Join Nichols Expeditions on an exciting Multi-sport Adventure in Turkey. The tour highlights include cycling along the exquisite southwestern coast, hiking to ancient ruins, sea kayaking and swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, and sailing on a traditional Turkish gulet. Chuck & Judy Nichols, the owners of Nichols Expeditions, will accompany the September tour, so get ready for a great adventure!
In Turkey, the continents of Europe and Asia are separated by only a narrow waterway making this region the “Land in the Middle.” Here, thousands of years of history merge with the 21st century making Turkey a vibrant, exotic land. Our route is away from the bustle of the cities, and the friendly local people live in a culture of mixed religious backgrounds and traditions. The countryside is filled with forested mountains that lead to the deep blue waters of the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. But the real surprise of Turkey is summed up in the saying, “One comes for the history, but stays for the cuisine!”
The cycling is van supported on a superb coastal route we selected especially for its breathtaking vistas and beaches…anyone up for a dip in the sea while lunch is being prepared? Uncrowded roads take us through small towns and near a number of fantastic Greek, Roman, and Lycian ruins. Each evening comfortable lodging and warm Turkish hospitality awaits.
On foot we will have time to hike among the ancient cities and temples and learn about the fascinating history while we photograph the inspirational scenery. From the dazzling boulevard of Ephesus and the amphitheater of Milletos to the seaside ruins of Knidos, this tour will reignite your curiosity in the ancient people who lived here and shaped the past.
Besides swimming, we will spend a morning in sea kayaks observing nature and exploring the ruins of a sunken city that lies below the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean. We top off our seaside activities with a night on a traditional wooden Turkish Gulet. Great company, scrumptious food and a starlit sky – life is good!
We invite you to join us on this fantastic Multi-Sport Tour in Turkey. Riding, sea kayaking, swimming and hiking – this is an Adventure Vacation you will remember for a lifetime!
PLEASE NOTE: This tour is designed for fit riders of varying levels. Daily riding distances will average between 30 – 65 km through hilly terrain. A support vehicle will accompany the tour for rider assistance.
All meals and lodging are included on the tour beginning with Dinner Day 1 through Breakfast Day 13. Our guests on prior tours found Selcuk to be the perfect small town to arrive the day before the tour begins to get over jet lag, and get acquainted with the Turkish culture. We can assist with hotel and airport transfer arrangements.
Day 1: Early afternoon bike fitting and tour orientation followed by a tour of the incomparable city of Ephesus, an incredibly well preserved center of the Ionian culture. Among its archaeological triumphs are the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the grand Library of Celsius and an impressive ancient theater. (The day’s schedule will be finalized in a Pre-Tour Letter.)
Day 2: We transfer to Priene to begin our first ride, an easy pedal to the ruins of Milletos, known for its extraordinary Roman Theater. We end at a comfortable lodging near Lake Bafa, a splendid paradise with over 225 species of birds. RIDE: Priene to Lake Bafa, 42-65 km
Day 3: After a morning transfer we ride forested back roads to Bodrum. Here we find one of the Aegean’s most picturesque yacht harbors and an impressive medieval castle that houses a remarkable museum on underwater archaeology. RIDE: Dorttepe to Bodrum, 40 km
Day 4: Morning at your leisure to explore Bodrum. In the early afternoon we'll board our comfortable traditional wooden Turkish gulet. Time for swimming, relaxing and enjoying the gorgeous coastline.
Day 5: Relax and sleep in! Today is a rest day and we travel aboard the gulet to Akyakka. En route we will stop to swim and enjoy the Mediterranean in style. We say goodbye to our gulet crew later in the afternoon and spend the night in a lovely hotel overlooking the sea. When we arrive in Akyakka, there is a lovely ride you can enjoy along the coast.
