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Some Observations on a Fantastic Journey through Western Turkey

Some Observations on a Fantastic Journey through Western Turkey

Old Jan 11th, 2013, 04:54 PM
  #61  
kja
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Thanks for the compliments, barefootbeach!

I trust you've read the many arguments in favor of staying elsewhere (e.g., near Taksim Square). Sultanahmet worked very well for my interests, but obviously doesn't suit everyone. I hope it meets your needs. Istanbul is very special - enjoy!
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 06:32 AM
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Just wondering kja, your rental car was a Renault Symbol, was it gas or diesel. Would the trunk had been big enough for larger suitcase, small suitcase and daypacks. Finding car rental very expensive, much more than you paid.
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Old Jan 12th, 2013, 09:10 AM
  #63  
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WhistlerNorth - I honestly don't remember whether the car was gas or diesel. I think it was gas, but would not swear to it. And since I was traveling along, I really don't know how much the trunk would have held. Good luck!
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Old Jan 27th, 2013, 09:21 PM
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I have settled on starting with
4 nights in Istanbul
then flying to Kayseri staying in Goreme 4 nights, Sun express flight to Izmir to pick up rental car.
2 nights Selcuk
1 night Pamukkale.
then we have 9 nights before flying from Antalya to Istanbul where we will have 3 more nights. I was just wondering of your stops at Cirali, Kas ,Ucagiz and others in between Antalya and Pamukkale, where did you wish you could have spent more time. I'm torn between some time at Dalyan,Kaya Koyu, Fethiye or any suggestions of a base to combine some of these. How was your accomdation at Ucagiz and Antalya? How did you find having a car and going into Antalya and was Antalya worth spending 2 nights or too much of a big city. This trip is starting mid April into first 10 days of May. Appreciate your insight.
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Old Jan 28th, 2013, 12:29 AM
  #65  
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Hi, WhistlerNorth -

➢ I was just wondering of your stops at Cirali, Kas ,Ucagiz and others in between Antalya and Pamukkale, where did you wish you could have spent more time.

No where! I was very pleased with the amount of time I spent in each of these locations. I’m sure that others might want more or less time in any one of these places, but the time I spent in each matched my interests.

Let me put this in perspective: I love planning my trips. As a solo traveler, that means that I plan a trip for my very specific interests, with attention to my own pace and my own needs and my own contraints. To plan my time in Turkey, I worked with 6 different guidebooks, trip reports posted on Fodor’s going back at least 3 years from when I first began planning, various other sources (on the web or in print or from friends and colleagues), and, ultimately, the welcome feedback I got for my specific plans on Fodor’s forum.

I am not a travel agent or travel expert – I’m just a person who enjoys traveling. And just as I benefited from Fodorites who went to Turkey before I did, I think I owe it to future travelers to share my insights. But that’s all they are – MY insights. Others could easily disagree! So while I greatly appreciate the confidence you are placing in me, I urge you to step back a bit – I am not an expert! I encourage you to post your questions separately, and while taking all posters comments into consideration, watch in particular for comments from those who truly are experts on Turkey, such as otherchelebi and Croesus

➢ I'm torn between some time at Dalyan,Kaya Koyu, Fethiye or any suggestions of a base to combine some of these.

I didn’t visit any of these places.

➢ How was your accomdation at Ucagiz and Antalya?

You can find my reviews on TripAdvisor.

➢ How did you find having a car and going into Antalya

As noted above, I found driving in and around Antalya extremely stressful – among the worst of my driving experiences in Turkey! But perhaps that was because it was around rush hour or because my GPS wasn’t working properly. I wouldn’t avoid Antalya just because driving into it was difficult! After all, I did manage it and thought Antalya worth it.

➢ and was Antalya worth spending 2 nights or too much of a big city.

I thoroughly enjoyed Antalya. Depending on your interests, it could easily merit 2 nights, whether that means (a minimum of ) 1 or 2 or 3 days!

Beyond that, I’m not sure how to respond to your question. I didn’t think Antalya a “big” city – at least not in comparison to, say, Istanbul. It is big enough to have a good archeology museum, some reasonably good restaurants, an old town worth roaming, etc. The historical core is walkable, and so didn’t feel “big” at all.

