Turkey: The Lycian Way & Ephesus

Guided Walking Tour, Turkey: The Lycian Way & EphesusGuided Walking Tour, Turkey: The Lycian Way & Ephesus

Turkey

The Lycian Way & Ephesus

overview

An intercontinental crossroads, Turkey is a living museum spanning 10,000 years of Asian and European history. Your adventure begins on the Turkish Riviera’s Turquoise Coast, where trails take you to the ancient sarcophagi of Termessos and the eternal flames of the Chimaera. Explore beachfront ruins and Roman baths, then sail the secluded coves of Kekova Sound where you can swim above the submerged remnants of Aperlaea, a 2,400-year-old Lycian city. From Fethiye’s Ottoman center, walk to a Roman amphitheater and a crumbling Crusader castle, or to the local fish market for dinner alfresco! Deserving of everyone’s must-see list, ancient Ephesus, the excavated Greco-Roman city, offers grand houses with gorgeous mosaics and frescoes. In Oludeniz, a shimmering lagoon marks the path to Kayakoy, an eerie, abandoned mountain town. Fuel your enthusiasm to explore with feasts of freshly prepared meze and other Turkish delicacies that blend Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.

Activity Level
Moderate;
4-6 miles daily
Meet
Antalya, Turkey
Depart
Istanbul, Turkey
Daily Itinerary
Download printable
itinerary
Reading List
Recommended
pre-trip reading
View All

From our blog

Guided Walking 
10 days, 9 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Two expert, local guides (for groups of 8 or more), with you 24/7
  • All meals except two dinners; local beer and wine with dinner
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Transportation from the meeting point to the departure point
  • Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the Country Walkers staff
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $680
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

Airfare additional + $200

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

 

REQUEST RESERVATION
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Airfare additional + $200

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION

gallery

Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Çirali
View on map
2
Çirali
View on map
3
Kas
View on map
4
Kas
View on map
5
Fethiye
View on map
6
Fethiye
View on map
7
Kusadasi
View on map
8
Istanbul
View on map
9
Istanbul
View on map
10
Istanbul
View on map
Day 1

Çirali

Meet in Antalya. Termessos; 2½ miles (3 hours), moderate, 850-ft. elevation gain and loss. Farmers' market exploration. Transfer to Çirali (2 hours)

Upon meeting in the lovely port city of Antalya, dramatically situated at the base of the 9,000-foot Taurus Mountains, you drive 45 minutes to Termessos, a wild mountaintop settlement of the ancient Pisidians at an elevation of 3,455 feet with spectacular views of the mountains and the Antalyan coast. Protected by geography from the attacks of Alexander the Great, it later became an ally of Rome, eventually declining due to an earthquake that destroyed the city’s aqueduct and water supply. The path climbs steadily to the natural platform on which the ancient city was built, and leads to the site’s highlight, the well-preserved theater, perched on the mountain’s cliffs as if hanging in mid-air.

You descend following the same trail part of the way, and past several cliff tombs. The van takes you to a charming restaurant where lunch is served in the shade of full-grown pine trees, with pools and water channels gurgling in the background. You indulge in your first assortment of local specialties that may include hibesh, an appetizer flavored with tahini, yogurt, cumin, and paprika; or perhaps lamb stewed with onions, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs; followed by a baked pumpkin dessert.

This afternoon, you stroll through a farmers’ street market before traveling approximately two hours along a beautiful stretch of Mediterranean coastline, contouring the base of Mt. Olympos, to the village of Çirali, your home for the next two nights. Time permitting, you may stroll or ride one of the hotel’s bicycles on the sandy road to a two-mile-long secluded beach, part of which is protected by the World Wildlife Fund as a nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles.

You gather with your group for a welcome drink at the outdoor bar before a dinner alfresco by the swimming pool. Local specialties may include a variety of meze (appetizers) and freshly caught grilled fish.

