Turchia in bici: Gravel in Cappadocia

Gravel experiences in magical Cappadocia

Cappadocia, Türkiye, with its fairy chimneys and almost unreal landscape, is a great place to explore with a gravel bike. The experience of cycling through Cappadocia is unparalleled. Walking along winding and rough paths, one encounters the fairy chimneys, which stand like ancient guardians, their unique shapes catching the eye.

The landscape itself seems to come alive, with each pedal stroke revealing hidden wonders and breathtaking views. The sight of hot air balloons floating elegantly in the Cappadocia sky is surreal. The colors become vibrant and the excitement of traveling through this territory grows.

Türkiye: Cappadocia by Gravel Bicycle

A journey of discovery

One also undertakes the journey to discover historic underground cities. These ancient wonders, carved into the depths of the earth, offer a glimpse into a bygone era and enchant by the ingenuity of those who once inhabited these labyrinthine underground dwellings. Exploring the winding tunnels and chambers, one cannot help but feel a sense of reverence.

Türkiye by bike: Gravel in Cappadocia
Nevşehir, Cappadocia

Cappadocia is a unique gravel destination. In this region in the center of Türkiye, which has existed for millions of years, we pass through one of the most impressive and enchanting landscapes in the world.
In fact, the volcanic terrain lends itself to more adventurous cyclists who enjoy difficulty or mountain biking. The dirt roads are in many cases specially designed to allow pedaling on a variety of surfaces: dirt, gravel, and stabilized pavement to move effortlessly.

The magic of a hot air balloon flight

In Cappadociait is a good idea to treat yourself to a break at one of the region’s many wine cellars or book a sunrise hot air balloon ride to view this mystical land from the sky.

As the hot air balloon gently lifts off the ground, the mystical landscape of Cappadocia unfolds before travelers’ eyes. The bright colors of dawn paint the fairy chimneys and rock formations in shades of orange and pink, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

It is a unique experience that enriches the exciting adventures experienced on a gravel bike, making the journey truly unforgettable.

Cappadocia Türkiye in gravel photo: Steffi Marth
Cappadocia in gravel – in the photo the Pro MTB cyclist Steffi Marth

The landscape of Cappadocia

As you fluidly traverse the region’s extraordinary volcanic terrain, the landscape begins to vary and climb, adding an element of challenge and excitement to the ride.

The undulating hills and rocky trails test skill and stamina, but the stunning views repay any effort. With each stroke of the pedal, there is a sense of wonder and gratitude for the natural beauty that unfolds before your eyes.

Nevşehir, Cappadocia -Ihlara Canyon by bike
Nevşehir, Cappadocia – Ihlara Canyon

MTB and routes

Cappadocia’s intriguing landscape is a secret gem for mountain bikers. Against the backdrop of a historically significant landscape, one can ride one’s mountain bike along terrain that climbs gently but at the same time takes on curious and steep shapes. In the volcanic valleys there are magnificent paths along which it is possible to stop and admire chimneys or rock chapels. Scattered throughout the area are several dirt and MTB bike paths, perfect for cyclists of all abilities.

Türkiye: Cappadocia by bike photo by Steffi Marth
Cappadocia, pictured here is Pro Steffi Marth

A 23-kilometer-long route known as “Ürgüp – Ortahisarruns through lush orchards and vineyards and is considered one of the best routes. The itinerary “Ürgüp – Avanos – Uçhisar” begins instead in front of the Göreme Open Air Museum, where the most significant collections ofEastern Roman (Byzantine) art in Cappadocia can be seen, as well as the sparkling Damsa River. The route “Güzelyurt – Ihlara Canyon – Underground City of Derinkuyu” on the other hand, is 33 kilometers long and climbs 620 meters; it is a relaxing route but provides an exhilarating cycling adventure.

The gravel trails

Cyclists in Cappadocia have an endless number of possibilities for an unforgettable gravel tour due to the presence of the many volcanic tuff valleys.

One such trail is the“Güvercinlik Valley Trail” near the city of Göreme; it follows a series of tunnels once traveled by the mighty river. By the way, the Turkish name for Güvercinlik Hill is Hill of the Nests of Columbus. Indeed, pigeons flutter over their long-forgotten nests and over the massive rock formations that dominate this enchanted valley.

On two wheels you can discover the ancient caves and architecture of the Eastern Roman Empire, for which this region is famous. Alternatively, you can take the unique opportunity to ride through the mystical valleys of Göreme National Park, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

The wines and hospitality of Cappadocia

The perfect way to end a trip to Cappadocia is with delicious Anatolian cuisine accompanied by its wines. There is a long winemaking tradition in the region dating back thousands of years. Volcanic activity has produced a nutrient-rich tuff soil, which is the reason for the excellence of Anatolian grapes such as Öküzgözü, Kalecik Karası, Boğazkere, Narince and Emir.
Wineries in Cappadocia are open year-round, so you can taste local wines in front of an extraordinary landscape.

