All information in this post was last updated March 2017
We’re going to take you on a little journey in this article. Just a short one. The Fethiye Antalya bus journey via the quickest route; over the mountains and through the yayla.
We’ve mentioned on many occasions that travelling around Turkey by intercity bus is comfortable, simple and easy on the finances. It’s the mode of transport we plump for most often – we even take the bus to Istanbul and other places further afield because we love to feel the size of the country. Of course, the Fethiye Antalya bus route is a short hop by comparison but it’s a great journey, nonetheless.
How To Travel From Fethiye To Antalya By Bus
If you’re travelling between Fethiye and Antalya in the daytime, routes are plied by the Batı Antlaya Coop and Fethiye Seyahat. These are air-conditioned mini coaches which run at regular intervals from Fethiye Otogar to Antalya Otogar. And, unless you get the first bus of the day, reserving a seat isn’t often necessary.
Get yourself to Fethiye otogar and all the offices are clearly marked. Buy your ticket and the staff will tell you when the next bus is – and usually where to sit while you’re waiting, where to leave your bags, where you might like to go and drink tea, where to buy a snack… Helpful people at the otogar.
Fethiye Antalya Bus
Reserve Your Seat
And, happy days, things have changed of late when it comes to the Fethiye Antalya bus route. You could be haphazard and just rock up at the otogar and wait for the next bus. This could go pear-shaped on the rare off chance that the bus is fully booked…
Or you can go the 21st century route and book online. This has been a problem for us over the years because sometimes foreign debit/credit cards (and, even occasionally, Turkish ones) are not accepted with various intercity bus companies. Well, Batı Antalya – a local cooperative with no big shiny advertising slogans or anything like that – now lets you reserve a seat online without payment. Yeahy!
Tickets At The Otogar
We used the internet service on our most recent trip to Antalya because we were using the morning bus – it often gets busy with agricultural workers. All went swimmingly and our tickets were waiting for us at the otogar when we arrived. We even got a text message confirming that we had picked the tickets up. Great stuff!
The Yayladan Fethiye Antalya bus (this bus takes the D350 mountain road) is quicker than the coastal bus as the road is shorter and there are less stops. You only need to take the Sahilden (coastal) bus if you are heading to coastal places such as the town of Kaş or the treehouses and ruins of Olympos.
Don’t get us wrong, we love a road trip between Antalya and Fethiye along the D400 coast road – it’s our favourite road. It’s just that your attempt to get to Antalya via that route by bus is going to take you some hours!
A Glimpse Of Yayla Life
Let’s call the Yayladan bus an express service. 3 hours and 30 minutes after setting off, you’ll be at the otogar in Antalya. Your journey also gives you a glimpse of mountain life as you pass tiny villages and settlements. And, just as you think the bus is in the middle of nowhere, someone will flag it down from the side of the road. Sometimes they’ll get on. And sometimes it’s just to load a parcel on to be dropped off in the next town.
You’ll notice all our photos have a bit of a wintry feel to them. That’s because we take the bus to Antalya at the same time each year – March – to take part in Runatolia. However warm and springlike the weather in Fethiye and Antalya might be, high up in these mountains, dividing the two, winter prevails.
Arrival At Bekçiler
And one village that sits at one of the highest points of the road is Bekçiler. Observant shoppers at Fethiye market will have noticed the signs on some of the potato stalls, advertising the fact that their potatoes are Bekçiler potatoes. They’re the famous yellow ones (sarı patates) that make a mean baked potato.
A Quick Break
The Fethiye Antalya bus stops here for 15 minutes or so at a dinlenme tesis. Literally translated, this is a relaxation place. Think roadside services. This is where you can get a hot meal, hot drinks, snacks and cold drinks. It’s a loo stop. At this time of year, it’s also where – if you were in any doubt about the temperatures – you’ll get off the bus and have it confirmed that winter still lingers strong in the yayla!
We get off for a leg stretch and a little wander to take photos and breathe in the fresh, icy air. It’s so beautiful and lonely up here, despite it being the main route to Antalya.
Arrival At Antalya Otogar
Eventually, mountain scenery transforms into city outskirts. As with many city approaches, this section of the journey is not the prettiest. But, never fear, all that will change. First, we need to negotiate Antalya otogar. We’ve arrived and now we need to get to the city centre.
So, what happens when you arrive at Antalya otogar? If you’re anything like us when you arrive at an unfamiliar (large) bus station in an unfamiliar city, you get your backpack, put on your best blank face, stand with your hands on your hips, look at the taxis, look at the confusing signs and wonder how on earth you’re going to get to where you need to be. You envy the local people-in-the-know as they stride off with confidence and hop onto random modes of transport, leaving you behind to wonder where to start.
Take The Antray Tram
Ahh, well, here’s a tip. If you’re going to be staying in the historic Kaleiçi area of Antalya (that’s where we always stay as it’s so central) allow us to rescue you from that aimless wandering. Outside of the terminal, you will see a sign reading, ‘Antray.’ This is the Antalya tram system and the tram will take you from the otogar right to the centre of town (and beyond – the tram now also goes to Antalya Airport, if that’s where your’re heading). For the Kaleiçi area, get off at the İsmetpaşa stop.
Remember when we took ourselves off to explore Perge and had a bit of an adventure trying to cross through major construction works? Well, that was this tramline being extended out to the Expo site. Fantastic now it’s finished; a slight pain at the time of building.
Buy An AntalyaKart
So, anyway, you’ll buy an AntalyaKart from the little booth in the metro. You can either pay for a return journey, you can buy a few journeys, or you can buy a permanent plastic card and keep topping it up as and when. The card works on all public transport. So, if you’re gonna be bobbing about a bit around town, at least buy the one with a few trips. You can’t use cash on public transport.
And, as for finding your accommodation once you arrive in Kaleiçi…it’s time for hands on hips and blank faces again. It’s a crazy mazey world out there in the old town of Antalya. Ask a local! The local council have seen fit to update street names, recently, but we still manage to go a bit wayward.
Fethiye To Antalya By Bus – Useful Information
- The Fethiye to Antalya Yayladan bus takes 3 and a half hours and costs 28 TL per person, each way (March 2017). The price is 25 TL if you book online.
- Buses run every two hours throughout the day, starting at 7:30 am. The last bus is 18:30.
- It is possible to take larger intercity buses from Fethiye to Antalya but there is often only one in the day and one through the night. Journey time is the same with a slightly increased comfort level. However, this will cost you around 40 TL. Not good for our budget travel but useful if you have an early flight to catch.
- We have been told that booths for buying Antalyakart journeys close at 19:00 so if you arrive in the city afterwards, you might need to take a taxi.
- You can book hotels in Antalya through Booking.com.