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The Hittite Way In 17 Courses
ANOTHER OF TURKEY’S THEMATIC CULTURE WAYS HAS COME TO LIFE IN THE LAND OF THE HITTITES, AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE ANATOLIAN CULTURAL MOSAIC. HERE IS THE HITTITE WAY IN 17 COURSES.
The Hittite Way is made up of 17 trails totaling 385 kilometers spread over the area between the ruins of Hattuşa and Alacahöyük and the ancient city of Sapinuwa in Boğazkale National Park. With its GPS coordinates and signs placed along paths indicated by red and white markers, the Hittite Way boasts trails negotiable by everyone, either on foot or by bicycle.
The Hittite capital Hattuşa with its six kilometers of defense walls and archives of cuneiform tablets is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. After touring the palace complex, temples, tablets, monumental gates, grain storehouses, sphinxes and defense walls, you can hike the 23-kilometer route from Hattuşa to Lake Boğazkale and the village of Yazır and back.
Another Hittite Way itinerary is the two-kilometer trail from Hattuşa to Yazılıkaya. This mysterious sacred area, where fertility festivals were once held in spring, is a must-see with its majestic reliefs depicting the Hittite pantheon.
The Alacahöyük - Karakaya trail along the Budaközü River, a tributary of the Kızılırmak (ancient Halys), Turkey’s longest river, is nine kilometers long. You can also try the seven-kilometer Alacahöyük - Mahmudiye trail, which will give you an opportunity to explore Kalehisar and the Behramşah Mosque Complex, a Seljuk monument.
This canyon in the township of Ortaköy boasts Anatolia’s largest relief of Cybele. A walking platform is planned in future for this giant two-meter-high relief which is difficult to reach because of the river current. At the top of the canyon is a cave with the remains of ancient settlements. Known locally as the ‘kale’ or castle, this cave can be reached via a four-kilometer marked trail.
THE SMALL LAKES
The shores of the area’s small lakes, Evci, Çatak, Kızılhamza, Soğucak, Kalecikkaya, Gölpınar and Boğazkale, offer hikers a pleasantly cool environment as well as camping facilities. These small lakes, which are also a stopover point for migratory birds, offer a rich potential for birdwatching. And the lakes simultaneously await enthusiasts of water sports like canoeing, rowing and sailing.
EXPLORING: ALACA VALLEY
Opened up for tourism together with the Hittite Way, this 27-kilometer valley is near the town of Alaca. Starting from the village of Geven, it winds through the villages of Değirmenönü, Dereyazıcı and Şanlıosman to Cemilbey. Passing through historic sites like the Gerdekkaya Grave and the Akçasoku, Kabilkışla and Pazarlı caves, it offers a somewhat humid but equally enjoyable hiking route.
Amasya Merzifon is the closest airport to Çorum, which lies on the Hittite Way. Turkish Airlines has Istanbul-Merzifon flights in both directions every day of the week. Departures from Istanbul are at 4:30 p.m., returns at 6:45 p.m.
For information: www.turkishairlines.com