Turkey Draft Itinerary

Old Jul 4th, 2015, 01:04 PM
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Turkey Draft Itinerary

Hello my fellow Wanderlusts,

After getting some excellent advice and ideas from you guys for our memorable California road trip, me and wife both aged 27 are back to hear your feedback and suggestions on our upcoming Road trip in Turkey this September. We have included some flying in between our 8 day trip to save us some time travelling and give us more time experiencing places which are worth more. I have provided our first draft Itinerary and would love to know if there are any detours worth taking, or places to spend more time or places where it might not be worth spending so much time. Thank you in advance folks.

September 13 Afternoon : Arrival in Istanbul.
September 13, 14, 15 Morning: Visiting and experiencing Places, people and food in Istanbul.
September 15 Afternoon : Flying to Izmir. Renting a Car and driving to Ephesus. Touring Ephesus and driving on to Fethiye, spending the night in Fethiye.
Spetember 16 early morning: Start driving by the Coast to Kas and until Antalya enjoying the mountains and the beaches, stopping in Antalya for the night.
September 17: Driving until Cappadocia stopping to visit Konya on the way and retiring for the night in Cappadocia.
September 18: Doing the early morning first ballloon ride over the valley and then flying back to Istanbul from Nevseehir after spending some time in cappadocia.
Resting and a big of shoping strolling in Istanbul for one last night and catching a plane back to Canada on September 19th.

I realize we are missing Pamkkale but I have heard the springs are not as beautiful with as much water as they used to be. Is it worth going there or it is still a must visit place. Any other small offbeat towns or places we can visit on the way?
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Old Jul 4th, 2015, 01:52 PM
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Or course it all depends on what YOU want to see and experience, but I must admit that I would not find this plan satisfying -- it is WAY too rushed for my tastes, and I would have to skip WAY too much that I would want to see. But it's YOUR trip, not mine!

You might want to put all of your time in Istanbul at the END of your trip to cut down on one change of hotels and save some time. You will probably be tired upon reaching Istanbul, but it would take a couple of hours to get into the city, so simply going on to Izmir might make most sense.

With only 3 days in Istanbul, you will need to be very selective in what you see. I would recommend that you make those choices in advance of your trip, rather than trying to do it on the fly.

"September 15 Afternoon : Flying to Izmir. Renting a Car and driving to Ephesus. Touring Ephesus and driving on to Fethiye"

FWIW, I spent about 5 hours at the archeological site in Ephesus and another several hours visiting the stunning archeological museum in nearby Selcuk.

"September 17: Driving until Cappadocia stopping to visit Konya on the way and retiring for the night in Cappadocia."

Would make for FAR too long a day for me! YMMV

"September 18: Doing the early morning first ballloon ride over the valley and then flying back to Istanbul from Nevseehir after spending some time in cappadocia."

Of course, you can not count on a balloon ride that morning -- there are days when the balloons can't take off due to weather. Even if you can, you will not have much time to enjoy this magnificent and fascinating part of the world. Again, for comparison, I spent 4 days in Cappadocia and felt like I had to skip a LOT to keep it "down" to that amount of time.

"I realize we are missing Pamkkale but I have heard the springs are not as beautiful with as much water as they used to be. Is it worth going there or it is still a must visit place."

I thought Pamukkale stunning, and Hierapolis, too. But I don't see where you would fit it in.

"Any other small offbeat towns or places we can visit on the way?"

Tons of them! And lots of MAJOR sites, too! But again, I don't see how you would make time for them.

If you haven't already seen them, there are lots of trip reports on Turkey on this board. You can find mine by clicking on my name.... And if you haven't already consulted it, I found the Rough Guide particularly useful for Turkey.

Good luck!
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Old Jul 4th, 2015, 02:51 PM
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Thank you Kja for your response. I do realize ideally the trip should have been longer. I would love to explore Istanbul itself for a week and 4-5 days in Cappadocia. One day yes but not this time. Now we will be doing the highlights of each region, consuming rapidly and hitting the road to the next one.

