Plan Our Turkish Honeymoon!

Jan 2nd, 2007, 06:29 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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Plan Our Turkish Honeymoon!

Okay guys, it seems like you all have some great ideas and know the country really well. So, here goes.

We are getting married on August 31, 2007 and would like to honeymoon in Turkey from September 1 to September 15. I have a tentative itinerary in mind, but I'd like to share some of our must-do's and interests and see if any of you have some great recommendations.

What We Definitely Want:

Istanbul and the sights (Blue Mosque, Topkapi, Hagia Sophia), Balloon Ride over Cappadocia, Stunning coastal scenery, Relaxation time (preferably on a stretch of sandy beach), Swimming in crystal blue water, A taste of the "real" Turkey, Somewhat luxurious lodgings (it IS our honeymoon, after all) but we prefer smaller, intimate places to big chain hotels. (i.e. Empress Zoe vs. Four Seasons). And looking to spend around $150 a night, tops, although if we can find cheaper lodgings for a few nights that would allow us to splurge somewhere else, maybe $200-250.

What we don't want:

Anyplace overrun by tourists, a lot of traveling from place to place, big glitzy beach resorts (why even bother to leave the US?). We're not big on ancient ruins, and though I had originally wanted to go to Ephesus the thought of all the crowds is now pushing me away. I've been to Rome and Pompeii and would rather relax than hike through ruins on a sweltering day.

A gulet cruise seems a nice option, but I get pretty seasick. I'm not sure if I'd want to take the chance on vomiting through my honeymoon! Maybe a few day trips would be nice? We'd also like to include some more sporty activities, maybe heading to Saklikent Gorge or doing some kayaking.

So, there's all my long-winded information - what recommendations do you have for us?

Thanks in advance!
Kate
whethergirl is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 07:37 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,900
Congrats on your upcoming marriage and in choosing a great destination for your honeymoon!

I recommend spending 5 nights in Istanbul in order to do it justice. it is a great city with so much to see and do. We stayed in moderate accomodations there. The Apricot Hotel was wonderful and the owner is one of the nicest hoteliers I have ever met.

In Goreme we stayed at the Kelebek Hotel and I highly recommend it! The views were spectacular and the deck is a great place to watch the sunset over a nice cold beer.

http://www.kelebekhotel.com/classic/classic.php

You can hike all over the valley on your own. we did a hot air balloon ride and we were glad we splurged on that.

We didn't spend any time on the beach so maybe someone else will help you there.

You can view my Turkey photos at www.windjammer.smugmug.com.

Cheers!
eurotraveller is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 04:33 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,337
Congratulations
15 days for honeymoon is really good timing....Arrive Istanbul, 3 days, fly Cappadocia 4 days, drive to Antalya and to Kalkan stay at Villa Mahal do day trips and gulet cruise daily without overnight and leave to Istanbul for last 2 or 3 days. This is all doable withour rush and plenty of time to relax. Your budget except Villa Mahal is good too.
Happy travelling.
Murat
propertravel is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 02:08 PM
  #4  
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Thanks for the replies! Eurotraveller, your photos were just beautiful. I just looked into the Kelebek hotel last night and showed my fiancee the beautiful rooms. Do you mind my asking which type of room you stayed in? I wanted to book one of the deluxe rooms with a balcony, but wanted to know if you had any tips on which room was the nicest.

Murat, thanks for your info as well! I have looked into the Villa Mahal and it looks amazing! How far is it to the Fethiye area from there?

This was our tentative itinerary:

3 days Istanbul.
Fly to Kayseri, 3 days Cappadocia.
Rent a car, stay 4 days in Kas/Kalkan area.
Drive to Fethiye/Kayakoy, spend 3 days there.
Back to Istanbul for one night.

What do you think? Also, any hotel recommendations for nice suites in the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul that aren't too pricey? We were looking at the Empress Zoe Penthouse Suite, or maybe one of the deluxe corner rooms at the Hotel Nena. I'd love to have a terrace, if that helps.

Thanks again!
Kate
whethergirl is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2007, 02:18 PM
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Hi Kate, I can't remember which room we stayed in but it was one of the basic ones.

