Meet the guide
Before heading to my first 4x4 trip on this historic route, I walked it through three stages, rode it on an enduro motorcycle, and really fell in love with the beauty of the Mediterranean, and discovered this region's rich historical heritage which became a stronghold of several ancient civilizations. Here, every stone is imbued with the great events of the past, and the energy of ancient cities is impossible to convey in words!
Along the Mediterranean coast of ancient Lycia from Geikbairi to Fethiye, descending into emerald coves surrounded by orange groves of valleys and climbing up the rocky mountain paths in the clouds, we'll drive on the 4х4 SUV about 1000 km with a breeze along Roman roads through the ancient civilization's cities filled with historical remains.
On the way, we'll visit a lot of places where myths of antiquity occurred, several national parks and one of the best places in the world for paragliding. The hospitality of small resort villages of the Turkish Riviera awaits us as well as deserted beaches and unsurpassed local cuisine. Let's ride, explore, and discover with #motopilgrims adventours!
Starts and ends in Antalya, Turkey
Duration: 11 days / 10 nights
Mileage: 1000+ kilometres / 620+ miles
Terrain: mountains, coast, mix of asphalt & off-road
Driving: 4x4 off-road vehicle
Historical sights:read more
an ancient Greek and a Roman city set up by the Rhodians in 700 BC
One of the most beautiful canyons of the Taurus
a picturesque village near Mount Chimera, the forge of the god of fire Hephaestus
the city of the Lycian League, where the Olympics originated
the lighthouse on Cape Gelidonya, the most dangerous place for seafarers of Antalya Gulf
honouring the bishop of Myra and the man popularly known as Santa Claus
The theatre of Myra
with the rock-cut tombs of the ancient Lycian necropolis
the half-flooded ruins of an ancient city on the shores of the Kekova Bay
the birthplace of St. Nicholas, founded by Patarus, a son of Apollo
the largest city in Lycia, where the Trojan War heroes came from, and in honour of which was named the immortal speaking horse of Achilles
a beach resort on the Turquoise Coast at the conjunction point of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas
a yacht harbour located on the site of the ancient city of /Telmessos, the ruins of which can be seen the Hellenistic theatre and Lycian rock tomb 4th century BC
The guide speaking your language (ua, ru, fr, en)
Pre expeditionary maintenance and car insurance
A driver, car rental and refueling
Life and health travel insurance, incl. Covid-19
Entrance fees according to the tour program
Accommodation: hotels and guesthouses, breakfast incl.
Boat trip along islands and flooded cities
Half-hour+ paragliding with a certified instructor
Full SPA package in Sefa Hamam, 650 years old
Additionally, you must consider:
- A low-cost flight to Antalya / Turkey and back ($120-180)
- An international driver's licence category 'B' (if driving)
- Paraglider pilot's photos and videos, GoPro and 360° ($20)
- Additional meals during the day ($10-15/one meal)
Arriving and gathering together in Antalya, the largest resort and port city, founded in 159 BC by order of the king of Pergamon Attal II. In 133. It was conquered by the Romans becoming the winter residence of the emperor Hadrian, in whose honour the Adrian Gate was built, the hallmark of the modern city. Also, right in the old town in the area of our residence, excavations continue.
By prior arrangement, I'll meet your flight, or you can get a hotel by a convenient train that runs directly from the airport (a contactless payment by credit card right on the turnstile much cheaper than buying a ticket in the ticket machine), you need to get off at Ismet Pasha station within ten minutes walking distance from the hotel. We check into the hotel right in the historic cent near the marina and the city park entrance, the terraces on the roof offers a magnificent view of the Taurus Mountains we are going to ride across the next day.
We get to know each other, relax before the upcoming trip walking around the historical city centre, parks and beaches. Free time to set up your mind for adventure that starts tomorrow just beyond those Taurus mountains.
during the day
getting together, an acquaintance, a free time
a fresh bed and hot shower
supermarkets and cafes
city parks and beaches, the historic downtown
In the morning we have breakfast, stop by the supermarket where we stock up on water and ice cream and set off on a trip. The first-day endpoint is located in the resort village of Cirali on the territory of the Beydaglar National Park, whose beach from Black Cape to Moses Mountain is the breeding zone of Caretta turtles (when travelling in late May-early June, we catch a clutch of eggs, and in late August-early September the birth of newly hatched little turtles).
