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3 Friends in Turkey-Istanbul, Cappadocia, Fethiye, Ephesus

3 Friends in Turkey-Istanbul, Cappadocia, Fethiye, Ephesus

Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 11:28 AM
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3 Friends in Turkey-Istanbul, Cappadocia, Fethiye, Ephesus

Hello! (Sorry in advance if this is posted more than once. Having technical difficulties...)

We are 3 friends (in our 30's) travelling to Turkey at the end of May, staying for about 12 days. We are in the midst of reserving flights and hotels. We have lots of questions (see below) and would love feedback on our intinerary:

Arrive in Istanbul, stay for 2-3 days with our Turkish friends.

Fly to Kayseri to see the Cappadocia area. We have reservations for three nights in Urgup at Esbelli Evi.
We also plan to take a balloon ride, probably with Kapadokya Balloons.

Should we do the Deluxe or the Standard? We can't decide. Any help would be much appreciated.

We are thinking of staying a 4th night in Cappadocia, but aren't sure. Is what we have budgeted (3 nights/3 days) too short? Should we try a different town?

We're also "sporty" types, love the outdoors. Has anyone gone horseback riding or hiking/trekking in the area?
Would it be helpful to have a guide?

Lastly, we arent sure if we are going to rent a car, hire a driver, or take buses in the Cappadocia area. Suggestions for getting around would be greatly appreciated.

From Cappadocia, we are thinking of going to Fethiye or to the Antalya area (Side/Olympus) and THEN Fethiye. Our Turkish friends say that Fethiye is their favorite place, so we definitely want to see it.

We're kind of hazy on this part of the trip. We have no idea of whether we will fly, take the bus or drive, or how much time we should spend in these coastal areas. Any suggestions?

We have also heard that you can take some really nice sailboat rides out of Antalya and Fethiye. The ones out of Fethiye stop at several little towns. Has anyone tried those? We would love to hear about it. Note, we don't want any of those loud booze cruises--our drinking days are over! We prefer nature and culture.

Also, we could skip the Antalya area altogether and go straight to Fethiye and spend more time that area. Any thoughts?

From Fethiye, we want to go to Ephesus and Pergamon. We can't decide whether we should simply fly directly to Izmir or take a bus or drive and visit Kasedesi along the way. We hear Kasedesi is touristy, but still charming. What do others think?

Then we will return to Istanbul. We haven't decided whether it will be more time-efficient to drive from Pergamon to Istanbul or to drive back to Izmir and fly. We also don't want driving into Istanbul to be a hassle/stressful. Any advice would be much appreciated.

Thank you!

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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 04:10 PM
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Old Mar 22nd, 2006, 04:25 PM
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We drove from near Izmir to Istanbul by way of the Bandirma ferry. We had a driver and the route was fine...very good roads with clean rest stops that had good food (Varan bus stops). No problem. Our friends did it on their own in a rental car the same day; they had no problem until they got to Istanbul and had such a hard time geting from the highway to the hotel that they had to hail a taxi and follow it to the hotel.
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Old Mar 23rd, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Do you recall how much time it took you?
Also, did you do any sightseeing from Izmir to Istanbul?

For us, the point of driving would be to stop at Pergamon along the way and to save time--i.e. by NOT driving back to Izmir to catch a flight to Istanbul.

Any thoughts?

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Old Mar 26th, 2006, 12:21 PM
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ballooning ! Classical Deluxe is much nicer have Fun,
propertravel is offline  
Old Apr 16th, 2006, 07:11 AM
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I would say it took us 4-5 hours to drive from Sirince to the Bandirma ferry. We did not stop along the way, except for rest stops and to look at the millions of melons for sale at roadside stands along one portion of the route. We had visited Pergamom from Foca a few days before.

Here was our driving itinerary:

Istanbul-via Gallipoli peninsula to Assos Behramkale (overnight)

Assos-Foca (two nights in Foca with day trip to Pergamum)

Foca-Sirince (one night in Sirince with day trip to Ephesus)

Sirince-Istanbul via Bandirma

If you go this route, you should stop along the highway and buy the ferry tickets via Internet at designated ticket offices rather than wait to get the ticket a after arriving at the docks in Bandirma.
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