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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.
Explore Tour Leader
5 nights comfortable hotel
1 nights simple hotel
1 nights simple village house
Trip maximum 15 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
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 an 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.
Yagmur Hotel (or similar)
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 160 metres/525 feet, before a descent to the flat alluvial plains full of pomegranate and orange orchards.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 35 kilometres/21.8 miles (Total 300 metres/984 feet accumulated ascent)
Leaving Dalyan we cycle along country roads following the flood plain around Dalyan and Sulungur Lake, we climb over the Gokbel pass (140 metres/459 feet) 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/24.9 miles (Total 350 metres/1148 feet accumulated ascent)
Yeniceri Hotel (or similar)
Today after a relaxing 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 monumental tombs impressively cut into the cliffs. Equally cursed and blessed, this harbour 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 a typical home-made lunch in this village overlooked by the tombs of ancient Pinara high above. After a rest we continue by bike, gently descending to the Xanthos Valley. Crossing the silty River Xanthos (Xanthos means yellow in Greek) as it meets the icy snow melt waters of the Karacay 'black stream' we then follow this river to our lodgings at the mouth of the Saklikent Canyon. There is the opportunity for an optional visit to Saklikent Gorge.
Our total cycling distance today is approximately 33 kilometres/20.5 miles (Total 380 metres/1247 feet accumulated ascent)
The George Club is a collection of simple wooden chalets with private toilets, and tree houses (using shared bathrooms) 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.
Gorge Club (or similar)
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 5 rooms the group will be split among, all with beds and full bedding provided. There are 2 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/18 miles (Total 1000 metres/3281 feet 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 - 2 rooms with double beds, 1 room with 4 beds, 1 with 5 beds and 1 with 7 beds. There are 2 bathrooms to be shared by the group, both of which have a shower. 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.
Village House - Sutlegen (or similar)
Simple Village House
Leaving Sutlegen behind a cool descent through the Cedar forests starts the day, before those who feel strong can tackle the 230 metres/755 feet 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/28 miles (Total 410 metres/1345 feet accumulated ascent)
Patara Delfin Hotel (or similar)
We have a gentle start to the day across the low lands of Patara. Then we climb 250 metres/820 feet 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/26.1 miles (Total 715 metres/2346 feet accumulated ascent)
Club Phellos Hotel (or similar)
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 an airport transfer today, you need to depart from Dalaman Airport (DLM).
Total distance : 224 kilometres
Summers are hot and dry with refreshing sea breezes and clear waters, great for boat trips. It is often cooler on higher ground and in the mountains and can be cold at night, even in the summer. During the shoulder seasons (loosely speaking, before mid-May and after early October), temperatures and rainfall can be erratic, with some temperatures dropping to 8-12 degrees, and other days being bright and sunny up to 25 degrees. Mountain locations will be cooler than on the coast, of course. In the winter, temperatures usually hover between 0 and 10 degrees, but are usually wet, particularly around the coast. The best time for walking in Turkey is mid-May, June and September, with pleasant temperatures and clear blue skies.
2 Pin Round
Dalyan: Iztuzu beach - approx. £5 transport cost, Caunos ancient Lycian site - approx. £5 transport and entrance fee. Amyntas Tomb: Entrance fee to site approx. £1.00 Tlos: Entrance to site approx. £3.50 Patara: Entrance to site approx. £3.50 Kas: Hammam (Turkish Bath) approx. £16 - £18
Pack a travel towel to use at Sutlegen village house. We recommend you bring padded cycle shorts, cycle gloves and quick drying cycle shirts. It is essential to bring some warm clothing including a wind and waterproof outer layer as it may be possible for rain in the Spring and Autumn. A sunhat is essential and don't forget your swimsuit. Overnight temperatures can be cold any time of the year, and very cold in the early and late season so please pack accordingly.
Comfortable trainers or cycling shoes, plus sandals / shoes for walking and general use.
Pack a travel towel to use at Sutlegen village house. On all Explore cycle holidays we strongly recommend you bring along and wear your cycle helmet. It is a legal requirement in Turkey to wear a helmet that meets current safety criteria. In case of an accident resulting in personal injury, certain insurance policies are invalidated in cases where a helmet was not being worn. We recommend you bring your own helmet. Bring a water-bottle that clips on to the bike. Wraparound sunglasses help protect your eyes. For added comfort you may like to bring a gel seat cover. A torch is useful in case of powercuts/ emergencies. Please consider carrying all or some of your cycling equipment, e.g. helmet, as part of your hand luggage.
Bus, Bicycle, Boat, Ferry
The George Club is a collection of simple wooden chalets with private toilets, and tree houses (using shared bathrooms) 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. 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 - two rooms with double beds, one room with four beds, one with five beds and one with seven beds. There are two bathrooms to be shared by the group, both of which have a shower. 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.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
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Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
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If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
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You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
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Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
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