Turkey - 10 Days - 2 or 3 destinations?

Nov 10th, 2013, 06:36 AM
  #1  
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Turkey - 10 Days - 2 or 3 destinations?

We are three long time friends trying to navigate through the itinerary planning of a ten night stay in Turkey. Two of us like to take our time and the third has a whirlwind approach to travel.

We had pretty much determined that we would go to Istanbul, Cappadocia, and either Cirali or Sirince/Ephesus. However, studying the travel time between Cappadocia and Cirali or Sirince has us realizing that it will involve a valuable day of travel.Disheartening. Whirlwind still would like three destinations. The two slower travelers do not want to spend so much time getting from place to place.

Does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions? Right now we have agreed, I think, on four nights in Cappadocia. Other than that, we are in painful limbo. We are considering day trips or an overnight stay from Istanbul, but it is hard to get excited about this when you have been considering Sirince and Cirali.

We arrive at 4 pm on September 19th in Istanbul and leave at 2 pm on the 29th of September. Unfortunately, none of us expect to have the luxury of a return visit, making the decision more difficult.

Please help us! We need encouragement. We know that whatever we end up doing, it will be great. We just can't decide what to do!

Thank you!!
Livinright is offline  
Nov 10th, 2013, 08:08 AM
  #2  
 
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How are you planning to get to and from Cappadocia? We found Turkish airlines very efficient (flights took off and landed on time and luggage was quickly retrievable.) We visited Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus and Pamukkale on a 10 day trip. I think we spent 4 nights in Istanbul, 4 in Cappadocia, one near Ephesus and one in Pamukkale.

We went on a tour arranged by cappadociatours.com but I am sure they (or another agency) could just arrange the travel portion for you if you wished to travel more independently. Although we are usually independent travelers, I was a little intimidated to travel to Turkey on our own.

We loved Turkey -- I hope you will, too.
KTtravel is offline  
Nov 10th, 2013, 08:12 AM
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I forgot to mention that if I were to redesign our trip, I would skip Pamukkale. It was enjoyable but not as interesting to us as the other areas.
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Nov 10th, 2013, 09:35 AM
  #4  
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Thanks, KT!

We intend to fly TA from Istanbul to Cappadocia. I will open your link to Cappadocia tours and get back to you. However, in the meantime, what did you think about the trip from Cappadcia to Pamukkale/Ephesus? If you had skipped Pamulkkale would the trip have been too long?
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Nov 10th, 2013, 10:07 AM
  #5  
 
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There was a direct flight from Cappadocia to Izmir( for Ephesus) on SunExpress, a German-Swiss owned airline, this past fall.There are several other budget airlines as well..Pegasus, Onan(?)
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Nov 10th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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We also took a flight from Cappadocia to Izmir. I believe it was on TA but we departed from a different airport than where we had arrived. From Izmir, we were picked up by a guide for our tour of Ephesus.
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Nov 10th, 2013, 11:12 AM
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I realize I didn't quite answer your question completely. After touring Ephesus and staying nearby, the next day we took a quite a long bus ride to Pamukkale. In hindsight, I would have preferred adding another day to Istanbul or the area near Ephesus and skipping the Pamukkale trip (but others may disagree.)
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Nov 10th, 2013, 11:37 AM
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The "tour" we took was designed in rather a unique fashion. We signed up for a group tour to reduce the cost but ended up being the only ones on the tour on several occasions, possibly because it was April and early in the season.
Our first night was on our own in Istanbul, we had a private tour the second day and toured with two other people our third day. In Cappadocia, we had a private tour the first day and were with another couple days 2 & 3. We had another private tour in Ephesus but were with a large group of 20 or so when we visited Pamukkale. We returned to Istanbul and spent a last day there exploring on our own. We had different guides in each of the areas we visited and flew on our own but were dropped off and greeted at each airport, sometimes by a tour guide and other times by a shuttle service. We were only with guides during the day and were on our own during the evenings. Our guides were all different and the best was definitely the one we had in Cappadocia -- he was very personable and just terrific. I was happy with this mixture of guidance and independence.
Given how this "tour" worked, I would imagine you could add or subtract as you wished. I was particularly glad to have a guided tour in Cappadocia as we drove to many different places in that region. I think Istanbul would be fairly doable independently.
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Nov 10th, 2013, 12:17 PM
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I wish we could help but you're right in that duration zone where decisions are difficult. We spent 4 nights in Istanbul and three nights in Cappadocia. Both stays seemed about right. We were on the go 16 hours a day. If I were you I would probably add a third location but that really is a matter of style.
colduphere is offline  
Nov 10th, 2013, 12:26 PM
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If it makes any difference we flew in and out of Nevsehir to reach Cappadocia. Very small airport. No traffic. Relaxing drive. Your total stress quotient from moving around may be somewhat less than you anticipate.
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Nov 10th, 2013, 01:11 PM
  #11  
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Thank you all!I had only checked Turkish Airlines. I will now check Sun Express and others. Really, a direct flight between Cappadocia and other smaller airports eliminates the frustration of all day travel and makes three spots seem so do-able. I will be talking to my girlfriends and will keep you all posted. I may be back with more questions. In the meantime, more thoughts and opinions are welcome!I will continue to watch for more advice.
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Nov 10th, 2013, 02:39 PM
  #12  
kja
 
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Personally, I thought Istanbul deserved at least 6 full days. I could easily have used more time there -- and I travel hard! One thing you might consider given how pressed you are for time is that Istanbul is probably the easiest city in Turkey to reach by air, so you might more easily revisit it than other locations.

