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Turkey

Your Linesman

Levent Topçu

Levent is an outdoor enthusiast from Istanbul. He started riding motorcycles with the help of his grand-father when he was 15. He then spent many years in different activities including paragliding, adventure races, mountain marathons, open water swim events and triathlons. On his 30th birthday, he moved back to where he started and purchased his first proper off-road bike.

He always likes to ride off-pavement and do multiday trips. Discovering silent and peaceful spots is a big passion for him. He likes to camp and spend time outdoors when he is not riding. He also spends a considerable amount of time planning for new routes in Google Earth…

DOWNLOAD THE GPX TRACK

ROUTE INFO

Starting from April to end of November. May and June is the best time for sure.

However, keep in mind that this part of Turkey is relatively flat in contrast to eastern parts of the country. That means, you will have to pass through many muddy sections along the way. Also, in case of rain, the route will get much harder due to flat roads accumulating water/mud.
İpsala/Edirne (from Greece)
Derekoy/Kırklareli (to Bulgaria)
Turkish.

Foreign language literacy is usually very low in rural areas. So, note down the key words:
Hello: Merhaba
Beer: Bira
Fuel: Benzin
Food: Yemek
Water: Su
Mechanic: Tamirci
Police: Polis
Hospital: Hastane
Pharmacy: Eczane
Turkish Lira.

It is a volatile currency. 1 EUR is equal to 7.5TL as of August 2018
112: Ambulance
155: Police
156: Jandarma (Rural police – you may need)
110: Fire (in case you push too hard on the throttle)
Very relaxed. You can sleep almost anywhere.

Along the TET Turkey route, there is only one section where camping is not permitted. The aim is to protect the beautiful forest from fire caused by irresponsible people. You will see the signs on the road, so don’t worry, you will not make a mistake.

Otherwise you can pitch your tent almost anywhere on the road. If you are unsure, ask a local, they are very helpful most of the time.
Trail riding is not regulated by law. So, feel relaxed. There’s no noise limitation and/or pedestrian only roads on the route. Yet, please put on your exhaust silencers and be responsible riders. Respect silent villages, old people, animals, sleeping babies etc..

ROUTE OVERVIEW

Please read this section before you attempt to ride this route.

TET Turkey will take you to three different seas. You will see the Aegean Sea, the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea along the route.

The length is likely to increase in the future versions. I have new trails in my mind that I want to include.

There are two sections in the gpx file.

Section 1 starts from Greek border and immediately takes you off road into tiny trails between rice fields. You will most likely see the longest straight trails in Europe. After a visit to a national park lake (which is home to many different species of birds), you will climb the first small mountain and enjoy a view of the Saros Bay and the Aegean Sea. You may notice some gates on the trail to prevent animals - just open the gate, pass through, close and continue. The trail will take you to the beach and you will meander between the beach and small villages along the road.

When you reach Seydikoy, the landscape will start to change. You will climb the second mountain and descend into Saros Bay. You will enjoy a view of both the Aegean Sea and Sea of Marmara here. This is a must do section.

When you get down to sea level, the trail takes you south to the shores of the Sea of Marmara. From Kızılcaterzi, you will start climbing the real mountains. You will pass through wind turbines on the top of the mountain (you’ll see a “Stop, forbidden area” sign just before the wind turbines. Just ignore it. Trust me, I’ve checked it with relevant people.) The route will go up and down through the relatively silent and less known parts of Thrace and gradually ascend into the Ucmakdere mountains. This section is also a must do with great views of the sea and mountains.

After Naipkoy, the trail flattens again and start to head North and East. You will travel through sunflower fields. You will see the old Istanbul city walls and an ancient water transport facility that is more than 600 years old.

The route then splits into two. If you turn East, you will follow an asphalt road taking you into Istanbul along Section 2. Why totally asphalt? Because, as you get closer to Istanbul, trails get more and more tricky. Instead of putting you through very tough/unreliable trails, I have decided to provide the least crowded asphalt road that goes all the way down to the Bosporus. This is probably the easiest and quietest route into the city.

If you turn West, you head to Bulgaria. The route visits the seaside and beaches as well as the towns and forest trails. This section is full of fast and hard packed forest trails. The scenery reflects the Black Sea climate with the Igneada region covered with a unique type of forest. It is called Longoz forest, a unique fauna of trees partly living under sea water, which is also a protected national park.

WHAT NOT TO MISS

If you can, take time for the beaches in the southwest and the Black Sea beaches in the north.

Camp at the ancient water transport facility (a unique environment).

Try regional cuisine: satir et (lamb meat) in Kesan, meat balls in Tekirdag, local wines in Kirklareli (Chamlija is world class producer), peynir helvasi (a dessert from cheese) and Turkish raki.

If you fancy Turkish tea or Turkish coffee, just stop at small villages. The tea houses are usually located very close to the village mosque (you can spot them from far away by the tall mosque tower). You can drink your tea and spend some time with the local people in the coffee houses. This is the best place to drink local tea, socialise or ask for help or food.

RESOURCES