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Turkey - May '13 Travel, Need (major) Itinerary Help!

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Hello Everyone,

I’m planning a trip to Turkey in May with a friend (both in our early 30s). Her travel dates are May 17-24/25, while I will most likely arrive on May 15/16 and depart May 28/29.

I’m a bit overwhelmed with all of the amazing options, but have tried to narrow it down as best I could. I was hoping for some insights/advice regarding my loose itinerary. Namely, not sure how many days to really spend in each location, and logistically – does the order make sense?

Further, I’m not too keen on renting a car, so am relying on air travel, and ideally hiring a driver/taking shuttles from airports to hotels, etc. as my travel buddy is opposed to busses. Just want to determine if this is even feasible in some of the locales.

Here goes!

May 15-19: Istanbul

May 19 - 21: Assos
Here’s where I need help. I’m not too sold on this idea… I think my friend is just looking for beaches, which I see are readily available in the Izmir region (see below). Although I have read there are some breathtaking views/sights here. What are your thoughts? Also, how would it be best to get here? I noted you could fly into one of the larger towns (name escapes me now), then perhaps we could hire a car to take us to the hotel.

May 21/22 - 25: (Fly to) Izmir
I was drawn to this region to explore Ephesus, and read recommendations to stay in Selcuk for its proximity; however, Izmir’s looking sort of appealing. What are your thoughts?

Here also, if we can bypass Assos, I thought we could travel to Ilica for a beach break. Assuming we can hire a car for the transport?

Note: My friend will be flying out of Izmir back to Istanbul on the 23/24, I assume, to catch her flight.

May 25-27/28: (Fly to) Cappadocia
I’ll be on my own here, and will take up with a tour group/guide to explore. I’m debating between staying in Goreme or Urgup (though leaning towards Goreme). How many days do you think need to be spent here? Also, what are your thoughts on safety for a single woman traveling here alone?

May 28: Fly to Istanbul to overnight and head back home.

Part of me feels like this is a bit rushed, but I’m not sure how to jam everything in…

Thanks in advance - I really appreciate any assistance/insights you can provide!

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