Road Trips in Turkey with HalalBooking: Edirne-Bodrum Route
Get ready for stunning travels with our special routes for those who want more than a single destination; those who prefer a dynamic holiday with ever-changing scenery; those who go on a holiday once a year, so would like to see more than one place; and especially for those who love being on the roads.
The first road trip starts from the Turkish lands of Thrace and follows the western coasts from one end to the other and takes you to the beautiful coastal towns of the Aegean Region and finally to Bodrum, the pearl of the Aegean.
Get ready to hit the road!
Our road trip, starts with a tour full of history and culture in Edirne, and will end with Bodrum's magnificent coast and authentic landscapes that warm the soul. During your trip, you will see Aegean islands, the great war heroes of history, vast forests and stunning natural landscapes, taste delicious local cuisine and spend an unforgettable holiday.
Istanbul airport is one of the best connected airports in the world, both for international and domestic Turkish flights. Rent a car from Istanbul Airport and start your road trip. You can deliver the car you rented in İstanbul Airport to the car rental company located in Bodrum-Milas Airport or Bodrum town centre. After leaving the airport, drive 50 km on the O-7/North Marmara Motorway and turn right on to the O-3/E80/European Motorway. You will arrive in Edirne after approximately 150 kms. If you want to start your road trip from Çanakkale, continue on the O7 towards the E84 Motorway and proceed directly to Çanakkale without stopping off in Edirne.
For those who come to Turkey from Europe with their own vehicle, the trip starts at the Edirne Kapıkule Border Gate. After the border gate, follow the D100/Kapıkule Road. You will arrive at Edirne city centre in approximately 20 minutes.
EDİRNE - known as the son of Bursa, and the father of Istanbul
The city was the capital of the Ottoman Empire between 1365-1453 after Bursa and before the conquest of Istanbul. It is still home to many Ottoman buildings and monuments. You will also be astounded by the cuisine of Edirne with its delicious tastes.
Park your car in one of the free car parks near Selimiye Mosque and start your tour of Edirne.
Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex (Külliye), known as the masterwork of Mimar Sinan, is one of the most important works of the Ottoman Period. The mosque, with its excellent architectural features, interior design, courtyard and library, is a magnificent work of art and was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011. Praying at Selimiye Mosque will be one of the most unforgettable experiences of your trip. You can visit the Turkish-Islamic Art Museum, the Kulliye Health Museum, and shop at the Selimiye Arasta, the covered bazaar of Edirne. They are all located in the same area.
See other Ottoman monuments such as Edirne Old Mosque, Üç Şerefeli (Burmalı) Mosque, Saatli Madrasa where Fatih Sultan Mehmet also studied, and Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Bath, which are all within a 5-minute walk of each other.
İf you are visiting Edirne, you have to eat the famous fried liver of Edirne. Most of the liver restaurants do not serve alcohol. Aydın Tava Ciğer Restaurant or Ciğerci Niyazi Usta Restaurant offer other local delicacies such as fried Karaağaç pepper, Hayrabolu dessert and cheese halva. Also, the restaurant menus include grilled dishes and special Edirne meatballs for families with children.
You can also choose to have Turkish breakfast in an open-air breakfast restaurant located by the Meriç River.
Get back on the road to Çanakkale with the influence of Ottoman history and the natural beauty of Meriç. Follow the D550/E87 Edirne-Çanakkale Road and in 2 hours and 45 minutes you will arrive at Çanakkale Kabatepe Ferry Port to go to Gökçeada.
Çanakkale was one of the fronts where the fight for independence was felt the most during the First World War. It is of great importance not only in terms of its history but also because it is one of the rare cities in the world that has land on two continents: Europe and Asia. With its magnificent nature, stunning views of the straits of the Dardanelles, impressive historical heritage and authentic islands in the Aegean Sea, every moment of your trip to Çanakkale will be unforgettable.
