split / southern croatia to istanbul
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Dec 11, 2012 5:36 AM Last Post By: gordydotcom
Nov 12, 2012 11:20 AM
what route do you think is culturally interesting, scenic, safe (American, solo) and reliable (don't want to get stuck)?
thanks in advance
Edited by: gordydotcom
Nov 13, 2012 4:50 AM
1If you have never been to these cities, my suggestion would be to travel via Zagreb, Belgrade and Sofia, and maybe stop for 24 hours in each. These 3 capitals are well connected to each other by regular bus lines, and from Sofia you have frequent buses going to Istanbul either by day (leaving early morning) or by night (leaving early evening). If you want to cut it short, you could also consider the option a cheap-ish one-way flight to Istanbul from either Sarajevo or Belgrade.
A slightly more unusual journey, assuming you want to see places that are a littel more off the beaten track, would be via Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria. Places like Dubrovnik, Budva, Skopje and Sofia are certainly worth visiting. Again the entire journey is feasible on public transport with a little research: you could even take advantage of the Herceg Novi to Ohrid bus described by Macedonian in his answer to the nearby "Pristina to Podgorica" posting.
Third suggestion, if you are keen to see something different and perhaps have never been to Rome, to take a ferry from Split to Ancona, then a train Ancona to Rome (either direct or with a detour to, say, Florence) and finally a low cost flight from Rome to Istanbul. These days you have Blue Express and Pegasus linking Italy with Turkey at very competitive prices.
Nov 15, 2012 5:49 AM
2As Partire... told you, there are tons of possible itineraries. You could also spend a whole week in
or Montenegro and Kosovo
or Albania and Kosovo
or Albania and Macedonia
or Albania and Northern Greece
Shortest land itinerary:
Split - Sarajevo by bus (AUTOPODUZEĆE, dp 09:30 - ar 17:30 or AUTOPREVOZ-BUS, dp 16.00 - ar 22.20
Sarajevo - Nis by bus (NIS EXPRESS, Pale dp 9.40 and 19-00- Nis ar 18.30 and 03.50)
Nis - Sofia by train or bus,
Kapikule or Edirne - Istanbul by bus
Nov 15, 2012 6:26 AM
3In my humble opinion, Sarajevo is definitely worth a visit.
Having said so, I guess that the shortest scheduled bus route from Split to Nis would via either Zagreb-Belgrade (more frequent service) or Mostar-Belgrade (more scenic route), rather than going via Sarajevo, which involves a lot of backtracking.
Other option: to skip Greece and fly directly to Istanbul from either Sarajevo or Belgrade (or even Pristina). Again you may be able to secure a one-way ticket for less than 100 euro, which is quite competitive (and perhaps even cheaper than overland travel, if you consider the expense of the bus tickets - that will not be less than 50 or 60 euro these days - and of eating and drinking for the duration of the trip).
Nov 15, 2012 6:47 AM
Nov 15, 2012 7:11 AM
5Final option: ferry Split to Ancona, train to Rome and a low-cost flight to Istanbul!
Although, all things considered (and also bearing in mind the cost and logistics of travelling overland or by sea from Greece to Turkey), a flight from Sarajevo or Belgrade to Istanbul is likely to be the cheapest solution: I just tried a couple of random dates in January and February and the prevailing one-way prices seems to be in between 100 euros (JAT from Belgrade) and 150 euros (Turkish Airlines from Sarajevo).
Nov 23, 2012 5:10 AM
6After a month in Greece we travelled around Albania ( rental car) and then took buses from Tirana to Ohrid which we really enjoyed in Macedonia, then up to Skopje, on to Sofia where we changed buses the same day and went on to Veliko Tarnovo. From here we caught the overnight train to Istanbul......not recommended as you have two changes to buses en route so not a pleasant journey.It will be OK once you can do the whole trip by train.....they are doing some line maintenance which won;'t be finished till some time next year.
Had we had an extra day or two I would have caught a bus to Plovdiv and then bus to Istanbul. Finding buses that went where we wanted to go was a challenge which is why we went this route. We had hoped to go to Plovdiv from Ohrid but couldn't.However, Skopje is well worth visiting. ...and Veliko Tarnovo which is lovely.....would be much nicer than Sofia which on driving through didn't look any better than it was when I visited 40 years ago! Maybe it's charms are hidden.
You will want time in Istanbul ( unless you have been there recently)....if you stay in the old town down by the Bosphorous you are really close to the main sights.Easy 10 minute walk to Topkapi Place, Aghia Sophia, Basilica Cisterns, Archeology Museum, Grand Bazaar, Blue Mosque, Old Mosque etc a little further but still walking distance.
You won't probably fit all this in but any of these options were great.
Dec 11, 2012 5:36 AM
7thanks for all the great tips guys -Partireeunpomorire, neckervd, kiwitraveller1t I ended up with a combination - and extending the trip a month. it ended up looking something like - Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia (Mostar & Belgrade), Hungary, Poland, Ukraine Turkey Dubai (friends there), Jordan, Israel, Istanbul -> home.
So, this time around I missed out on Bulgaria, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Romania. But this haphazard itinerary was unexpectedly rewarding. And, now I know just enough to come back through as part of a different trip.
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