Cycling the Turquoise Coast of Turkey

  • Itinerary Summary

    An aspiring new member of the European Union, Turkey has acted as a bridge between Europe and Asia for more than two millennia. Join us as we explore the Southern Coast of Turkey, once inhabited by the ancient Lycians, Romans, Greeks and later the Ottomans. We'll ride through the Dalaman River delta and around mountains that inspired legendary characters. We begin our tour in Antalya, Turkey's Mediterranean capital. From here we pedal west through limestone mountains and pine forests along the coast that was once inhabited by the Classical Greeks. You'll enjoy extraordinary rides and views of this beautiful coastline and feast on exquisite Turkish culinary delights.
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    1. Day 1: Arrive today in Antalya, Turkey

      Highlights: Antalya, equestrian resort, pool, bike fitting

      Meet in famous Antalya this morning to shuttle to our resort hotel. If you've traveled to Turkey before and have already explored Istanbul you might want to come a few days early to visit this great city. Antalya was in the eastern part of the ancient land of Lycia, occupied by a non-Greek people during classical times. We'll leave the city for our resort equestrian hotel where we'll enjoy a light lunch, fit bikes and suggest either a test ride, a walk in the gardens, or anyone up for a horse ride? Whatever you decide make sure you save some time to simply laze about the lovely hotel pool! Our inaugural dinner tonight has a mountain backdrop.

    2. Day 2: Bicycle from Camyuva to Cirali

      Highlights: Ancient site of Phaselis and Lycian Mount Olympos, Cirali, and Carreta. Carreta ("loggerhead") sea turtles, hike among the Chimera flames

      We'll have our safety talk after breakfast this morning, and then start pedaling! Our route today takes us past the ancient port of Rhodes and Phaselis, which in its prime, had three harbors. We highly recommend lunch at the trout farm along the way, and later, you can swim at the white sand beaches and explore the Greek theater and aqueduct. The beaches of Cirali are protected because the Caretta Carreta sea turtles have laid their eggs here for millions of years.

      We are also on the slopes of Mount Olympos (the Turkish Mt. Olympos, not the Greek mountain, home of the gods). This is the home of the eternal flames of mythical Chimera. Cirali, which means "flame" in Turkish, refers to the fires burning at the naturally-occurring methane vents on the slopes of Olympos. According to legend, Bellerophon, the legendary hero of Lycia, killed the fire-breathing monster Chimera with the help of the Greek gods Athena and Pegasus. The flames remain as a reminder of his deed. We'll hike as a group to see the flames of Chimera before dinner together this evening. Distance: 36 km (22 miles) plus more for those who wish.

    3. Day 3: Around Mount Olympos to Finike

      Highlights: Bike along the Mediterranean coast

      Bicycle the coast from Cirali to Finike with some of the most beautiful views of the Mediterranean you'll find anywhere. This coast is full of fertile fields and greenhouses growing tomatoes and eggplants. Our ride today begins with a walk with bikes on the beach. Once on our bikes, we'll circle around Mount Olympos, through the ancient ruins of Lymira, and toward our hotel on the beach in the small seaside town of Finike. 301 riders may wish to shuttle one brief stretch of 5-6 kilometers today. Dinner is on your own this evening. Distance: 68 km (42 miles).

    4. Day 4: Cycling to the Ancient Town of Kaş

      Highlights: Demre hometown of St. Nicholas, Ancient necropolis of Myra, Greek theater of Kas

      We continue bicycling west today from Finike to the ancient Greek site of Kaş. We pedal via Demre where Bishop Nicholas presided before being sainted (and later becoming legendary Santa Claus). Nearby is the site of ancient Myra with its impressive rock-cut tomb necropolis and 2nd-century theater. 401 level riders will have their most challenging ride today while 301 riders will shuttle one or two portions of this route. Dinner is together this evening. Distance: 76 km (47 miles).

    5. Day 5: A rest day in Kaş

      Highlights: Boat ride to the Greek island of Castellorizo, rest on the beach, optional ride on the Kaş peninsula

      Today we'll ride a charter boat straight south from Kaş to the Greek island of Castellorizo, where we'll learn about the geo-politics of Turkish-Greek relations over the centuries. Those who prefer can take the 14 km. loop out on the Kaş peninsula. Dinner is on your own tonight. Maybe this is the evening to take a picnic and hike along the shore to the miniature Greek theatre, one of the jewels among the Greek ruins on this coast. Distance: optional up to 100 km (62 miles).

    6. Day 6: Kaş to Patara

      Highlights: Patara, an ancient city with the best beaches in the world

      Our destination today is Patara, one of the most important ancient ports in this part of the Mediterranean. With 16 kilometers of sandy beach, the city is also reputed to have some of the best beaches in the world. We suggest pedaling on after our ride ends to visit the beach and ruins of Patara, adding about 8 km. round-trip to today's ride. Lunch is available at the hotel if you wish or you can stop in a restaurant in town. Distance: 55 or 68 km (34 or 42 miles).

    7. Day 7: Cycling to Fethiye

      Highlights: Xantos, capital of ancient Lycia, Gulf of Fethiye and Amynthas Rock Tomb

      If you haven't had enough archaeological ruins yet, we'll stop by Xantos, once the capital city of Lycian civilization, before our ride. Though we are in the shadow of the Taurus Mountains today, our ride to Fethiye is fairly flat. We'll pedal right past a large carpet marketing cooperative on the way; stop if you are interested, and if you buy a rug we'll call the van to carry it! Once in Fethiye you might choose to visit the Amynthas Rock Tomb, one of the best examples of Lycian architecture set against the side of the mountain overlooking the city. If you'd rather just enjoy the pool this evening, you'll have a chance to see some excellent rock tombs in Dalyan as well. Distance: 79 km (49 miles).

