Turkish Lake District St Paul Trail MTB

  • Riding scenic, challenging trails along the famous St Paul Trail trekking route.
  • 2000m pass above Lake Egirdir with stunning panoramic views and descent.
  • Discovering the amzaingly well preserved Roman road at Adada
  • Drinking tea with Yoruk nomads on mountain pastures of Dedegol and Davras
  • Exploring the extensive ancient Greek ruined city of Selge.
  • White water rafting in the white waters of the Korprulu Canyon.
  • Experiencing incredible local hospitality at the wonderful old village of Beydilli


TOUR DETAILS:
This challenging route skirts the new St Paul Trail over high mountains and through deep canyons from the little known Turkish Lake District towards it’s destination in the Koprulu Canyon near the Mediterranean coast. It passes through some of the greenest parts of Taurus mountains, some of Turkey’s most impressive canyon scenery and the mountainous homelands of Yoruk nomads. It’s a true voyage of discovery and our most varied expedition- perfect for those with a thirst to discover what’s around the next corner!

The Turkish Lake District Tour follows a little known network of remote dirt tracks, wonderful deserted roads, and rough singletrack migration routes, linking up historic sites via some of the Toros Mountains’ most stunning scenery. This tour is perfect for those looking for an adventurous and challenging biking expedition in some of Turkey’s most beautiful and least explored landscapes! This is wilderness mountain biking with the maximum of diversity- remote, undiscovered terrain that brims with history and culture. You’ll meet semi nomadic shepherds and have the chance to stay in rustic villages where time has largely stood still.

PRACTICAL MATTERS:

Price (per person): 900 Euro
Minumum group size 3.
Maximum group size 10.
For groups of 5 people or less a surcharge of 100 Euros per person is added to the price. 

Options: 
Single Supplement 220 Euro.
Bike rental 150 Euro. 

Price includes: 
7 nights hotel and pension accommodation. Transfers to and from Antalya airport. Professional MTB guide. Full use of support vehicle. All meals, snacks and tea and coffee at mealtimes.

Price does not include:
Flights. Alcoholic and soft drinks available at camps or restaurants and entrance fees to historical sites and museums. Tips for guides and driver.

Tour Length:
8 days.

Start / finish point:
Antalya

Grade:
3-4: Challenging and requiring good fitness but less technical than the Cappadocia Singletrack tour 

Features:
6 days multi centre MTB. Varied terrain with some singletrack and wilderness sections. 

Equipment advice: Tubes filled with "Slime" or other anti-puncture liquid are strongly recommended for this tour. The tour goes to some very out of the way places where in the event of technical or physical failure could take a long time to get back to the minibus. Please contact us for advice on bike maintenance and spares to take.

Dates: 
June 17 – 24 2017
August 26 – September 2 2017

Programme:

Day 1: Transfer to Lake Egirdir from Antalya Airport
Day 2-7: Mountain biking in the Turkish Lake District and St Paul Trail area
Day 8: Return transfer to Antalya Airport

Accommodation: 5 nights hotel / pension 1 nights village house 1 night delux bungalows

Full-Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive at Antalya airport, transfer to Egirdir (3 hours drive). We check in the pension, assemble our bikes and have a briefing. We stay in a friendly heritage listed hotel by the shores of Lake Egirdir with great panoramas of the surrounding mountains. Overnight Charlys Pension, Lake Egirdir.

Day 2: Transfer – Bagoren – Barla Pass – Picnic lunch – Beydere – Egirdir (38km / 950m climbing / 1200m descent) We leave the lakeside of Egirdir and transfer 20km to Bagoren, where the ride begins at 1200m on the picturesque slopes of Barla mountain. From here we ascend on a good tractor track up through a wooded valley to reach a spectacular 1750m pass with fantastic views to the lake below (the last section is steep so we’ll probably have to push!). We then descend on a rough path to a fine alpine meadow, where you can dip in and out of an eroded water course or carry on straight over the fields. We pass by a high mountain tented settlement and continue to enjoy stunning views and more great, long, rocky downhills that takes us back to lake level at the rustic village of Beydere. Then we head back to base at Egirdir on a quiet asphalt road. A great, relatively easy, first day and a perfect introduction to the Lake District area! Overnight Charlys Pension, Lake Egirdir.

Day 3: Transfer – Davraz Mountain – Kasnak Forest – Picnic lunch – Balkiri – Egirdir (54km / 1040m climbing / 1770m descent) We transfer to Davraz Ski Centre (35km / 40 mins) and then climb over the frequently snow capped shoulder (Bes Kuyular) to 2000m with commanding views of the lakes and valleys below. We descend an awesome, long, rocky downhill and continue on rough tractor tracks down through natural oak forests of Kasnak National Park to Balkiri village. From here it’s an easy cruise back on the road via Akpinar to Egirdir on the lakeside. Although there’s a good net descent, the terrain, elevation and technical sections make today fairly challenging. Overnight Charlys Pension, Lake Egirdir.

