Southern Turkey
Lycian Way
Along Turkey’s beautiful Turquoise Coast
ID: 
1

Heralded as one of the top 10 long-distance trails in the world by the UK’s Sunday Times, this 400 km / 250 mi hike along Turkey’s rugged, beautiful Turquoise Coast connects the small city of Fethiye in the west with a village on the outskirts of Antalya in the east. It has jaw-dropping scenery, ancient historical sites, incredibly friendly people, delicious food, and constantly changing terrain.

 

Typically done over about 27 to 30 days, though with good partial-routes of as little as 5 days, it has lots of elevation changes and will give your legs (and lungs) a good workout with about 23,000 m / 75,000 ft of both ascent and descent.

 

Known as Likya Yolu in Turkish, this trail can be done in either direction as a through-hike or a series of day hikes.

Image credit:  
Łukasz Ostojski
, All rights reserved

Latest News

Hey everyone! We hope you find our coverage of the Lycian Way helpful in your trip planning. On this site you’ll find details about the overall trail, individual trail sections, entries for each community, plus listings of most water sources and wild campsites. There are lots of articles with background info on the Lycian Way, details on accommodations, and more. We’re slowly adding other details as well.

We’re still preparing our GPS tracks / waypoint data files. Those should be available soon (hopefully!). We’ve added a couple hundred photos to the site so far, but many more are still to come.

Feedback on our content is highly welcomed! If you have any comments about the site, suggestions on how to improve it, or questions about the trail, contact us directly at feedback@trekopedia.com – we’d love to hear from you!

FYI, this site is totally non-commercial. We don’t charge anyone to be listed or mentioned. There’s no advertising or other nonsense. We do this to give back to the community for all the help we’ve received over the years. If you’d like to help as well, send us feedback from the trail and we’ll include it here for others.

Metrics

Select the tab below corresponding to the direction you plan to walk.
Towards Antalya (eastbound):
Towards Fethiye (westbound):
~450 km / 280 mi
Distance
23,085 m / 75,740 ft
Ascent
22,675 m / 74,385 ft
Descent
~29 days (full trail)
Duration
Elevation profile chart for the full Lycian Way, main path, heading eastward.
~450 km / 280 mi
Distance
22,675 m / 74,385 ft
Ascent
23,085 m / 75,740 ft
Descent
~29 days (full trail)
Duration
Elevation profile chart for the full Lycian Way, main path, heading westward.

Nitty-Gritty

Orientation

Fethiye (small city)
Geyikbayırı (village near Antalya)
Roughly a west-east trail, with a bulge to the south as it wraps around southern Turkey’s famous Turquoise Coast, generally following the mountainous coastline.

The official western endpoint is actually in the town of Ovacık though most hikers just start in Fethiye (a waymarked trail connects Fethiye with Ovacık, passing through the village of Kayaköy with its interesting ‘ghost town’ ruins).

Towns: In addition to the endpoints, it passes through the towns of Kalkan, Kaş, Demre, Adrasan, Çıralı, and many remote villages.

Direction: Can be done in either direction, though most seem to do it west-to-east.

Challenges

Difficulty: Moderate, mainly due to the constantly changing elevations and the rocky trail surface. Suitable for most reasonably fit hikers.

Heights: Those with a fear of heights might want to look elsewhere as the trail is frequently on steep inclines or near cliff edges.

Technical Skills Required: None. Just energy, endurance, and a decent sense of balance.

Trail Network

The Lycian Way consists of approximately 508 km / 316 mi of way-marked trails. However, a chunk of that are alternate variants meaning that a full-trail hike is roughly 450 km / 280 mi depending on which variants you choose.

We also track more than 180 km / 112 mi of additional, unofficial, paths that might be of interest. These include popular alternatives that are way-marked but not part of the Lycian Way itself, plus some shortcuts and various road options that might be useful to bypass portions of the trail where desired.

Seasonality

When: Can be hiked year-round.

