Need Some Advice On Turkey

Old Dec 1st, 2009, 07:55 AM
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Need Some Advice On Turkey

Hi All --
We're planning a two week trip to Turkey in May. We intend to visit Istanbul for three or four days at the beginning, then taking the bus to Cannakale to visit Troy. I thought I might rent a car there and drive to Troy, then on to Assos to spend the night. The next day we'd drive to Pergamun, then on to Selcuk. Is this feasible?

From Selcuk we wish to visit Ephesus, Afrodisias and Pamukkale and some of the smaller sites in the area. I would imagine three full days.

From here, a drive to Kas in order to take the boat trip to and kayak over the sunken city of Kekova. And from there to Cappadocia for three nights. Would you suggest driving there from Kas, or would a regional airport provide a good connection? We'll fly to Istanbul from Cappadocia.

I think we may have an extra day here, which we'll spend in Istanbul if we don't need it eleswhere.

Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2009, 09:58 AM
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We did Turkey in May 2003. A wonderful trip. From Selcuk you can do Sirince -- great smaller Turkish village -- and also the ancient Greek ruins of Didyma, Priene and Miletus (we did those three by car is an easy day from Bodrum to Selcuk so maybe you can do on the day you leave Selcuk on the way to Kas).

For hotels, a great resource is the Small Hotels of Turkey online guide ( We also stayed in the hotel run by the "owner" of that online guide -- Nisanyan House -- which is in Sirince and had a beautiful stay (although there are a few other places in Sirince too). It is maybe a 20-30 minute easy drive from Sirince to Selcuk and Ephesus (or less).

We found driving and flying both easier than expected in Turkey but from Kas to Cappadocia not sure of distance or airports as to what makes most sense.
laurie_ann is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Hi Fra_Diavola,

It is rather unlikely that you will find a decent car for rent in Canakkale and also one which you can return elsewhere.

I strongly recommend renting car in Istanbul and from one of the major car rental companies, so that you can be sure to get an automatic with A/C and with reasonably low mileag.

I recommend that you try to get trhe car as close as possible to the Yenikapi ferryboat terminal, and take the 7:30 AM car ferry to Bandirma (about two hours) then drive via the coast road to Lapseki and Troy without entering Canakkale.

You will probably be disappointed in Troy, because very little is left after the 19th century discoverers took everything.

But Behramkale/Assos is a gem and you will enjoy both the ruins and the tiny port. Some boutique B&Bs like the Pepper House are nice but afrociously expensive. The port hotels and B&Bs are better value. Also, do not stay at Kadirga area, or Assos Teras Hotel. If you prefer peace and quiet, Lila Motel, down the hill towards Southeast, just before Kucukkuyu is lovely.

Pergamom can take quite a bit of your time and then you have the hospital on the next hill, so you would have to leave Assos area early, if you want to make it to Selcuk before nightfall.

It is unfortunate that this itinerary will not give you a chance to visit Sardis (where we were this morning)

Three full days and three nights should allow you to see most of the historic and scenic sites around Selcuk and Denizli.

I agree that staying at Sirince would be nice, (do not trust their fruit wines)

Try to visit Herakleia if you can also. You could possibly do this on your way down South if you were taking the Milas-Mugla route.

However, it also makes sense to leave Aphrodisias to the last, stay the third night in Pamukkale and drive down to Kas from there.

From Kas to Cappadocia, you should stay the night on the route. My recommendation is to drive on the coast from Kas, visiting Perge, Aspendos, Side and Anemurium,(another very full day) and going inland from Anemurium to Ermenek-Mut-Jaraman-Aksaray-Urgup. ou can stay the night at Anamut or at Selcuklu hotel in Ermenek. These areas are not very well known by standard tourists, but if you are young at heart, adventurous and curious, here's your chance.

