Lycian Way Hiking Trail, Turkey

Last Updated on April 4, 2024

The Lycian Way (Likya Yolu) is Turkey's first long-distance hiking trail, a 500-kilometer (311-mile) footpath from Fethiye to Antalya (map), the impressive achievement of Kate Clow, a Briton resident in Turkey, and her crew of dedicated trailblazers.

The name of the trail originates from the ancient civilization of Lycia, which inhabited the coasts of the Mediterranean region in Turkey, and the Lycian Hiking Trail follows the same course. It is a great way to discover the untouched nature of the area and visit the ancient historical sites along the pathway. It also offers some of the most stunning sea scenery in Turkey, following the natural coast of the Mediterranean region. While traveling through the area, expect to encounter people as it is a popular spot. Moreover, the Lycian Way Ultra Marathon is organized annually for those seeking a challenge.

Did you know that Santa Claus (originally Saint Nicholas) was born in Patara, the ancient capital of Lycia? Making Turkey the birthplace of one of the iconic symbols of the Christmas season. You can also visit Patara when traveling through the Lycian Way.

Lycian Way, Fethiye, Mediterranean turkey
The Lycian Way near Butterfly Valley

Traveling the Lycian Way Hiking Trail

The trek to Lycian Way is rated as moderately strenuous to difficult, with the easier portion being nearest to Fethiye and Ölüdeniz. It takes 35 days on average to finish the whole 500-kilometer (311-mile) trail, and the path is unsuitable for mountain bikes. Antalya is the most popular departure location, and people make their way up to the Fethiye.

The way-marked trail wanders up and down through ancient Lycia, Mediterranean Turkey's mountainous Tekke Peninsula (the southward "bulge" of land between Antalya and Fethiye). The westernmost is among the most popular portions, from Fethiye via Ölüdeniz, Butterfly Valley, and southeastward toward Patara.

Ideal Gear for the Lycian Way 

The Lycian Way is mostly covered with bushes, trees, soft gravel, mud, and small hills. It is recommended that you carry ankle-supported hiking shoes, at least a 3L bottle of water (although you will have opportunities to refill your bottle along the way), a towel, GPS, a mobile phone, easy dry clothes, and shoes.

And while Lycian Way is definitely an off-beaten path when traveling through the Mediterranean region, there are few lodging and dining services along the route. For most of it, you must carry your own shelter, food, and other supplies, which makes it ideal for those who like to rough it.

The trail is not suitable for mountain biking, so don't bother carrying your bike all the way to Turkey.

When to Travel the Lycian Way

The Lycian Way is a trail located in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The weather in the area is typically Mediterranean, with mild winters and hot, dry summers.

If you're planning a trip to the Lycian Way, consider going in the spring when the flowers and greenery are fresh and abundant. If you're going in the summer, be sure to pack an umbrella to protect yourself from the hot sun, as it's mostly sunny during those months.

Lycian Hiking Path

Traveling through the Lycian Way can be a fun and fascinating way of discovering the Mediterranean region's local historical sites and nature. It is a popular area, so you will surely come across people traveling through it.

For more information on the Lycian Way, visit the Culture Routes in Turkey website and buy Kate's guidebook to the trail on the Trekking in Turkey website. Her other great project, by the way, is the St Paul Trail, which has its own guidebook as well. Culture Routes in Turkey also describes the many other way-marked hiking trails originated by its dedicated staff and volunteers.

—by Tom Brosnahan

Read More

Culture Routes in Turkey

Hiking in Turkey

Best Itineraries


Butterfly Valley



Mediterranean Turkey

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