Day 1: Transfer to Lake Egirdir from Antalya Airport Day 2-7: Mountain biking in the Turkish Lake District and St Paul Trail area Day 8: Return transfer to Antalya Airport
5 nights hotel / pension 1 nights village house / 1 night delux bungalows
Day 1: Arrive at Antalya airport, transfer to Egirdir (3 hours drive). We check in the pension, assemble our bikes and have a briefing. We stay in a friendly heritage listed hotel by the shores of Lake Egirdir with great panoramas of the surrounding mountains. Overnight Charlys Pension, Lake Egirdir.
Day 2: Transfer – Bagoren – Barla Pass – Picnic lunch – Beydere – Egirdir (38km / 950m climbing / 1200m descent) We leave the lakeside of Egirdir and transfer 20km to Bagoren, where the ride begins at 1200m on the picturesque slopes of Barla mountain. From here we ascend on a good tractor track up through a wooded valley to reach a spectacular 1750m pass with fantastic views to the lake below (the last section is steep so we’ll probably have to push!). We then descend on a rough path to a fine alpine meadow, where you can dip in and out of an eroded water course or carry on straight over the fields. We pass by a high mountain tented settlement and continue to enjoy stunning views and more great, long, rocky downhills that takes us back to lake level at the rustic village of Beydere. Then we head back to base at Egirdir on a quiet asphalt road. A great, relatively easy, first day and a perfect introduction to the Lake District area! Overnight Charlys Pension, Lake Egirdir.
Day 3: Transfer – Davraz Mountain – Kasnak Forest – Picnic lunch – Balkiri – Egirdir (54km / 1040m climbing / 1770m descent) We transfer to Davraz Ski Centre (35km / 40 mins) and then climb over the frequently snow capped shoulder (Bes Kuyular) to 2000m with commanding views of the lakes and valleys below. We descend an awesome, long, rocky downhill and continue on rough tractor tracks down through natural oak forests of Kasnak National Park to Balkiri village. From here it’s an easy cruise back on the road via Akpinar to Egirdir on the lakeside. Although there’s a good net descent, the terrain, elevation and technical sections make today fairly challenging. Overnight Charlys Pension, Lake Egirdir.
Day 4: Transfer – Melekler Yayla – Karacahisar – Picnic lunch – Eldere – Kuzukulagi Yayla – Kozagacin – Ibisler (71km / 1300m climbing / 2210m descent) Transfer to Aksu – Melekler Yaylasi (1700m) on the northern side of Dedegol mountain (55km / 1hr)- one of the most imposing peaks in the whole Lake District area. Here you are likely to encounter Yoruk semi nomadic shepherds, who live in traditional goat hair tents to tend their flocks of goats and sheep throughout the spring and summer. We head south, with awesome panoramic views to the Yaka Canyon below, and descend into the main Basak river valley at Karacahisar. After a short section on the road along the valley bottom, and a riverside picnic lunch, we climb again on a steadily rising dirt road, above Eldere to Kuzukulagi Yayla, under the massive limestone faces of Dedegol mountain. From here it’s mostly downhill to where our driver awaits at the valley bottom (Ibisler) to take us on up the valley to Kasimlar. We stay in a very friendly, cosy village house pension and enjoy hearty local food. Overnight Kasimlar Pension.
Day 5: Kasimlar – Bucakdere – Tota – Picnic lunch – Saray – Koz Mahar – Sagrak (55km / 1500m climbing / 1470m descent) We leave Kasimlar, climbing into beautiful mountain scenery, passing though lush green scenery in the village of Bucakdere on a long climb through mature pine forest up and over the shoulder of Tota mountain. A good 800m of vertical climbing on a rough tractor track this morning is challenging, but with incredible views evolving at every hairpin, hugely rewarding! We traverse across the mountain at around 1800m, then drop down onto a level, grassy plain. Here we enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade of juniper trees surrounded by gorgeous wildflowers in spring and early summer. We join a relatively easy going dirt road that soon arrives at Saray village, near Sutculer. From there we follow a dirt road downhill, along the course of an old migration route, dropping down into the valley bottom on a rough and sometimes technical track. One last climb on good asphalt brings us to our destination at Sagrak village. We stay in a local pension ran by very friendly villagers (the old primary school) which is very basic but with great simple food and traditional hospitality. Drinks, beers etc can be arranged in advance! Overnight Sagrak Pension.
Day 6: Adada – Transfer – Beydilli – Eski Beydilli – Canyon (Picnic lunch) – Cukurca – Yesilbag – Caltepe (50km / 1020m climbing / 2070m descent) We start the day with an excursion to Adada ancient Roman city where there are impressive ruins to explore, plus a fantastic 40 minute walk down a Roman road made of huge stone slabs. Then we take a transfer (40km / 1hr) through the lively market town of Sutculer, to our start point at Beydilli- a tiny village with little contact with the outside world at 1535m altitude. A rough dirt road takes us relatively easily up and over to the magnificent Koprulu canyon, with incredible views at the 1900m pass. Dropping down into the vast valley we enjoy an awesome rough tractor track descent all the way down to 580m in the canyon bottom, where clean fresh pools make a quick swim very tempting! Passing Eski Beydilli village, the ride is a great journey into a forgotten pastural world. After letting our picnic go down we hit another good climb up out of the canyon to Cukurca and an easy last section on traffic free asphalt that takes us to our finishing point besides the river at Caltepe. Caltepe is a lovely little riverside village, upriver from the main canyon and our pension is a fine spot to relax and soak up the area’s unique vibe. Overnight Caltepe Erdinc Pansiyon.
Day 7: Caltepe – Delisarnic- Koprulu National Park – Selge (Picnic lunch) – Karabuk (45km / 1160m climbing / 1460m descent) The trail takes us on asphalt tracks uphill through the unique and improbable rocky outcrops around Delisarnic, passing amidst majestic countryside with sweeping views of the Koprulu Canyon below. Via a dirt road we continue through remarkable rocky scenery to arrive at Selge, where extensive Roman ruins make for a fascinating historical excursion and a good place to picnic. Continuing down a long, windy asphalt road back into the main canyon valley, we arrive at the cool, fast flowing river, where a fantastic swimming place awaits. An optional white water rafting excursion is possible however- the perfect way to end your trip! Our hotel has lovely stone cottages and wooden chalets, in a magical situation over an ice cool spring water lagoon! Overnight at Perge Pension Bungalows,
Day 8: We pack up our bikes, say our goodbyes and leave for the scenic drive back to Antalya and flight home.