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Istanbul to Fethiye Bus

Our travel tips and experience on catching the 12 hour Istanbul to Fethiye overnight bus.



Fethiye Panorama

Any travel where you are stuck in a small seat in an upright position sucks. Whether it is the dreaded long haul flight from New Zealand to the United Kingdom or an overnight bus between cities there are usually no comforts to be found. So with some hesitation we booked ourselves on the Istanbul to Fethiye bus.

Blue Mosque Istanbul

Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic reasons why you should catch overnight buses. I won’t go into the debate of overland versus air travel in terms of environmental issues as that is a totally different kettle of fish that warrants multiple posts.

But other reasons that matter to most travellers is that firstly, you usually leave late at night and arrive early in the morning which gives you at least an extra day or two of sightseeing rather than having to transfer and wait at airports. Secondly, the majority of overland travel including trains and buses can be cheaper than flying. Once you add transfer costs to/from the airport plus the flight then overland travel is cheaper. Although I will concede that in Europe it is hit or miss with so many cheap flights available with budget airlines.

Finally overnight buses are a great way to save on accommodation. We hate forking out an additional $50 for a late night accommodation so every penny saved means we can indulge our passion for adventure travel or local food at a later date.

Istanbul to Fethiye bus pre-departure

The first thing to note is that there is not really any way to pre-purchase your Istanbul to Fethiye bus tickets prior to your arrival in Turkey. We googled every option looking for help but came up drawing a blank. Doing what we do best, we left it to chance and knew that it would sort itself out once we were on the ground in Istanbul.

No surprises it was incredibly easy to book our trip. We found out that Metro Turizm bus (one of the largest in Turkey) travels overnight from Istanbul to Fethiye every day from 9pm so it was a matter of showing up at the Taksim Square Metro Turizm office (map here) and buying our bus tickets for 60 TL (approximately US$30) on the morning of our departure.

We were even given a free shuttle from the Taksim Square office to the main Istanbul Otogar (bus station) outside the city centre an hour before our overnight bus left.

The Journey

Our tickets said the Istanbul to Fethiye bus would take 12 hours. Factoring in Turkish time we calculated more like 13 – 14 hours in total. Having resigned myself to the fact that I was going to get, at most, an hour or two of sleep we settled in for the long haul.

Immediately we were impressed by the service on the overnight bus to Fethiye. Our seats reclined more than most economy seats on airlines. And the back of each seat was fitted with a small TV screen. Unfortunately my Turkish consists of about 10 sayings to get me by so it was pretty hard to follow what I think was the Turkish version of Days of our lives.

Istanbul to Fethiye bus

Once seated we were offered traditional Cay Tea (pronounced Chai) and Turkish coffee plus a range of snacks. This continued throughout the night whenever we stopped. Which turned out to be about every hour.

We had hoped that would have toilets onboard but no luck there. But thanks to all the frequent stops this isn’t a problem.

Settling in with my book while Adela slept like a log. She has that wonderful gift of being able to sleep anywhere! While the majority of Turkish drivers are have feet made of lead with heavy acceleration and braking our driver was smooth as silk. So believe it or not I even managed about 4 hours of sleep.

I love travelling overland as you do get to see the countryside at it’s best. Waking as the dawn broke high in some mountains still covered in snow is a great way to start any day. We have fallen in love with Turkey and are already trying to plan how we could work here for a few months sometime.

Fethiye Panorama

We have fallen in love with Fethiye

Arrival in Fethiye

Turns out that we were spot on and our overnight bus pulled into the main Fethiye bus station at about 10am. Only an hour behind schedule which is early in our opinion.

We were quickly greeted with smiles and handshakes as seems traditional in Turkey. Everyone is so friendly and just wants to have a chat. And once they found out where we were staying it was a matter of grabbing a lift with a local to our accommodation on the waterfront.

If you want any help sorting out your journey on the Istanbul to Fethiye bus then get in touch and hopefully we can help you out!


Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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  1. TravelEater

    May 1, 2012 at 5:34 AM

    Love Turkish buses (and I hate bus trips)! I especially love the lemon scented hand wash they give out. Turkey is such an amazing country with incredible history, sites, food and some of the kindest people anywhere. Enjoy your trip!!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 6, 2012 at 4:00 PM

      Just got back to Edinburgh and we just want to go back to Turkey so badly! Agree with you on the food and people. Both amazing!

