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Hiking & Trekking in Turkey

Last Updated on April 8, 2024

There are different kinds of sports, and hiking and trekking are some of the popular nature sports for nature lovers and people who like doing their exercises outdoors. And by hiking in Turkey, you can enjoy exercise along with bird sounds and amazing scenery.

Turkey is a great country to hike in, and its unrivaled nature and wide range of ancient hiking routes passing through ancient ruins, glacial lakes, beautiful scenery, and historic sights make the country a hiker's paradise. Today, the number of waymarked hiking trails in Turkey is growing, thanks in large part to the folks at Culture Routes Society in Turkey. Hiking in Turkey is just a great decision.

The Lycian Way

The Lycian Way (also known as the Lycian Trail) symbolizes the roads taken by the Lycian civilization to travel to other cities. Today, Kate Clow's 500-km (311-mile) waymarked trail from Fethiye/Ölüdeniz west to Antalya through the Teke Peninsula is Turkey's first long waymarked trail on one of the best hiking trails in southwest Turkey. At the heart of Anatolia, the Lycian Trail is a rich and long-term path for taking a serious walk into the forest with its fascinating views and the history lying behind it. Throughout this hiking trail, the route passes through the south coast, historic ruins, the ancient city of Apollonia, and deep valleys. The total walk would take around 30–40 days to complete.

Balçova Terapi Ormanları in Izmir

As one of the greenest areas of Izmir, Balçova Terapi Ormanları serves as a great hiking and trekking option for nature lovers. You can take a break and have a rich-flavored coffee or tea while watching the amazing views of the mountains. There are also ponds and rivers in the forest, which makes it appealing for both nature lovers and photographers to take unique pictures.

St Paul Trail

Following the success of one of the best hiking routes in Turkey, the Lycian Way, Kate Clow and Terry Richardson waymarked the St. Paul Trail (also known as Route Saint) north from Perge and Aspendos, near Antalya to Yalvaç (Antioch-in-Pisidia), near Lake Eğirdir on the Anatolian plateau in southern Turkey. The Saint Paul Trail is an important hiking trail for Christians because it is believed that St. Paul has traveled through this route.

The St. Paul Trail begins at sea level in Perge and reaches up to the mountain range in the Taurus Mountains (peaking at 2800m). It is a long-distance trail that must be approached with the preparation or guidance of experienced hikers. This hiking and trekking route offers a great experience for history and nature lovers. Besides, you can enjoy the natural wonders of Asia Minor and varied landscapes, such as mountains, forests, and lake views.

Cappadocia

Moving towards central Turkey, mostly known for its fairy chimneys, horse riding, and hot balloons, as one of the major tourist places in Turkey, Cappadocia is one of the mountainous regions in the country. It boasts some of the best hiking trails and serves as a great option for hiking and trekking. There are several short trails suitable for day hikes that wind through the volcanic Cappadocian landscape near Avanos, Göreme, and Ürgüp. Popular trails include valleys such as Kızılırmak Vadisi (Red Valley), Göreme Milli Parkı (Göreme National Park), Rose Valley, and Ihlara Vadisi. If you want to witness the local ancient churches in the region, we especially recommend an Ihlara Valley hike. Furthermore, Cappadocia has lots of stunning views of historical places, along with churches and underground cities, and offers a surreal landscape to hikers.

Kaçkar Mountains

The Kaçkar Mountains stretch along the Black Sea coast in extreme northeastern Turkey. If you are looking to hike in a mountain range, the Kaçkar Mountains are one of the best places to get enchanted by fascinating mountain views. There are several trekking routes, and they generally start in a pine forest. The Kaçkar Mountains offer fine trekking possibilities from Ayder and Yusufeli.

More Trails

Culture Routes in Turkey lists the most prominent trails, hikes, and hiking areas, including Abraham's Path(Şanlıurfa), Independence Trail (İnebolu to Kastamonu), Sultan's Trail (Edirne to Istanbul), Kure Mountains, Via Egnatia (from Rome, Italy to Byzantium [Istanbul]), Evliya Çelebi Way (for horse-riders), Phrygian Way(Gordion, Midas Şehri, etc.), Hittite Trail (Boğazkale, Alaca, etc.), Carian Trail (Southwestern Turkey), Yenice Forest Trails (near Safranbolu & Karabük), Sarıkamış Trails (Kars & Sarıkamış), Mount Ararat (Ağrı Dağı) Trails, Idyma Trail (near Gökova), and more.

Don't forget to take enough water, emergency kits, and a raincoat with you in case it rains. For your first experience, it is suggested that you go hiking and trekking with someone who is experienced in them beforehand. It is best to wear hiking or trekking shoes. 

There are a lot of hiking spots in Turkey for hiking and trekking, offering nature enthusiasts a unique and unforgettable experience. While you are hiking and trekking, you will not only engage in physical exercise but also immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes that surround you. So, if you're looking for a remarkable way to escape the hustle of everyday life and recharge your energy, Turkey has many trails for your next hiking and trekking journey.

-by Tom Brosnahan, updated by Duru Nemutlu

Read More:

Hiking Cappadocia

Hiking the Gallipoli 

Hiking Trails in Antalya

Lycian Way

St Paul Trail

Kaçkar Mountains

Special Interest Trips

Best Itineraries

Best Guided Tours

 

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