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Riding the Lycian Way

Overview

Discover ancient Lycia from horseback during this adventurous trail ride through southwestern Turkey and along its magnificent coastline. The Lycian Way is a famous hiking trail which explores some of the region's most scenic areas and most fascinating historical sites - the route covers everything…

Highlights

  • Explore the famous Lycian Way hiking trail
  • Enjoy long canters along the way
  • See some of Turkey's most amazing historical sites
  • Ride to Turkey's beautiful coastline
  • Experience the friendly local culture

Essential Facts

  • 1 itinerary available
  • Max 8 riders per group
  • Average of 4 - 5 hours riding per day
  • Weight limit: 80kg / 12st 8lbs / 176lbs

Description

Discover ancient Lycia from horseback during this adventurous trail ride through southwestern Turkey and along its magnificent coastline. The Lycian Way is a famous hiking trail which explores some of the region's most scenic areas and most fascinating historical sites - the route covers everything from friendly villages and forest trails to the coastal bays of a national park and the ancient city of Phaselis. This is an adventurous, varied ride for those who are fit to enjoy long canters and who don't mind camping as they explore the remnants of Lycian civilisation... if you love history, you are in for a real treat!

Your hostess, Halina, is a showjumper with extensive experience - the horses here are all schooled to be sensible and safe but forward-going and fun to ride. They are well fed and ridden in simply English-style tack. Solo travellers, friends, couples and families (with competent riders aged 10 and over) are all welcome to join this authentic trail during which you will meet local shepherds and hunters, experience life as a rural Turkish family, ride over Tahtali Mountain at over 2000 metres above sea level and maybe even swim with the horses in 'Turtle Bay'! This holiday is packed with incredible sites but most importantly gives you a glimpse of times gone by and of local culture.

Horses & Riding

Tack

The horses are ridden in functional English style tack.

Horses

Arabian horses and Arab crosses are mostly used on this trail. They are well fed and trained to be forward-going but safe.

Riding

There is 1 itinerary:

  • The Chimera Trail - Vanishing Civilisations is a trail ride

Ages

10+ (accompanied by an adult)

Health

General good health and fitness recommended.

Weight

80kg / 12st 8lbs / 176lbs

Food & Accommodation

Food

All meals are included in this programme from dinner on arrival day to breakfast on departure day.

During the trail you will be well fed - breakfasts and dinners are served in the traditional manner with lots of different dishes and salads. Lunches will usually consist of sandwiches eaten on the way. Water, tea, coffee and one glass of wine with each dinner is included.

When in the hotel, all meals are included but extra drinks are paid locally.

Accommodation

Guests stay in a garden hotel at the start and end of the trail, with spacious rooms and an en-suite shower room, but camp and sleep in huts and guesthouses during the trail.

Accommodation during this trail is basic and riders must be prepared to cope with basic/no facilities some nights. One night in the middle of the trail has proper beds and hot showers again to allow you to refresh yourself, you really only have 3 or sometimes 4 nights with limited facilities. Sleeping bags are provided for you but you will need some camping essentials with you such as warm pyjamas, a head torch and a power bank if you'd like to charge your phone/camera. You will be able to do a basic wash using a tap or hose sometimes along the way but this is a trail for adventurous spirits.

The hotel used at the start and end of the ride is actually the oldest ranch in the region which has been converted for tourism purposes. It is clean, comfortable, roomy and friendly with a slightly boho feel. There are chickens living in the garden and lots of beautiful plants. During peak season there is a swimming pool available but this is empty during the winter months. This hotel is not like your usual touristy sites and is generally better suited to riders, but they only accept payment for extras in cash.

Itineraries

The Chimera Trail - Vanishing Civilisations Basic / Tented accommodation.

Other Activities

This trail is aimed at riders but includes sightseeing, some hiking and swimming opportunities along the way. You may have some time for a bit of shopping too.

Travel

This trail starts and finishes approximately 45 mins - 1 hour drive from Antalya airport. You will be met outside the terminal building by your hosts or one of their representatives.

