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Hiking in Turkey: Istanbul and the Lycian Way

Program Number: 20923RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/7/2014 - 11/19/2014; 11/4/2016 - 11/16/2016;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Turkey
Price starting at: $3,721.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Walking/Hiking Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 26; 11 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Low Salt    

In what is today Turkey, on a peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean, the ancient Lycians fought and formed uneasy alliances to protect their beautiful land and cultured lifestyle from the likes of Athens and Persia. Hike sections of the Lycian Way, a 316-mile footpath tracing the Turquoise Coast, to find the well-preserved ruins of Lycia, savor spectacular vistas and hear legends like that of the fire-breathing Chimera. Plus a walking excursion in Istanbul reveals the city’s most magnificent landmarks.


• Discover Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, seat of the Ottoman Sultans.
• Walk sections of the famed Lycian Way, stopping to explore ancient ruins and admire stunning views.
• At the peak of Mount Chimaera, find the volcanic “eternal flame” that inspired the myth of the fire-breathing Chimera monster.

Activity Particulars

Hiking up to five miles per day; some uneven, hilly and rocky terrain.

Date Specific Information

11-7-2014, 11-4-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Istanbul, 2 nights; flight to Antalya, 1 night; coach to Cirali, 3 nights; coach to Yediburunlar, Fethiye, 4 nights; coach to Dalaman, flight to Istanbul, 1 night; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Istanbul
2 nights

Explore the grand city of Istanbul on foot, including visits to the Hagia Sophia, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque and Topkapi Palace, seat of the Ottoman Sultans. Then enjoy a boat excursion on the Bosphorus, the strait that separates Europe and Asia.

Flight to Antalya
1 night
Coach to Cirali
3 nights

From Antalya, journey into the Taurus Mountains, where you hike to the ruins of Termessos, an ancient hilltop city. Explore the seaside ruins of Phaselis, a city conquered by Alexander the Great. Hike to the peak of Mount Chimaera, noted for its “eternal flame,” which inspired the myth of the Chimera monster. Set out on walks along the Lycian Way, finding ancient fortresses, villages and necropolises. Take a boat excursion to the charming hamlet of Kekova.

Coach to Fethiye
4 nights
Coach to Dalaman
Flight to Istanbul
1 night

Continue to Fethiye to walk more of the beautiful Lycian Way. Discover seldom-visited ruins of ancient cities and the ghost town of Kayaköy, home to Greek Christians until the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey. Learn about traditional agricultural life in this region as you meet the hardy people who inhabit its villages.


Turkey is bracketed by seas on three sides, which has facilitated its status as a crossroads of different civilizations for tens of thousands of years. It is modernizing rapidly, but its past is everywhere apparent. It is a country where centuries-old mosques and castles blend with modern streets and buildings to create a unique blend of past and present, European and Oriental influences.

