In the Footsteps of St Paul - A Pilgrimage Trail

A beautiful and varied walking holiday across central Turkey




From $980 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Off the beaten track trekking in the footsteps of pilgrims
  • Hike through the stunning Koprulu Canyon and Taurus mountains
  • Explore wonderful Roman ruins, historical sites and walled Antalya
  • Stay in a traditional pension overlooking stunning Lake Egridir

The St Paul Trail is Turkey's second long distance footpath after the Lycian Way offering stunning scenery, contrasting trails, spectacular historical sites and a variety of traditional accommodation.  Slightly easier but wilder and more varied than the Lycian Way, this is an excellent moderately-paced walking holiday following in the footsteps of St Paul.  We start from the atmospheric ancient city of Aspendos before trekking over historical sections of Roman road and onto the Roman ruins and cities of Selge, Kesme and Adada, before crossing the rugged Taurus mountains to beautiful Lake Egridir in central Turkey.  Staying in small comfortable pensions and simple village houses we experience continuously varied walking, from tracks through forests of cedar and oak to the spectacular Koprulu canyon eventually ending our trek in the pastoral beauty of the Egridir - Turkey's Lake District.  This is an off the beaten track walking holiday, offering the opportunity to get away from it all in the Mediterranean sunshine and mountains.

Is this holiday for you?

The St Paul Trail is a recently established, waymarked path, which follows a mix of forest trails, dirt roads, rocky footpaths and even Roman paving. Underfoot conditions are generally very good on established tracks and footpaths but as to be expected from a trail through a karst landscape, there are several rocky sections requiring good footwear. On the section of the trail through the Koprulu Canyon some scrambling is required which is technically very easy but will involve some large steps where you use your hands for balance. We have opted to walk the Saint Paul Trail in this direction so that we climb up these rocky sections rather than down, which would be more difficult. This holiday picks out the best sections of the Saint Paul Trail so there are transfers on some days. Mostly these are at the beginning or end of the day but sometimes a short transfer in the middle of the day is required. All transfers are by private minibus. Generally we hike for 5 or 6 hours each day with stops to visit the various historical sites and other points of interest en route. There are no hotels along the route of the St Paul's Way and we stay throughout in small pensions and on one night we are guests in a village house. Our main luggage is transported each day between overnight stops during the holiday which means that group members will carry just a small day-sack during the walking. This holiday is suitable for anyone of average fitness who enjoys walking holidays

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Antalya. A single transfer from Antalya Airport is provided.
  • Transfer to Aspendos. Explore the Roman theatre and walk to Eurymedon Bridge. Transfer to Beskonsk.
  • Walk on shepherd's trails to ancient Selge via Koprulu Canyon. Transfer to Beskonsk.
  • Transfer to Selge. Walk through Koprulu National Park to the simple village of Caltepe.
  • Transfer to Kesme. Walk across meadows and follow famr trails to the village of Kasimlar.
  • Drive to Tota Yaylasi. Walk to Yenikoy via the flanks of Sarp Dagi (1025m). Transfer to Lake Egirdir.
  • Drive to ancient Sagalassos and explore the superb ruins. Transfer to Antalya, free time to explore.
  • Departure Day. A single timed transfer to Antalya Airport is provided.
Sat 02 Apr - Sat 09 Apr Code TSP /01/16/ Adult$980 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 07 May - Sat 14 May Code TSP /02/16/ Adult$980 Status Available Book now
Sat 04 Jun - Sat 11 Jun Code TSP /03/16/ Adult$980 Status Available Book now
Sat 17 Sep - Sat 24 Sep Code TSP /04/16/ Adult$980 Status Available Book now
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Antalya. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements & transfers' section in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines offering flights to Antalya. These include Easyjet who have flights from London & Manchester, Thomson Airways who have flights from London, Manchester and Glasgow and Thomas Cook who have flights from London, Manchester, Leeds Bradford and Glasgow. Other airports maybe available. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Antalya. A single transfer from Antalya Airport is provided.

    We rendezvous in the evening at the group hotel in Antalya – a comfortable tourist class hotel with air-conditioned rooms. A single group transfer (30 minutes) will be arranged to meet clients arriving at Antalya Airport. KE Land Only package services begin with this transfer. Our accommodation is located in the historic and picturesque 'Old Town' where buses are not allowed to enter and so we will walk the final few hundred metres (5 - 10 minutes) while our baggage is taken by taxi. We stay overnight at the group hotel. The majority of clients will arrive at the hotel in the late evening and therefore meals are not provided on this day. For anyone arriving on earlier flights, dinner can be taken either at the hotel or in one of the many nearby restaurants.

    • Accommodation Hotel

  • Transfer to Aspendos. Explore the Roman theatre and walk to Eurymedon Bridge. Transfer to Beskonsk.

