A Travellerspoint blog

Turkey's Mediterranean Coast

Stunning walks, great beaches and friendly people

DSC_0919_1.jpgDSC_0891_1.jpgDSC_0894_1.jpgDSC_0897_1.jpg5BEE15EE9FF11B2E1EBF3E94CD48A1B0.jpgDSC_0902_1.jpgDSC_0903_1.jpgDSC_0918_1.jpgDSC_0929_1.jpg5BF7A112AA2A6EAF0EDE13B6737FCA5A.jpgDSC_0947_1.jpgDSC_0954_1.jpgDSC_0958_1.jpgDSC_0974_1.jpgDSC_0981_1.jpg5C0D8BFED89D282AB4BF707FBE5892BA.jpgDSC_0992_1.jpgDSC_0993_1.jpg5C1256FEB561B6B204AE69911EEB5109.jpg5C13AC34D9CB8106D69069D73C76CAF2.jpgDSC_1013_1.jpgIMG_20140920_164655_1.jpgIMG_20140925_062042_1.jpgDSC_1014.jpgDSC_1024_1.jpg5C1896EF0FF53E9A3379BDDF51A74A9C.jpg5C1AEA42F59E78D60715DF09CCF0416F.jpgDSC_1033_1.jpg5C1CE414DEA73AC5301B4BE256614D23.jpg5C2CC3770AEF3A9A7DF8CFD8E74329AA.jpgDSC_1039_1.jpg5C2ECA86ECF8BC50F2594DA9AD027638.jpg5C30A6C9BFEF95D12D8F0A819214A1F7.jpg5C31C2C0BB557989DA38D4AE3F79F85C.jpgDSC_1067_1.jpgDSC_1070_1.jpgDSC_1074_1.jpgDSC_1095_1.jpgIMG_5872_1.jpgIMG_5882_1.jpgIMG_5896_1.jpgIMG_20140930_072802_2.jpgWe had planned to tear around Turkey, to get out east to the Kurdish areas and to tick off all the sites. Having realised that turkey wasn't going to be as budget friendly as we had become used to and the subsequent investment in our tent, we decided that fitting too much in may not be fun. Also, given the fighting right up to the Syrian border and the warnings from the foreign office about IS targeting Brits, it seemed wise to put some distance between us and it...

I (jason here) had been reading about walking and getting away from the touristy areas, which are renowned for being a bit unpleasant and came upon the Lycian Way. A walk of nearly 600km between Ovacik and Antalya (across the south Mediterranean coast). The plan was to use dolmus' (local buses) and our legs to cover part of it, camping along the way. I loved the idea of camping in the wild with a stunning view for company. It sounded romantic and cheap... Sophie disagreed and we were limited to places with hot water, a restaurant and a toilet that you didn't have to dig for yourself - that was probably for the best really!

Having ditched Sophie's bag and as much stuff as we could, we were down to one big bag and a small one: you can guess who carried what. We arrived in Oludeniz, which was to be our first base before starting the walk. We had seen a couple of camp sites in the Lonely Planet so after a 10 minute walk in the heat, we were a little put out to be told there were no longer any campsites in town. Back in town, it was little Britain with strong regional accents, tattoos, sunburn, lager and English breakfasts. It was quite cool seeing the paragliders landing on the beach following a 2000m decent, but we decided to get out asap... The dolmus would be nearly an hour, but just as it was due to arrive, I had an extremely urgent call of nature (my 4th during our 50min wait). Having answered the call I ran to a pharmacy to get something - being in a tent, away from civilisation for the coming week, it seemed like an imperative... So we missed the bus despite Sophie's best efforts to make them wait and we had a short "disagreement", but in the end it was decided that it was best I went on the toilet rather than the bus and that neither of us wanted to wait another hour... (Please note: Sophie's view on this may differ).

It was all up from here, both literally and metaphorically. Faralya stands at the top of a huge valley a few hundred metres from the sea and is STUNNING. We headed to a guest house camp site that Sophie had found (George House) and it was perfect. For £10 each we had dinner, breakfast, pool and an incredible view. The place was really communal and relaxed. Having erected our tent, we negotiated the 40 minute climb down to Butterfly Valley and the sea. It was fairly hard going as we'd taken all of our valuables, water, snorkels etc and parts involved lowering yourself down on a rope. There was a pretty cool music festival on at the bottom and we persuaded the organiser that we would not be paying to sit on the beach. The festival was fairly chilled and featured some interesting characters to people watch that almost made up for the lack of tranquility that the beach would otherwise have had...

After the climb back and a nice shower, we watched the sun set from hammocks by our tent with the obligatory glass of red. The moment the sun sank below the horizon, a bell rang; dinner was served! It was really tasty, especially the unlimited quantities of local honey, yoghurt and cakes. After food we crashed out, exhausted from barely sleeping after our overnight bus from Cappadocia and our day's exertions...

Fighting fit from a good night's sleep and hearty breakfast (unlimited honey and yoghurt again) and with the pills from the pharmacy taking effect, we set off to do the first day of the Lycian Way, but in reverse. The walk was amazing with views over the med, backed by mountains, forest and little villages. There were thousands of bee hives along the way and the bees were pretty friendly. At one point they were down my back and stuck on my bag, camera and head. It was enough to distract us and we lost our way slightly, but not a single sting. We asked directions from a bee keeper who offered us a lift in his bee filled car (he and his son were in full bee keeping getup); we politely declined. We were soon back on track and filled our water bottles in Kirme, which was a sleepy little village with friendly locals. At the top of the walk we met an English bloke who'd hung back so we could get a photo with a view down to the blue lagoon and Oludeniz (one of the best views we've ever seen). I was a little worried that he was one of the Little Britain lot, but it quickly became clear that he wasnt. He had broken his hip and could no longer run and also informed us that he'd forgotten travel insurance. This made his slipping and sliding on the way down a little more "exciting". He had run many of the races that Sophie's dad had done as well as running 100km distance races for GB! We walked the rest of the way together without conversation drying up. Back in Oludeniz, we resisted the urge to have a cold beer and bought a bottle of red for another evening of sunset watching back at the tent instead...

