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Cycling the Lycian Lands and Turkey's Aegean Coast 19

Cycling Ancient Lycia and Turkey’s Aegean Coast

Overview

The region of ancient Lycia is one of Turkey’s top adventure travel destinations for a reason; few places are offering such a combination of secluded beaches, Mediterranean views, mountainous hinterland, authentic local culture and ancient ruins. This eight-day self guided bike trip, taking you from Fethiye to Adrasan, is great for adventure seekers with a passion for history and culture who like to explore at their own pace and experience the genuine hospitality of the local hosts. The tour starts in the most southwestern part of the ancient Lycia, the port city of Fethiye, continuing south towards the town of Patara, then taking you to the harbour town of Kaş, and finishing at the enchanting Bay of Adrasan.

The itinerary is not too demanding in terms of difficulty, and it is suitable for all cyclists in good physical shape. We have added one rest day, which would enable you to enjoy some of the cosy coastal villages and historical sites.

Highlights

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Dalaman

Pick up from Dalaman or Antalya airport. Transfer time to the hotel in Fethiye is approximately 45 minutes.

Day 2: Peninsula Tour or Green Valley Route | up to 35 km

During this bike ride, you will be introduced to the cosy harbour town of Fethiye. A visit to the old town is definitely recommended. The tour on the peninsula with its many bays is simply beautiful. Another option for today is a bike ride towards the promenade from Fethiye to the Green Valley; the route will lead you to a typical Turkish lunch place.

  • Cycling for the day: 25 km / 35 km, ↑275 m / ↑100 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Kilim or similar

Day 3: Fethiye – Patara | 60 km

After breakfast, you will be transferred to the village of Zorlar (25 km, approx. 15-20 min). Today’s bike ride takes you along the foothills of the Akdaglar Mountains through a wide valley to the Bay of Patara, cycling through a rural landscape on secondary country roads. Halfway through this ride, you will pass the gorge of Saklikent, an impressive canyon that is approximately 20 km deep. You can explore the first part of this gorge on foot. Saklikent is also a great place for lunch, where you can taste the Turkish Gozleme: a pancake filled with cheese, vegetables, potato or honey.

The route continues along the Esen Cay River and then on undulating roads to the archaeological site of Xanthos, from where you will head to the ancient village of Patara. Besides its archaeological antiquities, Patara is also known for the longest sandy beach in Turkey and the dune landscape behind it.

  • Cycling for the day: 60 km, ↑400 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Ferah or similar

Day 4: Patara – Kaş | 40 km

Today’s bike route is rather short and gives you plenty of time to explore the ancient city of Patara, which used to be the capital of the Lycian federation. The distance from the hotel to this ancient place is just 1.5 km. The site is truly amazing and will definitely take you back in time. Today’s route goes almost entirely via a coastal road to the fishing village of Kaş. The only challenging section on the ride is a steep climb of around 4 km with 250 metres elevation gain. At the top of the climb, you will reach the village of Eski Kalkan, where you will find plenty of lunch options. You continue descending to the “new” Kalkan. The last 25 km of the route will be a total delight, cycling along the coast with its beautiful views. The road goes up and down here with various short climbs, but it is nowhere really steep. Along the way, you also pass the beautiful sandy beach of Kaputaş, another wonderful place for a refreshing dip in the turquoise sea.

  • Cycling for the day: 40 km, ↑500 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Kayahan or similar

Day 5: Rest day in Kaş | 12 km

The fishing village of Kaş is an authentic harbour town with many cosy little shops, restaurants, bars and terraces. The village lies on a slope covered with narrow winding streets and old houses. The stylish wooden balconies give it a special atmosphere. Kaş is built against a mountain ridge and has around 4500 inhabitants. The Lycians called the fishing village 3000 years ago Antiphellos or Phellos. Until 1923 the population was mostly Greek. This can still be seen in the style of the many old houses and the white plastered mosque, a former Greek church. In Kas, you will find a large number of cafes and restaurants. The town is also a true paradise for divers. In addition, Kaş also offers archaeological highlights such as a theatre from the Hellenistic era and Lycian tombs from the 4th century BC.

