Cycle through farmland, hills and forests and discover ancient Lycia as we travel along Turkey's beautiful Turquoise Coast. We cycle along the shores of Lake Koycegiz, visit traditional villages and relax on the golden sands of Patara Beach. Ancient Lycia - visit ruins at Xanthos and Patara Overnight hill village - Experience local culture with a night in a village house Kas - Stay in the pretty harbour town of Kas
Our trip begins in Dalyan. Once a fishing village on the edge of the Dalyan River it's now grown into a small town that is known for its meandering reed bed waterways that lead to the beautiful golden sand Iztuzu Beach, and for the Lycian rock tombs that can be viewed in the cliffs above the town. The ancient city of Caunos is also only a short walk or boat ride away. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Dalyan at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today you need to arrive into Dalaman Airport (DLM), which is about 30 minutes' drive from Dalyan. For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 6pm for the welcome meeting and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. Should you miss the meeting, your leader will inform you of any essential information as soon as you catch up.
Starting out from Dalyan we cycle to the river, cross by river taxi and then ride to the hot springs of Sultaniye where we make a stop. Entrance to this ancient source of wellness, used since Roman times, is included. We continue to ride along the shores of the lake before arriving through orange groves to the peaceful lakeside town of Koycegiz, with time for some refreshments before taking our bus back to Dalyan. For a relaxing end to the day you could head to the wonderful beach at Iztuzu for a dip and visit the Turtle sanctuary, or visit the stunning location of the ancient Lycian port of Caunos. Todays undulating ride is along the pine forested banks of the lake, with one significant ascent of 160m, before a descent to the flat alluvial plains full of pomegranate and orange orchards. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 35 kilometres (Total 300 metres accumulated ascent)
Leaving Dalyan we cycle along country roads following the flood plain around Dalyan and Sulungur Lake, we climb over the Gokbel pass (140m) and descend to the fertile plain of Dalaman. Once the Sultan's hunting lands, after the declaration of the Republic in 1923, this fertile delta was cleared to provide farmland for freed Ottoman slaves and there is still an unusual ethnic mix here. Where we join the boat depends on sea conditions, but there will be a thrilling descent to the stuning Gocek Bay where we will board our private boat. We take a 2 hour boat journey across the bay to Fethiye town where we spend the night. There will be a chance to swim during the boat trip. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 40 kilometres (Total 350 metres accumulated ascent)
Today after a relaxing rooftop breakfast, we walk round the town of Fethiye, looking at the remains of Telmessos and the Amyntas tomb carved in the rocks above the town. Telmessos: Situated in a perfect natural harbour, Telmessos has both Lycian and Carian influences, as displayed in the collection of monmantel tombs impressively cut into the cliffs. Equally cursed and blessed, this harbor town has great supplies of water and productive farmland, however frequent and powerful earthquakes periodically destroy man's work; the last major earthquake was in 1953. We then drive to the village of Gokben where we get on our bikes. Starting with a descent through charming terraced lands, the road starts to undulate with no major climbs, towards the village of Minare where we have lunch. The roads descends to cross the Xanthos river. From here we can have an optional visit to the ancient city of Pinara. Seemingly picked for it's beautiful position nestled in the hills, with views of the snowy peaks of the Taurus mountains, Pinara is famous for the many hundreds of rock tombs of various levels of decoration in the high cliffs behind the city, and a charmingly preserved theatre. We continue by bike, crossing the Xanthos Valley, on to our hotel near Saklikent. There is the opportunity for an optional visit to Saklikent Gorge. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 33 kilometres (Total 380 metres accumulated ascent) The George Club is a collection of simple wooden chalets with private toilets, and tree houses in and amongst the pine trees of the Saklikent National Park, right by the riverside. As it is a heavily protected area no permanent structures are permitted. There is a swimming pool and dinner is served by the cool waters of the river as it exits the Saklikent Canyon.
This morning we drive 20 minutes with the bikes to the ancient site of Tlos. Set on a rocky promontory these largely unexcavated ruins have great views over the Xanthos Valley. The commanding location of this city above the fertile Xanthos valley below, make Tlos a natural location for an important city. The elevation and cool water that gushes down from the mountain behind, made this an ideal summer retreat for the wealthy, as evidenced by the fine bath houses, public squares and grand stadium built here. The most famous resident of Tlos was Bellerophon, who tamed the mythical Pegasus and slayed the Chimera, a fire breathing monster. We have the opportunity to explore the site (optional) before starting our spectacular alpine cycle ride at Arsakoy, climbing up through the slopes of Akdag, the White Mountian. Starting high up at Arsakoy, we follow the twisty alpine road, where we will be thankful of the low gears of the bikes, passing apple orchards, snow melt ravines, cedar forests, and quiet villages, before arriving at the market village of Sutlegen, a mountain village set on the shoulder of Mount Akdag, where we spend the night in a village house. There are five rooms the group will be split among, all with beds and full bedding provided. There are two bathrooms with toilets and showers. We should have time to visit the local blacksmith and mosque before dinner. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 29 kilometres (Total 1000 metres accumulated ascent) Sutlegen village house stay is a small collection of rooms above Fatma Ucar's home, only used for our groups. The rooms are various sizes with an appropriate number of beds in them, with shared bathrooms. Highlight of the stay here is Fatma's home cooking which we eat in the garden beside the cherry trees. Fatma's husband Aziz runs the local off licence, so a warming tipple is always available. The house is in the centre of the village so it is easy to wonder to the village centre for tea and ice-cream, and a chance to meet the locals.
Leaving Sutlegen behind a cool descent through the Cedar forests starts the day, before those who feel strong can tackle the 230m pass of Belmuar (those who prefer can jump on the bus and enjoy a tea at the scenic pass instead) before generally descending to the lush valley of Islamlar, where we can stop for a good lunch at one of the trout farms (Other dishes apart from fish are available). After lunch we continue downhill to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Xanthos. This once proud capital of Lycia stood up to both the Persian and Roman armies; tragically defeated both times, the survivors chose to kill themselves rather than be enslaved, however Xanthos actually flourished both under the Persians and the Romans, the exquisite artwork of the Lycians is displayed both here in situ, and also forms one of the formemost exibits of the British Museum. We will visit the site before driving to our hotel in Patara, from where we can explore the Roman ruins (birthplace of Saint Nicholas) and have some time to relax on the beautiful golden beach (optional). Our total cycling distance today is approximately 45 kilometres (Total 410 metres accumulated ascent)
We have a gentle start to the day across the low lands of Patara. Then we climb 250m to the pass above Kalkan before we descend to the rugged coast. We ride through a productive agricultural area with many greenhouses before passing the attractive harbour town of Kalkan and completing our journey with a fantastic coastal ride into Kas. The road to Kas follows the coast all the way from here, and is one of the most spectacular coastal rides anywhere, crossing high canyons and following the jagged coastline. We should arrive in Kas in time for lunch on the harbour. There will be a chance to swim during the ride. On arrival in Kas we have the option to relax with a massage in a local hammam. Our total cycling distance today is approximately 42 kilometres (Total 715 metres accumulated ascent)
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Kas. There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Kas at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you need to depart from Dalaman Airport (DLM).
7 Break Fast(s) 3 Lunch(es) 1 Dinner(s)
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