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Lycian Way Self Guided Options

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My husband and I want to trek the Lycian Way for about a week during April 2015. Overall we'll be in Turkey for about 20 days so I was planning on having at least one bag of checked luggage. However, that means we have to find a way to transport our luggage along the trek. From what I see we have two options:

1. Work with a tour company that offers self guided tours. They plan the itinerary, take care of most of the food and all of the overnight stays. They also transport you and your luggage along the way. The cheapest options I've seen is about $450 per person. This sounds very convenient but I assume it would be a lot cheaper to plan everything out ourselves

2. Travel light. We could manage with just a backpack for our whole trip through Turkey. We would have to plan out where to stay (no camping for us because I don't want to worry about tents/stoves) along the trek as well as the itinerary and transportation to the start of the trek. Has anyone else done this? How much did planning it out on your own cost? Was it worth the time you spent planning it on your own?

Aside from trekking the Lycian way I think we'll spend the majority of our time in Istanbul. I don't enjoy participating in the typical tourist activities. I'm sure we'll go to the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque but aside from that I want to truly experience Istanbul. What are some other cities we need to make sure we check out?

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    We have not walked the Lycian way but have a fairly good idea of the areas it goes through, the terrain and available lodging.

    Although you have not said how many days the cheapest option of $450/person guided tour covers it sounds good for anything over 4 days for the convenience if not for anything else.

    It would be rather difficult for you to find enough information for what you would face in terms of difficulty because of the mountains, the sheep dogs, the streams (possible problem in April), cold weather at high elevations and hot at lower, lodging possibilities at villages and small towns which do not have hotels, etc. You would also be buying security and avoiding risk in case of strains, sprains and other mishaps.

    I believe that the Western part will be quite a bit easier, starting from Fethiye and more populated while the Eastern from Antalya will involve higher mountains and longer wild stretches.

    If you have time, have a look at my trip reports for parts of Lykia and other places, like Datca, Bozdag, Anamur, Assos, etc.

    For Istanbul, I strongly recommend neighborhoods on the Bosphorus, hikes up the hills and cafes and restaurants at seaside. Emirgan, Yenikoy, Arnavutkoy, Ortakoy, on the European side and Kuzguncuk, Cengelkoy, Kandilli, Anadoluhisar, Kanlica on the Asian side. I have given some info on ferries and transportation for these visits on a recent thread related to the Bosphorus.

    Advanced hikes (definitely recommend guided) are available for Eastern Black Sea involving Kackar mountains, Savsat, Macahel, Yusufeli, Uzun Gol, Zigana Pass, Sumela Monastery. These are mostly nature treks but may also include some fortresses and ruins of Georgian churches from the possibly longest reigning kingdom in the world (never bowing to the Ottomans, the Seljukis, the Armenians, the Persians but falling to the Russians sometime in the 19th century.

    20 days is too short to cover more than Lykia, istanbul and Cappadocia.

    The Easter Black Sea area will be wet and treacherous, although we enjoyed Western Black Sea about mid April sating at a terrific village mansion at Pinarbasi and visiting a very interesting waterfall and easy canyon and just walking to the top of the path that looks down upon a very dangerous canyon called Vala.

    You will have seen enough Greek/Roman antique cities on the Lykian Way so you may actually give a miss to Ephesus, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias.

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