Western Marmara Tour

Istanbul, Turkey, Asia

Tour Difficulty
• Curvy, paved and unpaved back roads as well as some gravel sections.
• Ability to ride on stabilized roads is required.
• Additional off-road riding experience can be beneficial.

Organised by MotoMotto

Western Marmara Tour


DAY: 1
We start off from Istanbul at 09:00. The first stretch of our ride will be to Tekirdag. A small town with a quiet rural hometown feel to it. The road passes through Kumbag, Mürefte and Sarköy, all popular holiday home destinations and some good vineyards. The inlands is still small farms growing cherries, sunflowers and grapes. The grapes are for wine and the famous Tekirdag Raki: a distilled spirit made from grape juice and flavoured with aniseed.
Our afternoon ride will take us to Eceabat, Gallipoli, or better known as the southern coast of the Dardanelles. We will respond to the famous Dur Yolcu! (Stop Traveller!) situated on top of Kilitbahir and see the amazing terrain and the heart-wrenching history behind it. No matter how many times one sees "Monash Valley", "V beach" or "Lone Pine"; one is overwhelmed by the contrast of today's heavenly and pristine beaches and the hell of the Dardanelles Campaign in 1915. The reminders of the battles are everywhere and finding bits of bone or teeth is not uncommon when walking along the trenches. We shall spend the night at the National Park and will have ample time to ride among the battle fields and cemeteries on our second day.

DAY: 2
A day of unforgettable views and very emotional hours. We know you will remember this day for the rest of your lives.

On the third day we will take the ferry across the Dardanelles and ride to Troy, another historically famous battlefield. In the history - Historically Troy was destroyed many times and rebuilt. Until now archaeologists have found nine levels of Troy labeled from I to IX. Troy is one of the most famous cities in history, reminding us of Hector, Achilles and Achaean Greeks, the fate of Helen, Paris, Agamemnon and Priam. We will have a tour of the site and continue to Babakale, the western-most point of Anatolia. Riding along the coast of the Aegean along vineyards and olive trees you will smell and feel this ancient land and start imagining a simpler life of a thousand years ago. The views and glimpses of Roman archways, walls of ancient buildings and columns lying on the side of a hill are as common as modern day villages. And the smell of thyme and sage and the sounds of crickets make it a lovely and easy ride.
After a small break we shall continue to Assos. Assos, the ancient Aeolian city clinging to a rocky hillside above the charming and qulant fishing village of Behramkale, now grown into small town in the Aegean region, is a splendid retreat from the hustle and bustle of many nearby 'must-see' sites and resorts. The Acropolis, built on a hill 236 meters above sea level, dates from the Bronze Age with the city dated to the 7th century BC. The sight of the defense walls, of which 3 kilometers are still standing, inspires respect for the masons who erected them 2500 years ago. And above the city the Temple of Athena, goddess of the city and fine arts and war, is the best place to watch the sunset. Unfortunately, we shall not wait for the sunset and move on to Küçükkuyu for the night. We shall stay at a charming boutique hotel and have some of the best local food and amazing olive oil dishes.

DAY: 4
Today we will ride through hills and some very beautiful small villages. We will be passing the Ida Mountains - a mountainous range of this area with pine forests at the high points and again picturesque farmlands of vegetables, sunflowers and olive trees in the valleys.
The road will take us to Gonen, another excellent relaxation center, possessing therapeutic thermal springs. The health and cure establishments here have been used by people suffering from various ailments since the earliest times. The views of the mountain range and the forests are amazing. And the ride on these hill tops with winding roads is every riders dream.
Our stop for the night will be in Manyas; of particular interest is the Manyas National Park near Bandirma which is a "Bird Paradise", sheltering 239 species of birds. It is a restful and lovely place for bird watchers, just as the whole city is for nature-lovers. For those who are interested in birds or photographing them, we shall get there in time for a walk in the sunset. For those who would prefer to soak tired bones in thermal spring waters, the area boasts of another well known "kaplica", a thermal spring bath.

Day: 5
On this last day, we shall start off with more olive land and more ancient olive trees and in the afternoon arrive at another historically important place, Iznik, Nicaea. Iznik has been described by the Christian world as the third "holy city" after Jerusalem and the Vatican. In the town center the ruins of the St.Sophia Cathedral, the seat of the first Ecumenical Council of 325, evoke images of convening bishops and clergy. The First Council of Nicaea, convened by the Roman Emperor Constantine I in 325, was the first Ecumenical Conference of Bishops of the Christian Church, and most significantly resulted in the first uniform Christian doctrine. Further, Constantine's role in the council was, viewed retrospectively, a clear precursor of future imperial control over the church. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Iznik was the center of exquisite ceramic ware production which has made such an important decorative contribution to mosques and palaces throughout Turkey.

We are sure many of you will find a little sightseeing and a ride around the Iznik Lake an enchanting experience. After Iznik we have another hour of riding before we reach the Topcular Ferry Docks. We cross the bay and ride to Istanbul for another hour or so. After 5 days, 946 kilometers and approximately 16 hours of riding, we return our motorbikes and say our goodbyes - hoping to see you at another Motomotto adventure.

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