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please help Mother/Daughter trip to Turkey

please help Mother/Daughter trip to Turkey

Old Aug 23rd, 2007, 01:10 PM
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please help Mother/Daughter trip to Turkey

I have been wrapping up work so I haven't had much time to plan this mother (52) daughter (25) trip to Turkey. So far all we have is our international airfare and a hotel for the first few nights in istanbul.

Any help/suggestions would be much appreciated. I would like to get to Ephesus and Cappadocia. I also heard that the 12-island tour out of Feithye is great. Is this doable in just 14 days? What's the best way to get across this vast country? Is a rental car a necessity?

If anyone has suggestions about what activities such a pair could engage in it would be great too. Since I'll be with my mom, I doubt we'll be bar hopping or canyoning like I would do with my friends.
thanks in advance
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Old Aug 23rd, 2007, 01:39 PM
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Just got back Saturday from a family vacation there. I rented a car for the whole trip, but I would be wary of driving in istanbul unless you have a good confidence factor..it can be "hectic" and "rules free". I've read that the bus system is very good, so if driving is not a possibility, I would look into that, or cheap flights out of Istanbul to some further destinations. We used Decar and am happy to recommend them.

Apart from istanbul, we went to Ankara, Cappadocia, Antalya, Kas, Marmoris, Ephesus and Bursa.

We stayed in Goreme (Cappadocia) and would highly recommend this as a base for the area. We used the Fodor recommended Ottoman House and were happy with its welcome and rooms. Be aware that rooms over the street can be a little noise. Goreme is a small walking town, with interesitng shops and resturants, quite laid back. The open air museum ~1km from town, is a must see. We slo did a turkish meal and dance package that the hotel recommended and it was good. We also visited a sunken house and did a valley hike to see some cave churches. There last two were on our way out of Cappadocia.

Antalya, for us, was a bit too developed, bit expensive, too many resorts, beaches are long and wide, but with large stones and not sand. OK just for lying on beach IMHO.

Kas was our perfect mediterranena village. Small fishing town, once again a walking around place, good shops and restos, we took a boat cruise out of harbour that had 3-4 swim stops, lunch, nice views of med and ruins, sunken city,etc..We stayed at Otel Kas, another gem. Small, rooftop resto overlooking med, no beach but a swimming area (ladder to off the shore rocks), best part was our room overlooked med and was so close that you could hear every wave. Go...but don't tell anyone (less known the better). There was also our secret beach just outside Kas...

Marmoris is a smallish town, but a lot more active and more nightlife. There is an airport nearby and tour groups are coming here. Nice beaches, and they also have tour boats leaving from harbour. Hotel Lydia would be a nice place to stay. My one irritation was the guys trying to get you to come into every resturant as you walked by. We stayed at the cheap Star Hotel, 2 blocks from main beach.

Ephesus was a highlite for me...really interesintg ruins, amphitheatres, the Library. Takes about 2 hrs to casually walk through. The ruins are such that you can enter from the bottom or the top of the hill. So...depending on where you start, you may need to see things twice. We parked at the bottom and took a free shuttle to the top, then walked down back to our car. At the top there is a shop that sells guide books (mine was useless). I might consider seeing it as part of a guided tour. Note that our free shuttle was free... because we agreed to go to a carpet factory first...if you can resist the sales pitch...there are also horse drawn carriages from the bottom parking lot to the top.

Prices are cheap for hotels and food in Turkey. Gas is not. ATMs were there whenever we needed them.

Hope this helps.

Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Aug 23rd, 2007, 01:46 PM
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Kudos to Mike for an awesome post.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2007, 07:40 PM
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Hi bcandy,

I traveled all over turkey for one month back in 1992. I did not get to Ephesus, Nemrut. Also Did not do the 12island tour. Later sounds like a squeeze in 14 days, at least and exculsion of a number of other terrific sights in turkey. Have you checked flight options in between destinations? I sort of think everything is a must see in Turkey, its a fantastic country.

In my month, I did Istanbul, Cappadocio (goreme base), Marmaris, Pamukkale and the cool hotel where you can swim in roman ruins just above, kusidasi(don't remember), Bodrum evening boated over to Lindos, Rodos Greece for a few days (skip this turkey is better), Sumela Monestery. http://www.bodar.com/bigtrip/?p=40

Missed Nemrut, EPHESUS, and Anatalya

I was 28 and my friend and I picked the post cards we liked in Istanbul on day one and made our way around the country LOL. I traveled solo for 2 weeks of month and found it very safe and accomodating to female tourists alone.

When I looked up items to suggest to you it kills me that I missed Nemrut, go back back back.

My highlights were Cappadocia, slept on rooftops in Goreme in August for $2 a night. This was special considering we had a full moon and the wonderful outdoor peeks of the region.