I wish I could be of more help, WhistlerNorth. I'm sure your trip will be wonderful! I'm glad you're leaving a good chunk of time for Istanbul - it is a fascinating place!
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Old Jan 28th, 2013, 06:07 AM
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I looked at your reviews on Trip advisor and Ucagiz did not receive a review---I know it is very small village. You also appeared to stay in 2 different places in Antalya over 2 nights,why? Thanks you have been very helpful
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Old Jan 28th, 2013, 07:56 AM
  #67  
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The place I stayed in Antalya was the Candles House. The place I stayed in Ocagiz was the Likya Cennet Pansiyon, which TripAdvisor listed incorrectly (despite my note to them) as being in Antalya.
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Old Feb 12th, 2013, 10:01 PM
  #68  
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> from a post by WhistlerNorth on 2/13/12:
kja, did you find one night in Cirali and Ucagiz enough or given a chance would you have spent 2 in one of them. We are spending 3 nights at a guesthouse in Islamlar which is overlooking Kalkan. This place is run by a friend of a friend of ours. If we were not staying here Kas looks like a good place. He suggested one night at Kale at a pansyion and one night at Cirali or Andrasan after leaving his home. I know you moved alot but did one appeal more than another. We finish with 2 nights in Antalya before flying back to Istanbul. Still deciding between Faralya and Kaya Koyu for 2 nights at other end. We have a car. ... Hi again, WhistlerNorth


Hi, WhistlerNorth --
All I can do is tell you about my experience.

<b>Cirali</b>
I spent one night in Cirali, arriving late in the afternoon and leaving just after breakfast the next day. My B&B suited my goal, which was to visit the Chimaera (Yanartas). Please note that visiting the Chimaera was the ONLY thing I did from Cirali. The B*B at which I stayed was among those that were closest to the Chimaera, which also means furthest from the village – as in several kilometers away from the village. The ONLY time I spent in the village was driving through it when I arrived and when I left. It seemed to have a very relaxed aura – almost a 60’s hippy vibe, but I really can’t say since I didn’t get out of my car while in town. My B&B had a limited (and tasty enough, if very basic) dinner menu, but you’d have to go back in to town if you wanted an actual restaurant. The coast itself was far enough from the road that I couldn’t see or hear it. As I recall – and I very easily could be wrong - the owners of my B&B said it was about a 10-minute walk to the shore (it might have been closer, or further – but not so close that parents needed to be overly concerned about young children). As I recall, driving from the main coastal road into the town of Cirali took maybe 10 or 15 minutes, with lots of switchbacks and narrow roads. I was glad I had good lighting going in and out. I thought Cirali a good base for the Chimeara. I think it could be a decent base for the area for families with small children. It could be a reasonable base for people who really want to spend their time on Turkey’s Turquoise Coast just relaxing. As someone who wanted to maximize her time in this fascinating part of the country, I was glad to spend just 1 night there.

<b>Ucagiz</b>
I spent one night in Ucagiz, arriving late in the afternoon and leaving mid-day the next day, just after a boat ride through the local waters that included the sunken city. I got to my B&B in time to freshen up, walk around a bit before sunset, and have dinner. The next day, I got up in time to have breakfast, take my boat ride (a bit over an hour, with no stops), return to port, and check out. The town has a pretty little marina, a few flower-bedecked shops, a public square where children play…. My impression, which could be WAY off the mark, is that Ucagiz still has a few unsullied corners (but note: it has few corners, sullied or not!), and that for the most part, tourism hasn’t yet destroyed this quiet little fishing village. But I also had the impression that a few local entrepreneurs are trying to capture a share of the tourist industry. I don’t know if they can do it, or if they can do it without destroying what might draw us there. I can say that one merchant in town was among the most offensively aggressive that I encountered in my 3 weeks in Turkey. My goal was to be there so that I could take one of the boats without having to backtrack; staying there met that need and let me see a quiet fishing village that hasn’t yet been fully converted to tourism.

<b>Kas </b>
Although I only spent one night in Kas, I enjoyed it and thought it might be a good base for those who want a decent “base” option. It has some interesting things to see, a lively public square or two, some good restaraunts, easy access to the coastal road…. I was glad for my time in Kas!

