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Old 04-04-2013, 01:34 AM   #1
StormTr00per OP
Joined: Nov 2012
Oddometer: 1
UK to Turkey and back again

Hi everyone. Long time reader but first time posting here. I'll show you where it all started:

This is my friend and I (in black) about to start a 1000 mile trek across Vietnam. Shortly after returning from here I discovered advrider. I've been reading ride reports with longing ever since. If I'd found advrider before I'd gone on that trip then you would have been in for a great ride report. Perhaps another time, this is the trip planning section after all.

Sadly I can't quite do the round the world trip that I would like, funds, equipment, and experience wouldn't really add up. However I have managed to get 6 weeks off work in June/July. I've been looking at doing a trip that I can begin at home. I'd also like to go and visit my Grandad for a few days in Turkey where he's living. So ideas have been banging round in my head and a plan has been taking shape.

What I'm hoping for is for you guys to be able to help me decide whether I've got a reasonable plan in the works or if I'm barking up the wrong tree. I would also welcome any recommendations for destinations, good roads, preferable routes, sites to see, or anything to add to the trip.

The time I have for this venture is 43 days. I'd be skipping over France on the way there and Germany on the way back to give myself more time to explore the other places more.

As rough estimates I'm looking at spending a few days going over Switzerland, a week through Italy. Not sure how long it would take to travel through Greece. Once I get to Turkey I'd travel quickly to reach Fethiye where my grandad lives and stay there 4 or 5 days. Then I would travel back through Turkey more slowly. Then take about 2 weeks touring through the Balkans before running back home.

Back of the envelope calculations say about 6500 miles, though I expect to do a lot more getting lost. I've not planned in rest days/breakdowns apart from those at my grandad's. My biggest worry is whether my pace will allow me to see places on the way. I'd really like to meet locals, perhaps do some couch surfing to really see the places I travel through.

My mode of transport is much upgraded since the little Honda Win 100s back in Vietnam (Not that there was anything wrong with those little workhorses)

That's pretty much how it'll look in “touring spec” aswell. Might get a roll bag for the back though.

I'm hoping to do some wild camping on the trip. Is there a good guide for how to pick out a good place/what the laws are in various countries for that? Not really done it before, well on purpose anyway.

Thanks in advance for any help you can give me. Hopefully I'll be able to thank you be providing a good ride report from the trip.

p.s. If trying to reach Fethiye in Turkey is too far on this trip I've been considering doing a shorter distance high quality 5 week trip and flying out to see my grandad after. So if it's not something that can reasonably be accommodated then I can remove that as a specific destination.
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:52 PM   #2
Joined: Dec 2010
Oddometer: 20
I would share some tips about Turkey with you.
Make sure you get Turkey on your insurance or you will get one at the border for 50 turkish lira.
Cards are accepted, but u might better get a prepayed card so u don't get any surprises.
If u need to change money, look for some red ATM from Zirat Bank something. they give u a fair rate.
Food is very cheap in Turkey, alcohol is not, petrol was almost 2£ last september.
I would avoid Istambul, don't like big city. When u enter Turkey u better go to Gelibolu (Galiopolis) and cross to Canakkale from Eceabat (8 YTL).
On the way back u might take a night ferry from Igoumenitsa to Italy. U can choose from Brindisi, Bari, Ancona and Venice. It will save u time and money.
In Italy the motorway is VERY EXPENSIVE. From Ancona to Genoa 45 Euro. Can't remember how much from Genoa to Ventimillia.
From Fetyie to Dover, u can do it in 4 days if you bomb it on the high way, maybe faster.
You can make a fast retreat plan, calculate how fast u can get back, + 1 day, and take your time in the first part of the trip. I have a Vstrom 650, (same engine as your SV 650) and I did max 1750 km in one go from Tasucu (Turkey) to Vama Veche (Romania). 1000 km a day is easy for my bike.
In Turkey, u must visit Pamukale, Olympos Beach and Efess. I would say Capadochia in Nevsehir district, a bit far, but MAGIC place. Historic places r a bit expensive to visit, but worthy.
5 weeks is A LOT mate, I would plan 2 weeks to get to Fetyie, 2 weeks to go places in Turkey and spend time with Grandad, and 1 week to return. Very doable!
Good Luck and keep us posted!
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Old 04-06-2013, 03:31 PM   #3
Still a B.A.N
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Vienna, Austria
Oddometer: 9,004
I did bit of the route you're thinking about a few years ago....

