TURKEY BIKE TOUR

( 11 DAYS )

Discover the best of Turkey while biking through the ancient civilizations and the Mediterranean sun.

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1. DAY

Friday: Departure
Flying from home to Istanbul, Turkey.

2. DAY

Saturday: ISTANBUL
Start your tour of the city built astride two continents with visits to St. Sophia Church (later a mosque and now a museum). Visit to the Blue Mosque with its six minarets, the old Byzantine Hippodrome and the Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans between the 15th and 17th centuries. Cruise on the Bosporus, the winding strait that separates the city as well as Europe from Asia. Its shores offer a delightful mixture of past and present. Back to the hotel.
Accommodation : Overnight stay in Istanbul.

3. DAY

Sunday: Istanbul-Tekirdag-Gallipoli
Coach transfer to the Town of Tekirdag and starting our bike tour along the Marmara Sea shore. Arrival at Murefte and transfer to Gallipoli hotel.
Accommodation : Overnight stay in Gallipoli.

4. DAY

Monday: Gallipoli-Canakkale 76 km
The day begins with bike fitting, but soon we will be on the road cycling around the Peninsula. During the First World War the Dardanelles defences proved their worth and stopped the allied forces at the narrow and hilly Peninsula. There we have a tour of the battlefields, war memorials and the National Park which are an exemplary experience. In the afternoon we catch the ferry to Canakkale for our overnight stop.
Gallipoli is a peninsula locality in north-western Turkey, close to Istanbul. The Gallipoli Peninsula is the site of extensive First World War battlefields and memorials on the north bank of the Dardanelles Strait. The Gallipoli peninsula is one of the most sacred sites for the Turkish nation.
Accommodation : Overnight stay in Canakkale (B)

5. DAY

Tuesday – Dalyan 81 km
It was at Canakkale that Leander swam what was then called the Hellespont to his love Hero whose legend was narrated by Lord Bryon as a romantic feat. We continue on the south road for 12km to Guzelyali, and then off-road onto Troy (now called Truva). Evocative of the epic struggle highlighted in the Iliad, Troy was believed to be only a work of Homer’s imagination until nine levels of civilization were unearthed in the 1870 archaeological excavation work. The second bottom layer, where a great deal of treasure was found, is believed to be Homer’s Troy. We continue to Geyikli and onto our hotel at Kestanbol.

The ancient city of Troy lies across the Gallipoli Peninsula in Thrace, Turkey’s European Part. With its rugged cliffs, pretty hills and flat plains, the area’s stunning natural beauty and wealth of historical treasures help to give it a magical air.

Troy’s history, made famous by Homer’s poems, Iliad and The Odyssey, was for a long time thought to have been based on Greek mythology. However, in the 1860’s, archaeological digs in the Çanakkale province of modern Turkey discovered ancient ruins which are thought to be that of the ancient city of Troy, subject of legend and literature and the site of the Trojan War. Troy became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998, and is worth visiting for its ruins- some of which date back to about 3000BC- as well as its ancient walls, beautiful scenery and its close proximity to the WWI battlefield of Gallipoli.
Troy is one of the most important historical and archaeological sites in the world. This ancient site, now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, is set on great plains and contains the remnants of nine different periods of settlement which date back as far as the Bronze Age. Among the jumble of ruins is foundations of houses, the old city walls, the Temple of Athena and a theatre; there are boards which explain the ruins. The Troy site was first excavated in 1868 by German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann, who unfortunately destroyed much of it in the process.
The site itself is beautiful, with views of the Dardanelles and the surrounding hills. A wooden replica of the Trojan horse has also been erected on site and visitors are free to wander around an inside it. Some of the artifacts excavated from the Troy site are available for viewing at the nearby Çanakkale Archaeological Museum.
Accommodation : Overnight stay in Kestanbol

6. DAY

Wednesday: Assos 63 km
Today we head for Assos, now called Behramkale. Perched on the hilltop is the Temple Athena which looks across the sea Greek Lesbos Island. Assos was considered one of the most beautiful cities of its time attracting even Aristotle. We stay overnight at the hotel Therrace.
Accommodation : Overnight stay in Assos

