Turkey has five long distance trekking routes and collections of shorter trails: The Lycian Way –opened in 1999, The St Paul Trail –opened in 2004 and the Kaçkar trails –opened in 2008, were all made by Kate Clow.
The first two are about 500km long. Kate Clow with help from Terry Richardson researched designed and implemented all these trails. Many other volunteers helped. Kate produced the guide books and maps, assisted by Terry Richardson, who took photos, George Zsiga, who drew the maps and Ueli Aellig and others who took GPS readings.
Both long-distance trails are 'way-marked' with red-white paint flashes every 100m or less. The Kaçkar trails are not waymarked, since they are snow-covered for many months of the year. All are described in the guide books and maps. Before you walk, you can get up to date information on the 'update' pages of this web site.
The long-distance trails were authorized by the Turkish Ministry of Culture.
The new route, the Evliya Çelebi Way, runs from the Sea of Marmara (Hersek) to İznik, Bursa, Kütahya, Afyonkarahısar and Uşak, following the route and narrow paved roads used by Evliya as he set out on a pilgrimage to Mecca in 1671. The route can be traveled by horse, as Evliya did, as well as on foot. The project was initiated and implemented by Ottoman Historian Caroline Finkel. The book and map will be published and be available on this website in May 2011.
The projects consist of:
Books - which give you background and historical information about the areas, and describe the routes in detail, with times and distances and altitude profiles.
Maps - included with each book - show key points on the route. Use the books to plan your walking holiday; the maps to check each day's walk.
GPS points - are downloadable from the Books and Maps page. They are in 3 formats - as a Google Earth file, so you can view the route before you walk, as a text file, so you can select just the sections you want, and as a Garmin gpx file that you can upload straight to your GPS.
The Way Marking makes it easy to follow the route. Paths are way-marked in red and white stripes to Grande Randonnee standards. Both long-distance routes have yellow and green signposts at the junction of the route with metalled roads.
Culture Routes in Turkey:
Kate’s routes are not the only ones in Turkey. The Culture Routes Society (www.cultureroutesinturkey.com) has just been formed, linking all Turkey’s routes. There are currently 17 member routes, and more will be added soon.
The aims of the Society are as follows:
- to represent the groups and individuals making sustainable routes (walking, bike or horse-riding routes) in Turkey.
- to put routes and old roads under protection and conservation
- to help organise accommodation and services for visitors along the routes, thus supporting local people and visitors.
Meet us at the following fairs:
- Culture and Belief Tourism Summit, Ankara, Turkey, 20-23 December 2012.
- East Mediterranean Travel Fair, İstanbul, Turkey, Feb 2013.
- Fiets en Wandelbeurs, Amsterdam, Feb 9-10, 2013.
- FREE Messe München, München, Feb 20-24, 2013.
- ITB Berlin, March 6 - 10, 2013
We work with:
- The Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry (www.kultur.gov.tr)
- The Institute of Cultural Routes in Luxembourg (www.culture-routes.lu)
- Gençtur, an agency which organises voluntary groups to do work on the trail or in villages. (www.genctur.com.tr)
- Turkish and foreign travel agencies who provide holidays on our routes.
- Other NGO’s, local authorities, the Forestry Ministry, village headmen, pension owners.
[updated, december 2012]