Keşan is a city in Eastern Thrace, NW of Turkey. It’s located on a junction on which roads from four cardinal directions intersect (west from Greece, east from Istanbul, south from Çanakkale/Aegean coasts, and north from Edirne).
This is the first major Turkish town on the highway when arriving in Turkey from Greece. It’s only about 20 km from the border. From Istanbul in the east, it’s about a three-hour drive (about 210 km) on a straight and wide road (two lanes per direction).
There are lots of buses (about once every 30 minutes) from Istanbul (through Tekirdağ, 1 hr 15 min, 15 TL) and Edirne during daytime. Keşan’s 1 main bus station (otogar) is located in the outskirts of the city, near a highway, but there are free minibuses (which your bus company provides) and public minibuses to take you from there to city centre.
Most buses between the main European side bus station in Istanbul (Esenler Otogar) and Canakkale on the Dardanelles Straights stop here. A major bus company on this route is Truva Turizm. Buses go each direction frequently and it is possible to buy a ticket with Kesan as your destination. Other companies serving Keşan include Metro, İstanbul Seyahat, Pamukkale and the homegrown Keşan Birlik.
There are two supermarkets (big-box store type) located on the opposite sides of major crossroad there.
If you are in for a quick bite while on the way, there is a Big Burger restaurant next to the large supermarket on the side of the big crossroad.
- Enez — a town on the Aegean coast about 60 km to the southwest, with long sandy beaches and a Byzantine citadel
Just south from Keşan, beyond a scenic stretch of hills covered by pine forests and other Mediterranean vegetation, is the northern coastline of the Saros Bay (Saros Körfezi), an arm of the northern Aegean Sea.
Branching off into a rural road 10 km south of Keşan will bring you to 1 Çamlıca, formerly a Greek village known as Grabuna, with some well-preserved stone buildings. On every January 9, the villagers go on a ghost walk with torches and in costumes to celebrate the Bocuk Gecesi ("witches night"), a tradition often compared to Halloween and brought by their ascendants from their former homeland in the Balkans.
Further south from Çamlıca is the village of 2 Gökçetepe. The village proper is nothing fascinating (but certainly is also not ugly), and the area is better renowned for the Gökçetepe Nature Park. There is also the scant ruin of a 3 castle on a cape down on the coast, built by the Genoese as part of a series of forts and colonies around the Aegean and Black Seas to control trade, but getting there involves lots of getting lost in a maze of dirt roads through the fields and forests.
Southeast of the village, the 4 Gökçetepe Nature Park (Gökçetepe Tabiat Parkı, entrance fee) is set along a shingle beach sandwiched between a lovely cove and beautiful pine-clad mountains. The nature park has businesses offering food and drinks, and campgrounds, but note that the place can be extremely overcrowded in summer weekends. The seawater here is refreshingly cold regardless the season, as is typical in the northern Aegean.
West from here, the population density drops sharply and a dirt track leads through forests and past some desolate beaches, eventually to İbrice Limanı. Sometimes this road is blocked to public access by the Forestry Ministry, and if that is the case, head back inland past the Gökçetepe village some distance north of it, towards a backcountry road (partially unpaved although easy to navigate by a standard family car and unmarked by some maps) branching off towards Pırnar. Continue onto Çeltik through a pretty rural landscape; the route will take you to the main road towards the developed Saros resorts of Mecidiye and Erikli.
|Routes through Keşan|
|Kırklareli ← Uzunköprü ←||N S||→ Gelibolu → Çanakkale ()|
|END ←||W E||→ Tekirdağ → Istanbul ()|
|Thessaloniki ← İpsala ←||W S||→ Merges with|