Türkiye by bike and gastronomy: Nevşehir Cappadocia
Gastronomy: Nevşehir, Cappadocia

Cappadocia transports you to a magical land where you can admire fairytale landscapes, meet memorable people and travel through time. And when the day draws to a close, the opportunity to spend the night in a cave hotel presents itself as a truly unique and unforgettable experience. Set among natural rock formations, these accommodations offer a cozy and intimate atmosphere, allowing you to soak in the beauty of the surrounding landscape.

As one prepares for the night, the silence of the cave embraces the guest, offering a peaceful rest. And while the allure of underground cities and cave hotels captivates the senses, raise a glass to the journey and traditions of the region.

Gazelle Eclipse

Royal Dutch Gazelle, over 130 years of lightweight bicycles

Royal Dutch Gazelle is a company founded in 1892. Bicycle manufacturer, located in Dieren, Gelderland, the Netherlands. The hallmark of its production are lightweight, high-quality bikes that provide riding comfort.

The goal set by Gazelle is to offer customers e-bikes that allow them to enjoy their leisure time to the fullest, safely. For this reason, research and development is continued, producing 300,000 bicycles a year with passion and dedication.

Gazelle

A bit of history

In 1992, Princess Margriet bestowed the title Royal to the company to celebrate its centenary.
The centenary in 1992 also coincided with Gazelle making its 8millionth bicycle.

Gazelle’s tradition of success continued over the years, and on October 31, 2005, the 12millionth bike was produced. On this occasion, the Gazelle Easy Glider, featuring the first electronic assisted pedaling, is finalized by a personal touch from the then Minister of Transportation, Karla Peijs.

In 2008, the 13 millionth Gazelle saw the light of day, followed by the production of the 14 millionth bicycle in December 2012, this time developed by Princess Margriet herself.

Since 2015, Gazelle has established a modern production facility, including an advanced center dedicated to innovation and production. Remarkably, Royal Dutch Gazelle holds the most extensive paint line in Europe, more than a mile long.

As craftsmen dedicated to bicycle maintenance, we insist on creating safe, comfortable, durable, and aesthetically pleasing models . This commitment has led to the milestone of the 15 millionth bicycle in 2018, underscoring the continued dedication to excellence and innovation in the industry.

Sustainability

Gazelle

Gazelle’s long-term success also rests on theadoption of sustainable practices. Therefore, the integration of sustainability in the social, ecological and economic contexts is an essential component of business strategy, from conception and development to the production stage, the product itself and the sales stage. And the customers themselves then become witnesses to this concern for the environment, for it is through cycling that they help shape a better world: cleaner and healthier.

Royal title itself, encourages Gazelle to be ethically committed, to persevere in innovation, and to maintain a constant focus on leadership through the introduction of smart solutions, with the goal of making the cycling experience more enjoyable and smooth for all.

Gazelle bicycle models: travel, adventure and urban

Gazelle Ultimate

The ultimate feeling of freedom. This bicycle allows you to live your leisure time to the fullest. Thedriving experience is comfortable and sporty, and the design is innovative and dynamic. Featuring an innovative and dynamic design, Ultimate offers a truly fascinating aesthetic. Its features: dynamic look, built-in battery and powerful hydraulic disc brakes.

Gazelle Eclipse

Limitless adventure. New scents, new colors. New places, new roads. The Gazelle Eclipse is the bike designed for adventures, a product where design, power and precision work together to explore the world.

Gazelle Medeo

Sportiness and comfort in the same bike. The Gazelle Medeo combines the best of two worlds. The performance and style elements are based on sports bicycles, and the comfort and ease of use are derived from urban bicycles. The result is a comfortable and sporty e-bike for getting around town easily and ideal for bike-to-work.

Gazelle Makki

For the whole family. The Makki model is designed with families with children in mind. As a result, the Makki is not just an electric freighter; it is a freighter designed with safety and comfort for adults and children in mind. With a well-thought-out accessory package, it can replace the second car: the front bench, Maxi Cosi adapter, child seat adapter and glove box allow you to carry everything you need. There is no shortage of rain hood and cover to protect cyclists in all weather conditions.

Gazelle Paris

Getting back to basics. In designing the Paris, Gazelle designers decided to take the e-bike back to basics: a rigid frame, a strong motor, a good price. Its Bosch mid-motor and low, wide frame make the Paris a very comfortable bike.

Gazelle Paris

Gazelle Avignon

Modern and comfortable. Comfort, convenience and safety are the main features of the Avignon model. This modern and durable e-bike is designed with all the necessary amenities to make daily cycling as enjoyable as possible. With its sleek design and integration of numerous components, the Avignon not only offers optimal performance but also looks like an attractive option for those who like elegance in their bikes.