Istanbul: Four-star hotel along the ancient city walls of Constantinople, airport hotel (final night). Antalya: Award-winning boutique hotel. Cirali: Charming seaside bungalows with private facilities. Fethiye: Tiny mountaintop hotel with spectacular coastal views.
Meals and Lodgings
   Armada Hotel Istanbul
  Istanbul, Turkey 2 nights
   Tuvana Hotel
  Antalya, Turkey 1 night
   Arcadia Holiday
  Olympos, Turkey
Kas/Kekova, Turkey
3 nights
   Yediburunlar Light House Hotel
  Fethiye/Lycian Way, Turkey 4 nights
   Airport Hotel
  Istanbul, Turkey 1 night
 Armada Hotel Istanbul
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Armada hotel is centrally located in the old city of Istanbul, on the city's historical peninsula. It is surrounded by the ancient city walls and is within walking distance and has views of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii). Open since 1994, the building was constructed on the site of a series of row houses which were built for the marine soldiers of the famed Ottoman Admiral Hayrettin Pasha (Barbarossa) in the 16th century. The hotel's façade replicates the original structures.
  Contact info: Ahirkapi Cad, 24
Istanbul,  34400 Turkey
phone: +90 212 455 44 55
  Room amenities: 110 rooms, decorated in the Ottoman style with traditional Edirnekari woodwork painting, are a graceful blend of past and present and offer all modern amenities, including air conditioning, central heat, hair dryer, mini-bar, cable TV, direct-dial telephone, Internet connection and safety-deposit box.
  Facility amenities: Restaurants, bars, rooftop terrace, room service and laundry service.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Contact Contact the Program Provider for reservations;
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Tuvana Hotel
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Surrounded by gardens, the elegant Tuvana Hotel is in the historic center of Antalya, only 1500 ft from Hadrian's Gate. It features an outdoor pool and spacious guest rooms with traditional Ottoman décor. Air-conditioned rooms have hardwood floors and furnishings made from oak and pine wood. They come equipped with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a DVD player. Some rooms have a balcony. In the morning, the hotel serves a buffet breakfast. Seraser Restaurant offers indoor and outdoor dining, serving international and Turkish cuisine made from fresh ingredients. Guests can relax on the grounds, which are filled with orange and plum trees. Tuvana Hotel is one mile from Konyaalti Beach and is a 5-minute walk from Mermerli Beach. The hotel offers 24-hour front desk service and free on-site private parking.
  Contact info: Tuzcular Mah. Karanlik Sokak
No: 18 Kaleici
Antalya,   Turkey
phone: + 90 242 244-4053
  Room amenities: Air-conditioned rooms have hardwood floors and furnishings made from oak and pine wood. They come equipped with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and a DVD player. Some rooms have a balcony.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, Bar, 24-Hour Front Desk, Grounds, Terrace, Non-Smoking Rooms, Safe, Heating, Air Conditioning, Restaurant With Dining Menu
  Smoking allowed: No

 Arcadia Holiday
Type: Lodge
  Description: If you are looking for nature, beauty and a retreat away from the stress of everyday life, you will find it in Arcadia. Sit on your porch and look out onto the turquoise waves of the Mediterranean Sea. Lie under a sun umbrella until the mood for a dip in the ocean strikes you. Hike up to the mysterious fires of the Chimera hidden in the surrounding mountains. Everything is on the doorstep. Arcadia offers five separate and spacious pine bungalows, all hand-made with loving attention to detail. Each room has air conditioning and heating, a mini-bar, coffee maker, a telephone and wireless internet access.
  Contact info: Cirali, Olympos
Antalya,   Turkey
phone: + 90 242 825-7340
  Room amenities: Each room has air conditioning and heating, a mini-bar, coffee maker, a telephone and wireless internet access.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant, beach front location, A/C in rooms, wi-fi
  Smoking allowed: No

 Yediburunlar Light House Hotel
Type: Boutique Hotel
  Description: Yediburunlar is one of the most magical corners of Turkey. This location is perched on the mountains running parallel along the splendid coastline of southern Turkey. The hotel is located on top of the hills, enjoying a stunning view of the mountains and the sea. The hotel has only 9 rooms and is the most suitable hotel to enjoy hikes along the Lycian Way.
  Contact info: Yediburunlar Bogazici Village Esen
Mugla,   Turkey
phone: + 90 252 679 1001
  Room amenities: A/C, hairdryer, private bathroom, great views.
  Facility amenities: 9 unique rooms equipped with private bathrooms. Restaurant, outdoor seating seating area, outdoor bathtub.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Airport Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the airport, making it easy to transfer to flights.
  Contact info: Istanbul Ataturk Airport
Istanbul,   Turkey
phone: + 90 212 465-4030
  Room amenities: Hair dryer, satellite tv, music, wireless internet.
  Facility amenities: Meeting rooms, gym, internet, business center, restaurant, free shuttle service.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: 165 EUR, INCL tax and BRKF Please contact for inquiries and reservations.

