Lycian Way Orchid Walk


This brand new tour is the combination of a trekking holiday and a bird/plant observation trip. Instead of driving long distances from one “flower spot” to another we do nicely paced walks which are designed to give you ample time to let you take pictures of nature, plants and even allowing time enough for nature observations such as bird watching. We try to minimize the “bus time” and to spend as much time as possible in the nature walking without the pressure to keep up with a trekking tempo at the cost of missing photo and observation opportunities. We call it the Orchid Walk since we will see many lovely wild orchids but the paths we will visit have many other species, some of which are endemic and/or very rare.
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2017 Departure Dates

  • 9 April – 16 April

Itinerary

Day 1: Transfer from Antalya to hotel in Ovacık
Day 2-7: Lycian Way walk
Day 8: Return to Antalya.

Equipment

Trekkers should have good quality hard soled trekking boots, raingear, swimwear, sunhat, sunglasses and suncream and a 20-30 Lt. daysack. Walking sticks are recommended.

Accommodation and Meals

Accommodation: 7 nights in hotel or pension: We stay small, local, preferably family run, boutique hotels, hotels and pensions with a personal touch.
Meals: Evening meals are soup or salads, main course and fruit or sweet. We love our food in Turkey. We believe it is one of the tastiest and healthiest cuisines of the world. During the tour, you will enjoy natural, regional and rich Turkish food accompanied by freshly pressed fruit juices and beverages.
Lunches will be picnics and trekkers are expected to carry some part of the food, but we don’t skimp here- our packed lunches are wonderful and we include plentiful trail snacks like dried fruit and nuts along the way too.

Grade

Grade A : means that you will be on trek for 2-4 max hours per day. A reasonable level of fitness is required for this type of trekking holiday and you should be in good health.

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Price

Price: 780 € per person Minimum group size 8 and maximum 16 pax. For groups under the minimum number, a surcharge of 75 € p.p. is added to the price.

Included: all transfers and luggage transfers during the tour (also from/to Antalya), all accommodation, guide, all meals (breakfast, lunches and diners, except last dinner in Kaş)

Excluded: last dinner in Kaş, soft drinks and alcoholic drinks, tips and entrance fees to historical sites and museums

lycian way

Detailed Tour Programme

Day 1: ARRIVAL DAY On arrival at Antalya airport you will be met by your driver and tour guide. We will transfer and check in at the hotel in Ovacık (ca. 45 mins.). Welcome drink and dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Ovacık.

Day 2: EXPLORATION ÇUKURYAYLA We drive from the hotel up to Gedelme village. From here we drive up with jeeps to Çukuryayla (or as near as we can get depending on the snow and road condition) and start walking from here. As we drive up the forestry road we will see carpets of crocuses, scillas, cyclamen, gages, anemones. At Çukuryayla we will have a picnic lunch. Wandering around will lead us to discoveries of patches of corydalis, paeonia and frittilaria elwesii. Nice day for birdwatchers as well with Krüper’s nuthatches, tree creepers common in the forest and possibly some raptors up in the rocky mountain areas. Beautiful Lebanese cedars form a fantastic background and a mixed forest of juniper, pine and oak make it a great spot for a short forest walk. Dinner and overnight in same hotel in Ovacik.

Day 3: WALKS PHASELIS – SUNDANCE & ULUPINAR – CHIMAERA – ÇIRALI In the morning we walk from the ancient coastal site of Phaselis to nearby Sundance Camp. Lunch can be either at Sundance or -depending on timing- further up in Ulupınar. In the afternoon we descend from Ulupınar to the coastal village of Çıralı. On the way we visit the eternal burning flames of Chimaera. Dinner and overnight in hotel in Çıralı.

Phaselis is the city where Alexander the Great spent a winter before going to the east to fight the Persian emperor Darius II. In addition to the impressive roman and lycian ruins, the site also holds some wonderful plants and birds. Several bee orchids including ophyrs minos and ophrys sicula can be found. Umbilicuses, glaucicum gracile which is a strange pink hued poppy and limodorums are few to mention. The marsh land right next to the ruins is a good place to watch herons, ducks and some other waders. Sundance camp sits on a bay where a small river snakes its way to the sea. Thanks to its owners it is untouched and unspoiled and holds a great variety of plants and birds. Medicagos, lotuses, stocks and rare Anchusa aggregata spread in each direction. Herons and waders can be seen by the river and the pine trees are homes for warblers, shrikes, buntings and serins.

Chimaera. This ancient site of an extraordinary natural phenomena has natural flames sprouting from the rocks for as long as humans can remember. It is a place of myths, and temples of several different religions which replaced each other one after another all through its history. On the way to the site, on both sides of the stone paved path there are patches of bee orchids, orchises, lavandulas, anthillys, coronillas and lotuses, lathyruses and echiums. Krupers nuthatch and tree creeper frequent the trees. Rüppell’s Warblers, Sombre Tits and summer visitors such as Cretzschmar’s and Ortolan Buntings are other birds to look out for.

Day 4: VISIT ANCIENT OLYMPOS & WALK MADEN BEACH – ÇIRALI We visit ancient Olympos where we explore the ruins of this once powerful coastal city. In the afternoon we take the boat to Maden beach and walk from Maden beach back to Çıralı. Dinner and overnight in same pension in Çıralı.

The ruins of ancient Olympos are another great plant site as it is protected from the goats by the fences. Several orchids, lathyruses and peripleca greaca can be encountered here. Maden beach is the site of an old abandoned chrome mine, this beach and the headlands we will walk on top of, have rich ferrous soil. The walk from here back to Çıralı gives us a chance to see asphodelines, ophyrs ferrum-equinum, tuberaria guttata, paronychia species that grow on the rocks, a very white leaved inula heterolepis and more.

Day 5: ADRASAN – MELANIPPE – FINIKE On the way to Adrasan great stop with several ophrys, orchis and serapes species along with frittilaria elwesii and frittilaria ecmopetala. Adrasan is another lovely small bay with some marshes where the river meets the sea. Purple herons, little bitterns and other waders and skimmers are usually observed here. On one of the headlands a lovely, short form of tulip orhanidae grows commonly like little drops of fire. Melanippe has ophryses and orchis purpurea. On the way to the hotel in Finike we try our luck by the river estuary to see kingfishers.

Day 6: VISIT OF LIMYRA, ANDRIAKE & WALK KAPAKLI – SIMENA In the morning we visit the ancient site of Limyra for the ruins and for bird watching. Some plants as well and lizards and other reptiles are to be spotted amongst the ruins. Then we drive to Andriake. This is another ancient site also very good for bird watching and some ophryses. It is next to a marshland area so walking around in the ruins and looking at birds and flowers will be leisurely. This is a great place to picture gamma lizards who sunbathe on the ancient stones. And with some luck and good timing birds of pray such as booted eagles, imperial eagles will be spending a few days in the area on their way to the north. In the afternoon we walk from Kapaklı downhill along an old footpath to Simena. Arriving at this castle on the coast you will be surprised by the ancient tombs in the graveyard and the beautiful views to the Kekova islands across the bay. Transfer to Kaş (45 mins). Dinner in town and overnight in Kaş.

Day 7: VISIT MOUNTAIN VILLAGE & WALK ÇUKURBAĞ – KAŞ) Transfer to a cemetery in a small mountain village. This fantastic site has more than 10 different orchid species (Orchis italics, orchis simian and ophyrses). We will enjoy a picnic lunch after which we drive to Çukurbağ and walk down to Kaş. Dinner and overnight in Kaş.

Day 8: DEPARTURE Transfer to Antalya airport (2,5 hrs).


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