Gazelle Avignon
Casa-Bart

Cycling from the Cuneo area to the Turin area along the course of the Maira River

Waterways have always united lands and people, drawing assistance and benefits from them.
The Maira is a stream that originates in the Cuneo area. Flowing through the valley that bears its name, as tenacious as its people, it merges with the Po in the province of Turin before jointly continuing its journey to the Adriatic.

Pedaling along its banks, it leads us to discover the most beautiful and historically significant places in Piedmont. But it also takes us through areas declared Nature Reserves and Regional Parks.

We start from Casa Bart, in Villar San Costanzo, to pedal a 250 km loop tour with a total elevation gain of 1180 m. Easily navigated by gravel or with a front MTB/e-MTB it poses no technical difficulties. Given the numerous points of historical and natural interest worth stopping to visit, this tour, like the slow flow of water, ideally is organized into 5 stages.

Casa Bart
Casa Bart, ready to go

The Maira Trail

After traversing the entire valley, the Maira reaches the plains, nourishing the municipalities of Dronero, Villar San Costanzo, Busca, Villafalletto, Vottignasco, and Savigliano, extending all the way to Racconigi and Lombriasco. Here, in the province of Turin, it ultimately joins the Po.

The Maira Trail can be traversed on foot or by bike, weaving from one bank to the other, and it offers glimpses reminiscent of the Great North. We are actually in Piedmont, in the province of Cuneo.

Casa Bart The Maira
The Maira stream

The total length of the trail is just over 50 km. It is easy and suitable for everyone, including families with children aged 10 and older, who may prefer a shorter extension overall development of the Trail is just over 50 km,

From Casa Bart we move to medieval Dronero. Here it is worth crossing the Devil’s Bridge (dating back to 1428), in exchange for which legend has it that the Devil had to settle for the soul of a dog. Over mixed terrain, between white and paved country roads, and crossing a Tibetan bridge suspended 20 meters over the Maira stream, we head toward Busca, in the direction of Villafalletto.

Casa Bart - The footbridge, Tibetan bridge
The footbridge, Tibetan bridge

Here begins a very beautiful and enjoyable section that, alternating between dirt roads and easy single track, takes us to Savigliano. Have you ever cycled through a Fairy Tale Forest? Also known as Vottingam Forest (in the municipality of Vottignasco), you will ride accompanied by Pinocchio, Snow White and King Arthur, trying, if you wish, to extract Excalibur from the rock!

Casa Bart - Vottingam-Vottignasco
The Forest of Vottingam

After reaching Savigliano, famous for the ‘Savigliano School,’ one of the best expressions of Baroque in Piedmont, we cross the Maira River again to continue towards Racconigi.

Racconigi Castle was the last residence inhabited by the Savoy family before exile. Its park preserves centuries-old plants that harken back to the origins of the Po Valley. We recommend taking a couple of hours to visit both.

Casa Bart, Racconigi Castle
Castle of Racconigi

From Racconigi, the Maira continues its slow flow toward the Province of Turin, and we follow its course to unfold another story.

From the Cuneo area to the Turin area

On backcountry roads, we arrive in Lombriasco. Here, where the Maira flows into the Po, we follow the river to Piazza Vittorio in downtown Turin.

In Turin, we cannot help but be attracted by its many souls: regal, mysterious, dynamic. Awaiting us here are the Valentino Park with the Castle of the same name, a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the murazzi, symbol of Turin by night, leading to Piazza Vittorio; and the Church of the Great Mother of God, inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. For lovers of esotericism, one might find interest in the possibility that one of the statues on either side of the staircase holds the Holy Grail, leading to the belief that the relic is actually in Turin.

Before arriving in Piazza Castello, we pedal along the Po where a piece of Italian cycling history awaits us: the “Fausto Coppi” Motovelodromo. Dating back to the 1920s, a number of stages of the Giro d’Italia and the Milan-Turin race ended on this track.

The Fausto Coppi Motor Speedway
The Fausto Coppi Motor Speedway

The ancient ramparts that once defended the city lead us to the Royal Gardens and the Royal Palace, the first and most significant of the Savoy residences in Piedmont. Behind them stand the Palatine Gates, the Cathedral, and the Civic Tower. We thus land in Piazza Castello, in the presence of Palazzo Madama, the first Senate of the Kingdom of Italy. And finally, there is Piazza Carignano where stands the eponymous Palace, now the Museum of the Risorgimento, which housed the seat of the Subalpine Parliament and the first Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy. It is part of the UNESCO serial site Residenze Sabaude.

On the way back, via the bike paths through the city, we head to the Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi, nestled in its Natural Park, once the King’s hunting estate, and pedal to Pinerolo via country roads and bike paths.

