Camping is not the accommodation of choice among Turkish holidaymakers, and facilities for camping can sometimes be relatively underdeveloped. However, they means they can also be havens of peace and tranquility, even in high season. Campsites are often found adjacent to pansions, or roughly established in their back gardens. If there is no site, and you still want to camp, you can often do so for a nominal fee or for free. Standards vary hugely, from a basic field to fully equipped sites. Charges fluctuate accordingly, running from $3 to $10 per night per tent.
For those who turn up without camping gear, campsites often have permanently erected tents, complete with comfortable mattresses, blankets and even clean sheets, along with simple A-frame wooden bungalows, similarly equipped for rent. The price and value of the bungalows depends on the individual site. They can be unbearably stuffy in the mornings however.
The most important consideration in the summer is shade – to avoid a six a.m. wake up by roasting, you must pitch your tent in such a position as to ensure that between 6 and 8 am you get the shade of one of the clusters of olive trees with which most sites are adorned. This is a skill which will come naturally to you after a few sweltering mornings.
There are some glorious places to camp in Turkey, and many places where camping is dictated, either by the natural beauty of the landscape or by the lack of any other choice. This is especially true of the Aegean coast, where camping is the ultimate way to enjoy undeveloped but idyllic beautyspots.
Trekking is growing in popularity among young Turkish people, and so camping in the wilds of the Kackar or Toros mountains is catching on. Information on camping in national park campsites can be had from Tourist Information Bureaus.
Youth hostels are not common in Turkey, especially once you leave Istanbul. Pansions are so reasonably priced that there is really no need for hostels. Some student dormitories, known as yurt, cater for short term summer lodgers (aged 18-26 with IYHF, IYC or ISIC cards) between 15 July-10 September but these are likely to be cramped, somewhat dreary and not centrally located. Information can be obtained from the Yurtkur General Directorate (Telephone: 312-431 11 00).
Hostels in Istanbul:
Orient International Youth Hostel
Akbiyik Caddesi 13
212-516-0171 / 516-0194
Sultan Tourist Hostel
2 Akbiyik Caddesi
Terbiyik Sok 3
Kutlugun sok 1