Day 1: Arrive Izmir Airport and transfer to Selcuk / Sirince
Sirince is a beautiful and very old fashioned wine producing village where you will stay in beautifully restored Greek “Konak” houses. We have time to relax here, enjoy a nice dinner, unpack and build up our bikes and then have a pre-tour briefing. Dinner with fresh and tasty local specialities at the Arsipel Restaurant is a perfect beginning to an incredible week of Aegean food…
Overnight Kirkinca Houses Boutique Hotel, Sirince
Day 2: Sirince – Ephesus – Camlik – Kirazli (Restaurant lunch) – Guzelcamli – Dilek National Park – Transfer to Doganbey
Total 68km / 550m climb / 850m descent
This is a relatively easy first day, with plenty of time for sightseeing at Ephesus and relaxing on the beach at the end of the ride. From Sirince we follow a new road through vineyards, rolling hillsides and forested countryside, enjoying great views over Selcuk and Pamucak Beach beyond. After stopping to admire the Roman aqueduct in the town, we head on to the wonderful ruins at Ephesus- perhaps Turkey’s number one must see historic site.
From there, we ride to Camlik, and stop to drink Turkish tea in an authentic tea shop. Our route takes us on through fruit orchards and vineyards as it winds up and over rolling hills to Kirazli, where we eat a wonderful lunch of traditional food in one of the garden restaurants there. We continue, climbing on a very quiet and panoramic country road to arrive at the small village of Yaylakoy. From here, after a brief downhill section on a bigger road we drop down to the coast via Sogucak village and enjoy a wonderful traffic free cycle lane right on the sea front. From Guzelcamli, we enter the Dilek Peninsula National Park and ride to the very end of the peninsula road (Karasu Beach). Here there is time to relax on the beach, swim or take a walk up a fantastic canyon path. From there, we transfer you up and over the peninsula to a wonderful old village of stone houses, Eski Doganbey, where you will stay in a restored Ottoman mansion. Evening meal will be a barbeque feast on the patio terrace!
Overnight Eski Doganbey Houses, Doganbey
Day 3: Gullubahce – Karina – Miletos – Akkoy (Restaurant lunch) – Bafa
Total 75km / 800m climb / 700m descent
This is long but relatively flat ride, on well surfaced roads. After breakfast, we carry on from Doganbey on a wonderful single track road that follows the Dilek Peninsula. To our left, the hugely expansive flat lands area makes for some wonderful road cycling, and we reach the morning tea break stop without too much difficulty. At the end of the accessible road, Karina is one of the unknown gems of this tour, and those who wish can swim in the clear water of the bay. We backtrack a little, and then head across the delta itself. Before lunch, we stop and visit the extensive Carian ancient city at Miletos and take a break there.
After lunch, we leave the delta and by car circle around the stunningly beautiful Lake Bafa, enjoying panoramic views over to the Latmos Mountains that rise up steeply above the far shore. Turning off the main road, the last 10km of the ride is pure magic, following a single track lane first through rustic villages and later the unbelievable granite boulders of Bafa National Park, finishing up amongst a landscape littered with the 4th century BC ruins of ancient Herakleia. We have time for a hiking tour in the evening! Our base in Kapikiri is a rustic but charming boutique pension, with unforgettable views and a sunset over the water. Note- there is also an option to substitute the afternoon ride with a hiking tour around the ruins of Herakleia- your guide or driver will advise.
Overnight Selenes Pension, Bafa / Kapikiri
Day 4: Kapikiri – Bafa – Selime – Latmos Mountains (Picnic lunch) – Milas
Total 61km / 900m climb / 1240m descent
Today we go inland, through mountains and hills strewn with massive granite boulders. After meandering round the lake for 8km we descend on the main road to Selimiye before starting our big climb into the Latmos (Besparmak) mountains. Note- this is a big climb and an uplift is suggested- our driver will be waiting for us in Kandak village at the bottom of the climb to Kayabuku. From there we ride the remaining uphill section and continue through pristine mountain scenery amongst a landscape of huge granite boulders, mature pine trees and small villages where time really has stood still. There are no shops, restaurants or hotels here… We eat a picnic lunch outside a local tearoom in Goldere village and continue up the day’s second big climb to the hilltop village of Narhisar, from where the views are breathtaking!
We continue to Ikiztas on a hard packed gravel surface. This rough section is fine even for road bikes with 23mm tyres as long as you take it easy! There are a couple of short sections where we may need to walk, but the landscapes, views and wonderful tastes of local mountain life here more than compensate! We carry on eastwards until a massive 10km downhill off the mountains, past Comakdag to the youthful student town of Milas. We stay in a high quality, business class hotel on the town’s edge and have the option to enjoy a Turkish bath (hamam) in the evening.
Overnight Milas Han Hotel, Milas
Day 5: Transfer to Mumcular – Yukari Mazikoy – Cokertme – Turkevleri – Oren (Restaurant lunch) – Alatepe – Akbuk
Total 75km / 1280m climb / 1340m descent
From Milas, we take a 20 minute drive to our start point at Mumcular, deep in the Bodrum rural hinterland. Today we ride through rolling, pastoral hills and Mediterranean garrigue to arrive at the coast on a deserted asphalt road that runs right along the sea front. Our route takes us through a gorgeous landscape, past little known rural villages and picturesque seaside coves only frequented by the occasional yacht. We continue east, on small roads through mountainous scenery, enjoying a morning break at the beautiful cove of Cokertme before continuing to Oren, where we enjoy a restaurant lunch in the shade of palm trees along a pristine beach. Here you will enjoy wonderful food typical of the Aegean region- fresh salads, mezze and sea food.