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
6 p.m. on arrival day, in the hotel lobby for welcome and orientation You will be staying at Armada Hotel Istanbul that night.
  End of Program:
08:00AM at the Airport Hotel in Istanbul on the final day You will be staying at Airport Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. Passport needs to be valid for 6 months. The visa-on-arrival system in Turkey will be discontinued as of April 11 , 2014 and participants are encouraged to purchase their visas in advance on Electronic visa for Turkey costs $20 per person for US citizens ($60 for Canadians) when purchased on line. In order to provide a smooth transition, it was announced that the visa-on-arrival system will be continued until the end of the tourism season in 2014. However, the price of the visa upon arrival will now cost $30 USD for US citizens and $70 for Canadians. Therefore participants are encouraged to obtain their visas in advance in order to save money and time. More info can be found here.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Istanbul
  Nearest city or town:  Istanbul
  Nearest airport:  Istanbul Ataturk
  Transportation to site: Trains and taxis are available.
  From End of Program
  Location: Istanbul
  Transportation from site: Participants will be able to walk from the Airport Hotel to check-in area.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Elevation Note: There will be a few hikes hikes where the elevation will be slightly above 3,000 feet.

Equipment Requirements: No specific equipment will be required. Walking sticks might be useful. Comfortable walking/hiking shoes are a must.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: In Flight. Depart from the USA for Istanbul, Turkey
(Friday, November 7)
 Depart From: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Day 2: Arrival in Istanbul. Welcome meeting and dinner at the hotel.
(Saturday, November 8)
 Arrive To: Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to the hotel.
 Afternoon: Welcome Meeting at the Hotel to get to know your Group Leader and fellow group members.
 Dinner: Welcome Dinner at the Hotel
Accommodations: Armada Hotel Istanbul
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Field trip to Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Underground Cisterns and a private Bosphorus Cruise
(Sunday, November 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Visit Hagia Sophia, Underground Cisterns and the Blue Mosque. Activity Details: walking in the old city of Istanbul up to two miles
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Visit Topkapi Palace and enjoy a late afternoon private cruise on the Bosphorus.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Armada Hotel Istanbul
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Field trip and hike to Termessos, a city perched upon the Taurus Mountains.
(Monday, November 10)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Transfer to Istanbul Airport to catch an early flight to Antalya.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in the city
 Afternoon: Hike to see the ruins of Termessos, a Greco-Roman ancient site located on the top of a hill. Activity Detail: Hiking (uphill to the ancient site and then downhill to the parking garage) about 2 miles on uneven terrain. Hike difficulty: 6/10
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Tuvana Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Phaselis and Olympos/Chimera.
(Tuesday, November 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Depart from Antalya heading south. Stop at Phaselis to see this beautiful ancient town located right on the Mediterranean. Alexander the Great spent the winter of 334BC here on his way to conquer the rest of the known world. Activity Detail: Hiking on flat surface in ancient town about 3/4 mile. Hike difficulty: 4/10
 Lunch: Lunch on route at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Enjoy a hike to see the eternal flame of Chimera, burning forever for centuries. Activity level: Hiking uphill (1 mile), sometimes steep and rocky, then same path downhill, total 2 miles. Hike difficulty: 8/10
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
Accommodations: Arcadia Holiday
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Fields trip to Demre to see the ancient city of Myra and the church of St.Nicholas.
(Wednesday, November 12)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Field trip to visit Demre and Myra, birth place of St.Nicholas Activity level: Easy walking about 1/4 mile in Myra. Hike difficulty: 2/10
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Enjoy a hike on the Lycian Way, crisscrossing valleys near Olympos. Activity Level: Strenuous hike up to 3 miles. Hike level: 8/10
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
Accommodations: Arcadia Holiday
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Field trip to Kekova
(Thursday, November 13)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Depart for Kekova, a small hamlet with Lycian ruins and a fascinating necropolis. On the water, the village is not accessible by land yet it is not an island. Take a short boat ride to reach the site.
 Lunch: Picnic lunch in Kekova
