Cycling Around Turkey
Though it probably wouldn’t be one of the first countries you think of when planning a holiday on two wheels, Turkey is surprisingly cycle-friendly and an increasingly popular vacation choice for avid bikers. With a perfect blend of scenic views, thrilling ascents and descents and warm climate, Turkey provides an ideal setting and terrain for those looking for an opportunity to cycle from beautiful sights to cultural Meccas, either in big groups, in twos or going it solo.
Here are some suggestions of where to base yourself on a cyclist’s Turkey holiday…
The country’s biggest sea resort located in the south west of Turkey, Antalya is the a must stop, with plenty of villages and charming ancient towns to explore, before tucking into some tasty local cuisine when taking a break from the saddle. The main attraction of a city like Antalya, though, lies in its stunning Taurus Mountains, riding out to natural monuments like the Duden Waterfalls and alongside the gem-like waters of Koprulu Canyon. Antalya is also a big grower of fruits and vegetables, so expect to come across street sellers offering plenty of delicious, fresh fruit to fuel you along the way.
A port city famed for its glorious sandy beaches, buzzing nightlife and party culture, Bodrum is certainly one of Turkey’s more exciting and happening places as well as one of its most aesthetically-pleasing. It offers cyclists many lengthy ride opportunities, with varied routes going through villages and pine forests, and longer options traveling all the way to the Datca peninsula or Marmaris if desired. Luscious sea views and olive groves are aplenty in Bodrum, and there’s no better place to relax after a hard day’s cycling than on its renowned beaches. If the night-life takes your fancy, just make sure you leave your bikes at home…
Much of the riding you can expect on a Turkey holiday is mountain-based due to its rough, unpredictable terrains – which also make it a haven for anyone up for a challenge. However, there are also many road- and track-based rides that are suitable for hybrids or sturdy road bikes, too. Because of its popularity as a European holiday destination, catered and self-catered accommodation is very affordable, especially when travelling in groups, and the year-round warm climate makes it great for camping if you end up cycling out in the wilderness.