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What's the best way to travel in Turkey?

Getting to Fethiye for your Blue Voyage cruise

Fethiye, Turkey

Fethiye is both a district and a city in Turkey's southwest Aegean region, almost directly south of Istanbul. The city is located in a natural harbour of the Mediterranean Sea, making it a popular destination for yachting holidays.

Turkish travel information - a map showing location of Fethiye, Turkey to support travel planning.

Source: www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/turkey-map.htm


Travelling in Turkey

We are frequently contacted for Turkish travel information by guests seeking "the best" way to get around the country. Unfortunately, there are no easy answers to the question, as each mode of travel has it’s pros and cons. Factors to consider when making your travel decisions include:

  • Your budget
  • Your timelines and desire to devote vacation time to travelling from place to place
  • Your personal preferences and tolerances for convenience, efficiency and comfort

Guests usually arrive in the area by one of the following means:


Travelling by Air

Guests arriving by air will fly into the Dalaman airport, and then take ground transport to the Fethiye harbour (approximately 50 minute trip). We recommend arranging ground transfer in advance of your travels so you are able to negotiate the best possible pricing. Please contact us if you’d like assistance booking a transfer from the airport.

Pros
  • Usually the fastest way to get from place to place.
  • Affordable due to fierce competition between domestic airlines
Cons
  • Almost all flights go through Istanbul or Ankara, so you may spend more time waiting at the airport than actually travelling between cities.
  • Strict luggage weight restrictions are enforced. (A friend spent a small fortune lugging her carpets around the country!) Depending on your airline and ticket type, the free baggage allowance may be as low as 15kg (33 pounds).
Additional Information - Plane Travel

Travelling by Bus

Turkey's bus system is an efficient, cost-effective and surprisingly comfortable way to travel around the country. Guests arriving in Fethiye by bus will be dropped off at the otogar (bus station) and can make their way to the harbour on foot (a 15 to 20 minute walk), by city bus (about 2TL per person), or by taxi (about 15TL per trip). Representatives at the various bus companies at the otogar can usually speak English and can direct you appropriately. Additional information about bus travel in Turkey is provided below.

Pros
  • Inexpensive due to fierce competition between bus lines (and prices can often be negotiated).
  • The extensive network of bus routes means you can travel to virtually every place in Turkey (and beyond) via bus.
  • Every city and town has an "otogar" (bus station). Some are major facilities, others are simply meeting spots where the buses stop to collect and disgorge passengers. Ask any local and he/she will be able to point you towards the "otogar".
  • Most buses are modern, air conditioned and comfortable. Some even include seat-back entertainment, onboard snacks and drinks, and WiFi.
  • Many major bus companies run a complementary shuttle from the "otogar" (bus station) to the city centre.
  • Tickets can usually be booked on the day of travel.
  • You can pick your seat at time of booking. (If a front-row seat is important to you, book in advance.)
Cons
  • Time consuming, with lots of stops and delays along the route.
  • Not usually equipped with onboard toilets so you need to “hold it" until the next rest stop. (From this perspective, frequent stops are actually a good thing!)
Additional Information - Bus Travel
  • There are hundreds of bus companies in Turkey. There's even a website listing the ones with the best safety records.

Travelling by Car

Although not particularly common, some of our guests choose to drive around Turkey in a rental car. Major highways throughout the country are in good condition and well maintained. Road conditions in towns and villages vary from dusty farm track to beautifully paved, depending on the relative affluence of the area. Words of advice (based on personal experience) about travelling in Turkey by car are provided below.

Pros
  • Flexible, you get to travel where and when you want.
  • Road surfaces are usually quite good along the major routes.
  • Exhilarating and brag-worthy! (Want to see what driving in Turkey is like? Check out this game!)
Cons
  • Driving and navigating in Turkey can be scary for the uninitiated! (Turkey is reputed to have one of the highest traffic accident rates in the world.)
  • Turkish fuel prices are some of the highest in the world. (Check out current fuel prices across Europe.)
  • Most rental cars have a manual transmission. (Obviously this isn’t a problem if you can drive a stick shift.)
Additional Information - Car Travel
  • You can drive in Turkey with a valid US, Canadian, EU or international driver's licence.
  • Cars are (supposed to be) driven on the right side of the road. Speed limits are (supposed to be) 50km/h in urban centres, 90km/h outside of urban centres, and 120km/h on major highways. Seatbelt use is (supposed to be) mandatory. Use of mobile phones is (supposed to be) prohibited while driving. Enforcement of these rules does not appear to be very consistent, but it's better to be safe than sorry.
  • Most major car rental companies offer rental options in Turkey. If you choose to rent a car after arriving in Turkey, check with your hotel and/or travel agent for a recommendation.
  • Consider using GPS to help you navigate - especially in the urban areas. (My friend and I attempted to rely only on signage during our first Turkish driving excursion and got really lost, eventually hiring a taxi driver to lead us to our hotel!)

Travelling by Water - High Speed Ferries

Guests arriving from some of the Greek Islands may arrive in Fethiye Harbour via the high-speed ferry. If you are travelling by ferry, please let us know and we will arrange for someone to meet you as you disembark to assist with your luggage.

Pros
  • The high speed ferry is a fun option for travelling between sea-side destinations along the Mediterranean. Most passenger ferries provide indoor and outdoor seating options for their passengers. Some even provide cabins!
Cons
  • Ferries do not run to Fethiye year-round, and are subject to delay for bad weather.
  • The two companies offering regular service to Fethiye are not particularly reliable. For this reason, we are unable to give referrals.
  • For obvious reasons, high-speed ferries are not effective for inland travel ;-)

Travelling by Train

Turkey also has a train system, but it does not serve the Fethiye area. In case you want to access the train for travel in other parts of the country, here is the relevant information:

Pros
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Most trains have private sleeper cars, restaurant cars, etc. and are reputed to be very comfortable for overnight travel. (This is the only mode of transport I haven't yet tried, so can't give a first-person account at this time.)
  • Relaxing.
  • Great opportunity to see Turkey’s diverse landscapes.
  • Overnight travel is an effective way to save on accommodation costs.
Cons
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  • Many parts of the country (including Fethiye) are not part of the rail network, so your journey from Point A to Point B may require a combination of travel modes.
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  • Rumour has it that the shared toilet facilities on trains are very clean at the beginning of a trip, but can get quite rank after the first day of a multi-day voyage.
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Additional Information - Train Travel

Do you still have questions about travelling in Turkey or getting to Fethiye? Don't hesitate to contact us for additional information and assistance with any pertaining to Fethiye, Turkey.