      • mabel

        May 5, 2014 at 9:19 AM

        I lived in Istanbul for 1 year and traveled all around Turkey. It’s lovely

  2. Spencer

    May 16, 2012 at 4:16 AM

    I so want to go to Turkey! I have been there for a day trip and loved what I saw. I can’t wait to get there. It is top of my wishlist!

    • Cole Burmester

      May 16, 2012 at 9:12 AM

      What did you do when you only had one day there?!

      • Spencer

        May 16, 2012 at 9:19 AM

        We went there on a day trip from Lesbos about 25 years ago. I was only 15 and it was a family holiday. From memory I think we just wandered around the old town of Ankarra for a while.

  3. southern travels

    May 30, 2012 at 6:54 AM

    Major thankies for the article.Really thank you! Really Cool.

  4. Caro from Passport and a Toothbrush

    June 16, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    Great post, very useful! Will definitely keep it in mind when we do that leg of the trip ourselves!

    • Cole Burmester

      June 18, 2012 at 8:04 AM

      When are you going Caro? You will LOVE Turkey 🙂

  5. Kelly

    June 18, 2012 at 5:52 PM

    Yaaayyyyim so excited to travel around turkey! Thanks for the post it was really great info! We’ve heard some amazing things about Turkish buses 🙂

    • Cole Burmester

      June 23, 2012 at 6:54 AM

      I only wish we knew a little more Turkish so we could have chatted with everyone 🙂

  6. erin

    June 24, 2012 at 3:07 PM

    hey there! we’re currently in Montenegro for a month but trying to plan our next step. We were thinking of a week or 2 in the Fethiye area before going on to Armenia. Would you recommend that area? Is 1 week enough or are there 2 weeks worth of seeing to be done? Also, I’m just looking into travel options but your review of the bus made me a little less wary of going that route! -Erin

    • Cole Burmester

      June 24, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      Hey Erin thanks for stopping by! The bus to Fethiye was fine. Although if you want to fly then there are lots and lots of cheap flight options too. It just saves you a nights accommodation and you arrive direct into Fethiye.
      A week would be fine there. Would you consider doing a Sail Turkey trip or something? Fethiye is not too big but a great base and lots of day trips could be taken from there. Are you spending longer in Turkey?

  7. erin

    June 24, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Thanks Cole! Right now we don’t have any definite plans but I think we’ll only spend a short time in Turkey. We want a few weeks in Armenia and have to meet up with some friends in Italy at the end of August. We’re definitely doing budget travel, so I don’t think we’ll do a sailing trip, but we’ve found a great rental in the Fethiye region which we’re thinking might be nice for day trips, relaxing, experiencing the country a little bit. We’re in Montenegro right now, which is beautiful but HOT so the weather might influence our next move 🙂 I don’t know yet how we’ll get to Istanbul but probably bus and train from here.

    • Cole Burmester

      June 25, 2012 at 3:59 PM

      Wow Armenia would be really cool! Just slightly jealous 🙂 If you want any other tips please get in touch with us any time and let us know your plans. Always love to share other travellers tips with our readers.

  8. Ada

    August 18, 2012 at 3:49 AM

    Hi cole wondering if you have any tips and prices for accomodation in fethiye. Thanks in advance

    • Cole Burmester

      August 19, 2012 at 9:55 AM

      Hi Ada,
      Thanks for dropping by the blog. Definitely recommend checking out Fethiye Guest House. Run by some awesome people and the breakfast is one of the best we have ever had for a hostel. They have private and dorm rooms.
      We did a Sail Turkey cruise from Fethiye. Might be worthwhile checking it out –

  9. Ada

    August 19, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Thanks for the response Cole.Love the blog by the way.

  10. Lisa

    January 10, 2013 at 4:22 PM


    Asking for some advice! I am looking into traveling to Turkey this year for a cruise with Topdeck that departs and ends in Fethiye. Once my cruise ends on Saturday, I plan to take the bus back to Istanbul for a flight that leaves Sunday at 12:15pm. Do you think that is cutting it too close? Are their cabs from where the bus drops you off?

    Thank you!!

    • Cole Burmester

      January 13, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for your message! The overnight bus for us was fine on time and worked out cheaper than flying. There are plenty of taxis around the area that the bus arrives in Istanbul. I am sure you could probably book one as well although not sure who to contact on that sorry.

