Turkey is the cradle of ancient cultures and civilizations at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, East and West. A very mountainous country, Turkey is surrounded by seas on three sides - the Aegean, the Black and the Mediterranean Sea. There is also the Sea of Marmara, whose southern shore we will ride all the way to Istanbul. A magnificent and unique city, Istanbul (Byzantium to the ancient world) dazzles visitors with a mosaic of beautiful mosques, important historic buildings and museums. 'The City of The World's Desire', illuminated by the setting sun that raises silhouettes of the mosques above the peninsula, surely deserves its reputation as a magical city.
Roads and Riding
The sea coast of Marmara is quite diverse with some great scenery. The roads are generally in very good shape, curving high above the beautiful coastline, and low in traffic through the hilly countryside. Istanbul’s streets can be quite crowded, however; don't hesitate to honk your horn as the locals do!
Climate and Environment, When to Go
Turkey’s climate varies drastically depending on where you are and what time of the year it is. We ride along the southern Marmara Sea coast, with hybrid Mediterranean climate and a humid continental climate in the interior. Summers are warm to hot, humid and moderately dry, with sea temperature between 20° and 24°C (68 to 75°F). June is a perfect time for riding along the scenic seashore, with light breezes following you along the way.
Sights, People, Food and Drink
Our coastal route, the sea on one side and fields of sunflowers on the other, lead eventually to Istanbul. Embracing Asia on one hand and Europe on the other, this city has been capital to many civilizations from past to present. The Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sofia are among the most impressive buildings in the city. With its dense population and unique cultural identity, Istanbul is a place where you can find all sorts of colorful characters. People are sociable, nice and hospitable, but above all very proud - their honor is something they would never compromise. Just like the population, Turkish cuisine is a fusion of Asian, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and Balkan cuisines. In the local taverns (meyhane) they will serve a few hot and cold meze and some fresh fish. Turkish coffee and tea, served in clear tulip-shaped glasses, as well as raki, a traditional alcoholic drink, are indispensable around here.
Facts for the Traveler
|Land area:||738.562 sq km
|National currency:||Turkish lira|
|Religion:||Muslim (99%), other (1%)|
|Time zone:||Eastern European Time (GMT+2)|
|International dialing number:||Country code: 90, international access code: 00|
Tourists from USA need visa. You can apply via Electronic Visa Application System. A valid passport is required only.
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