The new redspokes tour for 2014 takes us to cycling destinations in Eastern Turkey (Kurdistan), continuing our quest along the road less travelled. Just a short time ago such a journey would not have been possible due to heavy militarisation of the area and border tensions. With the more open atmosphere and fewer restrictions on visitors you will still find yourself away from mainstream tourism and more likely to encounter local communities and holidaying Turkish and Iranian families than Western visitors. Combining cultures and traditions that span the ages, the stark beauty of harsh mountain and desert landscapes contrasts with wide expanses of greenery in a journey rich with diversity.
Our cycling adventure incorporates landmark sites such as the great Mosque of Diyarbakir and Hasankeyf a ruined medieval city that is soon to be submerged under water. We visit traditional bazaars, ancient walled cities, and enjoy thrilling cycling through areas of outstanding natural beauty.
The remote South East of Turkey is characterised by contrasts: soaring peaks, deep valleys, vast green fields and dry desert. The predominantly Kurdish population gives the region a different feel to the rest of the country. Lake Van, a vast inland sea ringed by snow-capped peaks is one of the highlights of the area. The Armenians who once lived around the lake coined a phrase "Van in this life, paradise in the next". The area now known as Kurdistan is rich with ancient history dating back to biblical times and variously peopled by Assyrians, Hurrians, Kimmerians, Medes, Hittes, Persians and Armenians over time.
Join our adventure through East Turkey and discover the region's mystical charm!
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Day to Day Details
- Diyarbakir: ancient walled city on the river Tigris.
- Mardin: minarets, stone buildings, markets.
- Hasankeyf: medieval city ruins.
- Lake Van: Turkey’s largest lake. Saline, soda waters.
- Van: historic sights and castle, beautiful Van cats.
- Karabel pass: highest road in Turkey.
This map is for illustration purposes only and may not show the exact route taken on this tour.