Our second motorcycle tour in Turkey (first tour is 10-day ride from Istanbul), this time we explore the southwestern part of the country. The tour starts and ends in Antalya. In total, we have six driving days, taking into account arrival and departure, it turns out eight days.
In this motorcycle tour along the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, we will find ourselves in the most popular tourist places, you will see Olympos, Kekova, Mira, Kas, Xanthos, Fethiye, Marmaris, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Knidos, Antalya and other interesting sights of Anatolia (this was the name of this area / territory before the advent of Turkey in ancient times).
On this tour, we rent motorcycles from our partners in Antalya in two rental companies. There are several BMW R1200GS Adv and R1250GS Adv, Honda Africa Twin, Honda NC750, Yamaha Tenere 700, Yamaha Super Tenere 1200 and some other motorcycle models.
This is the shortest of our Turkish tours (we have 4 tours in total, you can find other in International Tours section, here link), but at the same time one of the most interesting.
The price includes:
The price does not include:
Antalya – Kas – Fethiye – Datca – Ephesus – Hierapolis – Antalya
Day 1. Antalya, arrival
Arrival in Antalya, transfer to the hotel. At 17:00 we hold a briefing on the tour, sign documents, receive and check motorcycles, then we go to a welcome dinner.
Important: plan your logistics so that you will be at the hotel by 15:00
Day 2. Antalya – Kas, 250 km
The first day we will be dedicated to the Lycians. After breakfast we leave the hotel and ride an hour and a half to the ancient city of Olympos, near the beach/village of Cirali. Olympos is the first Lycian city mentioned in historical records.
In general, Lycia is an ancient country between Mugla and Antalya. It was distinguished by its original culture, language, writing, architecture. Many of you have probably heard about the Lycian Way - so this is a road / trekking along the sea through the Lycian cities / territories. But we will not go into details, you will learn everything during our motorcycle trip.
So, today we first go to Olympos, where we walk through the ruins. Then we go to the city of Demre, next to which there is another famous Lycian ancient city called Mira. Once it was one of the largest cities in Lycia.
The Greco-Roman theater has been preserved in the city, its own coin was minted here, the Apostle Paul came here. And Mira is also known for its tombs carved into the rocks. We will tell you why the Lycians did this.
Next, we’ll have lunch and after that we will quickly visit the museum of the Lycian civilization, look at the artifacts of antiquity found in the excavations. What do you think awaits us after the museum? You are right, another ancient Lycian city, only this time flooded. We are talking about the city of Kekova.
The city was founded by the Lycians a thousand years BC. As a result of several earthquakes, the bottom sank several meters and the coast of the city went under water. Here we go for a boat ride. Let's look at amphorae and jugs, stone stairs, ruined streets, embankments, sunken columns, fragments of statues and the remains of buildings of the former great city. All this can be seen through the clear and transparent water of the Mediterranean Sea.
Next, Kash is waiting for us, which has become almost a Mecca for Russian emigration in Turkey. Here we will check into a hotel and just do nothing. It’s enough history for today.
Day 3. Kas – Fethiye, 200 km
Today we have two options for how to spend the first half of the day and an uncontested route for the afternoon. So, in the morning we can go to the Saklikent National Park, there is a beautiful canyon with the same name, about 1000 meters high, 18 km long. Saklikent canyon is the second largest in Europe. Walking through the canyon will take about one hour.
Instead of the canyon, you can go to see a few more Lycian cities, Xanthos and Pinara. Let's look at the weather and the mood of the group.
In the afternoon we ride on our motorcycles to the Mediterranean coast, make a stop at the Valley of the Butterflies, a beautiful and panoramic photo point. Next, you will find Oludeniz Beach, better known as Blue Lagoon Beach. This is one of the most picturesque beaches in Turkey, surrounded on all sides by hills covered with pomegranate trees and cedars. The lagoon is connected to the sea by a narrow strait.
A popular local entertainment is paragliding, which costs about $100. You can swim, you can fly, we will decide on the spot.
