Lycian Way, Coast and Mountains – March 1st – March 15th
The breathtaking scenery, great walks, blue sea and magnificent ruins will, of course, remain the backdrop to our memories of this holiday. But Turkey is very much a sum of small parts and so every grand experience is underpinned by smaller memories that make this holiday so special. The stunning flowers had to be one of the highlights for many of us, and our guides must have despaired sometimes when trying to hold our attention on some wonderful Lycian rock tomb, only to have our attention drawn by a field of colourful anemones, or to be expounding on a roman amphitheatre while half of us had turned our backs to photograph the field of asphodels.
A favourite day for all of us was the gentle walk from Sidek to Gokceoren discovering a wealth of Lycian and Roman tombs in the undergrowth; yet our main memories of that day will surely be the local farmwife, who at little notice, provided us with a superb lunch of flatbread, goats cheese and home made fig jam which we ate in the sunshine in the company of a herd of goats.
None of us will forget the charming hilltop fort of Simena, and the boatride across the water to see the underground ruins of Kekova, but linked to the history of the area will forever be a picture of the young boatman, who so deftly cooked us all fresh fish on a tiny barbeque on the platform at the end of the boat.
We only just touched the edges of the impressive town of Olympos, mostly hidden in the undergrowth on the edge of Cirali – we could only guess at the riches still to be discovered by future archaeologists. Yet for some of us the visit was made even more memorable by the young man who beckoned us in to our usual evening restaurant for tea and then refused to take payment for it as we were regular diners.
Visit Turkey for its blue seas and skies and amazing scenery and history, but I’ll bet your holiday memories will be full of the smaller sights and sounds and personal contacts with the Turkish people.