Day 26: Finike to Gelidonya Lighthouse (via Karaöz)

Amazing views to Mavikent

We wanted to take Sherry to Neseli for breakfast this morning, but when we arrived they were still closed. But thankfully the bread shop portion of the business was open and taking hot loaves out of the brick oven. We bought 2 steaming loaves of delicious flat bread and wondered if we’d be able to stay out of it until lunchtime. Is there anything that smells better than fresh bread?

For breakfast we tried meat and cheese tarts (borek) cut into little squares at a nearby restaurant. We saw workmen coming in to order takeaway and figured if it was filling enough for them, it would probably be good for us. It was a nice change of pace from our usual Turkish breakfast and quite satisfying (and cheap!).

The guidebook suggested taking a dolmuş from Finike to the village of Mavikent since it was just a flat walk along the beach for 6 hours. This was pretty easy to navigate. We rode to the end of the line in Kumluca and then boarded another dolmuş to Mavikent. We just told the driver on the way to Mavikent that we were walking the “Lykia Yolu” and he knew exactly where to drop us. Apparently lots of people follow this suggestion! The dolmuş altogether took about 1 hour between driving and waiting times.

(Waiting time means waiting for the driver to finish his tea and cigarette and conversation with other drivers before boarding the van and immediately driving off.)

Private beaches enroute to Mavikent

We began walking in Mavikent and it was a little dodgy at first – greenhouses, trash, and stray dogs on the beach. But soon it became beautiful, tracing along gorgeous rocky coastline, deserted beaches, and pine forest. The whole walk was fairly easy because it was on either an asphalt road or a well-maintained trail. There were water sources, public bathrooms, and many campsites available on the right side, almost completely deserted at this time of year. You could easily have a beach all to yourself with the luxury of bathrooms and running water.

The trail gives you amazing views

The small village of Karaöz is right on the beach, and we stopped there at noon to sit on the benches at the beach to eat lunch. There is a market nearby where you can buy drinks and snacks as well, and we enjoyed a large container of fruit juice to counter the heat of the day.

A walk through the woods-2

The walk eventually led to a pine forested area and a path pointing toward the lighthouse just 2 km away. It’s a small climb, but well worth it when you see the view. We saw several day trippers on this route coming from the direction of Adrasan.

The lighthouse has a stunning view of islands glowing pink in the distance and a clear view of the sunset. We also saw 2 great camping spots as well as a wooden platform under a tree. We were surprised to not find Andreas at this choice spot, but one of the day walkers we met said he met him on the way in from Adrasan.

Campsite views from theh lighthouse

We set up camp on the east side of the lighthouse to catch the morning rays, then walked to the west side with our bags of food and sat on the foundation to watch the sunset. It was gorgeous.

Dinner under the lighthouse at sunset

We walked back to our tents with the aid of our headlamps and then noticed the blinking light of the lighthouse. It flashes every 3 seconds out to sea, which can be seen in the tent but is thankfully not too bright to impact sleep.

It really was a beautiful spot. This kind of night reminds us how lucky we are to be experiencing this magnificent journey, and how quickly our surroundings can change if we just keep moving forward…an excellent life lesson.

Daily Stats

Where We Stayed

Camping at the Gelidonya Lighthouse between Karaöz and Adrasan

Hours Walked

4:15 (after a 1-hour ride on the dolmuş from Finike to Mavikent)

Perks

We camped at a lighthouse! Also, some of the most beautiful, accessible, and deserted coastline we’ve seen along the way…perfect for camping. Fresh bread, delicious borek for breakfast, and a magnificent sunset.

Problems

We could whine about missing another great breakfast at Neseli, I guess. Probably better to admit there were no problems!