A country of history, modernity, nature and spectacular food culture, Türkiye is also a paradise for cyclists of all levels with its network of bike-friendly certificated hotels. Special cycling trails traverse the country, offering an unforgettable opportunity to see almost every hidden corner, from archaeological sites to hidden bays, authentic villages and untouched natural landscapes.
With its wide and varied geographical landscape, Türkiye offers something for every kind of cyclist, whether you are an enthusiast of a road bike, MTB, enduro, gravel or e-Bike. Imagine a plethora of routes that not only vary in terrain and elevation but also lead through coastlines with unforgettable views as well as special routes through archaeological and cultural heritage sites. Türkiye’s biking trails offer an opportunity to see the country from a completely different and unique angle: an opportunity to meet locals and taste local cuisines, and admire the diversity of its natural world, from quiet bays to lush forests, all the way to the peaks of its majestic mountains. There’s so much to experience in Türkiye for those who love to see the world on pedals, in a more sustainable manner reducing their carbon footprint. The country’s network of Bike-Friendly Accommodation Facilities also offers cyclists of all levels the necessary rest and respite on the way, as well as specified service and information.
İstanbul: Between Two Continents
There’s no better way to see the Turkish megacity than on a bike. Spend the day looking out over the Marmara Sea while enjoying the Caddebostan bike trail on the Asian side, which stretches from the trendy Moda neighborhood all the way down the coast. Or explore the city’s wealthy neighborhoods on a bike by riding the waterfront route along the Boğaziçi (Bosphorus) that stretches from Ortaköy to Bebek. And if you’re in the mood to get away from the city, hop on a ferry and visit car-free Princes’ Islands, where bike rentals are aplenty, offering an excellent way to see the lesser-known corners of these beautiful sojourns.
Travel Tip: While you’re in İstanbul, make sure to visit the nearby city of Sakarya, which is 155 kilometers away and has recently received its UCI Bike City Label. Situated on the Black Sea coast, this cycling city launched a program that has already resulted in a state-of-the-art cycling center, traffic parks for children, more than 67 km of urban cycling lanes and awareness campaigns to encourage residents to use their bikes on a daily basis.
İzmir: The Gastronomic Pearl of the Turkaegean
For cyclists that also happen to love good food, İzmir is the perfect place to ride and dine. With routes that appeal to cyclists of every level all over the Çeşme peninsula, İzmir also offers the chance to make frequent stops to discover farm-to-table restaurants and dine on some of the best plates the Turkaegean cuisine has to offer. Explore the region by visiting the boutique vineyards and tasting menu restaurants of Urla as well as the gastronomic highlights of Alaçatı and its vicinity. As part of the Eurovelo 8 Mediterranean Route, the Ephesus to Mimas Cycle Route also offers a unique chance to visit the ancient cities of vital cultural heritage, once inhabited by civilizations ranging from the Ionians to the Ottomans.
Travel Tip: Make sure to take some time to discover nearby Ephesus, the UNESCO World Heritage site with some of the best-preserved ruins dating back millennia. Another great stop is the village of Şirince with its beautiful historic stone houses and local wines.
Muğla: From Turquoise Bays to Forest-Covered Mountains
At the junction point of the Aegean and the Mediterranean, some of the most secluded natural beaches and bays of Türkiye meet forested mountains soaring directly from the sea. This is an enchanting land where one could also stumble upon the ruins of millennia-old Carian and Lycian cities at the most unexpected spots. Start your tour in the quiet bay of Bördübet before taking on Yedi Adalar with its coral reefs and then returning to the hotspot summer town of Marmaris. Or explore the ancient city of Kaunos on the Eco Trails route that traverses Köyceğiz, Ortaca and Dalaman, with around 150 ancient rock tombs to discover, some carved entirely into the natural rock. Take a deep breath on this route once you get to the sweetgum (liquidambar) trees, a rare forest that leads to the Toparlar Waterfall, where cooling off in the summer months is definitely encouraged.
Travel Tip: Get some well-deserved rest and respite at Selimiye, a bohemian seaside village in the Marmaris district, which has managed to preserve the natural beauty of its crystal-clear coves.
Antalya: Cycling at the Heart of the Turkish Riviera
The bike routes of Antalya are a wonderland for cyclists who will never forget taking on the routes of the Tahtalı Mountain and the Bey Mountains (Beydağları) Coast National Park. This region also offers the Cedar Trail, which takes cyclists from the quaint village of Ovacık to the peak of Mount Sarıçınar at an altitude of 1,793 meters. Befitting of its name, the trail is dotted with fragrant cedar forests, which encourage one to stop for a break. And for those looking for a bit of extra adventure, the trail from Kemer to the peak of Mount Tahtalı (or Mount Solyma) may be short, but it is steep, ending at the cable car station that takes cyclists to the top of the famous mountain and its stunning panoramic views. An extreme downhill route from there to the sea level would also give enduro and MTB cyclists an unmatched thrill. Once the cyclists arrive at their final destination, they can enjoy the calmness of Çıralı Beach and the icy, clean spring water of the ancient city of Olympos.
Travel Tip: Stroll to the Gelidonya Lighthouse from Adrasan to enjoy one of the region’s most beautiful views and take a refreshing dip at one of the many nearby and untouched bays. The nearby beach resort of Alanya is also worth a visit with its unique mountainous landscape that hosts annual tours and mountain bike races, as well as camps dedicated to cyclists.
Cappadocia: A Volcanic Terrain for Mountain and Gravel Bikers
A true hidden gem for mountain and gravel bikers, Cappadocia’s mystic and undulating landscape is perfect for an athletic adventure infused with historic significance. Many of the volcanic valleys here offer compelling single trails along which you could stop to admire the famous fairy chimneys and cave chapels. While you are in Cappadocia, make sure to stay in a cave hotel, take a break at one of the region’s many vineyards and book an early morning ride on the iconic hot air balloon to see this mystic terrain from the sky when the sun is rising.
Travel Tip: Discover some of the earliest inhabited monastic settlements and cave churches with stunning frescoes in Göreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating back to the 10th century. One of the largest and deepest of the famous underground cities of the region also awaits you in fascinating Derinkuyu.
Bike-friendly Accommodation: Now It’s Certified
Accommodations can now receive the “Bicycle Friendly Accommodation” certificate to better serve cycling travelers. To receive this certificate, accommodation establishments must fulfill several criteria, including employing staff who are familiar with the cycling routes in the region and offering special nutritional menus for cyclists. Once you have chosen a bike-friendly hotel, you will reach all the help you need.
Visit cycling.goturkiye.com for valuable tips and detailed maps of cycling routes and bike-friendly accommodation facilities Türkiye offers.