Hiking in Turkey - Part One

By: barbamz , 3:24 PM GMT on May 12, 2014

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Okay folks, here is the first part with some photo and video impressions from our trip to South-Western Turkey / Lycia where we've walked parts of the Lycian Way.

The Lycian Way has only been established in 1999 by the initiative of the British lady Kate Clow. It follows ancient trade routes. Those beautiful paths once formed a dense net of routes all over the coasts, countries and islands in the Mediterranean area. But once modern times reached those areas people prefered to use newly built (dirt) roads by car. The old paths were abandoned, forgotten, overgrown and partly destroyed by the roads. Thanks to people like Kate Clow some of them – first in Greece where I’ve been for hiking very often – were restored. In Turkey this development is very new, and the locals were very astonished to experience that some “rich” tourists prefer to torture themselves on those steep paths instead of using the easy way of travelling by car. But mind, once we’ve even met a group of Turkish (!) male (!) hikers on the trail, so things seem to change. Anyway, the Lycian way provides new chances for those very poor people living along the trail to earn some money.

Because I’m lazy, here is what Wikipedia has to say about the Lycian Way: The Lycian Way is a long-distance footpath in Turkey around part of the coast of ancient Lycia. It is approximately 510 km (317 miles) long and stretches from Ölüdeniz, near Fethiye, to Hisarcandir, about 20 kilometers from Antalya. It is waymarked with red and white stripes, the Grande Randonnee convention. The Sunday Times has listed it as one of the world's top ten walks. It takes its name from the ancient civilisation, which once ruled the area. The route is graded medium to hard; it is not level walking, but has many ascents and descents as it approaches and veers away from the sea. It is easier at the start near Fethiye and gets more difficult as it progresses. It is recommended that you walk the route in spring or autumn; February–May or September–November. Summer in Lycia is hot, although you could walk short, shady sections. The route is mainly over footpaths and mule trails; mostly limestone and often hard and stony underfoot.

The following photos and videos were taken during the first five days which were totally dedicated to the Lycian way. We stayed overnight in Olüdeniz/Ovacik (start of the trail), then in the remote villages of Faralaya (George House), Kabak (Olive Garden) and Gey (Ramazan’s simple Guesthouse in his little farm). We’ve booked the tour by an Austrian Hiking Agency. They cared for the accomodations, the transport of the heavy luggage and some lifts; moreover they provided some informations and the data of the GPS-tracks (I had to buy a navigator the days before we left and had to figure out how this stuff works. Costed me some nerves, lol). Although the Lycian Way is mostly marked, a GPS device is recommended because sometimes you can easily miss the right turn of the path. Moreover hikers will help each other to find the right way. We’ve met quite a lot of folks from different countries on the trail: some organized groups with their own guides as well as individuals who planned to manage the whole long Lycian Way as back packers, some of them even with tents in order to sleep outdoors.

Turkish people are very friendly and hospitable. Of course in those remote rural villages high above in the mountains only few people know some chunks of English or German, and as our Turkish is – ehem – a bit limited too, communication usually was restricted to a Hello (“Merhaba”) and a smile. Turkish cuisine is very delicious and healthy. In rural areas you mostly get all sorts of salads, vegetables, fruits, cheese and eggs but rarely any meat (this of course is different in the towns down at the shore which are adapted to tourism and where meat and tasty fishes are in the offing). Most people in those remote villages live from farming with small fields which they still harvest by simple sickles. They’ve got chickens and cows, and everywhere you’ll meet herds of goats and sheep.

Overall we were quite lucky with the weather although it was a bit unstable and in one night a front of thunderstorms, accompanied by fierce winds, moved in. The last day we had to shorten our tour because of rain which would make the final deep descent down to sea level too slippery. Farmer Ramazan was so kind to pick us up with his old car and rumble down the very bad dirt road to take us back to “civilization”, where the next part of our journey started.

Map of the Lycian Way. We've walked the first part to the left leading from North to South.

