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Middle East travel

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1. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

Hi folks,

If I go backpacking through Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Egypt and maybe Israel, what is it like getting around? In terms of local bus services, or trains, or short flights? Is it as easy as continental Europe? Cheers for any help. Oh and any visa requirements? I know you can get a Turkish one easily.

2. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 8y

Travelling around those countries is fairly straightforward with connections at least just as good as in Europe, if not better due to the lack of money to buy cars for everyone!
Don't know about flights, but buses and the occasional train will be your best option. Buses usually are faster than trains and price difference are small. Some nice trainrides in Syria on the other hand are from Aleppo to Latakia and from Deir Ez Zor to the Turkish border, Qamishle or something that was, for travelling into Turkish Kurdistan.
Also roads and services are pretty good, and usually you get a drink and in Turkey some handcleaning stuff as well! It's pretty fun and you are taken good care off.

Considering visa, I know that apart from Turkey, you will be able to get a visa upon arrival in Jordan, Egypt and Israel.
I am not sure about Syria though. I thought it was only possible when you don't have an embassy in your home country. Better to get it in Turkey before you go to Syria.

3. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

Nice one Utrecht (are you Dutch?) so I just check out a few visas before I set off and I'm cushty! Much need to book hostels and whatnot in that part of the world during the summer months? Is it as busy as Paris/Barca et al during the summer? Cheers.

4. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 8y

Yep, Dutch to the bones

No need to book hostels or something before you arrive. Plenty of accommodation and actually the summer months are not really highseason, well apart from the coastal areas of Turkey and Jordan/Egypt. But for travelling around it is not busier in summer than in spring, autumn or even winter. Best time is actually april/may or october.
It can be pretty hot out there in summer, 45 is no exception.

Have fun!
Michael

5. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

Awesome, good public transport, not too busy in the hostels and 45 degrees! Sold!

That's my summer for 2009 then! To go from Istanbul to Cairo (and the rest of Egypt) with flights, hostels, food, sightseeing etc what do you reckon for a total budget. I'm in the UK flights either from NW (Liverpool, Manchester) or SE (Heathrow, Gatwick) whichever is cheaper. From 1st July - end of September. 3 months! I say £4k all in?

6. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

I reckon you'll have plenty of change from £4k. Not expensive countries - Eastern Turkey, Syria and Egypt are particularly cheap. Jordan less so - still a bargain by Western European standards though.

7. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

Sweet so I could do it on less? Just trying to work out much I need to earn!

8. Posted by magykal1 (Travel Guru 2026 posts) 8y

I did a similar trip in 2001, so a while ago, travelling from Athens to Cairo. I took a bit over 2 months. I think I spent about £1400 in total including flights. Granted, it may be a little more expensive now, but I still don't think you'll need much more than £2K, certainly not more than £2500. Spending more time in Jordan may drain your funds a little quicker than the other countries - I was there for less than a fortnight.

9. Posted by bertles86 (Inactive 108 posts) 8y

Awesome mate, so say I save up £2k and in 2 months I could cover:

Greece - just Athens
Turkey - Istanbul, and somewhere between there and Syria?
Syria - Aleppo, Damascus, Crac des Chevaliers, anywhere else?
Jordan - Amman, Petra, where else?
Israel - Jerusalem
Egypt - Cairo, Luxor, where else?

:)

10. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5596 posts) 8y

Quoting bertles86

Awesome mate, so say I save up £2k and in 2 months I could cover:

Greece - just Athens
Turkey - Istanbul, and somewhere between there and Syria?
Syria - Aleppo, Damascus, Crac des Chevaliers, anywhere else?
Jordan - Amman, Petra, where else?
Israel - Jerusalem
Egypt - Cairo, Luxor, where else?

:)

No problem!
In Syria: visit Palmyra
In Jordan: visit Wadi Rum and the Death Sea
In Egypt: visit Sinai desert and Abu Simbel.

Cheers!
Michael