Nerissa Hotel

Cirali, Turkey

A new hotel featuring 35 guest rooms with simple décor but all modern amenities. Facilities include a swimming pool, an outdoor bar, hammocks, bicycles (for those wishing to travel the short distance to Çirali beach), and an organic restaurant serving only fresh local ingredients.
Day 2

Çirali

Ruins of Olympos; 1 mile (1½ hours), easy to moderate. Citrus valley to Ulupinar; 2 miles (2 hours), moderate. Alacasu Bay to Phaselis; 1½ miles (2 hours including site visit), easy to moderate. Chimaera; 1½ miles (1½ hours), moderate, 750-ft. elevation gain and loss

After a bountiful buffet breakfast of fresh and preserved fruit, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, cheeses, yogurt, and baked goods, a short transfer through the village brings you to the entry point for the ruins of Olympos. You circumnavigate the mysterious site, half buried under a canopy of Laurel, passing freshwater springs and admiring magnificent sarcophagi, and the impressive façade to the Temple of Hephiaistus (Vulcan), a theater, baths and a Byzantine-era church before finishing on the beach.    

A 10-minute transfer to a roadside stream crossing brings you to the trailhead leading to Ulupinar. You walk through a forest of Aleppo pines and citrus groves (dotted with pink cyclamen in autumn) along a well-established shady trail that leads all the way to the hamlet of Ulupinar and a rewarding lunch at a delightful restaurant.

This afternoon’s walk begins at the secluded bay of Alacasu, along a beautiful trail that takes you over three coves under Aleppo pines, and to your final destination, the beachfront ruins of ancient Phaselis, founded in 700 B.C. Because of its location on an isthmus, the city features three harbors and was once a major trade center. The ancient economy of this town was the valuable Tyrian dye, derived painstakingly from a type of marine snail; archaeological excavations have uncovered huge vats where the snails were kept and processed to produce the deep purple dye, prized by the Romans for use in ceremonial robes. Small piles of crushed shells still remain on the site today. You walk the short and wide main street, passing Roman baths, agoras, theaters, and numerous sarcophagi, and end at the impressive Hadrian Waterway Gate.

The day culminates with an early evening walk to the sacred site of Chimaera, where “eternal flames” have literally been coming out of the rocks for 3,000 years. According to Book 6 of Homer’s Iliad, it is here that Bellerophon, riding Pegasus, slayed the Chimaera, the monster with the head of a lion, the body of a goat, and the tail of a serpent. Those who prefer can opt for a more relaxed late afternoon on the beach or by the pool. Dinner this evening is once again served on the hotel premises.

Nerissa Hotel

Cirali, Turkey

A new hotel featuring 35 guest rooms with simple décor but all modern amenities. Facilities include a swimming pool, an outdoor bar, hammocks, bicycles (for those wishing to travel the short distance to Çirali beach), and an organic restaurant serving only fresh local ingredients.
Day 3

Kas

St. Nicholas Church and Myra. Kapakli to Gokkaya Bay; 2 miles (1½ hours), moderate. Scenic boat ride and cove hopping. Sunken city on Kekova Island. Hamidiye Cove to ancient Simena; 1½ miles, easy. Transfer to Kas.

Today’s adventure starts after breakfast with a 1½-hour transfer to ancient Myra—known for its amazing rock-cut cliff tombs dating back to 500 B.C., and a well-preserved Roman theater, circa 100 B.C.— perhaps best known as the home of St. Nicholas, who performed miracles and legendarily evolved into Santa Claus. Following a 1-hour walk around the ruins, a quick hop on and off the bus takes you to the church where he presided as bishop.

After a 20-minute drive, you reach rural Kapakli village, where a scenic (1½ hour) hike overlooking Kekova Bay awaits. You follow rocky paths and goat trails partly shaded with carob and olive trees and harvest flats of sage and oregano, before arriving at Gokkaya Bay. A private boat awaits on the single dock at the end of the Bay, and your morning efforts are rewarded with the scent of grilled chicken (or grilled fish) cooked by your first mate aboard the vessel. A buffet of mixed salads and stewed vegetables completes your lunch, enjoyed while peacefully cruising the turquoise waters. Your captain takes you to a tiny cove where ancient ruins stand on the white-pebble beach and along sunken ruins of a Byzantine-era monastic society shoring Kekova Island. Some of the coastal structures of this ancient settlement sank with land shifts following a 5th-century earthquake. There is time to sunbathe on the deck or relax in the shade, or perhaps swim in the crystal-clear sea.