 Afternoon: Hike to the ruins of Simena to see the fortress and the necropolis (cemetery) behind it. Activity level: Hike up to the acropolis and then to the necropolis through the village. 1/4 mile uphill, then downhill same trail. Hike difficulty: 6/10
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
Accommodations: Arcadia Holiday
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Field trips to Patara and Pinara, ancient Lycian towns. Enjoy hikes to seldom visited ruins.
(Friday, November 14)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Depart for Yediburunlar on the Lycian Way. Check in at the hotel
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Enjoy an afternoon hike on the Lycian Way and visit the ancient towns of Patara and Pinara. Activity Level: Hikes in two ancient cities, total distance: 1 ½ miles. Hike difficulty level: 5/10
 Dinner: Dinner at the Hotel
Accommodations: Yediburunlar Light House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Hike to Kayakoy, an abandoned ghost village during the Exchange of Citizens between Greece and Turkey in the 1920s.
(Saturday, November 15)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Visit Kayakoy and hike to Soguksu, once the port of this village on the Mediterranean. Kayakoy is an abandoned village during the Exchange of Citizens in 1920s between Turkey and Greece. Learn about the story of this exchange and the citizens. Activity level: Hike on uneven and rocky terrain at times. Total distance: 2 ½ miles. Hike difficulty: 7/10
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant on route
 Afternoon: Enjoy a hike around the hotel on the Lycian Way. Activity Level: Optional hike around the hotel, about 1 ½ miles. Hike difficulty: 7-8/10
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
Accommodations: Yediburunlar Light House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Hike to Oludeniz and Faralya on the Lycian trail with stunning views of the Mediterranean.
(Sunday, November 16)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Visit Oludeniz, (the Dead Lagoon) and wonder at its pristine beach.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Hike to Faralya and Kabak Valley, a pristine cove on the Mediterranean also on the Lycian Way. Activity Level: Hike challenging at times. Some participants may need walking sticks/canes. Hike level: 8½/10
 Dinner: Dinner at at the hotel
Accommodations: Yediburunlar Light House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Hike to nearby villages to explore pastoral and traditional/agricultural life
(Monday, November 17)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Visit the nearby local villages to learn about their rural life.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant
 Afternoon: Enjoy an optional hike along the Lycian Way Activity Level: Great hike up to 2 miles, level: 7/10
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel
Accommodations: Yediburunlar Light House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Transfer to Dalaman Airport to fly to Istanbul
(Tuesday, November 18)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Morning at leisure. Optional hike along the Lycian Way Activity Level: Optional hike on the Lycian Trail with difficulty level of 7/10. Up to 2 miles.
 Lunch: Lunch on route to the airport
 Afternoon: Transfer to Dalaman Airport to fly to Istanbul.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
Accommodations: Airport Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Fly home
(Wednesday, November 19)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Check in for your international flight and depart Istanbul for home
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

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The Turks Today

Author: Andrew Mango

Description: Istanbul-born, British-based Mango (Atatürk) offers an insightful, sympathetic portrait of recent Turkish history. The first third of the book discusses the growth of the Turkish state after Atatürk's death in 1938, with a fitful spread of democracy, clashes with Greece and the departure of Istanbul's Greek community. Economic and social conflict from 1960 to 1980 was subsequently "contained" by a military-driven constitution and rapprochement with Europe. A battle over the logo of the mayoralty of Ankara, the capital, illustrates the recent negotiations between Islamists and secularists. Istanbul, whose "infrastructure does not match its size," is growing as a regional base. In impoverished, traditionalist eastern Turkey, "the Third World has not been banished," though Mango argues that integration with the state—if not assimilation—is the best hope for the Kurdish minority. Turkey today, Mango suggests, resembles the late modernizing countries of southern Europe in many ways. He sees potential for a fully democratic and secular state, but warns that it takes time to "implant Western institutions in non-Western soil." Though this volume lacks some of the bite and immediacy of a journalist's book like Stephen Kinzer's Crescent and Star, it emerges as a more thorough introduction to a less-known but increasingly vital country.

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