    • Oktay

      March 21, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      Hi Lisa

      There is also a metro line under otogar if u wanna go to airport. Just take metro line and stop in zeytinburnu and change the line from there to the airport it takes appromixately 20 minutes otogar-airport. . Of course there is a taxi stop there as well, but ask the price first.have a nice journey

      • Cole Burmester

        March 22, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        Thanks so much for your extra tips Oktay! Much appreciated 😉

        • Oktay

          March 22, 2013 at 10:05 AM

          You are welcome Cole, u have a wicked blog. very informative. Have a nice day.:)

  11. Nádia Pontes

    March 16, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    Hi! Your post really encouraged me. We shall do that on May. Would you have tips about Fethiye? Thanks!

  12. Vanessa

    July 26, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    I am planning a trip to Turkey at them moment and I leave next week. You guys seem experienced in the matter so I was wondering if I could ask a few questions? Your help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Cole Burmester

      July 27, 2013 at 8:34 AM

      Send us an email on our contact page or ask on here Vanessa 🙂

  13. Kim

    February 22, 2014 at 5:41 AM

    Hi Cole, my son is booked on Turkey Sailing in May, 2014 and will take the Metro Turizm solo from Bayrampasa to Fethiye the night before sailing. An email yesterday from advised Australians to reconsider their need to travel to any area within 10kms of the Turkish border with Syria. Wondering what the general consensus is amongst travelers heading south at present.

    • Cole Burmester

      March 4, 2014 at 1:31 AM

      Hey Kim,
      Yes there are dangers when you travel but usually it’s the wrong place at the wrong time. Fortunately the places your son is travelling is not close to the Syrian border. Have a chat with the Sail Turkey team as they are the ones on the ground though so can let you know what the current situation is.
      He will love it!

  14. Michael

    March 3, 2014 at 2:37 PM

    Unfortunately, we are impatient so spend a lot of time taking internal flights. However the bus system in Turkey, from what I read has improved. You made a good schedule though. Traveling overnight to arrive 10am so free to start the day. Good thinking

  15. hagar

    May 4, 2015 at 12:09 AM

    hii you didnt mention how much did the bus ticket from istanbul to fethiye costed you? and from where can i acess the buss?

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Adventure Travel

Walking the Camino de Santiago Photos

These are my favourite Camino de Santiago Photos from my pilgrimage along the French Way in March. A truly beautiful way to spend a few weeks.



Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

El Camino de Santiago kicked my ass. Well technically it kicked my feet. Turns out my minimal preparation for the Camino de Santiago was terrible. After a miserable effort of only 4 days, the doctor in Legrono told me that I wasn’t allowed to go on until me feet healed. I had walked just over 100 km’s and my feet were bloodied and blistered.

To be honest, I was relieved.

The thought of putting back on my shoes made my shudder. For the last 9 km’s I had stumbled along in jandals and socks. One of the travelling fashion sins I vowed I would never break.

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

Jandals on the Camino de Santiago

So while I have unfinished business with the Way of St James (an upcoming post), I did want to share with you some of my favourite photos from the Camino de Santiago. Because I had yet to reach some of the more “unsavoury” parts of the Camino that Sherry Ott had discovered, every step of my pilgrimage had been beautiful.

Puenta La Reina Bridge Camino Arrow

Puenta La Reina Bridge – Camino de Santiago Arrows

There is no way you can get lost on the Camino de Santiago. Arrows, scallop shells and signs point you in the right direction at every bridge, road crossing and intersection.

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Camino de Santiago Scallop Shell

Reaching the top of Alto Pedron gave views back the way I had come from Pamplona, as well as views to where I was going. The rocky path on the way down proved to be my ultimate downfall, as my too small shoes caused my toes to smash into the front.

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Alto del Pedron Camino de Santiago

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

Metal Pilgrims on Alto del Pedron

There were so many beautiful old churches along the Camino de Santiago. But since I was walking in early March, it seemed that most were yet to open for the busier summer season.

Church of Obanos

The Church of Obanos

And between every small village the well-maintained pathways of the French Way wound across the spectacular Spanish countryside.

The French Way - Camino de Santiago

The French Way – Camino de Santiago Photos

Puenta La Reina

Puenta La Reina in the evening

Puenta La Reina has one of the most amazing bridges I have ever seen. It was also the 1st village I had the pleasure of sleeping in after busy Pamplona.

Puenta la Reina Bridge and Sunrise

Puenta la Reina Bridge at sunrise

Most mornings I was up and walking before the sun began to sprinkle across the horizon.

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Spring flowers on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Pilgrims approaching Cirauqui, Spain

Every village and town was built on a small hill. Sure it looks beautiful until you realise you have to go back up again to go through them all!

