Difference between revisions of "Eskihisar"

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'''Eskihisar''' is a village just east of [[Istanbul]]. It’s located on the northern shore of the Gulf of Izmit and, most important of all, is where the cheapest ferries to [[Yalova]] across the Gulf can be found.
'''Eskihisar''' is a village just east of [[Istanbul]]. It’s located on the northern shore of the Gulf of Izmit and, most important of all, is where the cheapest ferries to [[Yalova]] across the Gulf can be found.

Revision as of 17:27, 20 May 2009

<map lat='40.77170187057763' lng='29.424476623535156' zoom='13' view='0' float='right'/>

Eskihisar is a village just east of Istanbul. It’s located on the northern shore of the Gulf of Izmit and, most important of all, is where the cheapest ferries to Yalova across the Gulf can be found.

Hitching in

You should be real lucky to find a direct lift to this little town from Istanbul. However, it’s not impossible at all if you’re ready to change cars inbetween.

From Taksim Square in European side of Istanbul, catch bus #129T (Taksim-Kozyatağı). This is, unlike many other busses crossing the Bosphorus Bridge, is a single-ticket line and will cost you around 1.50 TL (~€ 0.70/~US$ 1.10). Get off at the leaf-clover interchange named Bostancı Köprüsü, its last stop. You are now on D100 highway. Walk past the interchange until you see a safe shoulder down the road a couple hundred metres away. Start hitching there ready with a sign saying at least ‘Gebze’, it’ll make you more visible and look like a total hitchhiker. Drivers around here seem to have some concerns about sharing their car with a stranger and looking like a total hitchhiker seems to somewhat ease their anxiety. However, there are also many minibuses heading for Gebze on this road, so hiding your sign when they are passing by and shaking your head both sides when its headlights flash (to ask whether you’d like a ride … for a fee) may prevent some of the unwanted attention. Expect to wait at least 30 minutes until you are offered a lift. Morning hours (approx. between 6:30-8:30) are best since the road is congested at that time and vehicles move slowly, which lets the drivers to think more about taking you in. Beware of the motorcycles by the way, which sometimes illegally drive inside the shoulder and literally skim you over.

Once you are near Gebze, you are more likely to be dropped off on the highway, out of the city centre. Ask your driver to drop you off as near to Eskihisar as possible. At some part of the road, you’ll notice signs for Eskihisar, complete with a diagram for the ferry. Once on that corner of the road, you are about 30 minutes away from the ferry quay on foot.

Another cheap way (involving payment) to reach Eskihisar from Istanbul may be to take a suburban train (banliyö treni) from Haydarpaşa Station near Kadıköy, the main district of Istanbul on Asian side (To get to Kadıköy from European side, you can take ferries from Eminönü near Sultanahmet; Karaköy near Beyoğlu/Galata; or Beşiktaş near Taksim. They all cost 1.40 TL/person). Suburban train costs around 1.50 TL/pessenger. Ride it until Gebze, the last station on its route. However Gebze the station is not exactly located in Gebze the city centre (about 3-4 km inbetween), so don’t confuse each other. Then, once you are in Gebze station, you are again about 30 min of walk away from Eskihisar jetty. Ask around for the way there.

Useful Turkish words on this route are Feribot (pronounced fay-ree-baut) and İskele (pronounced ees-kay-lay), which mean “ferry” and “quay/jetty” respectively.


The ferry has a flat fare for cars, so it doesn’t really matter whether there is only one person (i.e. driver) in it, or it is occupied by ten people when it comes to payment. Thus, the easiest method to avoid paying for the ferry is to ask drivers whether you can cross the toll booth in their car. You can do this in the very front of the booth, just before the drivers pay the fee. Security guards there seem to be relaxed about this, not concerned if you dodge the payment in this way (However, they may make a real fuss if you simply try to walk through the booth without buying a token). Once on the other side of the booth, the car will likely to be taken into a seperate queue if the ferry has started to fill up. There you can wish your driver bon voyage (Turkish: iyi yolculuklar, pronounced ee-yee yohl-joo-look-laar) and walk yourself to the ferry itself: Once you are clear off the booth, no one asks for a receipt of a payment, neither when boarding the ferry nor when getting off.

If you happen to be on your unlucky day, ferry costs 2.80 TL/person (~€ 1.30/~US$ 2.10).

Across the Gulf of Izmit is the Topçular jetty, not much more than a harbour and related buildings really. The highway is very near, has a wide shoulder and enough traffic, so you can hitch your way forward quickly. The nearest town to the east is Çiftlikköy, about 15-20 km away. A distance sign on the road to Çiftlikköy says Yalova is only 2 km further away, but in fact, Yalova city centre is at least 7 km away from Çiftlikköy. The ‘2 km’ sign is just some sort of bureaucratical curiosity, it seems.

Other ferry lines plying a similar route depart from Yenikapı (near Sultanahmet in European side of Istanbul), Bostancı (in Asian side), and Pendik (in Asian side, too); all arriving at downtown Yalova. Though they cut down the road to be taken at both ends (no need to go through Gebze/Eskihisar/Topçular), they all require payments for each pessenger, whether in a car or not, and the ridiculous fares of around 12 TL per person (~€ 5.50/~US$ 8.60; and this is for pessengers riding in a car, it’s substantially more for pessengers without a vehicle!) go against the very idea of hitchhiking.

A way to avoid ferries altogether is to hitch east from Istanbul all the way to Izmit first, along the northern shore of the Gulf, then once in Izmit, hitch back to west to Yalova along the southern shore. This will add at least an hour more to your trip when compared with Eskihisar route.