Kat Davis (@FollowingTheArrows) and Sarah Williams (@ToughGirlChallenges) having never met, embarked on the challenging and rugged Lycian Way hike in southern Turkey over November/December 2019. Wild-camping at every opportunity, they experienced Turkish hospitality and delicious local cuisine in the occasional pension. Kat and Sarah battled the heat, rain, storms, dehydration and mosquitoes to complete the trail in 23 days.
🇹🇷 10th November - Fethiye to Ölüdeniz 🇹🇷🥾First day walking with full packs. A little heavier than the Camino as having to carry a tent (@terranovaequipment), an air mattress (@thermarest) plus food and about 2 litres of water (water is heavy to carry!). I’d say all in my pack weights... 13kg (food and water included)!🕌We left Fethiye around 10.30am after getting some money out and buying some food at the local supermarket. Fethiye is the unofficial start point of the Lycian Way. It’s a great place to start from and easy to get to from Dalaman airport. 👻 The big site to see today was the Kayaköy Ruins (Ghost Town)
In Kayaköy. The entrance fee was 7TRY (£1). It was so beautiful to walk through the ruins. There was a stunning church, the High Church - which had beautiful mosaics and carvings! 👉Total 17k, about 6hr 30 mins walking! 🇹🇷Tomorrow we start on the official Lycian Way. 😀
🇹🇷11th November 🇹🇷🥾First official day on the Lycian Way - we were staying about a 5 min walk from the trail head gate. After an interesting breakfast (you’ll have to watch my Instagram stories 😂😂) it was start time! ⛰ The first section was very rocky and lots of uphill climbing the trail narrows as it hugs the mountainside. But the views.... stunning, just amazing! Looking down over the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and back down at the town of Ölüdeniz. The ground is very rocky and can be quite tricky going, especially over the spree, the ascents and descents are quite steep! There was a little road walking, but not much! ☀️ The weather has been fantastic and we’re making the most of it! Apparently there is going to be rain in a few days! 👉 5hrs 20 mins - 12.6 miles
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🇹🇷12th November 🇹🇷 Stats
8hr 19 mins walking
Uphill 780 m
Downhill 590 m
Average speed 3.7 km ⛰Lots of steep descents and ascents as we left the village, passing large rockslides and walking through forests, pine needles on the floor and blue skies out to sea. 🥾Focused hiking today, lots of care with foot placement needed. But we took the time to stop and look around to appreciate the moment and the location. It really was stunning! I hope it comes out on camera....👋 We are meeting lots of locals and they are so lovely & very friendly, they all want help. I’m getting to practice the few words (ok 1 word) that I know -hello! (Merry Ba)🐑 Passing through lots of olive groves, seeing the sheep and baby lambs scrambling over the fields and rocks without a care in the world. ⛺️ Wild camping, overlooking the sea and mountains. Stars in the sky, very peaceful, no phone reception! 🌓 Hiker midnight in full effect! Ready for bed by 7pm... Still awake at 10pm due to the wind and the glowing full moon which is shining down brightly!
🇹🇷Lycian Way - Day 4 - 13th November 🇹🇷Today was a tough day on the trail, so many ups and downs, going over rock slides and crossing rock fields.... small rocks, medium rocks, large rocks! All the rocks!!! It can be a little demoralising when you’ve walked all day from sunrise to sunset and you’ve only done 17km! Each km has been a challenge - there doesn’t seem to be any “easy” miles yet!! It’s so different from the Camino where you can go out and walk for 5/6 hrs and have completed 20/25km. Our back packs are heavier and the terrain is certainly more tough going.Is it worth it... hell yes! It’s always going to be worth it. You’ve got to challenge yourself in order to grow and develop. I’m leaning a lot, not only from the terrain, and the people we are meeting, but also from Kat -whose a very experienced hiked - go and read her blog (followingthearrows.com) to see the amazing walks she’s done all over the world.
🇹🇷Tuesday, 19th November - Day 10 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷* From: wild camped 8k from Gökceören to a pension in Kaş
* Weather: sunny!
