Help with Turkey Itinerary

May 16th, 2002, 10:00 PM
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Help with Turkey Itinerary

I plan on going to Turkey for 2 weeks and along with Istanbul I want to go to Cappadocia and the Antalya area. I plan on getting a hotel in Istanbul. I could also easily arrange for hotels in the other places as well via the internet. Would I be better off scheduling transportation and hotels to Cappadocia and Antalya once I get to Istanbul? Are there agencies that offer package deals to Cappadocia and Antalya from Istanbul? From Cappadocia can I arrange a package to Antalya that would include transportation and hotel? I'm trying to save some money but also don't want to spend half my time trying to figure our airlines and hotels. But from what I understand there are many travel agencies in Turkey that can help. If anyone has any suggestions or opinions it would be greatly appreciated. I'm not sure what to do.
May 17th, 2002, 01:30 AM
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Hi Beth,

If you want to save money, then organising stuff from Istanbul through agents isn't going to be your best bet. They catered for non-budget tourists and involve lots of stops in shops.

Turkey is do-able on your own. Buses are quite good and easy to catch. We were thinking of getting a packaged deal with tour for Cappadocia as we didn't have a car. We got some quotes from Istanbul but decided to decide when we got to Goreme. When we arrived in Goreme, we were surprised that the prices were 1/2 of what was quoted by agents in istanbul for exactly the same tour.

We went for slightly more than two weeks and we travelled with buses. Not too keen on overnight buses but you actually do get used to it (but not enough to want it though). We started from Istanbul and went towards the center - Ankara, Cappadocia and then down to Antalya and then back up to Istanbul, with stops in Kas, Olimpos, Selcuk, Gallipoli.

If you're okay in getting accomodation through the web (you can negotiate) then maybe you should wait 'till you get to that town to get a tour. Most tour prices in Cappadocia are regulated within Cappadocia itself. As in the minimum prices are regulated - not the max.

Catching buses aren't difficult. Get a map and find out where thebus station is - your hotel would be helpful, and so is every person on the street in Turkey. Taxis are cheap too .. so you can just grab one and tell the guy to take you to the bus station.

Send me an e-mail if you have some questions for me.

May 17th, 2002, 02:54 AM
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Don't forget that you can best bargain for a hotel room in person (I tried it via the net but only managed to get about 5% off as opposed to 15-50% in person). You can do it on your own much cheaper than a package deal. If it is high tourist season (particularly Antalya) it will be harder to bargain, but hotels in Turkey last week were complaining about the drop in tourist numbers this year. Besides contacting the other poster, you might try posting your question on the Turkey discussion board of
There seem to be a lot of independent Turkey travellers and helpful Turks there.
May 17th, 2002, 06:48 AM
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Beth, we're doing this same route, leaving next week. We decided to fly between Istanbul and Kayseri (Cappadocia), drive to Antalya and fly back to Istanbul. Turkish Airlines seems to have a monopoly on intercountry flights. Someone recommended prebooking the flights through a travel agency before I went as there are only a couple of flights between the two daily. I paid $85 per flight, less than what I could book for from the US (Approx $130 per flight is what I was quoted). The fares on the Turkish Airlines website can only be booked in the country where the flight originates although I think you can reserve via that site no more than 5 days in advance and have to pick the tickets up at the Istanbul airport.

There are no direct flights between Cappadocia and Antalya so we are driving but if I was by myself I would be taking the bus. I understand there is also frequent service from the airport in Kayseri to the towns in Cappadocia where you would be staying.

We really wanted to do a hot air balloon ride so we booked a tour with the folks that are reserving the hot air balloon for us. But I understand that if you wait until you get there that there is no shortage of guides for a lot less than you can prebook for. Your hotel should be able to help you locate a guide.

A tip on Istanbul hotels-the prices vary widely on the internet. Some of the quotes I got directly from the hotels via email were the lowest, sometimes the lowest were from hotel discounters so it pays to look around once you've selected your hotel. Travelocity/Expedia seemed to have the highest prices.

