Feb 15th, 2008, 04:17 AM
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My husband and I will be in Istanbul for the first (and maybe only) time in early November. we would like to extend our stay by a few days to see Cappadocia. Money is an issue. What is the best way to arrange to visit the area? We would like to stay in a cave hotel. Any recommendations? Restaurants?
mom05 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2008, 06:47 AM
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I am currently planning a trip to Istanbul and Cappadocia as well. Have you been to the Turkey Travel Planner website?
You have many options for getting to the Cappadocia region, but to maximize your time, you should fly to Kayseri and take a transfer bus to Goreme--which is supposed to be the best place to stay. It is easy to arrange any kind of tour you wish once there, or do things on your own.
You should check out what the weather usually is there in November, as that may be a factor.

yorkshire is offline  
Feb 15th, 2008, 06:52 AM
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We stayed at the Maisons de Cappadoce in Uchisar summer before last, and loved it. You can find information on it (and many other hotels) at, click on Cappadocia. We did not meet the owner, but the young woman minding the store set us up with a wonderful guide, who took us on a walk through the Red Valley. He had grown up there, and he knew where all the deserted chapels were (and the "Bedrock Cafe," you have to see it to believe it).

You would need a car to see some of the rest of Cappadocia, underground cities, open air museum, etc.
colonna is offline  
Feb 15th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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Thank you for the response to my quiry. Of course now this new info brings new questions to mind...yorkshire, I did try to reach the Turkey Travel Planner and will try again today. Do you recall the cost of the flight and bus?
colonna, the Maisons di Cappadocia sounds great, I will look into it. do you recall the cost of the guide? Is it possible to rent a car in the area?
mom05 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2008, 09:21 AM
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I have only just started planning myself, using Lonely Planet and
I believe Turkish airlines, Onur, and Pegasus, fly the route from Istanbul to Kayseri. My guess is that it will be less than 100 USD, but I haven't checked yet.
Note there are other places you can fly into to access Cappadocia, but Kayseri is the most convenient.
The bus is less than or equal to 30 dollars, and I've heard the buses are comfortable--though note it is an 11 hour night bus.
I'm sure you can rent a car there --there are many travel agencies.
yorkshire is offline  
Feb 15th, 2008, 09:29 AM
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Sorry, I don't remember what the guide cost-- I do remember balking at a 20 minute uphill clamber OUT of the Red Valley, so he called a cab, which met us at the bottom and returned us to the car park. The cab ride was about $20, and seemed expensive compared to what we had enjoyed on the hike (but worth every penny). You could email the hotel and ask them.

We flew from Istanbul to Kayseri and rented a car there.
colonna is offline  
Feb 15th, 2008, 12:34 PM
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I know I was the one to ask the question regarding cost initially, but I checked Turkish Airlines this afternoon and the one way fare is $139. I'll check the other airlines...thank you!!
mom05 is offline  
Feb 15th, 2008, 01:35 PM
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Thank you! You prompted me to start my own search more quickly. I was wrong about Pegasus. Onur is a little better, but Onur and Turkish both have good fares, the lowest ones just sell out quickly--I found some for $79. Good luck!
yorkshire is offline  
Feb 15th, 2008, 02:03 PM
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One last thing for today: I know I said Kayseri is more convenient, but there are some flights from Nevsehir to Istanbul on Turkish (not necessarily vice versa), and they are cheaper, so you may save money by booking each leg separately (into Kayseri, out of Nevsehir).
I'm learning right along with ya.
yorkshire is offline  
Feb 16th, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Here's what else I've learned: apparently there are fees and surcharges if you buy the ticket yourself from outside Turkey, and it is recommended to contact a tourist agency to buy the ticket for you.
Again, in November you may be able to buy your tickets there, but I am going in spring so I must do so in advance. I have contacted and am getting quotes of about 100 usd each way. I assumed the 139 was YTL without the fees, so this seems to work out.
yorkshire is offline  
Feb 16th, 2008, 12:01 PM
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Turista Travel in Istanbul purchased all of our air tickets within Turkey, on Onur and Sun best prices, and they were very responsive and quick with everything. You pick up the tickets at their Sultanahmet office in Istanbul. If you have limited time, this might be a better option than bus or train but they don't fly every day.

Some hotels can arrange tours (e.g. Heritage Travel at the Kelebek in Goreme) and if you stay in Goreme you can see the Open Air Museum on foot and then arrange a tour or rent a car for the second day. We chose Kelebek, but there are even less expensive cave options there.