* Distance: 13.2 miles / 21.2 km
* Ascent / descent: 1,775 ft / 3,575 ft
* Accom: Pension in Kaş - with balcony & city views at night.
* Total cost: Pension 75TRY, washing 15TRY & breakfast (included in accommodation), food resupply 13TRY, Dinner 35TRY So our beautiful camping ground by the river, was a big mistake...🥶It was freezing in the night and the condensation from being by the river made everything wet! My tent also started to semi collapse, so I had to get out of the tent at 2am and tighten up the lines. 💧The inside was now wet, and my sleeping bag and jacket can’t get wet as there are made from down!!! Once they do get wet they don’t provide any insulation! 💤 It was impossible to get back to sleep after that and it was then a count down to when I could get up and get moving! 🔥 I also realised a little too late that I did have 2 hand warmers with me which I could use to try and get some warmth into my hands and feet! ⛺️ Packing up wet tents is always fun especially when your hands are like blocks of ice!! I needed to get walking as quickly as possible to get warm. I was just too cold!! ⛰We started the day with a big climb, which helped to get the blood flowing!! 🌲 The terrain each day is very different, one day you are walking over scree, scrambling over rocks, walking on old tracks and dirt roads and through forests covered in pine leaves. Other days you are walking by the coast clambering over boulders. There is a huge amount of variety, which is really great! Highlight! Was the Phellos (tombs) ruins - Near Pınarbaşı / Çukurbağ. After climbing for a while we walked through some scrub and trees and there were all these tombs just lying around. ⛰The biggest challenge of the day was the descent into Kas, we lost over 1,000 ft in elevation over half a mile. There were lots of steep switch backs, as well as walking across loose stones and scree. You really needed to pay attention to every step taken. We took this part really slowly as we had heard of a few people who had slipped and twisted/broke ankles. 🧼 Once getting into Kas, we found a pension that would wash our dirty, smelly hiking clothes and provide us with a packed breakfast into the morning. 🐶We also lost Mini Bob - she decided she wanted to go and hang with the big dogs. I hope she’s happy in the big city. It’s going to be quite a change from the small village in the mountains that she came from!!!
🇹🇷Wednesday, 20th November - Day 11 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷* From: Kas to Boğazcık
* Weather: sunny ☀️
* Distance: 14.3 miles / 23km
* Ascent / descent: 2,300ft / 1,350ft
* Accom: slept on a couch 🛋
* Total cost: 2 cokes 12TRY, sleeping 20TRY, Food (omelet, chips & bread) 25TRY👚 We left Kas with clean clothes, dry tents and a packed breakfast. We were ready to do some miles! 🥾There was a lot of costal walking with beautiful views, the terrain was rocky as it always is!!! There was a small amount of scrambling but nothing compared to the other day. ☀️The sun was incredible and it was brutally hot during midday. We kept on walking and there was very little shade to make use of. We did stop at a nice pebble beach to have some breakfast and snacks. I thought we would be passing some small cafes on the coastal route... we didn’t!! Oops!!! 💧The issue then became water. I was only carrying 1.8 litres and really I needed about 3! We luckily bumped into another hiker also going the same way and he mentioned the water source coming up. We would not have found it without him as it was up a small road and hidden from view. (I’ve now added it to the Komoot App so that future people who do the walk will be able to find it). 🥾After walking along the coast for quite a while, we soon turned inwards to face today’s climb. We were heading to the village of Boğazcık, at 925ft. There was a bit of road walking which did make it easier to make the miles. ⛺️We also passed a small cafe and campground - LYKİA CAMPİNG & CAFE. We popped in for drink and food and got sucked into the vortex!! It was also starting to get late, the sun was going to be setting in 50 mins and there was no way we were going to be able to make the next destination and there was no camping spots along the way. 💰 In the end it was 20TRY each to camp and it was the sensible decision to make! So now we are super comfy, with food, drinks and WiFi! 👉As always the plan will be to get up early and get walking to make the most of the daylight available to us! 💗Thank you so much for following our journey! There will be vlogs and blog posts coming out in December with more of the details from the trip!
