UKC

Getting to Turkey with a van

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
 henwardian 18 Sep 2021

I'm looking at going to Antalya from the UK with a van this winter. I've done a load of googling and it seems like the devils own job to find any ferry information. It feels like there must be ferries that go from NE Italy to SW Turkey, or possibly two hops with a stop in Greece? Or an overland section in the middle?

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

Failing this, if I'm driving all the way through the balkans, it would seem criminal not to stop off and see all the cool stuff there, anyone got recommendations for things not to be missed?

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 18 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

Not done it but plenty of folks get to Kaly via ferry from Ancona to Pireus and then the Blue Star to Kaly. That Ferry goes on to Rhodes, which is a short hop from Marmaris - which itself is about three hours from Antalya. I assume there is a vehicle crossing on that last section?

Hope this helps,

Chris

 pavelk 18 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

Drive through the balkans. People are nice, local cuisine is great and it's relatively cheap.

Serbia: lot of ancient and byzantine monuments, monastires, Novi Sad and Belgrad, national park Fruska Gora a nad highest Serbian peaks of Stara Planina mountains just along the A1 highway

some info is here: http://www.serbia.com/visit-serbia/

Bulgaria: even nicer than Serbia. Rila and Pirin mountains are awesome (lot of snow in winter) Old towns of Sofia and Plovdiv are nice and just on your way.

some basic tips are here: https://bulgariatravel.org/

Crossing the border to Turkey might be experience itself.

Have some cash in local currency

Budapest and Szeged in Hungary are worth a stop as well (at least)

 TheGeneralist 18 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

It's been a while since we've done it and I'm extremely sketchy on the details.

We drove through France, stopped at 'bleau and then got a ferry from Marseilles to Turkey. But that was over 45 years ago, so not very current

My dad then drove home overland following the removal truck.  No idea what route, and he's dead so I can't ask him.

My grandparents must have passed through that way when they drove to Kuwait after my sister was born. But again, apart from a lovely picture of them having afternoon tea from the boot of the car near Isfahan, I have no clue what route they took.

Looking more recently Dave Manby  drove through Turkey to get to Iran, so may have better info if you stick "kayaker" next to his name on Google.

 henwardian 19 Sep 2021
In reply to TheGeneralist:

> We drove through France, stopped at 'bleau and then got a ferry from Marseilles to Turkey. But that was over 45 years ago, so not very current

Hmm, I've had a look and that seems like it must be a historic only route, today I think you can only get as far as Corsica in the first hop.

I guess the huge upgrades in road infrastructure over the decades have put paid to routes like that.

 henwardian 19 Sep 2021
In reply to pavelk:

> Drive through the balkans. People are nice, local cuisine is great and it's relatively cheap.

Thanks for all the info. I'll take a note of the places and check them out if I decide to do the overland route.

 henwardian 19 Sep 2021
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> Not done it but plenty of folks get to Kaly via ferry from Ancona to Pireus and then the Blue Star to Kaly. That Ferry goes on to Rhodes, which is a short hop from Marmaris - which itself is about three hours from Antalya. I assume there is a vehicle crossing on that last section?

Thanks. Another friend told me about the Ancona to Paras ferry so sounds like Ancona is probably the place to aim for if I'm trying to go mainly by sea rather than by land.

 jimtitt 19 Sep 2021
In reply to TheGeneralist:

> It's been a while since we've done it and I'm extremely sketchy on the details.

> We drove through France, stopped at 'bleau and then got a ferry from Marseilles to Turkey. But that was over 45 years ago, so not very current

> My dad then drove home overland following the removal truck.  No idea what route, and he's dead so I can't ask him.

> My grandparents must have passed through that way when they drove to Kuwait after my sister was born. But again, apart from a lovely picture of them having afternoon tea from the boot of the car near Isfahan, I have no clue what route they took.

> Looking more recently Dave Manby  drove through Turkey to get to Iran, so may have better info if you stick "kayaker" next to his name on Google.


There are commercial ferries to Turkey from S France (Sète) and N Italy (Trieste) which take vans, the cost may be a bit prohibitive!

 henwardian 19 Sep 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

> There are commercial ferries to Turkey from S France (Sète) and N Italy (Trieste) which take vans, the cost may be a bit prohibitive!

Thanks, do you have any more details like the arrival point in Turkey or the names of the companies? Are you talking about a passenger ferry or a sort of freight transport type of affair where my van would go alone?

 jimtitt 19 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

Hmm, lacking google skills? Try DFDS freight ferries. There are probably other operators.

Sète- Yalova

Trieste-Yalova

Trieste-Pensik

Trieste-Ambarli

Bari-Yalova

Self-driver on all routes.

I've used a couple of routes from Trieste to Greece before with an unconverted van and nobody asked whether I was a commercial driver, you will be travelling with a lot of Turkish, Ukrainian etc truck drivers though! A cruise experience it may not be!

 koolkat 20 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

the greek turkey ferries are not running havent been for over a year political disagreements 

 AlanLittle 20 Sep 2021
In reply to koolkat:

A Turkish family I used to know always went Brindisi-Greece then drove across to Istanbul. That still leaves you a long way from Antalya though.  

 dunnyg 20 Sep 2021
In reply to AlanLittle:

If driving a lot in Turkey you may expect random police checkpoints on roads, unless things have changed over the last 2 years. Some basic Turkish to explain what you are doing goes a long way! Sounds like a good adventure!

 kirsten 20 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

Unless you have an Insurance policy I can only dream of, you may need to buy insurance at the borders of at least some of the Balkan countries if you go by road. It’s better than it used to be but expensive for a van as it’s commercial rates. 

