The Turquoise Coast Travel Guide
Trekking opportunities abound in this part of Turkey. For serious walkers, the 530-km (331-mile) Lycian Way is the standing challenge. When you have finished that there’s the Carian Trail (opened in 2013, it covers the country’s southwest corner, known to the ancients as Caria). Both have helpful websites for DIY types. If you prefer to have a guide, individually or as part of a group, contact Middle Earth Travel—the company can also provide camping equipment. The area is great for rafting trips, too. The three main areas are around Fethiye and Ölüdeniz, in Köprülü National Park near Antalya, and along Alanya's Dimçay River. You'll pass through soaring canyons and under Roman bridges. TransNature and the Alraft Rafting and Riding Club are two reputable operators in Alanya. In Side, Get Wet can arrange rafting, as well as a host of other outdoor activities. If sea kayaking is more your style, try Seven Capes in the Fethiye-Ölüdeniz area or Bougainville Travel in Kaş (the latter also offers scuba diving excursions).
History- and religion-oriented tours are not uncommon around the south coast, particularly due to its association with St. Paul, who evangelized the area. A 400-km (250-mile) trekking route known as the St. Paul Trail takes in some places he is known to have passed through. A guide isn't really necessary and trekkers are usually independent, but Middle Earth Travel does organize tours. More traditional weeklong bus trips look at Christian sites in the Antalya area before going on to Ephesus, where St. Paul preached in the theater. More information can be obtained from Paul's Place in Antalya.
If you want to book a local tour—anything from boat tours to trekking tours or local special-interest tours—you're best off wandering through the center of whatever town you're in. Choose a local travel agency that looks well kept, and chat with the owner. Don't hesitate to move politely on to another one if you feel hassled or inadequately served. You can also ask at your hotel: they're likely to recommend the agency that gives them the best commission, and they'll probably add a commission from you, too, but it can be worth the cost for convenience and reliability.
Alraft Rafting and Riding Club (242/513–9155.)
Bougainville Travel (242/836–3737. www.bougainville-turkey.com.)
Carian Trail (537/403–3779. www.cariantrail.com.)
Get Wet (242/753–4071. www.getwet.com.tr.)
Lycian Way (242/243–1148. www.lycianway.com.)
Middle Earth Travel (384/271–2559. www.middleearthtravel.com.)
Paul's Place (242/247–6857. www.stpaulcc-turkey.com/pauls-place.)
Seven Capes (537/403–3779. www.sevencapes.com.)
TransNature (242/324–0011. www.transnature.com.tr/eng/index.html.)