🇹🇷Thursday, 21st November - Day 12 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷* From: Boğazcık camping/couch to Demre
* Weather: sunny 22 degrees (it seemed a lot hotter!)
* Distance: 23.5km walked - travelled by boat 11.8km - total 35.3km
* Ascent / descent: 290m / 580m
* Accom: Pension Kent.
* Total cost: Boat ride 150TRY (pp), dinner 30TRY (pp), resupply 38TRY, Accommodation 85TRY. It was so nice waking up in a warm room! 🥶It was freezing outside and it was enough of a struggle getting out of the door in the morning to start walking. We said goodbye to the other hiker who camped outside (He was frozen!) and started the 6k walk to the Boat House. The night before we had arranged to travel a section of the Lycian Way by boat and also to take in the Sunken City. 🌊 Just before we reached the sea we came across lots of old runs, empty tombs, city walls and houses. The ruins are out of this world. It’s amazing to just be walking along and to stumble across these artefacts. We reached the Boat House and met Moustafa who would be our boat driver. 🚤 The boat was a small tin can, no life jackets, no safety chat. Just a discussion about price and where we wanted to go. 🌊 We stopped off at a little island inlet which also had ruins on. It was time for a quick dip in the Turkish sea! I’m not going to lie it was a little bit cold in November. But on the plus side it was very refreshing and helped to ease the aches and pains in our legs and feet. 🚤We then traveled down the coast for about another 20 mins before we re joined the Lycian Way at 2pm. We planned to reach the city of Demre, before dark... which as always was going to be a bit of a challenge. The good thing was there was a 5km stretch of road walking which was well lit and helped us to make good time. ⛰After Demre is the 3 day mountainous section where we have been told by lots of people that there is no water... we had been having chats about how best to approach this section as there is a lot of elevation gain and loss, plus the weather is not on our side at the moment with thunder storms, lightning and huge amounts of rain coming. You don’t want to be on the Lycian Way in the remote mountains in those conditions. It’s just not safe. ⛺️Camping for me was not an option as my gear isn’t going to be warm enough at that level of elevation. 🗺 This section probably requires the most planning and research to ensure it can be done safely. It is very remote in the mountains and I would not recommend for new/novice hikers. 😀We do have a plan to tackle this section!!! 👉More info to follow!!
🇹🇷 Friday, 22nd November - Day 13 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷⛰Day 1 in the mountains - Dropped off at Belos Ruins and walked to Alkalise ruins⏰ We were up at 6.30, dressed and in the car for 7am. It would take about an hour to drive to the start point at Belos Ruins. This was the highest point of the mountains and we had decided to do this section first based on the weather and trying to avoid the worst of it! 🍂 The way marking was pretty good for the majority of the walk. The mountains were beautiful, you could see the autumn colours starting to come through with spots of red and orange peeking out through the trees. 💧We had been told repeatedly that there was not water in the mountain! This was not the case, we passed quite a few wells and water sources! The views across the mountains were stunning, and I kept having to stop to really appreciate it. ⛰The hardest part on this day was during the descent, we use a combination of GPS and the Waymakers. The lack of markings was driving me to frustration. There was this one section over a scree field and there were what looked like multiple paths down. It was a frustrating nightmare, moving on to gps, was still equally as frustrating. It would be telling us we were on the track, but we weren’t! We did just need to head downwards. We had been going at a great pace for the past few hours and then we were down to a crawl, less than 1k an hour. Very steep, dangerous rock falls we were walking on. I did find it pretty stressful and was happy when we finally made it to the ruins where we were being collected from! Good to get that section done. I’m so pleased it didn’t rain while we were out there! We could see the black clouds rolling in but we managed to avoid them!! 🚙 It was then an hour drive back down to Demre and the accommodation- it was a long day, so I was pleased to see my bed! 🥘 The pension we were staying at, also provided food in the evening. A simple meal, bread, soup, rice and a chicken and onion dish.