Day 6: After a morning transfer to Dogusbelen, we begin cycling a quiet route through a few small villages that lead toward the enchanting tree lined western shore of a beautiful lake. Lunch is on the lake shore at Sultaniye, a mud bath spa that has been used since Ottoman times. This is a must…really! Afterward we continue to the charming town of Dalyan where you can enjoy a wonderful dinner in sight of ancient Lycian rock tombs carved in the cliff face. RIDE: Dogusbelen to Dalyan, 33 km
Day 7: Today’s ride passes along a beautiful wetland area and then winds through small villages on quiet roads lined with fields, orchards and rock tombs. We spend the night in Gocek, a picturesque bayside town below Mount Mendos. RIDE: Dalyan to Gocek, 54 km
Day 8: Morning transfer to Xanthos, one of the most remarkable archaeological sites in Turkey. This UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to the Bronze Age and was the capital of the fiercely independent Lycian people. We ride a spectacular “postcard perfect” route along the sea with pristine beaches and crystal clear water. Our destination is Kas, a charming seaside town situated on the site of the ancient city of Antiphellos. RIDE: Xanthos to Kas, 46 km
Day 9: This morning’s ride is a challenging but doable climb from Kas to the turnoff that leads to the tranquil seaside hamlet of Kekova. Or, there will also be a van transfer that leaves a bit later for the top of the climb to begin a rolling back road ride to lunch in Kekova. The afternoon will be for exploring Kekova Bay by sea kayaking or on foot as determined by the weather. Sea kayaks are the perfect way to see the hidden coves and fantastic sunken ruins in the bay. No kayaking experience is necessary. RIDE: Kas to Kekove, 34 km
Day 10: If the seas were rough the previous day, we will paddle in the morning (weather permitting) and cycle in the afternoon. This riding stage takes us to Demre, the hometown of St. Nicholas; yes, there really was a Santa Claus! In real life he was the charitable Bishop of ancient Myra. The ride continues to Finike along one of the most beautiful coastlines in Turkey. RIDE: Kekova to Finike, 52 km
Day 11: Our final ride is the perfect ending to a great tour. We finish in the peaceful little haven of Cirali near the ruins of the ancient Lycian city, Olympos. Here we find a pristine beach, a pine forest full of marble temples and the mysterious Chimera, a natural eternal flame located on a mountainside near town. We will have our farewell dinner this evening. RIDE: Finike to Cirali, 47 km
Day 12: Morning at leisure to walk to Olympos. Afternoon transfer to the airport in Antalya for the flight to Istanbul. We arrive around 6 pm. Hotel in Istanbul.
Day 13: Tour ends after breakfast. If time permits, we strongly recommend spending at least a couple of days in Istanbul. We will be happy to assist you with additional hotel reservations and you will be able to make day tour reservations at the hotel in Istanbul.
ITINERARY CHANGES MAY BE MADE DUE TO LOCAL CONDITIONS BEYOND OUR CONTROL OR BY DISCRETION OF GROUP LEADERS. All
the services described above are arranged weeks or months in advance of
your trip. If airline schedule changes, unusual weather conditions or
other circumstances beyond our control prevent us from operating the services
according to the schedule described above, we will attempt to substitute
services of equivalent value. If we are unable to do so, passengers may
be responsible for additional costs due to circumstances beyond our control.
TOUR BEGINS/ENDS: Selcuk, Turkey / Istanbul, Turkey
TOUR DATE: 13 Days, May 14 - 26 and September 18 - 30, 2012 Chuck and Judy will accompany the September tour.
TOUR PRICE: $3,400 US/pp double occupancy, $400 US/pp single supplement
TOUR PRICE INCLUDES: 12 nights lodging (1 night on Turkish gulet), all meals starting with dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 13, bilingual guide, van support, domestic flight from Antalya to Istanbul, entrance fees to sites on itinerary
TOUR PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE: International flights, bike rentals (you may choose to bring your own bike or rent one for $150 US), beverages, gratuities for local guides, Additional hotel in Selcuk at the beginning of the tour - $80 US /single room, $115 US/ double room
TOUR LOGISTICS: Tour begins in Selcuk and ends in Istanbul.
RESERVATIONS: For complete
reservation information & to book this tour, click here.
CAN I CHARTER THIS TOUR? Yes! This tour can be chartered with a minimum of 8 people. Call us for information and availability, 800-648-8488.
