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Top 9 trekking routes in Turkey

Fethiye, Antalya, Ankara, Kütahya, Artvin, Mersin… There is no end to the natural beauty you can discover in Turkey. We have compiled a list of the top places from you to trek in Turkey amongst nature or historical sites. To plan the perfect trip, make sure to read up on the best trekking (nature walk) routes in Turkey.

Likya Yolu (Lycian Way)

A trekking route filled with historic and nature surprise, the Lycian Way, begins in Fethiye and stretches all the way to Antalya. It is around 560 km long, in total, and takes approximately 25 days to cover. The Lycian Way is divided into track, that consists of 20 stages, with routes that vary in levels of difficulty. You can pick and choose the routes that contain ancient site or sea views. If you want to explore ancient sites, then Faralya and Dodurga villages, Sidyma Antik Kenti (Sidyma Ancient Site), Pınara Ören Yeri, Letoon Antik Kenti (Letoon Ancient Site) and Xanthos Antik Kenti (Xanthos Ancient Site) are for you. For sea views, Ölüdeniz, Kaputaş, Demre, Finike, Olympos, Kaş and Çıralı are ideal. We recommend that you look into Likya yolu turları (Lycian Way tours). On your trekking adventure, you can stay at lodging accommodation or set up camp at certain campsites. To explore the Lycian way, book a flight to Dalaman, and get there by renting a car at Fethiye.

Ihlara Vadisi (Ihlara Valley)

Ihlara Valley is a rare haven of nature sights, churches and chapels, history, art and culture. The canyon of Ihlara Valley was formed by the Melendiz River and the lava of the, now inactive, Hasandağı (Mount Hasan) volcano. It takes 5 hours to cover the 14 km valley, that begins at Ihlara Village and ends at Selime village. On your explorations, you can discover dozens of shelters, graves and churches embedded in rocks. Some shelters and churches have underground access. To discover the Ihlara Valley that lies between Nevşehir and Aksaray, book a flight to Nevşehir.

Kaçkar Dağları (Kaçkar Mountains)

The Black Sea region has perfect trekking routes for those seeking adventure combined with peaceful surroundings. The Kaçkar Mountains encompass many routes in the most beautiful parts of the Black Sea region and is a popular spot for trekkers. At the Kaçkar Mountains you can opt for the Trans Kaçkar and Trans Yayla (Trans Plateau) route or the Çat Valley-Verçenik Plateau and Kapalı Göller routes. The Trans Kaçkar route is 45 km long and stretches from Artvin to Rize and takes a week to cover. This route is more diffcult to trek than Trans Yayla (Trans plateau). You can reach the Trans Plateau route, nestled between the Fırtına and Ayder valleys, by crossing the Sıratepe plateau. Take a dip in the lake, mid-walk on the Çat Valley-Verçenik Plateau and Kapalı Lakes route. On this route, you can visit Tepan village, and the Gito, Elevit, Trovit, Pokut plateaus. There are also certain lodgings you can find dotted on the plateaus. To reach the Kaçkar Mountains, book a flight to Artvin or book a flight to Trabzon.

Aladağlar

The Aladağlar mountains stretch from Kayseri, Niğde to Adana and have plenty of amazing natural sights for you to discover on the way. The Aladağlar mountains, favored during the summer months, summit reaches up to 3756 m high. A great spot to begin your trek is from Demirkazık mountain, before you proceed to other spots on route: Maden Boğazı, Yedigöller, Kapızbaşı Şelalesi (Kapızbaşı Waterfall), Sokulupınar, Emli Vadisi (Emli Valley) and Barasama Vadisi (Barasama Valley). Note that not all the routes are forested, some parts are lined with alpine plants. You can camp in designated areas, such as Sokulupınar. There are also rafting and mountaineering options available. To start your Aladağlar trekking adventure, book a flight to Kayseri or book a flight to Nevşehir.

Bafa Gölü (Bafa Lake)

Bafa Lake lies within Milas, in Söke Ovası and is an ideal location for those looking for day-long excursions. There are great routes at Bafa Lake, with archaeological significance and beautiful scenery. If you are looking for a longer route, we highly recommend the Kral Yolu. Here you can reach the historic Lamos Dapı hills from Heraklia town and admire the caves and monastery ruins along the way, on a route that takes approximately 14 hours. The other route takes around 2.5 hours and begins at Kapıkırı village. On this route, a footpath winds up a hill, lined with ancient sites, towers and walls. You can reach the great trekking spot, Bafa Lake, after landing at Bodrum.