7. DAY

Thursday: Ayvalik 60 km
Today we cycle along the dazzling Aegean Coast – the sea on one side and pine forest on the other. We pass sheltered coves and rocky bays lapped by crystal waters. Our overnight destination is Ayvalik.
Ayvalik is a town on the Aegean Coast of Turkey with a visible mixture of Turkish-Greek heritage. It faces the Island of Lesbos and a stone-throw away from several significant historical sites. Assos and Troy, Pergamon, and Mount Ida are mostly a short drive from Ayvalik. The road to Assos used to be, and it may still be, extremely narrow, with sharp curves, on a very steep side of the mountain. Near Ayvalik are many small islands, inlets, peninsulas, giving the shoreline a dynamic interest. On the land side are modest mountains on which Pinus Pinea, or Umbrella Pine provides the economic engine. Pine nuts obtained from these pine trees support several small towns like Kozak and Kinik. On Thursdays a big farmers’ market provide a rich variety of items to the locals. The buyers, interacting with the merchandise add another layer of interest to these dynamic gatherings once a week.
In the surrounding area are many olive groves which produce one of the main products of Ayvalik, olive oil. Visits to these groves present great photographic opportunities with “ancient” olive trees. Finding trees several centuries old is relatively easy, yet with a little search one can find trees estimated to be 800 plus years old.
Accommodation : Overnight stay in Ayvalik

8. DAY

Friday: Ayvalik – Pergamon – Doganbey 60 km
Today our ultimate destination is Doganbey on the south of Izmir. We start with cycling from Ayvalik-Cunda Island to Kozak. From there we take a rest from cycling and continue by coach to Pergamon where we stop to visit the site. Once considered to be one of the most cultured cities in the world, Pergamon is one of the most impressive classical sites in Turkey. Of particular interest is the Library which once held 200,000 books, competing with the Library of Alexandria. The legend says that Mark Antony creamed the best of the collection and gave it to Cleopatra. We continue by coach trough Izmir, Turkey’s 3rd largest city, and the birth place of Homer, to Doganbey.
Accommodation : Overnight stay in Doganbey

9. DAY

Saturday: Doganbey – Ephesus – Selcuk 55 km
Back on two wheels again for our last days cycling, and we set off early for our final destination. Ephesus was the capital of the Roman Empire in Asia Minor and is one of the world’s best preserved sites. The first excavations were undertaken in 1896 by an Austrian archaeologist, and have since continued virtually uninterrupted. Ephesus had an important Christian congregation and legend has it that the Virgin Mary came here with St.Paul at the end of her life. From here we will make the short journey to Selcuk, a small town dominated by a Byzantine fortress, once the largest temple in Asia minor. It also has an interesting museum with objects recovered from Ephesus including a life sized figure of Artemis. We will stay here for our last nights.
Accommodation : Overnight stay in Selcuk

10. DAY

Sunday: Selcuk
A free day for relaxing in Selcuk. Alternatively you can visit The Selcuk Museum, St. John’s Cathedral, the House of Virgin Mary and the beach resort of Kusadasi. In the evening we celebrate our achievement with a gala dinner and Turkish folklore evening.
Accommodation: Overnight stay in Selcuk

11. DAY

Monday: Transfer
Transfer to Izmir Airport for Our Return Flight.

Things You Need To Bring With You On The Bike Tour:

  • Panniers
  • Camelback
  • Rain cape/jacket
  • Bungee Cords
  • Ziploc bags/plastic shopping bags – for storing your wet and dirty items
  • Matches and whistle – in case of emergency
  • Pen/sharpie
  • Journal – to document interesting people and places
  • Camera
  • Extra batteries and charger for camera
  • Bike shorts or long tights
  • Cycling jerseys
  • Bike gloves
  • Bike shoes
  • Sunglasses
  • Contact lenses/prescription eyeglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Band-aids both for cuts and covering blisters
  • Saddle cream
  • Icy-Hot or other muscle cream to reduce aching and soreness
  • Motrin, aspirin or other pain reliever
  • Hat/bandana/visor

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