Start of the Lycian Way. You still can choose between your feet and the taxi service, lol.

View back to the North (Beldegiz).

Close up to the beach which would be heavily overcrowed later on in the main season.

View to the South with some clouds cicking in.

Beautiful goats everywhere.

Advantage of spring compared to autumn is that nature still is lush green with a lot of flowers and blossoms. This may be an orchid.

Traditionally built house with wood and framework - but obviously not in the best condition anymore.

Descent to the village of Kirme.

My heavily packed backside, lol.

Village of Faralaya.

This scrapped motorbike attracted the attention especially of male hikers.

The huge gorge of Faralaya.

View towards the bay.

Poppy with visitor.

Butterfly valley with its beach. Descent is very dangerous but anyway we were too lazy to descent and walk up again.

View out of the window of my flat at George House. You won't need an alarm clock. Either the cock or the call of the Muezzin from the mosque will wake you up early in the morning.

Women prepars pita bread for dinner at George House.

Storms are looming for the night.

Video with the whole breathtaking scenery around George House high above Butterfly Valley.

Coastline to the North.

Open air tea stove at the wayside. Tea is the most common beverage.

Break with fresh orange juice.



One of those beautiful and proud cocks. Chicken still enjoy a very natural and peaceful life in those villages.

Reaching the village of Kabak.

The bay of Kabak.

The whole scenery around Olive Garden in Kabak.

Ascent from Kabak to Alinca.

Very rocky scenery.

Old cistern in the valley between Alinca and Gey.

View back towards the North from the hights near Gey.

The remote village of Gey.

Harvest of wheat with sickles.

Farmer is bringing in his animals for the night.

Chicken will stay in the trees during the night where they are safe from the foxes.

Farmer Ramazan, our landlord for this night. The van in the background belonged to another group of hikers.

Ramazan's plain boarding house (the only one in this village) with only two small bathrooms for 15 hikers. Well, we had fun nevertheless.

Bonfire for the hikers.

Flowers at the wayside.

Turkish family in a nearby village.

Chat with other hikers on the way. Later on we had to shorten our walk for this day because of rain and fog.

So far part one. I hope you've enjoyed it.

When I've got time, more parts will follow. Expect: More parts of the Lycian way, gorgeous gorges and rivers, huuuge beaches and dunes, an overwhelming lot of ancient ruins, picturesque harbour towns with shops, inland and island trips ...

Edit: Link to part two.

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20. WunderAlertBot (Admin)
9:20 PM GMT on May 19, 2014
barbamz has created a new entry.
19. clearlakemike
4:15 AM GMT on May 18, 2014
EEEW...lol. But we have Godzilla jellyfish!! LOL They will wash ashore and destroy Golden Gate Bridge! lol

I read recently that jellyfish will be the main occupants of the oceans in the future...people will be eating jellyfish and insects. So eat up and enjoy your cheeseburger today while you can. Or in my case, your equally as delicious black bean burger. Although, I do enjoy eating a delicious Hawaiian grass fed beef burger with blue cheese once in awhile :)
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1959
18. barbamz
6:55 PM GMT on May 16, 2014
Quoting 17. clearlakemike:
Here, where I am in West Hawaii, unusual disruption of the trade winds for May. More clouds and rain than usual it seems to me. The sun and the winds are returning in my neighborhood as I write this so I am going to take dog out for walk and enjoy it. It rained most of the day yesterday.

Interesting, Mike, thanks. Sure weather is changing. And with the following news the old thread of sea and lake monsters in Europe (remember last year?) may already continue, lol:

Giant Barrel Jellyfish Are Washing Up On British Beaches (PICTURES)
Bournemouth News and Pictures | Posted: 12/05/2014 14:24 BST
Jellyfish measuring up to 3.2ft in diameter are washing up on Britain’s shores.
As many as ten barrel jellyfish have appeared on beaches around the south coast in recent weeks.
This one was spotted in the sand in Portland, Dorset, by wildlife photographer Steve Trewhella. ...

