St. Paul trail & the Lycian Way east

Tour Code : TRE 12

Highlights
–    Hiking through Koprulu national park 
–    Best treks from Lycian way east section
–    Beautiful coastal walks & lonely beaches
–    Ucagiz/Kekova tour by boat; Simena castle & sunken city 
–    Gelidonya lighthouse 
–    Ulupinar/Cirali & the flames of the Chimaera

TRE 12 - PRIN

Best Season   
Jan / Feb / Mar / Apr / May / Jun / Jul / Aug / Sep / Oct / Nov / Dec

 

Duration of the Trip
14 Days / 13 Nights

 

Difficulty Level/walks (treks)
= B (Medium) 
Hiking the St Paul trail & Lycian way east (9 routes on 9 days)

 

Accommodation
Hotel; Pension & Guesthouse    :    13 Nights

Day 1 : Antalya

Meet at the Antalya airport with Demavend Travels representative and drive to the Hotel located in the old city centre. It is uncertain when the site of the current city was first inhabited. Attalos II, king of Pergamon, was believed to have founded the city around 150 BC, naming it Attalia and selecting it as a naval base for his powerful fleet. However, excavations in 2008 have uncovered remains dating to the 3rd century BC, suggesting that the city was founded earlier than previously supposed. Antalya became part of the Roman Republic in 133 BC when King Attalos III of Pergamum willed his kingdom to Rome at his death. The city grew and prospered during the Ancient Roman period; today the city includes sites with traces of Lycian, Pamphylian, and Hellenistic -but mainly Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman- architecture and cultures. 
Transfer time: 20 min.; Transfer distance: 15 km (Antalya airport – Antalya Kaleici)
ON: in Antalya at the Hotel
Meals: – / – / D

Day 2 : Aspendos & Beskonak (Koprulu National park)

After breakfast we leave Antalya and drive to Aspendos, an ancient city in Pamphylia; according to later tradition the city was founded around 1000 B.C. by Greeks who may have come from Argos. Aspendos is known for having the best-preserved theatre of antiquity; with a diameter of 96 metres, the theatre provided seating for 7,000. Nearby stand the remains of a basilica, agora, nymphaeum and 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) of a Roman aqueduct. We also visit the Roman Eurymedon Bridge, reconstructed in the 13th century, which is also in the vicinity. Afterwards we continue to the village of Beskonak for overnight.
Transfer time: 1 h; transfer distance: 90 km (Antalya – Beskonak via Aspendos) 
ON: in Beskonak village at the Pension
Meals: B / L / D

Day 3 : Beskonak & ancient Selge

We leave Beskonak village and climb on small pathes up to the ancient City of Selge. The town was believed to be a Greek colony, for Strabo states that it was founded by Spartans, but adds the somewhat unintelligible remark that previously it had been founded by Calchas. The acropolis of Selge bore the name of Kesbedion. The district in which the town was situated was extremely fertile, producing abundance of oil and wine, but the town itself was difficult of access, being surrounded by precipices and beds of torrents flowing towards the Eurymedon and Cestrus (today Aksu), and requiring bridges to make them passable. In consequence of its excellent laws and political constitution, Selge rose to the rank of the most powerful and populous city of Pisidia, and at one time was able to send an army of 20,000 men into the field. Owing to these circumstances, and the valour of its inhabitants, for which they were regarded as worthy kinsmen of the Spartans, the Selgians were never subject to any foreign power, but remained in the enjoyment of their own freedom and independence. When Alexander the Great passed through Pisidia (333 BC), Selge sent an embassy to him and gained his favour and friendship. At that time they were at war with Termessos. The remains of the city consist mainly of parts of the encircling wall and of the acropolis. A few traces have survived of the gymnasium, the stoa, the stadium and the basilica. There are also the outlines of two temples, but the best conserved monument is the theater, restored in the 3rd century AD. Halfway on the road to Selge from the Pamphylian coastal plain, a well-preserved Roman Bridge crosses the deep Eurymedon valley. Afterwards drive back to Beskonak.
Transfer time: 45 min.;
Walking time: 5/6 h; walking distance: 10 km; ascent: 742m; descent: 66m
ON: in Beskonak village at the Pension
Meals: B / L / D