From Hamidiye Cove, you walk to Kalekoy, a modern hamlet established over the ruins of ancient Simena. Reached only by sea or on foot, this nearly water-locked settlement is both timeless and beautiful, and a highlight of the day. A castle, used first by Lycians and last by Crusaders, crowns the hilltop overlooking the hamlet and the vast blue expanse. Gnarled (2,000 year old) olive trees, together with a field of sarcophagi resembling keels-up boats, decorate the base of the ramparts. You walk down on the stone paved path to a café at the water’s edge to enjoy some homemade ice cream before boarding the boat for the final leg of today’s cruise to Ucagiz village.

After bidding farewell to the captain and crew, you continue (approximately 45-minute drive) to the town of Kas. A quaint fishing town once known for its sponge divers, Kas is now a lovely seaside resort. Your hotel is built on the hillside and features a multitude of waterfront lounging areas, from the swimming pool, to the bar, to canopies hidden behind climbing bougainvilleas, to lounge chairs placed along the rocky shoreline.

Villa Hotel Tamara

Kas, Turkey

A stunning seaside hotel built of golden stones on several levels and into the hillside, with a swimming pool, lovely terrace and outdoor bar, and many lounge areas overlooking the sea and neighboring Greek islands. Spacious rooms are tastefully decorated and feature air conditioning and balconies, but no television or telephone.
Day 4

Kas

Roman aqueduct to Patara Beach; 4.5 miles (2½ hours), easy to moderate. Lunch in Bezirgan. Free exploration of Kas

The morning begins with a buffet breakfast on the hotel terrace, overlooking the neighboring Greek isles. Fully energized, you transfer to a rarely visited Roman aqueduct, its arches a magnificent apparition in the tranquil countryside. The environment in which you walk today is varied, at times lined with silvery olive trees and a natural herb garden of thyme, oregano, sage, and rosemary, alternating with fragrant pine forests or open meadow, switching from a single-track trail to a wide dirt road, and then a sandy path among tall grasses.

Finally, the views open up and the ruins of Patara appear in the distance, with the deep blue sea as a backdrop. The city, said to be founded by one of Apollo’s sons, Patarus, was once one of the most-important seaports in Lycia, and was particularly known for its temple and the oracle of Apollo. Patara is also the birthplace of St. Nicholas. As in ancient times, you enter via the city gate, passing remains of temples, sarcophagi, a “main street,” and an impressive theater (access to various areas varies according to the progress of excavation projects).

You board your van for a 45-minute transfer to the mountain village of Bezirgan, at just over 2,000 feet in elevation, where you are treated to a traditional lunch with a local family. Tucked in a fertile plateau, villagers tend their fruit orchards, fields of chickpeas, and herds of sheep. You remove your shoes as you enter the house, and observe your hostess as she prepares katmer on a wide metal sheet over an open fire—a savory flatbread filled with greens, onions, cheese, olive oil, and spices. Another version of katmer has tahini and sugar, which she may also prepare for you. Various other traditional dishes follow, such as homemade dolmas stuffed with eggplant, peppers, or zucchini, homemade yogurt, and tomato salad. If you still have room, dessert might be delicately flavored rice pudding and fresh fruit. Lunch is served according to custom on wide floor trays, sitting cross-legged around the trays on the carpeted wooden floor (with cushions available if floor seating is uncomfortable). Afterward, hot tea is served on the terrace.

An hour’s drive takes you back to Kas, and the rest of the day (including dinner) is on your own and at your leisure. This small resort town features attractive shops and markets ideal for souvenir shopping, or you may choose to sit at an outdoor restaurant overlooking the harbor, or return to your hotel where you may lounge by the pool or by the sea.

Villa Hotel Tamara

Kas, Turkey

A stunning seaside hotel built of golden stones on several levels and into the hillside, with a swimming pool, lovely terrace and outdoor bar, and many lounge areas overlooking the sea and neighboring Greek islands. Spacious rooms are tastefully decorated and feature air conditioning and balconies, but no television or telephone.
Day 5

Fethiye

Alinca to Kabak Beach; 5.5 miles (3 hours), moderate to challenging, 2,100-ft. elevation loss

