Help with itinerary in Turkey

Old Feb 8th, 2014, 04:38 PM
  #1  
jft
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Help with itinerary in Turkey

My husband and I ( in our 50's) have a week to spend in Turkey before we will be in Istanbul for a conference late May. We have been to Istanbul before. We would like to go to Epheseus and Cappadoccia as well as perhaps a relaxing, not too touristy region(?Kas). We would like suggestions on how to do this efficiently in a weeks time and input into an itinerary. Is it best to do part as a group tour/ private guide or independently? We are fairly seasoned travellers. We would be arriving on Saturday May 24th from Toronto and need to be in Istanbul for the following Friday evening.
Thanks!
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 04:52 PM
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kja
 
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Late May is a lovely time to be in Turkey!

Although it will vary with what, exactly, you want to see and experience, I think 4 days is about right for Cappadocia. I thought Turkey easy to visit independently. I didn't think guides were necessary for most sites, but I did think them very helpful for a few places, including the Terrace Houses at Ephesus and the underground cities of Cappadocia. I commented on which places I thought a guide was necessary and provided comparisons of various places along the coast in my trip report -- just click on my name to find it.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 05:21 PM
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We spent 9 days going by car from Izmir (Ephesus) to Cappadocia. You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 05:31 PM
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jft
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Wow, I just went through your trip to Turkey. I wish we had more time!I adored Istanbul when we visited 3 years ago and look forward to seeing more of Turkey as well as Istanbul. If you could add one more spot to Epheseus and Cappadocia where would it be?
Thanks for your quick response.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 05:42 PM
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Thanks Michael. I did read it. Our problem is time. We only have a week before we arrive in Istanbul and that will be after a long flight from Toronto. I loved Istanbul when we were there for 5 days a few years ago.
I don't have a good sense of where the airports are in relation to the sites ( Cappadocia and Epheseus)and the distances between regions. I will need to get hold of a Turkey guidebook.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 05:43 PM
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I wish you had more time, too. I have not been to Ephesus, but considering travel time, etc., 3 days for Ephesus (perhaps seeing other things in the vicinity) and 4 for Cappadocia seems about right. We spent 3 days in Cappadocia and easily could have filled a week there. You can do it independently, but I noticed others doing guided tours, and I can certainly see the value. We had a driver to facilitate a walk through the Ilhara valley, and I highly recommend that.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 05:45 PM
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Pamukkale (sp?)
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 05:49 PM
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kja
 
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It REALLY depends on your interests! I was very glad to have visited each of the places I saw. One thing you might consider is that the travertines of Pamakkale are quite unusual and stunningly beautiful. You could visit them along with Hierapolis (ruins right by the travertines) and perhaps also Afrodisias. But I don't think you would go wrong with any of the myriad options before you!
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 05:54 PM
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For your guidebook, I strongly recommend The Rough Guide - it was by far the most useful of the half-dozen I used when planning my trip.

(@ Michael - I love that we both suggested Pamukkale!)
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 06:37 PM
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jft
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Thanks! I looked at a map and Pamukkale looks close to Ephaseus. I will look for a copy of Rough Guide.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 06:49 PM
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http://picasaweb.google.com/stuarttower/ScenesOfTurkey

Here are some selected pics which should give you a bit of familiarization with the Turkish countryside..it's there in the form of Cappadocia, Turquoise Coast, (Kas(h)), Ephesus, Pamukkale, Antalya (and the Lake District where very few tourists tread).

I can't offer you any trip reports..I just don't write them. Even though you've been in Istanbul before, I'll toss in pix below.
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Old Feb 8th, 2014, 06:51 PM
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https://picasaweb.google.com/stuartt...nesOfIstanbul#

...enjoy your visit.
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 06:54 PM
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I still have the urge to go to Kas. if I flew directly to one of the airports either near Ephesus or Cappadocia and then to the closest airport to Kas could I not do all three areas in the week? We would arrive in one of the cities on a Saturday and need to be in Istanbul late friday night. Too crazy?
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Old Feb 10th, 2014, 07:02 PM
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kja
 
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With a bit less than a week, during which you will likely have to deal with jet lag, I think it would be worth considering Cappadocia, Ephesus, and EITHER Kas OR Pamukkale. And I travel faster and harder than most Fodorites! But it's your trip and only you can decide whether visiting more locations in less depth and with more time spent in transit better suits your interests. They are all worth visiting!
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 04:33 AM
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jft
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I am thinking that with a tight time line I might consider a small group tour of Cappadocia to complete three locations in one week. If we went to Pamukkale instead of Kas it is one less flight and less hectic so it wouldn't be necessary. I was thinking Cappadocia Tours. I was not thinking Kas and Pamukkale. We have travelled a lot in Europe and are pretty good in doing it on our own often using public transit. The flight from Toronto to Istanbul would be direct with a second flight to either Izmir or Cappadocia. I am thinking doing Epheseus the day after arriving is probably not the best idea. If going to Epheseus, Cappadocia and Kas via flights what order do you propose? I guess it depends on flight connections.....
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 04:59 AM
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jft, as a young couple at your age, i would consider doing all, as follows :

