Motorhome to Turkey (1 Viewer)

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Don Madge

Deceased RIP
Aug 27, 2007
East Yorks
Funster No
Van Conversion
Too Long
We have only travelled out to Turkey in the winter time (Dec/Jan), up to now we have used the Italy - Greece ferry route. We use North Sea Ferries from Hull to Rotterdam, then Luxembourg (cheap fags/fuel), Strasbourg, Basle, St Gothard Tunnel, Milan, Bologna and Brindisi then the ferry to Igoumenitsa.

If you do decide to use the ferry option the quickest way from Igoumenitsa would be go via Ioanina, Konitsa, Thessaloniki and Alexandroupoli then cross the border into Turkey at Ipsala. An alternative route would be via Ioanina, Metsovo, Katara Pass (1700 metres), Trikala, Larissa, Thessaloniki and Alexandroupli. If you take the ferry to Patras you can then go via Itea, Delfi, Larisa, Thessaloniki and Alexandroupoli. or via Athens, Larisa, Thessaloniki and Alexandroupoli.

Over the years we have used all the Italian ferry ports to Greece. Venice, Ancona, Bari & Brindisi. Venice and Brindisi have the easiest access while Ancona and Bari can be difficult at times.

Between 1st April and 31st October it is possible to use your van on some of the Italy - Greece crossings on the camper deck. This year 2007 the option was limited to:-

Minoan Lines Venice - Igoumenitsa - Patras and Ancona - Igoumenitsa - Patras.

Ventouris Lines Bari - Igoumenitsa and ANEK Lines Ancona - Igoumenitsa - Patras.

ANEK Lines Venice/Anconca - Igoumenitsa - Patras

Endeaver Ferries Brindisi -Igoumenitsa - Patras

Superfast Ferries Ancona - Igoumenitsa - Patras

Agoudimos Lines Bari/Brindisi - Igoumenitsa/Patras

A few of the ferry companies turn a blind eye to sleeping in the van on the shorter crossings during the winter months, we have done this a number of times over the last five years.

An alternative overland route to Turkey through the Balkans is via, Luxembourg, Heidelberg, Regensburg, Vienna, Budapest, Szeged, Arad, Timisoara, Craiova, Sofia, Plovdiv, Erdine and Istanbul. The total mileage from Boulogne to Istanbul is about 2050.

If you intend to use the Balkans route please bear in mind you will need the following vignettes. This is a very rough guide only.

For vehicles up to 3500kg a vignette can be bought for Euros 7.80 for ten consecutive days. For vehicles over 3500kg you will need to buy a "Go Box" that fits on the windscreen for a one off handling fee of Euros 5. Then for a two axle vehicle it will cost about 13 Euro cents +VAT per km. If you are close to the 3500kg mark it's best to carry a certificate issued by a weighbridge showing your weight. For full details see

You will need a vignette for the motorways. For vehicles up to 3500kg a four day vignette it will cost about £3 for vehicles over 3500kg it's about £4 for four days.

The Bulgarian motorway vignette costs between 5 - 69 Euros per vehicle and validity period

A new Turkish Immigration/Customs border post was opened at Ipsala in 2003. This has greatly reduced the congestion at the border.

A three month visa for a Brit costs Euro 15. I'm not sure what it will cost you, our Danish friends don't have to pay for a visa it seems they have a different charge for some nationalities.

The motorhome will cost nine Euros for the customs document (I think this fee has been scraped) to import for six months (I'm at a loss to understand why a vehicle gets a six month visa and a personal visa is for three months). The Vehicle Registration Document and a valid Green Card are required to enter Turkey. You should not have any language problems at the border but if you do you will always find one of the truck drivers will help out.

You can purchase Green Card insurance at the border but bear in mind it is only "Third Party" cover.

A point worth noting is the vehicle details are entered in the drivers passport and under normal circumstances the driver will not be able to leave Turkey without the vehicle. Make sure your Vehicle or Travel Insurance will cover the Duty/Customs Bond if you are taken ill and have to fly home or the vehicle is written off in an accident.

We have never had any problems at the border the Turks, as always, are most polite. Sometimes the Greeks are a bit slow in letting you through the border but you just grin and bear it.

The road from Kesan to Eceabat and the coastal road from Canakkale to Izmir is in a good condition but transiting Izmir with no ring road is a nightmare. If you do decide on this route, in Izmir follow the signs for Aydin.

In Turkey for overnight stops en route we use the large well lit 24 hour service stations. We just refuel, park up in a quiet corner and we have never been refused or had any problems.

On all our visits to Turkey we had a great time. The people are very friendly and we had no problems at all. On one trip we crossed the border at Ipsala and visited Gallipoli before taking the ferry (YTL.20) from Eceabat to Canakkale. We then followed the coast to the Syrian (This was before the Iraq war) border.

We used what campsites were open but a lot of the time we just free camped on the beach in small towns and villages. Many times we stayed overnight in the car parks of the ancient sites we were visiting. If we had to free camp in larger towns we stayed at the service station after filling up with fuel.

On one of our return trip we caught the ferry from Marmaris (very expensive) to Rhodes to cut down on the driving and we were getting very close to the end of our three month visa.Then the ferry from Patras to Venice using the "Camper Deck" option

If I can be of further help please get back to me. If you wish to have a chat about any details you can call me on 01430 423028

Safe travelling

Jul 20, 2007
Funster No
A Class
Since 1999
Hi Don
Can you still read the letters on your keyboard matey? :roflmto:
Wonderful account, many thanks


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