Departing Kas, a scenic two-hour drive north to the towns of Kalkan and Esen turns west into the coastal mountains. These are the “Seven Capes,” a wild and rugged section of the coastline most feared by seafarers due to lack of safe anchorages. You begin today’s walk in Alinca, a tiny settlement at 2,100 feet. This age-old trail—perhaps one of the most scenic along the Lycian Way, with its sweeping sea views—takes you along the top of sea cliffs and under pine trees, creating shade for the majority of your walk. The path today is mostly downhill, with both smooth and rocky sections. You walk all the way down to the remote fine-sand beach of Kabak, an eccentric little community, where there is time to kick off your boots, stretch, and lounge “Turkish-style,” on oversize pillows and cushions, perhaps with an ice-cold beer. Lunch is served buffet-style, featuring hearty soups, a variety of stewed vegetables, and pasta dishes, all made with organic products. Your table is set in the shade of a canopy, and a gentle breeze blows as you indulge in this casual homemade meal. There is time to swim in the turquoise waters of this secluded cove, sunbathe on its white-sand beach, or perhaps even enjoy a brief siesta, lulled to rest by the sound of the waves.

Kabak Beach has limited access, and instead of climbing the steep surrounding trails on foot to exit, you are taxied up the hill along a bumpy road (approximately 15 minutes). After this exciting ride, you hop in the more conventional van and transfer slightly over an hour to Fethiye, a lively port town set in a broad bay at the base of the Taurus Mountains. It is a perfect place to explore on foot, from the seafront promenade and marina with both fishing boats and yachts, to the pedestrian-only town center with many cafés, enticing shops, and a communal hammam (Turkish bath). You gather for an apéritif on the top floor of the hotel and dine with a stunning view of the marina as the sun sets.

Yacht Hotel

Fethiye, Turkey

A modern boutique hotel, ideally located on the harbor in Fethiye. The décor is of contemporary design and the hotel is a five-minute walk from the beautiful old town. A swimming pool, lounge chairs, and outdoor bar are available on the ground level, while the hotel restaurant and breakfast buffet offer splendid views from the top floor.

Day 6

Fethiye

Kayakoy to Oludeniz; 4 miles (2½ hours), moderate, 700-ft. elevation gain. Optional walk to Affouli Monastery; 2 miles (1½ hours), easy to moderate with a challenging section

This morning, a 25-minute drive brings you to Kayakoy, the ruined and astonishing Greek ghost town formerly known as Levissi, with a stop en route to visit the imposing temple-tomb of Amyntas, carved into a cliff along the road overlooking Fethiye. The inhabitants of this 600-home ghost city were subjects of the mass population exchanges of the 1920s. Today’s unsettled state of the city offers moving flashbacks of a past human drama, recounted by Louis de Bernières in his 2004 novel Birds Without Wings

Farther down the hill is the modern village of Kayakoy, now hosting a few shops and open-air restaurants. From here you begin an uphill climb on foot, including some steep and rocky sections. You walk along a trail partially shaded by emerald green Aleppo pine forests and over headlands, providing magnificent views of the lace-like seascapes below. Your morning efforts are rewarded with a steady downhill section at the end, and views of Oludeniz, a famous lagoon whose waters glitter in a multitude of shades of green and blue. A cold drink and an optional swim in the lagoon is a refreshing way to end this beautiful walk. You transfer (15-minutes by van) back to Kayakoy, where you settle in at one of the shaded tables and once again savor a variety of meze—by now both familiar and enticing, local grilled meat, and colorful fruit platters.

In the afternoon, you may choose to walk a pine-shaded path from a nearby trailhead to Affouli Monastery. The trail is mostly smooth except for the last short section, which is a steep downhill with loose rocks and gravel. The dramatic cliffside monastery offers sweeping views of the blue expanse of the Mediterranean (not recommended for those with vertigo or fear of heights). Others may stroll the streets of Kayakoy, and perhaps even ride a camel (!)

Upon return to the hotel, after time to relax by the swimming pool, you regroup for a short walk to the colorful farmers’ market where your guides select fresh fish from the stalls and have these prepared for your dinner at an adjacent restaurant, accompanied by savory meze and vegetables.

Yacht Hotel

Fethiye, Turkey

A modern boutique hotel, ideally located on the harbor in Fethiye. The décor is of contemporary design and the hotel is a five-minute walk from the beautiful old town. A swimming pool, lounge chairs, and outdoor bar are available on the ground level, while the hotel restaurant and breakfast buffet offer splendid views from the top floor.

