Turkey is a country of great contrast. Bridging Europe and Asia, the ancient and the modern, it is home to many incredible UNESCO World Heritage Sites, well-preserved ancient ruins, and a wonderful natural landscape. From high mountains to glorious sandy beaches and turquoise Mediterranean sea views, Turkey has so many glorious and scenic locations to explore on foot. Here we outline the top five best hikes that Turkey has to offer.
1. Lycian Trail
We begin with Turkey’s most famous hiking route, The Lycian Trail. This 509 kilometre route stretches from Fethiye to Antalya via Patara Beach and the historic ruins of Olympos. The route is coastal, so walkers are often in sight of the stunning Mediterranean coast. The Lycian Trail is simply one of the best walks in the world, and its combination of pine forests, sea views and quaint villages provide a journey to remember.
2. Kaçkar Mountains
Turkey’s Kaçkar Mountains are another winning hiking location. Located in the country’s Black Sea region, the Kaçkar Mountains are an extension of the Caucasus. The Kackar Trail is a network of mountain paths which offers up some of the best hiking in Turkey, where walkers will be sure to encounter magnificent scenery, challenging climbs and sheepherders. If you’re seeking a challenge, a climb to the peak is an option. At 4,000 metres above sea level the highest peak (Kaçkar Dağı) provides incredible views from its summit.
Turkey’s Taurus Mountains are some of the country’s most beautiful territory. Located in the south of the country, the mountains separate the Mediterranean coastal region of southern Turkey from the central Anatolian Plateau. The massive 350 mile mountain range is a hiker’s paradise. And the highest peaks in the mountain range are Demirkazik (3,756 metres), Emler and Kizilkaya (both 3,723 metres) and Kayseri (3,916 metres). The mountains are rugged, magnificent and a great challenge to climb.
4. Mount Olympus
Mount Olympus is part of The Lycian Way (see above). It is located in Olympos Bey Mountains National Park in Turkey’s Antalya Province. Standing tall above the Turkish beach resort of Çıralı, the views from the top of the mountain are fabulous. From the summit the glistening Mediterranean Sea stretches on for as far as the eye’s can see. To this day, Mount Olympus is a legendary location. And once you stand on its summit, it’s easy to understand why.
5. St. Paul Trail
For those looking for a once in a lifetime challenge, the St Paul Trail could prove the perfect long-distance route. This 500 kilometre trail (310 miles) takes around 28 days to complete. The trail begins in Perge and it ends in Yalvaç, Isparta, northeast of Lake Eğirdir. The route takes hikers across Turkey’s Mediterranean shores then deep into the country’s stunning mountainous interior. Hikers experience the rich history of Turkey, and encounter the many natural wonders and diversity of wildlife that the country has on offer.
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