Ideas for trip to Turkey

Jan 5th, 2014, 07:20 PM
  #1  
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Ideas for trip to Turkey

My husband and I are planing a 23day trip to Turkey in August.
As we will be flying from Sydney-Australia I feel we may need a few days in Istanbul at both the beginning and end of the hoilday. Looking at pervious threads, most people suggest more than 3-4 days. So I thought maybe 3 days at the start and another 3 days at the end.
Will this be enough, if we want to also do a food tour around Istanbul (can anyone suggest a good tour) and also a day on the Bosphorus (again are there any suggestions)?
This will leave us with 17 days to see as much of Turkey as we can.
Most people seem to spend time along the west coast and then up though the middle via Cappadocia area. There is so much to see, it is hard to decide which areas to rule out and the ones we cannot miss. Is Pamukkale a must?
I have also noticed that few people include the area along the Black Sea. I like the look of Safranbolu and Trabzon, are these worth trying to include?
Should we try to drive everywhere or include some flights to help cover the vast area in a short time.
Looking forward to some helpful suggestion.
jenmatt is offline  
Jan 5th, 2014, 07:38 PM
  #2  
 
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We spent a week in Istanbul and it was not enough and one of the highlights was clearly Cappadocia.


Here a few photos that include Cappadocia and Pamukkale
https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/1...20963403239553
IMDonehere is online now  
Jan 6th, 2014, 06:05 AM
  #3  
 
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Sandwiching 17 days between 3 each of Istanbul seems to be a good idea. You try to see most popular sights first few days (like Yestravel earlier this year) and then fill in the gaps when you get back.

The 17 daya is good for the standard tour of Ephesus, Cappadocia and the Lykian Way antique cities, beaches and natural sights.

However, you cannot do the Black Sea at the same time.

Safranbolu can actually be combined with the Hittite sites of Hattusas and Alacahoyuk, ending in Cappadocia if you take rental car from Istanbul and leave early, staying the night at Safranbolu and doing the Hittite sites the next day, arriving in Goreme or Urgup late evening the day after.

Take the Mengen, Devrek route to Safranboulu, visiting Bartin and Amasra, buying a unique cherry wood walking stick at Devrek.

These two days will be long but you have long daylight hours and these regions have temperate weather.

Many travelers recommend longer than 3 days in Cappadocia but that depends on your priorities. (I would spend only two full days and not even visit any underground cities) On the other hand, few have seen Yazilikaya near Hattusas which was the place that my childhood imagination always pointed to me as the den of long lost horrible pagan gods who could walk out of the cul de sac any moment.

If you are willing to leave Safranbolu out, you can fly to Trabzon from Istanbul, rent a car, visit Sumela Monastery, which is an incredibly interesting location and structure, visit at least one other valley up the mountains and fly to Ankara tha same evening to take another rental car to Cappadocia.

The Lykian Way and Ephesus region will be very very hot in August and quite likely very humid also. Consider 35-40 degrees C daytime 24-30 C night temperatures and 80-90% humidity.

Ephesus and points North, including the upscale resort of Alacati (near Cesme, Izmir), the antique towns of Sardis, Pergamom, Assos Troy, the chill out beaches near Assos, the early Byzantine and Ottoman town of Iznik (Nicea) where I am writing this, are also good alternatives to the Lykian way, after visiting Ephesus and that area.

Finally, if you think you are very different from run-of the-mill tourist. You can continue with your rental car from Trabzon, after you have seen Sumela, to Hopa, to Batumi Georgia and back, then up the mountains to Macahel, to Borcka, to Savsat, to Kars, Ani ruins, to Mount Ararat and then to Dogu Beyazit seeing the fabulous fortress and the Ishak Pasa Palace, returning to Trabzon on the overland route through Bayburt and Erzurum, visiting some very little visited churches, mosques, lakes, waterfalls and mountain sites.

This is one part of our 2007 trip to the region, you can reach the other three parts from here easily :

http://eserahmetcelebilerblackseatrip1.blogspot.com/

we have other blogs of some of the other areas as :

www.eserahmetcelebiler.blogspot.com

www.esercelebiler.blogspot.com
otherchelebi is offline  
Jan 6th, 2014, 06:32 AM
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You might want to take a look at my trip report which includes driving from Izmir to Kayseri; click on my name to find it.
Michael is online now  
Jan 6th, 2014, 06:35 AM
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Other really knows his stuff, I would consider his recommendations carefully.
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Jan 6th, 2014, 12:20 PM
  #6  
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Thank you Other, I will sit down and work my way through your suggestions and blogs. I am thinking that we need to realise we cann't see everything and plan for another visit in the further to visit the Black Sea area.

