See The Best Hiking Trails in Turkey
The best hiking trails in Turkey collectively make up a stunning kaleidoscope of landscapes and beautiful scenery. From the Northeast Kackar mountains to the Mediterranean Lycian way, the hikes are as diverse as they are attractive. While some focus on the walks, others follow trekking themes such as the famous Lycian way or Saint Paul's Trail. Indeed, without a doubt, Turkey is an ideal country for hiking, and with good preparation, everyone enjoys the best trekking trails. We are sometimes asked if there is good hiking in Turkey, and we always answer that no one is disappointed. So, let's look at the best hiking trails to out on your list.
Best Hiking Trails in Turkey
1: Trekking the Lycian Trail of Turkey
On the sunny Mediterranean coast of Turkey, a 540-kilometre hike from the metropolitan region of Antalya to gorgeous Fethiye forms the famous long-distance Lycian way trail. Ranked highly among other famous global walks and comprising historical ruins and marked trekking routes, the coast is a strong magnet for novice and experienced hikers and trekkers.
Named after the Lycian Empire that existed around the 8th century BC, impressive historic ruins and rock tombs appear along the trekking route. The forward-thinking and democratic society peacefully ruled the southwest coast for many centuries. Initially a federation of 19 cities, including Patara and the UNESCO world heritage sites of Xanthos and Letoon, the hiking trail visits various ancient towns left behind, making this a fascinating historical journey.
2: Saint Pauls Hiking Trail – Turkey's Second Long-Distance Walk
St Paul is primarily credited with spreading early Christianity throughout the Asia minor region, and this trekking route follows his footsteps. The 500-kilometre, 27-day St Paul trail starts at Perge in South Antalya. Starting at sea level, the trail eventually peaks at 2200 metres, although some hikers head further up to 2800 metres. Kate Chow formed this trekking route in 2008 and is credited with creating the above-mentioned Lycian way.
In some places, people mountain-bike sections, and on most nights, the trail heads to places with basic overnight accommodation. However, do plan because other areas on the St Paul trail only feature camping sites. The trekking trail ends at Yalvac, near Lake Egirdar, Turkey's fourth largest lake. If you decide to hike this trail, we recommend Spring or Autumn; the summer months are just too hot.
3: Hiking Trails in Cappadocia
Prepare for hiking trails unlike anywhere else. Upon first glance, Cappadocia appears deserted, but with adventurous exploration, lunar-like plains and fairy chimneys come into view. They are unique, mesmerising and unbelievable. Cappadocia sits 1000 metres above sea level, pierced by Erciyes, Melendez and Hasan peaks. Wind, water, and volcanic eruptions left an out-of-this-world landscape. Erciyes, Melendez and Hasan ancient volcanoes erupted about 5 million years ago, leaving sedimentary rocks from ignimbrite deposits.
The rocks of Goreme eroded over time to create spectacular pillars and natural creations. Locals of nearby Urgup, Ihlara Valley, Selime, Uchisar, and Avanos, carved out homes, churches and monasteries from soft rocks of volcanic deposits, creating a new settlement we see today. There are many hiking trails throughout Cappadocia through deep valleys like Red, Rose and Love valleys that take anywhere from a few hours to all day. They also cover historic ruins and natural landscapes and are easily accessible.
4: Hike the Kackar Mountain Range
The stunning Kackar Mountains in North Eastern Turkey delight everyone, and the alpine meadows and lakes are vastly different from the Mediterranean, Aegean and inland hiking routes. Even people who think they know Turkey well are surprised when they visit this area in the east Black Sea region. This is where yayla tourism dominates. Small communities sit at various sea levels, and the most adventurous hikers head up to 4000 metres.
We remember a visit to Demirkapi Plateau, further up from Uzungol lake, and the locals built their houses from wood and didn't have any internet or telephone lines. There is a Kackar Hiking book for sale by the Culture Routes in Turkey organisation, laying out eight mountain paths across this east area of the Black Sea region. Please prepare for this trekking trip because some places are remote and involve camping overnight.
