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Turkey Help to fill the days between IST and Cappadocia

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Turkey Help to fill the days between IST and Cappadocia

Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 08:17 AM
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Turkey Help to fill the days between IST and Cappadocia

March 10-17: Staying at the Doubletree in Sultanamet (yes, I know, but I used my points and the hotel is "free")

March 17-20(?): Getting to Cappodocia
March 20(?)-24; Staying 4 nights at the Kelebek (based on opinions here) and flying out of Kayseri on March 24th.

Questions:
Is 4 days too long in Cappodocia (we will not be taking a balloon ride)
Is it feasible to do a day trip to Gallipoli from Istanbul?
Can you just "pick up a guide" in IST for a private day tour in IST or to take you to Gallipoli?


Travelers: Woman, age 58,
Mildly autistic daughter: age 29


What should we not miss on our way to Cappodocia?
We do not plan to rent a car and overnight train or bus is fine with us.

THANKS>
ritaozaukee is offline  
Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 08:33 AM
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I can tell you what we did. We rented cars while in Istanbul. We left for Cappadocia one morning and arrived in Ankara late afternoon. Our hotel was quite central, so after dip in pool and dinnner nearby, we walked downtown, embassy area, and just took in all of the people out enjoying a nice evening.

Next day we visisted Ataturk's mausoleum. Top of a hill, large expanse, changing of the guards, it gives you an appreciation of how much he is revered.

From there we drove on to our hotel in Goreme Cappadocia.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 08:36 AM
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Just to be clear:

You have 3-4 day to travel from Istanbul to Cappadocia via train and/or bus and want suggestions for places to stop along the way?

Correct?

Here's an overview of towns to see in Cappadocia - 4 days is not too long.

http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/g...cia/towns.html

Re-consider the idea of renting a car after you've checked in at the Kelebek. It's not like you'll be driving in a city or anything and it will make sightseeing so much easier.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 08:48 AM
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Yes, we are leaving Istanbul on March 17th and leaving Cappadocia from Kayseri Airport on March 24th.

We need places to "see" along the way there. I know I want to go to Gallipoli (maybe a day trip) and people said not to miss Ephesus (sorry for the spelling)

Should we went a car (I will do all the driving) to get from Istanbul to Cappadocia? (I am not adverse to driving, drive over 3500 km in Spain in 2 weeks but thought it would be easier to be "unencumbered" in a country with hills and narrow roads - or am I wrong about that too?)

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 08:59 AM
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The drive from Istanbul to Goreme was not hard. Roads in Turkey were IMHO often better than at home. Fuel is expensive, but if you know that up front...

There is some nice countryside to see along the way.

Here is our dirve back to Istanbul, in reverse.

Car ferry boat from Istanbul to Bursa, overnight. Ephesus..Marmaris, overnite. Marmaris to Kas overnite X2. Kas to Antalya overnite X2, Antalya to Konya overnite x1...Antalya to Goreme.

The drive along the Turkish Med is memorable. Winding road, stunnig views.

We toured Ephesus on our own, a guide might have enhanced the experience. Marmaris is a nice bustling ocean town, we could have spent another day there.

Kas was my favorite, small fishing village. Our hotel was right on ocean. We did an boat cruise to see Lycean ruins, includes swim stops and glass bottom (to see underwater artefacts.) Between Kas an Antalya we made an effort to go drive to see Olympos, but gave up due to time.

Antalya is a larger city, lots of hotels/resorts. Swim days for us.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 09:06 AM
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Transportation costs around Turkey by plane/train/bus are relatively cheap - although the bus system takes a little getting used to.

Sorry I have to ask, but what do you mean by "mildly autistic"? I have a relative who worked with autistic children for several years, so I realize that the term "autistic" is not a one size fits all term.

Does this mean that you will have to travel slower? Take more time getting ready? Need special equipment/guidance/help of any kind? The more time you have to spend on her special needs, the less time you have for travel.

If I were to suggest "somewhere in-between", it would be Ephesus, which means flying out of Istanbul into Izmir and then flying out of Izmir to Cappadocia.

Ephesus means a lot of walking, but March should be a much better in terms of heat.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 09:14 AM
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As a note on Ephesus (we went in August, nice and warm). It is built partly on the side of a hill. The main parking lot is at the bottom, where the tour buses end up. We parked there, and then decided we wanted to go to the top and work our way back to car. There was a man with a van who offered free transport to top, but had to make a stop at carpet factory. Quickest option so we took it. Standard stuff, see bit of making of carpet, then sales pitch We were stong, no purchaes, took remainder of trip to top. At top, there is a small shop that sold guides so we bought one then walked our way down. Being hot, and with 4 kids we did not wander a lot.For example saw coliseum from path but did not visit. We also did not go to the museum or house of virgin Mary.