German news today report that similar giant jellyfish are spotted at the coast of the Netherlands. Reason for this should be the unusual warm winter. Usually those jellyfish would die in the cold waters, but this mild winter they survived, growing even bigger in spring.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5930
17. clearlakemike
8:58 PM GMT on May 15, 2014
Bosnia has experienced its highest rainfall levels since records began 120 years ago. River levels rose all over the country, including the capital, Sarajevo.

Another intensified weather event it appears to be, Barb. As has been mentioned in climate change discussions...increases in water in the atmosphere brought on by warming. And on the flip side, places like California are extremely dry, and in Southern California experiencing record heat and wildfires.

Here, where I am in West Hawaii, unusual disruption of the trade winds for May. More clouds and rain than usual it seems to me. The sun and the winds are returning in my neighborhood as I write this so I am going to take dog out for walk and enjoy it. It rained most of the day yesterday.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1959
16. barbamz
8:57 PM GMT on May 15, 2014
Thanks WW. I'm glad your son is fine.
Unfortunately the flooding situation in southeastern Europe is an ongoing one, because low "Yvette" is a slow mover.
I'm out for most of the weekend as I have to sell books (if anybody wants to buy one, lol) in a book fair for nearly three days.
Hopefully I'll edit part two of my experiences in Turkey the next week.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5930
15. WeatherWise
7:19 PM GMT on May 15, 2014
Hi Barb! Hope all is well with you and you have taken time to get rested up a bit from your trip. Yes, my son chose to do this walk and I am sure he is loving every minute of it. He enjoys weekend hikes and bike rides. This is his first trip abroad. So far as weather, I am not sure, but have not noticed rainy day photos in his postings. Sandi keeps giving me weather updates. I was just reading about the weather updates that you put in Comments 13 and 14. Hope all has calmed down by now. Take care and have a wonderful week!
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 38 Comments: 1218
14. barbamz
6:15 PM GMT on May 15, 2014

EuroNews: Several Bosnian cities have been affected by floods caused by heavy rains, cutting off electricity and leaving several towns and villages isolated. Army helicopters evacuated dozens of people stranded in their homes in the central town of Maglaj, where the Bosna river swelled to record levels, reaching the first floors of apartment buildings. In this video a pedestrian bridge is taken away by the floods and crashes into another bridge, seemingly getting swallowed by it.

Yvette at 850hpa (click the picture).

At least three killed after massive storm whips Balkans
Thu, 15th May 2014 15:03
Belgrade (Alliance News) - At least three people drowned in floods Thursday as a massive storm whith record rainfall and powerful winds lashed Serbia and its neigbours.
Among the victims was a homeowner who refused to be evacuated on the outskirts of Belgrade and a firefighter on a rescue operation north of the capital.
Serbia declared a nationwide state of emergency because of flooding across the country. The government said that it has asked Russia, the European Commission and Slovenia for humanitarian and technical assistance to deal with the effects of the flooding.
Within a period of 24 hours, some 120 litres of rain fell per square metre, beating a record from 1897, meteorologist Biljana Vranes said.
More than 180 litres of rain per square metre is expected to fall in the two-and-a-half days until Friday noon, compared to the monthly average for May of 70 litres.
Authorities said that more than 600 people were evacuated and that 100,000 households were without electricity. Entire towns were cut off as a precaution as water levels continued to rise.
Several major routes, including the E-75 Belgrade-Skopje highway, were submerged and impassable. The railway line to Montenegro was also interrupted.
Traffic was at a standstill in parts of Belgrade after more than 30 hours of heavy rain. Local authorities ordered schools to remain closed Thursday and Friday.
Serbia and its neighbours were at the centre of a slowly-moving cyclone, which is expected to shift to the east and then south, to the eastern Mediterranean, in the coming days.
The storm it brought was followed by a sharp drop in temperature, precipitation and gale-force winds. Snow fell in higher areas of Serbia, Croatia and Bosnia.
To the west, in Bosnia, floods forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. With roads submerged and several bridges carried away by swollen rivers, the government in Sarajevo ordered the army to deploy helicopters in rescue missions.
In Croatia, the authorities closed sections of the highway along the Adriatic coast because of the storm and the wind reaching 150 kilometres per hour.
The national meteorology service issued a "red alert" in continental Croatia, warning that the wind powerful enough to knock down trees and carry debris at a deadly speed.
Thousands of households across the region have been without electricity since Wednesday, while occasional blackouts occurred elsewhere. The cyclone was slowly moving eastward, hitting Bulgaria and Romania.
In Bulgaria, a woman has gone missing after a flood hit Knezha, a town in the north. A tornado reportedly formed on the outskirts of Sofia, damaging roofs in the suburb Chepinci.
Waters were rising in Romania between Bucharest and the Carpathian mountains, causing floods in around two dozen villages.

