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!
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.
We stay on the D400 and now it’s onwards to Muğla, passing the turn-off for Marmaris and Datça 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 passes the turn off to pretty Akyaka and 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.