This is a dream trip for walkers and sailors alike, with fabulous swims and stunning archaeology thrown in for good measure.
The Lycian Way, rated by The Sunday Times (UK) as one of the ten best walks in the world, follows over 300 miles of ancient roadways, mule tracks and shepherds’ paths along one of Turkey’s most remote and untouched coastlines.
On this week-long cruise, we follow a selection of its finest sections, each remarkable for its beauty and interest. On average, we hike about 5-6 miles (8-10km) per day. Our floating home is an elegant hand-built gulet, moving us along the shore and treating us to perfect relaxation and delightful meals each day.
Like the explorers of old, you will have unique access to the ancient sites within their natural settings. The tour includes samples of Lycia’s most celebrated cultural and archaeological ‘must-sees’, such as Kayaköy/Levissa, an incredibly atmospheric ghost town abandoned by its Greek inhabitants after the First World War, Simena, an age-old citadel surrounded by a jumble of Lycian sarcophagi and vastly monumental Patara, capital of Roman Lycia.
Hiking on ancient and historic roads and footpaths, following the course of a 2,000-year-old aqueduct and hearing the tales of those who strolled here before us, from Greeks and Romans to modern shepherds, witnessing the breathtaking wealth of scenery from azure shores via fertile and cultivated valleys to craggy mountains, makes for an immensely memorable experience. The combination of exhilarating hikes, expert-guided site visits, wonderful swims and mellow moments of sheer relaxation, plus of course the gulet’s superb cooking, will make this trip refreshing and relaxing, a tour like no other.
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Day 1: Our gulet is about 30 minutes from Dalaman airport at Göcek, a pretty harbour beneath mountains at the head of the Bay of Fethiye, on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast. Welcome dinner aboard.
Day 2: We set out eastwards. Our first hike is from Faralya to Kabak through beautiful woodland and with wondrous views out across the mountains of Lycia to the sea.
Day 3: We drive inland to the impressive ancient ruins of Sidyma, a 2,500 year old Lycian city that surrounds a modern farming village. We hike down from the ancient site, enjoy a delicious picnic, then back to our gulet for a swim.
Day 4: We cruise by Kekova Island, then walk through the pretty village of Üçağız and its ancient Lycian burial grounds to the Ottoman castle at Kale. One of the most romantic stops of the holiday.
Day 5: A wondrous hike retracing the route of the Roman aqueduct to the grandiose ruins of ancient Patara. A sunset dip offers a refreshing finale. Overnight in the pretty harbour at Kalkan.
Day 6: A glorious trek from Ovacık across the shoulder of Babadaĝ (Father Mountain) to Faralya. Breath-taking vistas all day long culminating with a view from on high down into Butterfly Valley.
Day 7: West to explore the ghost town of Levissi/Kaya, abandoned by its Greek inhabitants in 1923. Hike back to the gulet near Gemiler Island, an area perfect for swimming, before cruising to the harbour of Fethiye.
Day 8: Transfer from our gulet to Dalaman airport, about 60 minutes away
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Arrival and Departure Information
Arrival Airport – Dalaman
Departure Airport – Dalaman
Arrival Location – Gocek Marina (approx. 30 mins from airport)
Departure Location – Fethiye Marina (approx. 1 hr 20 mins from airport)
Embarkation and departure is planned for approx.17:00. You are more than welcome to arrive earlier to drop off your bags, but please be aware that the crew will be busy cleaning and tidying making everything ready for your group so you will not be able to settle into your cabin.
If your travel plans or flights do not allow you to arrive before 17:00 we recommend arriving the day before the tour starts. This would also allow time to relax, recover from any jet lag and arrive at the boat on time for embarkation and departure.
If you arrive at the gulet after 17:00, we will do our best to enable you to join the tour at a later time and place.
Please Note: Departure time is subject to change depending on weather, harbour, or other conditions.
Disembarkation is around 09:00. We will arrange local transfers on the first and last day of the tour.
Further information about the Walking Unlike our standard gulet cruises, there is a significant amount of walking on our Walking and Cruising Western Lycia tour in Turkey. We believe that’s a key part of its appeal. The walks we do are for the most part sections of The Lycian Way, Turkey’s first national footpath, and widely regarded as one of the best hiking trails in the world for its combination of stunning vistas, scenery, and the archaeological sites that litter the way.
Please be aware that the terrain is often uneven, rocky, and rugged, and a number of the paths are carpeted with loose stones underfoot. You do need to be fit with a good sense of balance. There are some long stretches of uphill and downhill walking. It’s certainly not a walk in the park, but ropes and crampons aren’t required! You do need to be used to hiking off the beaten track.
The trip is designed to ease you in gently, with a few shorter hikes and site visits, with some longer walks later in the tour. Across the week, the average distance is about 5-6 miles a day (an average of about 2/3 hours in addition to any site visits), but it’s not really the distance that you need to bear in mind, but the terrain. We take all the walks at a leisurely pace, with some wonderful sites and great swims thrown in for good measure. The trip includes a full day’s hiking along the slopes of Father Mountain, involving a significant amount of uphill walking, a hike of about 6 hours with a super picnic, plenty of snack and drink stops and stupendous views along the way. Of course the beauty of being on the gulet, means that it’s perfectly possible for guests to skip a day’s walk if they so wish, and simply relax on the boat. If you fancy putting your feet up and resting for a day, that is perfectly possible. So if you wish to lie back and read a book or have an extra swim, you can.
Booking Flights: If you are staying in or connecting via Istanbul then the easiest way to get to and from the gulet is to fly. There are a number of airlines that offer domestic flights in Turkey. The cheapest way to book flights is directly with the airline online.
Please note: Flights are subject to change. Please contact the airline for exact details.
If you prefer to book with a travel agent, we are happy to recommend specialists in a number of countries around the world, please contact our office for more details.
Travel Insurance: We consider adequate travel insurance to be essential. You should ensure that you take out a suitable policy, to make sure that your trip is properly covered. Please be advised some insurers may require you to take out a policy within 15-20 days of booking your holiday to receive all of their insurance benefits.
Visas: You must check to see if you require a visa to enter Turkey. Visas are easily obtained online at eVisa and must be purchased before you travel.
Istanbul: If you are planning to stay in Istanbul before or after your gulet tour we would be happy to help with suggestions and information and things to see and do. Please get in touch.
Custom Tours: If you are thinking of extending your trip to Turkey to include visits to Cappadocia, Istanbul or further afield, please contact our office for further information.