A more leasurely visit would have been nicer.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 09:29 AM
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Thanks. Yes, we are already bracing for the carpet
salesmen. Katherine is highly functioning but doesn't always understand the implication of her deeds (which is why we have a Moroccan carpet in our home). She is just slower, more awkward, and easily distractible. Problem is, she is an attractive adult with not immediately noticeable disabilities that manifest themselves over conversations and movements.

In your opinion, does it make sense to drive from IST to Goreme then and drop off the car at the airport in Kayseri?

I appreciate all your support.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 09:36 AM
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If you were to choose the route along the Med, a car would be mandatory IMHO.

I think it would give you greater flexibility, and a chance to wander a bit along the way. Plus, seeing Cappadocia needs a car.

A drop off would make sense to me.
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Old Jan 3rd, 2012, 11:29 AM
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Welcome back.

The drive from istanbul to goreme is not easy although most of it is on motorway or divided highway.

Here are some alternatives, some repeated, some slightly different from my previous post and one new for you:

1. Fly from istanbul to Izmir airport with Atlas Jet or Onur Air which gives free shuttle transfer to Selcuk, the town close to Ephesus. You may also prefer to rent a car there to drive yourself to places like Aphrodisias, Herakleia, Pamukkale, Priene, Miletus. The driving in this area is a cinch and in fact rather enjoyable.
You then fly to Kayseri with Sunexpress, Pegasus or Sky airlines, for Goreme, renting your car at Kayseri airport.

2. Fly to Ankara from Istanbul. Rent car at Ankara airport. You can drive directly to Safranbolu for the old Ottoman town if interested in wooden houses, or to Amasya with its castle, meandering river between mountains, roman tombs and good museum. After a night or two there, you can start driving South to Alacahoyuk ruins and then to Bogazkale for the Hittite capital of Hattusas and its temple area called Yazilikaya for another overnight. The drive from Bogazkale to Goreme will be about 4 hours, I think.

3. If you do not wish too many ruins and antique towns, you can fly to antalya and renting a car, take an incredibly scenic drive, mostly on the coast to Tekirova or further to Kas and back, just enjoying the pine forests, mountains and the azure sea although it will still be too cold for swimming.
You can then fly from Antalya to Kayseri.

4. Driving through Gallipoli and Troy to Goreme will be hugely time consuming.
To be very honest, unless you have emotional ties to the Dardanelles campaigns of WWI, Gallipoli is not that interesting and Troy is one of the least interesting antique sites in Turkey because whatever was found in the 19th century was taken to Berlin, Germany.

However, you can do this with a two day tour from Istanbul.

Local flights are very cheap in Turkey. Especially if you start buying your tickets at least a month in advance. I would expect each flight to take not more than $50-70/person.
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Old Jan 7th, 2012, 06:23 AM
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Thank you. The only emotional tie I have to Gallipoli is the reminder how utterly ill thought out that campaign was! (Maybe I am remembering too fondly the Mel Gibson movie, too)

I like your one and three ideas and research them more.

For Istanbul, we thought we would arrange a private tour(or vERY small group) for one day and then backtrack on our own after that for the other time.

In Spain, people would come up to us in every town and offer to be our tour guide and that worked very well. Does that happen in Istanbul?

We are getting so ready! We have head scarves and appropriate clothing but Rosetta Stone has not made me the Turkish speaker I imagined!

I am most appreciative.
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Old Jan 7th, 2012, 07:20 AM
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We went from Istanbul to Ephesus (Izmir airport) and from there we drove to Cappadocia, but you could look for a flight from Izmir to Kayseri. If interested, take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Well, how does this sound?
March 17th take Onur to Antalya (I am a hearty person and it would be nice to see the water), rent a car, then fly to Kayeri and rent a car there.

A problem: I did not see any flights to Kayseri. Both Onur and SunExpress does not list Kayseri on their websites to book online. What airlines fly into Kayseri (I thought those did) or do I have to wait until I get there to book? (Turkish Air from Istanbul to Kayseri was $284!!!!! one way!)

Thanks....
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 12:58 PM
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FORGET MY LAST COMMENT: I can see flights to Kayseri. Here is my one of my final questions:
Based on recomendations, we are either going to fly to Izmir then to Kayseri OR fly to Antayla then to Kayseri. We cannot do both. I liked the idea of watching the water and just relaxing. Since we have a week in Istanbul, 4 nights in Cappodocia, which area, Izmir or Antayla would round out our trip better? Thanks.
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Old Jan 18th, 2012, 02:13 PM
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Turkish Airlines, THY cannot be $284 to Antalya.

Check the THY web site and buy your tickets there for the cheapest rates. The same is true for Onur, atlas, pegasus sunexpress, sky also.

Strangely, sites like Expedia, orbitz, etc. sometimes quote strangely high prices for local flights in Turkey.

The Spring will be beautiful wherever you go.
West of Antalya will have pine forests and young and high mountains with azure sea. The weather will be warmer.

South of Izmir will have the magnificent Ephesus antique city and more flat landscape but the restaurants will have great regional wild salad greens.
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