We are pleased to present our Cycle Legs rides for 2013. Once again we have lived up to our reputation for being the ‘Pioneers with Ideas’ as we have put together rides that will introduce you to countries whose history and buildings date back to Biblical times. These tours take you to fascinating places through Turkey, Greece, Italy and France, fully supported by Phil & Susan with local tour guides.
Leg 20 cycles from Istanbul, to ancient Troy, through the Gallipoli battlefields and across Greece to the beautiful island of Corfu. There is also a short ride option from Istanbul to Gallipoli. Book today or give us a call - we look forward to having a chat.
"Everyone should to go to Gallipoli sometime in their lifetime, here is the perfect chance"
Cycle Legs rides are designed not just as a bike tour to get from A to B, but a way to experience the cultures, people, environments and ways of life across the globe. These rides are not just a tour, but an achievement. We cycle mostly back-roads off the beaten track and through famous historic cities, past rivers, lakes and over mountains. You are beating a new path with AllTrails and you are part of the expedition. It is something that you can be proud of completing, yet it is within reach of most adventurous cyclists who are willing to commit to solid training, resulting in being able to cycle at 25kph on a flat road under normal conditions.
This leg begins in the bustling, energetic, hip, traditional and modern mixture of a city that is Istanbul. After enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of this exciting city we ferry across the sea of Marmara and begin our ride through much quieter countryside, west towards Troy and Gallipoli. We have a wonderful opportunity to cycle through the Gallipoli battlefields which will leave you moved and humbled.
Here is the end of our short ride option from Istanbul to Gallipoli, however for those lucky enough to be riding on to Greece, the second part of this trip offers some great cycling through the mountains, passing through exciting modern cities and tiny villages that still enjoy a way of life that has been the same for centuries. Taste the lovely home baked breads, tasty meats, olives and the natural home grown vegetables. Our last stop is the famous island of Corfu - one of the cliche Greek islands that you see on the postcards and in travel magazines.
Leg 20 Highlights
Istanbul - an over-abundance of important historic buildings, exciting art galleries and museums.
Also known as the 'World's Hippest City' with trendy bars, cafe, clubs & modern culture.
Istanbul Bosporus cruise and dinner on waterway between Marmara and the Black Sea.
Ferry from Istanbul to Bandirma.
Wooden Horse of Troy and the historic underground cities now exposed.
Gallipoli fields whre thousands fought gallantly and many died for their countries.
Short ride option from Istanbul to Gallipoli for those short on time.
Greece / Turkey border.
Many thermal springs in hotels with spa and massage facilities.
Lunch at Feres, a lovely setting near the Evros River, which flows into the Mediterranean waters
Cycle the coast of the Aegean Sea, part of the Mediterranean Sea.
Xanthi - city of a thousand colours.
Rest day in Thessaloniki, Greece's cultural capital.
Meteora monasteries built on top of natural sandstone rock pillars, incredible UNESCO site.
Ride through the mountains, visiting tiny villages off the beaten track.
Taste lovely home baked breads, tasty meats, olives and the natural home grown vegetables.
Corfu, World Heritage island - once only for the elite, now a tourist desitination for the lucky.
WEDNESDAY, 28TH AUGUST 2013
Written by Cyclist
The best way to see Greece! Value: 10, Safety: 10, Organisation: 10, Support: 10, Food: 10, Accommodation: 10. Rob D (NSW) Istanbul to Corfu 2013
THURSDAY, 25TH JULY 2013
Written by Cyclist
I had a wonderful time, thanks to AllTrails in organising it all. It was amazing to cycle through 3 countries, and the accommodation standard, and meals were excellent. The expertise of the local guides was outstanding, and their dedication was quite evident, and I would recommend them to others. Anne (VIC) Istanbul to Corfu and Bari to Rome 2013
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. Many 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. Accommodation is carefully selected according to quality, location, view, hospitality, and/or food, group size, routes and distances. We take great pride in the accommodations we offer our guests and one thing you will agree with, having stayed in these hotels, is that they offer a wonderful variety, ranging from the more elegant modern (even boutique-style) establishments of the larger towns and cities, to the cozy traditional guest houses, that blend in nicely with the the more rural areas. In general the accommodation is very good with ensuite bathrooms. 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.
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 grouped together. This can be in a double bed or in twin beds. If you are travelling alone like some of our riders, you can choose to 'twin share' where single riders are paired with other riders of the same gender and 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
Istanbul is serviced by a major International Airport. Your pre-departure information will have full details of our Istanbul Hotel where we will be staying. One night of pre tour accommodation is included in the Leg 20 tour price on Sunday 26 May, however you can book accommodation before this night as 'optional extras'. A taxi airport transfer will cost approx 40 Turkish Lira (AUD22). A pre-arranged private car will be approx AUD15 more expensive.
At the end of the tour
Corfu is a major tourist destination so is serviced well by air and water. Your tour cost includes a night of accommodation on Wed 12 June. For those continuing on with us to Italy, we will leave on the ferry on Fri 14 June. Extra accommodation can be booked in Corfu on Thu 13 June (see our 'pricing' tab). Your tour cost includes transfers to and from the airport or ferry as you require on Thursday or Friday.
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?
Yes, you can. please contact us for more details.
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. 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 often be a part of the leadership group on each of the Cycle Legs rides but 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
• Accommodation before and after the tour other than stated on the 'day to day' inclusions (pre & post accom can often be booked by us - check the ‘Optional Extras’ under the ‘Pricing’ tab)
• 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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