BABADAG - Turkey

Babadag (Father Mountain) is the mountain which sets off the famous scenic beauty of Oludeniz, part of the Taurus range running across southern Turkey. It is rare to find a mountain rising directly from sea level to a summit of 1969m. Hosting a large variety of flora ranging from rare orchids to old cedar trees, along with an ancient road dated to the Lycian period, this route makes an interesting hike. There has been no path from Oludeniz to Babadag designed for mountain walking since it has not been popular in Turkey until a recent date. This is a combination of several paths formed by shepherds and herds, also using a tiny section of the Lycian way. The route is of intermediate level. Babadag has become one of the most popular paragliding sites in the world.


1- Start (Alt: 40m) : The path starts from the stone stairs at the right side of the mobile phone transmitter. The path is marked from this point.  Here it is rough steep and winding. It cuts through the bushy trees mainly of evergreen oaks and olives. Don’t be tempted to make any shortcuts or to follow other paths that may lead totally in the wrong direction. Further up you need to cross an inclined rock surface. Avoid trying any other routes since the marked path is the safest. If you feel the need to hold the rocks for support, do so. The slope flattens out for a while and past a short inclined section through the red pine trees it comes to a junction. Total trip is 1.9 km. 

2- Junction (Alt: 330m) : Now you join the historical path from Ovacik to Kirme which is in better condition and easier to walk (Ovacik is 3 km to the left). Here turn right. You’ll first pass another junction going to a paragliding take-off area. Turning left the path continues with a gentle incline. Then you’ll cross another take-off point, a gulley and two cisterns before arriving at a third one. Total trip is 4 km.

3- Cistern (Alt: 610m) : Nearby the cistern there is a shady evergreen oak. The path makes a sharp corner to the left. Soon there is a junction where you must turn right. You arrive at a plain walking on a gentle slope. Total trip is 4.7 km.

4- The Plain (Alt: 730m) : From this point you’ll leave the accompanying view of the Blue Lagoon, peninsulas and islands. The scenery suddenly changes with fields, stone walls and the Babadag ridge. Further, there is a junction where the path becomes an earth road. Here you must go straight on while the right hand side continues to a take-off near the cliffs giving a chance to view Kidrak valley. At the last stage the path makes a descent of 40m. due to the topography, where you can see the rocky SW face of Babadag and the gorge, before arriving at Kozagaci village. Total trip is 6.5 km.

5- Kozagaci (Alt: 750m) : Kozagaci is a tiny village which could be a startpoint of many other interesting routes. At this junction one finds a fountain suitable to drink and flowing all year round. There is no other drinkable water source further along. This is a critical halfway point. The following route to Babadag is harder; so if you feel unfit or exhausted it’s advisable not to continue but to have a rest, wander around and return. The motor road may be an alternative back to Ölüdeniz (15 km). To continue take the footpath to the left. On the way there are many junctions. You must stick to the marked path. Soon the path becomes parallel to a tiny stream flowing in winter. After crossing it twice you walk across the eroded terrain with reddish colored rocks. Reaching a negatively inclined rock, turn left. Now the path heads to a gap between a small hill and the long slope leading to the main ridge of Babadag. Before this gap you arrive at a junction near a sole red pine tree.

6- Junction (Alt: 1040m) : Turn right at the junction. The state of the surface and the incline worsens. In some places the bushy trees on  both sides, rocks and scree on the ground make hiking difficult. You must be very careful. Also be cautious not to follow any misleading tracks ending up in the bushes. This section may be tiring and quite boring but now and then with stunning view of the  Blue Lagoon and the ridge. Suddenly you arrive at the cedar line. Total trip is 9.8 km.

7- Cedar Line (Alt: 1450m) : Beginning from this altitude you’ll be in the magnificent cedar forest mixed with other high altitude trees. Snow is certain in winter months. Here the path is vague due to the soil type. The slope is at its greatest throughout the total route. At the end there are a few points at which you may feel the need to hold the rocks. Then the slope flattens out. Total trip is 10.5 km.

8- Ridge (Alt: 1630 m) : Now you are on the ridge of Babadag. Here the path becomes obvious and better in condition. On the other side of a small mount, there is a cliff. You’ll cross two flat areas separated by three easily passed rocky passages. Then the path turns to left and reaches the famous take-off slope. Total trip is 11.2 km.

9- Take-off (Alt: 1720 m) : Here is the widest and longest take-off point on Babadag. It faces SW. The path joins the motor road which makes an alternative way to Oludeniz (18km). The rest is an easy walk on a gently inclined road situated on the northeast side of the ridge. This section allows you to see Fethiye town, Ovacik village, the small plain below, Mendos Mt. across the plain, Akdag  Mt.(3015m) far to the East with Saklikent Canyon on its slopes and Caldag Mt.(2184m) far to the North. On the way there are two gaps allowing the other side to be seen. The last part makes a sharp corner to the right and reaches the peak.

10-Peak (Alt: 1969m) : You have come to the end of the great ascent. There is a forest fire watch station on the peak and two take-off points, one near the station facing to the North, the other 200m. to the East facing South. The station operates only in the summer when the road is accessible by vehicles. The door of the hut near the station may be open in the winter months, a free place to stay overnight as  an option if you are equipped. Depending on the season, weather and time of the day, either from the peak or from one point below, the trucks may be a transport option .If you ask, the drivers will gladly take you to Oludeniz. If you want to walk back you can take the same route. However the alternative road (20km to Oludeniz) provides different scenery with a similar duration. In winter conditions the nearest point that can be accessed by motor vehicles is generally the junction on the plain to the NE at 1250m. altitude. On the way down you must turn left (the other way leads to Mendos Mt.). Here, the only drinkable water source is at 500m. past the junction and on the left side of the road. You must walk up about 100m. from the water depot to reach the fountain. For the rest of this route simply follow the widest track.