Loved Istanbul too, shopping was great, food was an experience. If you are not already familiar worth your while to research how the Turks influenced western cuisine, rich rich history there.

Loved Fethye too, adored it, I suspect its considerably developed now as it is a headliner on most travel promos for turkey.

Last I love Sumela Monastary region, not the tourist swamp of the rest of the country. In summer its cool, green and lovely.

I think everything is an eye popper in Turkey. We were busing it everywhere and even this was a delight as the truck stops had buffets filled with stuffed peppers and items you would not see at truck stops state side.
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Old Aug 24th, 2007, 02:38 AM
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Hi Bcandy,
It is a great idea of mother & doughter holiday and can be tricky time to time in terms of finding balance and not to create a challange between two but to make time together to enjoy.

I will suggest some points:

Do a Bosphorus cruise together in Istanbul
Go to Grand Bazaar and do some window shopping

Dine at Bosphorus to treat each other and enjoy the mellow atmosphere.

One afternoon a cooking course can be fun and challanging in a nice way.

Fly To Cappadocia

One day hike at Red Valley and watch sunset over red valley over a glass of local wine

Horeseback ride 2 hours along red river

Hot air ballooning an early morning while sunrise you will have a lot to remember fond memories later and this easy adventure is a highlight.

Fly to Izmir, visit Ephesus. In between try a spa hotel or go to Pamukkale self drive some history and thermal bathing

Drive to Bodrum or Fethiye and try to cruise on a gulet 3 days which would include 12 islands.

You could wrap up the vacation staying 2-3 days at Kalkan which would allow you to do things together or solo while enjoying the small village, sea, food and history around.

Have fun and happy travelling,

propertravel is offline  
Old Aug 24th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Thanks for all the great advice. We are finally getting some planning done.

We will be in istanbul for four days then take an early morning flight to Cappadocia. We want to spend 3 days there before heading to Fethiye for 2 days. Is there a quick way to get to Fethiye from Cappadocia or is the best bet to rent a car?
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Old Aug 25th, 2007, 01:24 AM
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Dear bcandy

Our family has holidayed in Turkey four times in three years. We just got back from our fourth holiday and are talking about going again next year. Get the drift?

Istanbul is a must when it is your first visit. Try to stay in the old town, Sultan Ahmet area. Traffic is a nightmare so being within walking distance to the MUST SEE sights will save you time and taxi money.

We stayed at Yesil Ev one year and loved it. It is called the Green House Hotel and situated between two mosques. The morning call to prayer was so loud I jumped out of bed the first morning. After that I didn't notice it anymore.

Take the ferries to tour the Bosphorus. Ferry rides are TYL1 -2 each way and you get to people watch. Highly recommended. Get off on the opp. side and explore the villages - wonderful cafes and fruit stalls - better quality and prices than in the main city. Good kababs too.

Fly to Cappadocia and spend at least 2 days there. We stayed at the Museum Hotel which had interesting rooms all in caves. Some have no windows so be aware when making your reservations.

When in Cappadocia the highlight is the Balloon ride. Only ONE balloon company to go with - Cappadocia Balloon. You will have to pay more but it is worth every penny. The other companies just go up and down on the spot but the English family that runs Cappadocia Balloon will follow the wind directions of that day and take you across the whole valley. They are so skilled we acutally landed back on the truck that towed the balloon. Precision flying like you've never seen before.
Their contact is [email protected]

Stay in Izmir for Ephesus. Join a day trip. Izmir has no major sights but don't discount it. After all that sightseeing and walking in Cappadocia you would love the shops and cafes in this not so pretty city. Walk, visit the bazaar, which is smaller than the Grand Bazaar but selling all the SAME THINGS at much LOWER prices. So much more managable and not over-whelming.

If you still have time go to Cesme and spend at least two nights in one of the small hotels in a Greek historic village. You will be charmed.

Alternatively, from Izmir you can go to Fethiye or Kas and spend some time by the sea.

Kas is a dream village. I can revisit again and again. And Otel Kas is the place to stay.

A word of warning. Taxi drivers in Turkey are the same as taxi drivers everywhere - BEWARE. There are good ones but the bad ones are real crooks. Watch out for the following:
1. Make sure he sets the meter AFTER you get into the cab. If it is already set, insist he resets it. If he is honest he won't mind.
2. There is a night rate and a day rate. Night rate is double the day rate.Watch out for the number "1" for day rate and "2" for night rate next to the fare.
3. Have exact fare of close. I've had one grab the money out of my hands and then threw me out of the cab and sped off.
4. Detours. Have a vague idea the direction you should be headed in. Start shouting and screaming that you will report him if he goes in the opposite direction. He will probably give some lame excuse about traffic. Can't really help you here as I am still at their mercy on this front. However, sometimes it is a genuine detour but you can usually read the body language and tell whether he's telling the truth.
I hope this helps.
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Old Aug 25th, 2007, 03:59 AM
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Old Aug 26th, 2007, 02:07 AM
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I would make sure that you do not miss Ephesus or Cappadocia which are highlights and Istanbul's main sites can be seen in two days.