Along the way, we visit the beautiful, 350 meters deep and about 14 km long, Canyon Goynuk in the Taurus Mountains, a popular place for hiking and water wade walk-in wetsuits on the bed of a mountain river at the bottom of the Canyon full of amazing rock formations.
On the way, we are going to visit the ancient city of Phaselis surrounded by three harbours with sandy and pebble beaches. The city layout is well-preserved - a central street, a square, an aqueduct, and an amphitheatre among the lush pine and cedar trees of the natural park.
Last but one we are going to have a rest and spend the night in a cosy guest house on the first sea line of a gorgeous 4-kilometre beach within walking distance of Chimera, the only mountain in the world on the slope of which for several thousand years natural gas has been burning all year round. It contains an admixture of substance that self-ignites in the air. It was here according to the legend the forge of the god of fire and the protector of blacksmith Hephaestus was located. Finally, as soon as it gets dark, we’ll carry out a walk there.
breakfast, currency exchange, supermarket
leaving the city
hiking and water wade walk excursion across the Goynuk canyon
a tour of the ancient city of Phaselis
check in at Cirali, have an evening meal
hiking on Mount Chimera
an endless beach
a bed and hot shower
Having tasted a classic Turkish breakfast, we ride through the mountains by dirt roads to the destroyed by pirates and earthquakes ancient Olympos, the city of the Lycian League where the Olympic Games were originated. The first mentions fall in the III century BC.
The official Lycian Way trail, described by renowned expat and traveller and British historian Keith Clough, runs through the remains of the city. We'll climb a bit uphill along the marked section of this trek to the remains of the chapel to enjoy the view of Olympos from the height of the adjacent cliffs.
And on this day, we are going to have another short walk along the Lycian Way where the next views of the Cirali beach open up (by the way, the first row of the bungalow visible in the photo on the first seaside line, is our place of accommodation):
We devote the second part of the day to a secluded beach relaxing and snorkelling on both sides of the endless beach of the Beydaglari National Park. Do not forget that it's a protected by a law nature reserve where it is forbidden to make fires, stand with a tent and otherwise disturb the Caretta turtle clutches guarded by a pyramidal mesh like this one:
Delicious breakfast at the guest house
Leaving for an Olympus ancient city
Tour of Olympos
Swimming under the rock with the remains of the fortress walls of Olympos
Lunch in the village
Back to the guest house, beach relaxing
Hiking along the Lycian Way towards Tekirova
fresh bed and hot shower
minimarkets, currency exchange
sandy and pebble beaches
After enjoying the unique natural and historical sights on the territory of the Beydaglari National Park, we stock up on food for a snack and go through the village of Karaoz for an hour's walk along the Lycian Trail to the lighthouse at Cape Gelidonia, located at an altitude of 270 meters, and being the southernmost point of the Teke Peninsula and all over Turkey. This is one of the most dangerous places for the navigators of Antalya Bay which has turned it into a ship graveyard. One of the last found boats sank there at the end of the Bronze Age in the 13th century BC.
From there we climb to the top of the adjacent mountain at a height of 900+ meters, where we arrange a photo session on the observation deck and descend along the dizzying serpentines going to Pirate Bay, where we have lunch.
Then we move to another magnificent and truly deserted beach in the area of the natural park of peanut pines near Mavikent, from where we go along the coast to the founded in the 5th century BC the city of Finike, the main trading port of the capital of Lycia, Limira, which is still famous for the most fragrant oranges today. Here we rest and gain strength the next day.
Breakfast at the boarding house
Departure for an excursion to the lighthouse
Arrival at the observation deck, photo session
Lunch at Pirate Bay
Swimming on a deserted beach near Mavikent
Leaving to Finike, check-into the pension
Walking around the city \ rest on a sandy beach, dinner
bed and shower
Turkey's best orange juice in Finike
From the orange capital of Turkey, we start through the mountains to Demre. The nature of these places delights the eye with magnificent landscapes of white-stone slopes and dense majestic forests, probably seen by Roman legionaries and heroes of the Trojan War. Here you can see wild boars, foxes and birds of prey in nature.
