About Carian Trail
What is Carian Trail?
Carian Trail is an 800 km hiking trail in the south western part of Turkey comprising Muğla and Aydın cities. The trail passes through some intact beaches, small villages, ancient sites, forests, olive grooves, paths, stone paved roads thus unveiling an unknown region to hikers all around the world.
When can we walk?
Unfortunately the trail is not open for hikers yet, but should be ready by the end of Autumn. When the trail is finished, there will be a guidebook, a map to be published – we will announce it through the website. The trail will be way marked and signposted so as to allow independent travelers to hike without a guide as well.
As for when to walk it, we would advise to walk it anytime but summer (June – October), although the best months are March, April, October and November.
Why is it called Carian Trail?
The trail takes its name from the Carians that were an indigenous people of Asia Minor (today’s Turkey). Although we do not know what they called themselves, as their language and sctript have not been deciphered yet, they are mentioned in the pages of history as Karuwa, Karka (meaning peak, head or promontory) or as Krk. As for the borders of Caria, it used to extend from Indus river in the south (today’s Dalaman Çayı) to Meander River (Büyük Menderes) in the north. The traces of the Carians can be seen along shorelines of the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas, on some of the Greek İslands and upon the mountains. The greatest time for Caria was during the rule of Maussollos (377- 353 BC) for whose name one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Mausoleum, was built. According to early historians like Herodotus who himself was Carian they were the first people to use crests in helmets, put handles on shields and make depictions on them.
Is there a meaning for the logo?
Zeus Labrayndus was one of the chief gods for the Carians The god was revered more during the rule of Hecatomnid Dynasty who increased the splendor of the sanctuary in Labranda and stamped the figure of Zeus on their coins. He was depicted with a double axe, Labrys, on his right hand and a long spear in his left hand. The logo of Carian Trail is a redesign of this coin from 4th century BC, keeping its original features while only changing the spear into a hiking stick.
Below is a map showing some of the ancient sites on the trail. The red line shows the main route, the blue line the side route.