Embark on a self-guided bike tour of Turkey's rugged southwest coast, making use of occasional transfers to give you the best rides available over 8 days.
Few countries can stir up an assault on the senses and equally pack in as much history as the wonderfully diverse Turkey. Travel back in time through ancient empires, enjoy world-famous ruins and monuments, wander through fragrant and colorful markets, lap up the beautiful Mediterranean coastline and marvel at the otherworldly rock formations of Cappadocia. Naturally, this beautiful country is perfect for a bicycle adventure and better yet you can finish each day’s ride by sipping a delicious çay (Turkish tea) - an important part of the culture - and tucking into one of the world’s finest cuisines.
Now where to begin first with your bike? Well, you will likely arrive in the magical city of Istanbul where East truly meets West and this is the perfect spot to start. Linking Europe with Asia, this famous last stop on the Silk Road is the epitome of true Turkish diversity. Roman, Greek, Persian, Byzantine and Ottoman empires all quarrelled over the city before the latter stayed. And it means the city is packed with history, magnificent hospitality, plus countless minarets. Cycling here will introduce you to the city at a leisurely pace. If you are to catch one thing here (though we advise taking your time) make it the spectacular Aya Sofa - a stunning former cathedral and mosque.
For the ultimate bicycle tour experience while in Turkey, visiting the distinctive fairy chimneys in the region of Cappadocia is an absolute must and a highlight of any trip. Riding around the valleys you will be enraptured by this moonscape landscape of volcanic rock. This 30km (19 mi) circular route leads you across uneven and thrilling terrain. And Cappadocia is not just a beautiful landscape, towns like Urgup are carved out of the rock, while churches and ancient Bronze Age homes are also built into the environment. You will ride off with a camera packed full of pictures.
History is never far around the corner in Turkey, but the ancient ruins of the port city of Ephesus really take things to another level. Dating back more than 1,500 years you can literally wander through centuries of history, taking in ancient Greek and Roman sites.
However, if you are feeling topped up with history and crave some coastal breeze, taking your bike to the vacation hotspot of Antalya will quickly provide a fix. Beautiful azure waters greet you to one side while inviting mountains offer a challenge for more serious riders.
Of course, you can also just opt to kick back on an Ottoman, enjoy a fine Meze platter and round it off with some baklava, while reflecting on a wonderful bike tour in this exquisite country.