In reply to henwardian:

We've done the "overland to Greece in a van" trip a couple of times (once via Romania and Bulgaria and the other time with the Ancona-Patras ferry) but I'm afraid I can't help with the final leg to Turkey. Keen to hear how you get on, as we're interested in Antalya as a non-Shengen sun-rock spot.

If you do end up driving all the way, you should definitely allow time in Bulgaria and Romania to experience the culture and cragging - highly recommended!

There's a trip report here: https://doughton.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/balkan-odyssey-greece-roadtrip-through-romania-and-bulgaria.pdf

... and if I was to pick out a single "must see" highlight it would be the "eyes of God" cave at Karlukovo

https://rockaroundtheworld.co.uk/2017/09/22/karlukovo-cave-wow/

Cheers, Dom 

 henwardian 20 Sep 2021
In reply to kirsten:

> Unless you have an Insurance policy I can only dream of, you may need to buy insurance at the borders of at least some of the Balkan countries if you go by road. It’s better than it used to be but expensive for a van as it’s commercial rates. 

Oh, that's an important point that completely skipped my mind!

I'm sure Turkey isn't on my policy at the minimum!

 henwardian 20 Sep 2021
In reply to jimtitt:

Great, thanks for all the info. It's not an easy thing to google without company and port names tbh.

Spending time with Ukranian truckers sound like a great fun opportunity!

 henwardian 20 Sep 2021
In reply to dunnyg:

Did you just have to explain or did you end up having to have cash to pay bribes?

 henwardian 20 Sep 2021
In reply to dominic o:

Cool, thanks for the info

 dunnyg 20 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

I was there for work, no bribes required, but we did have extended chats with local police chiefs everytime we worked in a new village. This involved drinking much tea and coffee rather than anything untoward. We were cutting up rocks, digging holes and surveying, so it wasnt unreasonable! Fortunately Turkish colleagues handled the majority of the chat as my Turkish is fairly miminal. 

Tourists should have fewer questions to answer, but it isnt unlikely you will be asked them. 

 jimtitt 21 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

> Great, thanks for all the info. It's not an easy thing to google without company and port names tbh.

> Spending time with Ukranian truckers sound like a great fun opportunity!

There's a website called freightlink which has a bewildering number of ferry routes (1.000+). It's a whole different world out there, a massive road trip for the average vanner is just a easy run for a trucker, they are running 4000+ km per week.

 Chris Craggs Global Crag Moderator  UKC Supporter 21 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

As a bit of extra info, we were in Antalya before the virus, flew with Jet2 from Manchester- £40 each, and stayed in a smart three bedroom hotel on the edge of town (15 minutes from the climbing) for less than the cost one of wooden huts up there.

After thee weeks we drove the hire car to Bodrum  (£25 one way fee) and caught the ferry to Kos/Kalymnos 

Chris

 Andy Manthorpe 21 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

https://www.aferry.com/en-gb/ferry-destinations/

This is fairly comprehensive for ferries in Europe.

 jimtitt 21 Sep 2021
In reply to Andy Manthorpe:

Doesn't give any of the routes I listed above.

 nniff 21 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

> Did you just have to explain or did you end up having to have cash to pay bribes?

If you were to pay a bribe, you would be committing an offence under Section 1 of the Bribery Act 2010.  Just saying....

 Babika 21 Sep 2021
In reply to henwardian:

Drive across the Balkans would be great. I loved Macedonia and Kosovo especially. Serbia is very friendly as well but not quite as interesting for mountains IMHO. And beware the road signs - they were all in Cyrillic in Serbia and we drove 90km in the wrong direction by mistake. 

Amazing river gorge in Bosnia - supposed to be the deepest in Eurpoe.  Have a look if you can. 

Bulgaria also great mountains - just make sure you have cash to buy anything. 

 Lankyman 24 Sep 2021
In reply to Babika:

Did you visit Montenegro? I was caving on Durmitor in 1986 and the whole area looked great. Managed to bag the highest peak in the range (Bobotov Kuk) on a non-caving day. There was a very deep gorge there too (the Tara?). Would love to go back. Kotor, down on the Adriatic was great too although we got arrested there for 'illegal caving'!

Post edited at 17:21
 Babika 24 Sep 2021
In reply to Lankyman:

We were supposed to be in Montenegro 3 weeks ago. But 2 days before the flight it went "red" and the flight was cancelled. 

So we went to Devon instead where the covid rate was even higher. 

Sigh

I'm definitely looking forward to a return trip though - the mountains look awesome and I want to climb Zla Kolata. The Balkans have been full of surprises all round 

 kirsten 25 Sep 2021
In reply to Babika:

Really nice climbing scene developing around Kanyon Tijesno in Bosnia (which is now part of the green card free area so your van insurance might just cover you!) 

 NinaC 10 Oct 2021
In reply to henwardian:

Hi, 

I've just wrote a blog on my website about the rock climbing in Bosnia - if anyone is interested. 

https://thecragjournal.com/category/bosnia-and-herzegovina/

We have also travelled through (and written about) some other Balkans (non-schengen) countries so it may give a bit of insight to anyone that's interested!

https://thecragjournal.com

Post edited at 10:07

Please Register as a New User in order to reply to this topic.
Loading Notifications...