New for 2014, this easier version of our popular Cappadocia Adventure Biking MTB tour makes a self guided cycling experience in Cappadocia more accessible than ever! Like the original tour, it’s a journey that offers a true taste of Cappadocia’s finest landscapes, history and local hospitality, connecting incredible historical sights, off the beaten track villages and unmissable panoramas.
This version uses more transfers and some easier routes, keeping daily distances in the 20-30km category, which makes it more suitable for bikers with less physical fitness or experience! The tour is a journey of discovery from start to finish, covering much of the Cappadocia region including the Ihlara Canyon, Soganli Valley, and “Fairy Chimney” lunar landscape that stretches from Mustafapasa to Goreme.
It is possible as a fully guided or self guided tour– giving you the flexibility to go at your own pace and tailor the tour length, dates and schedule to suit!
Day 1: Transfer from Kayseri / Nevsehir Airport to Selime.
At the base of Turkey’s “Grand Canyon”, this is a landscape from the film “Star Wars”- only the awesome rocky canyon is in fact intersected by a delightful green wooded river valley. You can have dinner on the water’s edge and prepare for your tour tomorrow. Overnight Catlak Hotel, Selime
Day 2: Transfer to Mamasun Lake (20 minutes drive). Ride Mamasun Lake – Catalsu – Kizilkaya – Selime (27km / 360m Climb / 320m Descent)
Today you follow an easy dirt road circuit around this beautiful lake with fabulous panoramas over wheat fields and sweeping views of the snow capped Hasan Volcano. The route continues via Gokce village to Catalsu- an ancient settlement with many old ruined houses and a graveyard that juts out into the lakes blue waters. Continuing around the lakeshore, you rejoin the main valley at Kizilkaya, 10km below the base of the main Ihlara Canyon. You pass by superbly grand, ruined old Ottoman houses and an abandoned troglodyte monastery complex on a rough road that leads up river on a shady trail and arrive back at your base in Selime and another delicious meal on the riverside.
Overnight Catlak Hotel, Selime
Day 3: Cycle Selime – Ihlara Canyon – Belisirma – Guzelyurt (19km / 680m Climb / 330m Descent)
You begin the day with a visit to Selime’s superb monastery and rock cut churches and then ride on a lovely singletrack MTB trail through riverside woodlands and into the Ihlara Canyon itself. Fantastic views and sheer rock faces on each side- truly awesome scenery and a real highlight of the region. After 9km (with one section on foot) you arrive at Belisirma village and climb out of the canyon on a steep paved road. You continue on gently climbing dirt roads, past the Greek Orthadox “High Church” and another beautiful lake to arrive at Guzelyurt’s Monastery Valley. This is a charming historical part of the town with lots to see including 19th century “Small Hagia Sofia, underground cities (bring a torch!) and rock cut churches. Tonight you’ll stay in one of Cappadocia’s finest “Konak” luxury boutique hotels and enjoy a real taste of Ottoman grandeur.
Overnight Karamanli Konagi Hotel, Guzelyurt
Day 4: Transfer to Sivrihisar (15 minutes drive). Cycle Sivrihisar – Nar Lake – Gaziemir. (26km / 450m Climb / 965m Descent) Transfer to Soganli (45 minutes drive).
Our ride begins from the 1780m pass at Sivrihisar village with fantastic views over the plains below. The route then follows relatively flat dirt roads past the ruins of Red Church, through open panoramas to the surrounding mountains. You descend to Nar village where you can experience true and traditional Anatolian life. After a break here, you climb up through the village and arrive right on the crater of Nar Lake- an awesome extinct volcanic caldera whose sulphurous waters are an ever-changing chameleon of greens, yellows and blues. Following down to the lake shore you can have a picnic lunch on the waterside before carrying on, mostly downhill, through Sofular Valley to the village of Gaziemir- where you can visit the vast underground city. Your driver will be waiting here to take you on to Soganli, where you’ll stay in a delightful “homestead” style cave pension.