From Oren we head inland to a densely wooded valley where there are impressive ruins of a Roman aqueduct to be seen. From our elevated position at Alatepe village, the panoramas are breathtaking and eventually we arrive again at the coast, high above Akbuk. Akbuk is a protected area and the only development here is a couple of camping and caravanning parks, a small pension (where we stay) and one or two small markets that supply a handful of yachts with essential supplies. The shingle beach is clean, and the jetty makes a perfect diving board into the sea for a post ride cool down! A fantastic place to finish a great day’s ride- and one that for the moment you will have largely to yourself- especially out of season. Dinner in Altas Restaurant (famous for locally caught fresh fish and calamari).
Overnight Altas Pansiyon, Akbuk
Day 6: Akbuk – Gokova – Akcapinar (Restaurant lunch) – Transfer – Yesilbelde – Hisaronu – Selimiye
Total: 75km / 800m climb / 750m descent
From Akbuk we follow an easy going and incredibly beautiful single track coast road that may perhaps be the best cycling road in Turkey! With no traffic out of season, and a new road surface, this relatively flat 25km stretch to Gokova is absolute paradise! In the shade of mature pines with fleeting glimpses down to the azure waters below, it’s a miracle that these places can be so close to Marmaris and yet so blissfully unspoiled. We reach the Mugla – Marmaris road at Akcapinar village and after enjoying a wonderful lunch in a speciality Black Sea restaurant take a short transfer.
We leave our driver at the top of the hill on the road to Yesilbelde, bypassing the town of Marmaris and enjoying awesome views over the bays, peninsulas and islands below. We pass Yesilbelde and rejoin the main road briefly, before turning onto the wonderful Bozburun Peninsula at Hisaronu. Here, the coast road is unforgettably picturesque, meandering it’s way between little visited bays and paradise villages along the peninsula, often right on the waterside! Our hotel is right beside the water, in a totally idyllic location- you can swim in the crysal clear water and relax at the beachside…
Overnight Sardunya Hotel, Selimiye
Day 7: Selimiye – Bozburun – Sogutkoy – Bayirkoy (Restaurant lunch) – Icmeler – Marmaris – Transfer to Dalyan
Total 52km / 1030m climb / 1200m descent
Today we explore the undeveloped and quintessentially Aegean Bozburun Peninsula. This is a shorter day, distance wise, but its mountainous route is challenging- though the views and traffic free roads more than make up for it! From Selimiye we pass Bozburun village and have the chance to view the construction of the world’s largest wooden hulled yacht (140m in length!). Then we head into the mountainous hinterland, climbing into the hills via Sogutkoy to Bayirkoy- a wonderfully picturesque place set in lush, green hills where we eat a picnic lunch beneath a plane tree that truly is 1880 years old!
After enjoying a restaurant lunch here and sampling the many varieties of honey that the region is famous for, we continue on one final climb that brings us out high above the coast once more. The ride is a mixture of awesome coast roads and steep mountain lanes and the beach resort of Icmeler will be a strange sight below. We finish our ride along Marmaris’ seaside cycle way, which is lovely in off season but rather overrun in the summer! From Marmaris, we have a 45 minute transfer to Dalyan- a wonderful riverside location that will be our base for the remaining days of the tour.
Overnight Dalyan Pansion, Dalyan.
Day 8: Transfer – Koycegiz – Sultaniye – Candir Kaunos – Dalyan
Total 41km / 575m climb / 595m descent
Our final day of road biking proper takes it a little easier- which we must do in order to appreciate the incredible diversity, uniqueness and picturesque splendour of Dalyan. We start with a 40 minute transfer to the lakeside town of Koycegiz and embark on a fantastic tour around Koycegiz Lake with it’s incredible hot springs and mud baths- perfect for relaxing road weary muscles! We ride through Sultaniye and Candir before stopping to explore the ancient city and admire the massive Lycian rock tombs at Kaunos. We finally arrive at the river side and take a taxi boat across the water to arrive in Dalyan. Our base overlooks the clear blue waters of the Dalyan River, where you can often see fresh water turtles, amongst a host of wildlife that visits this natural haven. Note- for a longer ride you can opt for a complete circuit of the lake- around 60km.
In the afternoon there is time to unwind and make the most of the natural paradise. We offer the option of a trip to Iztuzu beach- either by bike (12km each way) or by river boat. Iztuzu is one of Turkey’s most important and environmentally protected beaches, and its 7km sandy strip is a crucial sea turtle nesting ground. In the afternoon you can choose to explore the village, do a little shopping or simply relax and rest your weary muscles. The last night’s meal is a no expense spared culinary delight at one of Dalyan’s best fish and mezze restaurants- you will go home with many great memories of the food on this trip- for sure!
Overnight Dalyan Pansion, Dalyan.
Day 9: Transfers and Travel
Our last day together- time to pack up bikes and enjoy a lazy breakfast on the riverside. We transfer to Dalaman Airport for connecting flights.
Tour ends here.