Hiking an Ancient Path
Adventure and Photos by Soner Kubat
SMrAdventurer, Hair Stylist, hiker, backpacker, outdoor enthusiast, traveller and paintballer
Soner Kubat and his brother, Bekir Kubat, hiked Lycian Way in Turkey, an ancient footpath built by an ancient, Bronze-Age civilization.
Gearing Up: Modern Gear meets Ancient Trail
Gear included a SMr Nubé system and Pares hammock, Keen Saltzman hiking boots, Black Diamond trekking poles, North Face 3-season sleeping bag, Cold Steel machete and Recon knife, Mayfly chair, Memo Cosmo sleeping pad and more…
Our journey started with a 10-hour bus ride to Antalya, home of the Lycians- an ancient people who inhabited the area during the Bronze Age. Lycian Way, as the lengthy footpath is called, is one of the 10 best-marked trails in the world and a must hike!! The trail spans the southern coast of ancient Lycia (modern-day Turkey) from Antalya on the East coast to Fethiye on the West coast.
The journey began with a bus ride to Antalya, the Eastern terminus of the ancient, 540 km-long trail.
View from the boat ride to Antalya in Turkey.
Lycian Way has a lot to offer hikers and history buffs alike. The historical backdrop and the scenic views of the Mediterranean make it a very enjoyable hike. The ultra easy set-up of the SMr Nubé and Pares hammock is a must-have to get the most enjoyment out of the scenery. For us, this was more then just backpacking one of the most beautiful trails in the world, it was a journey of two brothers, who live worlds apart. It was also a chance to make up for all the lost days and a chance to get to know each other all over again. We had so much to talk about.
I could not wait for the first bonfire!
With a spectacular sunset in the backdrop, Soner and his brother, Bekir, enjoy bonding over the first bonfire of their trek along the ancient path of Lycian Way.
Day 1: Prepared Homelessness
We made our way from the bus stop in Kas Antalya to our starting point at a marina. Because backpacking is not a popular activity in Turkey, to the beach goers in the marina, Kas, we looked like a couple of very prepared homeless guys. The journey started with an amazing boat ride to a campsite surrounded with Lycian tombs. The first night in the comfort of the Nubé hammock shelter and Pares hammock was unforgettable- the versatility of the Nubé allowed us to utilize features of the terrain we couldn't with a tent.
Surrounded by ancient Lycian tombs, Soner and Bekir enjoyed their first night on Lycian Way in the comfort of their Nubé systems.
Ancient Lycian tombs dot the landscape along the Lycian Way, in modern-day Turkey.
Soner enjoys the view of a river along Lycian Way.
A boat traverses a river along Lycian Way, an ancient footpath built by the Lycian during the Bronze Age.
After the end of a long first day, Soner and Bekir share a meal amongst the ancient Lycian tombs along the footpath.
Day 2: Rough Terrain- No Problem!
We woke up early and relaxed and because of the easy set-up of the Nubé system, we were able to pack up very quickly. We were on our way within minutes. After a nutritious and protein-packed Turkish style breakfast, we were ready to tackle the day. Of course, within the first few hours we started veering off the trail because we were super excited about our surroundings. Eventually, I noticed that we were 3 miles off of the trail! As we were making our way back, I slipped and injured my shin (med-kits are a must for these journeys!). My brother suggested we should give up and go home. I was not about to give up on something I had been looking forward to for so many years. I just hoped continuing was the right decision.
Faced with a rocky terrain, Soner and Bekir had no trouble finding a prime spot to camp in their Nubés.
As the sun faded we set up a campfire and found the perfect spot for our Nubé system. Near the campsite we were able to enjoy a quick stroll over a bridge that spanned the river. Watching the sea turtles dive into the Mediterranean sea was quite a spiritual experience, bringing us closer to the spirit of the Lycian people that inhabited these lands many moons ago.
While hiking the Lycian Way in Turkey, Soner and Bekir enjoyed watching sea turtles in the Mediterranean.
At our campsite, we met some other hikers who were using a tent and had not heard of the Nubé yet, that night most of the conversation focused on how amazing the Nubé system was and where other campers could order it. Anytime you camp near a river, dealing with bugs is a huge problem, but not if you're rocking a Nubé system with a huge bug net. While everyone was swatting bugs away I slept like baby. Although it’s nice to share space with like-minded people sometimes you just need to be alone with nature. The higher ground gave us amazing views of the river meeting the Mediterranean sea.
Due to the Nubés huge bugnet Soner and Bekir slept peacefully while other campers were faced with an onslaught of insects.
Day 3: The Hardest Climbs Bring the Best Views!
The hike started getting serious on day 3. The next few days were the most arduous and challenging part of this beautiful journey. We started a long and grueling climb/hike up to 6,000 feet. We were exhausted but had to soldier on. At this part of the trail, normal camping gear would have given us sleepless nights. There was absolutely no way to set up a tent in that rugged terrain! The Nubé hammock camping shelter was a lifesaver once again. Due to the ground clearance of the hammock, we were able to avoid confrontation with the wild hogs that would visit late at night.
On their last and most challenging day Soner and Bekir finished their trek on Lycian Way, gaining 6,000 ft in elevation.
Gaining elevation along Lycian Way in Turkey, the Kubat brothers enjoyed some of the most spectacular views the ancient footpath had to offer.
View along Lycian Way in Turkey.
After a difficult 3 days, we made our way back down to the coast of the Mediterranean. The journey down from the mountains was just as hard as going up! It was especially difficult because I had not recovered from my shin injury on Day 1. Once we made it down to the coast, we were able to relax and take time experiencing the sites, instead of focusing on survival. After 3 days of not seeing many campers, we arrived at Pirates Bay (yes an actual bay that was used by pirates long ago!) there were so many campers, we wouldn't have been able to find a spot by the water if we'd had a normal tent set up. But the Nubé hammock shelter is not normal camping gear! We set up on the top of jagged rocks and brush where no others could set up! After being the talk of the campground because of the Nubé system, I had to once again explain all the features and where to buy it. That night we enjoyed a relaxing night by the water of Pirates Bay.
Boats seen along the SouthEastern edge of Lycian Way.
Lycian ruins seen in Pirate's Bay, along the SE coast of Turkey.
The Kubat brothers strike a pose with their Nubés along the rocky terrain of Lycian Way.
With a view Pirate's bay, the Kubat brothers enjoyed their last night amid the rock-strewn coast.
Soner and Bekir enjoy their camp along Lycian Way in Turkey.
Hammock-camping has its perks!
The next day we made our way to Gelidonya lighthouse, a place Travel Magazine called one of the most beautiful scenic destinations in the world, and I would have to agree 100 percent!
A view at Likya Yolu, Turkey one of the most photographed spots in the world.
A view from Gelidonia Lighthouse along Lycian Way in Turkey.
After 3 days the Kubat brothers arrived at Likya Yolu.
After 150 miles and 10 days, 2 brothers and 2 Nubé systems completed an amazing journey! At times it was very difficult and pushed us to our limits but this journey brought me so much closer to my brother.
The Kubat brothers enjoy the fires of Yanartaş on Mount Chimaera along the Lycian Way in Turkey.
Until next time Lycian Way…
SMrAdventurer Soner Kubat on the beach at Likya Yolu, Turkey.