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morkaleg Feb 24th, 2010 01:49 PM

Istanbul
 
We are potentially planning a 2 week trip to Turkey/Istanbul. Any hints as to the best things to put on the itinerary? How is the driving over there? We usually like to see and explore on our own. I am not a great fan of flying, so would like to avoid that once we get there. We are museum goers and love ruins and small towns.

otherchelebi Feb 24th, 2010 01:56 PM

Please check some of the recent threads and the trip reports.
Will be happy to respond to detailed questions after you have done some homework. :)

Also, get a map of Turkey, and possibly a guidebook.

Michel_Paris Feb 24th, 2010 02:08 PM

I'd suggest a quick look through a guide book to help get you started.

Istanbul, Ephesus, Cappadocia and Turkish Mediterranean as a start.

There is a "core area", Sultanahmet, in Istanbul that has a lot of the sites..Hagia Sofia, Blue Mosque, Archeological Musueum, Hippodrome, Topkapi Palace, nearby Spice and Grand Bazzar,etc..

I drove into downtown Istanbul from suburbs every day. It is unlike anything I had ever experienced before. Forget about lanes on the road, traffic fills to capacity. Yet, once you learn the etiquette, it was quite exciting. Very 'organized' in the sense that everybody knows what to do.

Parking and finding your way around...tricky but do-able.

Roads were good throughout, some as good as or better than at home..only 'bump' was stone that cracked windshield in the eastern regions.

We drove from Istanbul to Ankara (see Ataturk's tomb), then on the Goreme in Cappadocia. Very exciting countryside there, and interesting on the way. The chimneys and other rock formations, neat. Goreme we found to be a nice, laid back small town, within 5 minutes to Open Air Museum, well worth time. We then drove south, stopped at small underground city, and hiked in the Ilhara valley to cave churches.

To Antalya which modern and busy. Along coast stopped at Kas (my fav) and Marmaris. In Kas did day long boat trip to Lycean ruins, including lunch and swim stops. Tried to go to Olympos based on recomendtaion but time caught up to us. Interesting drive to get there.

On to Ephesus for ruins (1/2 dya), then back to Istanbul.

In all, about 10-12 days total.

Michael Feb 24th, 2010 06:51 PM

I liked the Rick Steves guidebook for Istanbul. You ight be interested in my trip report. Just click on my name to find it.

ellen75005 Feb 25th, 2010 05:35 PM

morkaleg,

We drove from Selcuk to Antalya (2 days, one on the coast). It was easy. My husband is game to drive just about anywhere, but he remarked more than once that he would never drive in Istanbul. I applaud Michel for braving it!

We spent a little more than two weeks there; roughly six days in Istanbul, four in Cappadocia, two at Ephesus and the two days driving from Selcuk (Ephesus) to Antalya on the southern coast. We loved every minute of it.

morkaleg Feb 26th, 2010 08:52 AM

Thanks for all the good advice. I have been looking through guide books and we have come to the conclusion that we will avoid having a car in Istanbul but would consider driving to other parts.

katrinab Mar 11th, 2010 09:48 AM

Our favorite museum in Istanbul was the Archeology Museum (right next to Topkapi Palace). You could spend days in there! And we loved climbing all over the Rumeli Hisari ruins. Lots of info and pics from our trip at http://patrinadoestheglobe.blogspot....ul-turkey.html


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