Fethiye to Izmir – The Bus Journey In Pictures

Regular readers will know that we have a bit of a fondness for the Turkish intercity buses; they’re our favourite mode of transport for getting away from Fethiye for a short while to explore pastures new. Back in June, we wrote about the experience of the night bus from Fethiye to Istanbul, a journey we’ve done numerous times. The Fethiye to Izmir bus is a less daunting journey for those who don’t fancy a night’s sleep on a bus seat!

Fethiye To Izmir Road

Heading towards Göcek

The main difference is that our journey to Izmir is during daylight, so we get to see the scenery of three different regions of Turkey: Muğla, Aydın and Izmir. Our official journey time is also only 5 hours which is a short hop compared to the 12-13 hour Istanbul journey.

It’s 9:30 am and after leaving Fethiye Otogar, we head out along the beautiful stretch of road with the not-very-beautiful name, the D400. The bus cruises along almost empty roads, passes Göcek, and we’re served with drinks of water before stopping at three otogars – Dalaman, Ortaca and Köyceğiz – in quick succession.

Fethiye To Izmir By Bus

A favourite view as we head for Muğla

We stay on the D400 and now it’s onwards to Muğla, passing the turn-off for Marmaris and the Datça Peninsula along the way. More people onboard now, and this time we’re served with a choice of tea, 3-in-1 coffee (that of the super-sweet variety), cola, orange or fruit juices. We opt for the super-sweet coffee and wince as we take that first sip. It’s tradition.

Now the bus starts to climb and wind its way carefully around the hairpin bends that cling to the side of Sakara Tepe. This is the wonderfully high road that gives us the amazing view of the Gulf of Gökova before taking us towards Fethiye’s administrative city, Muğla. We’ve got 20 minutes at the otogar so we get off for a leg-stretch and, as we’re roughly half way through our journey, eat the sandwiches we brought with us – we’re on a budget, remember.

Ice Cream On The Bus To Izmir

A little icy treat

Back onboard the bus – and what’s this little unexpected surprise? It’s always a bit of a lottery what you get served with on a bus journey – but we’ve never had this. But it’s daytime, it’s summer. What a great idea to serve your passengers with tub of chocolate and vanilla ice-cream! This made our day, this did!

Onwards Through Aydın To İzmir

Towards Aydın

The D400 has now become the D550 Aydın to Muğla Yolu. Although still vast and scenic, as we head towards the city of Aydın, our surroundings are less mountainous. Rocky hills, rivers, streams, the Topçam Dam and roadside traders are what keep these two passengers interested as we head up the west coast of Turkey. Well, that and another super-sweet coffee; this time served with a packet of marble sponge cake.

Figs & Scenery Between Aydın & Izmir

Flat plains between Aydın and Izmir

Welcome to Aydın, famous Turkey-wide for growing figs. If you’re a fig fan then this 20-minute stop at Aydın otogar will give you time to stock up. We’re not fig fans so it’s a quick photo, a leg-stretch and back on the bus for the home straight. We’re nearing Izmir and we’ve gone from mountains to hills to flat, fertile plains, most of which are growing corn.

Izmir From Fethiye

Arrival in Izmir

And then the clues that Izmir, Turkey’s third largest city, is close. Agriculture makes way for industrial estates, factories (rather apt that we caught a quick shot of the Efes Pilsen production plant!) crowds of high-rise apartments blocks in the distance. The bus swings into Izmir’s otogar. It’s big. 74 platforms big. Now we just have the small task of wandering around this mammoth, concrete transport hub with the aim of finding ourselves a bus to take us into the centre. Let the fun begin…

Fethiye To Izmir By Bus – Useful Information

  • Although there are numerous buses between Fethiye and Izmir throughout the day, we recommend booking in advance as our bus was full both ways. We booked at Fethiye otogar and, for our return journey, we booked at an office in the city centre. This meant we got a free shuttle bus back to the otogar.
  • Bus fares fluctuate, depending on special offers and the like, but we paid the standard price of 45 TL per person, each way. All drinks and food served on the bus are included in your fare.
  • Official journey time between Fethiye and Izmir is 5 hours. Actual journey time, both ways, was 5 and a half hours.
  • On arrival at Izmir otogar, intercity buses drop off at the upper-level. To get to buses and taxis to take you into the city, head down the steps to the ground level (there are loads of overhead signs pointing in all different directions. Look for any dolmuş / otobüs / taxi signs. If in doubt, ask. The Izmirli folks are a very helpful bunch.

