TURKISH BORDER. (updated Jan 2006) A new Turkish customs/immigration post has been opened at the crossing from Greece at Ipsala. This has greatly reduced the congestion at the border.
The first kiosk you come to just present your passports. Then drive into the main complex and in front of you you will see about four or five lanes with the first kiosk marked "passports". Don't go down the lane until you have got your visa from the main building on the left. On entering the building look for the sign "Visa". The visa now costs Euro 10 not £10 as in the past. Take your passports to the passport control kiosk then drive to the other end of the lane which is the customs kiosk. Here they will need your registration document, green card and drivers passport. There is now no charge for the vehicle visa. Once you have finished there you drive out of the main complex and present all your documents to the last kiosk, then your 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 a ATM at the currency exchange counter.
We completed all the procedures in about 15 minutes, the Turks have really got there act together, we can only assume they are trying to pull themselves into line with the EU.
On leaving Greece you will find the Greeks less than helpful. When you arrive at the Greek police post you will have to take your passports to the window to be checked. They would not raise the barrier for us we had to drive around it. The next port of call is the customs post, don't just drive past but wait until the custom officer appears and waves you through. It took us nearly as long to get out of Greece as it did to get into Turkey.
The registration document and a GREEN CARD are required to enter Turkey.
A point worth remembering is the vehicle details are entered on the drivers passport and under normal circumstances the driver will not be able to leave Turkey without the vehicle. Make sure you have Travel or Vehicle Insurance that 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.
FERRIES BETWEEN ITALY & GREECE. No Camper Deck on any routes until April 1st.
ANCIENT SITES IN TURKEY
We completed this tour of Turkey in 2002 and as a few people have shown an interest in visiting Turkey I've at long last put this together. If ancient ruins is not your thing read no further.
I'm just concentrating on the trip in Turkey between Ipsala where we crossed into Turkey from Greece and Marmaris where we caught the ferry to Rhodes.
The tour goes anti clockwise along the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts and then back through central Turkey via the lakes.
The Turks commemorate Ataturk's success on the 18th March, for the allies it's Anzac Day on the 25th April. It would be wise to avoid the peninsula on these two dates.
Although the area is a national park we had no problem overnighting in (2002) in the information centres car parks. Now there's a campsite open all year at Kum Limani Beach, 4 miles south of Kabatepe on the west coast of the peninsula free camping could be a problem.
There's no overnight parking at Troy and the site is well guarded.
Campsite on left 2km before Bergama on entering town from the coast. Site is situated behind the Caravan Restaurant.
No over night parking allowed. Site is extremely well guarded.
I would suggest staying at Camping Onder in Kusadasi a well located site on the sea front opposite the marina.
(MILETUS), DIDIM (DIDYMA)
If campsite is closed (open March-December) park along river bank and take small boat across river and walk to Kaunos ruins. Well worth a visit.
Day trip to Termessos (34km) one of the best preserved archaeological sites in Turkey.
Sedra Camping 13 miles east of Alanya on the D400. The site comes highly recommended, a new site that was not open when we were last in the area.
Mamure Kalesi (Castle) east of Anamur a well preserved castle well worth a visit.
Campsite next to castle was run down when we visited but OK for night stop.
Camping Akcaki, 2 miles west of Tasucu.
Kizkalesi (Maidens Castle) We stayed over night on a beach side picnic area on the D400 in the Korykos area.
We now leave the coast and take the motorway around Mersin (Icel) and head north to Goreme via Nigde for the fairy tale land of Cappadocia. This was one of the highlights of the tour in Turkey and is a must.
Goreme is situated at an altitude of 1200 metres and can get a bit cool at night. I would suggest you do not attempt to visit this area before April.
From Goreme we headed west for Pamukkale.
Afrodisias another very fine archaeological site.
We then visited Marmaris to catch the ferry to Rhodes.
We personally visited all the archaeological sites, I have used the Lonely Planet guide to jog my memory where my travel notes were a bit sparse.
Don't even think about taking a stone or such like from an archaeological site if you do you could be in big trouble.
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.
The 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 NCO's 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.
Many coastal campsites have been closed over the last few years to make way for hotels so in some places sites are few and far between.
Ipsala to Mersin coastal route about 1200 miles.
Mersin to Marmaris inland route 760 miles.
I would suggest that a copy of the Lonely Planet "Turkey" would be very useful. It is an excellent guide with a great deal of information.