Mount Ararat holds a strong historical significance for much of the religious world. In both the Bible and the Koran Mt. Ararat is noted as the location where Noah’s Ark came to rest, which is believed by some to still remain within the glaciers of the mountain. This mountain is the highest peak in Turkey at 5,137m (16,854 ft.). The mountain is not technically challenging, but offers a magnificent opportunity to encounter a major piece of history and culture while experiencing the magnificent view of three different countries from it’s summit. This summit experience is also available in the winter as a backcountry ski tour option.
Day 1: ARRIVE AND SEE
This tour starts in the coastal city of Trabzon and travels along the Black Sea. Upon arrival, we will begin encountering the history of the area by exploring the amazing architecture of the Hagia Sophia as well as the Sumela Monastery. Nestled into a steep cliff at an altitude of about 1200 m and with a stunning view of the Altindere Valley, this monastery is a site of great cultural and historical significance. In the evening, after settling into our comfortable hotel in Trabzon, we will be given an orientation on what to expect during the rest of our tour.
Day 2: BEGIN THE JOURNEY (80km)
After breakfast at the hotel we will begin cycling along the black sea coast northeast toward Rize. This route has a beautiful highway, offering great cycling as you move between the beautiful black sea and the lush mountains. This evening we will stay at a hotel in Rize, along the black sea.
Day 3: INTO THE MOUNTAINS (50km)
Today will take us into the subtropical side of the mountains. The hills are filled with local farmers picking tea leaves and there are many small villages hidden amongst these mountains. The evening will be spent at an authentic thermal spa hotel where we can relax our muscles and get ready to hit the road again the next day.
Day 4: OVER THE PASS (70km)
After a relaxing stay at the thermal hotel, we will continue on toward Ispir. This day will take us over the main divide of the Kaçkar Mountains, which separates the lush, subtropic region of the Black Sea from the rocky meadows on the inland facing slopes. Tonight we will stay in a charming cabin beside the Çoruh River, the main white water rafting river in the region.
Day 5: ALONG THE RIVER (80km)
In the morning, we will hike up to the top of the ancient Ispir castle, which affords a panoramic view of Ispir. From here we will travel along the playful Çoruh River toward Yusufeli. Today our tour will take us through a mountain valley and along the way, we will have the opportunity to stop and eat some figs off the trees growing along the side of the river. Once we arrive in Yusufeli, we will relax for the evening in a comfortable local hotel.
Day 6: ANCIENT CHURCH (60km)
From Yusufeli we will travel through the beautiful Georgian Valley. This valley is a prominent location for 10th century Georgian Christians, with five major monasteries hidden along the valley. Along our journey we will have the opportunity to witness the roaring waters of Tortum Falls and the pristine turquoise tranquility of Tortum Lake. Upon arriving in the quaint town of Uzundere, nestled into the base of a mountain, we will settle into our cozy pension for the night.
Day 7: FINISH STRONG (90km)
The final day of cycling will take us to Erzurum, the largest city in Eastern Turkey. Experience the thrill and challenge of winding mountain roads, which finally open into a large mountain basin plateau where Erzurum is situated. Enjoy the panoramic mountain views surrounding the city and try out some delicious regional foods, such as Cag Kebab. Afterward we will relax at a comfortable hotel in Erzurum for the night.
Day 8: DEPART
We will provide transportation to the Erzurum airport for your departure. Time permitting, you will have the opportunity to see some of the local and historic sites in Erzurum before you leave, such as the citadel fortress and the 13th century Cifte Mineret Medrese.
- Transfers from the Trabzon airport and to the Erzurum airport
- All Hotel Accommodation along the tour.
- Cycling Guide
- Guide Vehicle and driver
- All meals during the tour
- Entrance fees to all attractions
- Touring style bicycle
- Delivery of your luggage with the guide vehicle
What's Not Included:
- Alcoholic Drinks
- Gratuity for guides and porters
We will supply bikes, helmets and other safety items. The equipment and clothing you bring to this program will have a big impact upon the quality of your experience. If you have any inquiries regarding equipment, please contact us and we will clarify any questions that you might have. If you need to purchase additional equipment when you are here, we will be able to connect you with a local store.
- Touring Bikes suitable for some gravel road sections and comfortable for traveling along the highway sections
- General Safety equipment. The guides will carry all necessary safety equipment including general first aid items.
- Cycling shoes that will provide comfort and support for the long days of cycling. The bikes have standard pedals that will fit all shoes. You will also want light, comfortable shoes to wear around town in the evenings.
- Waterproof and breathable clothing. You will want multiple layers for the change in weather and physical activities. See recommended clothing for more information.
- Sunblock and SPF lip cream/gloss
- Water Bottle
- Personal Toiletry kit
- First Aid items – bandages and light pain relief medication.
- Camera – the views are stunning and you will want to capture the experience.
- Cycling T-shirt – something light and comfortable, moisture wicking material is preferable.
- Long Sleeve T-shirt for the colder days and mountain elevation.
- Jacket – you will want something that is wind and waterproof for possible days of rain and wind.
- Comfortable cycling shorts that will provide some padding and chaffing prevention.
- Laundry can be done along the tour if necessary, but make sure that you have a couple sets of clothing.
- 6 Days
- $897 US
- Highest Elevation - 5,137m (16,854 ft.)
- Biblical resting place of Noah’s Ark
- 3 countries are visible from the peak
- Dormant Volcanic Mountain
- $897/person for a group of 4-8