a VirtualTourist member
My husband and I are an Australian couple and independant travellers, we usually hire a car, having driven extensively through Europe, even managing Rome without a problem. I'm now in the early stages of planning a trip to Turkey but wonder if driving around Turkey would be a whole lot different then driving around Europe?
Should we look at hiring a car with a driver perhaps. Organised tours are definatly not an option nor is train travel.
Look forward to plenty of feedback and ideas.......
Hi - we rented a car in Kayseri and did quite a bit of driving around Cappadocia. Then rented a car in Izmir and did much more driving around that area. We found the driving easy and the roads fine. We did encounter a speed trap outside of Selcuk (on the way to Pamukkale) and a pretty funny version of charades ensued since the cops didn't speak English. I don't think a driver is necessary...
It's not possible to guess which parts of Turkey you will visit from your post, but I can say that hiring a car would give you flexibility and independence. Istanbul traffic is one of the most challenging traffic you can ever imagine so depending on your starting point, you have to take that into account. If I would make a road trip in Turkey and start from Istanbul, I would use public transportation during my stay in Istanbul and rent the car when I am heading off to my next location. You can check my Istanbul pages for many useful tips. Enjoy Turkey :)
Driving after dark is generally not advised.
I agree with muratkorman that if you want to drive, you'll be fine to do it anywhere *outside* Istanbul. Once you get to that city you will see what I mean--it's a nightmare to drive in, traffic is astonishingly bad, and getting from point A to point B is usually an amazingly convoluted process. Outside the city, though, signage is pretty good and the roads are fine. I think you'll have no problems.
We found driving in Turkey to be OK but will agree to try and not drive after dark. I will mention that over the course of 4-5 days we had a flat tire, got sideswiped by a bus (minor paint damage) and a cracked windshield. I had read before going to make sure you opted for all of the insurance directly with the company and we did, boy was I glad as this was the only time we've ever had an issue with anything with a rental car and it was all covered with no fuss.
Driving in Turkey is easy. The roads are good. Car hire is not too badly priced and the fee for returning the car to a different location to that which you picked it up from is not too bad. It is certainly more comfortable than overnight buses, cheaper than flying in and out of locations and a more free way to explore than taking tours.
It is easy to find your way around.
Two tips (a) finding your way around/out of Istanbul and to the airport - leave LOADS of time (b) if you go to Konya... it is a dreadful one way system. I found everywhere else a doddle. Go for it :-D