Seeking Assistance with Turkey Itinerary

May 5th, 2011, 04:44 AM
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Seeking Assistance with Turkey Itinerary

Hi all,

Have just decided on Turkey for an 8-night (on the ground) trip in mid-October. Two active, well-traveled couples (mid 40's to early 60's). We love history, architecture, good food and wine, hiking, and a wide variety of experiences. Istanbul and Cappadocia are musts, but we are interested in considering one other destination that could be a somewhat "simple" side trip from Istanbul....Gallipoli, Troy, Edirne, Canakkale, etc...??? Because of the season/time of year as well as our interests, we are leaning against the Bodrum, Ephesus, Izmir, beach thing. I am sure it is an amazing area and I'd love to go back to that area at some point, perhaps even rent a gulet, but for this trip it is not a priority (and been to Rome, Athens,Delphi, Epidaurus, have been fortunate to see a large number of Greek and Roman ruins already).

Time is tight and very busy at home and work right now - would welcome suggestions on itinerary as I begin to research in more detail. How would you suggest dividing the nights? Where best to base in Cappadocia and perhaps outside of Istanbul for a night or two?

Thanks for any thoughts or suggestions!
fun4all4 is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 06:04 AM
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Hello F4A,

There will be many with their experiences and preferences to advise you on the Cappadocia portion of your trip. So, i will only warn you tht October is high season for Cappadocia and you should reserve flight and lodging early.

Try the local wines while in Cappadocia. will write additional views.
otherchelebi is online now  
May 5th, 2011, 08:18 AM
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Gallipoli will not be as scenic in October as it could be in the Spring and its significance is valid for Anzacs and turks who had ancestors who fought there during WWI.

A trip to Troy and Assos with a flight to Canakkale and back is possible with one overnight at Assos port or at Behramkale and a rental car (Miller is the local car rental agency) This would be ruins plus small touristy village and quaint port where Aristotle taught for some time. (see my trip report, "A trip in Time....." on the lounge

Another option is a ferry to Yalova, car rental at Yalova and 60kilometer drive to Iznik (Nicea) on North shore of lake. Overnight at Cem Hotel or Camlik. Wednesday is market day. Return on more scenic South shore (about 80 k. ) I have a review of Iznik in some previous posts. If you must see it again, i will copy/paste it here again. Or you can get to Iznik from Altinova or karamursel, through Kizderbent village and Boyalica, stopping at Bagdad Rstaurant on river shore to have excellent trout and mushrooms cooked in locally churned butter on an earthen fish pan.

I do not recommend Edirne or Bursa. We do not find them friendly and fun cities to visit.
otherchelebi is online now  
May 5th, 2011, 04:49 PM
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Thanks! That is very helpful and informative. I will research more. You don't sound so excited about that region in general and maybe not as easy to get to as I thought. Should we reconsider the Izmir/Ephesus thing?
fun4all4 is offline  
May 5th, 2011, 05:18 PM
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Hey fun4all4! I haven't seen you here in awhile (I kind of pop in and out, too), so just posting to say hi! Hope all is well with you and your family. otherchelebi and others will provide good guidance. I can't add much other than to say that we loved Istanbul and Cappadocia (we visited last year for spring break); you'll have a great trip!
ms_go is online now  
May 5th, 2011, 11:07 PM
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f4a4, i am usually excited about all travel and especially travel to new places.

Both the Troy-Assos area and Iznik area are excellent choices, although they may be cooler than Selcuk-Ephesus with higher probability of precipitation.

We go to Assos usually once a year to attend an international philosophy conference, and we have a tiny weekend getaway home two kilometers from the city walls of Iznik which we love. You should read my reports and look at picasa photographs of my wife, eser celebiler (written together for webshots)

Selcuk-Ephesus is always a good alternative. Ephesus is possibly more interesting than all but Pompeii in Italy and Greece and selcuk museum is nice. You can do this without an overnight because of the large number of flights to Izmir. If you fly Atlas jet, they provide free bus to Selcuk and back which means that you would not need to rent a car or arrange a tour, but just get a short taxi ride to the Ephesus site from selcuk and a local guide at the upper gate.
otherchelebi is online now  
May 10th, 2011, 11:18 AM
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Thanks again. This is great and I enjoyed reading your reports - I've gotten through many of your postings and appreciate your time. I just bought air tickets so we are definitely going fo 8 nights. Still deciding what to add to Istanbul and Cappadocia, but leaning towards Ephesus/Izmir at this point although may still go to Canakkale for Troy and Gallipoli..

HI M.G.! So good to "hear" from you. Yes, I am working a LOT at this point plus all the other busy life stuff so definitely have not had much time to spend here. Still traveling a lot though. Would love to catch up - not sure I still have current email (comcast?). I know your daughter is right between my boys' ages which means she is either a h.s. senior or first year at college - either way, an exciting time. Would love to hear where she is or is going, etc.. feel free to email me so we don't clog up the thread. Where is your next trip?
fun4all4 is offline  
May 11th, 2011, 06:09 AM
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You have mail!

I lost a lot of my email archive awhile back, so I used the address in your profile. If you don't get my note...yes, I have the same comcast address that I've used for 7-8 years now.
ms_go is online now  
May 13th, 2011, 11:22 AM
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I just returned from Turkey and although you can visit Ephesus as a day trip from Istanbul, it would be a long day. Ephesus is large and it takes 3-4 hours minimum. If you visit Mary's house, St. John's basilica and the museum that could easily be 3 hours without time for lunch. I stayed in Selcuk for a couple of days and did a the Priene, Didyma tour as well. There is a train stop at the Izmir airport for Selcuk but there are only 4-5 trains a day so you have to coordinate times. I spent two days in Izmir which I enjoyed because there are some good fish restaurants,nice shops and the walkway along the water is very pleasant.
mes2525 is offline  
May 13th, 2011, 12:02 PM
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As an aside, I think that you can skip Mary's house. The basis for it is that a nun in Germany dreamed about it and that place looked like the place she dreamed about. It was relatively expensive and once you got there you were done in about 20 minutes.
James_P is offline  
May 17th, 2011, 08:11 AM
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Would love to see the itin you plan as we will also be there in early October for 9 nights and we're interested in 3-4 nights in IST, 2 nights Izmir, and possibly 2 nights in Cappadocia. It's not yet clear to me how to split the time and how many days we'd need in Izmir or Cappadocia....
fishee is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 03:52 AM
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Thanks again all! The planning is coming together and I will post details soon. It looks like we are going to go to Izmir/Ephesus as our 3rd destination. So Istanbul 3 nights, Cappadocia 2 nights, Ephesus/Izmir area 2 nights and back to Istanbul for 1 night before departure. I almost never "backtrack" and divide stays like that (for Istanbul), but flight timing combined with friends' going on for more exploring after Ephesus make that the most workable scenario. Actually, it should work well because I think we will stay in Sultanahmet for the first 3 nights and then stay on the "other side" for the last night...near Beyoglu/Takism/or maybe along the Bosphorus. Will keep you posted.
fun4all4 is offline  
May 19th, 2011, 05:45 PM
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So, Sirence is definitely worth a couple of hours. Selcuk is very nice. We went to the Hamam there. And to the Pink Bar for some raging fifties and sixties music. Very fun. The Bartender is so cute - and a pretty good magician. Good shopping in Selcuk, too. Skip Kusadasi.
cabovacation is offline  
May 23rd, 2011, 01:27 PM
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Better decision to add Ephesus as 3rd destination. It is very doable and fun in the same time,
Have a great time and enjoy,

propertravel is offline  
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