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Self-Guided Cycling in Turkey
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. Showcasing the natural beauty, cultural values and stunning archaeological sites of the area, you will have all day to ride the route at your own pace, stopping wherever you fancy to taste the fresh fruit for sale, drink a tea in one of the local cafes or simply soak up the views. Ride on very quiet but well-surfaced roads. The roads are a good mix of flat and hilly, with some steep ascents in places, where the low gears of the bikes are welcome.
- CategoryEasy-going & Leisurely
- Duration8 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level2 - Novice
- Activity Level2 - Moderate
- Elevation3 - Intermediate
- Distance159.7 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance26.7 miles
- Day 1Arrival
The tour starts at Dalaman airport or Dalyan itself - a transfer from the airport is included in the tour price.
On arrival, you will have time to set-up your bike, and wander into the town to sample the excellent local cuisine. If you arrive early you may have time to cross the river and go up to the ancient city of Caunus, to visit the theatre or marvel at the complicated river delta system from the high acropolis (River crossing and entry fee not included).
- Kilim Hotel, Dalyan or similar
- Day 2Riding Lake Koycegiz and Swimming at Sultaniye hot springs
A great ride all the way around the freshwater lake, returning to Dalyan at the end.
Riding straight from the hotel, you'll pass through fertile farmland growing sesame and pomegranate, the drainage ditches are alive with terrapins basking in the sun. You ride past some of the beautiful and locally endemic Liquidambar orientalis (Oriental sweetgum) trees, and a series of quiet villages until you descend to the shoreline at the pleasant town of Koycegiz.
The far side of the lake is more hilly, a spectacular twisty road with a few climbs and thrilling descents take you to the lush shores of Sultaniye, where the hot sulphur springs and mud-baths are found. After a relaxing time, there is a short ride back to the riverside and you will take a ferryboat across the river back to Dalyan.
- 39.8 miles
- Kilim Hotel, Dalyan or similar
- Day 3Ride from Dalyan to the yachting town of Gocek
Ride through fertile plains separated by satisfying climbs and thrilling descents.
Riding straight from the hotel you'll head south towards Lake Sulungur - a great place to spot kingfishers. Climbing a hilly ridge you will descend to the fields of cotton, and citrus groves to the town of Dalaman.
Leaving the town, you'll head into the pine-clad hills past remote hamlets before descending to the marina town of Gocek. You should arrive in Gocek in the early afternoon with time to relax by the pool before an after-dinner promenade to see the beautiful yachts on display.
- 35.4 miles
- Gocek Pera Hotel
- Day 4Transfer to Keçiler above Fethiye. Ride to visit Kayaköy, then ride to Oludeniz and Butterfly Valley to Kabak bay
Ghost towns, famous lagoons and cliff-lined fjords await you today. To avoid the highway, the tour operator will transfer you 45 minutes past Fethiye to the pass above Keciler. Starting your ride here you'll descend to the plain of Kayakoy where you can visit this uniquely preserved town, abandoned by the Greek minority in the exchange of populations in 1923.
After the visit, you will climb inland to ovacık before a fast descent to sea level at Oludeniz lagoon, one of the most photographed sites of Turkey. The road now follows the extremely rugged coastline, climbing up to the edge of the stunning butterfly valley, not so good if you suffer from acrophobia! Now you'll continue until the road abruptly ends at the impassable bay of Kabak.
- 22.4 miles
- -689 ft
- Comfortable Wooden Lodge Hotel ( Shiva Camp or similar)
- Breakfast and Dinner
- Day 5Transfer up to the heights of Karaagac. Bike the Seven Capes past Xanthos and then to Patara, Roman capital city of Lycia
A memorable cycle on some of the most scenic roads of the Lycian region with unrivalled views, coast and culture.
A short but very steep and twisty transfer to the pass of Karaagac takes you to the perfect place to start your ride, sweeping past the most astonishing of coastal vistas before descending inland, all the way to the gently flowing Xanthos river crossing at the site of Ancient Xanthos itself. One of Turkey's 15 UNESCO world heritage sites, Xanthos was the first capital city of the Lycians from before 1200BC until Roman times, when it was overtaken by the growth of Patara. The finest artworks from here, an artistic mix of the Persian and the Hellenistic, are the centrepiece of the British Museum in London.
From here a gentle ride across the flood plain takes you to the village of Patara.
- 28.6 miles
- Delfin Hotel
- Day 6Cultural sites and relaxation. A gentle ride to Patara ancient city and then to Patara beach.
Magnificent ruins with a sandy beach untouched by development are all yours to explore today.
A day to fully enjoy the extensive remains of this grand city, and the 18kms of untouched sand. After a good breakfast and maybe a dip in the pool, you will take a gentle ride past the grand gate, built in the time of Emperor Vespasian. There are 3 great bathhouses where arrivals to this harbor city were cleaned up and inspected for disease. There is a church where the original Father Christmas ( St Nicholas of Lycia) may have prayed when he was a young man, a native of Patara.
Continue your tour to the colonnaded streets leading to the theatre and magnificently reconstructed parliament chamber, where the world's first federal democracy met. Also worth visiting is the lighthouse built in the time of Emperor Nero, which guided trade to this vast city.
After your fill of the remains, it is just a short ride to the pristine beach, which as a major nesting site for Loggerhead Turtles has been saved from any development.
- Delfin Hotel
- Day 7Rural ride to Kalkan, splendid coastal scenery on ride to Kas
Following the ragged wild shoreline to Kas, you will bike today. You will have time to enjoy lunch in the town square, relax in Turkish Bath before celebrating your achievements in this stylish town.
Leaving Patara you'll go back inland, on the floodplain before you climb to the pass of Akbel, replete with teashops where you can have a well-deserved refreshment. From here, you will swoop down to the D400 highway, which, with its smooth asphalt, low levels of traffic twists and turn all with magnificent sea views makes it one of the cycling highlights of the entire Mediterranean coast.
You will have the opportunity to swim at Kaputas beach, at the mouth of a deep canyon 200 steps down to the shore.
- 28.6 miles
- Hideaway Hotel
- Day 8Departure
Tour ends this morning with a transfer to Dalaman airport A transfer will be arranged to suit your onward travel arrangement.