Church of Santa Maria - Los Arcos

Church of Santa Maria in Los Arcos

While there were only about 20 pilgrims walking each section every day, it wasn’t uncommon for you to encounter them all. The people I met along the Camino de Santiago were some of the most inspiring and remarkable people I have ever spoken to. They are the ones that make the pilrgimage so special.

The endless French Way

The endless French Way

Irache Wine Fountain - Fuente del Vino

The free flowing Irache Wine Fountain or “Fuente del Vino”

Hay bales along the French Way

Hay bales along the French Way

Every village had at least one ancient church and it wasn’t uncommon to find them dotting the landscape in remote locations either.

Ermita de San Miguel

Ermita de San Miguel

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

Iglesia de San Andrés de Zariquiegui Church

I have travelled through Spain in the past, including cycling in Costa Brava and surfing in San Sebastian with both independent planning and a vacation planner. But having the opportunity to walk at my own pace through some of the most beautiful scenery in Spain on the Camino de Santiago has so far topped them all.

Natural arches - Camino de Santiago

Natural arches on the Camino de Santiago

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Adventure Travel

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel



Trekking through the valleys of Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys with Middle Earth Travel feels more like the set of a Star Wars movie than a historical region once carved out and lived in by humans. Churches, homes and pigeon houses are scattered throughout the valleys, all waiting to be explored. The best part is, Middle Earth Travel know all the hidden secrets.

Standing at the top of Cappadocia

Top of Cappadocia day trek – with Middle Earth Travel

On the 26th of July (which just so happens to be my birthday!) Middle Earth Travel took us on their private and guided Top of Cappadocia day trek. From Pasabag, along the top of Cappadocia and down through the Gulludere Rose Valley to Goreme, we trekked 15kms in one day! (We recommend getting your bearings with this map)

Upon arrival to the Middle Earth Offices, we were warmly greeted by our new friend Atil whom we had met a few days earlier while mountain biking through the Kizilcukur Red Valley. We were then introduced to our guide and given a briefing regarding the day. Normally, the Top of Cappadocia tour would start from Çavuşin, however, since we had already explored Çavuşin Castle, they adapted our tour to compensate ensuring we would explore new terrain!

With charged cameras, plenty of water and our running shoes on, we were driven to our starting point of Pasabag. We wandered through the fairy chimneys, coming across camels and markets – then the true hike began.

Pasabag in Cappadocia

The police station in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

Camel in Pasabag, Cappadocia

It was a slow and gentle incline. With no trees to provide shade, I quickly realised why our tour guide had chosen to wear fully covered clothing! As the sweat quickly set in (a waterfall in Moss’s case) we snapped away with our cameras and enjoyed the entertaining shapes of Imagine Valley and the amazing view. We also passed a lot of rock piles, which according to our guide mean ‘father’ and are built to help lead the way.

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Animal shaped formations in Imagine Valley

Middle Earth Travel, Cappadocia

Making our way to the top of Cappadocia

Father leading the way (rock pile)

Father leading the way (rock pile)

The higher we trekked, the more breath taking the views became! As we walked along the summit of Bozdag mountain (the Top of Cappadocia) we could see EVERTHING – Pasabag, Çavuşin Castle, Kizilcukur Red Valley, Gulludere Rose Valley and Goreme. We were on the Father of Valleys! After a quick nod of agreement to the guide, we pushed ourselves the extra distance and made our way to the flag, as this HAD to be the highest point and was definitely worth a photo and a selfie or two!

View from the top of Cappadocia

View from the top of Cappadocia

Flag at top of Cappadocia

From the flag we looked down upon Aktepe Hill which is known as a popular destination for watching the sun set and could spot Kizilvadi Restaurant, our destination for lunch! Kizilvadi Restaurant is an attraction of its own. With its own historic winery and Grape church, plus some Middle Earth Travel treks even stay there for the night! After having a massive feed of soup, salad and pasta plus a surprise birthday cake, we made our way down into Gulludere Rose Valley.

Kizilvadi Restaurant

Kizilvadi Restaurant

The scenery is amazing, with strong colours visible in perfect layers on the chimneys, you would wonder what an artist was thinking, had it been a painting. Also, hidden to the side of the track we walked across a little bridge and not expecting anything to be there we were wowed by the massive church carved. It was absolutely huge and hard to believe that its most recent use has been as a pigeon house!

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Coloured chimneys in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Pigeon houses in Cappadocia

Church in Gulludere Rose Valley

Hard to believe this Church is carved inside a fairy chimney!