I am 65(although my wife of 31 years is only 50), we woke up this morning in Istanbul, decided to visit Sardis and then the tiny lake resort of Golcuk, between the w=towns of Salihli and Odemis on the mountains. And here we are. i am writing from our hotel room overlooking the incredibly romantic lake, with a full moon, having bought old type brushes from a man as old as Sardis on the way, and having photographed hundreds of years old plane trees on the lake shore. We will drive back tomorrow.

good luck in your plans
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2009, 11:23 AM
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I would suggest skipping Canakale... and Pergamun (all of the exciting stuff has long ago been moved to Berlin!) On the longest trip, we flew from Istanbul (after six wonderful days) to Kayseri...three full days in Cappadocia (stayed at Esbelli Evi...superb), then rented our car in Urgup and drove to the little-known lake district (overnight in Ergirdir)and south to Antalya, where the (new at the time) Sheraton had an incredible three night deal. We used it as base for Kas(h) and Kalkan along the Turquoise Coast...then drove from Antalya to Pamukkale (one night), to Afrodisias and onto
Kus(h)adesi(u)..stayed at The Kismet (under $100 in those days!)...easy drives to Ephesus, Selcuk and Sirince...three nights... (*at this point you can fly from Izmir back to Istanbul)...we opted to drive down to Bodrum and its peninsula...(two nights).. and on to Marmaris (two nights). Turned the car in and ferried to Rhodes and in the next ten days we spent two in Rhodes, three in Santorini, two in Mykonos, and three in Athens...a most memorable journey (I'm writing this from memory and with a little help from the journal and old pix).

Fra, whatever your final itinerary looks like, enjoy a great trip!

Here are some selected scanned Turkey pics (pre-digital days)
Best viewed by "slide show"...for more than one pic per page, click on magnifying glass icon and move the "mouse" around.
tower is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2009, 11:44 AM
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Click on my name for my trip Turkey trip report. We spent 9 days between Selcuk and Cappadocia, seeing Aphrodisias and Pamukkale in between. You might find the report useful.
Michael is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2009, 01:36 PM
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Thanks to you all for your replies. Laurie-ann, we are planning on a similar drive to Didyma, Priene and Miletus. Otherchelebi -- great and very useful information. Michael -- I enjoyed the trip report and think the detailed descriptions of routes will be very useful. Stew, great pictures and you might have me changing my itinerary.

It would hurt to drop Troy -- Homer has been a part of my life since boyhood -- but it is out of the way and no one seems too enthusiastic. Decisions, decisions . . .
Fra_Diavolo is offline  
Old Dec 1st, 2009, 02:08 PM
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After morning at Pergamun, we were off to Sardis which was probably our favorite site. Not many visit here, lucky for us as there are never any crowds or tour buses. The old Roman roads, the Jewish quarter, synagogue and nearby gymnasium. And down the road about 10-seconds (on the left) is the hidden Temple of Artimis (or was it Aphrodite... it's been some years and I don't have my photos at hand) which was heavenly - a place we felt the gods did reside - with columns so tall, we had to lay on the ground to photograph... amazing.

If you do visit Cappadocia from Kas, good idea to overnight somewhere - Konya, maybe. We drove from Antalya (with nearby Perge, Aspendos), it's a long haul.

Roads are in pretty good condition and well marked, but watch for local farm (often wide) vehicles... can be tricky passing on two-lane highways. We did pass one nasty accident!

Good luck, you'll love Turkey.
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Old Dec 1st, 2009, 03:52 PM
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I can't add much more than the other posters have, but if you've been reading this site, you know to read otherchelebi's advice very carefully

A couple of observations from our recent trip to Turkey. First, we fell in love with it, its history, and its people. Three nights in Cappadocia is good; we were blown away by it(we stayed 4 nights at the Melekler Evi in Urgup = HEAVEN).

My husband will drive anywhere (and has...including Kosovo and Albania, which was an interesting experience). We drove from Izmir to Selcuk to Fethiye to Antalya with no problems, but he swore that he'd never drive in Istanbul. That may be why otherchelebi advised getting the car as close to the ferry terminal as possible. Also, I always find that I don't allow enough time when planning driving itineraries in Europe, so make sure your driving time estimates are realistic.

sandi is right, whatever you end up with as a final itinerary, you'll love Turkey. Keep us informed of your plans.

ellencmog is offline  
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