Popular Trails in Turkey


Turkey is a wonderful place for trekking and hiking holiday with its spectacular scenery, historic and cultural secrets. Walking tours are the ideal option for being together with nature, roaming around freely and enjoying the environment. Turkey’s biggest peak is Mount Ararat (5165m / 16,945ft) located in the far eastern district of Eastern Anatolia. The Turquoise Coast presents alternative trekking options above the Mediterranean, centred on the long distance trail of the Lycian Way.

Turkey is ideal for those who like hiking and at the same time take in spectacular scenery. You can hike in this largely mountainous country, or trekking in the national parks of Turkey.

Lycian Way

The 509-kilometer Lycian Way is one the country’s first way-marked trails. Located between the tourist destinations of Fethiye and Antalya along the southern Tekke Peninsula – historically known as Lycia – you can discover spectacular coastal views and archaeological treasures dating back to the eighth century B.C. On the way you can also see interesting villages with their Lycian traditions. The Lycian Way is not only a trekking activity, but also a social, cultural and historical discovery for travelers. this route is definitely the best way to get to know the real Turkey behind the tourist facade. The route includes the ruins of Greek and Roman cities, and the vivid blue sea of the Mediterranean will be your main friend along the way. The route includes coastal paths, remote highlands and villages.

St Paul Trail

Being one of the top walks in Turkey, St. Paul’s Trail is a way-marked trail of around 500 kilometers from the start to the ruins of Perge in eastern Antalya and runs through Yazılı Canyon National Park. Owing its name to the path St. Paul supposedly took on one of his journeys to spread Christianity throughout Anatolia, St. Paul’s Trail will let you engage with nature and rural villages where you can discover the life of the inhabitants of picturesque old stone and timber villages along the way. You can stop off in small villages and discover the daily life of villagers by seeing local handicrafts, watching cheese and yogurt being made and experiencing Turkish hospitality. The route starts at sea level and climbs up to 2,200 meters and up to an optional 2,800 meters. In Perge, where the route starts, you will find historic Greek and Roman ruins as well as natural wonders, including canyons and forests, but it will get wilder as you climb. Compared to the Lycian Way, St. Paul’s Trail is slightly wilder but it is what turns the way into an adventure.

Highlights: Views in Yazili Canyon Nature Park; Roman road from Adada; crossing Lake Eğirdir by fishing boat; village homestays en route.

Kaçkar Trails

32 trekking routes, ranging from a few hours to several days, totalling some 30 days trekking

Route: Between Çamlihemsin and Yusufeli in north-eastern Turkey

What is it? A network of mountain paths, some reaching almost 4,000m, others climbing from villages to summer pasture.

Highlights: Climbing Mt Kaçkar, Turkey’s fourth-highest; spotting bear, ibex and wolf; exploring tenth-century Georgian churches.

Yenice Forest Trail

Distance: 396km, with 21 alternative routes – some day walks, some two- or three-day hikes

Route: Dissecting Yenice, a mature woodland area in northern Turkey

What is it? A series of trails, easily accessible from Istanbul and Ankara, suitable for biking and horseriding as well as walking.

Highlights: Yenice is close to the historic town of Safranbolu, the centre of the saffron crocus harvest.

Evliya Çelebi Way

Distance: 1,200km

The renowned Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi’s way to Mecca for hajj, or pilgrimage, in 1671 turned into a historic route for hiking, horseback riding and cycling. In 2011, the 400th anniversary of Çelebi’s birthday, UNESCO inaugurated the route. Çelebi traveled for 40 years to different lands in the Ottoman Empire and collected his travels in his book titled “Seyahatname” (Book of Travels). The Evliya Çelebi Way is the only trekking destination in Turkey with separate routes for hiking, biking and horse riding, and it gathers both history and nature together..

Carian Trail

Taking its name from the Carian civilizations on the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, the Carian Trail may be one of the few unspoiled trekking routes on the country’s coasts. An 820-kilometer-long coastal route beginning from the Mediterranean to the Aegean, the Carian Trail is rich with ancient ruins, caravan roads, mountain slopes, almond groves and olive trees, so it is not only a historic destination but also a natural beauty. This way-marked trail is suitable for both independent and group hikers. If you would like to enjoy the scenic route and cultural treasures along the way, this trail is perfect. Compared to other destinations, the Carian Trail is less known but it is the feature that makes it unspoiled for those who prefer serene, beautiful destinations to walk kilometers and kilometers.

Aladağ Mountains

Aladağlar is the central and southeastern part of the Taurus Mountains following the Mediterranean coast. With its highest peak being 3,756 meters high, the whole area is within national park grounds. Some great trekking locations are Yedigöller, Sokulupınar, Maden Boğazı, Kapızbaşı Şelaleleri, Sarımadenler and Akşampınarı. Only 60 kilometers away from Niğde, there are minibuses that depart daily to head to Aladağlar. A 90-minute ride later, the bus arrives at Çukurbağ and Demirkazık, villages with hotels providing quality accommodation. If you want to be closer to nature, there is a campsite in Sokulupına an hour walk from the village. A two-hour hike from the village and you will also find Emli Valley. From here it is possible to climb up to various summits, including Kaldı, Güzeller and Alaca. The best time for trekking in Aladağlar is the summer months when the weather is not too chilly as you can reach the mountain tops.

Köprülü Canyon

Nestled among cedar trees and the Köprü River, the canyon embraces adventurous spirits looking to explore an unsoiled place in Antalya, one of the top tourist destinations in Turkey. After passing through mountains where green streams flow and virgin forests grow, Köprülü Canyon shows all its beauty to visitors. Resembling another natural wonder of Turkey, the fairy chimneys, Köprülü Canyon one-ups this thanks to its river. When you arrive at the canyon to hike, you will be mesmerized by the spectacular view of the Taurus Mountain and the surrounding national park. Marked as the longest canyon in Turkey at 14 kilometers, Köprülü Canyon’s wall are up to 100 meters high.