Lycian Way, Coast and Mountains, 6 November – 20 November 2012
The long-distance footpath through southern Turkey has existed since 1999, when Kate Clow finally way marked the whole of a 500 km walk around the coast of the Teke Peninsula, ancient Lycia, from the pleasant harbour town of Fethiye almost to Antalya. Antalya is certainly one of Turkey’s greatest cities on the Mediterranean and it was our arrival and departure point for this exciting holiday.
The Lycian Way is special for three reasons – it passes through beautiful, totally unspoilt, wild Turkish countryside, it takes walkers through some of the most important and spectacular remains of ancient civilisations, and it leads visitors to the doors of Turkish farmers and goat herders, who have not changed their lifestyles much since the days of their Lycian ancestors 3,000 years ago. Until today, they continue to display the warmest hospitality and friendliness.
Of course we did not walk the whole of the 500 km in 14 days! But we did walk the most scenic and historically interesting stretches with a bus to take us between walks. Twenty of us set off this year in in the balmy November sunshine. Here we are at the start of our holiday above the famous beauty spot of Oludeniz.
Our journey took us past the extraordinary Lycian rock tombs of Fethiye, and through the ancient sites of Patara, Xanthos, Myra and over the saddle of Mount Olympos itself.
Here we are enjoying a relaxing picnic in the Greek amphitheatre of the tranquil ancient city of Pinara, high in the mountains. It is a delightful spot to sit and contemplate the civilisations that have gone before (as well as to eat our cheese and tomato sandwiches).
But it was the simple wholesome fare of the local villagers that made the biggest impression on us. Here we are, on the terrace of a local farmer’s house, enjoying grapes straight from the vine overhead, with a pot of farmhouse soup and bread being prepared before us.
And village bread is somewhat different from that we buy from our baker at home.
Here is the farmer’s wife preparing the filled pancakes that followed.
And here we are enjoying another outdoor feast at the home of a delightful family in the village of MInare.
And this is the goat herder and his family who generously invited us into their compound, a short walk from Kas, to share their home-produced cheese, tomatoes, beans, bread, and their much appreciated fig jam.
En route to Adrasan, near the popular Olympos Beach, we took a boat round the bay from the coastal village of Kale to the sunken city of Tevoka, where a typical Turkish barbecue was prepared for us on board.
But meals were not all at local homes. When we were not eating in the hotels, several dinners were taken at local restaurants, with meals ranging from pide, the local pizza, to sea bream and trout and the delicious meat grills and stews for which Turkey is famous.
Here we are at a restaurant in Fethiye.
And of course, the next morning, after all that socialising and eating, we set out once more to walk off the effects! Home-grown food, fish straight from the sea, walks through the open countryside – a healthy regime second to none! And of course new friends galore!!