Turkey 11 day trip

Old Jan 18th, 2012, 01:20 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Turkey 11 day trip

Hi Everyone,

After a few years, I think we might be ready for Turkey. i originally posted back in Feb of 2010. http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...#comments-open

We are in our early 30's, love art, ruins, architecture and food. We prefer to travel at a leisurely place staying in a few places.

We would like to visit Istanbul, the ruins Ephesus, Pamukkale, and Cappodocia and potentially Kas but not sure if we have enough time.

We have 11 full days excluding flight days.

Will you please comment on my first draft logistics itinerary:
3 nights selcuk - arrive in istanbul at 10am and fly directly to izmir and rent a car to drive to selcuk? will this be too tiring? or do you recommend one night in istanbul to get situated?
4 nights in cappodocia (fly from izmir to kayseri)
4 nights in istanbul (fly from kayseri to izmir). thinking about staying at hotel sultania - would you recommend this location? it got good reviews on tripadvisor.

Rental car - we need a rental car in selcuk; is it difficult to get a automatic car vs. stick shift? also for cappodocia do you recommend a rental car?

Am continuing to research more, but wanted to first try and get logistics figured out.

Thank you for your time and advice.

Cheers,
apple
appletea is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2012, 05:43 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Are you still planning this trip in late April?

I hope you can extend it to 13 as you planned last year.


- Fly directly to Izmir. Rent car. Visit Museum and/or Saint John's if time permits.
- Overnight (Bella or Nazhan hotels)
- Visit Ephesus in AM, museum and basilica if could not day before.
- Rest, walk town, get over jet lag (recommend Melatonin first 2-3 nights at about 10-11PM)
- 3rd day : Early drive to pamukkale through Aphrodisias.
- Overnight at Pamukkale or Denizli.
- 4th day Finish any sightseeing missed and drive to Kas (going back to Selcuk from pamukkale would mean some backtracking)
- ON at Kas
- 5th day : Kekova boat tour, + Patara if you have time. ON at Kas
- 6th day: drive to Antalya airport, visiting Myra on the way. return car and fly to Kayseri.
- 6th,7th nights at Cappadocia
- 8th, fly to istanbul.

4 nights at Cappadocia is too much and you may want more than 3 nights in Istanbul.

Automatic shift may require advance reservation, especially if you're coming in high season.

Large rental agencies like Hertz, Avis, Budget, National, Europcar have it and the brokers like Economy Car Rentals can find it for you. Unless you get a higher class expensive car, an automatic shift will mean and underpowered car but we have driven such a Ford Focus and managed.
otherchelebi is online now  
Old Jan 18th, 2012, 08:20 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 3,092
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am normally not really a city person--but Istanbul is an exception. I feel like you might not be giving it enough time. Even when you are not seeing the amazing tourist sights, there is just so much to do.
I had a similar amount of time, and I had to force myself to choose between Ephesus and Cappadocia. I could have spent a week in Cappadocia. It is a large region with much to see and great hiking, but note I travel at a rather leisurely pace (I sleep late, am not very efficient). If Ephesus is calling to you more, then [perhaps you could expand your time in that region as well as your time in Istanbul.
Of course a lot of people do all three, but I figured I'd have a more likely chance to return to the coastal region.
yorkshire is offline  
Old Jan 18th, 2012, 06:23 PM
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi otherchelebi and yorkshire,

Thanks for your replies. Unfortunately we are spending a few days in New York for a graduation before heading to Turkey so we will not be able to extend the number of days. =(

We will be visiting in mid May.

Otherchelebi,your itinerary looks very ambitious, a lot of moving around so it would be:
2 night bella or nazhan area? in selcuk
1 night in pamukkale
2 nights in Kas
2 nights in cappodocia
4 nights in istanbul (fly out at noon potentially on day 12)

am i translating that properly? would it be more relaxing if we skipped pamukkale and went straight to kas? thank you for recommending aphrodias and myra, both seem amazing. is pamukkale a def must see? we would prefer a bit more relaxing of a trip, but don't know when we would go back to turkey. or would it be better to only stay one night in selcuk and stay an additional night in kas?

trying to research driving times: is this accurate?

1.5 hrs - izmir to selcuk
10 min selcuk to ephesus
4.5 hours total - selcuk to aphrodias 2 hrs then to pamukkale 2.5 hours
5.5 hours total - pamukkale to fethiye 3.5hrs then to kas 2 more hours
4 hours total - kas to myra 1 hour and then to antalya 3 hrs

does that sound about right and typical of travel in that region? would you recommend taking a bus or shuttle on any of those legs?

is the hot air balloon worth the money?

thank you for answering my questions. i am continuing to read other trip reports and posts.

