This was a fun five-day organized bicycle tour. The most similar tours I’ve done (in terms of organization) would have to be Ride the Rockies and Bicycle Tour of Colorado. A truck carried our gear each day (the white one here),
we knew where we’d be camping each night,
and all meals were provided.
All we had to do was pedal.
I wouldn’t want all my bicycle tours to be like this, but it’s super fun every once in a while.
This year’s route was clockwise around the Gulf of Gökova, starting and ending in Bodrum. We used the ferry on the afternoon of the last day of the tour to get from the Datça Peninsula back to Bodrum.
Ferda and I first heard about the GBT from Emek while we pedaled together this summer in Artvin. Emek spoke very highly of the tour. So we went from long, steep climbs in the mountains in the far NE of Turkey to wonderful, fairly easy riding with great coastal views in the far SW of Turkey.
I had ridden the Bodrum-Akyaka section nine years ago with Kurt. For cyclists that’s one of the best coastal roads in Turkey and one of the best coastal roads I’ve ridden anywhere (above photo).
I rode the Akyaka-Datça section three years ago, and though I wouldn’t use the same superlatives (there is more traffic and fewer views), it certainly has its moments:
Ferda and I met up with Ebru and Mehmet in Bodrum before the tour and spent a couple days exploring by bicycle. Here’s the Myndos Gate:
More interesting was the ruined Roman city of Pedasa a few kms above Bodrum.
Leading us from Pedasa to the Zeki Müren Museum Ebru found a fun neighborhood of narrow streets near the waterfront.
The next day we cut our exploring short as we failed to find any pleasant roads for cycling on the peninsula to the west of Bodrum. The narrow, busy roads reminded me of Rhodes.
The GBT official kickoff was at Bodrum’s (Halicarnassus) Roman theater:
Just like last time I pedaled away from Bodrum, I took lots of photos of Ottoman cisterns.
Bodrum was one of the areas affected by the extensive fires near Turkey’s Mediterranean earlier this year. We rode through some burned areas.
I wonder if olive trees like this have a chance to recover:
It was reassuring to already see some new green in places.
Kurt and I stopped for lunch at Çökertme many years ago. Here we are at breakfast this year:
In Ören I couldn’t find much of the ancient city of Keramos. Perhaps a church here?
and the remains of the aqueduct:
One of our camps was at Akbük:
another at Çubucak:
We swam every day.
Datça’s not so exciting, but it’s worth wandering around Eski Datça:
It was an enjoyable week with perfect weather, a bit of bicycling and meeting new friends.
The red is this tour. The blue is previous tours.