(We're leaving June 4, so all of this is the result of research & planning rather than first-hand experience. But money is an issue for us, too.)
LaVisiteure is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 06:54 AM
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We visited last May, and $ is always an issue for us too. (In fact, in many ways we are downright cheap.) I guess I need to know what you mean when you say money is an issue in order to properly help you.

I booked an Onur air flight myself on-line here at home. We flew into Kayseri and rented a car through This was the cheapest I could find. Their pick-up site was off the airport, and we had to take a cab to the teensy, tiny rental office. But, the car was fine and the price was right. I would highly recommend that if at all possible you rent a car. This way you will be able to access the sites by yourself without having to pay for the cost of tours.

We splurged and stayed at Esbelli Evi-- a great cave hotel. I think we paid about $110 per night cash. It was a truly marvelous place.

The other thing we splurged on was a hot air balloon ride. It was a lot of money but worth every cent. We used EZ Air which I'd found recommended here and elsewhere. Their flights were the same as others and much cheaper.

Hope this helps.
julies is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 06:55 AM
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Could someone enlighten me about buying tickets myself versus having a travel office do it? I am wondering if I am saving money by having the travel office buy the ticket or if it would be the same if I purchased it myself once I got into the country.
yorkshire is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 08:13 AM
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Colonna, we stayed in the same place years ago and also had them arrange a hike. We loved our guide--I wonder if it could be the same person? He owned a rug shop in the Uchisar main square, and he was perhaps the most laid-back carpet seller in all of Turkey. His name was Mustafa--not that that helps much.
christycruz is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 10:06 AM
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FYI to Yorkshire,

I just purchased tix from Istanbul to Kayseri on Onur Air, did it myself and they came to 102 YTL a piece with fees. I watched and watched Turkish air and they were never anywhere near as inexpensive. I think the least they were, way in advance was 109 lira BEFORE fees.

HappyCheesehead is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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I think it may have been the case that in the past you needed to purchase through a tourist office to avoid fees--so I am not going to criticize the Turkey Travel Planner (where Ifound that advice), but I found the online fares from the airlines to be less expensive than the quotes from the tourist agency.
Unfortunately, there's no way I am getting up for a 6am flight on Onur air, so I will pay double the money for the Turkish Airlines fare.
yorkshire is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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LOL, Yorkshire, I completely understand. It is painful.
HappyCheesehead is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 07:35 PM
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listen to JulieS...Esbelli is THE place if you want to experience cave lodging. We were there before cave stays became so popular..., with a car , we found Urgup to be very central, and a nice small town feel...Suha, the charming owner, is the perfect host/

Stu t.

I have dozen or so pix of the Esbelli and the surrounding region...all pre-digital..and scanned...if you wish write and I will send them to you..please send address.

[email protected]

tower is offline  
Feb 18th, 2008, 11:23 PM
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Christycruz, it was Mustafa. He has now written a book about the history of the Valley, and is working on another about the decorations of the "dove hotels". A really nice man.

With the discussion of in-Turkey flights, I wanted to add a note. Our travel agent sent us off with a ticket from Istanbul to Kayseri, but we needed a ticket back from Bodrum to Istanbul at the end of the flight. The travel agent we found in Istanbul did not speak much English, and we did not speak any Turkish, but we thought we had communicated. It was not until we arrived at the Bodrum airport that we learned we had in fact bought tickets from Istanbul to Bodrum. Oops.

VERY nice couple at the airport helped us out, and got us on a plane going in the right direction. People were extremely kind all over Turkey.
colonna is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2008, 09:50 AM
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Sorry to hear about your adventures colonna ! If you feel the persons are incompentant to you than better to leave the place is always pays back, you have been lucky....

Ticket issue:
Tickest are not sold by Toursit Offices, maybe Yorksihire things the same way equally as Travel Agents.

Tickets are sold online, at airlines offices or relevant travel agents.

Buying tickets here or there will not make a difference on the rate as you will be able to see the fares on the printed ticket or e-ticket. Some case your travel agent might charge a service fee like 5 or 6 usd for the communication costs as mostly there is no commission on tickets....If you book a flight for some time ahead better to wait to purchase the ticket untill the last option date as prices may go lower. If not your reservation rate at first time of the booking is still valid....You loose nothing....If you purchase online this may not be always a possibilty but through a travel agent or airlines office bookings is possible.

For those who are interested with the route as of April Sun Experss starts twice weekly direct flights between Antalya and Kayseri....

Happy travelling,

propertravel is offline  

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