    We meet our guide and over breakfast at the hotel have our first briefing. We then set off, driving for approximately 1 hour 15 ninutes to the ancient city of Aspendos which is thought to have been founded over 2000 years ago. What is known is that by the 5th century BC, Aspendos was a highly influential city in the Mediterranean and by the time Paul arrived here during his first great missionary journey in the middle of the first century AD, it would have been a thriving Roman city. Today Aspendos is mostly known for its impressive Roman theatre, almost 100 metres in diameter. One of the best preserved theatres of antiquity in Asia Minor, it would have originally provided seating for 7000 people. We will spend some time exploring the fascinating ruins of Aspendos which also include a basilica, agora, nymphaeum and 15 kilometres of a Roman aqueduct. Aspendos is the official start of the Saint Paul Trail and we will stretch our legs with a short walk of 2.5km taking approximately 1 hour 30 minutes along the trail. After lunch we visit the Eurymedon Bridge, originally built by the Romans and reconstructed in the 13th century. We then continue our journey, driving for a further hour to the tiny village of Beskonak where we stay overnight in a simple pension.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals bld

  • Walk on shepherd's trails to ancient Selge via Koprulu Canyon. Transfer to Beskonsk.

    We leave the village and climb up into the Taurus mountains on small shepherd's paths and the occasional section of Roman road. The southern flanks of the Taurus are surprisingly green, covered in forest of cypress, cedar, oak and pine. We more or less follow the course of the Kopru River (in ancient times known as the Eurymedon). After an undulating 5kms or so, we climb up through the sensational Koprulu Canyon where the rock walls rise up to 100 metres above the river. The path is rocky throughout, with short sections that involve some large rock steps where you need to use your hands for balance. Today's walk ends at the ancient City of Selge. Originally a Greek colony, Selge's location in the mountains and defended by the deep moat of the Koprulu Canyon, allowed it to maintain a measure of autonomy through all the changes of ownership of the region and Selge became a powerful and thriving city making large profits from olive oil and wine produced in its fertile fields. Today only a few traces of its former glory survive. There are no pensions in Selge so here we will meet our tour vehicle and drive for approximately 45 minutes on a rough track to meet the road back to Beskonsk where we spend a second night.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 1055m

    • Distance 9km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 305m

    • Time 9 hours

  • Transfer to Selge. Walk through Koprulu National Park to the simple village of Caltepe.

    After our breakfast we transfer back to Selge to continue along the St Paul Trail. We follow a mixture of trails today including farm tracks and old Roman roads. The area we are walking through is part of the Koprulu National Park which is renown for its mature forests, particularly of cypress trees. We pass several small villages namely Oren, Delisarnic and Kestanelik (Kestane means chestnuts) and during the last part of today's walk we have a long descent on small rocky shepherds' paths to reach our rendezvous with the tour vehicle. We then have a transfer of approximately 15 minutes to our accommodation in in a simple village guest house across the river from the village of Caltepe. This is very simple but clean accommodation overlooking a pretty garden. There is no alternative to this accommodation on the Saint Paul Trail and the warm and hearty welcome from our hosts will more than make up for any lack of modern convenience.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 620m

    • Distance 12km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1085m

    • Time 7 hours

  • Transfer to Kesme. Walk across meadows and follow famr trails to the village of Kasimlar.

    We start the day with a transfer of approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to reach Kesme village, driving through the National Park with sensational views into the Koprulu Canyon which is 400 metres deep in places. After arriving in Kesme we start our walk and follow field tracks and farm roads and across meadows to a small pass at Belsarnic. From the pass we walk down a zig-zag trail through a rocky landscape to reach the village of Kasimlar where we spend the night in a simple pension.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 565m

    • Distance 11km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 875m

    • Time 6 hours

  • Drive to Tota Yaylasi. Walk to Yenikoy via the flanks of Sarp Dagi (1025m). Transfer to Lake Egirdir.

    We begin with a 30 minute transfer to Tota Yaylasi where we pick up the St Paul Trail and walk through the Tota Yaylasi Forrest Park. Our route crosses the flanks of Sarp Dagi (1025 metres) to a spring on a large plateau area. From here we follow an old village road to Yenikoy where we can enjoy a traditional cup of Turkish tea, known as 'cay'. From Yenikoy we drive (10 minutes) to the Roman ruins of Adada, which the local people call Adada ‘Baulo' or sometimes 'Karabaolu' (it is believed that this name is derived from 'Paul' who would have preached here on his first missionary journey). Situated between the two hills of Erikli and Aktepe the city commanded the local area and grew in importance and prosperity during the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The ruins are extensive and we will spend some time here looking round the main attractions such as the acropolis, the Hellenistic towers, the basilica and the theatre. From Adada we follow a dry riverbed and later a spectacular bit of old Roman road, a great way to finish the hiking part of the holiday. Just below the village of Sagrak we meet the road and our bus and then drive for 1 hour to Egirdir town on the shores of Egirdir Lake. We will spend the night here at a comfortable pension.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 530m

    • Distance 11km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 825m

    • Time 7 hours

  • Drive to ancient Sagalassos and explore the superb ruins. Transfer to Antalya, free time to explore.