5: Explore Mount Uludag in the Bursa Region of Turkey
Known as where the gods watched the Trojan war, Mount Uludag is one of Turkey's top skiing destinations. But outside of winter, it is a popular walking retreat to enjoy the great outdoors. Vibrant and unusual plant species grow on the forest belt between March and August, and Uludag is a flower paradise between May and August, with about 790 herbaceous species and stems from 250 different groups. Ninety-two rare plants grow there. Therefore, it is a nationally protected park during all four seasons. The highest point, Uludagtepe, sits at 2,543 metres, although there are many hiking routes. The most popular is the forest from Sarialan to Cobankaya.
6: Hiking in The Taurus Mountains of Southern Turkey
Backing the Mediterranean Sea, the Taurus Mountain range has many walking delights that unravel on hiking trails. One route follows the Via Sebastes, a famous ancient Roman road built by Roman emperor Augustus in 6 BC. Starting at the Antalya region of southern Turkey, Walkopedia rates the hike as 85, with various levels of walking difficulty. The original road was only 6 to 8 meters wide in point, and some milestone markers still stand today. Another place to go hiking is the Koprulu canyon, known for ancient Roman bridges over the fast-flowing river. If desired, combine this trek with white water rafting. Indeed hiking and walking opportunities for a few hours and overnight in the Taurus mountains are endless.
7: Hiking Mount Nemrut
As another one of Turkey's majestic mountains, Mount Nemrut remains pretty much off the tourism grid, making this hike a delight. The UNESCO World Heritage site is known for the statue heads at the top. Standing at 2150 metres, the mountain features the tomb of the Hellenistic Commagene King Antiochus. Weather timing is essential with hikes. Visit from July to September, which is the hottest time of year. Yet go in winter, and you will come across snow. By far, for ideal weather conditions, spring and autumn months are the best. For the nearest accommodation base, look at Karadut, and this trip can easily be made over two days.
8: The Yenice Forest Trail
The Yenice forest trail sits slightly northwest, outside of Istanbul, in the Karabuk province, and there are various walking routes. Twenty-one trails cover 210 kilometres and combined with other suggested ways, there are roughly 400 kilometres of trails across the mature woodland area and to visit lakes. The Yenice forest trail sections are classified and separated into either a few hours, day trips, short hikes or long hikes, and there are mountain bike trails. This is another area to avoid hiking during winter. It is worth noting that Yenice forest is one of nine spots in Turkey highlighted by the World Wildlife Fund for diverse biodiversity and ecosystem, so just one walk will captivate you.
9: The Hittite Hiking Trail
Here is an ideal chance to learn even more about Turkish history that is rarely mentioned. This hiking trail can be tagged onto a trip to Cappadocia by catching the afternoon bus from there to Bogazkale. Hattusa ancient city is another UNESCO World Heritage site in Turkey. This city was home to the Hittites empire, which achieved much fame for making the first criminal code, war chariots, and the first constitution. The highlights of this trail cover their ancient city and the national park in which it sits. However, there are 17 marked trails totalling 236 kilometres. There are six mountain bike trails to complete as well.
Tips for Hiking in Turkey
Before hiking anywhere in Turkey, please do your trip research and prepare well in advance. Some routes are challenging and in case of any doubt, hire a private hiking guide in the area you plan to visit. Many guides grew up in the place where they hike; hence their local, historical and geographical information is priceless. Also, check out the Culture Routes in Turkey website. They list all trip routes, hints, and tips for hiking all four corners of Turkey.
Also, About Adventure in Turkey
Extreme Sports in Turkey: Thrill-seeking junkies who love pushing boundaries should consider extreme sports in Turkey. Whether you are a seasoned pro looking to replicate the fix from your last venture or a beginner wondering what all the hype is about, Turkey delivers expertise, out-of-this-world locations, and an addictive thrill factor in bucket loads.
Eco-Tourism in Turkey: As well as trekking, eco-nature trips in Turkey is on the rise as the country has vast areas of unspoilt natural beauty versus destinations overrun by tourism. As travellers, we are responsible for taking control of our carbon footprint on the world but ensuring our impact on a destination's natural environment and the local economy is minimal and helpful as possible.
Skiing Holidays in Turkey: Turkey offers superb skiing opportunities at high altitudes with excellent snow conditions, where stunning mountain ranges and alpine forests surround enthusiasts. Turkey's top ski resorts range from the Black Sea slopes to the Mediterranean, and there is pure nature for every adrenalin seeker. So, to change from the best hiking trails in Turkey, these are the places to go for a trip.