Help Needed re Turkey Itinerary

Old Mar 26th, 2005, 11:47 PM
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Help Needed re Turkey Itinerary

I have been studying this great board and Tom Brosnahan's fabulous Turkey Travel Planner, and am thinking of the following itinerary, adapted from one of Tom Brosnahan's to take account of our length of time, and the fact that we are flying from the US into Izmir on September 8 and flying out of Istanbul on September 20. (Yes, another Fodorite in Turkey in September!)

I would appreciate a critique, as well as answers to any or all of my many questions:

--Thursday 9/8 Arrive Izmir 3:15 PM, rent car and drive to Selcuk
--Fri 9/9 Ephesus, museum, adjust to time change, stay in Selcuk
--Sat 9/10 Need help! Day trip to Pergamum by car (too far??)? Or Pamucak Beach? Or Bodrum peninsula? Or Priene/Miletus (too many ruins)? Which would you do? Stay in Selcuk (or would you move to another location?).
--Sun 9/11 Aphrodisias, Hierapolis, stay in Pamukkale (is Pamukkale still worth visiting despite water problems?)
--Mon 9/12 Pamukkale, drive to Konya, stay in Konya
--Tu 9/13 Drive to Cappadocia via Sultenham, perhaps stay in Guzelyurt (how strenuous is Ihlara Valley hike? Can you do just a part of it?)
--Wed 9/14 Crater Lake to Derinkyu underground to stay in Urgup or Goreme
--Thurs 9/15 Cappadocia (Open air museum, Uchisar, Zelve), stay in Urgup or Goreme
--Fri 9/16 Fly to Istanbul from Kayseri (would you do this early or late in the day—do you think we will want more time in Cappadocia?—I think we are not brave enough for balloons, though do sound amazing)—stay in Istanbul
Sat 9/17; Sun 9/18; Mon 9/19 Istanbul
Tues 9/20 fly home (2 PM flight)

Kalkan also sounds wonderful, but I assume we need to save that for another trip?

Thank you in advance for all of your help!

Len
Washington, DC


RCLCOLPB is offline  
Old Mar 27th, 2005, 01:53 AM
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Lots of people do Pergamum as a day trip from Izmir, Selcuk, Kusadasi so apparently it's not too far. Looks to be just over 2 hours. I'd pick it over Priene/Miletus personally, but whether to see another ruin site or hit a beach, only you can decide that.

I never spend beach time on vacation but then I live near several gorgeous beaches, so I'd rather do something else

A friend of mine went to Pamukkale last year and really liked it, said Hierapolis was beautifully situated, lovely views, and really interesting necropolis area.

Your itinerary doesn't leave enough time the way it is to visit Kalkan, though you could probably squeeze in a day and a half visit there or to the Antalya area if you head for Afrodisias and Pamukkale on 9/10, and take a day away from Cappadocia area. Adds a lot more driving though.

Maybe it's better to save the coast for another trip when you can do it justice and relax and enjoy it.

You can hike just parts of the Ihlara Valley. There are four entrances. LP Turkey has good info on the hike.

You don't have to be brave to go ballooning. We went in Tuscany, it was fabulous. It's not scary or windy, just gentle drifting along, so cool. Unless you're terrified of heights, it's really fun.

Have a fun trip.
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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 06:53 AM
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Thank you so much for your quick and very helpful response. If we do decide that we want to include Pegamum, do you think we are better off going there first when we land at Izmir and stay near Pergamum the first night we are in Turkey, see Pergamum the next morning, and then move to Selcuk, rather than staying in Selcuk the whole time and doing a two hour drive each way?

Len
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Old Mar 27th, 2005, 08:58 PM
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Your plan is a sound one. I will be going to Turkey in May/june and then with a group in September. We will land in Istanbul and leave from Izmir. In your case, you are landing in Izmir. I hate to say this but, 12 days is going to be a bit rush, rush. The entire cost of Aegean and Mediterrenean is just fascinating if you are interested, which you seem like, in history and ruins. Please, no insult, one needs to rest but, when you have limited time, forget the beach part. Yes, you can make a day trip to Pergamum. I think it is worthwile to go up there to see how the city was built on one of the highest hills in the region for obvious reason. The hill dominates the entire region and they could see if the enemy was approaching. Definetely you have to do the Ephesus, and the museum. Since you have limited time, you may skip Miletus and Pirene. Once you go down Bodrum direction, you are going too far down south. From Ephesus to Pamukkale the highway via Aydin, Nazilli, Denizli is quite straight and nice. You can reach to Pamukkale in about 3 hours. The afternoon is enough time to see the ruins of Hierapolis. And next morning you can get back on the road. Pamukkale is an unusual site. Over night is plenty of time. I wish could go down Antalya see, Aspendos, Perge, Side and then drive up to Cappadocia. Konya has been an important city in the Ottoman period. The Mevlana's tomb is there, the leader of the Sufis. There is a wonderful tile museum, in which you can see the early tiles have horses, humans but gradually, tels change to geometrical drawings then floral tiles with flowers, especially tulips, roses and carnations become the decorating elements in palaces, and mosques. But, again, limited time, therefore you may have to skip and just go to cappadocia, more interesting. At least two days if not three. Make sure to go up to the top of Uc Hisar to see the entire area of geography. Ihlara valley is interesting for hiking but, your time is limited. Drive up to Soganli 58 Km. another interesting site in the region. Make sure to see the several churches and sites in Mustafapasha (Sinasos). Yes, you could fly to Istanbul from Kayseri if you are flying out of Turkey on the same day. But, if not, why not drive to Istanbul. It will take you a day's drive and you can stop in Ankara visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Wonderful collections, beginning 5000 B.C. From Ankara to Istanbul, take the toll road. The reason I am recommending the latter, because from Urgup to Kayseri will take about 45 Minutes, airport, flight time and, if you are not leaving on the same day, from the Istanbul airport you will get to a hotel in town. So, you will be spending 4-5 hours anyway. Website Turkeytravelplanner. You have time to plan. You can benefit websites of www.tourismturkey.org as well as you can write and and request some road maps from Turkish Embassy in Washington, D.C., www.Turkey.org. Almost every city and town have their own websites. For Izmir, www.Izmirturizm.gov.tr, Istanbul, www.ibb.gov.tr, Antalya, www.antalya-ws-com, Selcuk, www.selcuk.gov.tr etc.

Good luck and have a wonderful time. Think of extending your trip 4 more days to give you a enough time to see the sites that you want to see.
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Old Mar 30th, 2005, 01:53 PM
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Hi RCLCOLPB,

Stay around Selcuk, Visit Ephesus, Virgin Mary' House, Museum of Selcuk, Artemission, Basilica of St. John etc.
If you base yourself there you can easly travel to Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, Hierapolis. Pergamon another day. If you intend to go to Bodrum, Miletus, Didyma Priene are on your way and worth to pay a visit.
Ihlara Valley is gorgeous and can be done in short or long treck.But than you need to get a taxi ( not easy to find always )or walk back to your car.

Ballooning is nearly a must in Cappadocia since its the best place in the world for Hot Air ballooning and I strongly recommend.

Stay in a cave hotel and treat yourself with a suite.

Fly to istanbul evening flight.

Those would be my brief suggestions.
Have Fun & Happy Travelling

Murat
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