Day 1: Transfers and travel Arrive Izmir Airport / Izmir City Centre. Transfer to Kirazli Bakkhos Guesthous (75km / 1hr)
Set amongst tranquil gardens, Bakkhos Guesthouse is an oasis of calm, and a perfect place to unwind after your flight. Catered to the highest standards, it’s a family run boutique hotel that offers an outstanding quality throughout, charming décor and a wonderful pool.
Overnight Bakkhos Guesthouse, Kirazli
Day 2: Bakkhos Guesthouse – Yayla – Sogucak – Guzelcamli – Dilek Peninsula National Park
Total 43km / 700m climb / 800m descent
Your first day takes you on a mountain road through beautiful Mediterranean scrubland, 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 you drop down to the coast via Sogucak village and enjoy a wonderful traffic-free cycle lane- right on the sea front! You ride right along the beach on a traffic free cycle lane, arriving at Guzelcamli marina. Your finishing point is undoubtedly one of the trip’s highlights: the Dilek Peninsula National Park. This heavily protected area is an important haven for wildlife and an area of over 27,000 acres of pristine forest. Just prior to entering the park you can swim in the cool, clear waters of the Cave of Zeus before continuing down an idyllic single-track road beneath the shade of mature pines. There are wonderful beaches here, lapped by crystal clear waters amidst a natural paradise. Your driver will be waiting at the end of the road, ready to take you on to your next destination: Sirince. This wonderful hill top village is an oasis of calm, where you will stay in a beautifully restored Ottoman mansion house hotel. Transfer to Sirince (65km / 1hr)
Overnight Sirince Kirkinca Houses Hotel
Day 3: Sirince – Selcuk – Ephesus – Pamucak Beach – Gumuldur
Total 52km / 525m climb / 775m descent
Today your route begins on a wonderful panoramic mountain road that passes through a gorgeous Mediterranean landscape of olive groves and fruit gardens. You soon and effortlessly arrive in Selcuk, and have time to explore the market, cafes, and see the Roman aqueduct in the town square. From here it’s only 2km to Ephesus- unarguably one of Turkey’s must see historic sites that will captivate children and adults alike. You will probably want to spend 1 or 2 hours exploring here (official guides are available) before continuing to the coast and easily reaching Pamucak beach. The ride continues on a coast road, often right on the seaside, meandering through countryside and offering delightful coastal panoramas. Without too much exertion you arrive in Gumuldur, and stay at Alptekin Boutique Hotel- a luxury modern hotel with swimming pool, superior service, and excellent food options.
Overnight Alptekin Hotel, Gumuldur
Day 4: Gumuldur – Doganbey – Sigacik
Total 38km / 240m climb / 240m descent
Soon after leaving Gumuldur, your route takes you back to the beach side and onto a paved cycle way that links charming family orientated beach cafes, shops and low rise villas. This part of the coast is popular with local families, and the 6km ride along the beach in summer is a window on traditional holiday life here. Never far from the coast, sometimes with fleeting glimpses of the atoll-esque Kanli Island, you arrive at Sigacik- a modern yacht harbour beside an exquisite Ottoman castle and Ionian city walls. Inside you’ll find street stalls selling a huge variety of local produce and souvenirs, plus the nearby ruins of Teos and Akkum beach provide further cause to extend your stay here. This charming little town is becoming one of the region’s favourite escapes but for now it’s still relatively uncrowded even in summer. It also has some great lunching options! Your hotel is a charming local style boutique, where family hospitality, great food, and wonderful service make relaxing here easy!
Overnight Beyaz Ev Hotel, Sigacik
Day 5 : Transfer to Gulbahce – Balikliova – Mordogan – Kaynarpinar Harbour
Total 40km / 400m climb / 400m descent
You begin today with a scenic drive north up the Karaburun Peninsula to Gulbahce (30km / 30 mins). Out of season, this whole area is almost deserted, and even in the height of summer is in no way crowded. Offering near traffic free road cycling, never far from some of the most wonderful and largely undeveloped sections of Turkey’s Aegean or Mediterranean coasts, the next days are an unforgettable experience indeed! Starting out in the pretty village of Gulbahce, the old peninsula road becomes even emptier as it meanders towards Balikliova, through a landscape of open, rocky heathland, and rich mature forest, all met by cool, azure waters. You overnight in a wonderful seaside location in a lovely boutique hotel with fine ecologial credentials, excellent food and a wonderful beach side setting.