    8. Day 8: Bicycling to Dalyan

      Highlights: Loggerhead sea turtle beaches, ride among limestone hills and the Dalaman delta

      We continue northwest today, pedaling around the Gulf of Fethiye through Ortaca to Dalyan. The beaches you see today continue to be prime habitat for the loggerhead sea turtle. Dalyan is sheltered amid limestone hills in the delta of the Dalaman River. Distance: 74 km (46 miles).

    9. Day 9: A Day in the Delta around Dalyan

      Highlights: Take a boat trip, mud baths and hike to Kaunos

      We have a day off the bikes today while we charter a fishing boat and head down the Dalyan River through the delta. We'll stop and hike the beautiful pine forested trails to visit the ruins of ancient Kaunos. The ancient city wall defines the site and you can explore for hours as you can investigate four temples, a well-preserved theater, baths, the agora and a gymnasium. After our hike we'll visit the mud baths, and then you'll have the option of going back to the hotel or spending the afternoon exploring Dalyan. Those who wish can take a short loop ride this afternoon before dinner on your own. Distance: Hike today; optional 30 km (19 mile) bike ride.

    10. Day 10: Quiet Roads and Olive Groves to Gokova Bay

      Highlights: Traditional villages, open markets, sea views and a resort on Gokova Bay

      We ride towards the Aegean today, following quiet country roads through traditional villages and olive groves. Stop at any of the small villages to shop or browse one of the open markets; who knows what you might find to take home! We end our ride in Akyaka, a cozy resort near the Gokova Bay. Dinner is together this evening. Distance: 72 km (45 miles).

    11. Day 11: Bicycle to Ören

      Highlights: Bicycle a newly paved road through pine forests along Gökova Bay (or the Gulf of Gökova)

      We bicycle today to the small town of Ören, a fashionable seaside resort which was built on an early Lydian settlement dating from 1440 BC. It is said that the Roman consul Anthony swam in these waters with his lover, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Cleopatra was so taken with the fine sand of the Gulf that Anthony caused it to be hauled back to Alexandria for the pleasure of his queen! Distance: 50 km (31 miles)

    12. Day 12: Bike to Bodrum

      Highlights: Bicycle to historic town of Bodrum, visit one of the 7 wonders of the world, final dinner

      Our last ride takes us to one of the seven wonders of the world: the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in Bodrum. We have a short ride today so you will have time to visit the mausoleum as well as the Castle of St. Peter, or maybe you'd prefer visiting one of the most famous underwater archaeology museums in the world! We'll have a farewell dinner together this evening. Distance: 75 km (45 miles)

    13. Day 13: Tour ends in Bodrum, near the Bodrum/Milas airport

      Highlights: Shuttle to the airport at 7:00AM for flights back to Istanbul, or continue exploring Turkey.

      Our tour ends in Bodrum today. You can continue to explore the wonders of Turkey by spending extra time here, catching boats north or south, or heading out by airplane to Istanbul or elsewhere. Whatever your choice, have a great trip!

    • Highlights

      Istanbul, Greek and Roman Ruins, Turkish Food, Antalya, Greek Theater of Kaş, Castellorizo, Greece, Bodrum and one of the seven wonders of the world, the Turquoise Coast
    • Includes

      13 days, 12 night accommodation, all breakfasts, 8 dinners; boat trip on the Dalyan River plus "The Usual"
    • Countries

    • Begin/End

      Antalya / Bodrum
    • Arrive/Depart

      Antalya Airport (AYT) / Milas Bodrum Airport (BXN) with 7:00AM shuttle to the Milas Bodrum airport
    • Total Distance

      492 - 635 km (306 - 394 miles) and more if you wish
    • Daily Distance

      36 - 79 km (22 - 49 miles)
    • Rating

      301-401 Daily climbs from the coast, sometimes 5 to 10 miles. Other days you'll ride along the flat shore and have shorter climbs of 3 to 6 miles over smaller coastal headlands and hills. Though the roads are paved the surface often made of chipseal makes this ride a little more challenging.
    • Terms

      Terms & Conditions
  • Dates Price Private Room Charge Notes

    * We are happy to match solo travelers who would like to share a room with someone of the same gender. If no match exists, due to hotel pricing, we will charge 50% of the private room charge. This charge will be collected at the time of the final payment. If a roommate assignment is available it will be refunded at the conclusion of the tour.

  • Stories

    • Bicycling Turkey - A Bridge to the Ancient World

      No other tour offered by ExperiencePlus! provides the wealth of classical history that this tour does. Add excellent food gathered among ingredients from throughout the Middle East and the world, bicycling along one of the world?s most beautiful coastlines, and the exotic architectural traditions of Ottoman Turkey and the Islamic world and you have a tour unmatched anywhere.

    • Turkey on the Eastern Horizon

      A reflective essay by Rick Price, Ph.D., owner of ExperiencePlus!. Rick will accompany our new Cycling the Turquoise Coast of Turkey in May. Read about his previous travels in Turkey and why he is excited to go back.)

    • We had a great time. Guides were excellent. Unforgettable trip.

      Russ A., Seattle, WA
    • I love this trip! Maybe the most memorable bike trip I've had. Biking from one Colosseum to another along the Mediterranean coast and learn about the history is just terrific. One night after dinner in Patara, another fellow biker and I walked into a big outdoor Turkish wedding happening next to our hotel. We were invited to sit at a table and help celebrate!

      Eunice C., Roosevelt Island, NY
    • Our favorite parts were the long hill climbs, the spectacular views of the sea and the mountains. The cave tombs and the ruins were interesting to see too.

      Carolyn & Harold M.
      Centerville, UT

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