""Meal and accommodation inclusions noted as B, L, D, A (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Accommodation)
URGUP, NEVSEHIR (CAPPADOCIA) to URGUP, NEVSEHIR (CAPPADOCIA), Tuesday, 14th May 2013
We start this tour in the heart of Cappadoccia and stay in Urgup which is one of the most geographically interesting places on earth. Two nights pre-tour are included in your package price on Wed 15 & Thu 16 May, however we recommend that you arrive on 14 May so that you can make the most of the Cappadocia experience. We can assist you with additional pre-tour accommodation on Tues 14 May (see pricing tab). To get here you fly to either Kayseri airport or Nevsehir airport. Our local guide will be doing airport transfers on 14 & 15 May (possibly also 13 May if there are enough numbers) and we will co-ordinate these transfers with what time most people are arriving. There are also good shuttle bus services running as a back-up for those that we cannot co-ordinate with our own transfer if required (cappadociaexclusive.com/shuttle). Cappadocia is a very popular place for tourists with good tourism infrastructure so it is a great place for us to start our ride.
URGUP, NEVSEHIR (CAPPADOCIA) (Rest Day) Wednesday, 15th May 2013
Relax today and enjoy this amazing place 'Cappadocia'. Why not try one of the legendary hot air balloon rides? We can get a discounted rate for our clients with the best outfitter in the region (approx EUR130pp). The name Cappadocia was traditionally used in Christian sources throughout history and is still widely used as an international tourism concept to define a region of exceptional natural wonders, in particular characterised by fairy chimneys and a unique historical and cultural heritage. The term, as used in tourism, roughly corresponds to present-day Nevsehir Province. Sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and streams and ignimbrite deposits that erupted from ancient volcanoes approximately 3-9 million years ago, during the late Miocene to Pliocene epochs, underlie the Cappadocia region. The rocks of Cappadocia near Goreme eroded into hundreds of spectacular pillars and minaret-like forms. People of the villages at the heart of the Cappadocia Region carved out houses, churches, and monasteries from the soft rocks of volcanic deposits. Truly an amazing place to experience. Get your bearings today, and our local guide will be leading tours around the area tomorrow visiting all of the best highlights of this fairy-land.
URGUP, NEVSEHIR (CAPPADOCIA) (Rest Day) Thursday, 16th May 2013
B L A
Enjoy another morning in the wonderful place before our official tour starts with a tour of the region. Our local guides will take you to the Goreme Open Air Museum, Avanos & pottery workshops and enjoy a lunch at the Avenos Womens Co-op. If there is time we may even fit in a short hike before heading back to the hotel for registration, bike fitting and short group ride this afternoon. Get a good night sleep tonight as tomorrow we head out bound for Istanbul!
URGUP, NEVSEHIR (CAPPADOCIA) to KIRSEHIR, 115km Friday, 17th May 2013
B D A
Today we ride part way along Kizilirmak, the longest river in Turkey, climb a big hill and a few small ones through this incredible landscape to Kirsehir via Haci Bektash. Just like Konya is the home of Whirling Dervishes, Haci Bektas is the home of Bektashi Order. The mystical practices and rituals of the Bektashi order were systematised and structured by Balim Sultan in the 16th century after which many of the order's distinct practices and beliefs took shape. A large number of academics consider Bektashism to have fused a number of Sunni, Shi'a and Sufi concepts, although the order contains rituals and doctrines that are distinct unto itself. Throughout its history Bektashis have always had wide appeal and influence among both the Ottoman intellectual elite as well as the peasantry. Group dinner at our hotel restaurant tonight.
KIRSEHIR to KIRIKKALE, 110km Saturday, 18th May 2013
Today's ride is across the Central Anatolian plains, across historic bridges connecting the old trade routes. Pinch yourself - if it feels like a movie that may be because the area now sees a lot of movie activity due to its topography. Another stunning day with a few hills, ending the day a couple of hundred meters lower than the morning start.