Cheers,
~Alice
appletea is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2012, 12:10 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Alice,

In your place, I would skip Pamukkale and add that day to Kas, as you thought. You will see enough antique towns and ruins at other locations and the cascading pools of Pamukkale have been called a disappointment for those who expected pristine, unspoilt nature on a large scale.

Timing is based on driving rental car. Taking a bus will leave you dependent on schedules and waste time. Car will give you the terrific flexibility of stopping wherever and whenever you wish to take a side road to another interesting place or to have a bite or a cup of tea at a very scenic location. Highways in Turkey have some lovely road side restaurants and tea houses with a lot of character and low prices.

- Izmir airport to Selcuk, 45 minutes
- Selcuk to ephesus 5-10 minutes
- Selcuk to Aphrodisias 2.5 hours
- Aphrodisia to Pamukkale 1-1.5 hours
- Selcuk-Kas, 5-6 hours
- Pamukkale-Kas, 3.5-4 hours (you do not need to drive West all the way to Fethiye, but turn left at Kemer highway intersection)
- Your figures are correct from Kas to Myra and Antalya.

On either route, Xanthos and Patara are close to the highway and especially Patara is worth a visit. Patara can replace Aphrodisias to a certain extent.

My itineraries are not as ambitious as they look, although a longer stay at Kas by removing Pamukkale from your itinerary will give you more of a laid back feeling. We have done these routes quite a number of times and even at age 65 and over (my wife is actually a lot younger biologically and in looks).

Driving in the area is fun and has very low anxiety or stress. You have great scenery, a nice feeling of discovery, and no sense of boredom as you would on many stretches of highway in the United States.

Too many people rave about the balloon ride at Cappadocia but you will not see me waving at you from that height in a basket (!) even if they paid me.
otherchelebi is online now  
Old Jan 19th, 2012, 01:33 AM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
hahaha you are quite amusing. we've also been to pompeii and paestum and enjoyed the ruins there as well.

would you recommend doing:
2 nights selcuk, fly to kayseri, cappadoccia
2 nights cappadocia, fly kayseri to antalya
3 nights kas, fly back to istanbul
4 nights istanbul

would this be a bit less driving? and then we can relax a bit more by moving around more at the beginning of the trip (2 nights, 2 nights, 3 nights and 4 nights)

rental cars
-izmir and return in selcuk
-cappadocia
- antalya

thank you so much for you feedback. it makes planning this trip much less overwhelming. =)
appletea is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2012, 01:37 AM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
also, my husband and i are both allergic to cats. i believe there are a lot of cats in cappadocia. any recommendations there? will all the cave hotels have cats as well?
appletea is offline  
Old Jan 19th, 2012, 05:03 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Yes, that would mean less driving and you will still be driving on the more scenic routes. And if you get your local flight tickets (directly from the carriers) on-line, a month or more early you will get the cheapest rates. (from 59TL to 119TL/person = $35-70 one way.
otherchelebi is online now  
Old Jan 19th, 2012, 05:17 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In our case, cats are an added benefit and we may even pay extra for a room with a clean friendly cat, especially one that can catch flies, mosquitos, other bugs and eat them.

In general the feral cats in Turkey do not disturb people unless you feed them at lunch or dinner. They usually live outside and should not leave any signs of their presence in hotel lobbies, stairs and rooms.

If you stare at them cats consider that as a challenge and may not disturb you. If you throw sneaking glances at them and, worse still, blink while you look at them, they will believe you are a very friendly person. Opening your mouth wide or yawning says you are not a threat to them.

I have tried these with human cats (!) but found that the same signals and body language are not appreciated. In fact, they can be totally misunderstood.
otherchelebi is online now  
Old Jan 20th, 2012, 06:03 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We're kind of in the same boat here. I'm planning to travel at the end of April too and also for 11 days. I've divided my trip as so:

Istanbul: 5 1/2 days
Cappadocia: 2 days
Selcuk/Pamukkale: 2 days
Take out two days for travelling to Turkey/connecting flights/Departure.

I feel like I want to devote more time to Istanbul because as I started making a list of places to visit, the list kept growing and growing.

We're actually flying out to Cappadocia first then flying to Izmir, iA. The reason is because there are more comfortable options to reach Istanbul from Izmir.
1. Fly
2. Ferry + Train (scenic)
3. Overnight train + connecting train (scenic) (www.seat61.com)

