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Istanbul to Fethiye Bus

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

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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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33 Comments

33 Comments

  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 – https://www.fourjandals.com/europe/busabout-sail-turkey-review/

  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

    Hi,

    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.
      Cheers,
      Cole

    • 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 Smarttraveller.gov.au 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!
      Thanks,
      Cole

  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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Europe

5 European Cities to Visit in the Dead of Winter

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As one of the most polarizing seasons, winter could be termed as both a blessing and a curse by those who like making the most out of nature.

After all, while it brings about the opportunity to build snowmen and to ski on magnificent ice slopes, it also brings a chill to the bone and a desire to never get away from the fireplace.

Don’t forget about the hot chocolate either.

That is why, when it comes to vacationing in winter, it gets quite difficult to choose from a location – especially when the destination is as diverse in climate as Europe. Do you select a place that’s sunny and warm? Or somewhere that lets you enjoy the ice and cold in the best ways possible?

To make that decision easier for you, here are 5 European cities that you could visit in the dead of winter, with the assurance that you would come out of the vacation phase with a smile on your face.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is a city that is synonymous with sunshine, warmth, and some of the world’s most breathtaking architecture.

The temperature rarely drops below 45 degrees even in the coldest months of the year. While the sunshine remains present amidst the rainy days. This means that you can enjoy the best effects of winter without having to endure the worst of them.

If you happen to be a fan of football, then these effects can be increased by several times. This beautiful city is home to one of the greatest football clubs of all time and with Barcelona FC in contention for a championship virtually every year, odds are you’ll be walking out with a smile on your face after watching a win. Not a bad way to take a break from the beach!

Athens, Greece

While you wouldn’t be able to go to Mount Olympus’ mythical version in this day and age, you can still experience Greece’s magnificence through the beautiful city of Athens.

Like Barcelona, Athens also sees rare drops in temperature while being consistent around 45 degrees throughout the heaviest months in winter. With the architecture that you can experience under the sun, this weather can actually be ideal for an exploratory walk.

And if you are a fan of Greek food, then checking out local restaurants for authentic dishes would only add to the overall experience of your trip.

Venice, Italy

Since Italy is full of some of the most breathtaking architecture in the world, it would be quite debatable to say that Venice is the crown jewel of the country in terms of structural beauty.

But it is.

From the way that the city has been designed to the manner that the buildings have been developed, Venice remains a breathtaking sight for anyone who visits it.

That remains true even in the months of winter, where the does drop to around 30 degrees, but still provides the tourists and inhabitants with a way to enjoy the magnificent sights under the sun.

Zugspitze, Germany

Germany is considered to be one of the coldest countries in Europe, but it is a good thing for those who enjoy a bit of snow during their travels.

And for those who do, there are perhaps not many places that are as marvelous as Zugspitze in terms of a memorable winter experience.

With snow covered mountains and a temperature that dances around -14 degrees in winter, you can enjoy an array of winter sports such as skiing, sledding, and snowboarding to your heart’s desire. If you are one to enjoy snow and everything good there is about the season of winter, then Zugspitze is the place to go.

Marseilles, France

While Paris gets quite cold in winter without the weather enhancing any effects of life within the city, Marseille seems to be quite the opposite. The city is as lively in the winter as it is during its busiest days in summer, with plenty to do in adjacent areas.

You may visit the many architectural sites and tourist attractions in Marseilles itself, but you can add to that experience when you choose to visit the Christmas markets in Aix en Provence or Avignon.

With that, the many warm and steamy French soups and bouillon based dishes that you can enjoy in Marseilles only add to the trip. This means that by the time you are done with your visit to Marseilles, you are bound to be fed well, have some goods in your shopping bags, and some memorable pictures in your phone to boot.

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Europe

Even the Most Expensive Cities Have Cheaper Alternatives: Paris

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According to the results of The Economist Intelligence Unit’s “Worldwide Cost of Living” survey, Singapore, Paris, Zurich, Hong Kong, and Oslo are the most expensive places to live – and visit – this year. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit them, though – actually if your budget allows it, you should cross them off your bucket list as soon as you can. But this doesn’t mean you have to break all your piggy banks and sell your soul only to spend a weekend in one of the most expensive cities in the world. Unless you’re adamant that it’s “Paris or bust”, there are alternatives to this crowded and top-dollar destination you might want to consider – and start saving for your dream trip nonetheless.

