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Don Madge in Turkey 2010 PDF Printable Version E-mail

 

DON MADGE IN TURKEY 2010

Don Madge
January 2010 

Thanks to veteran motorhomer and MMM Travel Consultant, Don Madge, who wrote the following useful notes on his 2010 journey through Northern Greece en route to a winter's stay in Turkey.

Don writes:

Introduction

We had a very wet uneventful trip across Europe and managed to get a Superfast Ferries day sailing (193) from Bari to Igoumenitsa. Fortunately we had the use of the van during the smooth 10 hour trip.

We are now at Onder Camping (with free WiFi) in Kusadasi for the next week or so. It's about midday and the outside temperature is 15C. When we were in Alexandroupoli the temperatures were in the low twenties. We have never had them as high as this before at this time of the year. 

Egnatia Odos (The Northern Greek motorway) A2/E90 - January 2010

The A2 (E90) motorway from Igoumenitsa to the Turkish border near Ipsala is fully open except for one bridge, that has a 400 metre detour.

The total distance is about 420 miles. We do it in two days and then have a couple of nights at the all-year municipal campsite at Alexandroupoli (18 per night).

Stopping places on the motorway are few and far between. The only service area we saw was 94 miles from Igoumenitsa; it is accessible from both carriageways. There were also fuel stations marked off the motorway.

We went through two toll booths but both were unmanned. The only toll we paid was 2 near the start of the Thessaloniki ring road. 

Turkey Update - January 2010

Ipsala Border Crossing from Greece

At the first kiosk you come to when entering the border complex, you just present your passports.

We then drive into the main complex and park in front of the duty-free building, where there are two banks, ATM's, currency exchange counter, and an insurance office for those who have no Green Card.  We priced a Green Card for three months and they quoted 136 for third party cover.

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 - enter the building, turn left and the visa counter is on the right. The visa costs 10 (cash only in sterling, or Euro equivalent).  Once you have your visa, drive to the Passport Control kiosk, where they record your details again. 

Once that's completed, drive to the other end of the lane, which is the Customs kiosk. Here they will need your V5C (registration document), Green Card and driver's passport. The Customs sometimes check the van but in our case they are mostly interested in our back box.

Once you have finished there, you drive out of the main complex and present all your documents to the last kiosk, where they are all checked once again. Then you're free to go.

This year (Jan 7th) we completed all the procedures in about 20 minutes, bearing in mind this was winter time and we were the only ones going through at the time. The Turks have really got their act together; we can only assume they are trying to pull themselves into line with the EU.

Notes

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, and also that the cover is fully comprehensive and not just third party. They will not accept a photo copy of any of your documents - they must be the originals.

A point worth remembering is that the vehicle details are entered on the driver's 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 if the vehicle is written off in an accident.

Wild camping is not a problem in Turkey - we have spent four winters there and never had a problem. However, the days of a cheap holiday in Turkey are long gone. Using an exchange rate of TL 2.2 to the Sterling, the latest approximate fuel prices per litre are:

Diesel 1.40
Petrol 1.65
LPG   0.83

The rural areas of Turkey are policed by the Jandarma (Military Police). 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, as 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, so 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.

Barry and Margaret add the following note:

Arriving later than planned at the Greek/Turkish border, our 3-month Green Card, issued by our motorhome  insurers, covered only the first six weeks of a planned 3-month stay in Turkey. We planned to extend the Green Card later by email. However, the dates entered into Barry's passport allowing the motorhome into Turkey expired when the Green Card did. It took a lot of hassle later to get that passport entry extended. So make sure that your Green Card dates cover the whole of your intended stay!