Day 4 : Beskonak to Caltepe

Today we drive back up to Selge, where 5 minutes later we come to the start of today’s trek, which follow a mixture of tracks, dirt roads and old roman roads. The Area is today part of the Köprülü Nationalpark and famous for his mature forests. We pass the small villages Ören, Delisarnic and Kestanelik (Kestane means chestnuts). The last part of the Way we walk on small shepherds pathes. It is only during the Summertime possible to meet some shepherds grazing their animals. We will reach the village of Caltepe in the late afternoon and will spend the Night in a small Guest House.
Transfer time: 45 min.;
Walking time: 7/8 h; walking distance: 13 km; ascent: 215m; descent: 675m
ON: in Caltepe village at the Pension
Meals: B / L / D

Day 5 : Caltepe to Kasimlar via Kesme

A short transfer takes us to our starting Point in Kesme village. We drive through the beautifull Köprülü Nationalpark with beautiful views to the Köprülü River, used for Wild Water Rafting through the Summer, and the Köprülü Canyon. The canyon stretches for 14 km along the Köprü River and is 400 metres deep in some places. After arriving in Kesme we start our walk and follow over fields and tracktor roads until we reach a small pass at Belsarnic. From the pass we walk down in zigzags down to Kasimlar village. In Kasimlar we spend the Night in a Family House.
Transfer time: 1 h; transfer distance: 40 km (Caltepe – Kesme)
Walking time: 6 h; walking distance: 11 km; ascent: 253m; descent: 582m
ON: in Kasimlar village at the Pension
Meals: B / L / D

Day 6 : Kasimlar to lake Egirdir via Tota Yaylasi & Adada

After a 15 min. transfer we start our walk and follow a tracktor way into the Tota Yaylasi Forrest Park. The Route continues around the end of the Sarp Dagi to a spring on a large Yayla (Plateau). From there we follow a stabilized old village Road and sheep tracks to Yenikoy. From Yenikoy we drive to the Ruins of Adada. The Local people call Adada also Baulo or Karabaolu and belief that the Name comes from St. Paul. The main attractions are the acropolis, the Hellenistic towers, the Basilica and the Theatre. We can have the picnic either just before Yenikoy or in Adada. From Adada we follow a dry riverbed and later a spectacular bit of old roman road, a great way to finish of the hiking part of the holiday. Just below the village of Sagrak we meet the road and by bus we drive to Egirdir town near the Egirdir Lake. We will spend here the Night in a small Pension.
Transfer time: 20 min.; transfer distance: 10 km (Kasimlar – Tota Yaylasi)
Transfer time: 10 min. (Yenikoy – Adada)
Transfer time: 1 h; transfer distance: 45 km (Adada – Egirdir)
Walking time: 8 h; walking distance: 15 km; ascent: 104m; descent: 374m
ON: in Egirdir at the Pension
Meals: B / L / D

Day 7 : Lake Egirdir; Barla village to Bedre beach

After breakfast we drive to the village of Barla where we start our todays walk. The area of Barla is well known for its huge mix of orchids and other wild flowers. From Barla village we start walking and follow stabilized roads and walking paths, with a long slow ascent, until we reach the high plateaus known as yayla. During the summer months it is possible to meet here shepherds from the villages around. After having picnic on the way we descent down to Bedre beach. Depending on time and weather conditions it is possible to spend time at the beach, for swimming and relaxing. Afterwards we drive back to Egirdir where we spend our final Night.
Transfer time: 20 min.; transfer distance: 25 km (Egirdir – Barla village)
Transfer time: 15 min.; transfer distance: 15 km (Bedre beach – Egirdir)
Walking time: 6 h; walking distance: 12 km; ascent: 440m; descent: 490m
ON: in Egirdir at the Pension
Meals: B / L / D

Day 8 : Ancient Sagalassos & Kas

We leave Egirdir and drive to Antalya. On the way we will visit the ancient City of Sagalssos. Sagalassos is an archaeological site in the Western Taurus mountain range, at an altitude of 1450-1700 metres. In Roman Imperial times, the town was known as the ‘first city of Pisidia’. Already during the Hellenistic period, it had been one of the major Pisidian towns. The urban site was laid out on various terraces at an altitude between 1400 and 1600 m. After having suffered from a major earthquake in the early sixth century CE, the town still managed to recover, but a cocktail of epidemics, water shortages, a general lack of security and stability, a failing economy and finally another devastating earthquake around the middle of the seventh century forced the inhabitants to abandon their town and resettle in the valley. Large-scale excavations started in 1990 under the direction of Marc Waelkens of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium. A large number of buildings, monuments and other archaeological remains have been exposed, documenting the monumental aspect of the Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine history of this town. After visiting Sagalassos we drive to Kas, a small fishing, yachting and tourist town. As a tourist town it is relatively unspoiled. Although the Teke peninsula has been occupied since the Stone Age it seems Kas was founded by the Lycians and its name in Lycian language was Habesos or Habesa. It was a member of the Lycian League, and its importance during this time is confirmed by the presence of one of the richest Lycian necropolis. Kas itself is a quiet pleasant town with its blue sea and narrow streets scented with jasmine flowers. There are plenty of little quiet cafes to relax.
Transfer time: 4 h; transfer distance: 310 km (Egiridir – Kas via Sagalassos)
ON: in Kas at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 9 : Kapakli village to Simena castle

