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New draft of Sept itinerary - feedback appreciated

New draft of Sept itinerary - feedback appreciated

Old May 25th, 2024, 10:57 AM
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New draft of Sept itinerary - feedback appreciated

After deciding to focus entirely on just Turkey this year rather than adding stops in Greece, we've reworked our month itinerary. What we have now is based on further research plus some great help from a former neighbor who visited her grandparents in Turkey each summer as a kid.. (She still loves to go there whenever she can.) Here's what our current draft looks like, and we're still looking into great places to visit in each locale:
  • 03-Sep depart USA (overnight)
  • 04-Sep Arrive Istanbul. Mosques. Cistern. Bosphorus cruise. Topkapi Palace. Spice bazarre (Istanbul 5N)
  • 09-Sep Fly to Izmir. Rent car. Drive to Çeşme. Opt: Pergamon (Çeşme 3N)
  • 12-Sep Drive to Selçuk. Explore Ephesus (ruins, museum, House of Virgin Mary) (Selçuk 2N)
  • 14-Sep Drive to Bodrum. Opt: Museum Underwater Archeology, Bodrum Castle. Late ferry to Datça (Datça 3N)
  • 17-Sep Drive to Marmaris. Explore town, drop car. Afternoon ferry to Rhodes (Rhodes 3N)
  • 20-Sep Afternoon ferry to Fethiye (Fethiye 1N)
  • 21-Sep Gulet trip: Fethiye to Demre? (gulet 3N)
  • 24-Sep Embark Demre. Bus or taxi to Kaş. Opt? (Kaş 3N)
  • 27-Sep Dolmus to Antalya. Opt? (Antalya or Alanya 3N)
  • 30-Sep Fly to Cappadocia. Rent car. Opt: Tuz Gölü, hot air balloon, underground city (Kayseri or Goreme 3N)
  • 03-Oct Drop car. Fly to Istanbul (Istanbul 1N)
  • 04-Oct depart IST
We've booked flights (refundable and changeable), but that's it. Before booking the gulet, we're still trying to figure out logistics of transport in the Demre-Kaş-Antalya days, including sightseeing transport. We also haven't yet considered what Monday closures we might encounter, not looked at availability of hot air balloons in Cappadocia. (Any particular companies recommended?) Once we nail down the itinerary, the rest will come.

Suggestions and feedback are most welcome!
melrowgo is offline  
Old May 26th, 2024, 02:35 AM
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There is not much to do and to see at Cesme (may be eccept the small Ottoman castle) than to go to the beach (Ilica or so).
I would skip Cesme and spend this time at Kusadasi (or around) where the Hinterland is much more interesting (Ephesos, Priene,Milet, Didimae, etc.....)

I don't thiknk that Datca is more interesting than Bodrum. At the end of he peninsula you could find the ruins of Kinidos, however. But compared with the archeological sites around Antalya, it's not worth the journey.
There are direct catamarans between Bodrum and Rhodos at certain days of the week.On Sept 13th and 15th there is furthermore a catamaran from Bodrum to the scenic Greek Island of Symi (ar 10.30).
The afternon boats (catamarans and slow ferries) from Symi to Rhodos run daily.

I wouldn't backtrack from Demre to Kas. Demre has a good beach hotel (Andriake Beach Club) and it's own rock tombs (similar to those at Fethyie and Kas) a antique theatre and the church where St-Nicolas comes from.

Stay at Antalya (but not in the noisy historic center) or Side. You could easily spend more time in this area. There is so much to see and to do. Alanya is too far away from the historical sites and from Antalya airport.

Kayseri is way too far away from the Cappadocian sites for a 3 days stay. It's airport is just handy for flights to Antalya or Izmir, as there are no such flights from the Cappapdocian airport of Nevsehir (NEV).
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Old May 27th, 2024, 01:45 PM
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There is not much to do and to see at Cesme (may be eccept the small Ottoman castle) than to go to the beach (Ilica or so).
This is the area where our friend visited her family every summer for decades, and she talked about how lovely and non-touristy it is. We wanted a time to chill after spending a busy week in Istandul (though we still hope to spend a day seeing Pergamon.

I don't think that Datca is more interesting than Bodrum.
I had read that Bodrum was pretty touristy, so we were looking for something less so. Datça was at the end fo the ferry and looked to be a lovely spot. We're certainly not opposed to staying in Bodrum as long as we're not in an overtouristed locale with inflated prices. (And perhaps I was misinformed about Bodrum.)

a catamaran from Bodrum to the scenic Greek Island of Symi. The afternon boats (catamarans and slow ferries) from Symi to Rhodos run daily
Sounds lovely. I'm not sure we have the time to spend a day there, but I'll keep it in mind as an option to get to Rhodes. Speaking of Rhodes, I've included it in our itinerary pretty much all along. However, given all else we want to see, should I continue to do so? If so, keep it as 3N or cut it to 2N? It doesn't seem very cost-effective to spend the $$ on the ferry for just one full day, but maybe that's enough (especially since we likely wouldn't rent a car there.)

I wouldn't backtrack from Demre to Kas. Demre has a good beach hotel (Andriake Beach Club) and it's own rock tombs (similar to those at Fethyie and Kas) a antique theatre and the church where St-Nicolas comes from.
I have read that Kaş is a lovely spot so that's why we were looking to stay there. I agree that the backtracking is a bit of a pain. The gulet trip we're lookiing at includes a stop at the St Nicholas Island and an afternoon in Kaş, so maybe that's enough time there? What advantage does staying in Demre over Kaş offer?

