Mamaris to Dalyan
Out of Marmaris on Hwy 23 for 32Ks to the turn off on the main coast road. The road out of town is very steep then rolling hills. There is one pass with 8% to 10% grades. This road has moderate traffic. It is inland and the scenery is not spectacular, except for a beautiful Eucalyptus tree lined road just before the turn. Turn right on Hwy 6 (east) for 32Ks to Koycegiz. The traffic is moderate but since the road is fairly straight and flat it is fast moving. The road swings south for 10Ks along a bay to the turn off for Dalyan. The last 15Ks to Dalyan has little traffic and small climbs through farmland.
Dalyan to Fethiye
Take the road to Dalaman (16Ks) where you pick up the main coast road, Hwy 6 south. Continue for 24Ks up a mountain and back down to Gocek (darling little fishing village). The traffic is moderate. Then back up a mountain and down into Fethiye. This is a good size town with lots of commercial and private fishing.
Fethiye to Kas
This area is littered with remains of ancient cities. The road goes inland. After a long climb out of Fethiya, the road stays up through evergreen forests and then rolling hills in beautiful farmland, scattered with herds of sheep and goats. Xanthos is 62Ks from Fethiya. It was the capital of Lycian and, although now badly ruined, well worth a visit. The road stays up on a ridge to Kalkan (18Ks). This is an idyllic old village built on a hillside, sloping down to a bay. From here the ride is SPECTACULAR. The road juts out along the shore next to sheer cliffs. 15Ks from Kas is a striking mountain gorge crossed by a small highway bridge. There is a perfect little sandy cove, reachable by a long flight of stairs. You will see boats bringing people to this beach from Kas. Kas is the quintessential Turkish seaside village and has been discovered by travelers.
Kas to Finike
The first 11Ks are straight up a mountain. The top has views of the coast and islands, you stay on top then there’s a great ride down. The road descends into Kale which lies on a fertile river delta with many greenhouses. It is said that the legend of Father Christmas (Noll Baba) began here in the 4th century. This area is farm land along the coast. A beautiful flat coastal ride to Finike, skirting the mountains (Reminded us of the Yugoslavian Coast).
Finike to Antalya
This route starts out flat along the coast skirting a beautiful sand and pebble beach. 15Ks outside of Kumluca the road winds back up into the mountains. There is a beautiful panorama 28Ks from Finike. Then for the next 6Ks you get beautiful mountain views. The road stays up and gradually winds down to Antalya. Antalya is the chief city of Turkey’s eastern Mediterranean coast. The traffic is heavy for 30Ks on either side of the city.
Antalya to Side
The mountains are no longer next to the shore and the winds pick up in this area. We had a strong head wind all the way to Side. Near Aksu, 15Ks from Antalya is Perge, a very ancient town. It prospered under Alexander the Great and the Romans. There are substantial remains here. Another 32Ks is Aspendos where the finest Hellenistic and Roman theater remains were restored after a visit by Ataturk. We had the luck that a French tour stopped while we were sitting at the top of the amphitheater and a tourist tested the acoustics with his beautiful operatic voice. The sound was so sweet, he got carried away. Everyone was spellbound during this beautiful solo. When he finished, a spontaneous applause erupted and then laughter at his total embarrassment. The road was flat to Side. In the town, there is a very impressive ruin. Here we had the luck of the full moon. Viewing the ruined temple of roofless Doric columns, surround by the sea in the moonlight made all the ancient myths come alive.
Side to Alanya
We rode to Alanya but don’t recommend it. It’s flat along the coast and the winds tend to be strong. It’s fine if they’re at you back. Alanya is similar to Acapulco in Mexico. A town in the middle of nowhere on a nice beach, lined with big hotels. The beach was bustling with para-sailing, boats and bathers. This is the Florida of Europe.
Alanya to Marmaris
We retraced our route back.
Marmaris to Bodrum via Datca and Ferry
We rode the road from Marmaris to Datca three times. There is an 8K climb out of Marmaris, then down into a long valley and up again. The road stays on top for a long while and you can see the ocean on both sides of this peninsula. The views are spectacular and the traffic light. The ferry leaves from the north coast and the road is dirt for about 3Ks. This schedule is very hard to find. The only place we found it was in Datca, 5Ks south. In Marmaris, they didn’t even think there was a ferry. The crossing takes 90 minutes and can be rough if it’s windy. You can see the Greek island of Kos off the Turkish coast. Bodrum has a storybook castle in the harbor and is a beautiful little tourist town.
Bodrum to Didim
46Ks to Milas along the coast. There were 2 climbs and descents. Left on the main coast road, Hwy 30, which is busy. 44Ks to junction for Didim and Altinkum Plaji. Left for 22Ks to Didim which was like an English resort.
Didim to Kusadasi (Ephesos)
Along the coast off of the busy main road to Akkoy then to Milet and Priene and finally to Soke which is on the main highway. We went off the highway again to Kusadasi on the coast. Some climbs. Kusadasi is a place to stay to investigate the great Ephesos.
Kusadasi to Izmir
Through Plaj and Degirmendere and Bulguria to Cumaovas, 45Ks. Out of Cumaovas it’s 4Ks to the main highway that goes into Izmir. Into Izmir is terrible for 18Ks. This is simply to get there. Nothing recommended.
Izmir to Istanbul by Air or Ferry.