    After breakfast we leave Egirdir and drive on mountain roads for 72 km (approximately 1 hour 30 minutes) to the ancient City of Sagalassos. Situated on a terraced hillside in the Taurus Mountains and spread between elevations of 1450 - 1700 metres, this is one of the most import archaeological sites in Turkey. Once the foremost city in ancient Pisidia, Sagalassos was abandoned following an earthquake and subsequent plague in the 6th century. Due no doubt to its extreme location, the city escaped the fate of other abandoned cities and no large scale looting of its buildings took place so that today a feast of Roman architecture has been and is continuously being, excavated. Since work began in 1990 a large number of buildings, monuments and other archaeological remains have been exposed and we will probably want to spend a couple of hours walking around the site to do it justice. After lunch we will continue our drive for approximately 2 hours to Antalya. After check in at the hotel, the evening is free to explore Antalya and to take dinner in one of the many excellent restaurants.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

  • Departure Day. A single timed transfer to Antalya Airport is provided.

    The day is free to explore the old walled city (known as Kaleci) with its picturesque harbour where you can wander along narrow, winding lanes to discover architectural gems, or to enjoy Antalya's famous beaches. There is a tourist tram that runs from the old town to Antalya Museum which is well worth a visit. In the evening a group transfer is provided to Antalya Airport where KE Land Only package services end.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced English-speaking local guide
  • Single group transfers from / to Antalya Airport
  • All land transport required by the itinerary in a private vehicle
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Vehicle support throughout the trip

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers (other than with the group)
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Entrance fees into tourist attractions and archeological sites
  • Any optional activities
  • Tips for local staff
  • Miscellaneous personal expenses

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

The group will rendezvous at the group hotel in Antalya. Within the Land Only cost of this holiday, we have arranged for a single group transfer from Antalya Airport to the group hotel on the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. This transfer is timed to the arrival of the Easyjet flight from London's Gatwick Airport on day 1. The transfer will leave the airport at approximately 10.00 pm. and take approximately 30 minutes. Anyone may use this transfer regardless of which airline they use. If your flight schedule does not allow you to take advantage of these transfers you will need to make your own transfer arrangements. A taxi service is provided by the Antalya Airport Taxi Cooperative whose drivers mostly speak English and a taxi stand is located outside the arrival area in front of the Terminal Building. At the end of the trip, there will be a single transfer to Antalya Airport on the evening of Day 8. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation. All clients MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights.

After breakfast at our pension, we set off on our day's walk on the St Paul Trail, sometimes after a short transfer in the support vehicle. During the walk, we will carry a daypack which is large enough to pack a lightweight fleece, rain jacket, water bottle cameras etc. We usually make a fairly early start to make the best of the cool morning air. We will walk for approximately 6 - 8 hours a day, stopping off en-route to eat our packed lunch. Along the way, there are often sites of great antiquity which we shall visit. At the end of the day, we will arrive at our overnight accommodation or meet our transport for a short transfer. After freshenning up (on most days there will be the opportunity to take a hot shower) we can enjoy a drink in the warm evening before sitting down to dinner where the guide will brief us on the following day. This is a the perfect time of day for socialising with the group and reliving the events of the day.

During this trip, the group will spend 2 nights at a comfortable hotel in Antalya. During the trek we stay in simple village pensions where rooms may be twin, triple or quad share with shared WC and showers (hot water provided by solar heating). The pensions offer basic but comfortable overnight stays and are the only accommodation available on the St Paul's Trail. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex for the 2 nights in the hotel in Antalaya. Single rooms are available for these nights at supplementary cost. Additional hotel nights in Antalya are also available. For Hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website. Hotels are subject to availability and prices may vary.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Breakfasts in the pensions will usually consist of fresh baked bread, butter, jam and/or honey, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, yogurt, preserved meat, fruit juice, eggs, and tea or coffee. Dinner will normally be a three course meal starting with soup and a main course ranging from simple grilled meats to elaborately baked fish and meat casseroles. There will also be a vegetarian option. Desserts are also important in Turkey, including the famous baklava, which is layered filo pastry, stuffed with almond paste or pistachios steeped in syrup. Packed lunches are provided during the walking days. In Antalya there is a wide range of restaurants, cafes and snack bars for you to choose from serving both local and international cuisine.

