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The Lycian Way is a coastal walk and mild temperatures mean it can be walked throughout the winter months. But beware - ground over 1000m can be snow-covered from early January to end April! Mid-July – early-September is too hot for comfort. The St Paul Trail runs mainly above 1000m altitude; some snow falls from mid-December on most of the route, but melts again by mid-May. Winters are also stormy from mid-November – mid-January and again in late-March and April, but summer temperatures never rise too high.

The Kaçkar trails are only open from June to early September - in fact some of them are snow covered until mid-July. The summit of Kaçkar, at 3992m, is snow-covered all year.

Best times to walk the Lycian Way
February – mid-March. Usually a clear spell with snow over 1000m and spring flowers at sea level. Early May – mid-June. Clear weather, the migration by transhumant shepherds with their flocks and plenty of flowers. Warm enough to swim. September – mid-November. Clear weather, occasional thunderstorms. Good swimming, autumn flowers in the mountains.

Best times to walk the St Paul Trail
Mid-February – mid-March. Usually a clear spell with snow on the peaks. Ideal for winter mountaineering –experienced climbers with GPS only. Early-May – mid-June. Occasional rain showers, but good spring flowers. Traces of snow on the mountains. Mid-June – end-October. Warm and clear. The shepherds are in their summer tents on the yaylas. Swimming in lakes and rivers. Mid-November – mid-February is the rainy season. Thunderstorms are common on the peaks.

Best times to walk in the Kaçkar
Mid-June - end September for treks between villages and yaylas. Go early if you want to raft on the Çoruh river. Go early or late if you want to see the bears - they come down to villages to feed at these times. If you want to climb Kaçkar, go mid-July to end August.

Which parts should I walk?
We prefer not to answer this question. Firstly, if I always answer the same way it concentrates walkers in one area of the routes. Secondly, it is difficult for us to know how fit you are or what your interests are? Thirdly, it all depends on the season. Finally, the book contains all the information for you to choose yourself!

In general, the Lycian Way starts easy and gets harder. The St Paul Trail's eastern branch down the Koprulu Canyon is harder than the west branch. But the section over the Yazili Canyon (Candir - Sutculer) is also hard. Although we do have our own favourite sections of each route, we prefer to keep that information to ourselves!

Is it safe to walk alone?
Yes, of course. There is one section on the St Paul Trail (Sipahiler Canyon) where I don't think inexperienced walkers should walk alone. This is because the route involves some scrambling. But there is a parallel footpath which is easy to use, although not waymarked. The Kaçkar are prone to mists - if you plan to walk alone, take a tent so you can shelter if the mist comes down. Do NOT walk in mist or blinding rain. For the Kaçkar we recommend a GPS.

Will I get lost?
Undoubtedly. That's part of the pleasure of walking. Plan your walk, read the book and look at the map and take your time. If you suddenly find yourself without waymarks, check the book, retrace your steps to the last mark and look in a 100m radius. If you don't find a mark, consider how it could have been destroyed. You'll soon sort yourself out. Then place a cairn to help the next victim!

Weather Forecast
A short term weather forecast is available from wunderground.com.

Emergencies
Take the phone number of your consulate and Kate’s number with you. Get the details and phone number of AKUT from their website in the area you are going to. If you have a GPS, take a reading before you phone for help.

Updates and Blogs
On the Culture Routes Society website you will find blogs for each route plus a new forum page. Updates to the books are included in the blogs.

Meet up with us
Some people e-mail us before or after they walk. Some send photos –we show some of these on the gallery page. Some send their GPS files. We really appreciate hearing from you.

You can visit us at our Antalya office (http://cultureroutesinturkey.com/c/contact-us/)

 


Middle Earth Travel
 
Trekking in Turkey by Kate Clow Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism