Bus and Dolmuş Travel

Inexpensive intercity buses travel between major towns all over Turkey—it's about 70 TL one way for the 12-hour journey from Istanbul to Antalya. These days, though, that's only about half the price of flying.

Buses and minibuses (dolmuşes) run regularly between the main Turquoise Coast cities but rarely travel to remote archaeological sites, such as Tlos and Pinara. Every city has a bus terminal, and minibuses to smaller destinations usually set off from there, too. Major routes, such as Marmaris to Fethiye and Fethiye to Antalya, have hourly buses into the early evening; fares are typically about 14 TL per person for every 100 km (62 miles) traveled. Minibus schedules depend on the popularity of the route and these buses generally stop anywhere along the route if asked to; announce "İnecek var," which translates to "there's someone who will get off," to let the driver know you've reached your stop. Most buses are designed to take people from the villages into the city rather than the other way around.

When the intercity bus terminal is outside the city center (as in Antalya), major companies usually provide a free minibus service from their downtown locations to the station: ask for a servis (minibus transfer service) when you book your ticket—otherwise, finding your own way to the terminal can be difficult and time-consuming. The Varan Bus Company can be a bit more expensive than others, but has better service, a good safety record, and its own privately owned and spotlessly clean rest stops. Book bus tickets online yourself, or ask your hotel concierge for help. Unscrupulous tour agencies have been known to charge double the going rate to do in person or over the phone what you could do yourself.

Contacts

Varan Bus Company. 850/811--1999; www.varan.com.tr.

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