Adventure Travel, Featured, Trip Prep and Planning, Turkey

Lycian Way – Arrivals, Doubts, and Going Anyway

11 Comments 14 January 2014


Antalya Turkey

The Mediterranean city of Antalya, Turkey – the beginning and the ending of the Lycian Way

I woke up doubting everything. How am I going to carry a 30 pound pack over the course of 2 weeks climbing up and down hills – and a mountain pass of 3000 ft? I can’t do this. It will be impossible.

But I got up, brushed my teeth, and went anyway.

I arrived in Antalya Turkey the night before, after a long flight from NYC. There was no rest for the weary and jet-lagged – as I had to now get myself from Antalya to Kaş, meet Warren and Betsy, get some supplies, and start hiking the next day. Of course when I originally planned this aggressive schedule it all seemed great and doable – yet I don’t know if had really thought through the fact I would be jet-lagged and hiking with 30 pounds on my back. Often I just get excited about arriving somewhere and don’t really think about the toll it will take on my body and mind. And the doubt I felt this morning in Antalya was just the beginning of the toll it would take on my mind.

Antalya – A Beginning and End

To hike the Lycian Way – you need a beginning and an ending. The large and well connected town of Antalya normally gets that distinction. It’s easy to fly into Antalya and then catch a bus or dolmuş to get to any town along the Antalya coast which stretches about 600 km. The official start of the Lycian Way is in Fethiye; this is where Warren and Betsy had started from 2 weeks before, but now they were waiting for me in Kaş. So I had to find a dolmuş to Kaş. A dolmuş (pronounced “dole-moosh”) is a cross between a public bus and private taxi. Like a bus, it travels a regular route (posted on a sign in the front window) with no formal stops or timetables – and the fees are set. You can easily catch a dolmuş at the Antalya bus station. No pre-ticket necessary – just show up and tell someone where you want to go – they’ll get you on the right dolmuş.

colorful laundry

Colorful laundry hanging in Antalya

Antalya is also the main ending point of the Lycian Way. It’s not the actual end of the trail – but it’s where you come when you are finished with the trail as it’s a short dolmuş ride from the trail end to the city center. Since Antalya serves as both the beginning and ending for many hikers – it’s also a good place to store extra things that you don’t need on the trail. And trust me – the more you can dump here and leave behind the happier you’ll be. Let me just state this one more time – the more you can dump here and leave behind the happier you’ll be. Yes, it’s that important.

I woke up doubtful, but I had no time to wallow in doubt. I had to keep moving forward so I began to repack my backpack so I could drop off a bag (items I didn’t want to carry on the trail) at my ending hotel. Then I needed to make my way to the Antalya bus station and ride a dolmuş for 4 hours to meet Warren and Betsy.

Turkish coffee

Turkish coffee – A great cure for jet lag!

Lycian Way Gear Advice

• Pack light
• See Warren and Betsy’s comprehensive list of gear
• Pack light

Get That Backpack Organized!

Actually I don’t really like living out of a backpack, but recently Eagle Creek sent me some Pack-It cubes and stuff bags to try out for my travels – and those products changed the whole way I thought about my backpack. Instead of just shoving all of the stuff in a pack, I could now organize my gear with packing cubes, which basically turned my backpack from a ‘laundry basket pile’ into a dresser. Having the cubes to organize my pack was like being able to open up my sock drawer or t-shirt drawer back when I actually owned furniture! This was essential for a trip like this because I had to often unpack my whole pack to get to my tent and my sleeping bag or other essential camping gear I was carrying with me. Being able to simply take out a few cubes or stuff sacks made the process simple and not make me want to kill myself like usual when I hike with a backpack.

You can see here that my backpack contents were all contained in a few sacks and cubes. This was everything I took with me on the hike (about 20 lbs), plus I had the added weight of food and water which added about 10 lbs.

lycian way gear

My Lycian Way backpack contents – all nicely organized!

