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From Istanbul to London in 56 days: what the longest bus route in the world looks like and how much it costs

The new epic bus adventure will take travelers 12,000 km from Istanbul to London. The 56-day trip, passing through 22 countries, is organized by the Indian company Adventures Overland.

Breaking the current record for the world’s longest bus route of 6,200 km, held by the Peruvian company Ormeño, the trip promises to be a “slow tourism” dream.

What is Adventures Overland?

Adventures Overland is an Indian travel company based in Gurgaon, a city southwest of New Delhi. Building on the “Hippie Trail” of the 50s-70s – a popular overland journey from Europe via Istanbul to Asia – the two owners of the company, Sanjay Madan and Tushar Agarwal, have been organizing unusual trips for everyone since 2012.

Their annual Road to London trip is a road trip to a different country with a different starting point each year. Now this concept will form the basis of the new epic bus route. The route was supposed to be launched back in 2020, but the pandemic prevented this and now the Bus to London will hit the road in August 2023.

In 2019, Road to London participants began their journey in India, passing through Southeast Asia, China, the Middle East, and Europe. The 16,000 km road trip took 50 days and crossed eight time zones.

The company has received rave reviews on social media. One Facebook user wrote that this trip turned him from a tourist into a traveler: “The only word I have is ‘amazing’. It’s not a trip, it’s an experience.”

According to another participant on the trip, this vacation turned out to be one of the brightest impressions in her life.

Where will the 56-day bus journey take you?

As for the bus, starting in Istanbul (Turkey), it will take travelers through the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Baltic countries, Scandinavia and Western Europe.

The bus will visit the capitals of Eastern and Central Europe, including Sofia in Bulgaria, Belgrade in Serbia, Zagreb in Croatia, Ljubljana in Slovenia, Budapest in Hungary, Bratislava in Slovakia, Prague in the Czech Republic and Warsaw in Poland, and will also stop by Auschwitz.

Further, travelers will go north to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, and then cross the Gulf of Finland and reach the village of Santa Claus and the northernmost point in Europe, which can be reached by road – Nordkapp.

Heading south through Norway, travelers will take the stunning Atlantic Road, stopping at Tromsø, Bergen, and Oslo, with the chance to see the Northern Lights along the way.

Further stops in Stockholm (Sweden) and Copenhagen (Denmark) will pave the way for the last week of travel through Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, and finally, culminating in London (UK).

What will the bus be like?

To some, the 56-day bus journey sounds like an epic adventure. For others, this may seem like a living hell.

To ease the suffering of passengers, Adventures Overland promises adjustable seats with reclining backs and plenty of legroom. The ‘two on one side, one on the other’ seating arrangement creates a wider aisle. In addition, travelers will have access to personal entertainment systems with AUX and USB ports.

The seats will also feature foldable trays and USB phone chargers. It is also planned to equip the bus with a toilet. Travelers will be allowed to take two full-size suitcases on board.

Between the stages of the trip, a day of rest is planned, during which no trips are provided. On other days, the bus will travel from 95 to 675 km – an average of about 440 km for each day of travel. In 28 days on the road, Bus to London participants will cover 12,265 km.

How much does it cost and what else is included?

The bus to London will depart from Istanbul on 7 August and arrive in London on 1 October 2023.

The cost of the trip is INR 2 million (€22,420) plus taxes per person. This amount includes all transport, visas, and hotel accommodation for two people sharing one double room. All breakfasts, 30 lunches, and 30 dinners are also paid for.

Local English-speaking guides are promised at each destination, as well as sightseeing and walking tours along the way.

Air tickets to the starting and ending points of the trip are not included. Travel insurance is also not included in the price, but it must be taken out since no one has canceled unforeseen expenses due to weather, delays, or breakdowns.

No more than 30 people can take part in the trip.

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