<b>Adrasan </b>
There’s a pleasant beach at Adrasan. As I recall, reaching Adrasan takes quite a long “detour” from the main coastal road – maybe 20 minutes or more each way, and along roads that are narrow and with a few hairpin turns. Friends had said it was among the most undisturbed beaches along Turkey’s southern coast. I had no intention of trying to swim, but there were chaize longes there for those who wanted to do so, and it did look like a pleasant place to do so. I saw no one else on 5 or 10 mintues after reaching it.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Antalya, and trust that you will, too!

I didn’t stop in the other places you mention.

Hope this helps!
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 05:30 AM
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Thanks,kja,great information
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 11:42 AM
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Hi Kja..schedule for Syd in your area:

May 4: Club Iota in Arlington,Va.
May 5: Mansion on "O", DC

There may be another Virginia date. Go to their Web pages.

stu
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Old Feb 13th, 2013, 07:55 PM
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Outstanding, Stu! I've marked my calendar and am looking forward to it. Thanks for letting me know! (The dates must have been decided recently - I'm sure I checked their website recently!)
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 04:01 PM
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sounds like a fun trip!
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Old Feb 21st, 2013, 04:07 PM
  #73  
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It most certainly was fun, krgystn! I think Turkey is a country in which it is easy to have a really enjoyable traveling experience.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 05:52 PM
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Wonderful report. Thanks for taking the time. How do I find your hotel reviews on TA?
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 08:39 PM
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Thanks, yestravel! You can search TA for KJA3.
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 10:40 PM
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So much good information! My husband and I are planning to take the ferry from Bursa to Istanbul this June. Could you elaborate a bit more on your experience? Specifically, was the ferry terminal easy to find? How far in advance did you purchase your ticket? And was the journey fairly scenic? Thanks for your help!
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Old Mar 6th, 2013, 11:55 PM
  #77  
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Hi, KRyzebol -

I'm glad you found my report helpful!

To go from Bursa to the ferry dock, I chose to hire a driver who was recommended by someone at my hotel. I think it would have been reasonably easy to go by public transportation, but it would have taken longer, and my time in Bursa felt all-too-limited! Too, although I was traveling with a fairly small suitcase, I wasn't sure how easy it would be to take it onto the bus.

As I recall, I agreed to pay the driver something on the order of 50 TL. The ride was reasonably interesting, the driver was very good, and his car was quite comfortable. He saw me to the ticket office and made sure I got the ticket I needed. I won't be at all surprised if an expert on Turkish travel tells me that I overpaid for this service, as I have no idea what the going rate was. It seemed worth the price to me.

I did not purchase a ticket for the ferry in advance - I bought it once at the terminal. I reached the terminal about 50 minutes before the ferry's departure; many people bought their tickets after I got there. (BTW, there are seats in the terminal and on a pier-side area outside, but there weren't enough seats for everyone, so by 15 or 20 minutes before the departure time, no seats were left. And as I recall, there was a counter from which one could purchase snacks and beverages, but nothing alcoholic.) There were empty seats on my ferry, but I don't know how many or whether that is common.

IMHO, most of the crossing was fairly uninteresting. And before I say any more, let me note that the ferry windows (and all passengers were, I believe, inside) did not allow very crisp or clear images - in fact, they were frustratingly blurry. And the cabin was long and very wide, so most seats were well away from the windows.

I was lucky - front row, just off center. And in the last 15 or 20 minutes of the crossing, the skyline of Sultanahmet slowly emerged: I found myself in awe: Is that something on the horizon? are those minarets? OMG, I think they are! I think that's Istanbul!!! Yes, it must be -- the hills are beginning to become visible! OMG - my first views of the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia and maybe that's the Suleymaniye Mosque...?!?!

Then the ferry turned toward its dock and I had to prepare to debark and I don't remember any good close-up views after that (and none as good as those I saw from the other side of Sultenahmet on my return from the Bosphorus). I can't say that even the best views of Istanbul from the ferry were all that great, but they were my first views of that wonderful city and so I really can't be objective. I thought it a wonderful way to enter the city!

Bursa and Istanbul are amazing - enjoy!
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Old Mar 7th, 2013, 03:26 AM
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I missed this report initially and am so happy to have come across it, as we hope to visit many of the same places someday! Thank you for a fabulously detailed and useful report!
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Old Mar 7th, 2013, 09:11 AM
  #79  
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Hi, TexasAggie - Thanks for your kind words, and many wishes for happy travels!
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Old Mar 7th, 2013, 11:49 AM
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Thanks so much, kja!
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