1. Fly directly to cappadocia upon arrival from Toronto.
2. Stay 2 nights in cappadocia, taking Melatonin tablets each night abot 10PM local time, and taking tours.
3. Fly to izmir, renting car at airport, visiting Ephesus that day or next depending on schedule of Sunexpress or Pegasus flight. (check schedules and baggage allowances)
4. Drive to pamukkale after one night in Seluk (near Ephesus)
You may have time to visit Aphrodisias depending on your time of departure from selcuk.
5. Make sure you arrive at pamukkale at the travertines at sunset for the great scenery.
6. One night at pamukkale should do it.
7. Fifth day, you can make the 5.5 hr drive to Kas easily to rest two nights, take the kekova boat cruise rest.
8. Final day, drive to Dalaman airport 2-2.5 hrs or so possibly visiting Patara on the way, drop car and fly back to Istanbul.

We have done more than that without flying within a week on previous trips although it did mean leaving out some sights for future visits (other reincarnations sometimes) and in my sixties although DW is your age.

I am reprinting an earlier Kas/Fethiye, etc report which was on Fodor's Lounge and not available to all. This should give you some idea of driving in the area.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...10-trip.cfm?10
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 05:23 PM
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kja
 
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May I ask what is pulling you so strongly to Kas? It is lovely, but IMO, it is not "special" in the way that Pamukkale and Cappadocia are. I'm not criticizing, I'm just trying to understand.
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 06:50 PM
  #18  
jft
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I am glad you asked that question. My feeling is that Cappadocia and Epheseus/Pamukkale will be hectic and I thought someplace contrasting and relaxing would work well. Kas sounded nice but it could be somewhere else closer to Epheseus. I was looking for somewhere more rural and less arrid and near the coast. I did go to the library and I am looking through the guidebooks which may give me a better sense.
In thinking about it- it sounds like I am trying to cover too much in a short time. Yet I read your Switzerland report and you can certainly move around!
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 07:44 PM
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kja
 
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You're absolutely right, I DO move around a lot -- FAR more than most Fodorites!

But even as someone who moves around a lot, if you look at my trip report for Turkey, you'll see that I gave Cappadocia 4 days, Kas close to a day (depending on how you count my time on the days on either side of my night there), 1 night in Pamukkale, and 2 nights in Selcuk (for Ephesus). You'll also see that I spent about 4.5 days along the southern coast of Italy, and while there, I visited not just Kas, but also Aspendos, Perge, Antalya, Olympos, Phaselis, the Chimaera, Cirali, Adrasan, Arykanda, Myra, Ucagiz, Kekova, Xanthos, and Patara -- all worth seeing, IMO. AND I had a car and travelled solo -- both of which made it very easy to move about and take advantage of some of the wonderful options that are available in that lovely part of the world.

I did not find my time in Cappadocia or Ephesus or Pamukkale to be hectic. I visited these places just a bit earlier than you will be there, but I don't think a week or two would make that much difference to your experience. I didn't feel like there were a lot of others around at any of these places, and I felt like I visited things at a pace that was relaxing, even if I did keep moving forward. I'm not sure if that makes sense, so let me say it differently: I took my time at every place I visited. I never rushed. I relaxed over a pre-dinner glass of wine and over dinner. It's just that I did -- in Turkey, Switzerland, and just about everywhere else I've visited -- keep moving forward. (I hate backtracking! I only unpack what I need. I don't understand why people think my pace is hectic when I spend LESS time moving on than they spend backtracking and packing/unpacking! But as I already said, I travel solo, and that makes a huge difference.)

If what you want is time on a coast/beach, you might look into Cesme (I think otherchelebi has a trip report on that peninsula, which is near Ephesus) or Foca (also nearer to Ephesus than Kas), which has also been reviewed on this board.

In contrast, if you try to visit Cappadocia in just 2 or 3 days AND visit Kas AND visit Ephesus, well, I fear that your trip could be hectic!

But maybe we have different ideas of what a hectic trip is.

Hope that helps!
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Old Feb 11th, 2014, 08:13 PM
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oops! that should be "4.5 days along the southern coast of Turkey". Listening to the Olympics while typing on Fodor's can lead to some odd errors!
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