Turkey - Hike, Bike & Kayak
12 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Istanbul
Merhaba! Welcome to Istanbul. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. Check-in time at our joining-point hotel is after 2 pm. Early check-in is not guaranteed, but if you arrive early, luggage storage is available. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival. Today you'll become acquainted with eclectic character of the city on an orientation walk.
Day 2 Canakkale
Enjoy free time in the morning to further explore Istanbul. After lunch it's time to head towards Gallipoli, with a bus ride to Canakkale (approximately 5 hours). You will travel past fields of sunflowers and the glorious Sea of Marmara. Spend the evening in Canakkale, perhaps with a fresh fish dinner by the sea.
Day 3 Canakkale
After breakfast this morning you will cross the Dardanelles and arrive at the battlefields of Gallipoli. Make sure you have packed some water and are wearing long pants, good walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Visit all the major sites on the peninsula as you hike your way up to Chunuk Bair, the New Zealand memorial. You will walk in the trenches, visit cemeteries and sit down to a picnic lunch at Lone Pine, the Australian memorial. This will be a day of mixed feelings, as the raw beauty of this environment lies in contrast with the sobering history of the Great War. Head back to Canakkale as the day draws to a close.
Day 4 Selcuk
Today we travel by bus to Selcuk (approximately 7.5 hours). This town is steeped in many Turkish traditions and has an air of the 'real' Turkey about it. Explore Ayasoluk Hill and its many historical buildings, such as Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. The famed Temple of Artemis is also worth a look, though all that remains of this Wonder of the Ancient World is a pylon. In the afternoon it's time for what may well be the highlight of your trip – Ephesus. There will be plenty of time to marvel at the beautifully preserved ruins of this ancient metropolis, including the staggering Library of Celsus. Learn more about its 1,500-year history and how sophisticated it was for its time. When it's over, you will return to Selcuk on foot.
Day 5 Akyaka
Depart mid-morning for the scenic town of Akyaka (approximately 4 hours). Enjoy some free time on arrival as you prepare for an adventurous day tomorrow.
Akyaka has an excellent beach walking distance from your hotel, you may also want to spend your afternoon on a boat trip on the Azmak River, or enjoy a leisurely afternoon at one of the many restaurants or cafes that line the river and rest up for your day of activity tomorrow. For the very active you can talk to your leader about hiring a bike or doing some hiking in the area.
Day 6 Akyaka
Today is full of fun activities. Cycle through Aegean Culture as we make our way along roads lined with pine trees and catch glimpses of vistas of the bay. We cycle between the villages of Gokova, visit a local market and stop to try local produce for lunch. The ride today is approximately 32 kms which can vary depending on seasons and track suitability. It is suitable for most abilities and you do not have to be a mountain bike expert to participate. The ride is about taking in the scenery, enjoying the outdoors and keeping active. Tonight either dine riverside or try one of the restaurants on the beach front.
Day 7 Fethiye
Travel to Fethiye by public bus (approximately 1.5 hours). Spend some time exploring this friendly town and its Lycian rock tombs carved into cliffs, beautiful coastline and renowned market. An excellent optional day trip is to hike the Kayakoy–Oludeniz walking trail, a 3-hour trip with a cool 'blue lagoon' you can take a dip in.
You may also want to consider an afternoon excursion to Saklikent Gorge, at 300m deep and 18km long it is one of the deepest in the world.
Day 8 Faralya
Take a short bus ride to Ovacik which marks the official start of the Lycian Way. Begin a 14-kilometre walk toward Faralya. As you pass through areas of pine forests, rocky terrain, and Mediterranean shrub on this day-long hike, you'll catch stunning vistas of clear blue water and Mount Babadag looming above. Your route takes you through the villages of Kozagaç and Kirme, where you'll meet a few local farmers and maybe even stop for a cup of tea. Lunch is simple picnic en route. Arrive in Faralya late in the afternoon, and retire for the night at George and his son Hassan's house where you'll enjoy some fine Turkish hospitality.
Day 9 Kas
Hike to Kabak for some of the most spectacular coastal views of the entire Lycian Way (3 hours, 8 km). Enjoy some lunch and perhaps take a swim at Kabak, which is more like a small nature resort than a village. Then head back Fethiye to collect your bags and take a local bus to Kas (approximately 3 hours). Walk the cobbled streets here and enjoy the charming scenes of whitewashed walls. The best swimming spots are accessible via the waterfront restaurants, where the price of an occasional drink gets you a deck chair, umbrella and gorgeous views of the Mediterranean. The local handicraft markets make for a great evening activity.
Day 10 Kas
Take to the water today as you head down the coast to Ucagiz and board a sea kayak, your vehicle for exploring the Byzantine Sunken City (you will paddle for around 2.5 hours or 12 km. No previous experience is required). Drift about the many islands and coves, soaking up the ambience of a village that has thankfully been placed off-limits to developers. Lunch is included today.
Day 11 Antalya
Travel by public bus to the jewel of the Turkish Mediterranean, Antalya (approximately 4 hours). Though it's not a particularly small town, it will feel like a charming little village where you're staying – a family-owned hotel in Kaleici, the old city of cobbled streets and alleys. In the afternoon, take a short trip in a van (38 km) to the ancient city of Termessos, the most dramatic location of any ancient city in Turkey, and the one with the highest altitude: 1,000 metres. Spend a few hours exploring the Agora, the theatre and the temples here before returning to Antalya for one last seaside dinner.
Day 12 Antalya
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast today, and you can depart the accommodation at any time.
All This Included
Experience Turkey from a different perspective. Abandon well-worn routes to forge a path through unexplored terrain, deep into the historical heart of Turkey. Travel from the minarets of Istanbul city, visiting Turkey’s holiest sites, cycling breathtaking Mediterranean coastlines, hiking the Lycian Way and kayaking over sunken cities. Take up the challenge and be amazed by all that this active travel adventure has to offer.
Hotel (7 nights)
Guesthouse (2 nights)
Pension (2 nights)
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