KIRIKKALE to ANKARA, 80km Sunday, 19th May 2013
B D A
Our ride today continues to Ankara, ancient Angora, the capital of Turkey, with a population of 5 million. We enjoy a decent climb today, exciting our senses, as we climb, breathing fresh mountain air before the summit, then it's all downhill to a rest day. Ankara resembles a great deal of historic heritage of Turkey, such as Frygian, Celtic, Roman, Byzantine, Seljuk and Ottoman periods. Famous for Angora goat, Angora rabbit and Angora cat. Group dinner at a local restaurant tonight.
ANKARA to REST DAY (Rest Day) Monday, 20th May 2013
Enjoy your rest day today in this wonderful city. Anatolian Civilisations Museum in the old part of the city is one of the best museums in the world while the Mausoleum of Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey, is one of the most important monuments of Turkey.
You will be amazed at the scenes, buildings, people, shops and activities available.
ANKARA to BEYPAZARI, 105km Tuesday, 21st May 2013
Beypazari is a museum-like historic town. Famous for historic wooden houses, and good food. Beypazari was a major military base and cavalry station in the Ottoman times and an important stopover for caravans operating between Istanbul and Baghdat. Another beautiful climb in the mountains, fantastic views then all downhill to another heaven.
BEYPAZARI to SARICAKAYA, 140km Wednesday, 22nd May 2013
B D A
We ride to Saricakaya via Nallihan. One may stop enroute to see the interesting parts of Nallihan, such as the Nallihan Bird Sanctuary, Ilica Waterfalls or rush get to Saricakaya and soak into thermal waters. Group dinner at a local restaurant tonight. Today is a big day with lots of small hills, magic country, facinating villages, then a big downhill dropping 500 meters to lots more lovely country comfort.
SARICAKAYA to IZNIK, 130km Thursday, 23rd May 2013
Ancient Nicaea, Iznik is quite a significiant settlement, situtated near Iznik Lake. This town is full history. 'We believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.' The Nicene Creed, or Symbol of Faith, was written by the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325 C.E. Iznik maintains it's grid-planned city structure, the ancient city walls and gates. In 16th century, Suleiman the Magnificient has started the legendary Iznik Tile School here.
Another big day with two climbs and lots of undulations. Your mind will wander as you cycle through wonderland, trying to imagine what went on centuries ago in this incredible landscape.
IZNIK to BURSA, 80km Friday, 24th May 2013
Bursa is the first capital of Ottoman Empire. As well it is the fourth most populous city in Turkey and equally one of the most industrialised metropolitan centers in the country. The mausoleums of Osman Bey and Orhan Bey, the founders of the Ottoman Empire, the Mosque Complex of Sultan Murad, the Great Mosque, and the Silk Bazaar are the hidtoric highlights of Bursa. Bursa is also the birthplace of famous 'Iskender Kebap'. Group dinner at a local restaurant tonight. A short ride today, and a big hill to fire us up, enjoy the views. Then its undulating before a big downhill through farming land, and warmer temperatures.
BURSA to BANDIRMA, 110km Saturday, 25th May 2013
B D A
Bandirma is a small town, one of the major ports on Marmara Sea, and this is the destination after our final day's cycling on Leg 19. Congratulations! Tonight we get ourselves ready for an early morning ferry tomorrow to Istanbul. Today is 110km but its all downhill with lots of little humps and bumps past lakes and villages before an active town seaside holiday feeling.
BANDIRMA, CATCH FERRY to ISTANBUL (Rest Day) Sunday, 26th May 2013
This morning we catch an early morning ferry to Istanbul allowing you time to absorb this lovely city and our Istanbul tour hotel (optional extra). For those continuing on with us to Leg 20, enjoy the sights and sounds of one of the most intriguing cities in the world. We walk the major highlights of the historic city, such as Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Roman Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and the Basilica Cistern followed by a group dinner at a local restaurant. Enjoy dinner on the renowned Bosporus boat, cruising the canal separating Europe and Asia, where the Black Sea meets the Sea of Marmara. Marvel at the fascinating buildings on both sides of this very important waterway.
