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maeby Jan 19th, 2011 06:49 AM

Help-- Istanbul down the coast itinerary
We're planning to spend 14 days on the ground this summer, going from Istanbul down to the Turquoise Coast.

Day 1 flight
Days 2-5 Istanbul
Day 6 get car early, drive via Troy to Assos
Day 7 Assos to around Ephesus (Selcuk?)
Day 8 Ephesus
Day 9 Ephesus to Fethiye area
Days 10-15 explore Fethiye area, possibly mini blue cruise
Day 16 drop car, flight from Dalaman to Istanbul to home

First, I realize that the distances on those first days leaving Istanbul are quite lengthy. I've researched and read anywhere from 5-8 hours. Can anyone pin those driving times down more? ViaMichelin says one thing, and then reports I've read say something else.
It was difficult deciding not to go to Cappadocia, but Troy and Ephesus are non-negotiables, so Cappadocia will have to wait for another time. We are interested mainly in ruins, small villages, and nice beaches. We want equal amounts of culture and doing absolutely nothing.
We are hoping to base ourselves around Fethiye and visit neighboring villages and beaches, and possibly do a day cruise, or perhaps even a mini blue cruise. Any recommendations for quaint villages or excellent off the beaten track beaches near Fethiye? Any cruises worth noting?
Finally, are connections in Dalaman such that we could catch an early flight from there and catch a connecting overseas flight in Istanbul the same day?
This is just a bare bones thing, and is very changeable. We're just trying to get an idea of driving distances and if we are on the right track for the things we enjoy seeing.
Thanks in advance!

otherchelebi Jan 19th, 2011 10:08 AM

As per your wishes:

Take car evening of day 5
-Day six, take early car ferry from yenikapi to bandirma

If you're staying at sultanahmet get to the coast road going away from the bosphorus. Make a 180 degree turn at the first roundabout (3-4 kilometers) and immediately drive into the ferry area following signs. You should reserve for car (including driver) plus each passenger a few days earlier. You can do it in english by telephone at 444 44 36. Ask for table seating. Do not pay for business class. If you cannot do it in english ask the hotel reception to do it for you. If you buy using credit card, you can either go to the manned booths or try to get your tickets at the machine at the entrance of an unmanned booth by sliding your credit card.
about 2 hours.

After you land, take the erdek canakkale direction. Signage not too good until you find the highway, but you can do it. It will be the reverse direction from Bursa, Balikesir, Izmir, to your right.

Continue on the coast road past Lapseki and the outskirts of canakkale and continue to the Troy sign. (approximately 3 hours.)

One hour or less visiting troy (will be rather a disappointment)

About one hour will bring you to the first Ayvacik exit towards Assos. Do NOT take this exit but the next one and after a few hundred meters, before you get to the town of Ayvacik, make a left turn at a narrow paved country road which will bring you to a new highway, after just a few hundred meters more. Watch for assos and lots of hotel posts on your right, just as you start coming down a hill about two kilometers down. This is a better road than the old road that goes through ayvacik town.

The road will get you to Behramkale, the old city on the hill. This is a good time to try to drive up the narrow streets as much as they will allow you or park the car anywhere suitable and walk. (another 90 minutesfrom Troy)

45 minutes Assos.

get back in car, drive towards the other direction from where you came and turn towards the sea at the large dusty square with the statute of Aristotle. You can visit the amphitheatre on the way down. The road will quickly take you to assos port.

It's a tiny touristy but pleasant fishing village. You can either stay at a hotel or B&B there or, if you really wish to rest in very quiet romantic setting, drive just another 15 minutes towards Kucukkuyu, just take the road you came by and some 100 or more meters after you pass the old town, make a right turn at the intersection. When you gt to the sea level, you wil see some hotels and motels amidst trees with their private beaches. Our favourite is Lila Motel (i have a review on trip advisor).

If you stay at Assos or Kucukkuyu, you couldsim in the evening nd then again in the morning before driving down to Ephesus.

You could also visit Pergamom (will need two hours) or Sardis (possibly two hours again) on the way to selcuk, which is the town near Ephesus, where you are recommended Bella Hotel,

Direct driving from Kucukkuyu to selcuk will take about five and a half hours plus time for rest and meals.

Will give more info but please read my "fumbling family....." report for some ideas south of Fethiye.

Michel_Paris Jan 19th, 2011 10:28 AM

Wow, nice detail.

We drove from Antalya to Istanbul along coast, staying at Kas, Marmaris and Bursa along the way. I especially liked Kas, We took a day long glass bottom boat tour of Lycean ruins out of the harbour.

ekscrunchy Jan 19th, 2011 12:08 PM

I cannot hope to add much to Otherchelibi's informative post. I will tell you, though, that we drove from Istanbul along the coast, stopping overnight at Assos and at Foca, and later at Sirince, which was our base for visiting Efes. I was charmed by Foca and would urge you to add it to your plan.

I never did finish this trip report, but here is the beginning:

maeby Jan 21st, 2011 11:48 AM

Thanks to everyone for your prompt replies. I am wading through the trip reports now, and I'm certain I'll have more questions later.

BeniciaChris Jan 29th, 2011 07:15 PM

It has been over 4 years since we visited Turkey,but it holds many fond memories. We also took car ferry from Istanbul to Yalove(|Had a timeshare there) Not impressed so I called out guide we had in Cappadocia & he got us a room overnight in Bursa which we enjoyed-then I asked him if he could get us 2 nights in Assos instead of the 1. Good choice. We stayed at the Eden Group hotels-the one we stayed at was a converted accorn warehouse. Our room had the only balcony over the harbor. The drive in & our of Assos was windy & long so I am so glad we stayed 2 nights. Just a peaceful place.We then headed to Kusadasi |& stayed at Kismet a few turned in our rental car & had a guide take us to Ephesis.
We also went to Paris before & after our trip & Cyprus-Great month for my 60th birthday Chris

kamuran Feb 1st, 2011 12:45 PM

Thanks for sharing your travel.

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