Beymelek – Koristan – SakarDeresi – Dereköy – TurantDağı – Yüksekyürt – Köşkeler (7hrs 30mins, medium-hard) (13km)

4_1This hard walk is mainly over amazing Roman road and is mostly shady until the final, stony, relentless descent with coastal views spread out in front. From Beymelek, the route contours to meet the Roman road from Myra to Dereköy. The road, in places cut from solid rock, climbs through a narrow, wooded, valley to the shepherd huts at Dereköy. It continues climbing to the summit of TurantDağı, where it passes a jumble of sarcophagi and other ruins and follows the zigzag old road down to Köşkeler.

There are no villages en route and no water except wells.

Beymelek – Koristan – SakarDeresi – Dereköy – TurantDağı – Yüksekyürt-  Köşkeler

Walk uphill through Beymelek village and turn left just before the mosque. Continue upwards and, above the hill with a flag, follow dirt road left /west to a few houses; one incorporates a Hellenistic watchtower.  Keep right of this house to another one then continue level on clear goat path to some ruins and sarcophagi. Bear left and descend goatpath to open land below. (1hr 10mins)

4_2Turn right on a clear path for just 50m then turn right /north again and follow the long zigzags of the Roman road to a level area. Continue climbing northwest into the valley, with the stream below / left. The path becomes clearer and, approaching a small canyon, is cut into the rock. Swing left across the canyon amongst arbutus trees and climb around a right bend. The path descends towards the streambed; here, the wall which supported it has collapsed. Descend a steep step then, without crossing the stream, climb straight ahead to a well under an overhang. (1hr)

Continue down again to the stream and cross it, climbing the far bank where steps have been cut in the rock. The path soon re-crosses and zigzags up the right bank before levelling where the path is cut into the rock. From here, the narrower path climbs around a right bend to a small landslide, where it is temporarily lost. Beyond the slide, it runs on a wall close above the riverbed to a grassy slope where there is a ruin of a building with a chapel behind. The valley is quite open here and is scattered with remains of Byzantine buildings. Descend diagonally and cross the streambed to the goat pens at Dereköy. (1hr 30mins)

4_3Leave the pens on the right, cross the valley and find the path climbing west towards the pass. On top of the pass, at a pile of stones, turn left/southeast and find the zigzag path leading to the top of TurantDağı. Approaching the top is an eroded rock with three niches each containing a small figure. Beyond are many jumbled sarcophagi around an open area. (50mins)

Bear right /southwest on narrow path and climb gently to the hilltop, at 800m, the highpoint of the route. Here is a jumble of buildings followed by a large, level agora and a huge sarcophagus with an inscription; others are scattered in the scrub. A hilltop Roman building has massive walls and a later vaulted roof. The route descends to a wide old road running downhill through scrub to the top of open terraces; on the lower side is a shepherd camp. (50mins)

4_4Cross the terraces east to a perimeter wall with a path leading to an old fort. From here, a built-up old road follows relentless, stony zigzags through scrub down the hillside. Approaching the bottom, the path becomes less steep and crosses open land, passing a cistern and shepherd hut. Soon after, it runs left /east above a row of greenhouses then descends more zigzags to meet the asphalt at Köşkeler. (2hrs 10mins)

(Demre is 4km to the left / south)

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