Overnight Arya Hotel, Karaburun
Day 6: Easy Day. Karaburun Arya Hotel – Kuyucak Beach – Yeni Liman – Lipsos Hotel
Total 10km / 230m climb / 270m descent
Today’s ride takes you via another wonderful Blue Flag beach up to the head of the peninsula, where the remote and charming Lipsos Hotel sits. As the short distance suggests, it’s an easier “rest day”, but there are so many glorious places to explore and wonderful beaches on which to relax that we’re sure you’ll be glad to have some ‘down’ time! On arriving at the Lipsos Hotel, an expansive pebble beach stretches as far as the eye can see, right up to the tip of the peninsula, backed only by natural shrubs and flowering plants. This is truly the end of the road, and an evening spent on the terrace here is sure to be one of the trip’s outstanding memories, watching small fishing boats come in across the bay whilst enjoying some of the countries finest seafood. A very special place indeed.
Overnight Lipsos Hotel, Karaburun
Day 7: Transfer – Kucukbahce / Balikliova Crossroads – Kucukbahce – Cesme – Alacati
Total 32km / 350m climb / 465m descent
After breakfast your driver will take you from the Lipsos Hotel to a start point approximately 50km south on the west side of the Karaburun Peninsula. This journey is spectacular in itself, winding its way through barren, rocky hills with wonderful views of the ocean below and old, stone villages that cling to the mountainsides. You’ll certainly be glad of some vehicle assistance here- it’s pretty steep! However, this ride can be extended to include some of these hillier sections if you prefer! Your ride is a relaxing but in no way unsatisfying coastal tour that eventually reaches the classy seaside resort of Cesme at Engelli Beach. There are plenty of good lunch options along the way. Cesme is a vibrant but unspoiled resort, with classy restaurants, boutique hotels and a fine choice of restaurants. You continue onward a short distance to the unique, finely preserved historical village of Alacati, and can have time in the evening to enjoy a leisurely stroll through the cobbled streets there. You stay in a fine boutique hotel with gorgeous pool and beautiful gardens. What a way to end the tour!
Overnight Alaris Boutique Hotel, Alacati
Day 8: Depending on your flight time you can have time to explore Alacati before we drive you back to Izmir Airport for your connecting flights.
Return transfer to Izmir Airport (85km / 1.5hrs). Your tour ends here.
Accommodation: You stay in welcoming, high-class boutique hotels:
Kirazli: Bakkhos Guesthouse This is a wonderful farmhouse garden boutique hotel, hidden behind green hills and surrounded by nature on all sides. In the spring the abundance of wild flowers is spectacular and in the autumn the richness and play of colours is magnificent. This, combined with a personal, friendly approach and some of the best home cooking in the area makes it one of our favourite hotels.
Sirince: Kirkinca Houses You will stay in a wonderful, fully restored Greek mansion house, set in tranquil surrounds with an award winning breakfast service featuring the finest local ingredients.
Gumuldur: Alptekin Boutique Hotel, An excellent, top class, modern Turkish boutique hotel, with private swimming pool, fantastic service, and a breakfast to be proud of. Not far from lovely beaches too.
Sigacik: Beyaz Ev Hotel: Enjoy a slower pace of life at this seaside, local style boutique hotel, where you can enjoy wonderful classical Aegean food dishes in the shady gardens.
Karaburun: Arya Hotel Beautiful small ecological hotel right on the seaside. Light and airy with unsurpassable sea views, the hotel makes a great beachside retreat- perfect for snorkelling or just taking in the tranquil, maritime environment.
Karaburun: Lipsos Hotel Shunning the much overused “boutique” name tag in favour of “small hotel”, Ata’s Place (Lipsos) is a truly wonderful beachside residence that captured our hearts when we first discovered it. A chance to get away from it all, in the most pristine of peninsula settings, this character hotel is laid back but has a kitchen that rivals the countries finest eateries in terms of quality of ingredients and fresh, local flavours.
Alacati: Alaris Boutique Hotel: This small hotel with a personal service is a great place to relax on your first night. The breakfast is famous- individually made and with a great variety. The house itself is decorated in a way you immediately feel at home and homely gardens with pool are just perfect.