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Prelim Itinerary - fly it or drive it?

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I know this question has been asked and asked and I am thankful that the Turkey experts are so patient with us "first time Turkey visitors".

I'm in the first stages of planning a trip to Turkey starting early November. We have 2 - 3 weeks to work with and have not yet purchased our tickets to and from IST. I do have a bit of a plan. We want to spend 7 nights in Istanbul and 4 nights in Cappadocia area. I would like to see Pamukkale and Ephesus and that is where I'm stuck. I would really like to leave Istanbul to the end. We like to shop (Grand Bazaar - what more can I say) and we don't want to lug around our purchases. We are two women and have driven all over Europe but are questioning the distances and road conditions in Turkey.

Would it be better to fly into Istanbul, take a flight to Izmir the same evening and spend 4 nights Sulcuk area and then fly to Cappadocia (via Istanbul) and spend 4 nights in Goreme area, then returning back to Istanbul for our last 7 nights. OR Fly to Izmir, stay in the area 3 nights, drive to Pamukkale and then drive on to Cappadocia.

Is flying the way to go because I would only be renting cars in the two areas, rather than driving and incurring drop off charges. I'm open to suggestions. I would like to mention that I have looked at the overnight buses and while they seem great, once I read that there were no emergency washrooms onboard, that nixed that idea immediately. I had a horrible long haul bus ride in China where I thought my head would explode (you can guess why) so no buses for me.

Thanks for your help.

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