The Çanakkale - Gökçeada ferry arrives at Gökçeada Kuzulimanı after approximately 1 hour from Çanakkale Kabatepe Ferry Port. Ferry services are organized by GESTAŞ and information such as departure hours, online tickets and pricing can be easily accessed on their website.
Choose your accommodation in Gökçeada and spend a peaceful night in the authentic atmosphere of the island. Located in the historical area of Gökçeada, within walking distance of Kaleköy port, Salkim Boutique Hotel is among the most popular properties with its stone building, friendly atmosphere and delicious cuisine. You can leave your car in the car park near the hotel by paying 7 TRY per day. The hotel restaurant offers a wonderful Turkish breakfast with fresh Aegean flavours. After having breakfast here, you will be ready for your trip to Gökçeada.
Located at the entrance of the Gulf of Saros and formerly known as Imbros, Gökçeada is the largest island in Turkey. Do not forget to taste the famous Dibek coffee in Zeytinli, a village famous for its olive trees, and visit Dereköy, the old Greek village mentioned on the map of the Piri Reis (Ottoman sea map of the Central Atlantik) in the 16th century, and Tepeköy, which is located at the highest point of the island. If you visit the island between June 10 and July 10, you will see why it is calledd Lavender Island, with the lavender production in the fields. You can collect your own bouquet from lavender gardens and buy products such as lavender sachets and lavender oil as a souvenir. You can take a mud bath in Salt Lake, believed to have healing effects, and experience sports such as windsurfing and kitesurfing on the island, famous for its wind.
Çanakkale City Centre
Return to Çanakkale by ferry departing from Kuzulimani. After getting off at Kabatepe Ferry Port in Eceabat, you can start to follow the traces of the Dardanelles War and see the fronts where thousands of soldiers fought in 1914. In the region also known as the Gallipoli peninsula, you can visit the Çanakkale Martyrs' Memorial, the 57th Regiment Memorial, the Conk Bayırı (Chunuk Bair) and the Namazgah Bastion, and pray for the Muslim soldiers who died whilst defending their homeland.
Çanakkale has witnessed significant wars not only in the last century but also thousands of years ago. The most well-known among them is the Trojan War, which left its mark on history with the famous Trojan Horse strategy. To see the Trojan Horse and visit the Troy Museum, follow the E87/D550 to the İzmir - Çanakkale road. Turn onto the Tevfikiye road and drive 16 km, and you will arrive at the Troy Museum. You can see marble statues, sarcophagi, inscriptions and many other works of ancient times in the museum. It is located right at the entrance of the Ancient City of Troy, which was included in the UNESCO list in 1998. This trip will be like a visual history lesson and a unique opportunity for families with children.
You will experience peaceful moments on your Balıkesir trip with its Kaz Mountains, the most oxygen-rich region in the world after the Alps, nearby Ayvalık with its stone streets and authentic atmosphere, the warm Aegean island of Cunda and the views of the Aegean Sea that will accompany you along the road.
After visiting the Troy Museum and tracing the 3000-year-old heritage in the ancient city, you are ready to set off for Altınoluk. Follow the E87 motorway and after 87 km, approximately 1 hour, stop and stay at the Rawda Resort Hotel Altınoluk. Rawda Resort Hotel is a magnificent alcohol-free hotel with its stylish and modern rooms, beautiful gardens, open buffet restaurant, outdoor swimming pool (open during summer) and its own beach. Walk on the beach or rest in the shade of lush trees, Altınoluk offers the most peaceful and relaxing atmosphere for you. After enjoying the open buffet breakfast, set off towards the world-famous Kaz Mountains (Ida Mountains).
After driving 22 kms on the E87, turn to Mustafa Kemal Boulevard. After 16 kms, you will arrive at Kaz Mountains National Park. Kaz Mountains is one of the destinations frequently preferred by asthma patients due to experiencing both land and sea climates together and high oxygen levels. It has been used as a settlement since 2000 BC and is home to many natural beauties. Travellers overwhelmed by the summer heat prefer to visit the beautiful ponds of the Kaz Mountains to cool off a little. Hasan Boğuldu Pond and Sütüven Waterfall, which have been the subject of folk songs with their stories, are a gem among lush trees. The remains of Antandros Ancient City, believed to have been founded by the Pelasgians in the 10th century BC, reveal the history of the region. Do not forget to have a picnic, go on a bicycle tour and explore its rich flora and fauna in Kaz Mountains.
