Monarch Guide to Turkey: hiking, climbing and rambling
If you itch for an active holiday, Turkey could be ideal for you. Between its long coast, which skirts three sides of the country, and its highest peak (the volcanic Mount Ararat) you’ll find just the right terrain for a hike, climb or ramble to suit you.
This glittering stretch of coast is a firm favourite for family holidays. It’s well known for watersports and ‘gulet’ cruises in traditional boats, but you’ll also find plenty of active diversions on dry land, including a hike to ancient Phellos or an excursion to explore the ruins at Patara Beach, where loggerhead turtles can be found nesting in the sand. Its popularity with families means it’s easy to book kids into fun activities, including canyon walks.
The limestone crag of Geyikbayiri is a gathering place for international sports-climbers. Among its 600 routes are awesome challenges for seasoned climbers, as well as climbs for beginners. It’s a great place for an adventure for families or couples – set in a beautiful scenic spot by the sea.
Best for: climbing for any level
Location: fly to Antalya airport (20km from Geyikbayiri)
The Lycian Way
Jaw-dropping sea views are the reward when you tackle this popular 500km path between Fethiye and Antalya. The Lycian Way is graded medium to hard (the easiest bits are near Fethiye), and there are plenty of ups and downs as it follows the coast. Walk in spring or autumn to avoid the summer heat, and break it into sections to suit your level by staying over in pensions or hotels on the way.
Best for: walking in manageable chunks
Location: fly to Antalya airport
The strange rock formations of Cappadocia create a moon-like landscape – a source of fascination for all ages. Take self-guided walks or book a tour for easy loops to suit most levels of fitness – even little legs. There’s so much to explore (think underground cities, rock castles, ‘fairy chimneys’ and cave churches) and weary travellers can get off their feet and enjoy the extraordinary terrain from above, by hot air balloon.
Best for: treks for all ages
Location: fly to Antalya and take a connecting domestic flight to Kayseri (one hour’s drive from Cappadoccia)
This ‘Turkish Saint-Tropez’ provides a perfect romantic idyll for honeymooners and couples. Take a ramble on the peninsula’s western tip, and finish in the seaside village of Gumusluk for spectacular sunsets over the Aegean and an alfresco seafood meal for two.
Best for: romantic rambles
Location: Fly to Bodrum airport