On the day before we left we looked at every single room that was vacant and both my boyfriend and I agreed that you just can't go wrong with that place!

I would stay on the back side in the area where the rooms are a bit fancier and larger. If you email the owner he will recommend a couple of rooms for you to choose from.

Not sure how far to Fethiye.

A great website for info is www.turkeytravelplanner.com. I did a lot of my planning from info I found over there. There is also a link that will tell you distances from each location to another. Invaluable for planning a trip to Turkey!

I have been to 35+ countries and Turkey is one of my top 5 favorites!
eurotraveller is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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eurotraveller: Just out of curiosity, what are your top five countries?

Turkey is also definitely in my top five
Femi is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 03:29 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Femi, my top 5 are:

Turkey
Croatia
Laos
Italy
Thailand

Yours?

Sorry to hijack this thread!
eurotraveller is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 03:40 PM
  #8  
 
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Posts: 3,760
Kate,
My husband and I spent over 3 weeks in Turkey in 2001, and it's probably my all-time favorite trip. We went to Istanbul, Cappadocia, Kalkan (stayed in Villa Mahal), did a 5-day cruise, then Selcuk, before returning to Istanbul for a few more days.

For your 2-week trip, I think Murat's itinerary makes sense. I found Cappadocia to be the highpoint of our trip, and though I loved the coast portion, I felt that the uniqueness of the region and the character of the people made it more special than any other area.

I'm curious why you want to spend 3 days in Kalkan and then 3 days in Fethiye, especially if you're not planning to do a lot of visits to ancient ruins. Personally, I think Kas is a lovely location, and 4 nights there will allow you to relax, and take day trips. One thing, though-- there aren't sand beaches at Kalkan. If I remember correctly, Villa Mahal has a wonderful series of steps down to a primarily pebble beach, but the water is crystal blue. And lots of platforms built into the side of the hill to sunbathe, and be waited on in a very pampered sort of way! Perhaps Fethiye has a sand beach, but I don't really know.

You might consider a day cruise, which was very possible from Kalkan. I suffer a lot from seaskickness, and swore by the patch. We were on a small boat, and once I put the patch on, I never once felt sick. In fact, if I had to do it over again, I would not have taken the small cruise we did, and would've done 1 or 2 day trips instead.

In Cappadocia, we stayed in the Gamirasu Hotel, in a little town called Ayvali, which is near Urgup. It, too, was a wonderful experience, and we had a great time with a tour guide (related to the owner of Gamirasu) who took us through the region (Suleyman Cakir). We didn't end up renting a car until after we left the region, because we had Suleyman drive us two of the days, and we took the dolmus (van-- stuffed, just like a vegetable dish!) into Urgup on one of the days. It worked out well, though it certainly would've been possible to explore on our own. We both loved staying in the town because it was so small and as far away from an urban/Western experience as we could have.

From Kalkan, we did several trips to the ruins in the area, and also had fun at a place called Saklikent Gorge.

Although we did enjoy staying in Selcuk (Ephesus, and a day trip for other ruins), I woudn't recommend that with your interests.

So congratulations on your wedding, and enjoy your honeymoon! It's a great country to visit, and you can't go wrong.

Paule

progol is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 04:27 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 6,818
whethergirl:

Want something different...stay at the cave lodgings in Urgup. We loved it..and Urgup is also a small town like Avalyi...but with a bit more going on.

The Esbelli Pension is quite an experience...dug out of the side of a cave (look closely at the room on this web page linked below)..cool in summer...comfortably warm rest of the year. Suha, the Owner is a very nice, caring person.

http://www.esbelli.com.tr/

If you happen to end up in Kusadasi (koosh-a-dessu), stay at the charming, romantic Hotel Kismet overlooking the harbor from on high.

Stu T.
tower is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 03:17 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,337
Kalkan to Fethiye is 1 hour drive. I also think you should not break two parts in med coast, unless there is a place you have to be at Kayakoy.

For cappadocia; two more suggestions
www.goremehouse.com, www.sacred-house.com
I used to manage Villa Mahal, so Sunset Suite would be definatelly your suite to stay. If you need professional assistance for your itinerary please let me know.
Best Regards from Cappadocia,
Murat
propertravel is offline  
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