I spent 4 nights = 4 days in Cappadocia and was glad I did. Depending on your interests, you may be able to pare that to allow yourselves 3 days there.

I enjoyed Cirali, but would defer it on this trip until you can spend a bit more time on the coast.

I did not visit Sirince, but was very glad to see Selcuk and Ephesus. And I enjoyed Pamukkale -- it is quite unlike anything else I've ever seen.

I don't envy your difficult choices, but urge you to keep in mind the good news: You will see some wonderful things no matter what you choose!

BTW, have you considered letting your whirlwind traveler go off on his/her own for a day or two? Just a thought.

You might find some useful information in my trip report -- just click on my name to find it.
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Nov 10th, 2013, 06:18 PM
  #13  
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Thank you, Kja.

I was actually surprised by the encouragement earlier to have three destinations. I too think Istanbul deserves more time.

I don't think we would split up for a couple of days.As friends that don't see each other often enough, I don't think it would happen. However, I will float the idea.You never know!

I have a feeling that Cirali will be the choice. I feel we will not do it justice and that the time would be sufficient for Ephesus, but I will not push. I am advocating strongly for four nights in Cappadocia and am choosing my battles.

Another piece to this puzzle is that I will be remaining in Turkey for another nine days. When the girls leave I will be joined by my husband. We will spend four nights in Istanbul and five nights on the Turquoise Coast. My husband feels we are spending too little time in both places.People are so different!! I lose a lot of leverage in making priorities for the girl's trip under these circumstances.

Please continue with comments. They truly help so much! Thank you all.
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Nov 10th, 2013, 06:46 PM
  #14  
kja
 
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If you do choose to include somewhere on the Turquoise Coast, be aware that it takes a fair amount of time to drive into and out of Cirali - as I recall, it takes maybe 15 or even 20 minutes each way just from the turn off from the main coastal highway. If you and your friends are bound and determine to spend a few nights on the coast, that would not be my first choice. It is pleasant, though, no doubt about that.
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Nov 10th, 2013, 09:17 PM
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I agree with kja about Pamukkale, it was unlike anything I'd ever seen before, I'd say go for it. Given that you'll be spending several more days in Istanbul with your husband once your friends leave I'd suggest you include Ephesus & Pamukkale in the first part of your stay. Rent a car from Ephesus to Pamukkale, you could stop at Aphrodisias for a couple of hours en route, then take a flight back to Istanbul from Denizli.
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Nov 11th, 2013, 04:22 AM
  #16  
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Hmmm....

Now we are getting to the heart of the matter and thoughts I have been grappling with in the decision making process.

My preferred area of choice, without the burden of time constraints, would be the Turquoise Coast, but I feel we do not have enough time to do it justice.

My second choice destination would be Ephesus, only because I'm getting tired of ruins! However, we have enough time to do the Ephesus area justice, including seeing the debated Pamukkale! I had not been thinking much about it, feeling that it is crowded and you can no longer soak in the waters, correct? But it is a sight that you would not see anywhere else which bodes well in its favor.

I have not studied Aphrodisias. I will do that today!

Does anyone agree that we have enough time for Ephesus area, but would be cheating Cirali?

Thanks bunches!
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Nov 11th, 2013, 05:03 AM
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Livinright, ruins, yes, but IMO Ephesus is the most magnificent of them, wouldn't ever miss it for worlds! BTW, this reminds me of DH, who refused to go to Aspendos, saying one amphitheater was like another
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Nov 11th, 2013, 09:02 AM
  #18  
kja
 
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"Pamukkale … you can no longer soak in the waters, correct?" Not correct, but I also think you are confusing two different options at Pamukkale. The travertines -- the glorious foundations of white stone with pale aqua water -- are not for soaking. To protect them, there is generally only one set of pools open for people to walk through on any given day. If you choose to walk through any, you must do so barefoot, so bring something in which to carry your shoes and socks. It can be slippery in parts and jagged in other parts and the water can be very cold. You do not need to walk through the pools to appreciate them. You can, instead, view them from either the bottom or (the better option IMO) from the top, where there is a long walkway along the rim that skirts the edge of the ancient and impressive ruins of Hierapolis. (I viewed them from on top and walked down just a bit before returning back up.) Within the site of Hierapolis is a "sacred pool" -- a thermal mineral bath that is housed in a separate building with a separate admission fee. If you want to soak in the pool, bring a bathing suit and towel. There are changing rooms and a locker. The pool can be crowded.

