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Mid-April 2012: WHERE to spend 3-4 days w/ car after Selcuk/Ephesus area?

Mid-April 2012: WHERE to spend 3-4 days w/ car after Selcuk/Ephesus area?

Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 02:34 AM
  #21  
 
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I guess it depends on how much driving you feel comfortable with. Göcek is over 4 hours from Izmir airport, so you wouldn't want to do that on the morning of your last day, I think.
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Old Apr 2nd, 2012, 06:08 AM
  #22  
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Croesus: agreed.

OC: thanks for the insider information on speeds and radar.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 06:04 AM
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Aphrodisias and Pamukkale should feature in your plan in my opinion. They are not too far apart (if you drive by the Tavas road it takes about an hour and a half). I visited Aphrodisias last week and there were a number of coach groups around lunchtime - maybe better to get there early to enjoy the peacefulness of the place. Pamukkale's terraces are gleaming white, not that yucky colour they used to be. Anyhow, have a great trip!
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Old Apr 3rd, 2012, 06:36 PM
  #24  
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I'd really like to see Pamukkale and Aphrodisias: We'll have to make some hard choices. Maybe we can crunch down our time in Selcuk/ Ephesus, as otherchelebi suggested...
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 01:33 PM
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If it was me...
4/17 arrival, Selcuk, Sirince, overnight Selcuk
4/18 visit Ephesus, drive to Pamukkale (2hrs), overnight there
4/19, visit Pamukkale, head for Aphrodisias, overnight there
4/20 visit Aphrodisias, drive to Gocek, o/n Gocek?
4/21,22 Gocek with your friends o/n Gocek?
4/23 early start, visit Didyma, Miletus, maybe Priene on the way back to Kusadasi/Selcuk, o/n there
4/24 back to Izmir

You could also do Aphrodisias/Pamukkale both on 4/19 and leave earlier for Gocek. You could stay the same place 4/18,19 in a central spot. You could leave Gocek 4/22 late afternoon and overnight near Didyma to get a jump on the return circuit.

I did Aphrodisias in the AM starting really early (I was the ONLY person there for my breakfast picnic, it was gorgeous)Then I went to Pamukkale, and I had to turn in the car by 6pm in Denizli. I would have liked more time in Hieropolis, it looked interesting. Pamukkale was a mess when I was there, they were doing a huge construction project that is now that big pool at the base, and the walk up was long, the travertines were ugly, and it was hard to get to Hieropolis with the car. I looks done now, so it's probably better. In June the lines were long, and it was really hot. 3-4 hours in Aphrodisias was plenty to see it all, Pamukkale needs about that to see Hieropolis, plus several more if you want to walk around the travertines and take a dip in the Sacred Pool at the top or the big pool at the bottom (I assume that's why they built that).

Decisions, decisions, I always end up wanting more time... You'll have a lovely time no matter what you choose.
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Old Apr 7th, 2012, 06:32 PM
  #26  
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We are doing that circuit, in essence, but in reverse.
First, Selcuk & Ephesus.
On Day 3 we will visit Priene and Didyma after our 2 nts in Selcuk. We will push on that evening via L Bafa to Akyaka.
Next 2 nights/ < 3 days in Gocek (wish we had more time)
We make a late start from Gocek on Day 6 and spend the night in Pamukkale, with a late day visit to the pools.
Next day is Hierapolis and Aphrodisias, with late day arrival at Kusadasi (Club Caravanserai)
Then we fly to Istanbul.
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Old Apr 10th, 2012, 10:47 AM
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mowmow, where did you overnight at Aphrodisias?
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Old Apr 24th, 2012, 11:55 PM
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We flew into Amsterdam yesterday after a great 13 days in Turkey. I'll try to write a trip report when I get back to Canada.

As a downpayment on that, I'll just report that we did follow exactly the itinerary and the allocation of time outlined above. I enjoyed each of our 4 full days (5 nights) in Istanbul. Of our 7 night trip outside that city, I'd say our high points were as follows:

1. Pamukkale/ Hierapolis. We could not stay longer than 4 hours -- otherwise we would have stayed longer, to swim and visit the museum.

2. Miletus: Pure magic. There were more sheep on the site than people.

3. Priene, Didyma, Xanthos, Afrodisias (each so different from the others -- we never tired of visiting ruins).

Letoon was OK but not as good as the others. We drove past Euromos without stopping, because it was late. I still regret that omission. Ephesus fully met my expectations but I treasured these unexpected pleasures even more.