In modern Demre, on the territory of the ancient city of Myra, we explore the amphitheatre with tombs of the ancient Lycian necropolis carved into the surrounding rocks. Also, if you wish and if you have enough time, we visit the Church of St. Nicholas, named after the Bishop of Myra, who became the prototype of the modern Santa Claus.
After lunch, we continue along the mountain roads to the fishing villages of Uchagiz and Kalekoy, in the past - ancient Teimussa and Simena, a solid part of which is half-sunk today and even the remains of amphorae preserved underwater. The inhabited part of the peninsula is crowned by a hill with a Genoese fortress, inside which is the smallest Roman theatre in Lycia, for only 100 people. Here we stay until the next day, strolling through the sights of all three harbours that gave the name to the village of Uchagiz (literally translates “three mouths”).
Breakfast in the hotel
We delve into the mountains of the central Taurus
Visit to the amphitheater in Mira
Excursion to the church of St. Nicholas
Lunch in the center of Demre
Departure to the fishing villages of Uchagiz and Kalekoy
Check in at the boarding house
кровать и душ
пляжи, бухты, красота
After the offroad shaking along the serpentines of the southern Taurus of the previous day on the way from Finike to Demre, today the sea, the boat, the islands and, of course, the hospitality of the family of the owner of the guest house awaits us. By the way, it's forbidden to build new houses in resort villages of historical significance like Uchagiz, only to carry out the reconstruction of existing ones. A very secluded place for a limited number of guests and residents, the courtyards of many of which are richly decorated with tombs and tombs of people who lived on this earth for more than one millennium before them.
After the already beloved Turkish breakfast, a boat trip awaits us, during which we swim on the islands and sail along with the flooded cities of Simena and Kalekoy, whose history begins from the 5th century BC. Amphorae and jugs, stone stairs, destroyed streets, embankments, sunken columns, fragments of statues and remnants of buildings right under the side remind of those times when, in the II century, due to tectonic shocks, part of Simena went underwater, and the inhabitants left the city.
After returning and having lunch, we go for a walk to the Lycian fortress on the mountain, which houses the smallest theatre in Lycia, designed for only 150 people. She was later captured by the Rhodes Knights of the Order of St. John. This fortress (kale) was designed to protect the approaches to the cities from the sea and is located at the highest point, from where a stunning view of the surroundings opens, where the village of the same name Kalekoy is located.
Walking tour of the fortress
bed and shower
incredibly hospitable host of the guest house
A rich historical program and the most incredible beach in the entire trip await us. After the usual breakfast, we leave for the city of Kas, formerly Antiphellos, the Lycian port, first mentioned by the Greeks in the 4th century BC.
Before entering the city, our view is presented with a panorama of the city overlooking the Greek island of Kastelorizo, where the easternmost airport of Greece is located. After making a circle of honor along the peninsula, starting with a fully restored ancient Greek amphitheatre, we go further.
Along the slopes, ridges and gorges of the mountains, located along the coastline, we rush to the place, which is famous not only for the most famous and popular among Turkish youth 18 km long beach but also for the numerous remains of the city of Patara, founded by the son of Apollo, one of the largest cities and the main port of Lycia union.
The oldest traces of human activity (pottery remains) found in the acropolis date back to the 7th century BC. On the way from the Arc de Triomphe, not far from the colonnade of the main street, we will visit the completely restored amphitheatre-museum, built presumably during the Hellenistic period, and also a number of other attractions.
But this is not the last historical site for today, next we will visit the ruins of Xanthos, the largest city of Lycia, founded at the beginning of the 1st millennium BC. It was from here that the heroes of the Trojan War came and it was in his honour that the immortal talking horse of Achilles was named. On the territory of the excavations, the largest monument of Lycian writing was found and is located - the Lycian-Milian stele, dating back to 380 BC.
