St. Paul Trail is the second long distance walking route of Turkey. It runs some 500 kms, starting from just east of Antalya, into the lake district of Turkey. It passes through some of the greenest parts of the Taurus mountains where natural pine, cedar, oak and juniper forests abound. Then it descend into the Lakes district with its fertile plains full of fruit trees and fields. It follows some of the Roman roads used by St Paul on his journey from Perge, on the south coast, to Antioch in Pisidia, near Lake Eğirdir. Untouched by time, the pastoral life style, the richness of history, the beauty of the nature and diversity of wild life gives this area almost everything a trekker would like to encounter on a walk. As Middle Earth team we are proud to have been a part of St Paul Project from the very early stages. We helped Kate Clow, (the author of the St Paul Trail book and the creator of the project) with route finding, field research, waymarking and organization of the trail. We don’t think it is too much to say: “We have the best equipped team to run tours on this beautiful route.” Our programs include a guided tour and self-guided option that can also be made into taillor made holidays on request.
The Turkish Lakes are a series of huge shallow lakes trapped between the folds of the northern Taurus mountains and the Sultan mountains. At an average altitude of 1000m, they are surrounded by peaks which rise to 3000m. On their shores are the old Selçuk towns of Beyşehir, Eğirdir and Burdur, and many small villages and summer pastures overlook their tranquil waters. Often frozen in winter, the lakes are a haven for migrating birds, and the surrounding meadows and marshes support a huge mix or orchids and other wild flowers, as well as apple orchards in abundance. Best times to visit are in spring/summer from mid-May to end September, when the weather is almost guaranteed to be perfect and the water is warm enough for swimming.
- On the way it takes in the summits of the three major peaks;
- Davraz-near Eğirdir (2560m)
- Dedegöl – near Beyşehir (2998m)
- Barla – near Eğridir (2799m)
All the peaks are snow-capped from December to May, and offer some wonderful winter climbing, snowshoeing and, on Davraz, skiing. In summer when the snow has melted bulbs are a bright contrast to the green turf, and the peaks are a cool haven from the summer heat.