Bicycle touring Antalya: Narpızlı, Saklıkent, Dereköy, Kökez, Kar Çukuru, Feslikan

No one will look at these photos and say, “wow, what a beautiful route.” It satisfied two of our important criteria — close to Antalya and high (in a failed attempt to get away from the heat).

In mid-August Özgür, Tuğçe, Ferda, and I loaded our bicycles and gear into Özgür’s caravan and drove up to his mother’s summer house in Narpızlı Yaylası at about 1500m. We started our four-day loop the next morning.

IMG_20230815_093205 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230815_093221 by bryandkeith on flickr

It was Özgür’s first bicycle tour. This might have been his first repair.

IMG_20230815_115244 by bryandkeith on flickr

That first day had some steep riding on loose dirt through Mor Yer where we were invited for watermelon by a couple retired teachers. Not long after that we asked a family for water and were invited in for coffee. Really we were happy for any excuse to sit in the shade.

We hadn’t ridden far (though we had done two 300m climbs) when we decided to stop for the night at the covered picnic area with the çeşme (water fountain) near the four-way intersection (roads to Mor Yer, Saklıkent, Dereköy, and Kar Çukuru Yaylası).

IMG_20230815_135230 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230815_192230 by bryandkeith on flickr

The next morning I guess it was about another 300m of climbing to get to the pass above Saklıkent (a ski area), a bit above 2000m.

IMG_20230816_082801_6 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230816_084101 by bryandkeith on flickr

It was shadeless, hot, and not so pretty. However, the riding this day was very fun (a lot of downhill!), and the scenery got better as we got lower. We passed Dereköy and Büyükalan.

IMG_20230816_103840 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230816_113556 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230816_120237 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230816_124146_1 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230816_125637_43 by bryandkeith on flickr

Ironically the lowest point on our tour (about 1100m) was also the coolest.

IMG_20230816_142302 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230816_145625 by bryandkeith on flickr

From that cool mid-afternoon break we had to get back above 2000m with a number of flat and downhill sections thrown in. We did almost all that climbing the following day through Yarbaşçandır, Kökez (where we were invited in for aşure), and Korucak Yaylası.

IMG_20230817_111349 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230817_112510 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230817_135608 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230817_150210 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230817_151955 by bryandkeith on flickr

Does this tree look familiar?

IMG_20230817_101806_9 by bryandkeith on flickr

We were all pretty tired by the time we got to this comfortable camp — with a çeşme again! — still just a bit below the pass.

IMG_20230817_190837 by bryandkeith on flickr

After the sunset, we enjoyed the clear moonless sky with the high and dry air — the Milky Way, some constellations (Scorpius, Cassiopeia, Big Dipper), shooting stars, and satellites. Looking west, Tuğçe exclaimed, “hey, what’s that?” 10-20 bright lights in a line, moving along like a train. They faded out and completely disappeared. Özgür knew right away that they were Starlink satellites, but none of us had seen them before. Very exciting sighting!

Even though we had three climbs and two passes above 2000m, the final day of riding was pretty casual, ending with a steep paved descent from Feslikan Yaylası back to Narpızlı Yaylası.

IMG_20230818_080322 by bryandkeith on flickr

Maybe this section looks familiar?

IMG_20230818_080732 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230818_101117 by bryandkeith on flickr

Up to Kar Çukuru Yaylası, not quite the final climb.

IMG_20230818_102650 by bryandkeith on flickr
IMG_20230818_104628 by bryandkeith on flickr

Yay — time for some rest in the shade!

IMG_20230818_160146 by bryandkeith on flickr
narp%C4%B1zl%C4%B1_loop_200dpi by bryandkeith on flickr
Blue is this trip. Red is some of the other tours I’ve done in this area.
This entry was posted in Bicycle touring, Turkey and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Bicycle touring Antalya: Narpızlı, Saklıkent, Dereköy, Kökez, Kar Çukuru, Feslikan

  1. Jennie Werner says:

    As always, WOW!

  2. Mike Painter says:

    Looks like a fun escape!

  3. Curt Bradner says:

    All I want to know is where you got that shirt you’re wearing in the last picture – sweet mother of god, I gotta get me one just like it!

    • Bryan Keith says:


      I love it! The most important question — yes, that’s a great shirt, isn’t it? It’s from Sulawesi, maybe Makassar, maybe Baubau, maybe Kendari. You’ll just have to travel around a bit and see what you find when you’re there. I know you’ll be in Thailand soon so Sulawesi isn’t too far out of your way… 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.