Itinerary & Pricing

Day 1 - Arrival Day

Riding: No riding.

Your hosts will collect you at Antalya airport, help you to check in at your hotel and invite you out for a welcome dinner. You'll be sleeping in the oldest ranch of the area, now conquered by the city and renovated as a hotel but still keeping its atmosphere - jungle-like gardens, birds, equestrian decor dotted around and even the old stable converted to a gym.

Day 2 - Horses and History

Riding: 1 - 2 hours

After breakfast in the hotel you'll be picked up and driven a short way to meet the horses. You'll get to know them as you groom and tack them up, before mounting up in the arena for a quick test ride. You'll then head out into the forest for an intro ride of a few hours, allowing your hosts to check that you and your horse are well-matched before the trail begins. The ride today includes gardens, the ruins of an ancient village, springs and a small palm forest.

After the ride there will be a short brief of the trail, with an explanation of the route, before you are dropped back at the hotel to change for lunch and your first look at this area's incredible history. A comfortable bus will take you to Çirali to see both natural and manmade wonders - first you will visit the ancient city of Olympos, thought to have been founded in the 3rd century BC. The ruins are located near the beach, at the mouth of a river running down from the mountains. After a walk on the beach with magnificent views you will climb to Chimera mountain which is notable for its constantly-burning fires. The area is called Yanartaş and is where methane and other gases emerge from the rock, alight and burn. Some ancient sources consider it to be the origin of the myth of the Chimera monster! Your guide will tell you more... this place has a lot of legends surrounding it!

Dinner tonight in a restaurant with a sea view before you return to your hotel.

Day 3 - Phaselis Ancient City and Secret Bays

Riding: 3 - 4 hours

After breakfast you will check out from the hotel, prepare your horse, pack your saddlebags and hand your main luggage over to the safety of the support vehicle. Anything you don't need for the trail can be stored safely until you return from the ride. Your luggage in the vehicle will be available to you each night.

You will ride out from the town and head to the bay of the ancient city of Phaselis, not only a historically rich place to visit but also situated in a beautiful national park, perfect to enjoy on a sunny day. Phaselis was one of the most important cities of the Lycian league and the Roman ruins are well-preserved with the three harbours still used as beaches today. The word 'Phaselis' means "the place protected by Gods" in Ancient Greek. Most ruins here date back to the Roman and Byzantine periods - you can see how Roman baths were functioning and visit the incredible amphitheatre with spaces for 1500 spectators. The site is awash with architectural wonders.

Lunch today will be eaten here in the city before you ride through the village of Tekirova to secret turtle bays. Your group is allowed to enter into this national park area where the Caretta turtle species nests - this area is closed for other tourists but you are allowed to stay (your hosts respect the nature). You will spend a night here camping, swimming with the horses and cantering on the beach.

Day 4 - Mountains and Villages

Riding: 5 - 6 hours

The trail route starts to head up into the mountains today but the path is surrounded by beautiful bays and untouched nature as you begin. The sparkling rocks are full of metal here and underground rivers bring moisture to the surface, allowing flowers to grow on the rocks too. This forest along the seaside feels like some parts of Tanzania.

Today's ride is a longer day and there is a lot of walking and trotting today, but some canters too. Your lunch break is in the forest and then you will leave this part of history behind you and move towards more modern day. The riding day ends up in a small mountain village which has a mosque and a guesthouse in the trees. The local people here breed cows, sheep and goats and make their own honey and cheese. You'll take care of the horses and can enjoy a hot shower, internet connection and sleeping in these simple bungalows (but with proper beds).

Day 5 - Roman Gods and Goats

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

After breakfast it's time to prepare the horses. Today you will climb to almost 2000m above sea level to Olympos Mountain. In ancient times this mountain was called Olympus, the home of the gods, a name it shares with many other high mountains (such as the famous Mount Olympus in Greece). In Turkish the mountain is called Tahtali which originates from the word 'taht' meaning 'throne' in Turkish, ie. the throne of the gods. Nowadays you cannot meet gods here but this is the perfect place to find god in yourself. On top of the mountain you can see all around the coastline and feel that the world belongs to you.

