<map lat="40.59866408952" lng="43.10173062439" zoom="14" view="4" float="right" height="300" width ="300" country="Turkey" />
Kars, in north-eastern Turkey, is the capital and largest city of the Kars province in Eastern Anatolia. The city lies within 70km of the Armenian border, which is closed and is the largest city in range of the Georgia border, which is open.
West towards Erzurum
There are two options for this direction:
- The key to hitch-hiking out of Kars is to get to the bypass (E697 / D965) that runs around the south of the city. From the corner of Erzurum-Kars Karayolu and A.Gaffar Okkan Blv you will have no problem getting a lift. To get there, from the street Davut Aksu Cd take a bus in the direction of Şube şefligi, a factory complex on the edge of town.
- The old road to Erzurum starts right in the city center, you can walk there. It's not a main road any more, so there is only local traffic, but you can still hitch a ride because after a few kilometres, the road passes very close to the main road (you can see it) and you can just walk 200 m over the fields.
East towards Ani
Ani is 45 km due east of Kars and located on the Armenian border (which is closed). You can get a lift by walking out of town and thumbing. There are several villages along the way, and a school bus back to Kars on weekdays at 15:00. There are several dolmuşes that pass along this way at that time, mostly taking students and teachers. The cost from Kars to Ani is normally 7.5TL.
The dolmuş from Kars to Ani goes once per day at around 12pm from Halk Bank.
Experience towards Ani
In June 2015, Marion_and_John hitched from Kars to Ani and back. It took us 5 lifts to get to Ani (cumulated waiting time: 45 minutes) and 1 back to Kars (waiting time:10' at 4pm). Traffic is very light but probability of getting a lift on a given car is large. There is a great area to pitch a tent if you start late: after about 9kms after the intersection of E691 (road Ardahan-Erzurum) and D070 (road to Ani), the road gets to a path (1950m). The two hills on the right (south-west side) makes for scenic camping. Marion_and_John camped at 40°36.327'Nx43°19.413'E.
In December 2018, tp00080 hitched Kars to Ani. I waited just past the last crossroads out of town in the direction of Ani. Traffic was very sparse, I probably waited an hour or so for my first ride as far as Subotan. There is a bus that goes there two, but even that wouldn't stop for me. Next ride soon afterwards went as far as Esenkent. Here traffic is very sparse indeed. As I walked the last 8km from there, probably about 10 cars at most passed, mostly taxis and a couple of coaches. I started hitching at about 9:30 am and arrived at 1pm. To return, a boy at the entrance to the ruins told me that I would be able to hitch on the bus parked there. Don't rely on it; they decided that as it was a private tour, they wouldn't take me. I walked back in the dark and was picked up near Soylu by a taxi full of locals going to Kars who saved me from a cold night of camping. If you are in the same situation, there is a streetlamp at Essenkent where you can stand; Soylu didn't seem to have such luxuries.