Hisarönu & the Turkish Mediterranean coast – 7 days – 306 metres above sea level

Version française disponible ici. 

We left the mountains and its freshness for the Mediterranean coast and its heat. 

We left the Mediterranean Sea 10 months ago to ship the sidecars from France to Colombia. 

Carribean Sea, the South of the Pacific Ocean, the South of the Atlantic Ocean, the China Sea, the Baltic Sea, the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea… all along our trip, we have improvised depending on the difficulties of each of these coasts. After going towards West, in Russia, the Mediteranean Sea reminded us the approch of the arrival flag. 

We began by discovering the Turkish coast and more specifically Patara. This city was one of the most important of Lycia (-300 BC) and a major port of the Roman Empire. At this archeological site, we discovered the beautiful remains of the Arc de Triomphe, the amphitheater and the assembly. The cream-colour marble of these remains contrasted with the blue sky and the green of the olive trees. The main avenue was surrounded by antic pillars. 

We spent an hour on site before to reach the long and nice beach of the same name. Along sand dunes, the beach was 6-kilometre long. Next to the parking, there was a straw hut offering snacks and transats for tourists in this ideal surrounding. But a few metres further, the nature regained its territory with a wild beach. To find a quiet space, there was a last obstacle: going through the burning sand between our toes in spite of our flip flops. Then, it was time to enjoy our first bath in the warm and clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. 

I was not able to resist to have a look behind the cliff at the tip of the sandy beach. I climbed this rock to watch the sea at the opposite side of the cliff. The coast was similar to the ones of the South of France. A deep blue-colour sea was clapping on the cliff. The water was making cavities on the limestone rock. The water had a turquoise-colour due to its contact with the limestone. 

At the beginning of the evening, we started to look for a wild camping spot next to Kinik city. We finally picked a shady area at the extremity of a field. At dusk, after dining, we pitched up the tents. But we noticed spiky plants on the soil which could pierce the fabric. We looked for a new spot but there was nothing better nearby. We opted for a little clearing between the pine trees, but on a slope. 

Finally, we spent the worst evening of our trip. The dogs of the city were barking during all the night and the slope made our mats very slippery. Waking up at 5am was pretty hard. 

After a couple of biscuits, we headed to the valley of butterflies. We followed the seaside route along the coast between the pine trees. The view at this early time of the day was breathtaking with a beautiful turquoise-colour Mediterranean Sea. 

The valley of butterflies is a vertiginous canyon with a 500-metre depth with a small beach at its tip. Essentially reachable with a taxi-boat from the touristic city of Oludeniz. There was a second strategy, unknown if you do not have the vertigo and have good hiking shoes. We followed a little path to reach the crique of the Faralya village located on the heights of the canyon. Loving challenges, we opted for this option. We parked the sidecars at the extremity of the village. Maps.me indicated a 1-kilometre path from the car park to the beach at the bottom. It was the slowest kilometre we did during the whole trip. It was more a climbing activity than a hiking activity. Indeed, at some point we needed to climb down a rock with a rope. Once arrived, it was peaceful on the beach. A small community of hippy owned a camping with a canteen. It was 9:30 am, a few tourists were having their breakfast while we were alone on the beach. 

After a first bath in the clear waters of the crique, we enjoyed our breakfast at the bar. It was a buffet with boiled eggs, olives, toasts and honey. At 11am, it was time for the second bath of the day with a few dives from the rocks before hordes of tourists arrived a few minutes later from boats with a loud music. The peaceful beach was crowded. We left as soon as possible and went back to the village. Luckily, the cliff to climb was shady. 

Back on the road, we rode along the coast. We reached the seaside city of Oludeniz, a very touristic city. We found a hotel with a good standard in Hisaronü, a touristic city chosen by British people on the heights behind Olideniz. After a mechanics day, we left for Akyaka the following day before to reach Hacilar where we camped next to the Cine (China in English) river. 

We woke up at 5am to go back on the road before the heat. We headed to the archeological site of Ephesus. Upon our entry in the city of Selçuk, we ordered a pastry, cookies and muffins for our breakfast before to arrive at Ephesus. 

The archeological site is very famous. Tourists arrive by full bus from Istanbul. In spite of the crowd, the site was beautiful and well maintained. Among the impressive buildings, we appreciated the impressive amphitheater considered as one of the biggest from the ancient history, the library of Celsus (well appreciated for selfies for Instagram), the Parliamentary Assembly, many temples and fountains. 

After two good hours of walking in the ruins, we went back to Selfuk for a snack on a terrace before to visit the Museum dedicated to the ruins of the Ephesus site. There was a very interesting reconstitution of the city with a 3D video for a better understanding of the life at this period. We saw the several statues of the Greek Gods including an impressive statue of Artemis and the frieze of some temples. 

While waiting fresher temperatures at the end of the afternoon to go back on the roads towards North, we walked in the city and reached the castle and enjoyed an ice cream.

At about 6pm, we went back on the road heading Izmir where we noticed an iOverlander spot, just a few kilometres before the village of Kaynaklar. To go there, we crossed the village and took a path going towards the mountain. We didn’t find the exact spot but we stopped on a flat and shady area to pitch up a camp. 

We woke up at the beginning of the day as the forecasts announced this day as the hottest of the week.

We used the ring road without a problem to avoid Izmir. Nothing interesting on the dual carriageway but at least it was fast. It was very hot so we decided to do a break during the last 100 kilometres due to a col. 

We used a little road to reach the coast passing by Koruktasi. The beach was nearby this village where locals love spending the afternoon. We found a shady spot where to stop. A father was giving driving lessons to his teen daughters. After many tests, they started to understand how to do with the clutch, but a flat tyre stopped them. A disappointment making the girls laughing a lot. We dedicated our afternoon to swim in the fresh and transparent water. In the evening, locals went back to their home, leaving an empty beach for us with a beautiful sunset. 

After this evening on the beach, we woke up later than these past days: 7am for a good sleep. We started by 43 kms to reach the ruins of the city of Trojan where there was not much left. The reconstitution of the horse was disappointing. Then, we arrived at Canakkale to take a ferry to cross the strait of Dardanelles and to reach the peninsula of Gallipoli. 

We reached the Trace region, leaving the Anatolia region behind us, nearby the channel crossing the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea. The ferry arrived at Kilitbahir, a small fishing port next to the castle. Surprised, we visited this castle built in 1571 and very well maintained. 

We stopped by a restaurant next to the traditional boats to enjoy a fish sandwich, the local speciality. Sole, trout, sardine, each one picked his favourite fish. After crossing the peninsula with our sidecars, we pitched up the tents with a beautiful seaview, just a few kilometres from the little village of Alçitepe.

Early in the morning, we left with the first sun rays. We stopped by a service station after 100 kilometres to order coffees and toasts for a break. We spent our last Turkish coins there, the Greek border being only at 40 kilometres.