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Turkish Campsites: The Reids Update 2011 PDF Printable Version E-mail

 

An Update of Campsites in Turkey from the Reids

James & Sheila Reid
May 2011

James and Sheila made an extensive anticlockwise motorhome tour of western Turkey in April and May 2011. Their route emerges as you read their updates on the campsites they used.

We thank them very much for this valuable information and, not least, for clarifying the position of camping in or near the major cities of Ankara and Istanbul.

KABATEPE  Camping Kum  8.4.2011
Rather isolated but convenient for battlefields etc. Generally scruffy and run down, 'end of season' feel. San facs grubby and not cleaned. No hot water at basins or wash-up. OK showers with hot water. Washing m/c free but unusable, as full of water! Large restaurant and  bar on site but no customers and very expensive. No wifi. 30TL/night inc electricity. Some English/German spoken.

TROY  Troia Pension  9/10.04.2011
Tiny level garden site beside busy cafe/souvenir shop/tour bus stop. Friendly family owners (Papa aged 86 a gem). Son, Uran, offers guided trips to Troy site - quite expensive at 100TL plus 30TL entrance, but well worth it. Ladies and gents toilets used by tour groups but kept clean; no hot water. One shower with hot water located in the garage. Call to prayer from nearby Mosque very loud at dawn. No washing machine. 30TL/night inc electricity. Ask owner for free wifi. Good English spoken.

BERGAMA  Caravan Camping  11/12.04.2011
Level site behind restaurant - just a few pitches in use as whole site being re-seeded. Grubby facilities block with toilets, showers, basins and dishwash area. Also 2 washing machines (8TL). No hot water until complaint made, then OK. Next day, same performance - very frustrating! Good buffet lunch (12TL/person). Dolmus bus stops outside site for Bergama. Good unspoilt Turkish town. New ski lift to Acropolis. Red Basilica in town and Esclepion walkable uphill from there. 30TL/night inc electricity. Some English spoken.

SELCUK  Camping Dereli  13/14/15/16/17.04.2011
Level pitch - superb setting facing sea. Site neglected over winter but gardeners started whilst we were there. Ample facilities block with showers, toilets, basins and dishwashing but poorly maintained and very grubby. Tepid water until complaint made. Not cleaned during our entire stay and bins overflowing. No washing machine. Reasonable restaurant with nice setting and friendly staff. Infrequent Dolmus to town but this site much better than Garden Camping, which is in Selcuk but deserted when we looked in and nobody on duty to make enquiries. Ephesus is the obvious draw and rightly so - splendid. If possible, try to be in Selcuk for the Saturday market - it is one of the best we have ever seen. 30TL/night inc electricity. Free wifi but only in bar area. Some English/German spoken.

DALYAN  Camping Dalyan  18/19.04.2011
Small campsite in garden within easy walking distance to town. Reasonable access and level pitch. All very scruffy and run down - new owner 'working to sort it out'. No hot water to basins or wash-up and facilities not cleaned. No hot water to showers, despite being assured that there was. The owner later admitted that he was waiting for a new water heater which was on order! Noisy disco next door. Could be lovely but needs a lot of work. Refused to pay 30TL/night, finally agreed on 50TL for 2 nights including use of washing m/c. Free wifi. Perfect English spoken.

KAS  Kas Camping  20/21/22/23/24/25.04.2011
Rocky terraced campsite with 'Higgledy Piggledy' pitching and hard to get level but superb location facing the sea. Would be difficult for large outfits. Charming Kas town about 800m walk - lots of bars/cafes/restaurants/supermarkets etc. Decent facs block, clean by Turkish standards. Only 2 hot showers in ladies and gents. No hot water to basins or dish-wash. Washing m/c broken but service wash reduced from 15TL to 10TL after negotiation. Friendly laid back site and great location to 'unwind' after lots of ruins. Nice cafe/bar and terrace facing sea on site. 30TL/night inc electricity. Free wifi. A little English/German spoken.

ADRASAN  Street Cafe  26.04.2011
A helpful Turkish couple who were camping at Kas recommended this when we told them that we were looking for somewhere near Olympos/Chimeara. There is no campsite but the nice Turkish/German owners of Street Cafe allowed us to park up for the night with use of toilet, fresh water and even electricity if we wanted it. We bought lunch and some drinks there and chatted to the owners. In the evening we dined at Paradise restaurant, a short walk from the cafe - super unusual riverside location owned by English/Turkish couple and excellent reasonably priced food. Free night. Note: after Kumluka eastbound on the 400, there are signs for Cavus/Olympos - it is a winding steep descent to the sea, but worth it!

ANAMUR  Restaurant Mellec  27.04.2011
The Turkish tourist office told us that there was a campsite at Lara nr Antalya. We tried hard to find it in this very large busy city, to no avail. Turning back onto the equally busy 400 heading east, we found a campsite at Beldebi which still had signs up but closed years ago. Then at Demirtas, Camping Sedre was also closed. There is the possibility of camping on a tiny pitch at the motel there - no electricity, no hot water showers, right beside the busy 400 and toilets that had never been cleaned. They wanted 23TL for this; we left! We carried on eastwards on the 400, which was becoming more and more difficult, and finally stopped at Restaurant Mellec to the west of Anamur exhausted. We dined alone in the simple restaurant and spent the night on the car park opposite. Free night.