Off to work now, but will sit down with a cup of coffee this afternoon to enjoy reading Other's and Michael's report.
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Jan 6th, 2014, 03:16 PM
  #7  
 
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We spent a month in Turkey. You can check out out TR also. And OC definitely knows his stuff when it comes to Turkey.
yestravel is offline  
Jan 6th, 2014, 04:05 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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FWIW, I prefer to avoid splitting my time in any one location if possible (why add an extra change of hotels and time for the transportation to/from the hotel unnecessarily) and was glad to spend all my time in Istanbul at the end of my trip. That said, I know it isn't always possible. Turkey is wonderful -- enjoy!
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Jan 6th, 2014, 04:36 PM
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I agree with Kja about preferring not to split time in a city. However in this case I was glad to have the opportunity. It allowed me to stay in Sultanahmet on the front end and easily visit the major sites. But I was ever so happy to stay away from that area on our return before we flew home. Gave us the chance to explore a totally different area and away from the hordes of tourists in Sultanhamet.
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Jan 6th, 2014, 08:15 PM
  #10  
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OT & Michael- thanks for all the suggestions.
My husband has made the comment, being "Aussie" maybe we should visit Gallipoli.
So I am thinking to spend time along the coast from Canakkale to Selcuk then head inland to Pamukkale and straight across to Urgup maybe stopping overnight at Beysehir. This will mean that we won't get down to the Lycian way (although the area looks fasinating and I would like to walk along the Saklikent Gorge)- considering the temp you say it may be.

Looking at Michaels report and a map, it looks like along way through mountanous areas, is the drive Ok and are the roads good?

Yestravel - I like the idea of seeing two different sides of Istanbul.
Everyones report sound fantastic
jenmatt is offline  
Jan 6th, 2014, 08:23 PM
  #11  
kja
 
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You'll find a number of comments on driving, the roads, and even Beysehir in my trip report - just click on my name to find it. Bottom line - roads are generally good, but be sure you know which ones you intend to take because signage near Beysehir may not be clear, GPS systems may not have complete info, and some of the routes through the mountains near Beysehir are very scenic if decidedly mountainous (translation: twisting, turning, narrow, local) roads. Beysehir has some interesting sites, but is much more urban than my research led me to expect.
kja is offline  
Jan 7th, 2014, 12:02 AM
  #12  
 
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The drive to Gallipoli is fast on motorway.
Gallipoli to the battlefields around Eceabat is quite scenic.
You can take ferry from Eceabat to Canakkale and continue to Troy and then spend night or two as Assos village or port.

Bergama next and then you may consider the longer route to Selcuk through Sardis-Bozdag-Birgi, or the highway to Izmir and then the Aydin motorway.

I suggest that you leave Pamukkale early in the morning and do Urgup that day without overnighting.

This is the shortcut to one of our Assos trips through Gallipoli and Canakkale :
http://www.fodors.com/community/fodo...-travel.cfm?34
otherchelebi is offline  
Jan 7th, 2014, 03:07 AM
  #13  
 
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You've got quite a bit of good advice here, but I would like to add something more here.
With 17 days, I would keep about 3-4 days for South East Turkey, because it's really exotic,there's a lot to see and it's so different from all other areas in Turkey.
You can have a look at my blog, have been to Cappadocia,Istanbul, Ephesus, SE Turkey in 14 days.
http://ashwinbahulkar.wordpress.com/...o-turkey-trip/
I did skip Pamukkale, but with 17 days I think you could spend atleast a day.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 03:12 AM
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And spend nothing less than 4 days in Cappadocia!! It is absolutely worth it.
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Jan 7th, 2014, 08:19 PM
  #15  
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Thank you everyone for your advice, I have got lots of reports to read and work my way through.
There are so many options, I'm sure which every we choice will be great.

Has anyone looked at or used the Konya Blue train??
jenmatt is offline  
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