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Comments

  1. Gosh, this post brought lots of memories, we used to use the buses quite a lot when I was a child traveling, and my parents still love it! best bit is stopping by for cay, toast and treats and enjoy the scene:)

  2. Looks like a great fun trip on the bus….I was amazed at the bus service you get in Turkey, with refreshments and all. So different here, as most here we don’t use the buses too often and you sure don’t get service of any kind.
    Took a trip once from Istanbul to Izmir on the bus….. but those hairpin curves and steep hills get me a lil’ toooo nervous.

  3. @ Ozlem’s Turkish Table: Ha ha. Glad we brought back memories and really lovely to hear your parents still like the Turkish intercity buses. A lot of our Turkish friends prefer to fly these days but we love trundling along the roads – and the stops, too. 🙂

  4. @ Erica (Irene): Oh we just love the bus services in Turkey. The food and refreshments are a great idea but as Ozlem said above, the food stops are great, too. 🙂

  5. . . like some obscure lager used to claim – ‘Probably the best bus service in the world!’

  6. @ Alan: Well, we’ve only used European bus services and the Turkish ones are yet to be beaten. Strange you should say about that obscure lager as their production plant was just opposite the Efes Pilse plant. We’d gone past before I could get a pic. 🙂

  7. Best figs in the world. I really miss them. Hope you’re eating your fill.

  8. I love bus trips – all the sightseeing without having to drive. The ice cream is a brilliant idea!

  9. @ Mark D: Sure they’re lovely but we’ll leave the figs to those that appreciate them fully. They’re wasted on us. 🙂

    @ Belinda: Yeah, much easier to see what’s going on with the scenery of Turkey if we’re not driving. AND the ice cream was such a treat!! 🙂

  10. Turkish bus services really are wonderful aren’t they? I LOVE that view over Gokova too. Brought back lots of memories! I am living vicariously through your explorations!

  11. @ Liv: Glad we have another fan of the Turkish bus services in our midst. We can’t get enough of them. 🙂 Hope you’re enjoying Australia.

  12. Love taking the bus in Turkey. Especially the lemon cologne 🙂

  13. @ Sophie: Actually, we must mention the lemon cologne next time we use the Turkish buses. Not had it for a while. Forget the ice cream. 😉

  14. Hello,
    I’m planning to go to Fethiye next week.. I’ll be in izmer first.. I’m trying to find a good bus for this trip!! Can u recommend me some!! With English website because all I found were only in Turkish language:( also I want to go to the blue lagoon odunize beach, that’s my distanation .. How can I get there! Is it by the same bus or I need a taxi!

    Plz help me

    • Hi Ohoud

      Most of the intercity bus companies make multiple trips in one day from Izmir to Fethiye so you should have no problem getting one. If you are travelling during Bayram (after Ramadan has finished), make sure you book in advance as lots of Turkish families will be heading to Fethiye for holidays.
      You might struggle to book online as many of the companies only accept Turkish credit cards, hence the lack of English. However, there are lots of bus offices dotted around towns and cities – you can book and pay in advance there and they will give you a free shuttle service to the bus station in Izmir.
      When you get to Fethiye otogar (the bus station) from Izmir, there is a dolmuş (white minibus) that passes the otogar every 5 minutes, going to Ölüdeniz. The cost is 5TL and the journey takes about 40 minutes.
      Hope that helps.

  15. Very interesting to find this, my wife (Lesley) is currently en route to Izmir via bus. Even more interesting is that she was witnessing at Özgūr’s wedding yesterday and attended Ozlem’s meal do this week. Had she known I’m sure there would have been many questions! Small world.

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