🇹🇷 Saturday, 23rd November - Day 14 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷Day 2 in the mountains ⛰* From: Demre to Alkalise
* Weather: sunny - just about!
* Distance: 9.26 miles
* Ascent / descent: 3,475ft / 600ft
* Accommodation: Pension
* Total cost: collection from the ruins 150TRY, accommodation & dinner 170TRY (for both of us). We left the pension at 8.00 in the morning and starting walking along the roads. This was a flat 4K before hitting the mountain section. This section could be done in around 5 - 6 hours. ☁️ We were very aware of the weather again and knew that rain was coming!! We could see the black clouds coming in and there was pressure to get this section done as quickly as possible as we didn’t want to be walking on the rocks l, it would just make them to slippery! The first part was well marked and it was an easy path to follow! It was still steep climbing, but the views also made it worth while. 🥾 I prefer climbing up to walking down. I feel as though I have more control and it’s less pressure on my knees. I’m so glad I use poles! I honestly don’t know how people walk without them.🎒 Again we were only carrying the essentials; water, food, poncho, sunglasses, etc. It’s all about having the lightest pack - it really does make a big difference to how quickly we can move! There were plenty of rocks today and scrambling and trying to find the waymarkers, not as bad as yesterday but not ideal either! I think I’m learning more patience while being out here. I am starting to find it very frustrating!!! 🚘 We were collected at 2.15pm and it was good to get back to the Pension by 3.15. I was ready for an afternoon nap! I was so tired. I really feel as though it’s all starting to catch up with me now and I’m not giving my body enough time to recover. 🍽 We ate dinner with the family in the evening - a simple meal of soup, bread, rice and an aubergine dish. I just needed some alone time to retreated to bed and snuggled in to watch some
Netflix on my phone. Final day on the mountains tomorrow!
🇹🇷 Sunday, 24th November - Day 15 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷* From: Belos Ruins to just outside Mavikent
* Weather: sunny ☀️
* Distance: 17.5 miles / 28 km
* Ascent / descent: 300ft / 3,200 ft
* Accom: wild camping - free 😀
* Total cost: cafe break 62TRY (coffee, hot chocolate, pastries, tea), resupply 14TRY (bread, water, Pepsi & cheese)⛰Final day on the mountains! ⛰I was so ready to leave the Pension we were staying at, there was no hot water, no soap in the bathroom and it just didn’t have the best vibe. 🗺 It was also hard to realise the progress we were making as we kept coming back to the same place every night. It was also really expensive (by Turkish standards)! I think we overpaid... which is another lesson learned. 🚙 We were driven back to where we started on day 1 of the mountain section, so we could connect the dots and make sure we’d done it all. The first part was road based, which was quick and easy, we then took a right turn and headed off down into the mountains following the red and white markers, which to our surprise were actually pretty good in this section. We walked through a dry river bed and continued the descent. The flat rocks were still wet from the night before and we had a few instances were are feet went beneath us. It really was a case of just taking it really slowly. The ground was loose soil and rocks and didn’t seem to be that stable. We lost the trail a few times but all in all not to bad. We kept descending down into the town of Boldag and then continued down to Finike which was at sea level. We got to Finike by 11 am - so 3 hours of walking. ☕️ After a cheeky stop in a cafe for some refreshments we carried on. The next stretch was completely flat and along the beach and a main road. A lot of people skip this section and jump in a bus! We decided to walk it and it reminded me of coastal walking on the Camino Portugués. I plugged in a podcast and just got on with it.☁️ We were so lucky with the weather, we could see the black clouds rolling in over the mountains behind us and yet we were still in the sun! I though that any moment the clouds would catch up with us! ☔️ We have managed to escape the rain for another day, but we know it’s coming!!! Reaching the town of Mavikent- there were very limited accommodation choices and it seemed to be a bit of an accommodation black hole. In the end we decided to wild camp in the large woods between the beach and the road. Plus this would also save us a bit of cash after all we had spend doing the mountain section. 🥖 We stopped off on the way at a Local market and bought the basics, bread, water and cheese. ⛺️ My tent is lovely and snug and it’s amazing how it does feel like home. Once you get everything set out. 🦵 My legs are throbbing after today, it could be walking on the hard road surface for such a difference. But I can really feel it. My left knee is also starting to hurt slight more. 🗓 One of the problems of having such a tight deadline is not being able to take any proper rest days. We’ve now been going for over 2 weeks and it’s been very full on walking with heavy backpacks. 💡 I think for me going forward I need to add more rest days in. I think at this point in time, it’s just too much for my left knee to take. I’m sure it will be fine over the coming days and I’ll make it to the end. But something for me to take away and to learn from.
