by Orjan Hansson – You will find accounts on the net by people walking St Paul Trail doing it the hard way: carrying a heavy pack, camping and cooking along the way. However, you can do it the easy way with just a daypack, staying in small pensions and in people’s homes. This account is to help you organize a short daypack trip similar to the one I did on the eastern leg of the trail in the second half of September, 2014. It is a rough trail in beautiful, remote countryside. You will meet a lot of friendly people and have wonderful breakfasts as the sun rises over the mountains. If you have an urge to get away from it all this is a very good choice and it’s a nice feeling to know that every lira you spend will help the locals to go on living there. The places/villages where you stay have internet and transport possibilities.
Time needed: A week
Fitness needed: Not very much. I exercise at home by jogging very slowly 4 kilometers every 2 or 3 days. That level of fitness is enough for this trail.
How to get there: You can fly in and out of Antalya with a direct charter flight seat from many European cities.
Where to start: If you arrive at Antalya airport during the day you can, in order not to waste any time, take a taxi to Oluk Köprüsü and from there walk for about an hour to Tevfik’s pension and spend the night there. The surroundings are beautiful and the people, as always in Turkey, very friendly. If you arrive in the evening take a taxi to Perge Pension and spend the night there before you start walking.
Where to end the trip: Decide that when walking. There are buses (or taxis) that can take you back to Antalya on the very day you think you’d rather relax in the lovely old city of Antalya than hike the trail. There will be time for both in a week.
What to bring: Very little. To give you an idea I’ll mention a few things: I had one pair of trousers and two short-sleeved shirts (drying overnight). Rain gear of course, a small sleeping bag, a good book , a lot of podcasts and preferably a friend. I walked alone and I was fine with that, but don’t walk alone without being experienced.
The guidebook and the app: Do bring them both. The book gives you valuable background and the app is essential to keep you on the trail. Buy a Turkish simcard on the airport and be sure to have Google translate installed on your mobile. It works wonders in the villages (“I want to eat tonight”, “Can someone drive me there tomorrow??” etc.) But do learn some Turkish as well.