Day 7

Kusadasi

Transfer to Kapikiri (3½ hours). Euromos Temple of Zeus and Herakleia. Golyaka to Kerdemlik cave; 3 miles (2½ hours), moderate, 550-ft. elevation gain and loss. Optional walk to Yediler Manastiri; 2 miles (1½ hours), moderate. Transfer to Kusadasi (1½ hours)

Due to the distance covered today, you enjoy an early breakfast at the hotel and then leave the Mediterranean and the region of Lycia, and travel north along the inner Aegean to Caria and Ionia. Your first destination is Euromos, an easy yet rewarding site to visit along the roadway, offering a visual delight of the Temple for Zeus at Labraunda. Upon arrival at Lake Bafa and the village of Kapikiri you enjoy a walk along the Hellenistic city walls, and admire the theater and temple ruins.

Following a hearty, home-cooked lunch prepared with the locally produced olive oil, you begin the afternoon walk from the neighboring village of Golyaka. This is a delightful trail into the foothills of Mt. Latmos. The route is shaded by thousands of olive trees and meanders among smooth weather-sculpted boulders, some of which you occasionally have to climb over. Wonderful views overlook Lake Bafa, and you may also catch glimpses of surefooted mountain goats running along impossibly steep inclines. This area hides dozens of 9,000-year-old Neolithic caves, complete with well-preserved cave paintings. These pictographs have never been extensively studied or catalogued, thus a true sense of discovery awaits. The trail leads gently uphill to a cave locally known as Kerdemlik, which holds wonderfully preserved cave paintings. 

You may choose to continue the walk to Yediler Manastiri, the remains of a Byzantine monastery, where fine frescoes decorate the chapel walls. Or, you may loop back to the village of Golyaka, and relax at the teahouse and visit with locals until the rest of the group arrives.

In the late afternoon, the drive continues for another 1¼ hours, and time flies as you toast the day’s accomplishments with refreshments and snacks. Dinner is served at your seaside hotel on the doorstep of Ephesus.

Kismet Hotel

Kusadasi, Turkey

This historical property is located on a peninsula that protrudes into the Aegean Sea. Rooms are comfortably furnished and have panoramic views over the harbor of Kusadasi. The property also features a bar and restaurant in addition to lovely gardens and an outdoor pool.

Day 8

Istanbul

Walking tour of Ephesus; 3 hours. Weaving cooperative and school. Flight to Istanbul

You rise for a hearty breakfast to fuel you for the three-hour walking tour of Ephesus, the Greco-Roman city and UNESCO World Heritage site that contains the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean region. The visible ruins provide a glimpse into the size and wealth of the city, and it is estimated that only 15 percent of the site has been excavated. The tour includes landmarks such as the Roman Library of Celsus (125 A.D.), baths, a brothel, temples, and the main Harbor Street dominated by the Great Theater, believed to have been the largest outdoor theater in the ancient world. One of the current highlights of the visit to Ephesus are the “Terrace Houses,” a recently opened and less visited section of the site allowing access to the villas where rich Romans lived. In addition to Greek and Roman history, the site has strong associations with early Christianity. Saint Paul lived and was imprisoned here, and the Gospel of John is believed to have been written here around 100 A.D. Similar to Ancient Priene, Ephesus was once situated on a harbor, which also became filled with silt over the centuries. The most prosperous period for the city was around the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., when it was a major trading center and the largest city in Roman Asia.

 After concluding the tour, you join the locals for lunch in the city center at a family-owned restaurant known for delicious cuisine. One specialty is thin sliced spiced meat and vegetables wrapped in a phyllo crust and accompanied by a refreshing yogurt sauce.

Your last stop in the region is at a weaving school and production cooperative, where you are given an educational and entertaining lecture on Turkish tribal art and weavings, and gain insight into this tradition with hands-on demonstrations. A one-hour drive late in the afternoon brings you to the Izmir Airport for the 50-minute flight to Istanbul.

Upon arrival in Istanbul, your waiting bus transports you to your hotel in the center of the old town—ideally situated within walking distance of Sultanahmet Square, Haghia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, the Spice Market, and Sirkeci waterfront. Given your evening arrival in the city, there are no more group activities scheduled for the day and you are free to dine on light fare at the hotel’s restaurant, or rest up for the Istanbul exploration.