The Italian Adriatic coast road - which you seem to have routed, sucks. It's loads of holiday towns with traffic lights and tourist traffic and zero view of the sea. My advice would be for you to catch the ferry to Bari and head west straight away.

And you seem to have routed away from the Croatian and Albanian side of the Adriatic - which is simply awesome. Stunning roads, incredible view.....

I hope to repeat the trip one day,. but when I do I'll return via Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary etc.
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Old 04-14-2013, 03:05 AM   #4
Tigers R great.
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Joined: Nov 2005
Location: St.Leonards on Sea, England.
Oddometer: 3,895
Firstly good luck deciding where to go as it's huge out there.
My tour in 2011 started further north, going through Czech Rep, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia & Greece. Coming back as per your diagram.
You seem to want to go through the Balkans which I've been told isn't worth the hassle YMMV.
Anyway, Romania is a nice country which has both the Transfagarasan

& Tranalpina passes.

The Carpathians are very pretty.

Bulgaria...The most picturesque part is along the south border with Greece. One of the things I wanted to do is swim in the Black Sea as the furthest point in my tour.

Macedonia was nice also.
Greece is, of course, full of history and you could spend several weeks there. I would and did avoid Athens as they're going through economic troubles at the moment.
The highlights for me were The Sparta300 memorial and some of the preserved cities.

The most scenic area was just south of Patra. Although, all over Greece, every picture has a mountain in it.

I caught the overnight ferry from Igoumenitsa to Bari which worked fine. Straight off the boat and into the madness of an Italian rush hour!
Pescaro had a race circuit

Central Italy is surprisingly mountainous and picturesque...

Coming back home, the world (well, Western Italy and the Alp Maritime) is your oyster. I've been touring around there for 30 years so it's easy for me to find good scenery but even I occasionally find a new gem...
Col de Pennes..

Across France make your way across to St.Etienne and go north from there. Through places like Roanne, Luzy, Chateau Chinon, Lormes, Avalon. It's fantastic with roads that are endlessly twisty and, if you find the right route, runs along the high ground with endless views.

Sorry if I've turned your thread into an RR of my own but I hope it gives you an idea of some of the stuff that's out there.
3 - 1 black Tigers. 955i+800XC (sold)+800XC=113000 miles of fun.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:42 AM   #5
Joined: Dec 2010
Oddometer: 20
Some pics from my Turkey trip last year:
Lake Egirdir


Olympos Beach



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Old 04-14-2013, 08:50 AM   #6
Joined: Dec 2010
Oddometer: 20
And another pic of Transfagarasan in Romania
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:13 PM   #7
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Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Karlsruhe, Germany
Oddometer: 492
It's a good plan to do the quick part first and save the Balkan and Alps for the return trip. Otherwise you may end up like two guys I met at Sibiu, Romania: They had 48hours left to get back to work in the UK ...

On a bike, I would only take the route down through Italy to save time on the highway. The riding is so much more interesting on the eastern side of the Adria.

I'm also not a big fan of visiting big cities (Paris, Geneva, Rome, Athens, Istanbul ...) on a bike, but you may enjoy them more than I do. If you do, I propose to take the highway for the last bit into a city. Otherwise you'll spend hours in commuter traffic.
Reports: Nordkapp - Mt. St. Helen - Black Sea - Iceland - Morocco - Balkan
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:26 AM   #8
The Wingman
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: Cleveland, OH
Oddometer: 143
Coastal Croatia is probably amongst most scenic in the world. Why you would skip it is beyond me....
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Norway
Oddometer: 19

hi, i am planning a trip to Greece / Turkey this summer also.
Do not like to plan too much, just a destination. But wondering how it is to find campsites. I reckon it is many along the coast. thought I'd run slovenia, croatia, bosnia, serbia, Macedonia, Greece. on the way down.
and Bulgaria Romania opp. I start in Norway.
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Old 04-16-2013, 09:38 AM   #10
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Norway
Oddometer: 231
Hi Edd
I will tell you when i return at the end of may:) going to Turkey, starting from Norway first of may. i plan to camp asvell. As much as i can atleast
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