Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Trekking Around Fethiye - Kayaköy to Ölü Deniz




The Fethiye weather is still pretending it's summer but we could wait no longer. It's so long since we went for a little hike in the hills surrounding Fethiye that yesterday, we just decided to go for it. It was hot but bearable and we had a lovely time - it was just great to be out walking again. A couple of friends came with us and we took a little picnic because there's a beautiful spot to sit and catch your breath on the trek from Kayaköy to Ölü Deniz.

This post is going to be in two parts because there are quite a few photos and also a few bits of information we need to include that are important.


The first two bits of important information are:
  • Don't set off on this walk in your flip flops or flimsy shoes. As you descend to Ölü Deniz, it's quite rough underfoot - rocky, dusty (mud after rain), rubbly, and there's also scree just before you reach the lagoon in Ölü Deniz.
  • Make you sure you take some water along. There is nowhere on the route between Kayaköy and Ölüdeniz where you can find fresh water, so it's always wise to take a litre or two with you - especially in the warmer months.
This route is often recommended as a 'loosener' for people attempting Kate Clow's Lycian Way.

Right, let's go trekking!

Higher Church In Kayaköy
A beautiful start to an amazing walk
We've done a post on Kayaköy in the past, and if you've never been before, the ruins are worth exploring before you begin the walk. 
  • We always start the route from the big pink church in the middle of the ruins so to begin with, get yourself up there. It's possible to enter the church and there are beautiful views over the Kayaköy ruins and over the valley, pebbled mosaics on the floor of the church itself and a few reminders of the decorative paintwork that must have covered the whole ceiling in the past.
    Kayaköy Higher Church
    Best foot forward - set off through this archway
  • On leaving the church, stand with your back to the entrance door and you will see this archway slightly to your left. This is the exit point you need. (This courtyard is a great place for getting some half-decent photographs of Kaya by the way.)
Lycian Way Marker Leads The Way
A clear way marker - but it's the only one along the route!
As soon as you go through the archway, you will be able to see this sign, pointing you in the right direction. The path will lead you on a steady climb up through the ruins of the former homes of the Greek population who used to live in the area.
Kayaköy to Ölü Deniz Walk
Your main helper in getting you to Ölü Deniz
There are loads of little nooks and crannies to explore amongst the ruins and there is obviously more than one path. For hikers aiming for Ölü Deniz, on some of the ruins, there are makeshift Ölü Deniz signs stuck to walls here and there but you must also keep your eyes peeled for these red and yellow stripes. 

This is the next important point.
If you're chatting and you lose the waymarkers, it doesn't matter so much whilst you're still amongst the ruins as you can soon pick them up again. However, once you get onto the mountainside, make sure you concentrate on following the paint markers. They are on walls and rocks along the ground.

Looking Back Over The Ruins of Kayaköy
Beautiful views over the Kayaköy ruins and the valley, below
The way markers will lead you right to the top of the ruins. And don't worry if you get out of puff (it is a bit of a pull in hot weather) because you can keep turning round to take photographs or just admire the views over the valley. Incidentally, the road you can see winding down the hill right in the distance is the road you come down if you are hiking from Fethiye to Kayaköy.

This is likely to be your last view of the ruins as the rocky path now continues uphill, through scrub, and you can see the top of the hill lined with trees. Some of the red and yellow way markers are peeling off but you can still see enough to guide you upwards. You'll be pleased to know that the top of the hill in your eye line is actually the top of the hill. It's not one of those false ones where you get there and then see another huge climb ahead of you. Bonus! And bonus number 2: you've got all the climbing out of the way.


At this point, you will be feeling a sense of achievement, you'll have some fabulous photos of Kayaköy and your legs will forget they are aching. You'll be able to start part 2 of the Kayaköy to Ölüdeniz walk with gusto.


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