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All along the Lycian Way!
As we touched down in Dalaman airport, the Turquoise Coast shimmering before us, I knew it was going to be a fantastic holiday.
We were going to do the Lycian Way, a 500km waymarked path, which I had read was listed by the Sunday Times as one of the world’s Top Ten Walks. Definitely worth a shot! Though we we’re going to do miss out some of the longer more remote mountainous stretches and concentrate on the villages and delicious bays that run along the coast.
Leaving Olu Deniz behind us, our modern asphalt road soon turned into a rougher goat trail and climbed above a stunning bay, where we stopped to watch a constant stream of paragliders circling below. Passing tiny three house villages and topping up our water from the local wells, we finally reached our first stop for the night.
It’s early starts and long(ish) walks but you soon get into the rhythm of things. The views of the sea and bays stretching out into the distance is wonderful, particularly when you find yourself on the rocky peninsula you viewed from afar earlier that day! But I was really taken with the villages in the mountains and the rugged interior with its pine forests and traditional way of life.
At the end of the day, we’d arrive at our next pension for the night. Believe me, nothing feels more rewarding than pulling off your walking boots and tucking into a big evening meal after six hours of walking on rocky, sometimes steep ground. Throughout the trip, turkish dinners were brilliant. Generous mounds of fish, salads and bread with soups and toothsome sweets. Breakfast was a treat. A lip smacking concoction of whipped yoghurt, honey, cheese, olives, fresh bread and salad. Great fuel for hungry walkers!
Setting off each day, we mainly followed the coast but also found time to stop off and see some astonishing Roman ruins. Olympos near Cirali is somewhere I can’t recommend highly enough. The beach at Cirali was possibly my favourite. Laidback, bohemian and almost Thai in its good looks, the real bonus was the ruins tucked away to the end of the bay. A rambling, overgrown site filled with great marble pillars, a high marble gate hidden off the main path and the occasional squawking hen, if you go at 7am (we woke early) nobody else is there. It’s like discovering it yourself for the first time.
Ooh and one final tip! If you learn anything before you go, make it ‘merhaba’. Turkish people are very hospitable (we were often invited in for a cup of tea!) and it’s a great way to greet local farmers and villagers as you pass on by.
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