ISTANBUL Monday, 27th May 2013
See Leg 20 for more information.
Question not answered below?
Feel free to contact us at any time through our website ‘Contact Us’ page, phone or email. We love what we do and want to get you on the best bike ride for you. Speak to us about what's on your mind and we'll help you make your decision.
Why Book With Us?
This is your chance to be on a once in a lifetime tour, cycling through countries and areas that are off the beaten track and offer a cycling experience like no other. Being part of of our Cycle Legs rides from Australia to London is not just a bike tour but your chance to do something so different and out of the ordinary that it will give you stories to tell for years to come.
On Cycle Legs Europe 2013 from Turkey to Italy, Phil and Susan McDonald, the owner-operators of the business, will be on tour with you as riders, organisers and tour leaders along with our local tour operators & guides. The safety and confidence that comes with that is one of many great reasons to book your cycling holiday with us.
AllTrails is a proud Australian owned company with a great reputation in the bicycle tour industry. We have earned that reputation through hard work and dedication and we sincerely care about every person on every tour. Our large community of loyal AllTrails riders that keep coming back year after year are testament to the high standard of tours that we provide. We consider ourselves the best in the business and we always make sure that our tours represent great value at a fair price.
What pace/ability do I need to participate in a Cycle Legs ride?
Most of our Cycle Legs tours will average around 100km per day - a few longer and a few shorter. In most cases we will head out early after a good breakfast and finish the full day's ride by early to mid afternoon. Try to get to a point in your training where you are comfortable riding 20-25/km per hour on the flat which is the speed that we will cruise at under good, flat cycling conditions.
Remember that practice makes perfect so if you have not ridden much do not be disheartened if these goals seem a long way away – keep training and you will get there. Remember that we have a support vehicle to pick up those riders that decide to ride only part of any day.
We suggest that you do most of your training on the bike, on the road – not indoors on a trainer. On the road you are getting the goods and the bads of cycling, especially passing traffic, potholes, people and other obstacles. Try to get up to a level where you can ride a 115+km distance for 2 days in a row or more including some good hills. A training schedule will be sent to you in your welcome pack after you make your deposit - let us know if you would like to see this today and we will send you one.
Meals and Food
Always a big part of any cycling holiday! Check tour details for meal inclusions on your ride. Our emphasis is on fresh food and balanced diet with plenty of carbohydrates, proteins, fruit and vegies catering for a cycling holiday. We successfully cater to most dietary requirements, however feel free to contact us with any questions. Most meals are included as part of our tours, however you may be required to purchase some meals. See the 'Day to Day' tab for more details, or click the 'Generate Itinerary' button.
What is the accommodation like?
We always try to obtain great accommodation in the best location for you to rest your weary head (and legs) in each town whether it be a motel, hotel, cabins or similar, usually 3-4 star. We choose the best and most welcoming motel for cyclists and our tour group needs. On occasion we travel through some very small towns where accommodation is extremely limited. If for whatever reason, such as limited options, the accommodation one night is below normal standard, we strive to improve this with an extra good room the next night or nights following. The style of accommodation will vary throughout the trip from basic, rural motels, to special class spa hotels. In general the accommodation is very good with ensuite bathrooms.
Sharing rooms – how does it work?
On the online entry form you can nominate any travelling companions that you would like to share a room with and/or be accommodated close to so that couples or friends can be roomed together. This can be in a double bed or in twin beds. If you are travelling alone like many of our riders, you can choose to 'twin share' where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender and sometimes changed at each accommodation to create interest in sharing rooms. Single Supplement is also available for those who would like their own room for the whole trip. If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room.