Recommended: March to May and Sept / Oct tend to be the best months, due to milder temperatures.

Alert: The summer months can be hot (often extremely hot!), especially at lower elevations. Winter hikes in the mountain sections should only be undertaken by those who are experienced in such conditions.

Suitability

This is a hiking-only trail due to frequently-rugged, uneven terrain and many narrow footpaths.

Cycling: While the official trail is hiking-only, it would be easy to bicycle along the general route of the Lycian Way using nearby rural (low traffic) roads. You’d still be able to reach almost all attractions along the route and would enjoy many of the same excellent sights and experiences.

Camping is optional but not required.

Highlights

The scenery is the number one thing that draws most hikers, with fantastic coastline views, beautiful mountains, delightful coves, great beaches, and more.

History is also a major attraction, with multiple ancient cities to explore and ruins seemingly everywhere.

The food is incredible and arguably more hikers rave about it than even the scenery!

Accommodation

Guesthouses: The Lycian Way is mostly a town-to-town hike making it possible to overnight in guesthouses the entire way other than one 3-day (two nights) remote stretch which can easily be bypassed if camping isn’t an option for you.

Camping: If you prefer to camp, it can be done almost anywhere. Note, though, that sometimes there are restrictions during dry periods when there are high risks of forest fires. Usually commercial campgrounds remain open even during restrictions on wild camping.
See our article on accommodation options / types for more info.

Getting In / Out

To / From Fethiye: Nearest airport is in Dalaman, a little under an hour away. It’s an international airport, though most people seem to pass through Istanbul with a domestic flight to / from Dalaman. There are frequent, inexpensive buses available between the airport and Fethiye though a taxi the entire way is also quite affordable.

To / From Geyikbayırı: Nearest airport is in Antalya, a short local bus (dolmuş) ride away.

It’s also easy to get in / out of the Lycian Way from Kalkan, Kaş, Demre, Çıralı, Göynük, and Hısarçandır, among other locations, if you are doing shorter hikes.

Public Transportation

Dolmuş: Local bus service, called dolmuş, is typically via small mini-van-type vehicles that run within and between most communities along the Lycian Way. In addition to catching a dolmuş at designated stops / stations, it is also possible (and common) to simply wave them down along the major roads. Dolmuş service is typically frequent, cheap, and convenient.

Coach Service: For transit elsewhere in Turkey, coach service is available from bus stations in the major communities. Standards are typically excellent, costs are reasonable, and the coverage map is superb.

Getting Around by Car

Private Car: Don’t be shy about asking your guesthouse operator if they can arrange a ride – they inevitably have a relative around somewhere who is happy to earn a bit of cash driving you around. You can also ask in villages at the mosques, markets, or simply on the street. Be prepared to bargain.

Hitchhiking: If you are comfortable with it, hitchhiking is easy and common. Indeed, if you are standing by a road it is not at all unusual for a Turk to pull over and offer a ride even if you weren’t looking for one. It is usually considered polite to chip in a little to help with fuel costs.

Explore

Dig deeper into the Lycian Way with the following sub-pages.

Regions & Trail Sections

8 regions with overview descriptions
50+ detailed trail sections, each with with map, description, etc.

Pre-Defined Routes

Full-trail options
Good ‘mini’ options
Coming Soon!

Communities

70+ communities roughly in route-order.
Link to details page for each community.

Highlights & Attractions

All the Lycian and Roman historical sites that we track.
Castles, fortresses, and more.
Coming Soon!

Accommodations

All the accommodations we currently track.
Link to the details page for each accommodation.
Tip: See the individual trail section and community entries for accommodation listings specific to that entry.

