Lycia (Lykia in Turkish) is the ancient name of the peninsula between Antalya and Fethiye on Turkey’s southern coast, where the Taurus mountains sweep down to the sea. The name comes from the Hittite word “Lukka” which meant light. Hence, Lukk(a)ia: The land of light. It deserves its name with its over 250 sunny days in a year. And the glorious views of sunshine reflecting from endless Mediterranean add to this image.
Today, the “Turquoise Coast” is in places developed touristically, but not in an ugly or unsustainable way. And on two wheels it’s only a matter of minutes before you leave any trace of modern civilisation behind. Plus, we are able to access remote areas of the coast where there is no road for a truly private beach experience!
Lycia in ancient times was inhabited by a proud and independent race. Their stone graves are perched on headlands or cut into cliffs. Later Roman ruins abound, with harbours, theatres and temples tucked into the scented pine forests that line the coast. The mountains tower up from the coast – the highest peaks top 3000 metres, and Mount Olympos, near Cirali, is at 2,388m.
The main coastal towns are Kemer, Kas and Kalkan, where it’s possible to cruise on a Gulet, or wooden yacht, go diving to the many wrecks beneat the waves, or just enjoy the sun, and sparkling nightlife.
Our routes snake their way above Mediterranean’s most dramatic coastline, from the limestone peaks of Mount Olympos, soaring high above the glittering sea to shady wooded valleys and vast beaches. We pass the spectacular isolated lighthouse on the ridge of Cape Gelidonia, enjoy untouched coastal pine forests around Kabak, and climb high above the ocean for incredible views.
Blessed with gorgeous flora, the Turqoise Coast area is beautifully pretty at any time of year. Our routes take wonderful hidden beaches where sparkling waves lap smooth sands and spend the nights in tiny villages where grape vines wreathe the stone cottages. This area is pure paradise- and as soon as we escape the touristic areas we pretty much have it all to ourselves!
Best times to visit are in spring and autumn, from March to end June and September to October, when the weather is almost guaranteed and it’s not too hot to walk and explore.