WHO COMES ON A NICHOLS EXPEDITIONS BIKE TOUR? You can expect a spirited mix of singles and couples in their 20's to 70's from all corners of the US and a few international locations as well. Many have accompanied us on numerous tours in the past. Most folks are recreational riders and all seem to share the common bond of an active lifestyle, an appreciation for the outdoors and a love for fun. We will gladly supply references and the make-up of any trip that you are interested in joining.
THE GUIDES: Our Turkish staff includes a bilingual guide / driver for our support vehicle. The owners, Chuck and Judy Nichols, accompany most trips and supply a fun style that brings folks together like a group of friends having a great time on an unforgettable vacation.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: This is a moderate ride. Daily distances are 30 to 65 km over hilly terrain. A support vehicle will be available for any riders wishing a lift or a rest day.
THE FOOD: Turkish cuisine is exceptional! You will be staying in hotels and inns that serve great food, and there is enough variety at each meal to please everyone. Vegetarian and other dietary restrictions can usually be accommodated with advanced notice. All meals are included from dinner Day 1 to breakfast Day 12.
WEATHER: Weather can be changeable, so be prepared for riding in both sun and showers. Daytime temperatures are 60º to 85º F. and nights are 50º to 70º F. We recommend SPF 30 sunscreen and lip screen, and if you are really sun sensitive, we suggest light colored sun-blocking clothing. In case of rain, please make sure you have a good quality rain jacket with hood and rain pants.
RENTAL BIKES: We rent good quality mountain bikes with road bike tires and a water bottle cage. The bikes come with flat pedals. If you ride clipless pedals, bring your own. If you want toe clips and straps, please bring your own pedals with the toe clips and straps. If you are attached to your own saddle, you should consider bringing it without the seatpost. NOTE: You will need to provide your own water bottle and helmet.
CAMERA GEAR: Whether you shoot a digital or film camera, bring more media storage cards or film than you think you need! A portable hard drive may be the answer for digital storage. Other useful items are plenty of extra batteries, lens cleaner, lens tissue, lens brush, a mini tabletop tripod and a clean toothbrush to remove grit from your camera.
FILM WARNING FROM TSA: Equipment used for screening checked and carry-on baggage WILL DAMAGE UNDEVELOPED film. Make sure to REMOVE IT AND HAVE IT HAND INSPECTED. To expedite the screening process, carry all film in clear canisters or take the film out of solid colored canisters and put it in a clear plastic ziploc bag. DIGITAL CAMERAS AND DIGITAL MEDIA ARE NOT AFFECTED. See the TSA website for complete details - http://www.tsa.gov
MONEY: The currency of Turkey is the new Turkish Lira. You will need money for beverages, shopping, snacks, and tips for the Turkish staff. We suggest exchanging a minimum of $250US (more if you like to shop ).
CASH & CREDIT CARDS: US CASH: bring only NEW bills with NO tears. You can exchange money at the airport when you arrive. CREDIT CARDS: bring 2 or more Visa or MasterCards in case you have trouble with one. There are ATMs in a few of the towns on the tour. To use your Credit Card to get Turkish Lira at an ATM, each Credit Card will need a PIN#. Be sure to activate the PIN# and check that it works BEFORE you begin your travels. We also suggest contacting your credit card company prior to your trip to inform them of the countries where you will be traveling and the dates. We do not recommend bringing Travelers Checks because some places do not accept them, exchange rates vary widely and they require a bank to exchange them.
TIPPING: We suggest $120US per guest to cover our local guides and various service people at the lodges during the tour.
PASSPORT: You must have a current Passport that will not expire within 3 months of the completion of your trip.
MAKE COPIES OF PASSPORT: We recommend making 2 photocopies of your passport’s photo page and any other valuable documents you might carry with you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored separately from your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend (ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist the process of replacement.
VISA: U.S. citizens must have a Tourist Visa to enter Turkey. You can get a Tourist Visa at the airport upon arrival in Turkey.
