I used Kamil Koc to make the trip from Canakkale to Istanbul. One airline, Onur Jet, offers flights to IST in certain days of the week, but I was interested to enjoy the scenery of this part of the country.
There are so many centrally located bus and tour companies in Canakkale, near the Tourist Information office and Clock Tower (Saat Kulesi).
The one way ticket cost me 75TL (2018) with Kamil Koc. I was told it was a 6 hour journey and the bus would leave near the ferry boat. Arrive 20 minutes before departure time.
First tip – the bus actually arrives and drives through the security gates into the ferry departure area. So you need to go through the ferry boat entry area, clear security gate, and look out for the Kamil Koc bus parked on the left hand side.
Second tip – keep your passport handy, not locked away in your suitcase. Approaching Istanbul, the bus pulled over at a security checkpoint – “Istanbul Emniyet Mudurlugu”. Security boards the bus and collects ID cards (Turkish) and passports (Foreigners) from everyone. Reappears half an hour later to return your ID and continue the journey.
Third tip – the trip to the Asian side (Umraniye) Istanbul otogar took 9 (not 6) hours. The European side otogar perhaps was closer to the 6-7 hours.
From the Umraniye otogar drop-off there are mini-bus (servis) connections to your destination, such as Kadikoy. No further charge for this. As you exit the arrival ramp, they’re right in front of you with signs.
From Canakkale, the bus crossed the Dardanelles aboard the ferry to Eceabat. We travelled north up the Gallipolli Peninsula and then East towards Istanbul. There is a half-way 30 minute break at a fast food terminal near Tekirdag. Scenery was great. Sea views on the right and fields of sunflowers along the way to Tekirdag. Kept wondering why people choose to create and live in “concrete jungles”, when there is still so much natural beauty, wide open spaces and tranquillity available to enjoy outside these cities.
The Istanbul leg was much less enjoyable – takes a couple of hours to make the Europe-Asia city crossing as the bus takes a northern route towards the Black Sea, crossing at the northern-most bridge, probably to avoid traffic.
A worthwhile experience, but might try the 50 minute Onur Jet flight next time…