I would stay in Selcuk and make sure that you also see Sirince while there and do at least one night in Pummakale to see it , bask in the Sacred Pool like the ancients ( feels great!!) and do not miss nearby Aphrodisias.

We just spent a month in Turkey and a week each in Selcuk and Cappadocia. Gorme is not to be missed but staying at the famous Esbelli Evi is also wonderful.

Friends that went on the 12 island tour one day enjoyed it very much ( older parents with late teen son). We loved Fethiye and our gulet cruise.

You can see Ephesus area, Cappadocia and Istanbul in 14 days if you fly.

You might get some ideas from the info and pics on our blog ( 26 entries on our trip to turkey including links to where we stayed):


Look in recent archives. Rental cars are expensive and so is gas. We are in our 50's with a 6yo and we found lots of fun things to do for everyone.
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Old Aug 26th, 2007, 03:20 PM
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Just returned from a cruise that stopped in Kusadasi (Ephesus) and highly recommend you talk with Sammys Travel. They're effective, efficient, and deliver as promised, AND with friendliness, knowledge and genuine interest in your well-being and enjoyment. With just you and your daughter, you're much smaller than my family's group, but some examples will give you an idea of our experience.

Our party of 16 (family group, oldest were 88, 84, and 80; youngest were 5 and 3) made advance arrangements for an Ephesus tour based on splitting into two groups because of anticipated heat and fatigue concerns. I was with that group, and our guide, Yalcin Ikizoglu, a contract guide for Sammys, was perfect.

We were met with A/C vans in excellent condition, and got started immediately. I was with the group with the oldest and youngest (nine of us). Initially, our plans called for us to only drive by the Ephesus site, top and bottom, because we had heard wheelchair accessibility was very limited. But my parents were quite interested in seeing everything, anyway, and Yalcin quietly proposed that if I was game, he would help me get my father's wheelchair through the site.

In effect, we turned the wheelchair into a sedan chair of sorts, lifting and tilting it as needed, and the party proceeded through the entire Ephesus site. Yalcin made sure the two youngest saw an old stone game board that was not immediately obvious, and managed to get their attention by gathering some stones to "play" the game.

The entire time, he kept up a running commentary on what we were seeing, even though we were moving quickly because of the growing heat. Most of my concentration was on getting my father through by minimizing the rough ground and gaping breaks in marble stones. Yalcin never even hesitated to help, and made sure we chose the best, least-bumpy ground.

My father and mother said it was the highlight of the trip for them. With the other elderly gentleman, he was too tired to walk, and decided to stay in the van to sleep. The driver kept the engine running the engine to keep the A/C going for him, even though they offered many times to help him walk to a cafe (and he's fine with his cane).

Sammys' manager, Mehmet Dagdelen, happened to ride with us for a bit, and I found him extremely professional, and well organized.

They cover the entire country, but if our small slice of experience with our large group is any indication, they would do well for you as well. The cost of our tour for 16 people worked out per person to be cheaper than what the cruise ship (RCL) wanted for the same tour of Ephesus.

Final note: you know how some people smile but you know there's not much behind it? These folks had the smile and lots behind it. Yalcin, our guide as arranged by Sammys, was someone I'd eagerly meet again. We shared a meal afterward at a local place, and Yalcin not only shared food with us, but his thoughts, feelings and knowledge about his country. It doesn't get better than that!
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Old Aug 26th, 2007, 03:56 PM
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..I did a trip with my mother abour 10 years ago. I am now close to your Mom's age. I think that if you have 2 weeks either get a bus tour and do the whole country (we used Insight). Or do western Turkey by yourselves. It is a vast facinating country. This is (was) the only tour I have every been on exclusing 1 day trips. I specifically did this as I didn't want to stress about my mother stressing and I didn't want to feel responsible for the success (or failure) of the trip. It turned out to be fabulous- bioth the sightseeing and the time with my mother. Good luck.
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Old Sep 7th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Great answers on this post.
Did you do a TR on your trip? I have a bunch of questions.

Also great posts from Sarah, propertravel, marigo, wtnow, and sfotraveler.

So, bcandy, when is your trip??

What a goldmine of info for Turkey on this post!
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Old Sep 8th, 2007, 02:42 AM
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Hi Brahmama,
We do our best here at Fodors to help each other. I do try to share my expertise and own experiences. Turkey is a passion ;-)
Happy travelling,
propertravel is offline  
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