PHONE CALLS IN TURKEY: You will receive a Pre-trip Letter listing all of the hotels and telephone numbers where you will be staying. Leave a copy of this phone list with your emergency contact person. If you bring your cell phone, it must be tri-band with international service. Be sure to activate the international service at least 1 week prior to your trip & check its operation. When you arrive in Turkey, you can purchase an international calling card which is quite economical for making calls oversees.
IMMUNIZATIONS: For all travelers, we suggest keeping your tetanus immunization up to date (every 10 years), and we suggest a Hepatitis A immunization, too. You can check your state health department, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) or the online traveler's data base http://www.mdtravelhealth.com/ for the most current information.
TRAVEL INFORMATION: THIS TOUR BEGINS IN IZMIR AND ENDS IN ISTANBUL. Flights from US cities can be booked on Lufthansa Airlines (a partner of the Star Alliance) directly into Izmir and out of Istanbul. Roundtrip Air from most cities in the US is about $1,000.
TRAVEL DELAYS: Nichols Expeditions is not responsible for any costs you may incur due to travel delays or other contingencies we are unable to control. For international flights, arrive at least 2-3 hours prior to departure (check with your air carrier for their requirements) and allow ample time between connecting flights. If you miss your flight and you need a special shuttle to meet up with the group, you will be responsible for the cost.
THE SECRET TO STRESS FREE TRAVEL: Simply put, pack light and arrive at the starting point of your trip a day early. Many have told us this was the most important thing they did to get ready for their tour. They felt rested and more acquainted with the customs and pace of life in their new surroundings.
ADDITIONAL HOTEL LODGING: Let us know if you would like us to make additional hotel reservations for you in Turkey either before or after the tour. We will make arrangements to transfer you from the airport in Izmir to Selcuk upon your arrival for a charge of $90 per transfer. Our guests on prior tours found Selcuk to be the perfect small town to arrive the day before the tour begins to get over jet lag, and get acquainted with the Turkish culture.
TRAVEL INSURANCE: To protect you against life's uncertainties, we have a Travel Insurance Policy that protects you against tour cancellation, trip interruption and medical emergencies along with baggage benefits. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND TRAVEL INSURANCE!
OF OUTDOOR GEAR:
The following are suggested suppliers of quality outdoor gear:
Bicycles - excellent source for bicycle clothing and accessories, www.poisonspiderbicycles.com,
Patagonia - the top source for outdoor clothing, www.patagonia.com
Campmor - all your outdoor gear needs, www.campmor.com
REI - lots of travel clothing & outdoor gear, www.rei.com
L. L. Bean - for travel clothing & outdoor gear, www.llbean.com
Sierra Trading Post - good deals on outdoor clothing & gear, www.sierratradingpost.com
Travel Smith - ventilated & sun blocking clothing, www.travelsmith.com
Zeal Optics - great fitting sport sunglasses, www.zealoptics.com
Please make sure that it DOES NOT EXPIRE DURING WITHIN 3 MONTHS OF COMPLETION OF YOUR TRIP! Make 2 photocopies
of the photo and signature pages of your passport and any other valuable documents you might carry with
you on the tour. Travel with one copy stored in a separate place from
your passport. Leave the other copy at home with a relative or friend
(ideally the same person you gave as your emergency contact). In the event
that any of your documents are lost or stolen, this will greatly assist
the process of replacement.
