Endings are always so bittersweet. Two weeks ago when I began hiking the Lycian Way with Warren and Betsy in Kas, I was looking forward to simply getting through the hike. I had a long painful hiking transition to make ahead of me. But now, it was here – the last day – and I was not ready for it to end. It took me a week to find my hiking groove, now I have it, and I’m not ready to stop.
This whole feeling was amplified by the fact that this was one of our nicest hiking days. The light and hills seemed golden and the Mediterranean seemed as blue as ever. Each day we hiked further it seemed to get nicer and nicer – or maybe it was just me finally adjusting to the area and the situation enough so I could appreciate it. After a leisurely day off in Cirali lounging around at Emin Pension doing laundry and walking around the town to view the chimera flame, we started climbing out of this cute little village and back onto the cliff-side trails of the Lycian Way.
Cirali to Tekirova
According to our book today’s hike was long (8 hours) but easy. We expected a couple of climbs but the rest was supposed to be downhill. And that was completely wrong. It was an arduous undulating climb along a narrow trail at first and then a forest road for the remainder of the trail. Just when I thought we had made our last climb we seemed to be climbing again…and again. Had this been the first week of hiking I might have ripped the book out of Warren’s hands and thrown it over the cliff out of anger. However, I was used to the book being inaccurate by now and even though it was frustrating – it was just part of the hike.
We stopped at a few beaches to have snacks and relax out of the sun and there were water stops along the way. The camping sites were plentiful and beautiful along the trail – but we planned on getting past Tekirova and to camp near Phaselis that night so we had to keep moving. As we started to arrive in Tekirova we realized just how lucky we were to stay in little beach-side towns like Cirali and Adrasan. Those towns were small, quaint, but beautiful. They were full of little locally owned, simple businesses. But Tekirova was the exact opposite of this. Large cold looking condos and hotels lined the streets with luxury pools and shopping. It wasn’t horrible – but it was just shocking after our stays at quaint villages which felt more authentic. We all agreed that we would hate to see this tourism transformation happen to any of the other towns along the Mediterranean Lycian Way trail.
Even though once again many things were closed for the off-season in Tekirova, we did manage to find an ATM as well as a market and a little restaurant. This was a very late lunch (more like early dinner) and according to our book we only had a 30 minute walk to a luxury beach camp which we considered staying at. However after getting hopelessly lost for a while, and scared by a vicious sounding dog, it ended up taking us twice as long to get to the camp. We found ourselves racing against the sunset which occurs around 5 pm. We ruled out the Sundance luxury camping which was too expensive and honestly didn’t look too luxury to us. Instead we went past the lodging and out onto a beautiful and secluded beach where we set up our final camp right before the sun set. I’m not exactly sure why anyone would stop at the luxury camp when they had this just 5 minutes past it?
We had gotten pretty quick at setting up camp by now, so after we got situated it was time to finally wind down and take stock of our accomplishments. We cooled our feet down in the water and laughed about the day’s surprises. It was such a pleasant night that we sat out in the dark looking at the stars on the beach talking about how far we had come. Granted – I had only hiked for 2 weeks of the trail, but Warren and Betsy had done the entire thing and were that much more attached to their experience.
The next morning we took our time getting up and breaking down camp enjoying another beautiful (and our final) sunrise on the Lycian Way. We joked around about how it couldn’t get much better – but it did. We hiked about 30 minutes around the beach cove and into the back side of the ruins of Phaselis. There wasn’t a single sole there. We sat and had our final breakfast among the old ruins – an appropriate end to this long walk filled with ancient history.
From there we planned to hike up to the entrance near the main highway and to catch a dolmas to Antalya. As we were hopelessly hunting for the trail markings that would take us towards the highway we came across a German couple who were just starting the trail going the opposite direction. They were full of energy and optimism. It was great to know even though our time was coming to an end at Phaselis – another group of hikers were beginning.
By Heather Cowper March 7, 2014 - 9:16 am
Loved reading all about your hike, maybe I’ll be able to do the Lycian way some day, its definitely on my list
By Sherry March 8, 2014 - 1:07 pm
Heather – it’s great to even just do a section of it for a week or a few days!
By Betsy Talbot March 8, 2014 - 3:25 am
Loved seeing this journey through your eyes! The final breakfast at Phaselis was pretty spectacular, and I can’t imagine a better way to end this journey.
By Sherry March 8, 2014 - 1:06 pm
It was quite a journey Betsy – and I was thrilled to get to share it with you guys – actually honored. I am still stunned at the amount of info that you guys put together on your site – I know it was a lot of work and it’s a great resource out there now!
By Mary @ Green Global Travel March 10, 2014 - 9:48 pm
What a great hike. I’m glad you made it through it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Very bittersweet, as you said. Thanks for sharing with us all along the way!
By Nika March 25, 2014 - 3:39 am
Thanks for sharing this. It is a great hike. We are planning this hike for this summer 🙂 If I need some more information will contact you.Emma
By Sherry March 25, 2014 - 5:50 am
Summer will be hot, hot, hot! But the views are lovely! Think about the boat option that I did – at least that way you can cool off!
By Nika March 27, 2014 - 3:30 am
Thanks for that will do. We love the boats so you can jump into the water 🙂
By Fida March 25, 2014 - 7:40 pm
Gosh, I probably would have ripped that book apart 🙂 It’s so frustrating to have inaccurate information. What a fascinating hike, one that truly belongs on my bucket list!
By Anna March 28, 2014 - 8:53 am
Enjoy reading about your journey. Would like to be in your shoes and visit those wonderful places.Wish you new adventures.
By Sa pa April 2, 2014 - 11:27 am
Awesome photos, great trip, thanks for your sharing
By Turkey Family Vacation packages From India. January 5, 2015 - 2:00 am
Great Hike.Good Photos and article.Really I enjoy your By reading this story.I would like to visit for my next journey plan.thanks for sharing.