Casa Bart - The Hunting Lodge of Stupinigi
The Hunting Lodge of Stupinigi

From Kingdom to Marquisate

We pass through the medieval center of Pinerolo, well served by bike paths, and take the direction of Miradolo (with its Castle), San Secondo, Bricherasio.
In Bricherasio, we embark on a former railway transformed into an evocative bike path, full of surprises—even for those with a sweet tooth!

Casa Bart - Former Bricherasio-Barge Railway
Former Bricherasio-Barge Railway

At Barge, the end of the train ride, we leave the greenway and take the “Via della Pietra” cycleway that, crossing the Saluzzo countryside, will lead us to the town of Saluzzo. Driving this last stretch also allows a detour of a couple of kilometers to visitStaffarda Abbey, one of the most fascinating and important medieval monasteries in Piedmont, founded between 1122 and 1138.

Once in Saluzzo, it is worth tackling a tough but short climb up to the medieval old town. Here stands the Castiglia, now a museum but originally the residence of the Marquis of Saluzzo and later, from the mid-19th century until 1992, a prison. A visit to the old prisons, Prison Memorial Museum, is also worthwhile here.

Leaving Saluzzo, we continue always on bicycle paths to “earn” the last beauty with a short but intense climb: the Manta Castle, now a FAI property.

Leaving the Castiglia we continue on a bicycle path to Verzuolo, where we will ride the roads through the orchards towards Costigliole Saluzzo, Busca, Villar San Costanzo.

Hurry, it’s late; a hearty snack awaits us at Casa Bart!

Cycle Tourism Show returns, with 5 months to go, exhibition spaces are almost sold out

This summer we announced to you the new edition of the Cycle Tourism Show. Now we tell you some news.

As anticipated, the event will be held on Friday, April 5, Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7, 2024, in Bologna, in the DumBO space that hosted it last year. Organized by Bikenomist and with Bikeitalia as its media partner, the Cycle Tourism Show has become a benchmark for the bicycle tourism industry.

It is the place to find inspiration, where travelers can explore and rediscover destinations and itineraries for their next vacation. But it is also the space where professionals and institutions can cultivate new business, undergo training, and forge new relationships.

cycle tourism show bologna
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What’s new at the 2024 Cycling Fair

In April hands-on workshops will have more space, building on the success of the last edition. The Bikeitalia Talks program will feature an increasing number of experiences narrated on stage.

The exhibition area will be larger, both indoor and outdoor. And it couldn’t be otherwise, as five months before the event, almost all exhibition spaces have already been booked

Workshops - bicycle maintenance

To fulfill the need for networking and connections among bicycle tourists, a ‘bulletin board’ will be set up to help them find fellow travelers. And there will be no shortage of bike rides to discover Bologna and its surroundings.

The exhibitors

In addition to destinations such as Spain, Turkey, Slovenia, Czech Republic, Croatia, Belgium, Sicily Region, Veneto, Basilicata, Tuscany, and Friuli Venezia Giulia, the Cycle Tourism Show will host bike and service companies such as Shimano, Canyon, 3T, Decathlon, Gazelle, Bergamont, BRN, and Repower.

The Cycle Tourism Forum

The day of Friday, April 5, will be dedicated to industry professionals. Indeed, it is a B2B day: the Cycle Tourism Forum returns with its international perspective and a clear guiding theme – the development of new business models in the field of cycle tourism.

That’s why there will be intensive training activities dedicated to hotels, guides, rental companies, tour operators, and event organizers who are looking to venture into the bicycle tourism industry.

Workshops will also be organized to showcase Italian and international best practices. There will be no shortage of networking activities and 1:1 workshops to meet industry buyers.

Embracing the path of active and sustainable tourism is a commitment to safeguarding the beauty of our planet and its cultural nuances. Through each pedaling, each step, and each ecological choice, we pave the way for a future in which exploration is harmonized with the preservation of uniqueness. When we move lightly, we leave behind a gentle footprint, preserving the wonders of our world for future generations by ensuring economic sustainability for the territories.” declares Pinar Pinzuti, director of the Cycling Fair and EuroVelo board member.

Finally, ISNART will present the 4th State of Cycle Tourism Report.

The days dedicated to the public

Visitors are expected on Saturday, April 6 and Sunday, April 7. Admission is free, upon registration (registration form will be on the website soon).

bike parking

We invite everyone to come by bicycle because, for the next edition as well, there will be a large secured parking area where 500 bikes can be securely tied up

Children can safely engage in playful activities in the Kids Area, a space dedicated to movement and mindfulness.

Practical info

All updates on schedules, exhibitors, and news will be posted on this website. To make sure you don’t miss updates, you can sign up for the newsletter.

To exhibit at the Cycle Tourism Show you can write to [email protected] or fill out the form.