Currency: Turkish lira
Size: 302,535 square miles (783,562 square kilometers) - Slightly larger than Texas
Border countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbijan, Iran, Iraq, and Syria
National tourist office: www.goturkey.com
At a glance
Straddling Asia and Europe, Turkey is a fascinating and a welcoming blend of East and West. Istanbul represents the appeal of Turkey – the melding of ancient history with 21st-century amenities and attractions. Many go to Turkey to see the ancient ruins – testaments to Turkey's diverse and storied history and the influence of Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires. Religious iconography and art are plentiful in the country’s many stunning mosques, synagogues, and churches. Turkish architecture sets an exotic eastern tone with its many domes and vibrant mosaics, and its markets are full of colorful treasures waiting to be discovered.
Turkey's substantial coastlines along the Mediterranean, Aegean, and Black Seas give its beaches a Riviera-like ambiance. The crystal blue waters of Turkish beaches are reminiscent of neighboring Greece, but the port towns and seaside villages have a distinctly Turkish flavor.
Why cyclists love it
Turkey is popular for cyclists because bike tours allow them to access the hidden gems and remote ruins of ancient civilization and bygone empires. Bicycle tours through Turkey's inland landscapes – including deltas, rivers, and pine forests – offer relaxing rides with stops in historic villages. Turkish cycling holidays along the coast are always popular as well. Some bike tours follow coastal roads with views of the sparkling sea, always nearby for a quick, cool swim.
Another scenic perspective on Turkey's coastal region is from a bike and boat tour. Your "floating hotel" meets you at the end of each day of exploring the land by bike, and you can then enjoy looking back on the deserted bays and remote beaches from the relaxing boat deck. A Turkey bike and boat tour offers the maritime vantage point of this crossroads of East and West.
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Spend a week discovering the southern coast of Turkey with a charming and stylish "swimming hotel" of the highest of standards. You'll get to know the Turkish coast and back-country between Marmaris and Fethiye with the aid of a trek or mountain bike. Be transported back in time as your bike tour guide points out the unique natural wonders and historic cities of the area. Spend your evenings in the deserted bays and let yourself be rocked to sleep by the sea, or make the most of the pulsating night life in the port cities and their many cafes and bars.
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Explore the sun islands of the Greek Aegean on a comfortable Turkish "gulet" and by bike. The islands are a magical and mythical world filled with historical monuments and an abundance of stories. Relax while swimming in idyllic bays, enjoy the fabulous vistas, and walk in the footsteps of a turbulent, glorious past. A spectacular cycling tour on land by day, and a floating hotel in secluded bays by night.
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Discover the Dodecanese Islands in the Southern Aegean by bike and in a comfortable three-mast, motorized sailing boat. Let yourself be mesmerized by the many things these different islands offer: the exciting yet tranquil Rhodes, the towering volcano crater in Nisyros, or the charming simplicity of Symi. During the bike tours, your tour guide will point out the most interesting and idyllic spots of the islands. Let yourself be transported back in time to personally experience the history that envelops the Aegean.
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