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Travelling in Turkey: Easier than I'm thinking? Probably yes...

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We are finally travelling to Turkey! I'm so excited, and at the same time, it seems harder to plan this trip than other places in Europe or the Americas. I really need your help.

After reading and looking pictures, we agreed to go to Istanbul, Cappadocia, and the Efesus region. We could still change if there are suggestions.

Here come the questions:

1) To tour or To go on our own outside Istanbul (Cappadocia and the Efesus region)? We never travel with tours, however, in this case my concerns are:
a) I have heard buses or trains are not that comfortable or enjoyable, we usually travel renting a car to get out of the big cities to our next destinations, but we think driving a car may be difficult in Turkey (hopefully it is not).
b) it may be difficult to find good guides at the place of interest, and after such a long trip we would like to take the most out of our trip
c) it may be much more expensive to travel on our own (the tours cost 950-1150 euros for 8 days excluding food)

2) If you think we could go on our own (at least part of the trip)
a) is it easy to rent a car and drive? (highway quality, getting help if we get lost, safety at the roads, traffic, cost)?
b) which part would you do it like that? Cappadocia? Efesus region? both?

3) If you suggest to go on tour, which one would you do (see both below)? we think that the Turkey Express could be better since we stay longer at fewer places (there are two flights included: to Cappadocia and to Izmir)

4) If we take the other one, Best of Turkey, there is a chance to take a ferry to Samos after the Efesus part. Is it worth it? from the pictures I saw at Pinterest.com, it seems to be a relaxing place (and it would compensate in some way our not yet accomplished wish to go to Greece). in that case, one day trip or staying overnight? the ferry to go there would cost around 200 euros for the four of us.

-----


Our info:

We are four (husband, two boys 13 and 10, and I) flying to Istanbul on the first week of May, for 11 days.

We always travel on our own (no tours) because I enjoy travel planning at home, and we love to just sit and relax at coffees and go at our own pace (also because we travel with kids, who happen to love history, but anyway, they are kids). And we love to get to know new types of food, though we prefer to assure some quality so we look for recommendations . We have made most of our trips renting a car and exploring the surroundings (example Rome and Tuscany, or Paris and the Loire).
My husband has the idea that driving a car in Turkey is not a good idea, and he is the main driver.

The tours:
Both include the places we would like to visit and take 8 days (days 1 and 8 = do what you want in Istanbul)

a) Turkey Express: 4 days in Istanbul, flight to Izmir to go to Efesus, staying around 1.5 days in that area, Ankara, Cappadocia (including 2 nights).

b) The Best of Turkey: Includes Istanbul (3 days in total), Cappadocia 1.5-2 days , one day in Konya, one day in Pamukkale, Afrodisias, Kusadasi, next day Efesus and back to Istanbul.

Thanks for taking the time of reading my long post! Hopefully you can help me :-)
B

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