​​​​​​​Stay at Antalya (but not in the noisy historic center) or Side
It looks like most of the Antalya properties are either in the city center or are a fair distance away from the town. We were hoping to get something with a water view that didn't cost a fortune, so maybe that's impacting the options (or the time of year). If we need to rent a car to see the area sights, that will make it easier to get to some of the lodging options but will increase the cost. Many of the properties have access to a private beach. If we don't stay in one with this kind of access (further away), are the beaches we can use? Does one have to rent a chaise to do so (or two, in our case)?

​​​​​​​You could easily spend more time in this area (Antalya). There is so much to see and to do
What specifically do you recommend? Are they accessible without a rental car? If we stayed longer in Antalya, we'll have to take time from somewhere else - always a challenge!
​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​Kayseri is way too far away from the Cappadocian sites for a 3 days stay. It's airport is just handy for flights to Antalya or Izmir, as there are no such flights from the Cappapdocian airport of Nevsehir (NEV).
Good to know. We'll focus on Goreme.
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Old May 28th, 2024, 12:50 AM
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There are touristy places along the Cesme peninsula (Cesme, Ilica, Urla, etc.) and there are others.

Bodrum city IS touristy. The ruins of the ancient Halikarnassos are rather poor. The area East of Bodrum is much less crowded and the beaches there ae often better.
But I'm not a particular fan of the Bodrum peninsula anyway, neither of that of Datca.

Bodrum - Rhodos will always take a full day, whether you travel via Marmaris, via Kos or via Symi.

3 nights is the absolute minimum for Rhodos. As you plan to arrive there in late afternoon, you will in fact have only 2 full days. I would spend much more time at Rhodos than at Datca or Kas.
Must see places at Rhodos: walled medieval city with castle of the knights and archeological museum, Acropolis of Lindos (2 hrs by bus away) with scenic city of Lindos, ancient sites of Kamiros and Yalissos, Italian buildings in the new town of Rhodos, sandy beaches of Tsambika (dunes), Agathi.........

What do you plan to do at Kas after havin seen everything there during the afternoon stop of your gullet? The small mostly pebble or stone beaches around Kas are nothing to write home about.
Demre has the good sandy beach of Andriake (with Andriake Beach Club Hotel) and a long pebble/sand beach towards the East, plus 2 antique sites with rock tombs, a theatre and the former cathedral of St. Nicolas

Antalya: the good sandy beaches begin East of Antalya (up tp Manavgat). There are hotel beaches and beaches where anybody can rent a umbrella with 2 chairs. In between you find free areas where you can just lie into the sand or put your own umbrella.
If you are looking for natural beaches with only few people you best go up to Phaselis (South beach).
For a quiet accommodation in the center, check Park Hotel, Perge Hotel, etc.
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Old May 31st, 2024, 06:53 PM
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Well, we finally got an itinerary figured out. Exactly what we're going to see each day we're in each locale is still flexible, but we've figured out locations we're staying and how many days in each looks A big thanks to all who have offered feedback, either here or in DMs!
.
  • Tue, 03-Sep Arrive Istanbul. Mosques. Cistern. Bosphorus cruise. Topkapi Palace. Spice bazarre (Istanbul 5N)
  • Sun, 08-Sep Fly to Izmir. Rent car. Drive to Bergama. Pergamon. Opt: Manisa (Bergama 1N)
  • Mon, 09-Sep Drive to Çeşme (Çeşme 3N)
  • Thu, 12-Sep Drive to Selçuk. Ephesus (ruins, museum, House of Virgin Mary); Aydin (Selçuk 3N)
  • Sun, 15-Sep Drive to Didim, visiting Priene, Milet, + possibly Herakliea en route. Didyma (Didim 1N)
  • Mon, 16-Sep Drive to Marmaris. Drop car. Afternoon ferry to Rhodes. Opt: Acropolis of Lindos, medieval walled city, Kamiros, Ialissos, Tsambika beaches, Agathi, Jacob's Canyon (Rhodes 4N)
  • Fri, 20-Sep Afternoon ferry to Fethiye. (Fethiye 1N)
  • Sat, 21-Sep Gulet trip: Fethiye to Demre (gulet 3N)
  • Tue, 24-Sep Embark Demre. Opt: Olympos, Phaselis (Demre 2N)
  • Thu, 26-Sep Dolmus to Antalya. Opt: Perge, Antalya Archaeological Museum; Termessos, Kaleici; Aspendos (Antalya 4N)
  • Mon, 30-Sep Fly to Cappadocia. Rent car. Opt: Tuz Gölü, hot air balloon, underground city (Göreme 3N)
  • Thu, 03-Oct Drop car. Fly to Istanbul. (Istanbul 1N)
  • Fri, 04-Oct Depart Istanbul
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Old Jun 1st, 2024, 09:30 AM
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Don''t expect too much from the Archeological Museum of Antalya (after having visited the big archeolocial museum of Istanbul where you find exhibits from all over Turkey). But the tramway ride to the museum is nice!.
I suppose you have your reasons to proceed up to the Salt Lake (from Ilhara Valley?)
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Old Jun 1st, 2024, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by neckervd
Don''t expect too much from the Archeological Museum of Antalya (after having visited the big archeolocial museum of Istanbul where you find exhibits from all over Turkey). But the tramway ride to the museum is nice!.
I suppose you have your reasons to proceed up to the Salt Lake (from Ilhara Valley?)
I actually thought the museum quite good -- not least because many of the finds come from the nearby ancient site of Perge. I like that they stayed "close to home."
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Old Jun 1st, 2024, 12:08 PM
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FRA DIAVOLO:
You are not wrong, of course!
But don't forget that the OP plans to visit "the whole antique world", more or less along the coast from Constantinople up to Antalya, Rhodos Island and under water ruins around Kekova included.

BTW: I tried to give you a answer concerning Algeria in the Africa blog.
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