The best walking routes in Turkey

The nature of Turkey is diverse and includes various types of landscapes. Turkey is known for its magnificent mountainous regions, including the Taurus Mountains, Pontic Mountains, and the mountains in Cappadocia. Here, you can find stunning mountain landscapes and plenty of opportunities for hiking and winter sports. Turkey also has a long and beautiful coastline along the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas. The beaches, cliffs, and warm waters make this region a popular spot for relaxation and property investment by the sea.

Turkey boasts numerous nature reserves and national parks, including the Gürpınar reserve inhabited by sea turtles, and Gallipoli National Park with its historical monuments and beautiful nature. There are a vast number of rivers and lakes; for instance, Lake Van is the largest lake in the country, and the Dalaman River offers rafting opportunities.

In Cappadocia, you'll find unique rock formations and underground cities like Derinkuyu and Kaymakli that you can explore.

The nature of Turkey is diverse and beautiful, providing plenty of opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts and tourists interested in natural wonders.

Turkey offers many beautiful hiking spots. Here are a few popular places with stunning hiking trails:

1. Mount Tahtalı.
Not far from Antalya, this prominent mountain offers excellent hiking trails and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea. Mount Tahtalı is located near the resort town of Kemer in southern Turkey. This mountain offers amazing hiking trails and panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding landscapes.

Here's one of the popular routes:
1. Cable car ascent: Start your hike with a cable car ascent that takes you up the mountain. The cable car ride provides a unique opportunity to enjoy the scenery during the ascent.
2. Summit exploration: Upon reaching the summit, you can explore the plateau and enjoy stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and the surrounding mountain ranges.
3. Hiking: From the summit of Mount Tahtalı, there are several hiking trails you can choose based on your fitness level and available time. You can hike along mountain trails and appreciate nature and the views.
4. Descent: After completing the hike, you can descend via the cable car back down.

This route provides a unique opportunity to enjoy the beauty of nature and panoramic sea views, making hiking Mount Tahtalı popular among outdoor enthusiasts and foreigners who have purchased property in Antalya. Remember to be well-prepared for hikes and follow safety measures.

2. Olympos and Chimera.
The Chimera region, known for its burning stones, offers intriguing trails leading to ancient ruins and waterfalls. Hiking to Chimera and Mount Olympos in Turkey provides a unique opportunity to explore ancient ruins and beautiful nature on the Mediterranean coast.

Here's a popular pedestrian route:
1. Starting point: Begin your hike in the village of Chimera (Çıralı), located south of Mount Olympos. This village serves as the starting point for hikes to Chimera and Olympos.
2. Visiting the ruins of Chimera: Follow marked paths or trails to reach the ancient ruins of Chimera. Here, you'll see the remains of ancient temples and city structures, including the famous "Chimera Fire," a natural phenomenon where gases ignite on the earth's surface.
3. Ascent to Mount Olympos: After visiting Chimera, you can start the ascent to Mount Olympos (Tahtalı Dağı) from the village of Chimera. This ascent can be long and steep, so be prepared for a physical challenge.
4. Exploring the summit of Olympos: From the summit of Mount Olympos, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surroundings, including the Mediterranean coast and nearby Chimera.
5. Descent and return: Upon completing the hike to Olympos, you can return to the village of Chimera.

This route offers a chance to combine historical and natural exploration in one hike. Please note that being well-prepared with good footwear and water is important for the hike to Olympos, as the trail can be demanding.

3. Fethiye.
Here, you can stroll through the old town and enjoy the atmosphere of ancient Turkey. Fethiye is a beautiful resort town on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, and its surroundings offer several wonderful places for hiking. One popular route is the trail to Butterfly Valley and Kidrak Beach. Here's how you can do it:

1. Starting point: Begin your walk from the town of Fethiye. You can take a taxi or bus to the starting point of the trail or start walking from the central part of the town.
2. Heading to Butterfly Valley: The hike to Butterfly Valley starts from a mountain road. Along the way, you can enjoy stunning views of the sea and the surroundings. The path can be quite steep, so be prepared for uphill and downhill sections.
3. Butterfly Valley: Upon reaching Butterfly Valley, you can explore this unique location. The valley is known for its natural beauty and the variety of butterflies, especially in the summer.
4. Continuing to Kidrak Beach: After visiting Butterfly Valley, you can continue your hike to Kidrak Beach. This beach stands out from others in the region due to its secluded setting and beautiful nature.
5. Return: After completing your hike, you can return to Fethiye or use transportation.

