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Walking and Guiding on Lycian Way with the guests from Sweden - Beginning and Day1 - May 2015

It all started with an email requesting help/support and assistance for their program. This would be a huge family gathering from Sweden along the Lycian Way.

Hodjat from Sweden was my contact and helped me a lot to understand his family’s requests and expectations. After I prepared my draft program I sent it to Hodjat including all requirements (e.g. items to take with us during our walk), accomodation and transfers he presented our program to his family and accepted with minor revisions.

Details of our program is;

1- Meeting in Fethiye/Oludeniz
2- Kayakoy tour and Paragliding
3- Lycian Way DAY1: Fethiye/Ovacik – Faralya/Butterfly Valley
4- Babadag Tour
5- Lycian Way DAY2: Faralya/Butterfly Valley – Kabak
6- Lycian Way DAY3: Kabak – Alinca
7- Lycian Way DAY4: Alinca - Sidyma

Here we begin to program that we are all waiting for eagerly. On Friday, 01 May 2015 we start to meet up with all family members at Turk Otel, Oludeniz.

We start to meet one by one at the hotel cause some of us arrive to Oludeniz from Dalaman airport and some arriving from Alanya, a town close to Antalya.

Altug arranged all the transportation from Alanya to Oludeniz or Dalaman Airport to Oludeniz. Our driver’s name was İbrahim, a retired officer from Ministry of Education. İbrahim was a marvellous person who delivered all of our luggages from village to village and provided food, beer and wine regularly, depending on our daily orders. Being a resident in Fethiye, he had a lot knowledge about the places we would be visiting.

In Oludeniz we will be 14 people but after we start hiking we will be 12. There two visitors who will be with us during Oludeniz and Kayakoy tour. They will be with us during our walk.

Don't take this group easy. Most of them (incl. all ladies and gentlemen) almost climbed all mountains of Iran in 1970s.

It’s obvious that 2015 season begin in by the beginning of May cause most of the resaturants, hotels and pensions are in revision and do not fully serve. But this is not a case to make things go wrong. Even the service is slow, we are enjoying the days in here. Turk Hotel was almost fully booked and service was excellent. We can recommend this hotel if you need to make a decision for accomodation in Oludeniz. They also serve lunch&dinner (like home made) which we preferred for the second day.

According to our program, we will start walking the Lycian Way on Sunday (03 May) and tomorrow (Saturday) we will be sightseeing around Kayaköy (in Greek, Livissi), a city of Lycia and Romans, finally Greeks lived there until 1922. Kayaköy is a ghost town now but serves as a museum and a historical monument. Kayaköy was adopted as a World Friendship and Peace Village by UNESCO.

After Kayakoy tour and lunch, some members of our group will possibly give a try for Paragliding.

Besides this Altuğ’s (myself) "explorer soul" is on vacation on this trip. I will be walking patiently, not trying to discover as I do usually.

Now it’s time to rest and prepare ourselves for the second day.

View from Türk Hotel's pool

In this time of the year 
you can meet with tourists from UK and Germany 

Watching the paragliders from the sea level is really fun 

Trying to collect the paraglides

Need to help the paragliders when
they put their foot on the ground.

There are young worker who help to collect the paraglides after flight is over. They prepare them to the following session.

Some of the paraglides are being prepared.
They print and paint the company names on them.

Connection of paraglide. All of the connections
are not that much thin of course.

Beware of the paragliders while you're walking.
A paraglider may come down on top of your head.

A solo paraglider without a pilot.
You need a certificate to do this.

Another solo paraglider

A solo paraglider

Waiting for the paragliders
with their walkie talkies in hand


It's now time to decide to get information about paragliding.
Hodjat and Nilo listening to the responsible person carefully
cause they will be flying over 1900 meters. After this short
briefing Altug arranged a well-known company for them.

Time for dinner. At this time of the year most of the
restaurants and hotels are still trying to open the
summer season (such as painting, cleaning etc.)

After we ordered dinner, we need to wait patiently.

Here's the May 2015 Lycian Way Team.
It was very pleasant to walk with these friendly people.

02 Mayıs 2015 – Saturday

After breakfast we get prepared and leave for Kayakoy tour at 09:00. Although Kayakoy is the main stop for sightseeing around here but at first sight you need to visit Fethiye Rock Tombs (Amintas), Gemiler Bay and Afkule Monastery as well. There are several hiking routes called Fathiye Alternative Walking Routes that connects Oludeniz, Kayakoy, Gemiler, Afkule, Hisaronu and so on (Fethiye Alternative Walking Paths - In Turkish). According to duration of stay in Fethiye these alternatives should be considered. However we will make our start from Lycian Way.

After a detailed Kayakoy tour and tea break, we make our plan to see Gemiler Bay from above. After Gemiler Bay we go back to Kayakoy for lunch. Our lunch is the traditional pastry around Antalya and Mugla, Gozleme. Taste of gozleme is really different around here.

