The route

This was a temporary blog, specifically for the walk across Turkey. Visit Matt's permanent website,

The route starts at Kusadasi, on Turkey’s Aegean (western) coast. It heads east through Konya, drops southeast to Adana near the Mediterranean Sea, then heads east again to Sanliurfa. From Sanliurfa the route continues east-northeast to Diyarbakir and Van..

I’ll be walking about 60 miles per week. At that rate, the journey will take about 22 weeks (almost six months) of walking, plus downtime in the “layover cities,” which I suspect will be Isparta, Konya, Adana, Sanliurfa, Diyarbakir, and Van.

Here’s a map:

View Heathen Pilgrim route in a larger map

If you really want to get granular, look at this spreadsheet, where I’ve broken down the route into increments averaging 7 miles each.

Here is the elevation profile (click the image to enlarge):

I start out in a river valley for a couple weeks. Then for about 6 weeks I’ll be on a plateau, spending most of that time between 3000 and 4000 feet. From the plateau I drop to sea level for three weeks or so, then back onto a lower plateau (about 2000 to 3000 feet) for about two months. From there I climb to a higher plateau, spending the last three weeks of the walk between 6000 and 7000 feet.

Climate (average highs and lows, precipitation):

Climate profile

Here are some narrative descriptions of the legs of the journey…

  1. Menderes river valley
  2. Climbing onto the plateau — Denizli to Lake Egirdir
  3. On the plateau — Lake Egirdir to Konya
  4. Descending to the Mediterranean — Konya to Silifke
  5. Walking the Mediterranean lowlands – Silifke to Osmaniye
  6. Back in the hills — Osmaniye to the Euphrates
  7. Walking the cradle of civilization — between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers
  8. To a higher plateau — the Tigris river to Lake Van
  9. The last leg — Lake Van to Iran