Kalkan lies on the Lycian Way, voted one of the world’s top-ten long distance walks by the Sunday Times. Running from Fethiye in the west to Antalya in the east, many of the nicest stretches of the path are within easy reach of Kalkan.
At Abi Travel, we can put together bespoke walking programmes for groups of any size, led by knowledgeable, experienced, English-speaking guides, who have walked all of the sections many times. The walks are equally suitable for families, groups of friends or members of walking clubs.
Each programme takes into account the age, ability and fitness of the group, with walks varying in length from as little as six or seven kilometres to longer day walks of 15 to 20 kilometres, as well as the different levels of gradient and path conditions.
Typically, walking groups spend five days walking, with a day off in the middle to laze around on the beach, catch up on a little shopping or perhaps try their hand at sea kayaking or paragliding. Some groups spend a week walking, then enjoy a second, more leisurely week exploring the local area and visiting some of the countless other nearby places of interest.
The routes cover many different types of landscape – one day you may be walking the lower slopes of the Taurus Mountains, the next day following a well-preserved Roman aqueduct, passing through ancient Roman and Lycian sites on your way to the fabulous white sandy beach at Patara – the former capital of ancient Lycia. Spring walkers will enjoy the vista of pastures carpeted with myriad wild flowers, including poppies, crocus, anemones, daisies and several varieties of wild orchid. Wildlife lovers are often treated to the spectacle of falcons, eagles, owls, chameleons red squirrels and tortoises, as well as lots of other wild animals, insects and birds. On many of the walks, our groups are invited by local farming families to join them for tea and gossip – many of them are several miles from the nearest village with no transport of their own and our visits are often the highlight of their month
There is a wide choice of accommodation available, depending on the requirements of each individual group. This ranges from self-catering villas and apartments – many with their own pools - to simple pensions and more luxurious hotels. Picnic lunches can be provided for the daily walks, and other activities can be arranged separately for any non-walkers in the party, or for days when the group is not walking. Popular days out include boat trips to Kekova Island to see the sunken city and to visit the medieval castle at Simena, which has a Lycian amphitheatre within its walls from a previous age; and to the famous Saklikent Gorge, where you can enjoy wading in the icy cold, fast-flowing river, rewarded by a lunch of extremely(!) fresh trout at one of the little restaurants built on wooden platforms overhanging the water.
We can also arrange for a number of different local restaurants in Kalkan and the surrounding villages to provide dinner for your group for some or all of the evenings during your stay, which helps to maintain the party atmosphere.
The best months of the year to walk are October, November, March, April and the first half of May. December to February often enjoy long spells of glorious weather, but there is generally more chance of rain during that period. From the end of May until the end of September, the high temperatures make it unsuitable for walking.
If you would like more information on designing a walking holiday to suit your family or group, please contact:
The walk starts in the olive groves near the hamlet of Akbel, just above the town of Kalkan. It follows an easy, level track with views across the plain of Kinik to your right (see if you can spot the remains of the runway, where the government tried to open an airport back in the 70s - unfortunately it sank before it received any air traffic!)
The track then descends an easy, but rocky, path to the Roman aquaduct at Delikemer. We pass underneath the aquaduct and up a rise, where you will get a good view back to aquaduct. Then we join the path to Patara, flat at first, then a very short rise, crossing a dry stream bed before joining a pleasant grassy track, which leads through olive groves and then through woodlands before we start the gentle descent to Patara.
Picnic stop in a pleasant glade with plenty of shade and rocky 'perches', then the final descent via a grass and shale path. Some care needs to be taken as you descend, as there is some erosion in some places on the path.
We then arrive in the ruins of Patara, once a capital of the Lycian league and Lycia's main seaport (the harbour has since silted up and the ruins are now some way from the sea). Explore the ruins, including the well-preserved amphitheatre and the senate, upon which today's US senate was modelled.
Walk (or bus) to the beach, where we will spend some time, so that you can have a swim or paddle and a cool drink at the cafe before returning to Kalkan. There are changing cabins and showers at the beach cafe, which you can use free of charge.
Bring: sun cream, swimming costume/towel if you wish (these can be left on the bus and collected before we leave the ruins), sandals/plimsolls so that you can change out of your boots (can also be left on the bus), plenty of water/other drinks as desired, extra snacks (a sandwich and juice will be provided), camera. You may also want to bring a clean tee-shirt, as walking at this time of the year can be a sweaty business!
Please note: Because Patara is an official ancient site, we have to pay the entrance fee of 5 lira per person on the way out (we bypass the ticket booth on the route down). It would be extremely helpful if you could try to have the correct money, so that we can collect this on the bus.
We start the walk in the very pretty village of Gokceoren high in the hills above Kas and Kalkan. This is the summer retreat for the villagers and their flocks, where they spend the hot season.
We start at the graveyard, where you may be amused to see the dates on the gravestones. Because Turkey changed to the Gregorian Calendar from the Lunar Calendar when it became a republic, some graves show birth dates in the '14th' Century alongsides dates of passing in the last or current centuries.
We follow a stream gently downhill through forest and farmland, arriving eventually at the junction with the path which leads up to the ancient city of Phellos. At this junction, we turn west towards Saribelen, following the path of a rushing river, with views over the high villages and pastures. The path rises gently in some areas. We end the walk on a track, just above the village of Saribelen.
Bring: suncream, camera, snacks, plenty of water/soft drinks. (A sandwich and juice will be provided). You may wish to bring sandals/other shoes to change in to at the end, ditto clean tee shirt.
Saribelen to Gokceoren, via the mountain track - easy to moderate
Approximately four to five hours.
We start the walk just above the village of Saribelen. A short, but rather steep, ascent (less than ten minutes) takes us up a forestry path. This then rises gently for a further few minutes, levelling out to give lovely views over the high pastures. We then have a short, but slightly rocky descent - watch your footing and make sure you stick to the path. Then the walk passes through pastures, eventually leading to a good track, which rises gently, offering fantastic views of the islands and the sea, eventually giving you a bird's eye view over the Greek island of Meis. Watch out for wild orchids close to the track and keep an eye out for falcons, kestrels, eagles and other birds of prey, playing on the high thermals. We then descend a rocky staircase and the walk continues via pastures and a network of coastal tracks (no scary edges) before finally descending into the hill village of Gokceoren.