Lyon

Lyon has a history of almost two millennia, and it shows: the remains of the Roman settlement Lugdunum, built at the confluence of the rivers Saône and Rhône, are showing to this day. Lyon might not be a capital city – it doesn’t have the size or the population – but its role in the everyday life of France was always important, both as a trade and a cultural hub.

The city has many gorgeous sights to see, like the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the Tour Métallique (a tall TV tower that replicates the top of the Eiffel Tower), among others, covering every age from the birth of the city to its modern times. Plus, it has museums, parks, gardens, and a street art group that has been designated the cultural ambassador for the city. Not to mention its cuisine, the unique and popular Lyonnaise cuisine that has become a worldwide sensation.

Lille

A relatively small city in the north of France, Lille is another charming alternative to a crowded and overpriced Paris. It features many distinct architectural styles, most of them with a clear Flemish influence. Among its landmarks, you find its Cathedral (Basilique-cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille), its Citadel, its palaces, and gardens. Lille is also the place with the biggest flea market in Europe – Braderie de Lille takes place on the first Sunday of September, with millions of attendees and over 10,000 sellers gathering in the streets of the city. It’s a charming, agreeable, and colorful city that will offer its visitors a beautiful experience.

Strasbourg

Last but not least, let us mention a city with a double significance – on one hand, it’s the official seat of the European Parliament, on the other, it’s a wonderful place to visit and a great alternative to an overcrowded Paris.

Strasbourg is a place where French and German architecture mingle in a unique way, with an Old Town filled with timber-framed houses surrounding typical French landmarks and churches. It also has many notable parks, some with historic significance, and almost too many museums for its small size. Plus, it’s a distinctively multicultural city where visitors will find it easy to fit in.

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Europe

Let’s Do A Road Trip In Europe Fin

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Its that time of year again. It is the holidays and vacation, mirth and much merriment is upon us. Those of us who are lucky are able to take a few days to a few weeks off for vacation and can enjoy it abroad or do a staycation. A trip abroad is probably preferred, there’s so much to see and do, it would a pity to while the days away in your own hometown.

Get a move on, grab your bags, get a ticket and jump on a plane to Europe. When you get there, rest for a bit and begin your road trip. Nothing beats traveling on the road and taking all the sights that nature has to offer while stopping by at different locations.

Remember, a road trip can be very feasible and pleasant if it is done right. Make sure to have your car inspected, checked and ready to go for a long distance road trip.

You’ll want to make sure that you have your oil checked and your tires as well. Proper tires from suppliers such as Kwik Fit will get you squared away and ready to hit the road.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

Grossglockner

One of the top places that you’ll want to go is in Austria. There’s this little spot called Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, this spot is one that is talked about by road trip aficionados of all kinds.

The Grossglockner is the opposite of what it sounds like, it’s not gross at all, it’s quite pleasant actually.  The path will take you through different sights ranging from mountain tops to rivers, to rock formations and more. What’s fun about this place is that you will also be able to have different changes in the road itself, it is not just one straight path but one that is filled with turns and changes to keep you from getting bored.

Italy and the Amalfi Coast

Italy is a place that won’t disappoint, it has food, culture, and history to keep you company. Italy also has beautiful sights all over too. One of the best places to drive through would be the Amalfi Coast.

The Amalfi Coast has everything you could possibly want, beaches, cliffs, and beautiful fishing villages. The place is not only beautiful in nature but in culture as well. One can check out the Cathedrals, Villa Rufolo, engage in some boat tours for a quick respite from their road trip and also view the Sirenuse from afar.

Portugal – The Estoril Coast

Drive from Italy, pass by countries such as France, Spain and reach the destination of Portugal. You will find the climate and the overall setting over here to be appealing.  On your way to this beautiful place, make sure to check out popular spots such as Lisbon and other prominent locations such as Sintra. The Estoril Coast was home to the nobility of ages past and even to those that we see as nobility today, celebrities, wealthy people and tourists with a couple of euros or dollars to their name stop by this place and immerse themselves in the manmade and natural attractions that this place has to offer.

Don’t Hesitate, Time Stands Still For No One

Time is slipping, check out budget and look into which part of Europe you want to stick to. Make the decision and take the trip, it will be a great refreshment and you will be glad you were able to have the experience. Take a few snapshots and indulge in the experience of #RoadtripsofEurope

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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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