Overnight Emek Pension, Soganli
Day 5: Cycle Soganli – Guzeloz – Sahinefendi – Taskinpasa – Cemil (36km / 675m Climb / 715m Descent). Transfer to Mustafapasa (15 minutes drive).
This morning starts with a circular bike tour (first on asphalt, then on singletrack trail) around the valley to visit several incredible rock cut churches. It then continues on a quiet asphalt road past Guzeloz to the lovely little village of Baskoy. From here a tractor track leads up through green trees to Debenbasi at the head of the canyon. From here you set off on easy dirt roads, gradually climbing up over the Sahinefendi Pass before dropping down into the Damsa valley where you can visit the Roman ruins at Sobessos. You follow the paved road north, visiting the medresse and Selcuk mosque at Taskinpasa and the monastery at Keslik on the way. Amidst awesome scenery this ride is a perfect balance of restful freewheeling and memorable historic sites. You driver will be waiting at Cemil village to take you on to Mustafapasa, where you can relax for the evening in the comfort and splendour of the Old Greek House hotel- one of the region’s most enigmatic historic buildings with an excellent dining pedigree.
Overnight Old Greek House, Mustafapasa.
Day 6: Mustafapasa – Gomeda Valley – Ibrahimpasa – Uchisar – White Valley – Goreme (26km / 700m climb / 750m descent)
Today you set off on a challenging tour of unsurpassed panoramas, through some of Cappadocia’s most awesome and memorable terrain. Towering “fairy chimneys”- interestingly shaped giant rock stacks- and sharply ridged, deeply eroded rocky corridors give the landscape a lunar feel. This is balanced perfectly by green, lush valleys over brimming with fruit trees, vines, and poplars. It’s a unique landscape of biblical grandeur, and today’s route takes in much of the best sights! From Mustafapasa you follow a very scenic dirt road through Gomeda valley, and climb slowly on a beautiful dirt track that takes us up towards Ibrahimpasa village. You continue to a panoramic viewpoint on Karlitepe high above the Goreme valley and enjoy one of the area’s most stunning horizons. From here a rough tractor track takes us downhill to Uchisar- an unmissable setting with a chance to climb on foot to the top of it’s imposing rock hewn hill fort. You then follow an easy but superb dirt road that skirts the canyon edge of White Valley, with fantastic views of unbelievable landscape of fairy chimneys and deeply eroded tuff rock scenery. From the bottom of White Valley we take a sandy dirt road to Goreme- right in the centre of the wonderful touristic heart of the region.
Overnight Flintstones Cave Hotel, Goreme.
Day 7: Cycle Goreme – Rose Valley – Cavausin – Pasabagi – Devrent Valley – Kizilirmak River – Avanos (30km / 500m Climb / 680m Descent). Transfer to Goreme (15 minutes drive).
Today you ride on a dirt road to the incredible rock formations and fairy chimneys at Pasabag- with some of Cappadocia’s most enigmatic scenery and plenty of chance to explore inside the caves too. You can cycle into Rose Valley from the bottom and a visit to the 9th Century Church of Columns. Continuing on sandy tracks you climb up through the barren Devrent Valley and enjoy a long downhill track that brings us out at the majestic Sarihan Caravanserai- a 13th century fortified trading post on the Silk Road. From here you easily reach the majestic Kizilirmak river- Turkey’s longest- and follow paths beneath shady trees along the riverbank past picnic spots and on to Avanos- a small but cosmopolitan town famous for it’s quality ceramics. Avanos is a refreshingly modern place, perfect for a leisurely drink in the square or a stroll through it’s many bazaars and markets. Your driver will meet you here to take you back to Goreme.
Overnight Flintstones Cave Hotel, Goreme.
Day 8: Departure Return transfer to Nevsehir or Kayseri Airport.
Your tour ends here!
Click here to go back to the main Cappadocia Adventure Biking page.