4. Akyaka -- for the hotel (Baga Boutique Hotel) and the riverside restaurant (Orfoz) where we had a great meal.

Kusadasi (a crummy town) for the same reason: We slept and dines at the Club Caravanserail, a grand and unique 1618 stone building on the waterfront.If I were choosing again, I would choose that rather than Selcuk, as a base for visiting Ephesus.

5. Gocek, because we sailed there on a friend's boat. I took the helm for almost 4 hours (under his watchful eye) although I had not sailed for 30 years....

6. The Datca peninsula (other than Marmaris). A last-minute choice for a day trip. Superb scenery and we were alone on the road most of the time

7. The drive via Fethiye to Kas and back. The stretch of road from Kalkan to Kas is perhaps the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen.

8. The mountain scenery on our way from Gocek to Denizli -- and on what I thought was a "shortcut" from Pamukkale to Afrodisias (short on a map but very long because of the endless switchbacks)
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 02:24 AM
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I'm glad you had a good time and you enjoyed the excellent ruins of ancient cities there.

The Club Caravanserail has beeen intriguing me for a while, since it was built by Öküz Mehmet Paşa whose han at Ulukışla was the inspiration for the poem "Han Duvarları" (The Walls of the Han) by Faruk Nafiz Çamlıbel. (I've yet to find an English translation or visit those hans, but on my to-do list).
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 03:08 AM
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P.S. I'm trying to guess which "short cut" you took to Aphrodisias. Was it the little road through the mountains via Babadağ and over to Ataköy, if so, I admire your adventurousness.
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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We stayed at the Okuz.....Pasa Han at Kusadasi on our honeymoon a few centuries ago when it was run by Club Med and loved it. Did not know that it was open as a hotel again.

But Ted, did they have enough parking space for the camels?

We took the babadag road over a year ago in October and enjoyed the scenery a great deal, although some little kids threw stones at us passing through a village (see my 'fumbling family' trip report) Otherwise, the road was quite good and with almost no traffic.
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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The road is great as far as Babadag. After that, it is very twisty and this spring, there are a few places where a portion of the road has subsided. The road is still navigable but it's quite slow.

The rooms at the Club Caravanserail are a bit dated -- the furniture, in a very traditional style, looks as though it has served long and rigorous duty. However the bathrooms are more recent and quite serviceable.

The service in their courtyard restaurant is very good, at both breakfast and dinner. The architecture of the place, as some of you already know, is fabulous.

As for parking: there was a space right in front of the hotel and we left our car, there the whole time.

As always throughout this trip, we were awakened by the local muezzin around 5:45 AM. The muezzin of the nearby mosque was quite interesting, in a purely musical sense.

I was quite intrigued by his delivery, which was quite unlike what I had heard elsewhere on this trip. It had a quality of improvisation that was rather like a jazz singer's improvisations, with interesting pauses and apparently spontaneous "riffs".
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 06:08 PM
  #33  
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Thanks so much, tedgale, for sharing your highlights! I'll be leaving for Turkey soon, and found your comments very helpful. I'm looking forward to so much, including the drive from Kas to Kalkan.
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 11:30 PM
  #34  
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kja: If you are in the Kalkan area, I strongly encourage you to visit Xanthos. It is just a little north of Kalkan and very close to the highway. The setting is splendid. There is a theatre and also some fine tombs and a ruined Byzantine basilica. Unfortunately the mosaic floors in the basilica have been covered with tarpaulins to preserve them. However, this site is certainly still worth a visit.

Here is a link: http://www.lycianturkey.com/lycian_sites/xanthos.htm

Nearby Letoon is hard to find and is largely unexcavated and un-restored. I found the experience a bit flat....
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 11:48 PM
  #35  
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Thanks so much, tedgale! I will definitely read up on Xanthos. And I see that you bookmarked my post on seasonal/regional foods. I'd welcome any recommendations you care to offer!
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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Thanks tedgale for your report. How was Pamukkale? Was it beautiful? Was it dried up like some people said?
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Old Apr 26th, 2012, 03:00 PM
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Mohan: I understand it was quite dried up a few years ago, when water was being extracted for private use.

At present, there are some dried-up bits in the more distant parts of the cliffs. I suspect water is being diverted to the nearer and more-frequented pools that all the tourists photograph.

But overall, the impression is of abundant water.

Yes, it is very beautiful. I was prepared NOT to like it but I was totally captivated. Hierapolis is just wonderful and the visitors (once you get away from the cliffs) are few in number and quite spread out.
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