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2 weeks in Turkey in June- itinerary ideas?

2 weeks in Turkey in June- itinerary ideas?

Dec 10th, 2004, 06:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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2 weeks in Turkey in June- itinerary ideas?

Know that I have been talked into Turkey on the other thread that I started, I'd like to get some ideas on an itinerary.

I will be flying from the NYC area to Kayseri, where I will spend 3 nights to see Cappodocia. Then I am assuming that I will have to fly to Izmir to begin my coastal portion? I want to spend about an equal amount of time siteseeing & relaxing on beautiful, serene beaches. I love historical sites, although my father likes them less.

I know I will wrap up the last 3 nights in Istanbul, where I will have to find a budget fair to fly to Rome and then another flight to Lamezia Terme to see family. I'm wondering if I am going to have too much flying with Cappodocia added in.

We would rent cars where needed and would like to keep it a budget-friendly vacation spending less than $100 US dollars per night on accomodations. Any thoughts on area that I may not read about in tourist guides? Off the beaten track places that are still convenient for major points of interest? Thanks!
AP6380 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 06:23 AM
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Although we started in IStanbul, then flew to Keyseri, I like your system. But I'd consider picking up a car when you get to Keyseri and then driving to the south coast to Antalya and area. You can spend a night at Konya, which we found very interesting (home of the whirling dervishes). From there you can easily drive to Antalya in a day. We made the mistake of spending an extra night on the way at Lake Egridir, rather dull.
From Antalya, you can drive up along the coast. We did stops at Bodrum, Marmaris, and Dalyan -- all wonderful in my opinion. From there we drove up to Kusadasi for our Ephesus visit. And then we took a boat to Samos and began our touring Greek Isles -- but you could easily go from there on up to Istanbul to complete the trip.

We loved driving -- so easy in Turkey. We were stopped by the police leaving one town (they were just checking for stolen cars) and when we spoke English, he replied in English. Then they discovered we were American and they were thrilled. They are used to English drivers, but few Americans off the beaten track. The police wanted us to come inside and share apple tea with them!

While Bodrum and Marmaris tend to be resorty and expensive, Dalyan was much cheaper and very interesting. We stayed at a delightful place called Hotel Assyrian or Otel Azur for less than $80 a night. Private ottoman "cabin" with wonderful food outside in a sort of pavillion. And the owner took us on a private boat tour to the mud baths and the tombs -- for $15 total.
Patrick is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 06:33 AM
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Thanks for the ideas, Patrick. The hotel's website looks great. I actually was wondering about driving from the Kaysei area to the coast, that may be another thought instead of having a car for 3 days in Cappodocia and then flying to Izmir and getting another car.

I love Greece so much I'm thinking I may have to go over to one of the islands for at least a day, if not an overnight or two.
AP6380 is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 06:40 AM
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Yes, I think keeping the car and driving makes a lot of sense. And I imagine it should be no problem picking one up at Keyseri and returning to maybe Izmir. We did that through AutoEurope, but returned to Kusadasi.
Patrick is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 07:21 AM
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So glad you decided on Turkey - expect the vacation of a lifetime! Though my wife and I are dedicated independant travelers we decided to take a 3 day guided tour of Cappodocia and are glad we did! Cappodocia is beautiful, but it is also interesting and indeed mystical it was a godsend to have a guide. We saw many a site (i.e. small rock hewn churches and monastaries) we would never have found on our own. The tours were very small, usually 1 or 2 other couples. On one tour the discussion turned to the gutteral arabic used during the call to prayers. We made a short detour to visit a Mosque in a very small town. As we got off our minibus Friday services were just ending an a little old man hobbled up to us, smiled and said welcome. He then took my hand and led me away from the group to the back of the Mosque and down a few steps to a crypt under the Mosque to a large tomb. After a short jabber in Turkish he kissed his hand and placed on the tomb in an act of reverence. Taking the hint I did the same. He smiled and led me back to the group. The young Imam then welcomed us into the Mosque and then gave us a lesson on how he intoned the call to prayers and showed us around his Mosque explaining that all the old prayer rugs had been removed to Ankara for safe keeping. A wonderful experience we would have missed had we been on our own. If this type of experience appeals to you I can recommend Argeus Travel in Urgup. Adnan was our guide. He also took us off the beaten track to see some "flipping pidgeons'. A unique experience. Have a wonderful trip!
CharlieB is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 08:23 AM
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We backpacked turkey for two weeks and did the circle istanbul - cappadocia - antalya - istanbul all on buses except for Istanbul - Ankara which was the best overnight train ride I've ever had. It was like a moving hotel.

You can easily find guided tours in Cappadocia - and it was 1/2 the price to organise it from there than from Istanbul. There is a lower limit that's regulated but the prices were inflated in istanbul.

We also went to Olympus which was just heaven. I would really really recommend it.

We stopped in Ephesus/Selcuk - it was okay. What really got me was Gallipoli. I'm not too keen on war spots but this is almost living history. Everything is still there and you see the trenches on either sides and listen to the stories.

Even with hindsight, I wouldn't swap buses for flights.

Oh, we stayed at a really nice place - Tekeli Konaklari in Antalya. It used to be a "turkish manor" house. It was fantastic!!

Good luck with all teh planning.

Oh, I forgot pamukkale. Just look at the pictures on the web of this place - it's just many more times amazing.

nanda_zrh is offline  
Dec 10th, 2004, 08:33 AM
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Nanda_zrh, your trip sounds great. We are starting to plan a trip for next year (probably September time frame) and your itinerary sounds great. You mention Olympus - where did you stay? What made it 'heaven'? We've seen the area from Marmaris to Kalkan / Kas, so would like to see another area on the coast this time around. We're not backpackers, but were thinking of a combination of buses and flights,
SusanInToronto is offline  
Jan 10th, 2005, 04:17 AM
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Hi Susan,

Hmmm.. what made Olympos heaven? Well it's in a national forest-park. No permanent structures are allowed to be built. So all accomodation is basic. There are many places to stay but they're all about the same.

Some have huts on trees, some are just slightly raised from the grown. As far as I know, the bathrooms/toilets are all shared but I wouldn't be surprised is something private was available. But the area with the "accomodation places" are filled with people lounging, hammocks .. absolute relaxation.

To get to the beach you walk through an archaelogical site, by a pristine river that you follow until it becomes a lagoon and then you get to a beach that's not accessible by anyone else except cruise-ships (which do come). You can rent paddle-boats onthe beach if you'd like to visit some small caves.

Oh, and to top it all off, at night, you could do a short hike to the chimaeras which burn brightly. If you're there for a few days, you could even have your own bbq(as done by an aussie while we were there).

Most dependent tourists won't find this place. We met an english couple in Cappadocia and they were about 4 days ahead of us to Olympos (we stopped in Antalya). They were only going to stay for a few days but when we arrived there about 4-5 days later, they were still there moaning about how wonderful it was and how impossible it was for them to move.

I completely understood their predicament.
nanda_zrh is offline  
Jun 6th, 2005, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Just to say that I came across Adnan this year when I was in Cappadocia - a fantastic four days. He is now a freelance guide and can be contacted through his extremely informative website called asianturkey. Happy Travels.
James48 is offline  

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