Levni Hotel & Spa

Sirkeci, Istanbul, Turkey

Ideally located in the heart of “Old Istanbul,” the Levni Hotel offers bright, modern, and well-appointed rooms. Additional hotel amenities include a restaurant and pub, as well as a spa with Turkish bath, heated indoor pool, and fitness center.

Day 9

Istanbul

Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque and Basilica Cistern visit. Optional Grand Bazaar exploration or free time in Istanbul

After a copious buffet breakfast in the hotel’s garden, you depart for your overview tour of Istanbul. Please note that your guide(s) have purposefully chosen sites that are removed from the bustle of the Sultanahmet neighborhood and the main attractions, to give you a more intimate experience and orient you for your independent exploration post-tour (highly recommended). Your first stop is the Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque, featuring splendid tile, marble, and stained-glass work. Away from the crowds, there is time to examine the outstanding construction from the outside as well as its interior. Should the Imam not be on site, an alternate visit to the Church of St. Sergius & Bacchus (or Little Hagia Sophia) will be arranged. Walking past the city’s most famous sites, the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque, your guide(s) lead you to another unique perspective on the ancient city. You make your way underground to the awe-inspiring Basilica Cistern, with its 336 marble columns—featured in the James Bond film, “From Russia with Love.”

You continue to the Grand Covered Bazaar where lunch will be served at a restaurant frequented mainly by shop owners. After lunch, your guide(s) will lead you to the Spice Market via Buyuk Valide Han—one of many Ottoman buildings used specifically for commerce. This particular han allows access to the roof of the Covered Bazaar, from where a breathtaking view of the Istanbul skyline can be admired. Those who prefer a more relaxing and independent option may peruse the many street vendors and colorful boutiques in the vicinity of the hotel, or simply return to their room to rest for the remainder of the afternoon.

Following your immersion in this fascinating city, you reunite for a celebratory dinner in true Istanbul tradition in the bustling pedestrian district of Kumkapi. Meaning “sand gate” in Turkish, the seaside Kumkapi district is one of Istanbul’s top seafood destinations; its lively street scene and plethora of restaurants offering alfresco dining, fresh local seafood, and meze draw visitors and locals alike.

Levni Hotel & Spa

Sirkeci, Istanbul, Turkey

Ideally located in the heart of “Old Istanbul,” the Levni Hotel offers bright, modern, and well-appointed rooms. Additional hotel amenities include a restaurant and pub, as well as a spa with Turkish bath, heated indoor pool, and fitness center.

Day 10

Istanbul

Departure from Istanbul

The tour ends after breakfast, leaving you free to head home or continue your exploration of Turkey.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a Country Walkers adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call Country Walkers at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Sunay Ethemoglu

A former German language teacher and translator, Sunay is passionate about archaeology, art history, and theology. She has guided professionally for many years and is very keen to share her extensive knowledge of Asia Minor and love of nature on our Turkey tour.

Serdar Akerdem

Serdar is a classical archaeologist who has participated in many famous excavations, including the Temple Tombs at Patara, and the underwater excavations at the Leto Sanctuary of Kaunos. He has been guiding tours for over fifteen years and brings his enthusiasm for astronomy, Roman architecture, and maritime archaeology to our tour. He is currently living in Izmir.

Mahmut Turhanoglu

Since 1992 Mahmut has been a professional guide and enjoys sharing with his guests the nature, history, and culture of this beautiful country. Before discovering his love of guiding he worked for a broadcasting company as a producer of television commercials in Istanbul. He resides in Antalya on the Turquoise Coast.

Yunus Ozdemir

Yunus combines his passion for walking with his education in classical archeology in guiding walking tours in his native Turkey. His archeological background and experience in walking route design were a perfect match in developing and marking the historic Lycian Way, the long-distance trail along the Turkish coast. With further training and acumen in the tourism business, he is now working on a book about the Carian Way, a network of trails in the Caria region of southwest Turkey.

Altay Ozcan

A native of Ankara, Altay deftly combines his love of the outdoors with his knowledge of art history and archeology, culture, and languages. With a degree in American language and literature and official Turkish guiding certification, he is co-author of a guide book on southwest Turkey’s Carian Way walking trails. While walking, biking, sea-kayaking, or photographing the routes of Turkey, he is also is a passionate student of their mythology.