Pros & Cons

Here’s what jumps out to us about the Lycian Way…
Positives
Jaw-dropping scenery combining rugged mountains, bustling agricultural deltas, endless coastline with turquoise waters and pristine beaches, charming towns and villages, hidden craggy coves, burning rocks (!), and more.
Incredibly friendly people. Turkish hospitality is legendary for a reason. 
Delicious food. Really, really delicious food! Seriously. Delicious.
Ancient ruins everywhere – you’ll literally be tripping over them in some places. What other trail has you actually walking on an ancient Roman aqueduct for a significant stretch?
Can be done without camping, albeit skipping over one stretch.
Excellent local transportation.
Nice variety of sights, attractions, and experiences that keeps the trail always interesting.
Relatively low costs for food and accommodation.
Quite safe; locals are very helpful and supportive. See our article on safety on the Lycian Way for more on this topic.
Can be done in either direction, though most people seem to walk it west-to-east.
Did we mention the delicious food…?
Easy to skip any portions that don’t interest you or where you are limited for time. Excellent short itineraries are possible for as little as five days.
Negatives
Rugged, challenging footpaths in many parts, making it necessary to watch your footing carefully. Twisted ankles aren’t unusual, especially during the first few days before you acquire your ‘Lycian Way groove’. 
Relatively poor way-markings in many parts. GPS tracks are highly recommended and even then you should approach the trail with patience and a sense of discovery / exploration. You will get lost at least once, though you’ll always get to where you need to be. 
Some boring stretches (though easily by-passed).
Frequent ascents and descents, often very steeply (though for many, this is a positive!).
Outside of the major towns, generally only Turkish is spoken though villagers are extremely friendly and patient with foreigners (learning even just a handful of Turkish words will take you a long way). Using Google Translate on your smartphone is very helpful despite Google’s support for Turkish being quite poor (it’s enough to get the job done if you use short, simple, declarative sentences).
For some stretches you need to do careful water planning, especially during dry times of the year. Overall, though, drinking water is readily available and the potentially dry stretches can be by-passed if necessary.
Aggressive dogs can be a nuisance in some places (such as in and around the town of Akbel), though thankfully biting incidents are very rare. Wild pigs have been reported in a couple of places. Basic precautions need to be taken regarding scorpions.

Articles / More Info

  • Hiker using rope at cliff tombs near Limanağzı.
    Photo by 
    T Roszkowski
    , all rights reserved
    Is it Safe?
    Do you have what it takes to survive southern Turkey?

    Crime! Attacks by Yeti! Crazed shepherds feeding unwitting hikers to the goats! Falling off cliffs! Death by thirst! Vicious dogs! Dandruff! Being the first up against the wall when the revolution comes! Suicidal dolmuş drivers!

     

    We have all the gory details in this incisive, in-depth, explosive investigative report.

  • Hotel room
    Photo by 
    T Roszkowski
    , all rights reserved
    Sleeping Options
    Where to put your head each night.

    Hotels. Guest houses. Camping. Supported trips. One of the nice things about the Lycian Way is there is a good mix of accommodation options that enable you to choose the approach that is right for you.

     

    Read on for an exciting, nay breathtaking, discussion of each type of accommodation option on the Lycian Way.

  • Kissing dolphins water fountain in Adrasan
    Photo by 
    Alex Boatfield
    , all rights reserved
    Water Sources
    When that thirst just has to be quenched!

    Tap water. Wells. Cisterns. Village fountains. Remote fountains. Streams and springs. Bottled water.

     

    This articles outlines the different types of water sources available along the Lycian Way and which of them are more (or less) likely to be rather rude and inconsiderate to your stomach.

  • Trail winding between boulders, blaze between Aperlai and Üçağız
    Photo by 
    Stu Hackett
    , all rights reserved
    In Search of the Next Waypoint
    So, um, which of these seven goat paths am I supposed to be following now…?

    Way-finding, trail blazes / signposts, and the joy of getting lost.

     

    Read on to discover what’s involved in getting from point A to point B on the Lycian Way.

  • Painted directions on boulder at 3-way merge point above Kabak Beach.
    Photo by 
    Stu Hackett
    , all rights reserved
    Route Planning
    Decisions. Decisions. Decisions.

