These are our views based on our experience in the Middle East in 2007. Syria was the most expensive country, on a par with Europe. Turkey was not far behind. Iran was the cheapest but then we stayed for free most of the time and diesel costs virtually nothing..


Type of vehicle

Land Rover Defender 110 TD5 with a Bimobil demountable on the back.


Same as for Europe. .

Spares and Maintenance

We had no problems in Turkey. Amman has a Land Rover importer of spares.


Everything takes at least a day. This the same all over the world when you are away from home as you need to find out which garage can do the service, find the garage, then hope they can attend to you immediately. Service centres are easy to find in Turkey. Do not know about other countries..


Petrol and diesel are always available except Iran. In Iran the service stations can be far apart and there may be long queues for diesel. We always went to the head of the truck queue and were allowed in as we only tanked 70 litres max. Tourists can purchase petrol cards whenever needed. Iranians are restricted to 90 litres a month.

NB: In Iran the first diesel station is about 40 kilometers from the border at Maku. The last diesel station is at Zahedan, 100k from the border. It is best to fill any jerry cans away from these places as they may not give you all the diesel you need.

Road conditions

Good in most places, although the camber on the Turkish roads is all wrong.

Be prepared, if you take a wrong urn it can be kilometers before there is an opportunity to turn around - very frustrating. There are also very nasty speed humps in some areas like the south of Syria and parts of Iran.


Third Party is required in Turkey and Syria. It is available at the border.


A carnet is issued by the Automobile Association in your home country.  It is a guarantee that you will either not sell the vehicle or will pay the import duty if you do sell. For this reason a deposit is required by the AA. But do check with other countries. We have heard but not confirmed that the UK does not require a deposit.

It is required for Syria and Iran.


We spent 5.5 months in the Middle East and 79% of nights were spent free camping. We parked in shopping centres in Turkey, in quiet roads and beside main roads.

 In Iran we generally parked near 'parks'. Each town has a park where Iranians come for relaxation, they have water, toilets and often shaded parking but it can be very noisy. The Tourist Inn in Esphahan apparently will allow people to camp in their cars. There is a Tourist Complex in Shiraz with a campground..

We ran out of chemicals for the porta potti and are now using bleach.


There are supermarkets in Jordan and Turkey. Other countries have small grocery stores. Pork is not available. The main meat is chicken


The water is drinkable everywhere except in the south of Iran. It is readily available from public taps.

Medication is not regulated in Jordan, Syria and Iran but not always available especially in Iran.



Borders were easy to cross, just a matter of procedures. Both Syria and Iran required visas up front.


Both dollars and euros are accepted with a slight preference for euros.

We spent an average of Euro 42 per day.


People everywhere are friendly and helpful. In Iran especially they invite you into their homes for a meal.


Internet Cafes are readily found. Many allow you to bring your own Laptop.


A GPS is handy, although there are enough roman script directions to get by with.

Jordan Syria Turkey Georgia Iran
Cost per litre diesel 0.30 0.46* 1.16 0.63 0.02
Camping per night (2 people) 7.55 4.48 8.07 0.00 17.11**
Kilometers traveled 2,207 1,993 7,427 1,203 6,587
Days in country 39 10 66 5 41

NB: Currency is Euros

*Includes diesel tax

** hotels not camp sites