Turkey is the perfect destination for a cycling tour; amazing roads, beautiful scenery, friendly people, delicious food and plenty of guesthouses to accommodate bicycles. However, unbeknownst to most cycle enthusiasts – Turkey can also cater for those wanting to mix their journey up a bit by adding a cruise to your bicycle holiday. Hit the road and pedal across the hilly terrain of the southern coast of Turkey then board a private yacht to take you to wonders and sites along the Mediterranean Coast only accessible by sea.
So, when visiting Turkey why do less when you can do more? Here’s one of our suggested bicycle and blue cruise tours throughout Turkey.
Day 1 – Kusadasi
The journey begins in the city of Kusadasi, a large port and connection point between Turkey and Greece. Check in and boarding onto a traditional Turkish gulet commences in the late afternoon and the evening can be spent wondering through the vibrant and colourful streets of this coastal town.
Day 2 – Kusadasi – Ephesus – Sirince – Kusadasi
In the early morning, we set off for our first cycle tour. We cross over the lively bazaar of Kusadasi and head out of town to continue into marvellous cherry valleys. The landscape is stunning around this area, and farmers compliment this site selling fresh fruit from the roadside. We are able to stop and taste this locally grown product. We cycle through 35kms of farm land and valleys before we reach our destination, Ephesus.
Bordering modern day Selcuk, Ephesus is the most well preserved ancient city in Turkey and southern Europe. A local guide will explain the background of this archaeological site while walking through the magnificent highlights including the library of Celsus.
Following our tour and a 12km cycle, we come to the Greek village of Sirince. A wine village in its own right, this town is also home to the famous terrace style houses and some great markets for souvenirs. In the late afternoon a bus will collect the group and return them to the gulet to spend the night.
Day 3 – Kusadasi – Karine – Milet – Didim
The gulet cruises early in the morning past the looming Dilek Mountains and moors in the bay of Karine. We disembark to begin cycling for the day taking us through the broad plain of the Menderes River Delta to Miletus, an ancient Greek city. This ancient city is famous for the battle where Alexander the Great and his fleet defeated the Persian supremacy and took control of the city.
Our ride continues onto Didim to visit one of the best preserved Hellenistic buildings of antiquity, Dydima. We cover a total of 49km today and return to the gulet in the afternoon to swim, relax and enjoy dinner overnight in the bay of Akbuk.
Day 4 – Akbuk – Iassos
On Day 4, the group has a total of 35km of ground to cover. We cycle to Iassos, a hilly but short ride through olive trees and pine forests. The ride will return us to a bay close by, where the gulet will be waiting. Tonight we enjoy drinks as the sun sinks into the sea.
Day 5 – Iassos – Yaliciftlik
Enjoy cycling through roads less frequented and remote villages and forests this morning on the journey to Yaliciftlik. You will hear the call to prayer as you pedal past farmers working in cotton fields. We have a lunch stop and speak to the locals willing to pass on stories of their towns. On the arrival to Yaliciftlik, we will meet the captain and crew on the gulet and our bicycles will be loaded onto the deck. Today you will need to stretch the legs after cycling 63km.
Day 6 – Yaliciftlik – Kormen – Knidos
Your crew will steer the gulet towards Kormen in the morning where we head ashore with our bicycles. We cycle across the Datca Peninsula beginning with an uphill climb to the highest point of our ride – 450 meters above sea level. On clear days, our view across the sea here extends right to the Greek Islands of Nisyros, Tilos and Rhodes. Afterwards, feel the wind in your hair as this scenic route takes you on a lovely downhill ride to the archaeological site of Knidos. We explore this ancient site before boarding the gulet and spending the night in this attractive bay.
Day 7 – Knidos – Yaliciftlik – Bodrum
In the morning of the seventh day, the gulet cruises us back to Yaliciftlik for our last day of cycling on this tour. An easy ride of 17km will bring us to the bustling streets of Bodrum. Life is vibrant in Bodrum, a big contrast compared to the rest of the tour. Don’t miss out on walking through the streets, and visiting the remains of the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Day 8 – Bodrum
After our final breakfast on board, we disembark with bicycles in tow and head off to our next destination wherever it may be. This is a perfect trip for cyclists and yachting enthusiasts alike.
This is just one of the many options to choose from. There is no dearth of routes and bays in Turkey hence there is no lack of travel itineraries also! Your trip is a worthwhile mix of fast paced biking, and slow paced boating, firm ground and rocking waves. Truly a trip of a lifetime!