    Trail variants. Skipping sections. Short itineraries. Choosing suitable stage lengths.

     

    Read on for more info.

  • Staying at the Güvenpark Residence & Hotel in Tekirova
    Photo by 
    T Roszkowski
    , all rights reserved
    Using a Base of Operations
    Easily lighten your load

    It is (relatively) easy to significantly lighten your load while hiking on the Lycian Way using a ‘base of operations’.

     

    Read on for details.

  • Fethiye market
    Photo by 
    Darren Moens
    , all rights reserved
    Money Tips
    “Buy low, Sell high.” and other insightful money tips

    Read on for more shrewd, insightful tips only available on this great site.

  • Backpack on trail between Ovacık and Kirme.
    Photo by 
    The Trekopedia Team
    , all rights reserved
    Packing Tips
    Should I bring my snowboard?

    Some considerations to keep in mind when packing for the Lycian Way.

     

    Read on for more info.

  • Alakilise ruins.
    Photo by 
    Łukasz Ostojski
    , all rights reserved
    Doing Demre – Finike Without Camping
    Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

    This 3-day mountain stretch has no accommodations available along it. The easiest way to do it is, of course, by camping. But one of the nice things about the Lycian Way is that you don’t have to camp. Even this 3-day stretch can be done without camping!

     

    It requires some extra logistical planning, but it is do-able!

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.
  • View over Fethiye.
    View over Fethiye
    Photo by 
    Darren Moens
     – 
    Oct 2022
  • Impressive cliffside tomb in Fethiye.
    Impressive cliffside tomb in Fethiye
    Photo by 
    The Trekopedia Team
  • Coastal view on ascent from Ovacik
    Coastal view on ascent from Ovacık
    Photo by 
    Darren Moens
     – 
    Fall 2022
  • Trail between Ovacık and Kirme.
    Trail surface between Ovacık and Kirme
    Photo by 
    The Trekopedia Team
  • Rock Field From Earthquake near Kozağaç
    Rock field from earthquake near Kozağaç
    Photo by 
    Stu Hackett
     – 
    Spring 2016
  • Looking down into Butterfly Valley.
    Looking down into Butterfly Valley from Faralya
    Photo by 
    Ronen Fox
     – 
    Apr 2017
  • Nice view between Faralya and Kabak.
    Nice view between Faralya and Kabak
    Photo by 
    Łukasz Ostojski
     – 
    Fall 2021
  • Rocky path between Kabak and Alınca
    Rocky path between Kabak and Alınca
    Photo by 
    Darren Moens
     – 
    Fall 2022
  • Hiker ascending towards Alınca from Kabak Beach
    Hiker ascending towards Alınca from Kabak Beach
    Photo by 
    Anonymous
     – 
    Fall 2022
  • Hiker looking at sheer cliffs between Kabak and Alınca
    Hiker looking at sheer cliffs between Kabak and Alınca
    Photo by 
    T Roszkowski
     – 
    Spring 2022
  • Coastal view from slightly south of Alınca
    Coastal view from slightly south of Alınca
    Photo by 
    Stu Hackett
     – 
    Spring 2016
  • Letoon ruins.
    Flooded area of the Letoon ruins
    Photo by 
    Anna Flack
     – 
    Sept 2022

How You Can Help

Trail research is never actually done. For this overview page for the Lycian Way, here’s some of what we’re looking for (in addition to the general requests for help listed in this article):
More photos! We’re always looking for more photos to add to our internal research database as well as for use here on Trekopedia. If you are willing to share your collection with us, we’d be incredibly grateful. Let us know and we’ll arrange a transfer.
What are we missing from our Lycian Way coverage? Let us know what additional information would have been helpful for you.
Help us improve the accuracy and quality of our content – everything from factual mistakes to typos. No detail too small!
What could be organised / laid out better?
Able to help? Contact us!
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