All breakfasts, 6 lunches and 5 dinners are included in the holiday price. While staying in Antalya where there is a wide range of dining options, we do not iclude meals within the holiday price, leaving the style in which you wish to eat and also the choice of budget, to you. This amounts to a total of 3 meals which you will pay for directly. We recommend you allow a total of £30 - £50 for these meals. The final meal included in the holiday price is breakfast on day 8.

We estimate that £150 - £200 (or equivalent in US dollars, Euros etc.) changed into local currency (Turkish Lira), should be sufficient to cover your incidental expenditure including the above mentioned meals, tips to local staff, entrance charges to archaeological sites (allow a total of £10), drinks and souvenirs. If you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks, wine or beer, or if you intend to buy expensive souvenirs you should make an allowance for this. Credit cards can be used in Antalya and cash can be drawn from ATM's in the town using a credit or debit card.

An experienced, professional, English-speaking local guide will lead the trip. There will also be a support vehicle and driver.

Tips do not form part of the wages of local staff but they are very much appreciated. It is important to remember that tipping is voluntary and should be dependent on good service. We recommend that tips to your local guide and driver are given at the end of the trip by the group as a whole. The actual amount of the tip is up to you but again this is best decided by the group as a whole and as a rough guide, a contribution from each group member of around £10 – 15 (in local currency equivalent) should provide a suitable pool for tips.

There is no weight limit as such since your main bag will be carried between overnight stops in the tour bus. However we do ask you to restrict your luggage to one main bag (your KE trek bag) and a small daypack. Please bear in mind that you will need to be able to carry your bag up to rooms which may involve climbing flights of narrow stairs.

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

A passport with a minimum of 2 months remaining validity from the date of entry is required (at least 6 months remaining validity is recommended). Visas are required by US, Canadian, UK and most European passport holders (but not by nationals of France, Germany, Greece, Denmark, Finland or Sweden).

All visitors to Turkey are required to purchase their entry visa via the Turkish Government website prior to travel. You will need an email address and a printer connected to your computer in order to do this. After you have submitted your application you will be sent a verification email. Once you receive the “e-mail address verification message”, you will need to click the “approve” button and then proceed with the payment within 24 hours otherwise your application will time out and you will need to make a new application. Currently, the cost of the e-visa is 20 US Dollars. Payment can only be made with Visa or Mastercard (debit or credit cards). Once payment has been made you will receive a further email with a link to download the e-visa. Please print out and keep your e-Visa with you while entering and exiting Turkey.

Visas are valid for 180 days from the date of application for a stay of up to 90 days.

Note for Clients on Mount Ararat ONLY, we also require that you send us the following information by e-mail or by post at least 4 weeks prior to departure:

Your place of birth

Your Father’s full name

Your Mother’s full name

Please note that Mount Ararat permits will not be issued without these details.

We do keep our information up to date but be advised visa requirements are subject to change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in the case of recent alterations.

Passport validity

You should ensure your passport satisfies the following criteria:

Valid for a minimum of six months from the date of entry into Turkey

Valid for at least three months from the date you leave Turkey

Valid for at least 60 days beyond the expiry date of your visa, e-visa or residence permit (visas and e-visas are often issued with 6 months validity so your passport may need to have eight months validity at the time your visa is issued).

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking boots
  • Trainers / sneakers or sandals
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Waterproof overtrousers / rain pants
  • Waterproof jacket
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Gloves
  • Sunhat
  • Eyewear - Sunglasses
  • Warm hat
  • Small padlock (to lock trek bag)
  • Daypack 30 litres
  • Headtorch / headlamp
  • Sun protection (including for lips)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Basic First Aid Kit including the following: Insect repellent; antiseptic cream; throat lozenges; diarrhoea treatment (Diocalm or Immodium); painkillers; plasters/band-aids and blister treatment; and re-hydration salts (Dioralite). Glucose sweets and vitamin tablets are a useful addition.

The following items are optional:

  • Spare laces
  • Swim-wear
  • Sheet sleeping bag
  • Towel
  • Trekking poles
  • Camera, media, spare batteries
  • Penknife (remember to put all sharp objects in hold baggage)
  • Travel clothes

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

Know before you go

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

It makes a lot of sense to spend some time before coming on an active holiday getting some additional exercise. While regular hiking in hill or back country is the best preparation, jogging, squash and swimming are also good for developing better cardiovascular fitness and stamina. Before departure, we suggest that you try to fit in a number of long walks in hilly country.

The best trekking weather is between May and October when we have planned our trips. We can expect daytime temperatures to range between 20 and 25ºC, dropping at night to 15 ºC. This part of Turkey enjoys a very favourable Mediterranean climate and sunshine is the norm. However, we are still in a mountain area and short lived storms sometimes with thunder and heavy rain, can occur.

The St Paul Trail. Kate Clow. The Rough Guide to Turkey. Lonely Planet. Turkey. Fodor’s Exploring Turkey.

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