Your Balıkesir trip continues with the Ayvalık route. Continue on the E87 motorway, after 30 kms the road turns right for Ayvalık. Choose one of the hotels in Ayvalık and enjoy the warm Ayvalık night. Located at the top of the Şeytan Sofrası (Devil's Table) and viewing the Ayvalık Islands, Ivy Sailing Resort is an alcohol-free hotel and offers its own beach (mixed-gender), a ladies-only secluded outdoor swimming pool and a jacuzzi in some rooms. You can choose a full board plan and enjoy its restaurant which is alcohol-free and serves an open buffet for 3 meals with all halal food.
Ayvalık Islands, consisting of 22 small islands in total, are undoubtedly the most famous attractions of Ayvalık. The biggest and most famous of these islands is Alibey, also known as Cunda Island. Cunda Island, as popular as the other Aegean islands Bozcaada and Gökçeada, has been made accessible by a 20-minute drive on a road built over the sea. Among the tourist attractions of Cunda Island are the historical Cunda Windmill, the Rahmi Koç Museum, also known as Taksiyarhis Church and dating back to 1873, the Despot's House, which is one of the most famous Greek mansions of the island, the Analemmatic Sundial, with which you can find out what time it is according to the angle of the sun, and the Cunda Market, where you can find locally produced fresh Aegean herbs.
On your way to the centre of Ayvalık, you should definitely see the famous Saatli Mosque, which was built as a church in the 1800s but was converted into a mosque after the population exchange between Greece and Turkey in 1928. Due to the conversion of the old bell of the church into a clock tower, the people called it the Saatli (Clock) Mosque. The most famous hill of Ayvalık with its magnificent view is the Şeytan Sofrası (Devil's Table), a great spot to watch the sunset over the sea and take photos.
Do not forget to taste the famous Ayvalık toast and curd cookies served with mastic ice cream. Now you can say goodbye to Ayvalık and set off for Foça.
İzmir is one of the most important holiday destinations in Turkey and has always offered its guests unforgettable holiday experiences with its city centre and seaside resort areas. Its festivals, warm and friendly atmosphere, natural beauties and magnificent properties will colour your road trip on the Aegean coast.
After leaving Ayvalık, follow the D550/E87 motorway for 107 kms and turn on to Bahçelievler Mevki Road. After 23 kms, you will arrive in Foça, a welcoming Aegean town.
Divided into two, known as Eski (old) Foça and Yeni (new) Foça, the town has a serene atmosphere that fascinates visitors and makes them fall in love with it. Its authentic stone streets and nostalgic houses give you the feeling that time has stopped. Foça is known as a “cittaslow”, meaning a calm city, allowing you to stay away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Eski Foça offers picturesque views with its stone houses and narrow streets. It is famous for its tourist facilities and authentic atmosphere. Beşkapılar Castle, also known as Foça Castle, which is thought to have been built by the Byzantines in the 11th century, reached its current form with the addition of castle walls and towers by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century. Nowadays, a part of the castle is used for activities such as open-air theatre, exhibitions and events. Visit the Eski Foça Harbour and the Earth Market (Yeryüzü Pazarı), which is an official member of the “Slow Food” movement, the trend of choosing organic and healthy foods as opposed to fast food culture. Many holiday homes are located in Yeni Foça. You can also find secluded coves to swim between Eski Foça and Yeni Foça.
To get to İzmir city centre from Foça, follow the Foça - İzmir motorway, after 14 kms turn on to Çiğli - Foça Road. After 4 kms in the direction of 9 Eylül Street, turn on to the D550/E87 motorway, and in 26 kms you will arrive in İzmir. The distance from Foça to İzmir is about 63 kms and takes about 1 hour.