Not a problem! You’ll find other like-minded cycling companions taking part in our rides. If you’re a solo traveller we will pair you with other solo travellers of the same gender in twin share accommodation or you can opt for Single Supplement (additional cost) to receive a room of your own.
Snorers can enjoy their own room
If you are a chronic snorer or have other habits that may affect your fellow room-mates we suggest booking your own room (single supplement cost). This is not just a courtesy to your fellow travelling companions, but will also give you the space & privacy you need to enjoy your sleep after a long day on the bike.
Getting to the start of the tour
Two nights pre-tour are included in your package price for Leg 19 on Wed 15 & Thu 16 May, however we recommend that you arrive on 14 May so that you can make the most of the Cappadocia experience. We can assist you with additional pre-tour accommodation on Tues 14 May (see pricing tab). To get to the start of the tour you fly to either Kayseri airport or Nevsehir airport. There are good shuttle bus services running to Urgup such as cappadociaexclusive.com/shuttle. Cappadocia is a very popular place for tourists with good tourism infrastructure so it is a great place for us to start our ride.
At the end of the tour
The last night of accommodation included is in Bandirma on Saturday 25 May. This Leg 19 tour officially ends as you arrive at our Istanbul hotel from the ferry on Sunday 26 May. If you wish to stay with the group at our Istanbul hotel you may do so (optional extra), and you may also join us for Istanbul sightseeing. Istanbul is serviced by a major international airport so is very easy to come and go from. Our Istanbul hotel staff can assist in arranging taxi & bus transfers to the airport. A taxi airport transfer will cost approx 40 Turkish Lira (AUD22). A pre-arranged private car will be approx AUD15 more expensive.
Is the riding safe?
European motorists have a great reputation for being cyclist-considerate. We at AllTrails have a great safety record however cyclists have to play their part in keeping well over to the side of the road where possible. You will also be briefed before each day's ride pointing out parts of the road that may get narrow or have any known hazards.
What is the weather likely to be?
Our tours have been specifically scheduled to take into consideration the best time of year to travel to that destination. This takes into account the temperate range, possible rainfall and the prevailing winds. Of course, we can’t ever control the weather however this only adds to the adventure and excitement of your travel experience!
For more specific weather and climate information visit www.bom.gov.au or for our international tours visit www.worldweather.org
Can I rent a bike?
We have found Turkey to be a very challenging country to track down road bikes for hire. You are welcome to do your own research to see if you can do a hire from Cappadocia to Istanbul but we have not found any company that will do this. We suggest that you bring your own bike.
What bike mechanical assistance is provided?
A tour guide with bike mechanical knowledge will be part of our crew and will have most items that are required, including a good stand-pump for different valves. The bike parts used for replacement will be charged at shop prices. Cyclists with rare or different bikes are asked to contact us at AllTrails as parts can often be very difficult to obtain.
What kind of bike is best?
Road bike is best but you could also choose a hybrid or mountain bike with slick tyres. Contact us to discuss the terrain of your chosen leg(s). In some places that we go to, bike shops and spare parts can sometimes be difficult to find so you need a good reliable bicycle. We can organise bike rental through our local contacts in Europe.
A specialist road bike is best on our European route as the roads are generally very good although flat handlebars will give you more stability and maneuverability and you will also be able to increase your awareness of the amazing scenery and atmosphere from a more upright position.
A strong, light frame, straight or drop bars and comfortable seating position. Smooth road tyres, triple crank set, with 15 gears or more. This ride is about seeing the scenery, the lifestyle of the local people and the many things that present themselves on the journey.
ALL BIKES NEED:
- Good braking system
- New tyres (smooth road surface tyres, no nobby tyres)
- New tubes
- Rear-vision mirror. Cyclists often deviate a metre or two out on to the roadway when turning their neck around to see what is behind them, so a mirror is very helpful to see who and what are behind you and how close. When you get used to using one they are great.
- Triple chain ring. There are a few hills that are quite steep and a triple chain ring on the front set is a handy helper when you have run out of gears when climbing.