From what I've understood you to say, you and your husband plan to spend 5 days on the Turquoise Coast after your whirlwind-loving friend leaves, so I'm not sure what you gain by stopping in Cirali while that person is with you. In Cirali, you would be inconveniently located in a place that is laid back in a 60s sort of way (doesn't sound well suited to a whirlwind approach) and would have very little time to enjoy the benefits of the coast.

If you are committed to a brief stay in Istanbul while traveling with your whirlwind, you can probably make time for Ephesus and Pamukkale. And maybe Aphrodisias, but as much as I liked that site, I would make it a lower priority than Ephesus, Selcuk, and Pamukkale with Hierapolis. (If you do go to Aphrodisias, you'll probably want 3 or 4 hours on site.)

As Geetika says, Ephesus is not just any ruin. It is magnificent. If you go, I strongly encourage you to pay the extra for the Terrace Houses.

(Geetika: I take it that you did make it to Aspendos. Those ancients sure did know how to site a theater, didn't they?!?)
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Nov 11th, 2013, 01:52 PM
  #19  
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I am now officially excited about Ephesus! I will do my darndest to have my friends consider this choice.

The reason I am considering the Turquoise Coast is that my freinds so wanted a remote beautiful beach spot as part of the experience. That combined with the few minor ruins near Cirali and the Chimera make it seem like an all-in-one destination.

I should explain that this is a girls trip and that my husband is piggybacking. He and I will deal with whatever the girls have already chosen. I cannot in good conscience veto their wish because I will be travelling to the coast later.

The importance and beauty of Ephesus versus the difficult logistics of Cirali seem to make the choice obvious, but you just never know, do you?!

I will definately keep you posted!
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Dec 25th, 2013, 12:04 PM
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Hi LIVINRIGHT



Me and my husband went 8 -day private tours turkey , istanbul 2 days we stayed , we went on air ride Kusadasi and Ephesus tours we attended , and finally here Cappadocia tours we attended. With our guide to istanbul private tours , we met Hippodrome . Join our rehbei Tour Istanbul told us very detailed information about the culture . A portion istanbul part in Continental Europe is the only city in Asia . In 2010, Istanbul was chosen as the capital of world culture . East Roman Empire during the the Hippodrome and Cemberlitas are made ​​. Hippodrome gladiator battles , chariot races and theatrical performances were held here , was brought from Egypt Obelisk 2 . German emperor , the German fountain istanbul is a gift . Hagia Sophia built during the reign of Justinian, the World 's largest orthodox church in the year 531 has a spectacular architecture . Hagia Sophia served as a mosque in 1453 and serves as a museum for 50 years . We went to the Blue mosque and many fall into place an ottoman made ​​on behalf of Sultan ahmet work, blue on the inside of Mosqe are decorated with blue tiles . There are 6 very thin tall minarets . Topkapi palace of the Ottoman Empire in both management and has been used as living space . The first is the treasure house and this place is very beautiful ruby emerald pearl gold and silver belonging to the sultans are exhibited . Do 's and women's harem, where the Imperial family has lived . Has room ottoman empire here management center .





Plane ride we went to the hotel in Kusadasi with the hotel by the sea with beach and pool are very nice . Private Ephesus ancient city of Ephesus and went tours we attended . Ephesus in the first 600 meters of the road , which are marble , this path is called the king of the road . King on the way many statues and marble columns of the temple are . Temple of Ephesus made ​​a very nice stonework has a main lathered . On both sides of the statue that King had trj Fountain . Gate from the heart sign with lots of room Love house had occurred , there was an outdoor toilet . Ephesus Ephesus is the symbol in the square and had Celcus libray and place highly enough , which is an architectural work of art , on the exterior are four pieces of sculpture . Celcus libray has usage as a mausoleum . Ephesus was the center of a grand theater and had a beautiful voice and acoustic systems . Finally we went to the Virgin Mary here, the first house built very large bronze statue of virgin mary had . here has been identified as a place of pilgrimage by the Pope , bless and peaceful place too . Virgin Mary with a cross-shaped house is a charming smaller place.




If the last stop of our trip to Cappadocia. here 's a very nice plane ride takes 1 hour after we arrived in Urgup . here is so special special cave stayed at the hotel , the hotel had very spacious rooms and this had a natural air conditioning system . The place is very beautiful classic Orahis a load of town . Early in the morning we went to the open air museum Zelvia , cappadocia balloon tours we attended , many balloons were flying in the sky , and here we had a very nice view of cappadocia . Our guide was very professional and knowledgeable and our choice of all kinds http://www.tour4arabs.com stationary vehicle was a tour guide in English and Arabic for guidance and private tous ideal.gor nuzek but we went to the open air and here there were numerous cave and the fairy chimneys . To hide from Roman soldiers and 5-7 storey Demirkaz to hide and went to the Derinkuyu underground city where people lived and worshiped . Pigeon valley we watched the flight of birds here are very nice . If Ihlara valley, a beautiful wonder of nature , there was a river valley in the middle and at both section had a very nice cave . We went to Avanos and this is a very nice souvenirs and crafts section of the works sold . Finally we went Uchisar the highest peak here and here cappadocia cappadocia manzra were very nice.
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