Belören
    Photo by 
    Anna Flack
     – 
    Fall 2022
  • Rocky sloping path with Demre visible in the distance
    Rocky sloping path with Demre visible in the distance
    Photo by 
    Anna Flack
     – 
    Fall 2022

How You Can Help

Trail research is never actually done. Here’s some of what we’re looking for:
✅   More photos! Ideally with geo-location information in the metadata. In addition to using some photos on Trekopedia, we add them to our internal reference database which significantly helps us with trail research. The more photos, the better! If you are willing to share your collection with us, we’d be incredibly grateful. Let us know and we’ll arrange a transfer.

✅   Points of interest. Help us identify (and geo-locate) accommodations, attractions, restaurants, markets, trail waypoints, confusing or problematic junctions, difficult or hazardous places, water sources, and so on. 

✅   Tips & recommendations. Share your thoughts with other hikers.
In addition to the above, please see this article for information on more general ways you can help. Thanks!
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