From the Blue Lagoon we will ride through the abandoned village of Kayakoy to Fethiye. One of the most popular resort towns in the southwest of Turkey. Fethiye has a large and beautiful harbor, the city is considered an original English resort, regattas are often held here, almost 300 days of sunshine a year. By the way, today's Fethiye is located on the site of the ancient city of Telmess.
Day 4. Fethiye – Datca/Marmaris, 340 km
We continue our motorcycle tour, today we’ll study the Karians a little. In the morning we will go to the suburbs of Dalyan, where Turtle Beach and the Turtle Museum are located.
Then we go to Dalyan itself. In ancient times, Kaunos or Kavn - an ancient city in Caria, was located here. Most of the city was located on the western bank of the Kalbis River, which served as the border of Caria with Lycia (in ancient times, Lycia, Caria, Lydia were nearby). The city is known for rock-cut tombs.
Next, we will cross the river by ferry and take secondary roads to Marmaris, where we will visit the fortress in the city center near the marina, have lunch, and ride further towards Knidos.
This is another city of ancient Caria, located on the Datca Peninsula. Once a major trading city, the center of the cult of Aphrodite, one of the six members of the Doric Union, the venue for the Doric Games.
For the night we will stop in Datca, in a small town on the seashore, in a hotel with a swimming pool and a Spa area.
p.s.: Everyone knows the Lycian trail, but there is also the Corian trail, the second most important and popular. It goes to Izmir, runs along the entire coast of the Datca Peninsula.
Day 5. Datca/Marmaris – Ephesus, 350 km
Today in the program of our motorcycle tour we will visit the house of the Theotokos/Virgin Mary, Sirinj, possibly Bodrum, and of course, Ephesus. Ephesus can be visited tonight, or tomorrow morning, depending on the route and ridiing speed.
In the basic version, we will take the ferry in the morning and go to Bodrum. We’ll walk a bit in the center and continue our trip, we will go to Selcuk, where the main attraction of this region is located - the metropolis of Ephesus. Today's Selcuk is the seventh reincarnation of Ephesus, and there is also an ancient city, the third reincarnation of Ephesus, we will tell you more about each. So that you don't get confused Selçuk = Ephesus.
Once upon a time, 300,000 people lived in Ephesus, here was and still is the largest theater and library of antiquity. Influential in ancient times, the city remembers many great emperors, scientists, philosophers. Walking through the ancient city with a guide will take about two hours.
Still near Ephesus is the house of the Theotokos/Virgin Mary, the mother of Christ. A very popular place for both pilgrims and believers. On the other side of Ephesus is Sirinj - an interesting wine town, even more a wine village, we will go there if we have time.
The last thing we need to visit in Ephesus is the local archaeological museum, which displays the most valuable artifacts that were found during the excavations of the city.
Day 6. Ephesus – Pamukkale / Hierapolis, 220 km
We continue our motorcycle trip, today we are going to Pamukkale. Once this place was called Hierapolis, the city was part of Phrygia (there was such a kingdom in Anatolia in ancient times).
In the first century, being part of the Roman Empire, it becomes a popular resort due to its warm thermal springs and good climate. And the city played an important role in the spread of Christianity.
The territory of the ancient city, which today is an open-air museum, much like in Ephesus, even more. It takes several hours to get around everything with a tour. Of the most interesting here is the largest necropolis in Turkey.
There is also a pool of Cleopatra, baths with warm mineral water, once there were Roman baths. Also on the territory of the museum is one of the largest Roman theaters for 12 thousand people, the temple of Apollo, the ruins of a pagan temple erected in honor of the god of the underworld of the dead, Pluto.
We will stay at a hotel with spa and thermal springs. By the way, in Pamukkale they fly in balloons, as in Cappadocia. And not only in the morning, but also at sunset.
Day 7. Pamukkale / Hierapolis – Antalya, 250 km
Last riding day. In the morning, SPA treatments and late check-out from the hotel. After everything that happened in the past days, the road to Antalya will be relatively calm.
We arrive in Antalya and go to a farewell dinner, discuss the highlights of the trip, share our impressions.
Day 8. Antalya, flight home
Transfer to the airport and flight home.