Day 4: Transfer – Melekler Yayla – Karacahisar – Picnic lunch – Eldere – Kuzukulagi Yayla – Kozagacin – Ibisler (71km / 1300m climbing / 2210m descent) Transfer to Aksu – Melekler Yaylasi (1700m) on the northern side of Dedegol mountain (55km / 1hr)- one of the most imposing peaks in the whole Lake District area. Here you are likely to encounter Yoruk semi nomadic shepherds, who live in traditional goat hair tends to tend their flocks of goats and sheep throughout the spring and summer. We head south, with awesome panoramic views to the Yaka Canyon below, and descend into the main Basak river valley at Karacahisar. After a short section on the road along the valley bottom, and a riverside picnic lunch, we climb again on a steadily rising dirt road, above Eldere to Kuzukulagi Yayla, under the massive limestone faces of Dedegol mountain. From here it’s mostly downhill to where our driver awaits at the valley bottom (Ibisler) to take us on up the valley to Kasimlar. We stay in a very friendly, cosy village house pension and enjoy hearty local food. Overnight Kasimlar Pension.

Day 5: Kasimlar – Bucakdere – Tota – Picnic lunch – Saray – Koz Mahar – Sagrak (55km / 1500m climbing / 1470m descent) We leave Kasimlar, climbing into beautiful mountain scenery, passing though lush green scenery in the village of Bucakdere on a long climb through mature pine forest up and over the shoulder of Tota mountain. A good 800m of vertical climbing on a rough tractor track this morning is challenging, but with incredible views evolving at every hairpin, hugely rewarding! We traverse across the mountain at around 1800m, then drop down onto a level, grassy plain. Here we enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade of juniper trees surrounded by gorgeous wildflowers in spring and early summer. We join a relatively easy going dirt road that soon arrives at Saray village, near Sutculer. From there we follow a dirt road downhill, along the course of an old migration route, dropping down into the valley bottom on a rough and sometimes technical track. One last climb on good asphalt brings us to our destination at Sagrak village. We stay in a local pension ran by very friendly villagers (the old primary school) which is very basic but with great simple food and traditional hospitality. Drinks, beers etc can be arranged in advance! Overnight Sagrak Pension.

Day 6: Adada – Transfer – Beydilli – Eski Beydilli – Canyon (Picnic lunch) – Cukurca – Yesilbag – Caltepe (50km / 1020m climbing / 2070m descent) We start the day with an excursion to Adada antique Roman city where there are impressive ruins to explore, plus a fantastic 40 minute walk down a Roman road made of huge stone slabs. Then, we take a transfer (40km / 1hr) through the lively market town of Sutculer, to our start point at Beydilli- a tiny village with little contact with the outside world at 1535m altitude. A rough dirt road takes us relatively easily up and over to the magnificent Korprulu canyon, with incredible views at the 1900m pass. Dropping down into the vast valley we enjoy an awesome rough tractor track descent all the way down to 580m in the canyon bottom, where clean fresh pools make a quick swim very tempting! Passing Eski Beydilli village, the ride is a great journey into a forgotten pastural world. After letting our picnic go down we hit another good climb up out of the canyon to Cukurca and an easy last section on traffic free asphalt that takes us to our finishing point besides the river at Caltepe. Caltepe is a lovely little riverside village, upriver from the main canyon and our pension is a fine spot to relax and soak up the area’s unique vibe. Overnight Caltepe Erdinc Pansiyon.

Day 7: Caltepe – Delisarnic- Korprulu National Park – Selge (Picnic lunch) – Karabuk (45km / 1160m climbing / 1460m descent) The trail takes us on asphalt tracks uphill through the unique and improbable rocky outcrops around Delisarnic, passing amidst majestic countryside with sweeping views of the Korprulu Canyon below. Then via a dirt road we continue through remarkable rocky scenery to arrive at Selge, where extensive Roman ruins make for a fascinating historical excursion and a good place to picnic. Continuing down a long, windy asphalt road back into the main canyon valley, we arrive at the cool, fast flowing river, where a fantastic swimming place awaits. An optional white water rafting excursion is possible however- the perfect way to end your trip! Our hotel has lovely stone cottages and wooden chalets, in a magical situation over an ice cool spring water lagoon! Overnight at Perge Pension Bungalows.

Day 8: We pack up our bikes say our goodbyes and then transfer to Antalya for the scenic drive back to Antalya and flight home.

Why?
Our guide Jon Bawn lived in this region for a couple of years and this tour was developed out of the MTB routes he discovered during that time. It’s a result of local knowledge and grass routes no nonsense mountain biking and will appeal to adventurous MTB tourists.

When?
May to June and September to October offer the best riding conditions but this trek can be great in the summer too- the longer days actually making for a more relaxed itinerary with more time for exploring the many sights en route.

How?
The tour starts and finishes in Antalya where there are many flight options to suit all budgets.

Please note that this tour is physically demanding, with daily elevation gains of well over 1000m- and as such requires a good level of fitness! Contact us if you need advice or assistance.