This route offers a chance to enjoy the beautiful nature and secluded beaches along the Lycian coast. Don't forget to bring enough water, sunscreen, and proper footwear, as the trail can be demanding based on your fitness level and weather conditions.

4. Pamukkale.
This natural area is famous for its thermal springs, white terraces, and the ruins of the ancient city of Hierapolis. There are excellent hiking trails in Pamukkale, a unique natural wonder in Turkey.

Here's a pedestrian route you can explore:
1. Starting point: Your route will start at the entrance of Pamukkale and the small town of Pamukkale, near Denizli.
2. Walking on the terraces: The walk begins from below, and you'll ascend the white terraces, also known as the "Cotton Castle." These terraces were formed by thermal springs and have unique geological formations.
3. Visiting the ancient city of Hierapolis: At the end of your walk on the terraces, you'll reach the ancient city of Hierapolis. Here, you can explore the ruins of ancient buildings, the theatre, and historical landmarks.
4. Descent: After exploring Hierapolis, you can descend back to the starting point of the route.
5. Visiting Cleopatra's Pools: Near Pamukkale are Cleopatra's Pools, which are worth a visit. These pools are filled with thermal water and have a historical connection to Cleopatra.

   This route allows you to enjoy the incredible natural beauty of Pamukkale and the historical landmarks of Hierapolis. Remember the importance of wearing comfortable footwear and a swimsuit if you plan to visit Cleopatra's Pools.

5. Göreme Town and the Valley of the Queens.
Traveling to Göreme and the Valley of the Queens in Cappadocia, Turkey, provides an amazing opportunity to explore unique rock formations and natural wonders.

Here's a pedestrian route you can explore:
1. Starting point: Your adventure begins in the town of Göreme, which serves as a hub for many tourist activities in Cappadocia.
2. Visiting the open terraces: From Göreme, you can head to the Valley of the Queens or start with a walk in Rose Valley or Göreme Valley. All of them are within walking distance and offer beautiful rock formations and stunning landscapes.
3. Exploring the Valley of the Queens: The Valley of the Queens is a place with stunning rock formations and ruins of ancient dwellings and churches carved into the rocks. You can walk around and immerse yourself in the atmosphere and history of this place.
4. Continuing the route: After visiting the Valley of the Queens, you can choose to continue your walk to other valleys or return to Göreme.
5. Completing the route: Back in Göreme, you can explore this wonderful town, visit its restaurants, shops, and museums.

This route provides an opportunity to enjoy the amazing nature and cultural heritage of Cappadocia. Don't forget to wear comfortable shoes, sunscreen, and bring water, as the terrain can be uneven and the weather can be hot during the summer months.

6. Lycian Way.
The Lycian Way is a famous long-distance hiking trail in Turkey, stretching for about 540 kilometers and passing through the most beautiful spots along the Lycian coast. You can choose different sections of the trail based on your interests and physical fitness.

Here are a few sections and key points you can visit:
1. Olympos and Çıralı: Start your journey from Olympos and Çıralı, two popular resort towns, and follow the trail through pine forests and along the coast.
2. Cape Gelidonya: This section of the trail offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea and secluded beaches.
3. Butterfly Valley: Here, you can see numerous butterflies and enjoy the natural beauty of the valley.
4. Ancient cities: Along the trail, you'll encounter the ruins of ancient cities such as Patara and Side, where you can explore ancient ruins and architectural landmarks.
5. Saklıkent: This canyon is on the route and offers unique opportunities for hiking in the gorge with high walls.
6. Phaselis: The final section of the trail ends in Phaselis, a town with sandy beaches and beautiful architecture.

The Lycian Way provides a unique opportunity to explore the nature, history, and culture of the region. Traveling this trail can take several weeks, so it's important to be well-prepared and have appropriate gear.

Be sure to consider local rules and conditions when going on hikes, and have a map or GPS navigation with you.

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