I'll post when I get back, I should have better answers to your questions when I return.
May 17th, 2002, 07:40 AM
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kris---what hotel discounters do you use?
May 17th, 2002, 08:18 AM
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Hopkins, I'm hesitant to post the name out here as I haven't actually completed my travel and don't know if I will encounter any problems. If you email me direct, I'll tell you who I'm using and I'll be happy to post the name out here once I return and all goes well.
May 17th, 2002, 11:36 PM
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May 17th, 2002, 11:42 PM
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Kris did you get your plane tickets from an agency in the US or in Istanbul? If Istanbul, how did you find a reliable travel agent? How did you make the reservation? Was it via the internet? If so do you pick the tickets up in Turkey or are they sent? Thanks in advance for any info.
May 18th, 2002, 07:11 AM
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Peta, my international flight is frequent flier miles, my flights within Turkey I booked with a travel agent in Cappadocia that someone on Lonely Planet recommended to me. I emailed the agent, he is sending the tickets to my hotel in Istanbul. He would have also sent them here but it was a lot more for the international courier. He has also booked the hot air balloon trip for us and we are taking a tour with him. I did have to give him my credit card # for a guarantee but I will pay him (cash or TC) when we get to Cappadocia.

If you email me direct I'll give you the website name, I don't want to recommend anyone out here until I've actually used them sucessfully. But I have seen several recommendations for this company so I doubt there will be any problems.
May 18th, 2002, 08:02 AM
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Did you work with Suleyman in Cappadocia? IF so, he is wonderful! I would recommend him highly. He booked my internal flights and had them sent to my hotel in Istanbul, too (I had gotten my international tickets very early on when I saw a good price). He also booked hotels for me and I found that he usually got me better prices than the website offered or an upgrade for the price. We also hired him as a guide in Cappadocia, and he was terrific. I'll post the address if you want, or you can write to me for the information.
May 18th, 2002, 10:45 AM
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May 18th, 2002, 12:30 PM
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Hi Beth and the rest of the Authors
I m a Turkish man. Worked as an tour guide for many years. Now I m working for a travel and yachting agency based in Marmaris. I m mostly working in the office and incharge of the operation. Please let me know if you need any information and I will do my best to give you answers
with my best wishes
May 18th, 2002, 02:36 PM
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To abc:
I'm assuming you're referring to me. I'm not advertising, I'm a satisfied traveller who used this person's services last summer. Tell me what this board is about, if it's not about recommendations from satisfied travellers.

A couple of months ago, someone (and NOT the agent/agency mentioned) pulled up a slew of posts and letters about this company in a blatantly advertising fashion. I don't know who did this, and it seemed to be done in an antagonistic way, not in a helpful way at all. I didn't participate in this and nor did Suleyman, and I've been very circumspect since that time about making recommendations. But he was a wonderful agent and guide, and if it weren't for the internet, I wouldn't have come across him. And I want to share my positive experience. I don't gain anything by it, except the satisfaction of knowing that someone else might enjoy his services, too.
It saddens and angers me that this situation has, if anything, created an environment where anytime he is recommended, it comes across as advertising.

It really aggravates me to see someone make any recommendations, and then get accused of "advertising". I've been using my own name (unlike many on the board here) and am NOT at all in the travel business.

May 23rd, 2002, 05:28 AM
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Thanks Kris. It is a very good way not to give the address of the company you are working with before you have the service. I am sure you are talking about Argaeus. I am also having a similar service. I hope we will enjoy it.
To Paule ([email protected]); please stop it. You started to be very funny.
May 23rd, 2002, 06:22 AM
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Excuse me, am I missing something here? I make a recommendation on a board that gets devoted to travel, and then I get attacked? There really is something askew here! I used someone's services already (unlike Kris, who hasn't) and would like to tell everyone. Is that wrong? Why do you assume I'm advertising?
May 23rd, 2002, 07:14 AM
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Well, we're off to Turkey today (first time in first class, how will I ever bear to go back to coach???) and I will post when I get back on how our tour was and the name of the company if we are satisfied (no, it's not Argeus). Then you can believe or not believe that I'm a real person making a real recommendation
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