  • Cycling for the day (optional): 12 km
  • Accommodation: Hotel Kayahan or similar

Day 6: Kas – Myra – Finike | 66 km

After breakfast, there is a short transfer covering a 500 m ascent. You start cycling through a beautiful valley with agricultural villages. Here time has literally stood still with all the sheep herds, farming villages and stunning landscapes surrounding you along the way. In Demre, the route continues along the archaeological site of the ancient city of Myra, which is also the place where St. Nicholas was buried. The last part of the route goes along a rugged coastline to Finike, known for its orchards.

  • Cycling for the day: 66 km, ↑600 m
  • Accommodation: Hotel Finike 2000 or similar

Day 7: Finike – Adrasan | 46 km

The first 25 km of this ride are completely flat and lead past the vast agricultural areas for growing tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and aubergines. The second part of the ride is on secondary asphalted coastal roads with a gradual climb of 7 km after about 30 km. The top of this climb is at approx. 380 metres. After the descent, it is time for lunch in the village of Çavuşköy, where you can enjoy a delicious Turkish Dönner. The rest of the route taking you to the bay of Adrasan is almost flat. This bay is characterized by a beautiful sandy beach and is the perfect place for a refreshing dip in the turquoise sea!

  • Cycling for the day: 46 km, ↑500 m
  • Accommodation: Dayco Bungalow or similar

Day 8: Departure

Transfer to Dalaman or Antalya airport, or extension of your holiday upon request (we highly recommend booking an additional day or two in Adrasan in order to make the most of your time in Turkey).

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in hand-picked and regularly monitored hotels and guesthouses offering various levels of comfort. During this tour, you’ll stay in places that make you feel good and safe in lovely villages surrounded by trees and mountains. You stay in small, local, family-run and friendly hotels and pensions with a personal touch. The properties are run by welcoming hosts who will make you feel part of the family and the local community. Six of the overnights are in private en-suite rooms, and one is in a village house with shared facilities.

Click to view default hotels

Hotel Kilim, Hotel Ferah, Hotel Kayahan, Dayco Bungalow

Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will give you exact accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on each day. For lunch and dinner, you will have many good options for restaurants and grocery stores all along the way. Once you arrive at your accommodation, you can ask the local hosts for the best places to eat around.

Difficulty & terrain

The cycling sections are not too hard; still, to enjoy the trip to the maximum, it is recommendable to have some cycling experience and be in good physical shape (read more about difficulty grades). The routes go on secondary asphalt roads, mostly undulating with some occasional steeper ascends; some of the not so pleasant sections are skipped through a car transfer (look in the day-to-day itinerary for exact details on the terrain). Your package includes maps and GPX tracks for all the routes, which you can load on your smartphone or another GPS device (you can rent one with us as well upon request). The road signification is good so navigating between the towns is quite easy.

When to go

We can organise this cycling tour between March and October. Weather is best in the spring and the autumn, but it is also possible to cycle in the summer months as well. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your holiday on any date in the season – so please indicate desired beginning date when booking. Winter temperatures are quite mild, with average highs around 15 °C (59 °F), while in summer the maximum temperatures are hot, ranging between 30 and 35 °C (86 and 95 °F). Rainfall is concentrated from mid-October to mid-April, when it can be abundant, and sometimes torrential, particularly on the slopes facing west and southwest.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

By plane

Our recommended airports for this tour are Dalaman or Antalya. Arrival and departure transfers from/to both of them are included in the trip cost (one transfer per arrival and departure).

Inclusions

Included

  • Overnight stays with breakfast in comfortable family hotels and guesthouses based on a double/twin room/cabin (6 nights en-suite, 1 night shared facilities)
  • Map of the region and GPS tracks that can be loaded onto your smartphone or GPS device
  • Luggage transport to next hotel and private transfers (as listed in the itinerary)
  • Transfers to/from Dalaman/Antalya airports
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Flights
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Airport transfers from/to airports other than Dalaman and Antalya
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable
  • This holiday is not available for solo travellers
  • Bike rental (standard trekking bike or E-Bike)
  • Helmet rental
  • GPS device rental
  • Extra nights

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