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adventures6 Feb 10th, 2014 01:07 PM

Family of six to travel to Turkey in August
I appreciate the expertise found on these boards. Your advice is tremendously helpful.
We are traveling with 4 kids (13-6 years old) in August. We will begin our trip by visiting Israel/Jordan and then we'll go to Turkey. We would like to spend 3 days in Istanbul. We realize the city will be difficult with kids so even though Istanbul deserves more time this may be all we can do with young kids. Then we'd like to go to 3-4 days in Cappadocia. The kids are very excited to stay in a cave hotel and ride hot air balloons. We would then like to head to Ephesus and Pamukkale. We would also like to add some beach time on the coast of Turkey. Now, that we have a general idea of what we'd like to do, I'd love to get any advice on specifics. I'll be checking on flights and bus fares between Istanbul and Ankara for Cappadocia. Is it best to fly instead of take bus to get to Izmir (for Ephesus) after Cappadocia? What area on the coast would you recommend?

otherchelebi Feb 11th, 2014 12:53 AM

Here are some notes :

- Fly to Kayseri or Nevsehir for Cappadocia and not to Ankara, unless you wish to rent a car at Ankara airport and drive to Cappadocia via the Hittite ruins at Alacahoyuk, and Hattusas. (a long day)

- Sunexpress and possibly Pegasus flies from Kayseri to Izmir for Ephesus. Both are reasonably priced but will have limited baggage allowances and no free service. Pegasus even charges for seat selection in advance. (check all this beforehand)

- August will be hot and in the Southern parts, humid. Since you will already have experienced enough hot and humid weather, I recommend that you rent a car at Izmir aiport and continue North after doing Ephesus (and Pamukkale?)

- Since you will have little time left, the best beaches close to Ephesus are at Cesme/Illica/Alacati area, only 90-120 minutes from Ephesus.

- However, Kusadasi, 25 minutes from Ephesus, although a very built up and over-touristy resort (major stopover for all cruises), has a large water park which your kids may enjoy.

- If you have enough time, my recommendation would be to drive all the way back to Istanbul, spending one or two nights at Assos (or area). This will also give you Pergamom and Troy while saving you the airfare back to istanbul.
- If you take this option, drive to Bandirma from Assos and take the fast ferry to istanbul. Ferry schedule will be at

adventures6 Feb 11th, 2014 02:53 PM

Otherchelebi- Thank you for your advice. Would you recommend us trying to go to the Turqouise coast at all? We could try to extend our trip. How much more time would we need? Is it easy to reach the coast by car? Any town that you would recommend with kids?

Thanks again!

adventures6 Feb 11th, 2014 03:03 PM

Am I even able to rent a van to accommodate my family? I read somewhere of a family taking the Orient Express from Cappadocia to Istanbul? I haven't heard much about this option. In what I read they got a better night's sleep than on a night bus.

Sassafrass Feb 11th, 2014 03:11 PM

Hotel Esbelli Evi in Urgup has wonderful rooms and suites with up to two bed rooms, two baths, sitting room and little kitchen area. The service is impeccable, but never intrusive, and prices are great for the quality. They can arrange all tours for you at reasonable prices. It is about a 15 minute walk into the center of town. Not fancy or fussy in any way, this is my favorite hotel I have ever stayed at. It is one of those places that becomes part of your trip, not just a place to sleep. I think your kids would love it as well. Excellent breakfast included.

travelhorizons Feb 11th, 2014 03:21 PM

Don't even think about the bus; it will take many, many hours.

adventures6 Feb 11th, 2014 03:29 PM

What about Bodrum? It seems reasonably close to Ephesus and the pictures that I see online are beautiful! Is your opinion that this option would be much too hot and humid or maybe expensive?

What do you think about doing the loop in the other direction. Drive south from Istanbul and explore Ephesus,Pamukkale and possibly Bodrum. Then fly from Izmir to Kayseri. And then take the train back to Istanbul?

otherchelebi Feb 12th, 2014 12:55 AM


- Bodrum is a very crowded, very built up resort which mainly caters to the party crowd, both local and foreign. It has satellite areas with beaches, but some of those are upscale and most are also built up and not to be considered as places to rest.
It will also be quite hot and humid in August.

- I am assuming that the kids and possibly you will also be ruined out after so many antique cities. In our family, I have always had to find a secluded beach or two and a laid back B&B for my wife in between historic sites and she always had to cater for my need to rest in between endless museums, art galleries and nature treks; our kids writing in their diaries afterwards how they followed us without complaining because of pity and love.

- Yes, you can start by driving from Istanbul.
Take the morning ferry 7-8:30? from Yenikapi to Bandirma. drive through Canakkale, visiting Troy to stay at Assos (port or village, or Kadirga beach).
Stay one or two nights there as you wish
Continue towards Ephesus, either just checking out Pergamom or visiting pergamom and then Sardis to stay the night at Bozdag mountain, to get to Selcuk (EPhesus) the day after visiting Birgi in the process.

- Stay in Selcuk two nights, and then either continue to pamukkale and South or to a laid back beach like Gumuldur, North of Kusadasi, or even stay at a beach hotel in Kusadasi.

- This will give you more historic sights like Herakleia, Didyma, Miletus, Priene as well as Aphrodisias and Pamukkale if you wish and even a lovely cycling or hiking tour of Dilek National Park with its large number of endemic fauna and flora and its natural science museum at Doganbey village at the South entrance.

I guess I have confused you enough.

In any case, I hope this shall be a memorable trip for the whole family.

turkeytristanbul Feb 12th, 2014 02:16 PM

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colduphere Feb 12th, 2014 02:26 PM

You may want to check minimum ages on balloon rides before your six year old gets exited. We stayed at the Local Cave Hotel in Goreme as it had a pool, which was extremely nice in August.

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