We start our walk in Kapakli village from where we already have a view over the bay and the sea. We walk gently down over a gravel road until we reach the small primary school of the village. From the school we continue our walk and enjoy the beautiful view on the bay down below. Over a green pasture we reach the sign that shows us the direction of Ucagiz. We follow a sandy path with rocks and walk between olive trees until we cross another green plain. Afterwards we enter a rocky path; these rocks can be slippery when the weather is rainy, so we advise good profiled walking boots. We continue our walk on small and rocky paths, like stairways, through green grass plains and between olive trees until we reach the remains of a historic olive factory from the Ottoman times and the bay of Gokkaya. Here we will take time to have lunch and to swim, if the weather conditions allow it. After lunch we gently go up on a rocky path with a nice view over the bay and continue walking next to the turquoise sea and the small islands in the bay, which seem very close now. After reaching a green plain we can see the castle of Simena at the horizon. After reaching the coastal village of Simena at the foot of the castle we will have a break first before we take time to visit the castle itself. Simena Castle was built by the Byzantines in the middle ages to fight the pirates who nested in Kekova. Simena contains a small theatre and numerous rock tombs. The Castle offers beautiful views to the village of Kalekoy (castle village) down below, some of the old houses were completely submerged due to earthquakes during the Byzantine period and you can see remains down to 2m deep, in the bluish light on the seabed. Afterwards we will meet with our vehicle and drive back to Kas.
Transfer time: 40 min.; transfer distance: 35 km (Kas – Kapakli village)
Transfer time: 40 min.; transfer distance: 35 km (Ucagiz – Kas)
Walking time: 4 h; walking distance: 8 km; ascent: 10m; descent: 50m
ON: in Kas at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 10 : Bayindir village to ancient remains of Apollonia

After breakfast we drive to the starting point of today’s walk above the village of Bayindir. We start our walk on a broad gravel road and see the bay of Ufak Dere at the horizon. We walk down with a view over the bay, the hills and woods in front of us. In the valley on our right sight, we can see the old Greek town of Ufak Dere and further away we the island of Meis. We walk in the direction of the coast and pass a goat farm in a place called Gezbelli and further down, after a rocky path, we reach an area with thyme bushes, olive and laurel trees and continue our walk until we reach a small bay. Via small paths and broad gravel roads, with the sea on our right side and the sound of the waves, we reach a stone path and walk through a pine forest to a beautiful viewpoint over the bay of Iskele. Parallel to the sea we walk up on a path with the remains of an old watch tower on our left and reach the bay of Gemiler where we can have lunch and enjoy a swim. After lunch, we go up again and continue ascending until we reach a highpoint; with a beautiful view over the bay, we share the environment with herds of grazing goats. We continue ascending on a rocky path until we reach the pass of Gedikbasi and continue a little further on a straight broad gravel path until we reach the point where our minibus awaits us. We drive to the village of Bogazcik where we can drink tea with the villagers and where we have the option to walk another kilometre to visit the ancient remains of Apollonia. The city is not mentioned by any ancient author but the pillar tombs in the necropolis to the north of the city attest to a Lycian origin of the settlement. The ruins of a Byzantine church possibly date to the 6th or 7th century AD, so the city was still occupied at that time. At the end of the day we drive back to Kas.
Transfer time: 10 min.; transfer distance: 10 km (Kas – Bayindir)
Transfer time: 30 min.; transfer distance: 25 km (Bogazcik/Apollonia – Kas)
Walking time: 5 h; walking distance: 10 km; ascent: 275m; descent: 160m
ON: in Kas at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 11 : Ucagiz/Kekova tour by boat; Simena castle & sunken city – Myra ancient city & Adrasan