We also strongly suggest:
- Allen key set (self serve)
- Bike computer to keep track of your distance, speed, elevation etc.
- Bum bag for your camera and other valuables.
Do I need to carry anything on my bike?
We suggest you carry a spare tube, a full water bottle and your own personal goods such as camera, wallet and perhaps rain gear if it’s threatening. We transport your luggage, day packs, food & extra water. A detailed list of what is required and provided will be sent to you in your pre-tour info pack.
What sorts of people join our rides?
People from all parts of Australia and overseas. Ages generally range from 30 - 70 with the average age about 50 years old. Adventurous cyclists usually about 40% women & 60% men with a mix of singles, friends and couples.
Do I need a Visa?
In many cases you will need a visa to enter countries on our Cycle Legs route. A visa is a form of permission for a non-citizen to enter, transit or remain in a particular country. We do not issue visas for overseas travel and cannot provide definitive information on visas. Only the representatives of the countries you plan to visit can provide up-to-date information about their visa requirements. For all countries, contact your nearest embassy or consulate of the country you intend to visit well in advance of travel. For Australian passport holders, additional advice can be found on the Smartraveller website www.smartraveller.gov.au.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
Yes, yes, yes. Make sure that you are covered for every country that you are travelling to and ensure that you are covered from and including the day you leave and arrive back home. Due to the nature of our rides we are sometimes in remote areas during the course of a ride. Ensure that you have medical insurance that would cover the cost of a helicopter ambulance to transport you to the nearest hospital.
We also recommend getting your travel insurance in place immediately after you book your ride so that you are covered for any events which may lead to you having to cancel your trip.
What if I need to change or cancel my tour?
We highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance for all our Australian rides at the time of deposit and ensure that it includes coverage for cancellation fees if for some reason you are not able to travel. For our international tours we require all participants to have Travel Insurance to assist you in the event of a medical emergency, lost baggage, personal liability, cancelled tour or any other trip related issues.
Should you wish to change your booking with AllTrails to a different tour, there will be a very reasonable service charge. We try to keep this figure as low as possible to allow flexibility where we can as we want to make sure that you get on the right tour for you.
For cancellation and refund policies for your tour click the ‘Terms & Conditions’ button on the relevant tour page of our website.
What to pack?
We recommend you bring a soft bag or backpack. We advise against bringing a suitcase as they are bulky, difficult to stow on board vehicles or trailers and heavy. You may be required to lift or carry your own luggage from time to time, e.g. into accommodation. We expect your bag to be no heavier than 15kg, making it easy to manage for you and the staff. Any excess luggage may need to be stored or forwarded on to your final destination at your own expense. Information about what to pack is included as part of your Pre-Departure information. Generally we advise that you pack as light as possible.
Who are our local tour operators/guides?
Phil and Susan McDonald, owner-operators of AllTrails, will be on this tour with you, however we also have some very impressive and knowledgeable local bike tour operators that we partner with in each region that we visit on our Cycle Legs route. These local partners will be helping us navigate through their countries assisting us in understanding and appreciating the local cultures and people and also helping with communications and guiding. You can find more information about our local partners in the information section of each ride.
How can I stay in touch with home?
Part of the appeal of a holiday is to get away from the hassles of everyday life! If you can’t leave home without your mobile phone, check with your service provider to see where you will have coverage overseas and also that global roaming has been activated on your phone.
As you may not always have mobile phone coverage, particularly if you travel into remote locations, it is sometimes good to purchase a phonecard or calling card when you arrive at the start of your tour, as many public telephones do not take coins. Otherwise it may be cheaper to purchase a local SIM card on arrival at your destination, or you can purchase a 'Travel SIM' which is SIM card that you put in your phone and works in many overseas countries. For more info see: www.travelsim.net.au.
Some towns may have an internet café or access to an internet terminal, so you may be able to check your emails from time to time while you’re away. If you don’t already have a web-based email account, it is a good idea to set one up before you leave, e.g. Hotmail, Yahoo or Gmail.