Kayakoy is a must if you plan to visit Oludeniz and Fethiye. Let us provide some brief information about Kayakoy:

“Kayaköy is located in 8 km. to the center of Fethiye. Kayakoy, a typical Greek site, dates back to 3000 B.C.. In Kayakoy, (in Greek; Levissi, In Lycian; Karmilasos) you’re able to see many chapels along the houses, two big churches, school besides historical stone residences, survived till today. Kayakoy was the center of Fethiye where Greek and Turkish people lived together. According to the records in 1912 total population was 6500 which was higher than Fethiye.Greek people, who lived in Kayaköy in 1923, was sent to Greece (neo Levissi) because of the exchange of populations between two countries. Turkish people migrated from the west of Trakya (Thessaloniki area). After exchange name of the village changed from Levissi to Kayakoy and Greeks settled thier new villages as named Nea Levissi and Nea Makri in Greece.

However, many exchanged Turkish people in Kayakoy, immigrated to other places because they couldn’t adopted themselves to life conditions of the environment. Despite of this, population of Kayakoy decreased considerably and the previous socioeconomic life almost disappeared.

Although there is active settlement in Kayakoy, this area is the most earthquake resistant area in Fethiye due to its location.”

Here we begin our Kayakoy tour
inside its narrow streets

We go up to Kayaköy's upper settlements.
Mainly we see houses and chapels

View from Kayaköy's uplands to its rich meadows.
Ottomans prefered to live close to these meadows
rather than Kayakoy slopes as Greeks did.

Souvenir of Kayaköy
Matze keeps on investigating the history. Busy man.

Water is like gold in Kayaköy.
People tried everyway to collect water into cisterns.

Abandoned buildings.
Nature vanishes the history day by day.

We go up to fortress and pass by the church.

View of Kayaköy slopes. Fethiye Alternative Walking Paths'
Oludeniz-Kayaköy route passes behind this slope

Seems it's impossible to build up all these settlements.

View from fortress

Number of chapels shows that population was
very high. There are chapels on almost every street 

View from fortress

Kayaköy is a huge city. From this view it's obvious
that exchange took away lots of things.
Such as memories, social life etc.

Here we start to go down

Most of the buildings are vanished.
Left with a single wall only

Mainly, houses had two floors.
First floor was for barn or pantry,
second floor was for living area.
Here we can see the fireplace on the second floor.

Most of the cisterns are sticked to the buildings
in order to collect the water coming down from the roof.

Here we come down passing by another chapel

Souvenir of Kayakoy

Inside the chapel we can see
tessellated mosaics on the floor

After a 1.5 hours of sightseeing time for a tea break.
Now it's time for Gemiler Bay.

Gemiler Island (St. Nicholas Island) was not an island before but because of earthquakes in ancient times, it splitted from mainland. It is able to see the sunken parts of the ancient settlements if you arrange a boat trip here. On the island you’re able to view early time Christianity and Byzantion churches and cisterns. Besides this, you may arrange a daily walk to Afkule Monastery by following the red&yellow waymarks, part of Fethiye Alternative Walking Routes.

Photo session at Gemiler Bay.
On the left side we can see Gemiler Island
where churches and cisterns located at.

Photo session at Gemiler Bay

Gemiler Bay

Gemiler Island.
It became an island after earthquakes.

After lunch group is ready for paragliding. At 15:00, 8 people of our group were taken to Babadag by paragliding pilots. Other members of the group spent their free time at Oludeniz Beach by swimming and canoeing.

Paragliders came down from the slopes of Babadag all with high adrenalin and happiness. We will all able to see the excited and screaming paragliders in two days time during Babadag tour.

Lunch in Kayaköy.
Here we had the traditonal fastfood called Gözleme.

Waiting for lunch

Lunch is over. Now it's time to fly.

Time to paraglide. 

Here they come one by one

There he is. The last person from our group lands.

After landing everybody was happy, suprised and
affected by this extraordinary experience.
Anybody who has not acrophodia should try this.

During paragliding it is not allowed to take photos
with your camera. Pilot takes the photos and videos
with a Gopro with his selfie stick, and sells them to you
after flight. It's up to you to buy them. No obligations.

After paragliding Altug had the chance to meet his friends that
he met in this website Fine coincidence.

Tonight we will have our dinner at the hotel. Menu is attactive for most customers. Soup, pepper stuffing with meat, green beans, cacık (tzatziki) and boulgour (bulgur). We are all happy to have our dinner here compared with yesterday’s dinner.

We have our dinner at the hotel. It is really delicious.
We are all ready to make our start tomorrow.

After dinner while we were having our wines, Altug makes a short speech to the group explaining tomorrow’s Fethiye-Faralya (Butterfly Valley) Lycian Way route on the map. Water sources, difficulty, waymarks, distance etc. This is required and should be done. Even it is a brief speech and group is well trained, everybody should aware of what they will be experiencing with.

Tomorrow’s target is Faralya, George House and watch the sunset on top of Butterfly Valley. Our coach will take our luggages to George House and we will all be walking with smaller backpacks.

Faralya-Kabak-Alinca-Sidyma Routes with this lovely team and many more to follow very soon. Being translated...

If you cannot stand it here is the fully completed Turkish version: LINK to CLICK
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