At the end of September, I was finally able to set out on a journey that had been in plan for three months. I was aiming to tour all the delights and historical sites of the south west coast of Turkey. I had one month to complete the tour, 5000 Turkish lira to cover expenses and I was a 35 year old female traveling solo. On the agenda were many destinations including the beautiful resort of Kaş, the rustic village of Cirali and the lively town of Fethiye.
Now this dream was quite a challenge for me. I had never travelled solo before. I was used to travelling with my husband who handles the money therefore eliminating the need for any budgeting or monetary concerns on my behalf. I also have a hopeless sense of direction and have never been able to read a map and end up in the planned destination. Having always relied on someone else when travelling, I decided that I needed a route to follow and this would be the Lycian Way.
The Lycian Way But I did it my way
If you have not heard of this route before, it is a 509km trekking route that stretches along the south-west coast of Turkey and comprises of a number of ancient sites along the way. Ancient sites were definitely on my list as Turkey is quite impressive when it comes to showcasing its vibrant and colourful history from the Lycian and Roman periods. The problem is that I have no interest in trekking and the estimation is that it would take 3 months to complete this south west tour. So how did I complete the route?
To get from one destination to another, I cheated and used public transport which along this stretch of the south west coast is absolutely brilliant. Cheap, frequent and direct. If public transport is not your idea of fun, driving in this area is really easy as there is a stretch of the road that runs alongside of the Mediterranean Sea so it is virtually impossible to get lost. I booked hotels no more than two days in advance and moved on only when I felt that I had seen all that a location had to offer.
Things to Do on the South West CoastI have already mentioned that there are a number of ancient sites that are enough to fill the memory stick on your camera full of holiday pictures. Myra, the church of Saint Nicholas, Tlos and Phaseslis were all sites that gave me a great insight into the history of the south west coast.
However, I also learned that the South West Coast is more interesting and varied than any other area in Turkey. I have travelled to tour hotspots such as Cappadocia and Istanbul but the South west coast can definitely claim the throne when it comes to satisfying holiday makers no matter whether they are young, old, couples, solo travellers or large groups of friends.
I met a group of friends in Kaş who were excited to paraglide off the top of a mountain one day and go scuba diving the next. In Kemer, I made German friends and spent time at the top of Mount Tahtali and swinging through the trees at the Adventure Park Course. In Ölu Deniz, I caught a water taxi and found myself in the most beautiful location of Butterfly valley.
The great aspect about the south west coast is that you can tailor-make your own idea of a perfect holiday. Adventure sports, historical sites, trekking routes and places of natural beauty are in abundance. Alternatively, if your idea of a great holiday is simply to relax and soak up the rays of the sun then you can do that as well on beaches that are classed as some of the best in the world such as Cirali, Kaputaş beach near Kaş and of course the protected 18km beach of Patara.
Fulfilling my dreamAt the end of a month, I arrived home penniless and broke. You may think that my new found status that qualified me to be classed as a poor person could be depressing however my spirits were high. In that month, I had taken over 2500 photos, stayed in seven hotels, made many new friends and completed activities outside of my comfort zone like sea kayaking in Kaş. The money, the time and the experiences were all worth it. The only problem is that the next destination will have to be something special to ever match my experiences of the South West coast of Turkey.
Links to a few articles written by Natalie:
An article about her experience at the Adventure Forest Park:
Adventure Rope Climbing In Kemer
You can also read more about Natalie here:.
Random Traveller #27 Posted on 22. Oct, 2010 by Kirsty in Meet A Random Traveller
Turkayfe interviews the inspiring writer behind Turkish Travel Blog: Natalie Sayın