Temps. - days 60º to 85º F. & nights 50º to 70º
F. , possible rain showers, dress is always casual, select synthetic quick
drying clothing & do laundry in your room to keep your baggage light
__ Bike hat, visor or baseball cap
__ Bandanna or sweatband
__ Bike jerseys - 2, bright colors for visibility, breathable & comfortable
__ Short sleeved shirts – 2, synthetic quick drying fabric for evenings
__ Long-sleeved shirt - synthetic quick drying fabric for evenings
__ Long-sleeved t-neck or bike jersey - mid-weight synthetic for layering
__ Light sweater – fleece or wool
__ Light windbreaker – (optional) bright color cycling jacket for visibility
__ Underwear - sports bras for riding
__ Bike shorts - 2, padded lycra cycling shorts to prevent chafing
__ Bike tights
__ Long pants - synthetic quick drying fabric, zip-off leg convertible pants recommended
__ Skirt - casual dress
__ Rain suit - BOTH JACKET W/ HOOD & PANTS, gore-tex or waterproof nylon
__ Socks - 2 pr ea. cycling & walking
__ Comfortable shoes for walking - stiff soled if used for riding, avoid heavily lugged soles if using pedals with toe clips & straps
__ Bike shoes - STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to increase pedaling efficiency & reduce foot fatigue, NOTE: if using clipless pedals we recommend mountain bike or touring style shoes so you will have a recessed cleat for walking
__ Sandals - (optional) wear with bike socks to avoid getting blisters from straps
__ Shoes for walking (2 days at Cappodocia
__ Toilet kit - buy travel-size samples of your regular items, feminine hygiene products, Ziploc bag lotions to prevent spills
__ Waterless hand sanitizer 2 oz. - clean hands will keep you healthy
__ Personal medications - keep all prescription meds. in original, labeled containers
__"Baby-wipe" towelettes - (optional) for quick clean up anytime
__ Personal first aid kit: anti-inflammatory, anti-diarrhea, anti-acid, anti-biotic cream, antihistamine / decongestant tablets, Vaseline, hydrocortisone cream, band-aids, tampons, eye drops, sunburn ointment, 1" white athletic tape, second skin for blisters
__ Sunscreen & lipscreen - SPF 30 min., sweat proof so it will not run in your eyes
__ Insect repellent – small amount
__ Small flashlight with extra batteries - sm. LED headlamps are most versatile and are good nightlights in hotel rooms
__ Small travel alarm clock
__ Portable laundry kit packed in a Ziploc bag - 1 cup powdered laundry detergent in 1 qt. ziploc bag, 10-12 clothes pins & 25 feet of light nylon cord for clothes line
__ Plastic laundry bag - for dirty laundry / damp swimsuit
__ Ear plugs - 2 pr., a MUST for sound sleep, European towns can be noisy
__ Daypack (for hikes and to leave in the support van during the day with essentials you might need to get to during the day)
OPTIONAL ITEMS: Electrical systems are 220V and wall outlets accept EU-style 2 round-prong plugs. Electrical items must have 220V capacity. If your electrical equipment is 110 volt, you will also need a transformer.
__ Camera in protective case - new & spare batteries, extra film / media cards, lens cleaner, lens tissue, lens brush, mini table-top tripod
__ Extra freezer weight Ziploc bags of assorted sizes
__ Small "hotel size" sewing kit
__ Phrase book / dictionary
__ Paperback book(s)
__ Small sketchbook, journal, notebook, pen
__ Postcards from home – a few to show the staff and others
__ Address book – for all those postcards you will want to send
__ Small calculator - to calculate exchange rates
__ Electrical plug adapter - European style 2 round-prong for 220V appliances
__ Voltage transformer - if your electrical equipment is 110 volt
__ FRS handheld radio - guides will be using these, range limited to 2-3 mi.
__ Cell phone - must be tri-band with international service, activate US international service at least 1 week prior to your trip & check its operation
ESSENTIAL BIKE GEAR:
__ BIKE HELMET – all riders must wear them, check old helmets for cracks & replace!
__ SUNGLASSES - a MUST for eye protection, bring a spare pair
__ BIKE GLOVES - a MUST to protect your hands from nerve damage while riding & abrasion if you fall, short or long fingered
__ WATER BOTTLE - or Camelbak-style hydration system
OPTIONAL BICYCLE GEAR:
__ Rearview mirror – to fit on helmet, glasses or handlebars
__ Your own personal bike seat (ONLY THE SEAT WITHOUT THE SEAT POST ATTACHED)
__ Padded seat cover
__ Toe clips & straps (rental bikes have flat pedals without toe clips & straps)
__ Clipless pedals & your own bike shoes with cleats installed
IF YOU BRING YOUR OWN BIKE: YOUR BIKE MUST BE IN GOOD REPAIR! Have it checked by a qualified shop and all worn parts replaced. Install NEW tires & tubes! We only carry tools for minor adjustments, & parts may be hard to find. We suggest arriving at least one day before the tour in case of baggage delay. You will have time to build up and test ride your bike, and adjust or replace any parts that may have been damaged in transit.
