Paolo Vitali & Sonja Brambati
Larioclimb | Larioski | Bike | Qualido | Val di Mello | Masino-Bregaglia
Scialp | Alta Valtellina | Lecchese |Viaggi-Trips | Bibliografia |

Lycia Coast
Sail & Bike

October 2019

Italian version

Photo Gallery:  Boat1  -  Boat2  -  Bike1  -  Bike2   | Panorama  |  Maps
October 19 - November 3, 2019
Sonia Brambati, Paolo Vitali, Pascal Tillard, Fabienne Chabert, Charlene Chabert, Christian Prieux, Steve Wall, Eric Chabert, Marylene Chabert.
A planned journey that spent a long time on the shelf.
For one reason or another, the two groups of friends with whom we travel, skialp or mountain bike every year, had never been enthusiastic about the idea.
This year, I took the project off the shelf, dusted it down, and presented it to new French friends who had come with us to Mongolia and Myanmar. The verdict was unanimous…. Let’s do it! Within a week the program was decided, and the airline tickets booked. Cool to organize trips like this!
We couldn’t find a bike route suitable for staying somewhere different every day, so Fethiye would be the base for our cycling trips. We decided to do the boat trip  in the first week, to take advantage of more pleasant temperatures.
At the Marina of Fethiye, a 26m wooden Goletta awaits us, 8 double cabins, all for us! With us Tolga, the guide that will accompany us both by boat and by bike, Captain Mustafa, the chef Burak, and the ship’s boy Kubilay.
Mustafa decides to change the program a little and head north first, so we would cross the longest stretch of open sea before the bad weather on Wednesday.
So we visit the quiet Yassica Island, with its characteristic small pond in the middle, and walk across the strip of land to reach the Agalimani bay, visiting the Roman remains of Lydae and the shepherds living isolated in this place not accessible by road.
After the ruins of the Cleopatra baths near Göcek, we head south to the town of Kas and the Limanagzi bay. We anchor overnight by the island of Gemiler, where we visit the ancient remains of the monasteries and the alleged tomb of St. Nicholas. 
We continue to the attractive Kekova region, stopping to visit the charming village of Simena (home of Captain Mustapha), with its castle and necropolis. The absence of connecting roads to the hinterland has allowed Simena to maintain its old-world charm. We then sail past the remains of Suken, an ancient city which collapsed into the sea following one of the strong earthquakes that have hit this region over the centuries, to complete the journey south to Demre.
We are very lucky with the weather. The predicted wind and rain do not arrive: a strong high pressure has taken possession of the whole Mediterranean. The sun shines every day, so we enjoy pleasant temperatures, and the sea has not yet cooled, so we get several swimming and canoeing sessions every day.
On board, Burak delights us with different dishes of Turkish cuisine, including some unexpected but welcome barbecues of fish and meat. Most evenings, after dinner, the French majority on board, have almost everybody playing the card game Tarot!
On the way back we stop in Kalkan, at Turunc bay, Boncuklu and the Tarzan bay. Without realizing it, our time on the boat has flown by! Before we arrived, a week on the boat had seemed almost too much, but any fear of getting bored was soon dispelled! Now it's already time to get into the saddle for the second part of this vacation!
The only drawback, a "small" accident occurs when Fabienne, imitating Charlene’s gymnastics, and performing a handstand, slips on the sand,  and the fall breaks her collarbone! The Turkish clinic proves to be very efficient, and Fabienne, although immobilized, decides to stay with us, despite having to give up riding naturally!

Sunday 27 October
In the morning we move from the Goletta to the Hotel that will host us for this second week, we set up the bikes, saddles and pedals, and we leave directly for the first short trip, which take us to the bay of Gemiler (where we had gone by boat ) through the historical ruins of the Greek village of Kayaköy.
Not so many kilometers, about forty, a mixture of dirt and asphalt, but we immediately understand that during the next few days some challenging climbs await us!
Monday 28 October
We move by bus until after Ölüdeniz, where the steep climb begins. At the first viewpoint we start by bike, using a dirt road up to the detour to Babadag, a deadly constant climb with a 10-11% gradient. We reach a beautiful wooded plateau, and then begin our well-earned descent. In Alinca a short rest stop, borek and some vegetables ... definitely better than carbohydrate power snack-bar!
We continue the beautiful descent, with a bird's-eye view of the Butterfly Valley where we had walked from the boat, then the descent becomes gentle and pleasant up to Boğaziçi and Esen, visiting some impressive Lycian tombs, before our bus takes us back to the hotel in Fethiye.
Tuesday 29 October
Another short bus ride to Zorlar, where we leave the road to go on dirt roads through forest. Today the climb is not constant, but a succession of ups and downs in beautiful woods, up to the beautiful ruins of Cadyanda, a well preserved ancient Greek city from the 5th century BC, on the top of a hill with panoramic views.
We return to the starting point for other tracks, with a few more ups and downs. At the end of the day, a little more than 40 km covered, with a height difference of 1400 m.
Wednesday 30 October
We start again near Ölüdeniz, this time heading east, on the road that serves as the main access to the Babadag paragliding point. Just before reaching the paragliding center, we leave the forest of huge Lebanese holm oaks to descend on the arid opposite slope. In Minare we are hosted for a family lunch, excellent grilled vegetables, the ubiquitous fantastic yogurt, borek, pomegranates and excellent fruit ...
Pleasantly full, we bike the few remaining miles to the ruins of Pinara, another beautiful ancient Lycian city that is certainly worth a visit!
Again, today we cover about 40 km, and climb about 1500 m.
Thursday 31 October
We reach Göcek with the minibus, here we begin our last efforts on the bikes.
We initially skirt the sea on a pleasant track lined with beehives, then needless to say a steep climb leads us to the plateau, and we continue on dirt roads before rejoining the road to the bay of Sarsala, where we can enjoy our last swim in the sea for this holiday and season!
Friday 1° November
Last day on the Lycian coast for us, and first day of bad weather! So far, the sun has accompanied us with perfect temperatures, and with no wind. Today it rains ... a sign that it's time to leave!
We take advantage of the bad weather to relax, visit the beautiful fruit and vegetable market, the center of Fethiye, doing some shopping, tasting some Turkish coffee and raki ....
We again enjoy  Turkish specialties at dinner, the last of this trip, but certainly not the last of our experiences in this fantastic country!

Thanks a lot to all my fellow travelers for this new beautiful experience, and see you soon for the next one!
Paolo Vitali

The maps of our trip

In black the boat trip, red for the mountainbike, blue the movements with the bus
 Some panoramic views

 Text, drawings and photos  Copyright  ©  2019 Paolo Vitali –