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The Lycian Way is a well known trek around the southern coast of Turkey from Fethiya to Anatalya. It’s a medium to hard graded trek which is way-marked. But what about ‘swimming’ the same route i.e. following the coastline? It can be done!
Does a swim-trek sound like fun or just shear hard work? You can take a swim trek around a part of the Lycian coastline using a traditional Turkish gulet (boat) as your base. One such swim-trek starts out from Kas, quite a well known pretty coastal resort about 170 km south-west of Anatalya where the mountains just drop into the Mediterranean.
Before you start you need the gear – swimsuit, drag pants, hand fins – and to be greased up to withstand the long periods in the water.
You get to swim in sections typically 3 km or 2 – 2.5 hours in the morning and 2 km or 1.5 – 2 hours in the afternoon. No matter what your swimming capabilities you would be matched with others of similar swimming capacities to you and you are able to swim at a pace that is comfortable for you. Of course at any time if the going gets tough you can retreat to the gulet. But for most taking this sort of challenge they won’t be beaten!
Of course you’d have swimming guides with you who know the area, are strong swimmers and easily able to look after a group’s safety in the water.
When on the gulet, crewed by locals, there are numerous sun decks for relaxing and preparing for your return to the sparkling blue water. The local crew are also responsible for preparing great snacks and delicious glasses of hot apple tea as well as great fresh fish and salads.
You might dock at the island of Kekova just off the coast at Ugagiz. Here you can exercise your legs and trek up to the castle of Simena for a change of scene and views across the other islands.
Back to the swim and a visit to the ancient, sunken city of Aperlae – peering down at it through the glass bottom of your gulet to see its delights. This 4th century city was abandoned and literally fell into the sea. The sea-bed is littered with debris from the falling city like arches, statues and abandoned artefacts. Looks like a great diving opportunity – but that’s for another adventure another time!
During the on-going swim, you swim over other wrecks – planes and boats – into caves, past tombs embedded in the rocks and even get a chance to pretend you’re Nemo as you swim alongside turtles.
Waterbabes get so addicted they don’t want to get out of the water for lunch! And one of the highlights for some is the 5 km open water crossing from the Greek island of Meis back to Turkey where cross currents and boats are things to avoid.
A swim-trek is a great adventure on cheap holidays to Turkey.
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