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St Paul is considered by many as responsible for the spread of Christianity to Western Europe. If St Paul had not preached, Christianity would probably have died out when the Jewish rebellion of 66 AD was crushed and Jerusalem burned. Paul was both a product of his time and a major influence on our time. The St Paul Trail is a 500km 27-day way-marked footpath from Perge, 10 km E of Antalya, to Yalvac, North East of Lake Egirdir. It starts at sea level and and climbs to up 2200m (with an option to go to 2635 m), and offer walkers insight into the countryside that Paul traveled through on his first journey through Asia Minor, without walking the whole route. Feel like a bit of a pilgrimage?
Day 1 :
You will be met at Antalya airport and tranferred to your hotel in Antalya.
Day 2 :
After breakfast we drive from Antalya to Koprulu Canyon. On the way we will visit and explore the ancient site of Perge which used to be an important harbor city in the Roman period. After a short walk, we will reach Tevfik’s house. Overnight at Tevfik’s house, a big farm house with bungalows for the guests.
Day 3 :
Walk from Tevfik’s house up to Caltepe following the river through the forest. Stay in Barca Evi.
Day 4 :
Drive to Kesme, visit the ancient city walk from there to Kasimlar, many ruins on the way and local life, see goats and some cottages on the way. Stay in village house in Kasimlar. A spectacular route which takes us over the rim of the canyon on old paved paths, down through rock formations to a bridge over the river, and up into the town of Kasimlar, sited on the canyon slopes and with incredible views down the whole length of the canyon. Dinner and accommodation in a village house in this quaint town (6 hrs walking).
Day 5 :
Walk from Kasimlar along a ridge top to the ruins of a Byzantine church. Descend through forest to the Forest Park at Tota. Explore the forest, which has miniature wild tulips, and other bulbs and spectacular views. Transfer to Egirdir for a night in a pension by the lake (6.5 hours walking; 1 hr transfer).
Day 6 :
Today’s walk goes over a pass in the forest then across spectacular limestone ridges and through indigenous oak forest. Then it descends to the small village of Serpil surrounded by orchards (6 hours walking). We drive back to Egirdir to the same pension for overnight.
Day 7 :
Today our walk starts from a national park for the protection of the endemic ‘volcanic oak’ forest. We follow forest path up to Belkuyu pass (2100 m). The route of the yesterday’s walk is under our feet as we climb the high pass. We descend to the other side and descend to the Davraz ski resort (7 hours walking). Our vehicle meets us here for a short transfer (10 minutes) to Davras Houses at Cobanisa village.
Day 8 :
Early start to climb the peak of Mt Davraz (2635m). Since we return to the same hotel at the end of the day, this climb is optional. After a step climb, partly on scree and snow patches, we reach the peak to be rewarded with the great views of all the surroundings and Lake Egridir. Possibilities to observe many rare bulbs and some birds of prey on the way. We walk down the same route and drive back to same hotel for overnight (8 hours walking).
Day 9 :
After a short transfer to Akpinar village we walk to Prostanna ruins and through the ruins we continue to the top of Sivri Hill. We go back from the same route have traditional lunch in Akpinar at a family run restaurant. Then we drive to Egirdir. Overnight lale pension.
Day 10 :
We start driving to Antalya. On the way we visit the amazing site of Sagalassos. It is impressive to see the ancient fountain of the city which has been repaired with clay pipes and is filled with water coming from the original source as it did 2000 years ago. Free afternoon in Antalya for relaxing or shopping. Transfer to Antalya airport.