A winter trip to Turkey

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Don Madge, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Don Madge

    Don Madge Funster

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    We left home on the 1st December to have a pre Christmas family weekend in Worthing and to celebrate our 52nd wedding anniversary.

    I've put together a few notes that some might find useful as I believe there are a few heading this way in the New Year.

    We have rented the same cottage a Keciler, near Fethiye, that we had in 2010, we have got the stage in life now where we prefer to rent and use the van as a runabout. We have toured Turkey extensively in the last 10 years so now we just sit in the Kaya valley and watch the world go by.

    We used the tunnel for the first time and were very impressed with the service.
    ROUTE.
    Calais, Lille, Namur, Luxembourg (cheap fuel), Strasbourg, Basel, St Gothard Tunnel, Milan, Bologna, Ancona and Bari Port.

    NIGHT STOPS.
    Fort Philippe Aire N51.00622 E2.11417 Large tarmac car park with toilets.

    Arlon Aire N49.69024 E5.81882 4 places. Max 48 hours. Free electricity, water, grey disposal.

    Chalampe. N47.81386 E7.54086 Rhine side parking on outskirts of village. Intermarche for fuel and shopping.

    Somaglia Service area N45.14258 E9.63356 on A1 20 miles south of Milan. Autogrill restaurant, toilets and showers available.

    Vomano Service area N42.67194 E13.93961 on A14 north of Pescara, Autogrill restaurant, toilet and showers available.

    Vergina Aire N40.48514 E22.31957 170 miles east of Igoumenitsa. Tarmac car park, owner very helpful. €4 per night, electricity available if required.

    Alexandroupoli municipal site N40.84686 E25.85617. €17.50 per night. Free wifi in 30 minute sessions. Good site before crossing into Turkey. Easy walk into town from site.

    FUEL DEISEL PRICES.
    French Supermarkets €1.42 per litre

    French Autoroute €1.55 per litre

    Luxembourg €1.22 per litre

    Italian Autostrada €1.66 per litre. Many people now using the self service option which can be up to 8 cents cheaper than the attendant service. LPG available on many service areas.

    Greece €1.52 per litre this is just an average.

    TOLLS.
    France. A4 Strasbourg €19.10

    Switzerland SF40 for vignette for vehicles up to 3500kgs, we paid €35 for vignette at a service station just north of Basel on the A5.

    Italy. Swiss border to Milan €4.60. Milan south to Bari north €56.60 this included 2 night stops on Autostrada.

    Greece. A2 Igoumenitsa to Alexandroupoli €30.20 this is a 400 mile trip across northern Greece.

    FERRY. We used the Ventouris ferries overnight crossing from Bari to Igoumenitsa. Depart 19.00hrs arrive at 0730hrs. They will allow you to use the van overnight. Just a tip when you board the ferry wait until the mad rush by the cars to get on board is over before you board. Make sure that you are on to top (open deck) and look out for the refrigerated trucks that also park there. We have used this service a few times and the loading crew have always been very helpful. This is mainly a truck ferry, food is basic but cheap. Book a deck passage and campervan 6 metres €146. Try to avoid a Saturday crossing in either directions as they get very busy with trucks, any other day is a lot quieter.

    Entering Turkey at the border post near Ipsala.

    The first kiosk you come to just present your passports and vehicle registration document
    Then drive into the main complex and in front you will see five lanes. Don't go down the lanes until you have got your visa from the second kiosk on lane 5, marked “VISA”. The visa costs £10. Take your passports to the passport control kiosk in lane 1 or 2 then drive to the other end of the lane which is the customs kiosk. Here they will need your registration document, green card and driver’s passport. Once you have your documents back take them to the kiosk opposite for another check and stamp. Once you have finished there you drive out of the main complex and present all your documents to the last kiosk, then you are free to go.

    On entering the main complex we usually park on the left in front of the market/currency exchange building which also has an ATM at the currency exchange counter.

    We completed all the procedures in about 15 minutes, the Turks have really got their act together, we can only assume they are trying to pull themselves into line with the EU.

    The registration document and a Manual GREEN CARD are required to enter Turkey. Make sure the Green Card covers Asian Turkey as some insurers only cover European Turkey.

    A point worth remembering is the vehicle details are entered in the driver’s passport and under normal circumstances the driver will not be able to leave Turkey without the vehicle.

    Before you leave the border complex check the date by which the vehicle must be exported. It is the stamp next to the visa. Usually you have six months. A few years ago Margaret & Barry Williamson (Magbaz Travel) only had 1 month due to the wrong date being put down. This caused them a great deal of inconvenience when they tried to exit Turkey for Cyprus. The personal visa is for 3 months only.

