Explore Turkey’s Mediterranean delights on an active tour

Experience Turkey from a different perspective. Abandon well-worn routes to forge a path through unexplored terrain, deep into the historical heart of Turkey. Travel from the minarets of Istanbul city, visiting Turkey’s holiest sites, cycling breathtaking Mediterranean coastlines, hiking the Lycian Way and kayaking over sunken cities. Take up the challenge and be amazed by all that this active travel adventure has to offer.

Start
Istanbul, Turkey
Finish
Antalya, Turkey
Countries
Turkey
Themes
Cycling, Explorer, Walking & Trekking
Code
ERXT
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
231kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Get a taste of incredible Istanbul and its bustling backstreets
  • Pay your respects to the fallen at Gallipoli, a moving and educational experience regardless of your age or background
  • Visit Ephesus’s astounding Roman ruins, where the Greco-Roman world still feels very much alive
  • Cycle along the shores of Lake Koycegiz, get down and dirty in the thermal mud baths, take a refreshing lake swim, and enjoy a boat trip to Caunos by the Daylan Channels – all in one day
  • A kayak trip over a sunken city is the perfect way to experience the lush blue waters of the Mediterranean
  • Antalya is one of Turkey's true coastal jewels, and you'll stay in what is arguably its most charming neighbourhood, the old town of Kaleici

Itinerary

Merhaba! Welcome to Istanbul. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 1 pm. Check-in time at our joining-point hotel is after 2 pm. Early check-in is not guaranteed, but if you arrive early, luggage storage is available. Speak to the hotel reception on arrival. Today you'll become acquainted with eclectic character of the city on an orientation walk.
Enjoy free time in the morning to further explore Istanbul. After lunch it's time to head towards Gallipoli, with a bus ride to Canakkale (approximately 5 hours). You will travel past fields of sunflowers and the glorious Sea of Marmara. Spend the evening in Eceabat, perhaps with a fresh fish dinner by the sea.
After breakfast this morning you will cross the Dardanelles and arrive at the battlefields of Gallipoli. Make sure you have packed some water and are wearing long pants, good walking shoes, a hat and sunscreen. Visit all the major sites on the peninsula as you hike your way up to Chunuk Bair, the New Zealand memorial. You will walk in the trenches, visit cemeteries and sit down to a picnic lunch at Lone Pine, the Australian memorial. This will be a day of mixed feelings, as the raw beauty of this environment lies in contrast with the sobering history of the Great War. Head back to Eceabat as the day draws to a close.
Today we travel by bus to Selcuk (approximately 7.5 hours). This town is steeped in many Turkish traditions and has an air of the 'real' Turkey about it. Explore Ayasoluk Hill and its many historical buildings, such as Isa Bey Mosque and the Grand Fortress. The famed Temple of Artemis is also worth a look, though all that remains of this Wonder of the Ancient World is a pylon. In the afternoon it's time for what may well be the highlight of your trip – Ephesus. There will be plenty of time to marvel at the beautifully preserved ruins of this ancient metropolis, including the staggering Library of Celsus. Learn more about its 1,500-year history and how sophisticated it was for its time. When it's over, you will return to Selcuk on foot.
Depart mid-morning for the scenic town of Dalyan (approximately 4 hours). Enjoy some free time on arrival as you prepare for an adventurous day tomorrow. You might like to go for a swim or take a boat tour to the lovely Istuzu Beach, a major breeding ground for loggerhead turtles.
Today is full of fun activities. Cycle through olive groves and along the shore of Lake Koycegiz; visit a hot spring and relax in mud bath; board a ferry with the option to visit the Lycian ruins of Kaunos. Lunch is also included today. After a big day of exploring, head back into the town of Dalyan.
Travel to Fethiye by public bus (approximately 1.5 hours). Spend some time exploring this friendly town and its Lycian rock tombs carved into cliffs, beautiful coastline and renowned market. An excellent optional day trip is to hike the Kayakoy–Oludeniz walking trail, a 3-hour trip with a cool 'blue lagoon' you can take a dip in.
Take a short bus ride to Ovacik which marks the official start of the Lycian Way. Begin a 14-kilometre walk toward Faralya. As you pass through areas of pine forests, rocky terrain, and Mediterranean shrub on this day-long hike, you'll catch stunning vistas of clear blue water and Mount Babadağ looming above. Your route takes you through the villages of Kozağaç and Kirme, where you'll meet a few local farmers and maybe even stop for a cup of tea. Lunch is simple picnic en route. Arrive in Faralya late in the afternoon, and retire for the night at George and his son Hassan's house where you'll enjoy some fine Turkish hospitality.
Hike to Kabak for some of the most spectacular coastal views of the entire Lycian Way (3 hours, 8 km). Enjoy some lunch and perhaps take a swim at Kabak, which is more like a small nature resort than a village. Then head back Fethiye to collect your bags and take a local bus to Kas (approximately 3 hours). Walk the cobbled streets here and enjoy the charming scenes of whitewashed walls. The best swimming spots are accessible via the waterfront restaurants, where the price of an occasional drink gets you a deck chair, umbrella and gorgeous views of the Mediterranean. The local handicraft markets make for a great evening activity.
Take to the water today as you head down the coast to Ucagiz and board a sea kayak, your vehicle for exploring the Byzantine Sunken City (you will paddle for around 2.5 hours or 12 km. No previous experience is required). Drift about the many islands and coves, soaking up the ambience of a village that has thankfully been placed off-limits to developers. Lunch is included today.
Travel by public bus to the jewel of the Turkish Mediterranean, Antalya (approximately 4 hours). Though it's not a particularly small town, it will feel like a charming little village where you're staying – a family-owned hotel in Kaleici, the old city of cobbled streets and alleys. In the afternoon, take a short trip in a van (38 km) to the ancient city of Termessos, the most dramatic location of any ancient city in Turkey, and the one with the highest altitude: 1,000 metres. Spend a few hours exploring the Agora, the theatre and the temples here before returning to Antalya for one last seaside dinner.
Your trip comes to an end after breakfast today, and you can depart the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
11 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
Transport
Bus, Dolmus
Accommodation
Hotel (7 nights), Guesthouse (2 nights), Pension (2 nights)
Included activities
  • Istanbul - Leader-led walking tour
  • Selcuk - Ephesus archaeological site
  • Lycian Way Hike

Dates

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Important notes

1. This trip starts on Day 1 in Istanbul at 1pm.
2. A single supplement is available on this trip. Please see trip notes for details.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View trip notes

Reviews

Our Turkey - Hike, Bike & Kayak trips score an average of 4.62 out of 5 based on 61 reviews in the last year.

Turkey - Hike, Bike & Kayak , October 2015

Turkey - Hike, Bike & Kayak , October 2015

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