Some of the specifics you see here that I loved:

Camping Gear:

Apex One (wo)Man Tent – easy to set up and super light for this type of hiking
Sleeping Bag
Thermarest Sleeping Mat
Camping towel
Sleep sheet

Hiking Gear:

Hiking Boots
KEEN sandals– I only took my hiking boots and these sandals. They were perfect for cooling off and having something easy and comfortable to slip into at the end of the day when I was ready to divorce my hiking boots.
Smartwool socks (they never get stinky!)
Hiking pole
Sun Hat (very important!)
Mini First Aid Kit


Ipod (strangely I only used this once)
Smart phone with GPS (this was my only camera)
Telecom Square Mifi device – essential for getting an Internet signal and being able to use my smart phone for research and GPS coordinates.
Used OsmAnd as my offline map solution on my phone – it worked pretty well and was free!

Solo No More

Sunset in Kas turkey

Sunset in Kas

I arrived in Kas just in time for catching a beautiful sunset at our pension. I fought off jet-lag with a shower, and met Warren and Betsy – a joyous meeting a couple years in coming! It’s always great to meet your digital friends in the flesh and give them a proper hug. Over beer and dinner they gave me the low down on how their hike had been so far – full of excitement and ups and downs. And they shared with me their best advice about what to expect for the next two weeks and helped me get supplies at the grocery store. My supplies consisted of spreadable cheese, bread, raisins, nuts, tomatoes, sausage, olives, and Snickers bars. More weight in the pack to worry about – but food is a necessity!

As I listened to them excitedly talk about their hiking experience so far, the nagging doubts in the back of my mind returned. I wondered how I would make it and how much I would slow them down since they seemed to be in stride now that they were halfway done with the trail.

Regardless of my fears and doubts – when the alarm went off in Kas then next morning at 5:45AM – I had to get up, brush my teeth and go.


Other Useful Information:

All of the nitty-gritty info you need to know about the Lycian Way can be found on Warren and Betsy’s site – – including their daily trip journals!
How to ride a dolmuş
Antalya Overview
Dolmus Timetable for Antalya Coast

Your Comments

11 Comments so far

  1. Dan says:

    Hiking happiness equation Bag – Gear = < Happiness

    • Sherry says:

      Ha! So very true. My bag was heavy for this hike…not exactly sure what I would have done differently though – but being in better shape would have helped! Plus I need a new backpack!

  2. Lindsey says:

    I am always both in awe and envious of people who do long hikes such as this. I’m looking forward to reading about the hike!

  3. Corinne says:

    I haven’t hiked the Lycian Way, but I’ve been to most of the villages and towns along the way. I think the thing you will take home from it is the people. They are the friendliest on Earth. Stop and have tea when they offer it! You won’t regret it.

  4. Frank says:

    Great start to your series on this … I’ve seen pictures of the Lycian Way, and it looks spectacular … can’t wait to see your photos!

  5. Hey, Sherry. Thanks for the link to my dolmuş post. :-) Coincidentally my family & I have just arrived in the first place to have the same kind of transportation since we left Turkey. We’re in Morelia, Mexico, and here the little buses are called combis. I love them and it’s great to have them again.

    How I miss Turkey! Hiking the Lycian Way is a bucket-list item for my family & me, and we’re considering doing it next year, so I’m looking forward to reading about your experience. We travel with a dog, so I’ll be curious to know if you encounter any pet dogs doing the hike. Cheers!


  6. Wow! I cannot wait to hear how this hike went. You really do know how to pack! :-)

  7. Natalie says:

    Well done to you. I cheated and used transport to get inbetween sites. Didn’t get to see them all either :( Another reason to go back!

    • Sherry says:

      Natalie – I probably would have preferred that. Hiking the Lycian is pretty challenging as the infrastructure there is much less than the Camino de Santiago!

  8. Lynn says:

    Sherry, I love these posts that incorporation pictures of the destination with pictures of the gear and how you pack. Makes it seem even more real! Thanks again for your inspiring posts and life!

  9. Cycle Party says:

    That Sunset in Kas picture is breathtaking.

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Sherry traveling the world

I'm Sherry, a corporate cube dweller turned nomadic traveler. I travel to off-the-beaten-path destinations to bring you unique travel experiences and photography. But it's not just about travel, it's also about life experiences of a middle age wanderer.
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Where am I and Where am I going?

Minnesota/Wisconsin -> Nebraska

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