__ Road or hybrid bike - NEW 28-35c tires, triple front chain rings suggested, 26 x 32 low gear recommended for the hills
__ Pad & pack bike securely in a bike case (with help from your bike shop if it is your first time), you can pack clothing & shoes in the case along with the bike
__ Rear carrier with bike bag, handlebar bag, pannier or small daypack to carry snacks, rain gear, camera and sunscreen as needed during the day
__ 2 spare inner tubes to fit your tire & wheel size
__ Bike tools to build up your bike
__ Small rag for cleaning bike parts & chain
__ Tire pump & patch kit
__ Correct bike shoes for your pedals (if clipless pedals, install cleats on your shoes)
NOTES ON YOUR PERSONAL BICYCLE EQUIPMENT:
BIKE HELMET – The pros wear them and so should you! A good helmet, along with your own common sense, is your best protection against the lifelong debilitation a head injury can cause. Replace your old helmet with a new one at the first sign of cracks, frayed straps or broken buckles. During the tour, all riders are required to wear a helmet.
SUNGLASSES – A good pair of sunglasses is all it takes to prevent an eye injury from road debris or an insect. Make sure they fit properly with your helmet. Consider replaceable or photochromatic lenses for different light levels, and bring a spare pair just in case.
TOE CLIPS & STRAPS – (optional) Rental bikes come with flat pedals. If you want toe clips and straps, please bring your own pedals with the toe clips and straps. Also, shoes with flat soles are safer than lugged soles for pulling your foot out of the pedal.
CLIPLESS PEDALS – (optional) Clipless pedals are great for control and pedal power, but trying them for the first time on a tour may not be the best idea. For your personal safety, you must be comfortable riding, stopping and starting in traffic and on hills. If you bring clipless pedals, make sure to bring bike shoes with the correct cleats. For bike touring, we suggest Shimano SPD pedals. The release is adjustable and the recessed cleat makes walking safer and easier.
BIKE SHOES – (optional) Simply put, a properly fit bike shoe will increase your pedaling efficiency and reduce foot fatigue. For bicycle touring, we recommend either a mountain bike or touring style shoe rather than a racing shoe. These styles flex a bit to make walking easier, and if you use clipless pedals, your cleat will be recessed for safer walking. If you have custom footbeds or orthotics, consider trying them in your bike shoes.
PLEASE NOTE: US airline baggage regulations have changed, and we suggest contacting your air carrier(s) online or by phone for their most current carry-on and checked baggage allowances. Also, if you are using a European carrier, they may have different size and weight allowances.
HINTS ON PACKING: Here are a few simple tips to help your travels go smoothly and prepare you for European hotels where stairs often replace elevators.
Packing Hint #1: Follow our packing list, travel light and try to carry on your bags whenever possible to avoid baggage loss or delay.
Packing Hint #2: Limit your luggage to 2 bags. We suggest the following: one carry-on size wheeled suitcase or duffel for your clothing, and one small personal bag (a small daypack) for irreplaceable essentials. Make sure to check with your air carrier for allowable baggage size and restricted items.
Packing Hint #3: Freezer-weight Ziploc plastic bags are lightweight, inexpensive, and see-through. They make a great waterproof biking wallet and are indispensable for packing items like clothing, books, toilet kits, and lotions in your baggage.
Packing Hint #4: Travel-size samples save space and weight! Visit the "samples section" of your drugstore or supermarket and see if your favorite shampoo, conditioner, hand lotion, toothpaste and deodorant are available in travel-size samples. If not, transfer some to smaller plastic bottles in the size you need. Remember to plastic bag all lotions!
Packing Hint #5: Think multiple use garments! Convertible pants with zip-off legs will save bringing an extra pair of shorts. Quick dry shorts double as a swimsuit. Be creative and keep that baggage light!
Packing Hint #6: Do your own laundry. Synthetic clothing can easily be hand washed and hung to dry overnight in your hotel room.