Getting to Turkey By Air
Most people choose to fly via Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul. There are frequent flights from most European capitals and good services from both North America and Australia/New Zealand with Turkish Airlines (THY). Booking with THY is more convenient as your return flight from home country to Erzurum (gateway airport to the area) is, in effect, one ticket. If you choose a budget flight into Istanbul, you can then fly in to Erzurum with one of Turkey’s new private airlines. The following local airlines have English-language websites and offer online and/or phone booking:
Turkish Airlines – www.thy.com
Atlas Jet – www.atlasjet.com
Onur Air – www.onurair.com.tr
Pegasus – www.flypgs.com
Getting to Erzurum
By bus: The journey from Istanbul to Erzurum takes around 18 hours and allows you to see something of the country on the way. Buses are modern and comfortable; tea, coffee and cake are served on board and there are regular stops at service stations. Buses from Istanbul depart from Harem bus station on the Asian side of the Bosphorus or from Esenler on the European side. There are ticket offices for inter-city buses in many areas of the city and there’s a free shuttle service when you buy a ticket. You only have to book in advance during major holidays such as the religious festivals of Kurban and Seker Bayrami.
By train: If you have time (allow at least 32 hours), the most economical way to Erzurum is by train from Ankara. (** There is no train service from Istanbul until about 2014) A train journey with the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) will allow you to see a lot of the country and meet the locals. Pullman seats are the cheapest; a bed in a sleeping compartment is a little over double the cost of a Pullman seat. Check out the TCDD website http://www.tcdd.gov.tr/tcdding/index.htm or call 90 312 309 0515 (Turkish)
from Erzurum to Coruh Valley
There is a very good bus connection from Erzurum to Uzundere, Yusufeli and Ispir. There are four buses a day from Erzurum local bus station to Yusufeli (passing through Uzundere). There are also three buses a day to Ispir. From Uzundere, Yusufeli and İspir you can reach your destination by local buses. If you tell the bus company in Erzurum where you are going, they can arrange the connection or they will inform you about the timetable of the small village buses. As a general information, each village has its bus service to its district centre. In addition many of the villages which are areas interest have direct bus service from Erzurum. However, these small village buses depart from different locations in Erzurum city center. Local bus companies in “Erzurum semt garaji” (local terminal) will help you to find the locations of small village buses. In general there are minibus services to the city centers where villages are connected to. You can contact the following minibus companies for transfer information to the area.
Uzundere: Uzundere Municipality Minibusses, Golbası Local Terminal, Erzurum, P: 90 536 364 4444 (At least 3 services daily) Yusufeli: Yesil Artvin and Lüks Artvin Express Minibusses,, Golbası Local Terminal, Erzurum, P: 90 442 242 0188-89-90; Artvin P: 90 466 212 6633; Yusufeli P: 90 466 811 2005 (3 services both ways every day) Barhal ve Kilickaya: Yusufeli-Artvin Minibus Coopration, Yusufeli, P: 90 466 811 2474 (Several services every day) Ispir: Oz Ispir Hacibeyoglu Tourism Minibusses, Gez Mah. Bati Local Terminal, P: 90 442 234 3180 (8 services both ways during the season)