TASUCU  Camping Akcakil  28/29/30.04.2011
Continuing east for Anamur the road deteriorated badly. Major improvements are under way resulting in long stretches of poor surface, compacted dirt, rubble etc, making for hard driving. On one very steep ascent on the old road we came to a halt behind a Dutch Hymer motorhome that was skidding and unable to continue. Having lost momentum, we ended up the same! Luckily the traffic police arrived and 'commandeered' the vehicles and took the wheel, eventually getting us all out of the mess! Arriving at Camping Akcakil, it had taken more than 5 hours to cover just 143 km, an average speed of 28 kph. (This is by far the worst stretch of road we encountered in Turkey.) We were welcomed to the campsite and given a pitch right on the pebble beach overlooking the bay. The campsite has one western toilet and one squatter in ladies and gents - showers are in a separate building, unisex - one with electric shower, the other cold water, all clean and tidy. The dish-wash area has cold water only. There is a nice terrace where free wifi is available and a restaurant which is a little expensive compared with those in town. During our stay a large group of Dutch motorhomes arrived and the facilities were overwhelmed. Washing m/c 10TL available. Town with bank, shops etc walkable but not recommended - taxi best bet, 10TL each way. 30TL/night inc electricity. Friendly owner speaks German and a little English.

GOREME  Panorama Camping  1/2.05.2011
Terraced campsite with very steep and difficult sandy access to upper levels, which have good views over the town and surrounding area. Steep uneven steps and what appeared to be an old fire escape down to dark, mouldy and grubby toilet block. Hot water to showers but not to basins or dish-wash, all in dire need of updating. Chemical toilet disposal at reception, quite a way from pitches, and water at lower levels only. Yet another site where the washing m/c was 'broken', but happy to offer a service wash for a hefty 15TL (no thanks). Short downhill walk on very busy main road to Goreme town, hard slog coming back! 30TL/night inc electricity. Free wifi. Pleasant owner with good English spoken.

GOREME  Camping Goreme  3/4/5/6/.05.2011
During a visit to Goreme Open Air Museum we discovered this campsite on the outskirts of town and decided to re-locate. Accessed via a dusty track, the level campsite has a brand new toilet block (still being completed). At the time of our visit the men's were being used as unisex and had 3 toilets and 3 showers. Hot water to wash basins and to dish-wash area. The remainder, including a new restaurant/cafe etc, was nearly finished and sure to open soon. All of the facilities were the best we have seen in Turkey - indeed they are some of the best we have seen anywhere in Europe! The owner, Murat, is kind and attentive and speaks excellent Italian and English. He is also a tour guide and has a good in depth knowledge of the history etc of the area. There is a level 'short cut' along a quiet road which leads to the town centre in less than 10 mins. Washing m/c 10TL. No wifi, but readily available in town. 20Tl/night inc electricity( a bargain!) The only downside is some early morning noise from up to 100 hot air balloons taking off all around - a truly fascinating sight though!

ANKARA  Esenboga Airport Hotel  7/8.05.2011
Near Ankara airport, off the O-20 ring road. There is a small campsite to the rear of the hotel but it was fully booked by a group of 22 Dutch motorhomes and caravans. We were given a space on the hotel car park with water and electricty and use of 2 showers and a toilet, but these were overwhelmed by the Dutch party and we had to use our own. The bar and restaurant in the hotel are very expensive. There is quite a lot of noise from the hotel and the airport. The ever present Mosque is pretty loud too! There is a bus service to the city centre (very cheap) from the main road 200m away. Free wifi. Excellent English spoken and hotel staff helpful and friendly. At 19 Euros/night (converted to TL daily) this was the most expensive site we used in Turkey. (It did offer free use of sauna, Turkish bath and heated pool in the price.)

ISTANBUL  Fishermans Quay Car Park - Kennedy Caddesi  9/10/11.05.2011
Perfect location for the main Istanbul sights, being just a short stroll to Sultanahmet area with Blue Mosque, Aya Sofia, Topkapi Palace etc. Level car park right by the sea with water available and chemical toilet emptying. No electricity and one 'grungy' portaloo, which would serve if desperate! Certainly not quiet - noise from railway, boats (both huge and tiny), boy racers in fast cars, dogs, crows, seagulls and more Mosques than we could count adding their bit! A really FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE. We watched some huge tankers, an American warship and a nuclear submarine pass, followed by some beautiful dolphins!!! We also felt very safe and secure here. The guardian speaks a few words of English and German and is on duty from around 8.00 am until midnight. 25TL/night - very basic but, given the location, a bargain.

SUMMARY
This was our first trip to Turkey and we were not disappointed. From arriving at the border from Greece until we left going into Bulgaria, we were taken by the kindness and hospitality of Turkish people everywhere. At no point did we feel uncomfortable or threatened anywhere in Turkey. Turkish food is simply superb in terms of quality, taste, variety and price - so too the markets and bazaars. Petrol, diesel, alcohol, beer and wines we found quite expensive, as was beef and lamb, but not so chicken, vegetables/fruit or bread. With a few exceptions, the roads we travelled were good and better than expected. We found that most campsites offered very poor value for money. There are many opportunities to 'free camp' and we would like to return to Turkey with this in mind, probably travelling in a smaller outfit which we could use to visit lesser known areas. We would particularly like to travel to Eastern Turkey, which fellow travellers have recommended.