A 5 day and ~1800 km trip through lesser travelled inner Aegean region, organized by Bike My World.
The first time I have visited Datca with motorcycle was in 2011. Although I have been to Datca many times since then, with Bike My World, it became a tradition and every year we go to Datca Peninsula of the Mugla Province. It has mild road conditions and is suitable for most riders.
Regarding days 1 and 2, if you are a novice rider, it may not be the best route option, you may be better of sticking to the main roads, not because you cannot ride, but the road conditions are variable, especially in the second day of the ride.
Below you may find the round trip routes for the first two and the fifth day of the trip. I will illustrate the routes for sightseeing on the Datca Peninsula of Mugla Province on a more detailed map further down.
Day 1: Istanbul to Salihli, Manisa Province (~445 km)
We departed Istanbul early in the morning and headed to an agreed gas/petrol station on TEM (“O-4” on google maps) highway for breakfast and tour debriefing. From there, we head to Eskihisar Ferry Port. It takes about 30 minutes to cross the bay to Topcular Ferry Port in the Yalova Province. The route in the map above did not allow me to illustrate this crossing.
The quality of the roads varies from good to mediocre along this route. There are many village settlements. One should always be extra careful with on-coming traffic. Most of the roads are very slippery when riding in wet conditions.
From Topcular Ferry Port head to Yalova direction and ride through Orhangazi, Inegol, Domanic, Tavsanli, Simav, Koprubasi and arrive in Salihli of Manisa Province.
Salihli is well-known for its termal spas, cherry agriculture and magnificent ancient artifacts of Sardes, which was the capital of Lydia until 547 B.C. It may be a good spot for a day or two of sightseeing and relaxation if you have the time.
Day 2: Salihli to Marmaris, Mugla Province (~300 km)
A full day of fun riding through narrow and curvy roads in the mountains and valleys until you reach Yatagan in Mugla Province. Take the road from Salihli through Bozdag Mountain in to Odemis. From Odemis to Nazilli, the mountain roads have nice scenery but the quality of the tarmac is low. There are a lot of fine gravel on the side and sometimes on the road, so you should be extra careful on curves.
After Nazilli, take the road south to Bozdogan. It would be around lunch time, may be a late one, when you get there but I strongly recommend you to try pide (a traditional flat-bread with various toppings of choice. It is very tasty, but don’t eat too much because you still have a considerable amount of distance to Marmaris 😉
From Bozdogan into Yatagan, you will notice the increase in quality of the curvy roads, but you still should be careful on two-way roads. When you are near Yatagan, the road will turn into highway with fast sweepers and some hairpins.
After Mugla, as you approach Akyaka on D550, you will go through some seriously fun downhill hairpins. Recently finished highway into Marmaris is both scenic and high in quality with potential speed traps. It is hard to stay within the speed limits so watch out.
I have marked Marmaris for arrivals and departures for daily trips. We usually stay in the town of Icmeler, south of Marmaris, but being a tourist and all, you may wish to stay in Marmaris and extend your trip a few days to enjoy what the city has to offer. There are nice restaurants, two marinas, nice coastal streets, hospitals and touristic attractions with a ton of accommodation options.
Bozburun and Datca Peninsulas have been less accessible until recent years. After completion of Marmaris highway, more and more people started visiting and settling in these regions. Most of the settlements are villages with small populations. Roads are mediocre in quality and some gravel is to be expected on tarmac and shoulders. You should have tire repair kit on your bike, just in case. We had some friends with flat tires and it will be very hard to get help if you don’t have kits ready. Just saying…
Day 3: Bozburun Peninsula (~150 km)
While Turunc, Selimiye, Turgutkoy and Hisaronu are the major villages for settlement, Sogut, Ciflik and Serce (Sparrow) bays are preferred by vacationers that seek ease of mind and remoteness. Ciftlik and Serce bays are naturally protected from open sea and are very limited for accommodation. It may be a good idea to take a daily trip before you act on staying there.
Selimiye has been blossoming for the last couple of years, unfortunately. It is preferred by both sailors and road travellers. There are a number of accommodation and restaurant options. I have stayed in Selimiye a couple of times at Les Terrasses De Selimiye, it is a boutique hotel first built by a Selimiye lover French lady back a few years and is now owned and operated by someone else (haven’t been there since it was acquired, but I have received a phone call from them about change of ownership and continuance of operations through upgrading of their rooms and such. You will enjoy your drink during sunset with a view to die for at this boutique hotel. Sardunya Restaurant located on the seaside is an excellent choice for seafood, though every time I am there it seems more expensive. They also have rooms to let, but don’t expect too much.
Hisaronu is the next bigger village. I have a number of friends that have relatives living there during summer time and some year-round. It is very close to Bordubet and Amazon.
Day 4: Datca Peninsula (~210 km)
Bordubet and Amazon are one of my favourite places on this peninsula. They have some nature friendly resorts. First time I have been there was more than 20 years ago with my parents and little has changed, surprisingly. The roads are better, but if you are into enduro riding, dirt roads are will take you to amazing spots if you like wandering, trekking or skinny dipping It is not legal but can be refreshing at times 😉
Knidos is and antique city at the very tip of the peninsula. There is an open air museum and a restaurant. You are not allowed to spend the night at the premises if you arrived there by road, but if you have sailed, you can at least enjoy the vista of the historical artifacts around and under the sea. Fresh fish is offered by fishers both to the restaurant and the sailboats visiting from around the world.
Day 5: Marmaris to Istanbul (~700 km)
Almost all of the route is of free and tolled highways. Toll highway is between Aydin and Izmir. From Izmir to Manisa, the mountain road has very sharp and dangerous curves, so be aware. Most of the car and bigger vehicles have less respect for motorcyclists, so you have to use your advantages for agility. Use your common-sense.
From Manisa to Yalova Topcular Ferry Port is a long and boring highway with lots of speed traps. The route is self explanatory, shopping malls/outlets can be found around Susurluk in the Balikesir Province.
North of Susurluk, Bandirma is a major ferry port preferred by most of the travellers from Istanbul region. It takes around 2.5 to 3 hours to cross the Marmara Sea and disembark in Yenikapi. More information about these ferries can be found on IDO website. Either way, this trip will take around 9 to 11 hours of riding so you will have to leave Marmaris early in the morning.
I hope this information will be helpful. Please contact me if I can be of more help. Cheers.