    This info is correct at 14/12/2011 but could change at any time.

    SPEED LIMITS IN TURKEY.
    Built up area 50kph
    Outside built up area 90kph
    Motorways 120kph.

    The 90kph speed limit applies to all roads outside the built up areas. You will find 6 lane dual carriage ways where the 90 kph still applies. There are many radar traps usually on the open roads. Speed limit signs are few and far between so be very careful.

    There are very few 50kph signs marking the start of a built up area. Bear in mind dual carriage ways often run through a town /village but the 50 kph still applies.

    Motorway tolls must be paid by smart card. We used the motorway from Izmir to Selcuk and bought the card at the Selcuk turn off. The toll was TL2.20 so we bought a card and had TL10 credit put on it. The card costs another TL5 for admin costs. As we plan to stay in one place for 3 months we decided TL10 would be sufficient for our needs. It is quite easy to top the card up at any pay station.

    FUEL.
    Diesel (Motorin) works out at about £1.35 per litre using an exchange rate of TL2.88 to £1.
    LPG is about £0.80 per litre.

    CURRENCY.
    In the popular coastal areas (Kusadasi, Bodrum, Marmaris & Fethiye) where the ex pat Brits live HSBC cash dispensers usually dispense £Sterling & Euros as well as Turkish Lira. Over the years we have found we can get Sterling from the cash machine (£2 handling fee) and then exchange it for Turkish Lira at a very good rate at one of the money changers in the town. Recently in Kusadasi we got TL2.88 for £1 as against TL2.67 for the small amount of we bought at the post office before leaving home.

    We had a stopover at Camping Onder (free wifi) in Kusadasi. Prices have increased but the better exchange rate has evened things out a bit. It cost us TL24 per night at the camp site. The facilities are not great, the hot water is by solar power, no sun no hot water. The site is conveniently situated on the sea front opposite the Marina. It is an easy walk into town. If you plan to visit there’s an excellent fruit & veg market on a Friday which is well worth a visit. There’s a general market on a Tuesday as well.

    GENERAL INFO.
    Free camping is not a problem in Turkey. We often use the service stations when transiting from A to B this is a very common practise with motorhomers.

    The Turks are a very warm and welcoming people and will go out of their way to welcome you. The Turks treat their flag with great respect and expect you to do the same.

    Rural areas of Turkey are policed by the Army Military police the "Jandarma" they set up road blocks but usually wave you through when they see you are a tourist. Don't under any circumstances park or camp in the vicinity of a Jandarma Post they will move you on, the posts are marked with plenty of white paint, large Turkish flags and soldiers with guns. The coastal posts are usually situated in very picturesque spots and it is very tempting to park/camp near them just for the views.

    We have always found the Jandarma to be very correct and polite. The rank and file are conscripts the officers and NCOs are usually the only ones who speak English. They also have a traffic division. The town/city police (Blue uniforms) are usually a scruffy lot compared to the Jandarma.

    Any first timers looking for a tour of some of ancient sites of Turkey this trip we did in 2002 might be a good help. See http://www.magbaztravels.com/content/view/716/30/

    OBSERVATIONS.
    We have got to the stage in life were we do things for comfort/convenience rather than economy. The route is tried and tested over the years, we have only used it in December/January and have never had any security problems where ever we have night stopped. The lowest temperature we had this year is +4C so no problem with freezing water pipes/tanks.

    We arrived at Keciler near Fethiye our home for the next 16 weeks on Monday two weeks after leaving the UK. We had an excellent trip and the weather was very kind to us. We got out of Greece and into Turkey with no problems at all, we just got a nod on leaving Greece.

    New tourist Visa regulations in Turkey come into force on the 1st February 2012 see http://www.fethiyetimes.com/expat-z...-to-come-into-force-on-1st-february-2012.html so to get around the new regulations we have now got residency permits which will allow us to stay in Turkey for longer than the 90 days of the tourist visa.

    We plan to be back home for the Peterborough show at the end of April. If all goes to well we will be off the overnight Hook – Harwich ferry and straight to Peterborough.

    Safe travelling.

    Don
     
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  2. motorhomewave

    motorhomewave Funster

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    Thanks

    Cracking post Don, just the sort of useful info we need, none of this "Me roof ripped off when I drove into ASDA underground car park last week, didn't see the low height warning sign cause I was still wearing me Raybans, what shall I do ?" old malarky. :Cool:
    We are thinking of driving to Thessaloniki in the spring, so all good useful stuff.
     
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