İzmir City Centre
When you are on a road trip in the Aegean Region, your path will definitely pass through the city centre of İzmir. The city centre is full of historical buildings. The Clock Tower, which is the most important part of the İzmir skyline, the Historical Elevator Building which was built in the early 1900s to create a transition between two neighborhoods that cannot be connected to each other due to geographical conditions, Konak Yali Mosque, also known as the Zarif (elegant) Mosque due to its beautiful design, the Izmir Wildlife Park, where the old İzmir Zoo was moved and the numerous museums of İzmir are just some of the places you should definitely visit on your city tour.
For dining, you can choose the alcohol-free, meat and fish restaurant Yunus Emre Sofrası, in Güzelyalı or the Dönmez Restaurant in Urla, a small, alcohol-free, seafood restaurant with beautiful sea views. İzmir is also famous for Kokoreç, a charcoal-grilled seasoned lamb intestines dish. The most famous kokoreç restaurant is the Kokoreçci Asım Usta, which serves it at its Bornova branch.
To reach İzmir's most beautiful coastal town, Çeşme, get on the O32/E881 motorway from Mustafa Kemal Sahil Boulevard. After 66 kms you will arrive in Çeşme. Choose one of the hotels in Çeşme and enjoy this beautiful Aegean town.
There are many historical and cultural attractions in Çeşme. Çeşme Castle, which was built in 1508 by Yıldırım Bayezid to protect the town from Venetian attacks, hosts many festivals today. Alaçatı Pazaryeri Mosque, which was built as a church for the Greeks living in Alaçatı in 1874 and later converted into a mosque, is another must-see attraction with its stone building and eye-catching decoration. Especially in recent years, many local and foreign tourists prefer the nearby Alaçatı thanks to its climate suitable for windsurfing and its historical atmosphere. Visit the historical windmills, take a walk on the cobblestone streets and visit the Alaçatı Çarşı (Bazaar).
Another must-visit while in Ceşme is the Greek island of Chios. You can get to Chios by ferry in 45 minutes or fast catamarans in 15-30 minutes departing from Çeşme. Tickets are free for 0-6 year-olds and there is a 50% discount for 7-12 year-olds. You can check the ferry services and fees online. Since Chios is one of the Greek islands, you must have an international passport, Turkish green passport, Schengen visa, or border visa.
Since Chios is a very large island, it is worth staying there for one night. HalalBooking offers properties in Chios. Embark on a historical exploration on Chios with its Pirgi Village, which has been standing since the 11th century, Boyalı Village with its tiled-patterned houses,and Mesta Village, a medieval village built with a castle structure to protect it from pirates, and many other authentic settlements. Explore the secluded bays of the island and enjoy the Aegean Sea with your car or by renting a car on the island.
After your visit in Çesme, you will be heading to Sığacık/Seferihisar. Follow the D300 for 35 kms and turn on to Ahmet Besim Uyal Street. Turn onto Ovacık Street after 4 kms and turn right on to the İzmir - Seferihisar Road. You will be in Sığacık/Seferihisar after 15 kms. Your drive will take approximately 1 hour.
Sığacık, just like Foça, has also earned the title of "Cittaslow" . Contrary to the crowded and lively coastal towns, life in Sığacık is much calmer and much more organic. The historical heritage of the town begins in the Ancient City of Teos and continues with the Sığacık Castle, which was built by the Seljuks. On a Sunday you can visit the Sığacık Üretici Pazarı (Farmer's Bazaar), a member of the slow food movement, and taste the Aegean flavours grown organically by local producers.
After your visit in Sığacık, continue on Seferihisar Road and continue in the direction of Kuşadası - Seferihisar Road. After 18 kms, continue on to İzmir street. After 30 kms you will arrive in Ephesus-Selçuk. This 77-kilometre drive takes approximately 1 hour and 13 minutes. Choose one of the hotels in Selçuk and discover the vast history of the Aegean.
