Dereağzı – ÇapaDeresi – Aladibek – Ayıveliler – Palamutbelen – Ahmetler – Kızılgöl Deresi – DemreÇay (7hrs, easy) (14km).

5_1This easy route incorporates two remarkably engineered Roman roads leading from the Demre valley into the mountains; the first part is mainly in pine or oak forest and the views are over the spectacular Demre gorge. From the ruins of the great church at Dereağızı, an old road leads to a series of yaylas. Forest road through oak forest leads to an old road climbing to the hilltop settlement at Palamutbeleni. From there, remarkably well-preserved old road descends through Ahmetler village to the floor of the Demre valley.

There are only scattered settlements and well-water on this route.

Dereağzı – ÇapaDeresi – Aladibek – Ayıveliler – Palamutbeleni – Ahmetler – KızılgölDeresi – DemreÇay

5_2From the church at Dereağız, walk north-east across the dry riverbed and through a gap in the reeds to an open grassy area at the base of the hill. Climb south-east and swing left to find a path running up through woodland. It becomes a stony goat path climbing diagonally southwest then hairpinning back east to the streambed. Here it is a wide walled ramp following the streambed upwards. Approaching the top, it crosses the streambed and passes a rock-cut tomb to the west side of a yayla. (1hr 20mins)

Continue east up a shallow valley then follow a dirt road southeast between low hills. Climb diagonally above a small waterfall to a dirt road; follow it up a bend then bear left /uphill to a wider dirt road on a hilltop. Follow the gently rising dirt road southeast through open woodland for 700m to a marked right turn. (45mins)

A stony road leads southwest past a marble quarry to a wide, shallow valley. Turn left / southeast and follow this up terraces. Swing left / northeast to an area with several wells and other ruins. On the hilltop to the right / south are three ruined enclosures.  The path becomes clearer and passes under large oaks then continues southeast on distinct old road, parallel to the dirt road. Swinging east, it joins the dirt road. On the right are farm buildings. (1hr)

5_3Turn right and follow the rising dirt road past large marble blocks for 1km to a junction. Just beyond, as the road swings right to some small houses, bear left /east onto a footpath which runs first across open land then widens and rises through pine forest to a steeply sloping field. Turn left /north and continue diagonally upwards towards the top of Palamutbeleni Hill, pass through trees and find a clear path leading to an ancient ridgetop well. (55mins)

Continue above the well to the remains of a settlement and a small chapel, at 900m, this is the highpoint of the walk. Descend the end of the ridge to a clearing with large oak trees and turn right.  The old road descends in long built-up zigzags through scrub towards a streambed. On the far side, it follows the stream downwards to terraced farmland and crosses it to a dirt road on the far side. (1hr)

Turn right for 1km to the houses of Ahmetler.  After an enclosure, turn right /southwest between houses onto a path descending across farmland – it soon becomes a clear old road, enters scrub and crosses a stream. With the streambed on the right, continue down then swing left / south into a short canyon. Above the valley floor, bear left onto a long diagonal descent and follow it down/southeast towards the canyon floor, finishing in a zigzag behind a shepherd house. (2hrs)

(Demre is 12km to the left / east).

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