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6 weeks: Turkey Archeological Sites, Istanbul, Beach Resorts???

6 weeks: Turkey Archeological Sites, Istanbul, Beach Resorts???

Old Jun 25th, 2022, 09:02 PM
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6 weeks: Turkey Archeological Sites, Istanbul, Beach Resorts???

I'm putting together a six week trip for myself and my husband for September into early October. We want to spend about 10 days in Istanbul to start. After that we'd like to see several archeological sites (Hattusus, Gobekli Tepe, Ephesus and perhaps others). We also want to go to Cappadocia and spend some time relaxing at a nice a beach resort. We are in our 60s and don't want to spend "one night here, one night there." We do best when we spend at least two or three nights in each place before moving on to the next place. Less stressful that way!

I'm not sure in what order to do the trip. Should we do beach first or inland archeological sites first? In late September/early October, will the water still be warm enough to be pleasant near Bodrum (for example)? Should we do the beach part first and the inland eastern sights second? Or vis-versa?

I've always wanted to see Rhodes and wonder if there's a ferry to there -- and is it complicated since we'd be going from Turkey to Greece and then back to Turkey?

Are there any other worthwhile destinations in Turkey I should check out?

I'm still learning about Turkey. I've never been there before, so I appreciate any insight, especially regarding transportation. We plan on driving, but wonder about trains or flying between long distances.

Last edited by FormerNJGal; Jun 25th, 2022 at 09:35 PM.
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Old Jun 26th, 2022, 12:05 AM
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You are in for the treat of your lives. Turkey is an incredibly beautiful country. Istanbul is a wonderful City. Cappadocia is stunning. The people everywhere are warm and welcoming, even if just a bit pushy for sales in some places. The food is fabulous. Ephesus is amazing. Turkey was one of our best trips, ever!
We ended up flying because we had limited time and do not enjoy super long drives.

Do stay at a cave hotel in the Cappadocia region. There are many. This is the one I most highly recommend. Another Fodorite told me about it and it fulfilled every need, wish, desire and expectation. There are several with similar names. Make sure it is Esbelli, not just Evi or Ürgüp.

This is the one we loved: Esbelli Evi in Urgup. https://www.esbelli.com

It is owned by a gentleman named Süha Beys. Our plane was delayed. He still had a shuttle waiting. We arrived very late, tired and hungry. He had all of our things carried to our room. Late as it was, he sent an extraordinary meal to us. We did not rent a car, and had booked nothing before we arrived. He arranged a driver to take us everywhere. It was actually little more than the car rental and gas would have been.
The hotel is lovely. The rooms are like little houses with gardens or terraces, big baths, high ceilings, etc. It has a good restaurant, and breakfast. It has a beautiful reception room with a piano, which when we were there was in tune, and guests were welcome to play. We stayed only three nights. I wish we could have stayed longer.
I did a ton of research on balloons, safety, etc. and chose Butterfly. That was a highlight.
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Old Jun 26th, 2022, 12:51 AM
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Mediterranean beaches (like Alanya, Side , Antalya, Olympos, Adrasan, Fethyie) ae usually warmer than Aegean one's (like Bodrum).
There are actually catamarans running between Fethyie and Rhodos. They may be cancelled if the Turkish President countinues to insult Greece.
May be you fly into Ankara, do the Sungurlu/Boazkale thing first and proceed then through Cappadocia to a seaside resort like Kis Kalesi, Narlikuyu, etc (all veryTurkish with few Westerners).or head more to the West into the Antalya area. There you will find tons of archeological sites (Perge, Side, Aspendos, Termessos, Phaselis.....)
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Old Jun 26th, 2022, 08:11 AM
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Excluding the beach element, we did a trip that covered Istanbul, ruins of Antiquity and Cappadocia. You might want to take a look at it:

Trip Report: Turkey, May 2008

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Old Jun 26th, 2022, 08:23 AM
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Isn’t there a ferry that takes only about an hour and a half from Turkey to Rhodes? Don’t know what is needed to do that, but seems easy.
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Old Jun 26th, 2022, 11:38 PM
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Yes, they seem to have resumed their service https://www.marmarisferibot.com/en
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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 02:14 AM
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I would leave Istanbul as the last bit. Start by flying to Ankara, visit Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, rent a car, visit Hattusa/Yazilikaya and Alacahoyuk, stay the night at Bogazkale. Drive down to Cappadocia (maybe visiting Uşaklı Höyük - https://usaklihoyuk.org/en - and the Roman baths at Sarikaya on the way).
Stay a few nights in Cappadocia, lots to see and do. Then either continue road trip down to Sanliurfa or return car to Ankara and fly down.

After Gobekli Tepe and other sites there, you could fly to Izmir and rent another car there, and then you could do a circuit of sightseeing and beach places - Izmir/Ephesus-Pamukkale-Antalya-Lycian Coast-Marmaris(side trip to Rhodes)-Bodrum-Izmir. Fly to Istanbul.

Last edited by Croesus; Jun 30th, 2022 at 02:35 AM.
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Old Jun 30th, 2022, 06:03 AM
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Many recommendations in this blog are worse than the initial plans of the OP.
Once again: fly into Ankara (or fly to IST and reach Ankara by highspeed train), visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations, go by rental car or public transport to Sungurlu - Hattusas/Bogazköy - Kayseri - Cappadocia - Konya - Antalya, enjoy the endless huge antique ruins and the fine beaches of the area, continue along the coast (full of ancient rock tombs and sunken archeological underwater ruins) to Fethiye, go by catamaran to Rhodos and back, proceed to Dalaman airport and give back your rental car (if you have any), fly to Istanbul. If you have not yet seen enough archeological sites around Antalya (hard to believe), you may proceed to Denizli - Pamukkale (Aphrodisias) - Priene - Ephesus - Izmir airport instead.
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Old Jul 1st, 2022, 12:51 AM
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Warning - given your timescale and main destination interests, I estimate you'll end up visiting at least 20 ancient sites. You won't be able to resist them.
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Old Jul 19th, 2022, 11:57 AM
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we just got back from 3 weeks in turkey. 5 nights istanbul, 3 in capadocia, and 11 in kalkan on the coast. happy we did it like this bc we were tired after long touring days in istanbul and capadocia. took a gulet from kas to greece one day too. happy to answer questions.
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