Turkey has a surprisingly large collection of great hiking trails, something I wasn’t really aware ahead of time and left me wanting to explore more after I left. One of the most rewarding hikes I enjoyed was along the Lycian Way, ending at a great little town and beautiful beach.
Most people visit the Turkish ghost village of Kayakoy via various hiking trails that connect nearby villages to the coast. It is actually near part of the impressive Lycian Way trail route, which stretches for more than 500km and starts at nearby Oludeniz. When I visited this part of Turkey it was a good hike up and over the hills from Kayakoy to meet up with the Lycian Way trail and travel onwards to the beaches at Fethiye and Oludeniz blue lagoon.
Along the trail, abandoned buildings from the once impressive town greeted us, with churches and homes empty and open along the hillsides. A few houses are still used today, as they’ve been restored as a museum of sorts, but mostly they are all abandoned.
More than 2000 people lived here once, but the Greco-Roman War changed things. The houses and people are of Greek background, so the mandatory population exchange of 1923 meant they all had to leave, an interesting time in recent history!
Onwards from the town of Kayakoy, you get into some great tree-lined paths and coastal views. It’s a great part of the Mediterranean. Trails here head north and south and inland, but the most popular route is to head to the beach. As you approach the first area you’ll see is the beautiful Oludeniz blue lagoon, which is a national nature reserve. Beyond that is the main Oludeniz beach.
The high-flying para gliders and boisterous beach bars in this area of the Fethiye district were quite the contrast to this quiet, crumbling town, but it was nice to have some cold beers afterwards, as summer gets pretty hot and humid along this coastal area of Turkey!
The hike itself took about 2 hours total, including stops in the ghost town and photo stops along the way. Some decent inclines happen at the start, but once you’re up in the hills, it’s a mostly flat and then downhill hike into the coastal area of Oludeniz.