Epic bike climbs, Türkiye

It is an exotic, still mysterious land, perhaps still little known to cycle travelers: Türkiye is a destination celebrated for its proverbial hospitality, landscapes, monuments and gastronomic richness. And for two wheels?

Well known are the Presidential Tour of Türkiye and the Tour of Antalya, which bring together professionals each year ahead of the major European stage tours. But there is much more for bicycle travelers, thanks to the orographic features in which different climates are found and of a giant plateau surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea.

You may not know it, but there are climbs in Türkiye that are like the Alps and will meet the expectations of the most daring climbers. Let us discover together the most fascinating peaks.

Epic Bike Climbs Türkiye

turkey akyaka mugla cycle tourism
Natural areas in Türkiye (Marmaris)

Mount Babadag, Fethiye

24 km – 2000 m positive elevation gain

Track on Komoot: https://www.komoot.com/tour/1022270799

We are in southern Türkiye, traversed by the Taurus mountain range, 600 km connecting the plateau with the Mediterranean and Babadag (Mount Father), which is the mountain that marks its beginning.

We start from the enchanting Oludeniz Lagoon and the Valley of Butterflies and ascend through a dense forest that shades the road until we reach an altitude of 1969 meters. From the top you can admire the city of Fethiye. You return by retracing the route taken or…there is paragliding! Babadag is one of the world’s most renowned destinations for gliding enthusiasts, of course do your math well because there is no bicycle transportation!

Mount Elmali, Antalya

28 km – 860m positive elevation gain

Track on Komoot:
https://www.komoot.com/tour/1022272244

The Göğübeli Pass, for years the queen stage of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye, is Türkiye’s Cima Coppi. We start in Elmali, a town of 40,000 people located at 1,000 meters above sea level in the southern part of the Anatolian peninsula, overlooking a coastline that seems to dive into the Mediterranean.

The climb is not particularly long, but tough: the gradient in the last 3 km never drops below 10%. Relieving, perhaps, the fatigue is the landscape that surrounds the cyclist, namely pine forests and villages where time seems to stand still. Going up to 1800 meters in the spring makes for an unforgettable experience, with Göğübeli glowing under the Antalya sun surrounded by snow.

Mount Erciyes, Kayseri

24 km – 1150 m positive elevation gain

Track on Komoot: https://www.komoot.com/tour/1022271001

Kayseri, a city with 4 millennia of history behind it, is located in the heart of Anatolia and preserves vestiges dating back to the mists of time. This town today is a must pass point for visiting Cappadocia and its fairy chimneys.

Kayseri rises on the slopes of Mount Erciyes, a giant dormant volcano whose summit is 3916 meters. Here it is customary to meet teams of cyclists training at altitude to improve their condition. The ascent to Mount Erciyes is a challenge for legs and will, its climb seems never-ending. The road running south is practically a continuous straight stretch, where the gradients rarely reach double digits, but do not give a moment’s respite.

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Turkish climbs: Erciyes and Kayseri

Mount Uludağ, Bursa

50 km – 2000 m positive elevation gain

Track on Komoot: https://www.komoot.com/tour/1022261868

In the southern part of the Sea of Marmara is the city of Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, which grew over the centuries due to its commercial role along the silk route.

From Bursa, 100 meters above sea level, begins a climb of more than 30 kilometers that can really test the mind as much as the legs. It is not suitable for inexperienced or untrained cyclists.

After passing the Doğancı Dam, you turn sharply left and start climbing toward the summit of Uludağ, also once known as the Olympus of Misia, an inactive volcano rich in hot springs. Along the way there are a few short descents that allow you to catch your breath before reaching the summit. The itinerary passes through wonderful beauties, landscapes and colors. The Doğancı Dam lake is ice blue, the trees bright green-a postcard that is hard to take your eyes off of.

The summit of Uludağ is located at 2543 m, but the end point of this ascent is at an elevation of 2000 m where there are many hotel facilities, the resort is a popular destination in the winter season for snow sports enthusiasts.

Kiran, Muğla

50 km – 1370 m positive elevation gain

Track on Komoot: https://www.komoot.com/tour/1022268347

Imagine a climb, its wild slopes and endless switchbacks with a departure from the Aegean Sea and its sandy beaches. Can you visualize it? In the village of Akyaka, the climb begins, winding along a road with virtually no traffic to Kıran. From time to time we catch glimpses of the sea waters with changing colors, so much so that it looks like an optical illusion: it is the point where the Mediterranean Sea and the Aegean Sea meet. Lush pine forests and fragrant liquidambar trees grow all around.

To make it more interesting, the asphalt is especially rough to withstand summer temperatures. The best time to tackle this climb? October through May, just to avoid the hottest days of the year.

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Marmaris

Bike Hotels in Türkiye

In Türkiye, the Ministry of Tourism grants “bike friendly” certification only to those facilities that manage to guarantee certain minimum requirements, such as having accurate information on bike routes, a special menu for cyclists, and training for staff on bike mechanics.

It is also imperative that these facilities are open 24 hours a day and have laundry and tools for bicycle repair and maintenance, as well as a bike room. Therefore, by choosing a certified bike hotel,you can be reasonably comfortable knowing that you have what you need for a biking vacation.

Komoot @Go Türkiye profile: https://www.komoot.com/user/goturkiye

For more information: goturkiye.com and www.gocyclingturkiye.com