The weather changes as you reach these high territories without trees, you can almost touch the clouds. You will have lunch near the top and let the horses eat the juicy grass of the highland meadows. This is a place where people live in peace with nature and their animals... no internet and no electricity. You will meet shepherds with their herds and famous Turkish sheepdogs called 'kangal' or 'Turkish lion', they look similar! Some of the shepherds work from horseback.

After reaching the highest point you will start to make your way back down to the next village. You will spend the night in a local Turkish house, built around two centuries ago.

Day 6 - Byzantine Routine

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

Today you visit the ruins of a Byzantine castle. There were no famous battles here, it was the seat of local government and a tax office - village people delivered their crops to go to the emperor. When the empire collapsed, the castle fell into disrepair and villagers started to use materials from the castle for their own buildings.

After sightseeing you'll saddle the horses and head to a hidden valley in the mountains. This is the perfect place for long, fast canters! You'll end up back at the village for another night in the old house.

Day 7 - Home Sweet Home

Riding: 4 - 5 hours

This is your last riding day and you will begin making your way back home, riding through the mountain forest alongside the river as it runs into a beautiful canyon. There will be long canters today and a restful walk down the hill. You can stop to drink clean, fresh, mountain water and to swim in the canyon and take photos. This will also be your lunch break.

After lunch you will re-enter the modern local district of Aslanbucak. You will see how modest and simple houses of farmers start to change to villas and the homes of people working in tourism. After a week of immersion in history and nature you will slowly come back to the civilised world. You will trot to the stable, take care of your horses for the last time and leave them to rest. Tonight you will have dinner back in the hotel.

Day 8 - Goodbye

Riding: No riding.

Today is your departure day and your hosts will take you back to the airport. If your flight leaves later in the day, you might have time to visit the beach or go shopping in Kemer.

Experience Intermediate / Experienced

This trail is for intermediate riders and above - you must be comfortable riding at rising trot and a fast canter in an English saddle. There are sometimes long periods of canter so good fitness is essential. Riders prepare and saddle their own horse.

Minimum group size 2
Maximum group size 8
Departure windows

At any time during: Jan. 6, 2024 - Dec. 20, 2025  (Saturday starts - rides open on request for two or more riders (subject to availability).)

April 20, 2024 - April 27, 2024

May 26, 2024 - June 2, 2024

June 2, 2024 - June 9, 2024

July 7, 2024 - July 14, 2024

Sept. 1, 2024 - Sept. 8, 2024

Sept. 8, 2024 - Sept. 15, 2024

Oct. 6, 2024 - Oct. 12, 2024  (Itinerary is 1 night shorter, please contact us for details.)

Oct. 12, 2024 - Oct. 18, 2024  (Itinerary is 1 night shorter, please contact us for details.)

Oct. 20, 2024 - Oct. 27, 2024

Nov. 3, 2024 - Nov. 10, 2024

Nov. 17, 2024 - Nov. 24, 2024

Pricing

2024/2025
Rider, shared accommodation (high season)
£1685 $2140 €2000
High season price includes May to October.
2024/2025
Rider, shared accommodation (low season)
£1475 $1870 €1750
Low season price includes November to April.
Included Antalya airport transfers, 7 nights of accommodation (mix of hotels, camping and huts), all meals, select drinks during the trail ride, riding and entrance fees.
Not included Flights, travel insurance, drinks in hotels, personal expenses or tips for guides/staff.

Extras

2024/2025 - Single Supplement £169 $210 €200
Paid to Far and Ride
Low season price - November to April
2024/2025 - Single Supplement £250 $320 €300
Paid to Far and Ride
High season price - May to October
Note: All programmes and itineraries are weather dependent; in the face of adverse, or unexpected, weather conditions reasonable attempts will be made to provide equivalent riding. All programmes are accurate at the time of writing. However, the team may adapt or modify details, whilst aiming to provide a similar experience.