Foto AFP. Source (IBT) and more photos of this landslide in Bosnia: Balkans Floods: Heavy Rain Causes Landslides in Bosnia and Serbia
Bosnia has experienced its highest rainfall levels since records began 120 years ago. River levels rose all over the country, including the capital, Sarajevo.

Rescue operations in Maglaj. Very dire situation as the aerial view shows.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5930
13. barbamz
9:00 AM GMT on May 15, 2014
Mike, it's a so called 5-b-weather situation which happens from time to time: A cut-off low, loaded with warm moisture from the Mediterranean, sneaks into Central Europe somehow from the back door in the Southeast and dumps a lot of rain esp. onto the slopes of the Alps. Last year severe "European flooding" of Danube and Elbe River was caused by such a low. This time the event should stay further to the East.

Today Yvette continues to circle over the Balkans, Austria und Southern Poland , dumping lots of rain, combined with very strong winds in some areas:

Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5930
12. clearlakemike
8:35 PM GMT on May 14, 2014
Olive Garden in Kabak video reminded me of Nepenthe in Big Sur, California, Barb. Enjoyed listening to the wind also. Awesome view and place.

Sorry to hear about the miners. Is this low Yvette a "normal" weather event for this time of year in southern Europe? Looks very large.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1959
11. barbamz
9:28 AM GMT on May 14, 2014
Strong rainfall caused by low Yvette has started in the Balkan States. Accumulated rainfall until next Monday:


With apparently many hundreds dead this pans out to be the worst mining desaster in Turkey ever. Compassionate thoughts to the victims and families:

Turkey coal mine explosion: Death toll rises
BBC News, 14 May 2014 Last updated at 08:30 GMT

BBC Live report.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5930
10. barbamz
5:02 PM GMT on May 13, 2014
Hi WW. Wow, your son is in for a really long distance walk. I've checked it out and it looks great. I hope for him the weather isn't too bad. I've once been walking in Scotland (Isle of Skye) and it wasn't fun to walk in a continuous downpour. In fact, it was impossible as all the little creeks flooded the paths. --- BTW my mother was gratefull too, that we gave her a call several times indicating that we're still alive in Turkey, lol.

Current rains in Europe.

Calpoppy, welcome, thanks for the visit. Yes, the goats down there are real personalities. They are faszinating with their long fur and ominous eyes.
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5930
9. WeatherWise
1:17 AM GMT on May 13, 2014
Hi Barb! What a wonderful blog entry! I enjoyed every bit of it - the dialogue and the photos! I read every word with great interest as my son is on the Coast-to-Coast Walk across England right now - 198 miles I think it is. He has posted photos of the scenery almost everyday.