Hope this helps
Fatima_A is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2012, 06:09 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
And quick question for those who have been to Pamukkale.
Do you think one can see the sights (white stone springs, etc) within a few hours? We are crunched for time so when we reach Izmir we plan to take the train to Pamukkale the next day and reach around 12:00 pm and must be back on the train to Selcuk around 4 pm. Or is better to take a bus later in the evening from Pamukkale to Selcuk? Are they frequent? And if not Pamukkale from Izmir than any other places we can visit in and around the area (like appletea, I like architecture, history, and all that fancy stuff ) Sorry for the barrage of questions and sorry appletea for kind taking over the board!
Fatima_A is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2012, 06:24 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 513
Likes: 0
Received 8 Likes on 1 Post
We spent 5 days in Istanbul, 2 nights in Selcuk (Hotel Bella) and three nights in Urgup (Cappadocia). We felt that was just about right for all three. We rented a car to drive from Izmir to Selcuk, then down to Antalya. Otherwise, we didn't have a car and didn't feel we needed one. We took day trips in Cappadocia which we liked a lot, although others do rent a car there; it's very easy driving. I don't know about the other hotel, but the Bella has a van and will take you to Ephesus and pick you up. That's a good deal since you wouldn't want to walk back to your car when you're done. They also drove us up the the house of the Virgin Mary.

Your last suggested itinerary looks good to me. We didn't take a balloon ride in Cappadocia, but for those who are inclined it would be an incredible thing to do in the right weather.

Turkey is an amazing country; you'll love it!

Ellen
ellen75005 is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2012, 06:48 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 32,129
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am allergic to cats as well. I don't remember seeing many cats in Cappadocia. Maybe they were behind the hundreds of dogs. We stayed in a cave hotel (local cave hotel) and there were no cats.
colduphere is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2012, 08:40 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cold, I heard that they discovered the cat bones after you left but thought they were remains of gladiator fights from the third century.
otherchelebi is online now  
Old Jan 20th, 2012, 01:33 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
yay we booked our flight!! we are officially going!

otherchelbi, your posts make me laugh. have a question regarding areas to stay. originally i was thinking sultanhamet but now leaning more towards beyoglu for a more charming artsy neighborhood with lots of sidewalk cafe's etc. however i read your other post. http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ent-advice.cfm and am now reconsidering that area. we are contemplating the witt, which a lot of people rave about. what do you think about that area? or is this http://www.vrbo.com/265004%29#features still in abetter area?

fatima, that was helpful. no worries, ask all the questions you'd like. it's really helpful for me too. would you share you list of sites you want to see in istanbul? i'm just starting to research the areas.
appletea is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2012, 02:09 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cihangir, the area of Witt is probably better than anywhere around Sultanahmet and/or Istiklal/Galata tower.

If you can get a good low season rate, consider Bebek Hotel at Bebek on the Bosphorus. An area with a very different character and a hotel smack on the sea with rooms 45 sq.meters and small balconies (larger than some junior or studio suites)

Also consider House Hotel in Nisantasi or the one at Ortakoy, on the Bosphorus.
otherchelebi is online now  
Old Jan 20th, 2012, 02:16 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Your other alternative is not too bad. At least you can visit the Turkish bath next door for a rub down and massage anytime.

It is not a friendly location at night, although very close to the very busy main pedestrian street.

The building will be quite old and generally not in very good shape on that street and it will have high ceilings which means a long climb up narrow steep stairs to the fourth floor. (in Turkey, it starts with "ground floor" so you may have to climb four and not three flights of stairs.)
otherchelebi is online now  
Old Jan 21st, 2012, 12:10 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 150
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks. The house hotel looks beautiful. Which area is nicer to walk to cafes and some shopping between the Witt and nisitani? Also what about tomtom suites? Thanks.
appletea is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2012, 03:41 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,074
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Forget Tom tom Suites because of the location.

Nisantasi is an upscale location like the Magnificent Mile of Chicago or New Bond Street of London. Also has excellent cafes and restaurants, but it is also a residential area, so nicer than its counterparts in other large cities. It is a good area for people watching and checking on the latesr ladies' fashions and designer wear.

Cihangir is more Bohemian, has a few shops, good cafes, fewer and cheaper restaurants. Even more residential than Nisantasi with an old neighborhood feel. Expats, artists, writers, eccentrics, animal lovers live there.

Nisantasi also has a good apartment by Cheya residences, Sofa Hotel and Park Hyatt. Also has a small mall with cinemas, a good Pasabahce glass shop and an arcade with good silver shops.

Cihangir has our favorite wine (La Cave) and cheese (Antre)shops as well as one of the best patisseries (Savoy) in istanbul. It also includes one of the four Istanbul areas where antique shops are found, Cukurcuma.

there are good art galleries at both locations. Both locations live late and are perfectly safe at all hours.
otherchelebi is online now  
Old Jan 21st, 2012, 09:32 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,904
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cappadocia needs two full days.
Hotel Esbelli Evi is a fabulous cave hotel. (one of my favorite places I ever stayed)
Didn't see any cats in Cappadocia.
Hot air balloon ride - one of our best travel experiences.

Saw lots and lots of cats in Istanbul, especially in palace and on streets, but none in hotel.
Several around outdoor restaurants. I love them, so had them sitting in my lap.
Ignore them and they will stay away.
Sassafrass is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:49 AM.