Guest Comments

T. Burbank, New York, May 2014

This was our fifth Country Walkers trip, and it lived up to our previous experiences and even exceeded them.  Sunay and Yunus were among the best guides we've had (although all have been good), and they complemented each other very well as a team.  We saw and learned an astonishing amount, ate wonderful food in beautiful settings, and even enjoyed our visit with the carpet dealer (which I did not expect to like).

D. Kolb, Oregon, May 2014

An excellent tour which brought us into contact with Turkey's people, culture, landscape, cuisine, and its lengthy history and situation in the world today.

S. Larsen, New Hampshire, October 2014

The nine days with Yunus gave us taste of the culture, food, and people of Turkey. The country is so friendly, food a farm to table dream, fresh and beautifully prepared. We always felt welcome and safe. I learned so much by being there that I could never have gotten from any book. The pace was just right, and who can complain about a van ride, when it is equipped with Wi-Fi. I have such a different opinion on Turkey the nation, religion, and its people, Thanks again Country Walkers.

B. Smith, Paris, France, September 2014

Turkey has many layers of rich history-Neolithic, Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman - and religions. Being guided by our personable, energetic, archeologist guide through ruins, villages, cities, and seas was a delight.

A. Duncan, Oregon, May 2013

This was my first CW tour and I was so impressed with the tour from start to finish. The tour guides really made this a special visit to Turkey. They were extremely knowledgeable, accommodating and fun to be with. I came away with a much deeper experience of Turkey than I expected. This will not be my last trip with CW!

C. Wright, Oregon, May 2013

Everything we could have hoped for, and more. Up to the usual CW standards: knowledgeable guides, well-chosen itinerary, comfortable lodging, and a variety of local cuisines.

C. & T. Arnold, New Jersey, September 2012

This turned out to be a much more information-packed trip than we had ever imagined. Turkey is a fascinating country with such a long history that Americans never learn much about in school. The countryside is varied and beautiful...so much to see and learn about! At the same time, the walks were beautiful and reasonably challenging. The extension to Cappadocia was fantastic - anyone taking this tour should do the extension if they possibly can.

L. Wright, Oregon, May 2013

All was well planned by the guides for us to experience the food, people and culture of Turkey. Both guides were extremely knowledgeable about archaeology and mythology and the history of Turkey.

S. & D. Martel, Colorado, October 2011

This was an outstanding tour in a country with a rich and diverse culture. Our CW guides, who were extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic, brought the history of Turkey to life for us. Not only were the hikes wonderful and well chosen, the antiquities added even more adventure and depth to our experience there. With so much to see and do in Turkey, CW put together the perfect tour for capturing the essence of this magnificent civilization.

J. Paterson, Ontario, October 2012

The Lycian Way Turkey walking trip was well balanced - the hiking was as described in the material, hiking was interspersed with visits to archaeological sites described extremely well by the expert guides who themselves were each archaeologists by training & there was still time to swim in the ocean or the hotel pool. A most enjoyable trip with no negative surprises.

D. & S. Nelson, Pennsylvania, September 2011

Turkey was an unexpected gem: a diamond. The people were warm and welcoming, and the food uppretentious and delightful. Fresh pomegranates plucked from a tree by the side of the trail, raisins spread on tarps, drying in the sun, picturesque sheaves of grain that turned out to be sesame, even local wines of high quality. Our guide brought us behind the scenes at the sites of ancient ruins (he is a trained archaeologist); there seem to be more Greek and Roman ruins here than are in Greece or Italy.

M. Hennessey, Washington DC, May 2012

Our guide was absolutely outstanding. He is enthusiastic about Turkey, very knowledgeable about its history and current situation, willing to go out of his way to assure a great trip for the participants, well organized, and able to give full explanations of many topics clearly. On top of that, he is fun.

H. Niv, California, May 2012

Breathtaking views! The type of a walk that you do not have to look at all times as to where to put your foot next, but you can lift your head and enjoy the beauty around.

C. Dudiak, Illinois, May 2011

A wonderful trip which exceeded our expectations—the guides, hikes, meals and accommodations were top-notch.