Departure to Kas
Sightseeing walk in Kas
Patara Beach and Antique City
Visit to the ruins of Xanthos
Arrival in Oludeniz
bed and shower
the best beach of the Turkish Riviera
After breakfast at the hotel in the village of Patara, we leave for Oludeniz (literally “Dead Sea” thanks to its calm waters of the Blue Lagoon National Reserve even during storms). Where from the slope of the highest of the surrounding mountains Babadag we will enjoy the magnificent landscapes from a bird's eye view. It is this mountain, at the foot of which this cozy resort village is located, that is considered one of the best places in the world for paragliding due to its unique panoramic views and stable weather conditions.
The height of the main "lower start" is 1672 m, and the upper one at the peak of the mountain - 1980 m. The unique topology of the site allows you to go over the bay at an altitude of 1-1.5 km. The cost of a half-hour flight is included in the price of our tour, if you wish, you can refuse, but ... definitely not worth it, because it takes your breath away not so much from fear, but from an incredible panorama from a bird's eye view.
Popular with tourists from Germany, England and Ireland, the village also offers many opportunities for diving in crystal clear waters with rich underwater caves and fauna. In Oludeniz and the surrounding area, we'll visit a magnificent lagoon, a remote bay and, of course, relax on a pebble beach in the village itself.
And in the evening, the village itself is waiting for us, like a town in the wild west in the American westerns, which is located 10-15 minutes from the beach and offers many cosy restaurants with various cuisines and a lot of other resort entertainments. Or we can just watch the sunset on the beach.
Breakfast, getting ready for paragliding
Lunch and walk to a remote rocky bay
Rest and entertainment in the village or on the beach
fresh bed and hot shower
supermarkets, currency exchange
After breakfast in hospitable Oludeniz, where we added a lot of adrenaline and serotonin to the blood of the participants, we go to the cult place halfway to Fethiye, the official start site of the Lycian Trail, whose massive signboard is decorated with a sticker of our club, down there in the very centre.
Then we go to listen to the alarming silence of the city streets of the abandoned ghost town of Kayakey, which has 3.5 thousand houses, 3 churches, a school, a hospital, and a number of other buildings and structures. But since the distant 1923, when after the bloody massacre the remnants of the Greek population were deported, the city stands empty.
And then we go straight to Fethiye, from where the Turquoise Coast begins. At this place in ancient times there was the Greek city of Telmessos, the center of the prophecies dedicated to Apollo, but the earthquakes of 1857 and 1957 destroyed almost all the ancient structures.
Only the remains of an ancient Roman theater, a medieval knight's castle of the 15th century and traditional Lycian tombs on the slope of the mountain adjacent to the city have survived. Great views from the top of the peninsula separating the large modern harbor and marina from the Aegean Sea.
Also in the city is a museum rich in artifacts, clearly demonstrating the chain of civilizations that have inhabited the region since the ancient Lycians.
This is where the historical program of our trip ends, the rest of the day we stroll through the city, which seems to be a metropolis after all those secluded villages where we stayed during the entire trip.
Shopping centres, restaurants, crowds of people and the endless sea of yachts, because this is one of the favourite places of life and the rest of Turkish millionaires.
Breakfast in the hotel
We go to the start of the Lycian path
Kayakoy Ghost Town Tour
Trip to the observation deck in Fethiye
Check in at the hotel, free time
fresh bed and hot shower
all the amenities of a big city
city parks and beach
In the morning we start our way back across the mainland. The path will lie across the mountain plateau along the highway, we go as fast as possible in order to arrive early in Antalya, check into a hotel and visit Sefa Hamam (original name “Makbul Ağa Turkish Bath”) - a Turkish bath with a history of more than 650 years.
It was restored in 1450, it is mentioned in the "City Archives of the Ottoman Empire", and all this time to this day it is used for its intended purpose.
The rest of the day we exchange impressions, media materials and enjoy the hospitality of this beautiful Mediterranean resort.
Departure for the return journey to Antalya through the mainland
Arrival, check-in at the hotel
Visit to Sefa Hamam, SPA procedures
fresh bed and hot shower
all the amenities of a big city
city parks and beach
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