Kaz Dağları

The Mount Ida National Park, spans 21 thousand hectares, stretching from Balıkesir, Edremit to Sarıkız, and boasts many incredible, varied walking trails. From Ayı Deresi (Ayı Springs), Sütüven Şelalesi (Sütüven Waterfall), Manastır Çayı (Monastery Plains), Tozlu Yaylası (Tozlu Plateau), Sarıkız Tepesi (Sarıkız Hill) to Mıhlı Çayı (Mıhılı Plains), there a great array of routes at your disposal. For those seeking strenous trekking combined with some climbing, we recommend the Tahtakuşlar-Kapaklı-Dumanlı-Tavşanoynağı-Sarıkız Hill route. By participating in trekking tours, you can discover the most suitable trekking routes for you. During your trekking adventure at the Mount Ida National Park you can camp at certain site s or stay at nearby lodgings and hotel accommodations. You can reach Mount Ida from Çanakkale.

Bolkar Dağları (Bolkar Mountains)

Stretching from Niğde to Mersin, the Bolkar Mountains are optimal for those looking for long trekking routes. Starting with the Meydan Yaylası (Meydan Plateau), follow the trail to Darboğaz, Karagöl, Tanzıt Yaylası (Tanzıt Plateau), Papazın Bahçesi (Papazın Garden), Sinap Kalesi (Sinap Castle), Atoluğu and Büklü Boyun, until you reach the final stop, Çamlıyayla. This route takes a total of 3 days to complete. You can set up camp at certain campsites along the way. Even though the Bolkar Mountains have many peaks exceeding 3000 meters, the tallest peak, Medetsiz, is ideal for climbers as it reaches up to 3524 meters high. The best time to trek in Bolkar Mountains, is between May and August. All you need to do is book a flight to Nevşehir or book a flight to Kayseri. If you are looking to trek during winter, we recommend you Schedule trip between January and March.

Frig Yolu (Phrygians Way)

Phrygians Way is a trail between Afyonkarahisar, Ankara, Eskişehir and Kütahya lined with ancient sites and forests, that is ideal for trekking and biking. The 506 km long Phrygian Way, is comprised of 3 main routes. It carries the traces of the 3000-year-old settlement of the Phrygian civilisation. You can view scattered Phrygian pieces, Aslataş, Yılantaş, Maltaş, Aslankaya, and Burmec on the first route, starting from Seydiler town, located on the Afyonkarahisar-Ankara highway. The second route starts from Yenice Çiftliği (Yenice Farm), on the Kütahya-Eskişehir highway. On this route you can trail ancient roads and explore one of the most spectacular and extraordinary beauties of Phrygia, the Zahran Vadisi (Zahran Valley), until you read the final stop, Fındık. The third routes lie within the borders of Eskişehir and is home to two famous Phrygian sites, Gordion and a religious center, Yazılıkaya. In this region, there are hot balloon tours available from time to time. Depending on your preferred route, book a flight to Eskişehir or book a flight to Kütahya.

Hitit Yolu (The Hittite Way)

The Hittite Way is a rich mosaic of Anatolian history and culture combined with beautiful natural scenery. The Hattuşa Antik Kenti (Hattussas Ancient City), is listed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Hittite Way is ideal for lovers of history, nature and culture as it encapsulates a rich cultural heritage amid beautiful scenery. 17 marked trekking routes cover 236 km worth of land. If you include the total amount of routes, the Hittite Way spans a total of 385 kilometers. The Hittite Way follows the historical caravan and migration routes that connect the three corners of the triangle formed by the important Hittite settlements, Hattusa, Alacahöyük and Şapinuva. The Hittite Way is also home to the breathtaking Alaca Çayı Vadisi (Alaca Çayı Valley), a historical settlement area over the years which stretches to Cemilbey village. The two nearest cities to The Hittite Way, located in Çorum, is Amasya and Kastamonu.