After a good 20km walk in the heat the day before, I allowed Sophie a day by the pool! I spent a good few hours reading by the pool before getting itchy feet and heading off for a walk along the valley ridge- an incredible walk considering it only took an hour. after another stint at the pool, I still felt energetic so decided to run to Kabak and back. It was only a bit over 10km, I think, but 10% gradients all the way and baking sun made it hard work. Over dinner, we got chatting to a couple of American lads, one of which had been working in Turkey for a while. They were good company and were really interested in our motives for upping and leaving. Sophie spent most of the meal trying to convince Joe to do the same. We also had a semi-retired couple (Sue and Mike) on our table who were great! Sue had been everywhere we had been or wanted to go and they now spent time looking after people's homes and pets while they are away. Staying in multi million pound mansions for free and taking the family cocker spaniel for a walk each day definitely appealed, so we'll be looking into it!

Next we took the coastal path to Kabak from Faralya. This time we had to carry the tent and all. I thought it was great, but Soph wasn't so sure... There were many complaints about the weight of the bag, which given that I was carrying the tent, sleeping gear, clothes and all of Sophie's "essential" toiletries, I found it hard to sympathise with... The walk was beautiful and we had a midway dip to cool off in the crystal clear water. We also had a packed lunch that George House allowed us to make from breakfast.

Once in Kabak we headed to Touran camping, which had been highly recommended by a polish chap we'd met. Unfortunately his price guide was a bit off and it was beyond our budget. Next to Sultan camping, which was cheaper, nice but with rather cold staff and a poor evening meal. We were paying more for a much worse setup than we had at George house and thought about heading back...

The next day we sought out a new place to stay. Everywhere is half board and we managed to get the same £10 each a night deal with a place run by a guy called Touran... We realised the issue! This place was great and worthy of the recommendation - Kabak Valley camping! Food was delicious and the men running it literally ran around to make sure we had everything we needed. The beach at Kabak was great and I managed to get in some more swimming practice - it's coming on!

After another rest day, it was time to get Sophie walking again, so we did the next leg of the Lycian way to Alinca, but as a loop back. The walk didn't disappoint again, though it was pretty tough with over 700m of climb (at a guess) and well over 20km in distance. The guide we'd picked up in Oludeniz was deceiving, unhelpful and heavy so we got rid of it! We got some pretty good food with an awesome view in Alinca and I wished we'd carried the tent so that we could have spent the night. Another night in Kabak was no hardship though...

Reluctant to move on, we decided to head to Kas further east along the coast. Kas was a pretty little town that clearly would have been full of visitors the month or so previous. We had our pick of restaurants and felt very relaxed there. Can Mocamp was Sophie's choice campsite here and she did good again! Just opposite the marina was a colourful place with a cool bar and a great character as the owner. Can managed a blend of chilled-out attentiveness, never seeming in a rush or forceful, but making sure that everything worked well. One night Can persuaded me to play the guitar in his bar, with him accompaining on his flute. It went quite well. We had great food, our first introduction to scuba and a great time thanks to his efforts. We both really enjoyed our scuba experience and are discussing where we can do our PADI course...maybe Malaysia or the Phillipines. We did a 20 minute taster dive, 1:1 with a dive guide, and the water was so clear. There were a few fish and a bit of coral, not the best diving in the world, but still enough to get us hooked. The advanced dive group had seen the resident giant turtles. We did spot one of the turtles bathing on top of the water as we were sunbathing on the top deck. We met a Russian couple, Alex and Evgeniya, when diving and they were also staying at Can Mocamp. We all had lunch and evening meal together. Its rare to meet independent Russian travellers and it was interesting to get their take on the world! It's often the case that people you feel must be very different to us actually have very similar lives and outlooks. Best not to judge tour groups as a good representation of the general populous. They were great company and Sophie spent plenty of time persuading them to quit their jobs to go travelling.

The campsite had lost it's beach thanks to the new marina, but we managed to use the swanky resort for free so had no complaints! There was a huge, calm area for swimming, a nice pool and good food - a great place to spend the day!

The countdown to the Green-Wood wedding was now on and Ginge was getting pretty excited. We'd been able to see Rhodes on the skyline for much of the last 2 weeks and it was time to head over. We stayed overnight in Fethiye, which was a nice port town. We watched boys fishing while the sun went down and then headed for a cheap kebab. The place we stayed (Ideal pension) was awful and inspired us to leave a trip advisor review!

Sophie jumped out of bed the morning of the ferry, I think desperate for some company other than mine... We boarded the flying poseiden. Goodbye Turkey, for now...

Posted by bloorsontour 03:45 Archived in Turkey

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This sounds amazing! (Although Jason's trials and tribulations make me laugh!)
Bye bye Turkey - until the rendezvous with the parents! Can't wait! xxx

by Ma & Pa

On countdown now can't wait to see you in Istanbul xxx

by Mutsi

Hi both of you - I work with Jason's mum and we have had many conversations and expressed much jealousy about your adventures in our office - good for you!! It all sounds FANTASTIC and I cannot wait to hear what you get Debbie doing when you meet up - I'm sure she will be up for anything!!! ;-) xx

by Steph Cartledge

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