I’m using a Water-to-go bottle that has a filter inside and have been using this for all water that we collect along the way; nothing has really been drinkable without being treated first. My pack is 10kg excluding food & water and I’m usually carrying a minimum of 2.2l of water. 😊
🇹🇷 Monday, 2nd December - Day 23 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷This will be our official last day on the Lycian Way. We are now in Adrasan and ready to do the final section! The lighthouse! We had a leisurely Turkish breakfast at 8.30am and left around 10 ish. It was a glorious day, the sun was shinning and the skies were blue! Perfect weather to tackle this section! The first part was on a dusty track, muddy road, but it was waymarked and easy to follow! 🥾The terrain was very different all through out the day. Pine forests, rocks, scree, grassy sections. There was some steep climbing, but the views were totally worth it, getting to look down over the rocky coastline and see the small islands in the distance. There were quite a few trees which had been knocked down/blown down so we were walking around, under and over. We reached the lighthouse quite late in the day around 2.30 and stopped here for lunch. We chilled and relaxed in the sun - perfect way to relax! It was also a really popular destination with lots of locals there. The walk back to the road was super easy, downhill, flat, with a well graded path. Once we made it to the road it was 6k of rod walking. It was still a rough road, but it was much easier to make good time. We walked into Karaöz around 5.30 just as the sun was setting. 🍽 We made it to a local restaurant where we had some food (meatballs and chips) and a few cheeky glasses of wine! 🛏 The guy was super helpful with bus information and also had a room which we could stay in (150TRY) which was one of the nicest rooms so far! If a little cold! But at least there was no mosquitoes!! - 12.6 miles / 20 km
- Ascent - 2,600ft
- Descent - 2,575ft
- Money - food 130TRY (4 glasses of wine (80TRY), meatballs, chips, tea), Accommodation- 150TRY
🇹🇷 Wednesday , 27th November - Day 18 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷Finally back walking again!! It felt good to get up and get moving. The start of the walk was well marked and it was nice trails to follow. We were making our way to the Olympos Ruins! The Lycian Way runs right through them! 🥾 Today from Adrasan via the Olympos Ruins, to Çıralı then onto Kral Koyn where we wild camped close to the beach Distance - 14.2 miles
Ascent - 3,550 ft
Descent - 3,450 ft💰 Money - resupply for me was 28TRY we then had a late lunch/ early dinner (pizza and coke) 35TRY. ⛺️ Wild camping - free 😀. It’s good to save some money - it’s all staring to add up now!!
🇹🇷 Thursday , 28th November - Day 19 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷- Wild camped 6k past Çıralı to wild camped 6k before Çamyuva.
- 15.32 miles / 24.6 kmI can’t believe we’ve been on the trail for so long. The days are all starting to merge together! I’m so glad I’ve been recorded it on my GoPro and can’t wait to share all the vlogs with you in December. If you haven’t already go and subscribe to the Tough Girl YouTube channel! Link in bio! New vlogs coming out on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday 😀
🇹🇷 Friday, 29th November - Day 20 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷- Wild camped 6k before Çamyuva then walked to a pension in Göynük.