Kekova area is a great place for the coastal scenery as well as for the archaeological sites well preserved because they are not easily accessible. A pleasant excursion by boat is the best way to see the ruins on the northern coast of Kekova island, some of the old houses were completely submerged due to earthquakes during the Byzantine period. By boat, we go round the island, where you can see remains down to 2 meters deep, in the bluish light on the seabed. We walk up to the Simena castle rewarding us with a view all around, and on numerous rock tombs. You will fully appreciate this day with a stroll on the Tersane Island. After returning to Ucagiz we drive to Adrasan. On the way we visit the Myra ancient city. There is no substantiated written reference for Myra before it was listed as a member of the Lycian alliance, according to Strabo it was one of the largest towns of the alliance. The ruins of the Lycian and Roman town are mostly covered by alluvial silts. The Acropolis on the Demre-plateau, the Roman theatre and the Roman baths has been partly excavated. The semi-circular theatre was destroyed in an earthquake in 141, but rebuilt afterwards. The late afternoon in Adrasan is free to spend time at the beach.
Transfer time: 3 h; transfer distance: 215 km (Fethiye – Adrasan via Ucagiz/Kekova & Myra ancient city)
Boat tour in Ucagiz/Kekova: approximately 3 h
ON: in Adrasan at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 12 : Adrasan & Gelidonya lighthouse

A simply superb day of coastal walking, we begin today’s walk from our hotel climbing steadily to a pass at 470 metres. Then dropping down closer to the sea’s edge, the route twists and turns amongst limestone crags sometimes under pine trees and sometimes on the cliff edge. There are views down to hidden coves and across to desert islands. This is a beautiful walk contouring the range of hills which forms the backbone of Gelidonia. We climb again to arrive on a rocky ridge crest overlooking the peninsula of Cape Gelidonya with its two lighthouses. Descending a stony path to the upper of these we then follow a wide trail down through pine forest to our waiting vehicles and drive back to Adrasan. 
Transfer time: 20min.; transfer distance: 14 km (Gelidonya – Adrasan) 
Walking time: 5 h; walking distance: 18 km; ascent: 400m; descent: 400m
ON: in Adrasan at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 13 : Cirali to Ulupinar village via Flames of the Chimaera – Antalya & Kaleici

After breakfast we drive to the village of Cirali, where we pick up the Lycian Way and continue to follow the trail north. We follow the walking path to the Flames of Chimaera. Called in Turkish Yanartas (flaming rock), the spot consists of some two dozen vents in the ground, grouped in two patches on the hillside. The vents emit methane thought to be of metamorphic origin. In ancient times sailors could navigate by the flames. Afterwards we continue our walk and climb up to a small Hill and follow the stream for a while until we reach Ulupinar village. After Lunch in Ulupinar we drive to Antalya, where it is possible to walk through the old city centre (Kaleici); with its narrow cobbled streets of historic Ottoman era houses; with streets and buildings still bear the marks of Antalya’s history. The old city centre has been restored to retain much of its historical character; most famous the Hadrian’s Gate, the Clock Tower, Yivli Minare and Hidirlik Tower. 
Transfer time: 1/2 h; transfer distance: 80 km (Cirali – Antalya)
Walking time: 3/4 h; walking distance: 9 km; ascent: 330m; descent: 190m
ON: in Adrasan at the Hotel
Meals: B / L / D

Day 14 : Antalya – Home

Transfer to Antalya airport where the Trip concludes.
Transfer time: 20 min.; transfer distance: 15 km (Antalya Kaleici – Antalya airport)
Meals: B / – / –

ON = Overnight accommodation / B = Breakfast / L = Lunch / D = Dinner

Price Includes
–    All transfers and transportations with private vehicles to the places mentioned in the Itinerary
      Days 1 & 14: One (one way) arrival/departure transfer from/to Antalya airport/Hotel in Antalya
–    Demavend Travel English speaking Tour Leader
–    Hotel; Pension & Guest/Family House accommodations, rooms on double/twin & multi share base;
      Half Board (HB) service; Important: HB Dinner Service available until 20:30/21:00 h
–    13 x Breakfast, 12 x Lunch (Lunch Packages & Restaurants where available), 13 x Dinner
–    Day 11: Ucagiz/Kekova Tour by Boat Simena Castle & Sunken (approximately 3 h / with Lunch on Board)

 

Price Excludes
–    All International and Domestic Flights
–    Travel insurance
–    Extra Transports and transfers other than stated in the Itinerary
–    All kind of Soft and Alcoholic drinks, Bottled Water, Tea & Coffee
–    Meals other than stated in the Itinerary
–    All kind of personal expenses
–    All kind of Entrance fees for historical and natural sites
–    All kind of optional activities
–    Extra Nights
–    Single supplements
–    Personal Equipment
–    Tips