St. Bees to Ennerdale Bridge 15 miles

Day 2: Ennerdale Lake to Borrowdale - 17 miles

Day 3: Borrowdale to Grasmere - 9 miles

Day 4: Grasmere to Patterdale - 11 miles (including alternate route)

He even sent me an email wishing me a Happy Mothers Day. I am excited for him and am amazed by the photos he has posted. I have tried to find a way to link them but is only a blank so must be some type of protection on them that is not unlocked.

Thank you so much for sharing your walk or hike on the Lycian Way. I have learned something new. Oh, and I loved your videos as well - it felt like I was right there with you.
Member Since: February 28, 2003 Posts: 38 Comments: 1218
8. calpoppy
10:14 PM GMT on May 12, 2014
That looks like great hiking! A vista around every turn. The weather looked a bit coolish which is also perfect. I have heard that Turkey is a great vacation place.

I love all of it, but I especially liked the goat, LOL!
Member Since: February 18, 2008 Posts: 53 Comments: 3739
7. barbamz
7:31 PM GMT on May 12, 2014
Great, Sandi, thank you!!!

And thanks for visiting and your kind comments, Envoirment, Mike and Pedley. Glad you liked the pics.

Yes, I very often thought of California when walking this coastline, though I've never been in California by myself (only in the region of Seattle). And in respect to the Muezzin: Wait a while, I'll get you some special audio impressions in a later part :-) ...
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5930
6. sandiquiz
6:57 PM GMT on May 12, 2014
Hi Barbara,

I saw your query in my blog on how to change the background colour.

Place this exact code in the top of your header and then change the colour to your preference by looking up on line....here.....the various codes you can use.

I do feel that WU have actually made the overall background a very slight cream....it is much better than the stark white.
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 26209
5. PedleyCA
5:27 PM GMT on May 12, 2014
Very beautiful but you wouldn't want to be out there at night without a flashlight. Lots of cliffs to fall off, Yikes.... Good to have you back.
Member Since: February 29, 2012 Posts: 0 Comments: 5803
4. clearlakemike
5:25 PM GMT on May 12, 2014
Welcome back (to Wuville) Barb. Very interesting tour!! Thank you for showing us all the gorgeous scenery, local people and interesting details. Thank you also for your nice photo display and commentary. Just doing a quick run through now but will be back to watch the videos and look/read again. This is a part of the world I would venture most of us here don't get to see otherwise. Nice to view it with you as our personal guide! :) And without lugging those big backpacks!! lol

Looks like you had a very nice holiday and hike. Weather for the most part appeared to be pleasant also.

I know about those free range roosters waking everybody up. I have them here too, lol. But no call of the Muezzin from the mosque. I did hear that when I was in India and it was interesting. I can see why you wanted to stay there another week. Very beautiful place. Some of it reminded me a little of California...similar topography, "Mediterranean" climate, light and colors.
Member Since: November 21, 2004 Posts: 145 Comments: 1959
3. Envoirment
5:19 PM GMT on May 12, 2014
Looks really nice! Would love to go on a hiking trip like this, taking in the sites and away from the normally busy tourist resorts. The photos are really good, can't wait for part two. :)
Member Since: June 16, 2013 Posts: 0 Comments: 815
2. barbamz
4:27 PM GMT on May 12, 2014
Hi Sandi, thanks for the comment - and all the others (Weatherwise, GardenGrrl, Bug) for the welcome on the last blog entry. It's nice to be back and explore the news on WU, although I woudn't have mind to stay in Turkey for another week :-)
Member Since: October 25, 2008 Posts: 54 Comments: 5930
1. sandiquiz
3:36 PM GMT on May 12, 2014
WOW - You were "roughing" it as we would say! But that is the way you get to met the "real" people of the country, the farmers and the shepherds, all making a living, as such, out of the land, and now out of the tourists!
Really enjoyed your narrative as well as the photos... thank you for taking us along with you! :)

PS - FIRST!! lol
Member Since: October 29, 2005 Posts: 292 Comments: 26209

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About barbamz

I'm Barbara in Germany (Mainz), and I'm interested in weather already for decades.