Konyaalti

The county of Konyaaltı contains a 75km segment of the Lycian Way, which is part of the Via Eurasia in Turkey. The route within the county was re-waymarked in 2016 and includes 3 days of trekking on footpaths, old roads and forestry tracks. There is an alternative route from Konyaaltı Sarısu bus station which meets the Lycian Way at Elmayanı – an additional 25km.

Konyaalti Today

Konyaaltı is one of the 19 districts of Antalya Province. It is also the 5th largest district with a population of 150,000.

There is also a popular beach with the same name; Konyaaltı Beach (Konyaaltı Plajı) is one of the two main beaches of Antalya, the other being Lara Beach. The beach is located on the western side of the city and stretches for 7 km from the city harbour and cliffs to the Beydağları mountains. It is bounded inland by a beach park and numerous bars, cafes, nightclubs and hotels, including the Rixos Downtown Hotel (formerly the Sheraton Voyager Hotel). The ‘Aqualand’ waterpark along Dumlupınar Bulvarı forms another part of the border.

Konyaaltı has developed very rapidly in the last few years – 20 years ago, most of the area behind Konyaaltı beach consisted of orange groves. However, the inland area extends as far as the small ski resort at Saklikent and the forested canyons west of Antalya – much of this is managed by the Forestry Ministry and is underpopulated apart from vacation homes. Because of the great range of height – from sea level to over 2000m –  the climate is very varied and you can ski and swim on the same day.

History Of Konyaalti

Konyaaltı was located within the borders of Lycia and was bordered on the east by Pamphylia. The name of the main Lycian city within the borders of Konyaaltı was Olbia; this coastal town is known to be the oldest settlement. The ruins cover a large area, which is now mostly heavily populated, so not much remains.  Ancient sources mention a strong castle, and  remains of early period city walls and harbour blocks shows us that the city was a coastal settlement that could be approached by boats. The city was founded by Solymians living up in Termessos so as to have access for trade and sea.

Antalya was founded later by the kings of Pergamon, who built a walled city around a better harbour a few miles further east; this must have caused Olbia to decline.

Stages

  1. Termessos to Aşağı Karaman 26kmThis two-day difficult route follows the Karaman river down stream from the ancient ruins at Termessos to Aşağı Karaman. On the way there is a fish-farm where you can camp, eat and get water. From the ruins, go to the Gymnasium and follow the path to the end. Then descend through the Necropolis, following the ancient road down the valley with the stream on your left. Follow a dirt road past a barrier to the fish farm. Continue on dirt road again following the stream bed downstream. Where the road crosses the stream, turn left and follow the path on the left bank, passing above a canyon, then follow the stream bed itself. Cross a side-stream and climb past an old mill up to a forest road then a path until you are above another canyon. Follow a path around the foot of Kul Tepe, a small hill with scattered ruins. On the far side, descend an old road to the river and cross to the far side. Aşağı Karaman is 3 km downstream.
  2. Asagikaraman – Neapolis – Doyran – Geyikbayiri 15 kmFrom Asagikaraman, the route leads across the river then steeply uphill to the ancient city of Neapolis, then continues southwest on a mix of dirt road and forest path past the Monastery building. Don’t miss the views of the valley on the way. Passing by Doyran Lake, the route continues south towards the Kızılyar canyon and follows this for a while before picking up a Roman road to a shepherd camp. It then climbs down the natural rock wall and ends in Geyikbayiri, a well-known as a popular climbing area.
  3. Geyikbayiri – Citdibi 13.1 km 

    The route starts near the campsites at Geyikbayiri, then ascends from the river on a mixture of forest roads and old paths, passing the ruins of Trebenna. From here, an ancient zigzag road ascends steeply to the main pass at Karabel at 1400m. It crosses rough country via old road, forest road and narrow footpaths, passing the ruins of Typalia, and climbing through the masses of Ziyaret Dagi and Katran Dagi.

  4. Citdibi – Hisarcandir 6.2 km 

    From the scattered village houses of Citdibi, the route, steep in places, winds through forest and farmland. Crossing the Alakir Cay river below a new dam, it passes an interesting castle on an outcrop above the river. Then arrives in Hisarçandır, a village on the road from Finike to Antalya.

  5. Hisarcandir to Goynuk via Saricinar Dagi 14.8 km 

    This steep section starts from 830m, climbs up to 1500m and then descends to sea level. The path is mostly rocky and sometimes difficult to find and, after the pass, water is scarce and unreliable. The first section on this route is the ascent either over forestry track or direct through the forest up to a pass above the headwaters of the Beldibi gorge. It then goes between sheer cliffs and through a deserted forest ringing with bird song. Until March, there may be snow or ice on the N side of the ridge. Unless you are sure that you can complete the hike, stock up with two days’ worth of food and plan to camp at the first water after the pass.

Transport

Because there is easy main road access from İstanbul, Ankara and Isparta to Antalya city, and public transport to the villages on the route from the main bus stations of Antalya, the route is very suitable for day-hikers as well as long-distance trekkers.

Accommodation

There are a few campsites and bungalows in Geyikbayırı and some pensions in Hisarçandır and Göynük. There is newly-opened accommodation for climbers in Çitdibi, but phone first. See the Lycian Way accommodation page.

Interesting Places in Konyaalti

Kaleiçi

Kaleiçi is the historic city centre of Antalya, Turkey. Until modern times, almost the entire city was confined within its walls. It has structures dating from the Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk, Ottoman and modern Turkish republican eras. The Kaleiçi area is located in the centre-eastern portion of the city along the Mediterranean coast and fronted by a yacht harbour that dates to the Roman era.

The name Kaleiçi means “Inside the Castle” or “Inner Castle”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalei%C3%A7i

Antalya Museum

The museum covers everything from the Stone and Bronze Ages to Byzantium. It includes finds from ancient cities in Lycia (such as Patara and Xanthos) and Phrygia. The Hall of Gods displays beautiful and evocative statues of 15 Olympian gods, many from Perge, including the sublime Three Graces and the towering Dancing Woman dominating the first room.

Trebenna

Trebenna was probably founded in Classical times as an outpost of Termessos, 20km to the N. The hilltop site has an early Byzantine wall, with an impressive entrance court dominated by a fine carved tomb with a shield symbol like those at Termessos. On the slope is an early Byzantine basilica with remains of some frescoes and a great view through the window over the Antalya plain. Below, in undergrowth, are remains of large Roman baths. Near the dirt road are pillars, which formed entrance doors to a building, adapted in Byzantine times.

Typalia

Typalia is a rock-top Lycian settlement guarding the pass from the Çandır valley to Trebenna. Remains include walls on the W and rock-cut tombs on the S. On the pass are many Lycian graves of the Roman period, some decorated with a spear behind a shield (a Termessian motif). Opposite is a house-front grave cut in a cliff-wall.

Hisarçandir Castle

Hisarçandır Castle is built on a rock overlooking the Çandır river. It has similarities to the Genovese castle in Gedelme, so could be from the 14th C. The round tower is a later addition. The walls on the west side, the tower and a gate are standing – because of the sheer precipice it didn’t need walls on the east.

Doyran Monastery

This mid-Byzantine monastery is still standing to roof-height in places, with church, dining hall, workshops and monks’ cells. A water delivery system and cisterns are visible. Not much is known about its history as a monastery, but it was re-used in Selçuk times as a hunting lodge.

Neapolis

The outskirts of the ruins have several graves on high podiums and more along the built-up path which takes you into the old city. Private and public buildings include a church with inscription, a mill, baths, houses and many others. The overgrown ruins are spectacular viewpoint over Antalya.

 

                        


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