St. Paul Trail 10-day Guided Tour


This continuous trek starts from the ruins of Perge (east of Antalya) and follows parts of the eastern branch of the long distance walk from Perge to Antioch in Pisidia (Yalvaç), deep in the Taurus mountains. The trek allows you to immerse yourself in the way of life of the inhabitants of the old stone and timber villages along the route; you will frequently stay in village houses, see the local handcrafts, watch cheese and yoghurt making and enjoy the tasty village foods.
The trip includes a visit to the major Greek/Roman city of Perge as well as many opportunities to look at bulbs and birds during the walks. Our trail follows beautiful sections of Roman roads and migration routes in use since Roman times (and perhaps even walked by st Paul himself) in this spectacular area of forests, canyons, rivers and peaks.

Dates for 2017

9 September – 18 September

Itinerary

      Day 1: Meeting at Antalya airport
      Day 2–9: Trek on St. Paul trail
      Day 10: Transfer to Antalya airport

Equipment

Trekkers should have good quality hard soled trekking boots, rain gear, swim wear, sun hat, sun glasses and sun cream, and a 30-40 litre day sack. Walking sticks are recommended.

Accommodation and Meals

  • Accommodation: 1 night in a hotel, 1 night in a farmhouse, 2 nights in village houses and 5 nights in a pension.
  • Meals: Evening meals are soups or salads, a main course and fruit or sweet. Lunches are picnics, barbecues or local restaurant lunches. Breakfasts are arranged in the accommodations. Trekkers are expected to carry some of the food for lunch.



Grade

Grade B/C: Grade B trekking averages 5/6 hrs per day with daypack (including breaks). All luggage is transported to the next night’s stop. Optional ascent of Davraz mountain includes some scree (6/7 hrs). Grade C demands hiking experience and fitness to tackle steep slopes and narrow stoney paths for up to 8 hours per day.

Price

  • 790 Euros per person. Minimum group size 8 pax. For groups under 8 people, a surcharge of 75 € p.p. is required
  • Included: All transfers (also from/to Antalya) and luggage transfers, 9 nights accommodation, guide, meals (breakfast, lunches, dinners).
  • Excluded: Water, soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, tips, entrance fees to historical sites and museums.

Detailed Tour Program

Tour Programme

Day 1: Meeting at Antalya airport and transfer to the hotel in Kaleiçi, the historical city centre of Antalya (30 mins). You are surrounded by old mansions, hamams and mosques in the small medieval city centre. Welcome dinner in local restaurant. Overnight in hotel in Kaleiçi, Antalya.

Day 2: Visit ancient Perge and walk Oluk Köprü – Tefvik’s house (1 hr, 4 km) We drive from Antalya to the Köprülü Canyon (1,5 hrs). On the way we will visit and explore the ancient site of Perge which used to be an important harbour city in the Roman period. From Perge we drive inland to the starting point of the walk near a beautifully preserved Roman bridge (Oluk Köprü) across the Köprülü canyon, at some of the icy cold sources of the river. After a short walk on the st. Paul Trail, we will reach Tevfik’s house in the forest in the Kuves neighbourhood. Dinner and overnight in the farm house with separate wooden bungalows for the guests.

Day 3: Walk Selge – Çaltepe (6 hrs, 18 km) A 30 min. transfer takes us to the ancient city of Selge. After exploring Selge with its many house ruins, a huge theater and public buildings spread over several hillsides, we start our walk on the old roman road to Çaltepe village following the st. Paul Trail. Dinner and overnight in a family-run pension in Çaltepe, Barca Evi.

Day 4: Walk Kesme – Kasımlar (6 hrs, 16 km) We drive to Kesme (1hr) where we visit some Roman ruins near Kesme and walk from there to Kasımlar, passing rural huts, ancient ruins and meeting many goats along the way. The spectacular route will take us over the rim of the canyon on old paved paths, down through rock formations to a bridge across the Köprülü river. From here we walk the last distance up into the village of Kasımlar, located on the canyon slopes, with incredible views down the whole length of the canyon. Dinner and overnight in a family-run village house in Kasımlar, Abdurrahman’s village house.