Selçuk - Ephesus
Known as the world's largest open-air museum, Selçuk is home to many historical artifacts. The most famous one is the Ancient City of Ephesus, which includes the ruins of the buildings recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Isa Bey Mosque, which was built by Aydınoğulları in the 14th century, the Kuba-Kümbet Masjid, which is still open for prayers, and the Kılıçaslan Mosque, which was built during the times of the Anatolian Beyliks, are some of the historical mosques that should be seen. You can practise windsurfing, canoeing and other water sports and take part in jeep, ATV and horse safaris on the beaches around Ephesus.
Located on the magnificent Pamucak Beach of Selçuk, Hedef Beyt Hotel offers ladies-only and men-only indoor and outdoor pools. Its spa centres offer hammam, sauna, steam rooms and skincare centres in completely secluded separate areas for men and women. With children pools, day and night entertainment shows, mini clubs and sports facilities, Hedef Beyt is a wonderful alcohol-free resort for families.
After your Ephesus trip, get ready to set off for Kuşadası.
Follow the D515 motorway for 19 kms, and after 23 minutes you will arrive in Kuşadası. Kuşadası has a fascinating beauty with its natural landscapes and has been a settlement since 4000 BC. Discover the Dilek Peninsula National Park, where all plant species in the region from the Mediterranean to the Black Sea coexist in their natural habitats, Güvercinada, which was later turned into a peninsula, the Ancient City of Kadıkalesi with its 6,000-year history and the Kaleiçi Mosque, built-in 1617.
After your visit to Kuşadası, get ready to set off for Bodrum. Continue on the D515 for 23 kms and turn on to the D525/Milas - Söke Road. After 45 kms stop at the Bafa Lake to take a break and witness its magnificent natural beauty. There are many cafes and restaurants around the lake. It has small islands such as Hayaletada, İkizada and Menet Island, and you can see ancient cities on the shores. You can taste Aegean dishes with olive oil, grilled specialities and snacks in the restaurant. Take a tour on the walking path around the lake or enjoy the lake views while sipping your coffee.
After the break, drive 39 kms east from the Milas-Söke Road/D525, and you will arrive at Milas town centre. Follow D330 for 49 kms and you will reach Bodrum.
For your Bodrum holiday, you can choose The Oba Hotel, an alcohol-free, five-star resort hotel opened in 2020. The Oba Hotel offers women-only, men-only and mixed-gender beach areas, indoor and outdoor pools, aqua parks, spa centres and children's entertainment facilities.
If you are looking for more affordable accommodation, you can choose İnanç Hotel Bodrum. The resort offers ladies-only beach area, indoor and outdoor pools, aqua park and spa centre.
Visit the Bodrum Castle, built by the Knights of St. John in the 15th century, the historic Windmills, built on the windy hills of Bodrum in the 1800s, and the ancient cities of Myndos, Iasos and Pedasa. Take daily boat tours to explore Bodrum's bays or organise a day trip to Datça by ferry. In Gümbet, Bitez, Turgutreis, Gümüşlük and Yalıkavak, you can try scuba diving with professional divers and enjoy water sports such as sailing, windsurfing and canoeing.
Although the number of alcohol-free restaurants seems to be limited in Bodrum, there are many restaurants and cafes where you can have delicious meals. The alcohol-free Bitez Köy Mantıcısı serves mantı, dumplings boiled and covered with yoghurt and garlic sauce, çiğ börek, deep-fried dough with raw minced meat filling, gözleme, stuffed flatbread and flour halva. Şirin Sebzeli Döner, which is located in Çarşı neighbourhood, Eskiköy Restaurant which offers food options such as pita, kebab and wraps in Gümbet and Ciğerciim Gümbet are among the alcohol-free restaurants.
Bodrum is the final destination of your unforgettable road trip, starting from Edirne and stopping by the magnificent seaside towns along the west coast. Follow D330 for 36 km on the north and you will arrive at the Bodrum - Milas Airport. You can leave your rented car at the car rental company's branch in Bodrum town centre or at Milas Airport.