- 13.3 miles🥾 After packing up, we followed a trail up and out of the cove, we though it would lead us down to the other side and give us access to the other side... which is did! 🔐 However, there was a locked gate and a high fence... hmmmm we decided to follow the fence along to the beach to see if it would end... it didn’t! So we started walking back, thinking we were going to need to re trace all of our steps, which would have been a pain. When we spotted a gardener, who opened the gate and let us through! Such a stroke of luck!! 🛣 There was a lot of road walking today as we made our way through Kemer and onto Göynük. Very different scenery, but it was interesting walking through the resort towns and seeing the shops and hotels. Although a lot were shut for the season🛏 We found a cheap pension in Göynük for 100 TRY which also included clothes washing! This was based right on the Main Street close to the shops and restaurants. We arrived around 2pm, had showers, got the clothes washed and hung up. I had a power nap for a few hours and then out for dinner. This is the final place to get resupply before we head back into the mountains for the final stretch. We’re not 100% sure how long this next section will take either 2 or 3 days. ⛺️ We’re going to camp and take 3 days worth of food with us. There should be water on the route!! Can’t believe we are coming to the end of the Lycian way! ☁️ Depending on the weather and how long this next section takes, we’re thinking about heading back to do the lighthouse section that we missed on Day 17 due to the weather. 👍I think we’ll still be able to get it done, as long as the weather stays in our favour.
🇹🇷 Saturday , 30th November - Day 21 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷🥾 Back into the mountain!!! Big climbing day today!- accommodation- outside a mosque on a raised platform in Hisarçandır
- Money 9.5 TRY - entry into the Canyon National Park
- River Crossing - 5
- Distance 26km 💦 This was one of the bests days we’ve had on the Lycian Way. It started with a challenge! The road had collapsed and there was a rather large river we needed to cross. It was time for shoes and socks off and to embrace the ice cold water and wade across! We then made it to the Canyon where we needed to take the path which would take us to Hisarçandır our destination for today. Total distance of 11.9 mi with ascent of 5,845 ft and descent of 3,235 ft. It followed (mostly) good-quality mountain trails for most of the way, though there are some rugged stretches where you need to be careful of your footing. 🥾 This was by far one of the best way marked sections. There was one small section where we lost the trail for a bit, but we soon found it again. Lots of climbing, lots of ascents, lots of switchbacks. But the views - were stunning! Once we reached the high point, we discovered a small town at the very top! 💧 There were also plenty of water sources along the way. After the high point, they rest of the way was along rural roads. This made the final few hours pretty quick going and we got to the town around 5 ish. 🕌 We headed to the mosque as that’s the main place to go, and at least we know we’ll have access to water and toilets. We tried to find some one to ask about camping, but there was no one around. We set up camp - and I think - better to ask forgiveness rather than permission! 🔊 The only one issue with our location was the proximity to the mosque speakers and the calls to pray. It was very loud!!!
🇹🇷 Sunday, 1st December - Day 22 - Lycian Way, Turkey 🇹🇷- Mosque in Hisarçandır, to Antalya via roads, bus to Belen (16TRY), car ride (20TRY) to Adrasan.
- 13.2 miles / 21.2kmWe didn’t know what to do this morning. We woke up with the call to pray at around 6.45am but were still undecided about what to do next. In 2014 Hisarçandır was the end of the Lycian Way, they have now added on extensions over the years. 🥅 In the end as we were walking down the road we saw the sign to Antalya - 30k away and that just felt right! Our end goal was to get to Antalya and the other goal we had was to go back and do the lighthouse section that we had to miss earlier on due to the weather. ⏰ We just took things as they came. We got to Antalya at around 12. We sat on some benches and had lunch. We got chatting to a girl who told us where the bus stop was which would take us to Adrasan, which is where we needed to get to. 🚌 The bus stop was a 3k walk away, and the second bus that came along was the bus we needed! It’s all now very dependant on the weather! 🏨 We made it to Adrasan and our staying in a hotel (no mosquitoes here!) which is right on the Lycian Way - 220 TRY for Accommodation which also includes breakfast. 🍴 Dinner was a chicken casserole with salad and fresh bread, with pancakes for pudding 45TRY each!