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tatersalad Oct 13th, 2010 01:44 PM

Izmir/Selcuk hotel and car rental?
Our current plan is to arrive Izmir Airport in the early evening on a Friday in March 2011. We will have traveled from North America for the past 24 hours and need to do one of two things: (1) find a hotel close to the airport and pick-up a rental car the next day; or (2) proceed to a hotel at Selcuk via taxi and pick-up a rental car on Sunday or Monday.

My questions are:

I am unable to locate any hotels at Izmir airport; are there any close to there?

My preference at the moment is option (2) above which gets us to Selcuk where we spend a couple of days with the local attractions, getting acclimated to the country and resting before renting a car; are there any car rental agencies in Selcuk besides ? We plan to drop the vehicle off in Dalaman so the same agency needs to have an office there as well. shows an office in Kusadas which is some distance away but a bit closer than having to go back to Izmir.

So, just to figure out what our options are, any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated (including hotel recomendation for Selcuk).


Michael Oct 13th, 2010 01:57 PM

Try; that's the broker we used with no problems.

You might want to click on my name to find my trip report. The hotel right across from the ruins of St. John's basilica was recommended and looked nice. Where we stayed was fine.

sandiej Oct 14th, 2010 01:28 AM

We rented from Eurocar at Izmir and then drove to Ephesus and stayed in Sirince which is about 25 minutes from Ephesus up a very steep mountain. The drive from Izmir to Ephesus is about 1.5 hours.
We will drop our car in Dalaman. Suggest after Ephesus drive to Aphrodisa and then Pamukkale. I think Aphrodisa is better than Ephesus. And Pamukkale is not to be missed. Then drive down to Kas and over to Dalaman.

otherchelebi Oct 14th, 2010 04:58 AM

Hello Tatersalad, unfortunately there are no hotels at Izmir airport, and if you go the 14 miles Nort to izmir from the airport, you would be going in the wrong direction from selcuk and braving the traffic next day.

1. You may be able to find a shuttle for the 45 minute trip from Izmir ADB airport to Selcuk, rather than a taxi. I think the trains stop running early evening but you may wish to check the DDY site for the schedules next February.
2. you can make an arrangement with one of the car rental agencies upon arrival to bring a car for you to selcuk the next day or later.
3. Check for hotels at 'small hotels of turkey' or 'boutique hotels of turkey' web sites. Prepared separately by what used to be a husband/wife team. Husband, Nisanyan was the person who opened up Sirince for tourism and has a hotel there.
4. Check the small Nazhan and Bella hotels in selcuk, across from St. John's Basilica. Rather spartan small rooms but cute and bella has excellent regional food at their restaurant.
5. You could easily take car noon of your first day and start driving around comfortably. It will not take long to acclimitize yourself.
6. Your first day in selcuk is market day, so you would be quite busy walking around the market, visiting the museum, the basilica and the mosque.
7. Ask for "Turp Otu" (radish grass and not radish greens) salad where you eat. It will be the right season. great boiled with olive oil and lemon and possibly garlic.

sandiej Oct 14th, 2010 05:35 AM

I reread your post that you would have been up 24 hours. Yes, it would be difficult to drive. I would stay in Istanbul a day or two and then take the 11AM flight to Izmir that will give you plenty of time to see Ephesus etc. We stayed at a different in Sirince that was charming. To find hotels check

tatersalad Oct 14th, 2010 05:51 AM

Thanks to all for the input. Many more questions will come from me as we start to build our itinerary for what I think will be a nine overnights road trip in the southwest costal region before returning to Istanbul for the last five overnights.

Our original plan wanted to include Cappadocia but the distance is so great and there is so much in the southwest costal area. In addition to the normal attractions we like to explore by car or on foot when we are in an interesting area and don’t like to be in a rush.

Also, we will want to find a hotel reasonably close to Dalaman Airport for our last night before departure to IST. Besides the first and last hotel stays, is it necessary to have each and every hotel night stay reserved in advance (in March) or can we have the freedom to just wing it and end the day wherever we are at the time?

Thanks again,

otherchelebi Oct 14th, 2010 07:02 AM

Rod, not all hotels will have opened for the season in March, but there will be enough.

One of the closest areas to Dalaman airport is Gocek, a small upscale resort because of its popularity with the yatching crowd. If you like the idea, ask Dudissimo, the destination expert for Gocek on Trip advisor gocek forums.

Another area, usually haunted by large groups of brtits, but possibly just waking up in March is Dalyan or the very local Koycegiz, next door.

Nearby, there is a Hilton Resort at sarigerme, where you can use HH points if you have them.

Not so close by but a very friendly place is Villa Rhapsody at Kayakoy, past Fethiye, where we stayed a few nights ago. I don't think that they have central heating but you would survive possibly with an electric heater in the room.