Middle Earth Travel Review

  • The team at Middle Earth Travel were extremely knowledgeable and certainly know Cappadocia’s hidden secrets. They have friendships with local tea garden owners which is also of benefit as it gained us entry to locked churches and hidden rooms that we would not have otherwise seen.
  • We covered a lot of ground, however we did not feel rushed. The whole day focused on showing us the region, therefore we had as much time as we needed to explore each church and to take ‘just one more photo’.
  • It wasn’t all about trekking. With a whole day and 15kms to cover, there were a few silly poses (especially in Imagine Valley), and we learnt a lot about the myths, legends and way of life in Cappadocia.
  • In conclusion I highly recommend Middle Earth Travel if you wish to go trekking or mountain biking in Cappadocia.
  • Cost: Day treks with Middle Earth Travel range from 50-90 euro, depending on the number of people taking part. This includes lunch, guide, vehicle transfers and entrance fees to historical sites, but excludes alcoholic and soft drinks.
  • Middle Earth Travel are outdoor enthusiasts and offer multi-day over night treks, mountain biking, abseiling, or custom made itineraries, in multiple regions throughout Turkey.

Disclaimer: We were provided with a discount for the trek with Middle Earth Travel, however, as always our thoughts on our adventure travel blog our own.

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Amsterdam Food Guide

If you think of Amsterdam you don’t think of food. However if you try the food here in our Amsterdam food guide you might get lucky.




Amsterdam Food Waffles

We are total foodies and our travelling has allowed our passion for food to grow considerably (not to mention our waist lines)!  We love trying new food when we visit foreign countries and always make a huge effort to eat the local cuisine. Check out some of the food we ate below in our cheap and delicious Amsterdam Food Guide.

Amsterdam Food Waffles

We had heard from a number of people that the Amsterdam food was nothing to rave about. To be honest food was not really our main interest in visiting but then again neither was an Amsterdam Peep show and we ended up enjoying that!

However we were pleasantly surprised. I think the people whom we had talked to had it wrong. Sure Holland doesn’t really have a local cuisine but once we got over this fact we realised there is still some damn good food to be had from the various Amsterdam Restaurants.

Amsterdam Food

The best meal we had was actually next door to the Red Light district in Chinatown. Crossing the canal to the east away from the neon lights your nostrils are attacked and your mouth begins salivating from the delicious smells wafting along the narrow cobbled streets.

As we walked into Bird Thai restaurant the enticing aroma hit us instantly leaving us drooling in anticipation. It was definitely up there with some of the best Thai food we have had. We went for the classic Green curry, fried rice and duck combo.

The Green curry was so flavoursome with the richness of the coconut milk blending perfectly with the traditional spices.  The duck was cooked to perfection and for the first few minutes of the meal all you could hear was the crunching of the crispy outside layer as we devoured the duck in minutes. Needless to say the fried rice was a taste explosion too!

Cheap and delicious Amsterdam food is easy to come by. With hangovers and munchies affecting your hunger it is no surprise that there are an abundance of Fast Food chains and takeaways in Amsterdam. In fact it was actually more the way that the fast food was served that surprised us as you could buy it out of massive vending machines at Febo!

Amsterdam Food Febo

Hidden workers stand behind the vending machines churning out burgers, fries and sausage rolls so all you has to do is insert a Euro and “hey presto” you have a hot meal in your hungry hands.

Then there were the frites stores which seemed to be on every corner. The first thing you noticed about these was the tantalising smell. There is nothing like the smell of chips straight out of the fryer and covered in salt to get you tummy rumbling. Served in a triangle cardboard carton and covered in mayo which meant that that you couldn’t reach the chips at the bottom without covering your greedy fingers in sauce. Just a tad annoying!

But there is nothing like hot chips to warm you up on a cold day.

Finally, while hot chocolates are not typically food I feel they still deserve a mention especially because the usually come paired with waffles! Ahhhh the perfect breakfast.

Amsterdam Hot Chocolate

We loved nipping into a cafe or bar like Cafe Bar Eddy in Amsterdam to warm ourselves up with a hot chocolate. It literally tasted like they had melted chocolate down and added cream. Heaven in a cup. And the choice of waffles was daunting as you could have whatever you wanted. Fruit, chocolate, syrups, cream or all of the above!

If you are heading here then don’t expect to find an array of traditional Amsterdam food. Instead treat yourself to a hot chocolate and waffle for breakfast, grab a quick bite from a vending machine and sample some of the different cuisines found near the Red Light District.

If you stick to this Amsterdam food guide then your taste buds will have a great holiday too!

If you have visited before then what did you think of Amsterdam food?

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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