Keeping Istanbul for the end of the trip does seem like an excellent idea. I would take you up on that and go straight to Izmir. Or would it make more sense flying to Cappadoica first and driving from there to Izmir and taking a flight back to Istanbul for the end.

I did read your trip report to Turkey and it does look like a mixed bag of some great experiences. Thanks for posting it. I understand even after booking far in advance sometimes the weather conditions might not be favorable for the first ride in morning. But oh well, as you said there is a Lot more to see and we will bend our plans. Only the arrival and departure days are set. For the rest, if a place requires more time we are willing to be flexible.
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Old Jul 4th, 2015, 02:58 PM
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"Keeping Istanbul for the end of the trip does seem like an excellent idea. I would take you up on that and go straight to Izmir. Or would it make more sense flying to Cappadoica first and driving from there to Izmir and taking a flight back to Istanbul for the end."

You might want to base your decision on the convenience of flights.
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Old Jul 4th, 2015, 03:46 PM
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I loved and Antalya and Fethiye but perhaps you should skip it them and Kas on this short trip and save them for your next trip to Turkey.
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Old Jul 4th, 2015, 04:37 PM
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Let us be somewhat practical :

flying to Izmir early afternoon :

- taking a 13:00 flight will take you to Izmir airport and out with rental car at the earliest by 14:30 if you do not have checked in luggage.

- driving to Ephesus on gps and unfamiliar roads : 60-75 minutes :
It is now almost 16:00. (your rental car will most probably come with an empty tank)

- You have to walk up the hill and then down or vice versa to tour Ephesus and it will take a fast 90 minutes if you rush and do not spend time with photography. Do you wish to miss the great Terrace Houses?

- If you start driving from Ephesus at 18:00, it you can be at Fethiye at possibly 23:00 having had something quick to eat on the way.

- You will have lost about 30 minutes each way driving into and our of Fethiye just to spend the night since it is a busy town some distance from the main highway.

- The coastal road from Fethiye to Antalya can take about eight hours including food, rest and fuel stops. You would need to drive off the highway for the beach and spend anywhere from 30-60 minutes doing so plus any time changing and swimming.

- Sunset in September is around 7:10-7:25

- So you will be driving in the dark quite a bit.

- It makes no sense to drive into Antalya city because that is another loss of 90 minutes or so because of heavy traffic in this large city.

- Driving to Cappadocia will give you very little in terms of natural sights.

- Including Konya on the way will stretch the drive to 11 hours or so.


If you wish to survive, try to fly between cappadocia and Izmir or Antalya and allow two nights between Ephesus and Antalya.

Also pick hotels on or very close to the highway.

Forget Fethiye and stay at Dalyan, Koycegiz, Gocek, Patara or Kas.
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Old Jul 4th, 2015, 06:12 PM
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September 13,14, and 15 are Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday, and you would work around closures. Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday, most museums are closed on Monday, and Topkapı is closed on Tuesday. Antalya traffic is bad, really bad. We entered the heavy part of the traffic at the edge of city and took more than one hour to travel the last 6 miles into the city.
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Old Jul 4th, 2015, 10:03 PM
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Thank you all for your input folks. I will keep in mind which days are the grand bazaar and the museums open to make sure we are able to cover them during our stay in Istanbul.

Depending on the convenience and the timings of the flight I suppose it might be a better idea to Fly to Cappadocia instead of driving all the way from the Kas. We might take Antalya off the list and spend more time between Ephesus to Kas.

Again, thank you so much for all the tips. It helps a lot.
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Old Jul 5th, 2015, 03:34 AM
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If you drive from Ephesus to Kas, consider returning rental car at Dalaman airport to fly back to Istanbul.

Or, if you wish to get to the West coast first (makes sense to rest at a beach for a day) fly to Dalaman, take shorter drive to Patara, Dalyan, fethiye or Koycegiz for some beach time.

And drive to Ephesus after some sightseeing to fly to Cappadocia from Izmir after returning car at Adnan Menderes airport.
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