You may wish to check my trip report on the lounge because we drove around in the area for the umpteenth time (but with always some new places) just last week:

There will be the Lykian Marathon starting this weekend and lasting 16 days, i think. You may like to check up on it on the web later.

we will also have photographs from Arycanda, Kekova, Myra, Patara, Saint nicholas, Letoon, Gemiler bay, Birgi, Sardis and Aizanoi on webshots in a few days. (esercelebiler) my wife, already has posts from previous trips to some of this area and other places as well as lots of Bosphorus shots from our balcony at webshots.

tatersalad Oct 15th, 2010 06:16 AM

OK a new itinerary is in the making. Because of the lack of rental car options in Selcuk the logistics of the first plan just don’t pan out. Rather than the open-jaw air travel with one-way car rental a circle route will perhaps be a better use of our time and money as follows:

• Transfer at IST for a flight to Dalaman (the flight options aren’t as great as to Izmir but still doable, I think);
• First four overnights in Dalyan/Fethiye/Kas area, maybe using one or two hotels.
• Travel to Pamukoren with one overnight there or along the way.
• On to Selcuk for sixth overnight.
• Proceed to Bodrum two overnights.
• Then on to Dalyan for the ninth and final overnight before flying back to Istanbul.

We would like to explore some mountain villages, any recommendations on that subject appreciated as well. Bodrum may be changed out for something different. The route could be reversed if there is any advantage.

Many thanks

Michael Oct 15th, 2010 08:11 AM

I do not understand what you mean by car options in Selcuk do not pan out. We picked up our car at the Izmir airport. Isn't that what you intended to do?

otherchelebi Oct 15th, 2010 08:52 AM

Michael, some OPs do not like to read much.
i think Rod is hoping for direct divine guidance, but asking the questions here.

good luck Rod.

tatersalad Oct 15th, 2010 09:36 AM

Michael: we would arrive to the airport after 24 hours of travel and prefer to overnight before renting a car. Because of no hotel near the airport it would require a backtrack; plus the additional charge for a drop-off at another location adds to the expense = time+money. Rentacarturkey is the only agency that lists Selcuk as a pick-up point and their rates are rather expensive and require a non-refundable prepay.

otherchelebi: not holding out much hope for direct divine guidance just bouncing ideas about. BTW I did read your report.

Fra_Diavolo Oct 15th, 2010 02:01 PM

How about spending the first night in Istanbul, then flying out on an early flight to Izmir?

Gets you your rest, gets you there no later than Option 1 would, really. Plus you have the chance to spend some time in Istanbul.

otherchelebi Oct 16th, 2010 02:10 AM

I thought i had posted a response, but it disappeared.

I apologize for my former remark.

Three comments:

1. You probably wrote "Pamukoren" by mistake, it is a large village between aydin and denizli.

2. march in bodrum is not an attractive proposition. Bodrum is famous for its bars and clubs, but in season which will start mid May. The museum and castle will take an hour to visit. the amphitheatre and other ruins and not that interesting in comparison to all others you will visit.

3. As per my note 2, above, i truely think you will get a better deal regarding car rental when you land at Izmir airport, because March is a month the rental franchises will trip over each other to get your business. You could probably negotiate and make a deal to have a car delivered to you from Hertz, avis, budget, national, europcar, etc.

Not long ago, i had reserved a Chevy impala from Hertz at N. State, chicago, for a week with new York drop for all of $1,800 on line. When i walked in, i could negotiate a Lincoln Navigator for $1,400.

tatersalad Oct 16th, 2010 06:40 AM

Fra_Diavolo: That is an excellent suggestion, sandiej had put that out earlier, I will look into airport hotel options at IST as well.

otherchelebi: After I look at my map again I did intend to write Pamukkale. Thanks for the heads up on Bodrum, we can use that time elsewhere. Will see how best to work out the Izmir round trip as well.

Again, just bouncing ideas around, to end up with the perfect itinerary, with the help of those who have gone before us.

Thanks again

sandiej Oct 16th, 2010 07:15 AM

I agree drop Bodrum. We left Kas yesterday and drove Dalman airport. Here are some thoughts: Calis beach is like Malaga - a British cheap holiday place, I would not plan on any time; Oludeniz is a must do. Fethiye is a big resort area. We spent two nights in Kas after a long drive from Pamukkale and enjoyed. We are not resort people and prefer small inns and boutique hotels.

We had great day yesterday in Oludeniz. It was warm and sunny and there was a paragliding festival. The beach is amazing and while a bit touristy - and you have to pay to park. It is also the only sandy beach. In Kas, there is only the pebble beach.

Here are some driving tips. Roads are not marked with routes. You need to know which city direction you want to go. Out of Denizie you need to go towards Antlaya to go the coast. Tourists sites are marked with brown signs and are very accurate. The roads are not flat for the most part and there are very long sections of hairpin turns. The roads in general are good. Frankly, I think the 50 Euro drop fee was worth it not to back track. Again, we picked up in Izmir and dropped in Dalaman with Eurocar.

Please add Aphrodisis to your itinerary. It is the NYU site. I liked it better than Ephesus because it was not crowded with cruise ship people.

tatersalad Oct 16th, 2010 09:39 AM

sandiej: Thanks again for your input. It seems as though your itinerary is a good one. I look forward to your trip report. Happy travels.

immimi Oct 16th, 2010 02:19 PM

If at all possible do not go anywhere near Izmir with jet lag.
It is a huge, sprawling, bewildering city and the traffic is
horrific. This, of course, is only my opinion. lol. It took
us days to recover from our accidental stay in the centre of
town. Mind you, it was very interesting.

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