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Public transport, in Turquoise Coast, and Greek Islands in the Fall

Hello,

Seriously considering taking our first Rick Steve tour of Turkey in fall of 2015. I am a planner hence the reason for the early questions. My wife and I have travelled with Rick Steve Guide books over the years, and never to overseas without it (France, Belgium, Netherlands 1993 : Italy 1996 : Portugal 2002 : Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Germany 2008 : Spain 2010 : Croatia, Montonegro, Boznia-Hercegovina 2013) so we are more than used to planning and travelling on our own, via public transports, trains or our rental car. However, when it come to Turkey, the comfort level is not there, so we are considering a tour.

The best of Turkey 13 day is covering most of what we want to see. However, we would like to spend another week at the end of this tour in the Turquoise Coast area. Bodrum and Marmaris seem a little too developed for our taste, but the Dalyan and Fethiye area appear to have interesting potentials for beach, history, and day excursions. R&R I guess after a tour that sounds a like it has a busy schedule, covering a larger territory.

From what we read buses are the way to go in Turkey. Then if we venture off to Rhode from there, hydrofoils from Fethiye sound like the way to go. Our concern is that we are looking at fall visits, and everything we read seems to indicate that public transportation reduces significantly come September, October.

So my questions are:

How difficult is it to travel on buses in the Turquoise Coast in late September, early October?
Would this be a smart choice, are the distance, transfers, cost reasonable?

We speak French and English, will it be difficult for us to get information in languages we understand for public transportation?

We have read that the best way to visit the Turquoise Coast is via Scooters, but we also read that driving in Turkey is not the way you want to go (dangerous drivers)? These appear contradictory, which is true?

End of September, early October do ferrys, hydrofoils still fun from Fethiye to Rhode? Daily? Weekly?

Early October, if we need to go from Rhode to Athens, would you recommend flying or ferries?

If time permits we are considering stoping for an overnight in Mykonos, that is assuming ferries are the option?
We live in east coast Canada and flying options are limited and expensive so, our flights in and out will be from Canada/Athens.

Thank you, your comments are more than welcome.

Jean

Posted by
16860 posts

I did enjoy Fethiye for its beach on my first visit to Turkey, when it was recommended by a local. Getting buses between cities in Turkey will be no problem during that season, but local bus service to beaches might not be running in either country. The bus stations have more schedule info posted than they used to and at least some staff at the station will speak English. It could help to write your destination on paper, if you're not sure of pronouncing it correctly.

For safety, I'd rather drive a car than a scooter, unless you are well experienced with scooters. You can pick up a car in one city and drop it in another in Turkey, without much penalty, same as within any one country in Europe; try Auto Europe for a price quote, if you would keep the car for several days. For a one-day rental, it would be cheaper to look for special offers in the town.

Here is a Fethiye-Rhodos ferry schedule for fall: http://www.bluecruisesturkey.com/Ferry_Schedules/Ferries_Fethiye-Rhodes.html. Rhodes to Athens is a long, overnight ferry, so flying is more comfortable. See also www.greekferries.gr and www.skyscanner.com.

Posted by
1814 posts

We traveled the Turquoise Coast by bus from Patara to Datca last September. It's really easy ... buses run frequently ... although getting a schedule ahead of time isn't always easy. You just have to trust that the system will work, and it does! Cost was reasonable. Transfers were easy (there are bus "hubs" in several cities; buses coordinate their schedules so they all arrive there at the same time and you can hop off your bus and on to the next one, with help from drivers and ticket sellers. It was quite an experience.)

I don't remember many scooters along the coast. I've heard that driving is pretty easy; we just preferred not to have a car.

English is widely spoken by anyone involved in the tourist trade.

Not sure about the Fethiye-Rhodes hydrofoil. We heard that the most reliable ferry is the Marmaris-Rhodes ferry, which runs each morning. Since we were catching a plane from Rhodes, we needed reliable transportation, so that is what we chose. Fethiye is a bigger city ... we were looking for smaller places, so we didn't stay there. From Rhodes, I would recommend that you fly back to Athens. In order to visit Mykonos, I suspect you'd have to fly back to Athens, then fly or ferry to Mykonos and back. Not worth it, in my opinion. If you have an extra day in Athens, visit the nearby islands of Hydra or Aegina by day trip ferry.

Here was our schedule:

Patara -- tiny town a bit of a walk (or a quick tractor shuttle) away from a gorgeous long sandy beach. You go through interesting ruins of the ancient city of Patara on the way to the beach. We stayed at Akay Pension, where they serve the best food in Turkey (in my opinion). Wonderful host. From Patara we took a day trip to see the sunken city of Kekova, and another to Saklikent Gorge).

Dalyan --- a bigger town, lots of British tourists, more tourist infrastructure. Take the river boat and see the Lycean tombs and have a mud bath. Go to the Sea Turtle hospital on Iztuzu Beach.

Datca -- a pretty little town near Dalyan. Big attraction here are the extensive ruins at Knidos.

From Datca it's a couple of hours on the bus back to Marmaris ... you may need to spend the night there to catch the morning ferry.

If you can find it, I did a Trip Report on Turkey on this website, with lots of details. Have fun in Turkey -- it's a beautiful part of the world.