After endless shifts, end-of-the-end car vans, and long coffee queus, everyone’s eyes are on the ring that is finishing Friday. When the ring bells, it means that it is time for two days escape. Although some people would say I am very tired and I will lie down on the couch at home and watch the series, although others would say I can not go out at the weekend because my mother-in-law will come, although some people would say the weather is so cold in these days, actually everybody wants to go somewhere at weekend. But to where? We can give many answers to this question. But let’s forget these answers and visit the neighbor. Neighbor? I’m talking about Greece. Prepare your backpack. This weekend we are going to Alexandroupolis.
Going To Alexandroupolis
When the subject is going to abroad, everybody usually stops and thinks a little bit. Because, everybody knows that before going to abroad you should solve many problems such as travel expenses, border crossings, accommodation and etc. Dont worry, if you want to go to Alexandroupolis, these are all very easy to solve. Only you should decide when to go and prepare your backpack.
We had applied to Schengen visa a few weeks before we decided to travel. After we got the visa and we settled the date. Due to it was a weekend trip, one backpack was enough for each of us. But afterwards I had to prepare a slightly larger bag to continue my trip to Kavala and Thessaloniki. If you are going only for a weekend, a single backpack would be enough.
To go to Dedeağaç, you can use both your private car and bus companies that regularly drive between Istanbul and Alexandroupolis. During our trip we preferred the bus, because it was cheaper and we would not go out of the city center due to the season. The bus journey lasts about 5 hours, including check-in and check-out procedures at the border. Istanbul-Alexandroupolis round-trip bus ticket prices are around 20$.
Crossing the Border
Crossing the border is quite comfortable except for a few formalities in the process. You are going to leave Turkey from İpsala Border Gate. When you reach to the border control point, you get off the bus to show your passport and wait for the police officer to stamp your passport. After your passport is stamped, you get on the bus again and head towards Greece. According to the people who use this border intensively, in the summer the border is more crowded. This means waiting at the border more than we did. Btw, to the people who may interested in, there is a Duty Free area after this checkpoint.
Once you have completed all the processes at the first checkpoint, then you come to the second and the final one. At this stage, a border patrol office get on the bus and quickly check the exit seals on your passports. If there is no problem, this means you are ready to go t Greece.
Entry procedures to Greece are also quite easy as they are in Turkish side. After arriving at the checkpoint, a Greek police officer get on the bus and collects passports. The goal is both to check your visas and to stamp your passport. If you have not entered Greece before, they want you to get off the bus and to give fingerprint. All these processes are completed in about half an hour. If you do not have any problems then your passports will be delivered to you and you will continue your journey on the bus. I do not know if it was our luck or not, but the staff at both borders were very polite and helpful.
After the border crossing, you are on a road of approximately 45 km to Alexandroupolis. This road is a highway. So, it is easy to drive. After 1 hour later, you reach Alexandroupolis.
Alexandroupolis bus station is quite a small building at the city center. Due to its location it is very useful for tourists. When you arrive at the terminal on El Venizelou street you can reach everywhere very conveniently. After that, it is time to explore Alexandroupolis.
Note: I would like to share an information for those who would like to go to Alexandroupolis by car. I have heard from people who drove to the city that it is difficult to find a gas station in the area in the evening. For this reason, it would be better for you to enter the Greece with full tank.