Day 5: Walk Tota Pasture – Kasımlar (6,5 hrs, 18 km) We drive in appr. 20 mins. from Kasımlar to the Tota pasture. The walk takes us from this Tota pasture along a ridge top to the ruins of a Byzantine church and settlement. The descent is through the forest, which has an abundance of miniature wild tulips and other bulbs. From our high position we can enjoy the spectacular views. The walk finishes at the village house in Kasımlar. Dinner and overnight in a family-run village house in Kasımlar, Abdurrahman’s village house.

Day 6: Visit Adada and walk Sipahiler-Serpil (6 hrs, 18 km) Transfer by car to Adada (20 mins) where we visit the remains of this once important ancient city. Three major roman temples are still standing along with the smallest ancient theatre in Anatolia. We then walk down along the well-preserved section of ancient roman road where St. Paul actually must have walked himself (!) to Sağrak village (1hr/3 km). Then we drive to Sipahiler to start our longer walk which goes over a pass in the forest then across spectacular limestone ridges and through indigenous oak forest. The route then descends to the small village of Serpil surrounded by orchards. We drive to Eğirdir for our overnight. Dinner and overnight in a friendly lake-side pension in Eğirdir.

Day 7: Walk Kasnak forest – Davraz ski resort (7 hrs, 16 km) Today our walk starts (after a 30 mins. transfer) from a National Park for the protection of the endemic ‘volcanic oak’ forest. We follow a forest path up to Belkuyu pass (ascend from ca. 800 to 2100m). The route of yesterday’s walk is under our feet as we climb the high pass. We descend to the other side and to the Davraz ski resort. Our vehicle meets us there for a short transfer back to the pension in Eğirdir. Dinner and overnight in our friendly lake-side pension in Eğirdir:

Day 8: Ascent of mt Davraz (8 hrs, 12 km) Weather permitting, we transfer from Eğirdir to Mount Davraz ski resort (20 mins).We have an early start to ascend the peak of Mt Davraz (H: 2635m). After a steep ascent, partly on scree and snow patches, we reach the peak to be rewarded with great views of all the surroundings and Lake Eğirdir. There is the possibility to observe many rare bulbs and some birds of prey along the way. We retrace our steps and drive back to the pension in Eğirdir. Dinner and overnight in our friendly lake-side pension in Eğirdir.

Day 9: Walk Akpınar – Sivri hill (4 hrs, 8 km) After a short transfer to Akpınar village we walk to the Prostanna ruins and through the ruins we continue to the top of Sivri Hill (1800m). Here we can enjoy amazing views across lake Eğirdir and the town as well as the surrounding mountains. We walk back along the same route and enjoy a traditional lunch in Akpınar at a family-run restaurant with terraces viewing the lake. We drive back to Eğirdir for our last night. Dinner and overnight in our friendly lake-side pension, Eğirdir.

Day 10: Visit ancient Sagalassos and departure We start our return to Antalya. On the way we visit the amazing site of ancient Sagalassos. It is impressive to see the fountain of the city which has been repaired with clay pipes and is filled with water coming from the original source just as it did 2000 years ago. If time allows, there is some free time in the afternoon for relaxing or some last-minute shopping in Antalya city centre, before the transfer to Antalya airport for your departure flight.

James Grazebrook Monday, October 19, 2015
Dear Deniz, Carol and I wanted to thank you for a second, brilliant, walking holiday. In 2014 you organised a six day walk for us along St Paul’s Way. In 2015 you built in two days on the Lycian Way followed by a further five days on St Paul’s Way. We could not have enjoyed ourselves more. The navigation notes for both were excellent and we found our way with almost no difficulty, even though we didn’t see another walker at all on St Paul’s Way. We love walking in beautiful scenery and in remote areas and you once again triumphed. Physically the walks were well within my 65 years old capability and we kept within the guide times except when we stopped to look at villages, Roman ruins etc., and to talk to goatherds or simply for a long picnic lunch. The hotels were as we expected – basic but good, with Fulya Pension in Eğirdir winning first prize for help ferrying us around, and Olympus Mountain Lodge, on the Lycian way being the most beautiful – as well as luxurious!
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