||October 19 - November 3, 2019
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!
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
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.
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.
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!
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
||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
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
Thanks a lot to all my fellow travelers for this new beautiful experience, and see you soon for the next one!
In black the boat trip, red for the mountainbike, blue the movements with the bus
drawings and photos Copyright © 2019 Paolo