Turkey. It’s a country that is built on centuries-old culture, incredible food and a buzzing metropolis’ that attracts visitors from all over the world. But did you know it’s also a dazzling hiking hotspot too? Outdoor activities are gaining serious traction in Turkey, and organisations all over are busy creating new hiking routes for locals and tourists alike.
Snaking around scenic coastlines, up rugged mountains and through peaceful villages, Turkey’s hiking scene is one of the most unique in the world. Here are some hikes that will capture your soul and teach you more about the country’s rich history. Simply hop off the plane onto an Antalya transfer, and you’ll be on the trails in no time.
Hiking in Turkey
As it’s a relatively new sport to arrive in Turkey, you need to be on your guard whilst hiking around. Most of the best routes have been mapped out by Culture Society, a non-profit organisation that teaches visitors more about Turkish history.
The organisation has done sterling work so far, but some areas and paths can be hard to navigate and aren’t well-marked. Be sure to take a map with you in case you lose your bearings and download an offline translator on your phone, as all the directions might be in Turkish.
The Lycian Way
For anyone up for a really big challenge, The Lycian Way measures a hefty 540km (336 miles) and can take up to 29 days to complete. The trail is located in the southwest of Turkey, winding its way around the coast of ancient Lycia and the ancient trade routes of the Lycians along the Turkish Mediterranean coast.
Avoid taking on this challenge between June and August, as the temperatures can reach over 40 degrees Celsius. April, May, September and October are great options for a more comfortable hike.
Pigeon Valley and Love Valley, Cappadocia
For those who don’t want to spend the best part of a month on the trails, this wonderful day hike is one of the most popular routes in Cappadocia. A historical site that will definitely take your breath away, you will find everything from cave dwellings to earth pillars, centuries-old paintings and plenty of pigeons along the way.
You can choose to start the hike in Uchisar Town or Goreme Town, both of which offer stunning vistas throughout. Amounting to 4 hours of solid hiking, this one is super accessible for families and amateurs.
Sometimes, you don’t even have to leave the city to enjoy an adventure. Büyükada means big island and is easily accessible from Istanbul. As well as beautiful landscapes and views of Istanbul, the island is a mixing pot of cultures with Greek Orthodox churches, Armenian Catholic churches and ancient mosques. There is so much to discover!