• Efeler Way, Turkey
    Efeler Way, Turkey

Europe's newest long-distance walk, Türkey's Efeler Yolu Cultural Route looks amazing!

Also known as the Efeler Way, this 500km trail explores the country Aegean Region, traversing the Bozdağ Mountain Range, weaving through the Kiraz Highlands, crossing the Aydın Mountain Range and ending in the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus.

Along the way, hikers will pass through 28 villages, each of which has been home to a variety of ancient civilisations. At each one, they’ll have the opportunity to learn about the locals’ practices and customs and absorb their way of life.

Keen to try it? Here are some of the highlights you can look forward to.

Nazarköy: This quaint village sits at the foot of the beautiful Kurudere Nature Reserve. With around 350 inhabitants it’s a stunningly quiet place to take some time out on your long journey.

One of its defining characteristics is its “evil eye beads” – they’re the reason, in fact, for the village’s renaming as nazar means “the evil eye”.

Made from glass, these brightly coloured spheres originate from shamanistic times and are intended to ward off the “jealous gaze”. Visitors can see how they’re made by stopping in at one of the local glass blower workshops.

Bozdağ: Soaking up the breathtaking topography of the Bozdağ mountain chain is certainly a highlight of this long-distance walk.

The mountain’s eponymous village lies on the slopes of Mount Bozdağ and is all snow-capped roofs and protruding minarets. The village might be small (its last registered population size was just over 500) but it attracts skiers, hikers and climbers from all over the world thanks to the mountain's 2156m peak.

Climbing is popular here, with various routes on offer from the popular “The Classic” route to the more technical and challenging “Dik Deresi”. The primary route up is easily navigable, though can be steep at times so make sure you’re well equipped.

Birgi: Further down Bozdağ, sitting just its shadow, lies the ancient town of Birgi. Often noted as one of the prettiest towns in Türkiye, it has tonnes of history seeing it put on UNESCO’s “tentative” list and making it one of the best stops on the route.

Click here for more info on the Efeler Way.

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