BE VERY CAREFUL WITH USING YOUR MOBILE PHONE TO ACCESS THE INTERNET OVERSEAS. PHONE PROVIDERS CAN CHARGE EXTREMELY HIGH RATES.
Political unrest, natural disasters, and other issues in the local area?
Full reconnaissance trips are done along the route of our Cycle Legs tours before we host a tour on that route and we avoid any places that we deem to be too dangerous to ride through. Safety is without question our number one priority. Phil and Susan, owner-operators of AllTrails are often part of the crew and riding group on the legs to London so safety will be constantly monitored before and during the trip.
In saying that, a Cycle Legs ride is more like an expedition than an average bicycle tour, so there may be times when we are faced with unexpected and unavoidable difficulties. We will tackle these hurdles with the utmost consideration and professionalism as we have always done. We recommend that you visit your local government travel advice website such as www.smartraveller.gov.au (Australian passport holders) to learn more about your destinations, and feel free to contact us in regards to any specific queries that you may be concerned with.
What to consider when buying a new bike or upgrading?
If you are purchasing a new bike for this ride or wanting to make some upgrades here a few points to consider:
Bike set up: Unless you are accustomed to riding long distances or are very flexible set your bike up for comfort rather than optimum aerodynamics. A more comfortable upright position is most easily achieved by raising the handle bar and moving the seat forward.
Wheels: Do not go too light. High-end road bikes often allow you to choose different wheel sets or if you are considering upgrading, the lightest wheels might be the fastest, but they are not always the strongest. The heavier you are the more important this is. Cheaper wheels are heavier and generally have more spokes, but are also quite robust and easy to repair, so if this is your price bracket then there is not too much to worry about. If you looking at getting some fast wheels and you are over 90kg ask your bike shop for advice and even do some research online or within your bike community.
Tyres: Durability is the most important feature for long distance rides. When choosing your tyres look for features like anti-puncture and Kevlar lining. A harder rubber also allows you to get more kilometres out of each tyre. A popular choice amongst our cyclists are the Continental Ultra Gatorskins in either the 23mm or 25mm width.
Gearing: As a rule; the more gears you have the easier it is to climb hills. The standard configuration of gears found on road bikes does not suit everyone. If you find yourself running out of gears while climbing, needing to get out of the saddle to get over a hill or ride with a high cadence it might be worth considering one or both of these options. Replace the cassette with a larger one (more teeth)and/or get a compact crank. A compact crack tries to do what the triple chain ring crank does in just two chain rings. If you already have a triple, this is not for you. The compact crank slightly reduces your big chain ring size and significantly reduces your small chain ring size making it much easier to climb hills and spin your legs faster rather than harder.
What’s not included in the tour price?
• Airfare and transportation to and from the tour pick-up/drop-off locations
• Personal accident or travel insurance
• Personal items purchased during the tour
• Some meals may not be included allowing you the opportunity to explore the regional cuisine and choose your own meal. Check tour details for more information.
• Optional activities and sightseeing
Brochure. How can I get one?
You can download an AllTrails brochure from our homepage, otherwise contact us with your postal address and we will mail you a copy.
Can I talk to someone who has ridden one of your tours?
Absolutely. We will be happy to give you the names and telephone numbers of people who have participated in the ride or a similar ride to the one which you are considering. Where possible we will provide you with the details of someone within your city or state.
Another good place to look is our ‘Testimonials’ page.
I have a group who would like to know more. Can I book an info session?
Contact us if you would like to find out about booking an info session for your group of friends, or if you would like to find out about a travel talk happening near you in the future.
Be inspired, hear from the experts, learn more about a destination and even book your tour on the night.
How and when can I book?
Right here, right now. Click the 'Book Your Place Today' button, or call us in the office on +61 3 9645 3355 or email email@example.com for more information.
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