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TURKEY + ? in 20 days

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Apr 23rd, 2015, 07:19 PM
  #1
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TURKEY + ? in 20 days

Hi! My husband and me are in our early 50's and we both love to travel, trying to live out the mantra of visiting 1 new country every year. ��

We are new here in Fodor's Forum and being aware of the credibility of this site, we would appreciate any travel advice from its members. ��.

We have around 20 days to spare for this vacation we plan in September 2015. Turkey is tops in our priority but we would also love to include one more place in our itinerary if it would be worth visiting. We initially looked at flying straight to Athens, Greece from our country and fly out of Istanbul, Turkey on our way back home to our country. However, we've decided that we will skip Greece this time as we are not very comfortable with the economic problems it is facing which may cause unnecessary stress and inconveniences at any given time, for tourists like us.

Can anyone please comment if adding another country to our Turkey visit would be practical for our 20-day trip, which may actually just sum up to 16 - 17 days, net of our flight-in/flight-out days. In Turkey, we intend to fly to Antalya and stay there for a few days before proceeding to Cappadoccia. After a few days (3-4 days) in Cappadoccia, we then head to Istanbul for a few days (5 days perhaps) before we head back home.

Would 16-17 days be too much for this Turkey leg that this should warrant a visit to another country first? If so, where do you suggest we should go? We could fly straight to Venice from our country as we have always skipped that part of Italy on our past travels and stay there for 2 nights then fly to Istanbul thereafter but this is way too far fetched, don't you think? ��

Looking forward to getting your inputs/travel advice.

Thank you very much
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Apr 23rd, 2015, 08:47 PM
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There will a fellow OtherChelebi who will offer advice. He is Turkish who is very generous and accurate with his advice. Please take into consideration his advice and please don't tell him I said something nice about him.

We made a trip similiar to your and spent a week Istanbul and it wasn't enough, and three days in Cappadocia and that wasn't enough. We also visited Ephesus, worthwhile about a tourist zoo and Pamukkale. Ephesus is interesting for its history and architecture, Pamukkale for it travertines.

Here are some random shots of Turkey plus some Chios, a Greek island.

https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/1...41271811111555
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Apr 23rd, 2015, 09:24 PM
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kja
 
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Welcome to Fodor's!

I spent 25 days in Turkey, pursuing an itinerary that skipped SO MANY places that I know I will need to plan a return visit at some point. The amount of time YOUR ideal itinerary will take is, of course, dependent on what YOU want to see and experience. I recommend that you get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, note their opening/closing times, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from your lodging, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together. FWIW, I thought the Rough Guide BY FAR the most useful of the half-dozen guidebooks I used to plan my time in the area.

"we would also love to include one more place in our itinerary"

Why? We can only help you plan if we know what you hope to achieve...


In addition to guidebooks, you might find it helpful to read some of our trip reports and planning threads -- you should find LOTS of helpful information on both.

And as IMDonehere says, do pay particular attention to othechelebi's comments -- he is, without question, an invaluable source of info!

Turkey is delightful -- I'm sure you'll have a wonderfully memorable time no matter what you choose!
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Apr 24th, 2015, 01:09 AM
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Thanking both IMDonehere and kja, Ican only repeat what they have written so far.

Let us know of your interests.

There is a great deal of archeology, history, natural wonders, scenic locations, drives, hikes, boat cruises for a day or longer, beeches, food, night life........., and all with variations which may cater most interests.

Consider flying between the major locations like Antalya, Cappadocia and Istanbul but renting a car while there to provide the flexibility which you should enjoy in September, as the main tourism season starts to wane.

Get your flight tickets early to save but you may leave the hotel reservations to the last few weeks unless you definitely wish to stay at a specific small boutique hotel in Istanbul or Cappadocia. (check various previous threads and trip reports for much recommended hotels at Cappadocia. Some of them seem really great.)

The only country I would consider in addition to Turkey could be the bordering areas of Georgia on the Black Sea Coast, but that would take you away from ancient history to more modern history and nature and may not be attractive, except as a good example of a former Soviet Republic. We crossed on foot to Georgia from the Sarp border post and took a guide for a day to visit Batumi and the area which we found quite rewarding.

Flying to Trabzon on the Black Sea, renting a car, visiting Sumela Monastery, driving to the border, crossing by foot, touring Batumi, returning to drive to Kars via Savsat to visit Ani ruins, returning car at Kars airport and flying back to Istanbul will be about a four day adventure. One that i have not been able to persuade anyone to undertake so far (except for Ashwin, maybe)

Please google the names :

Sumela
Batumi
Savsat
Kars
Ani

to get a better perspective. Although the route between these spots is also wonderful.
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Apr 24th, 2015, 02:50 AM
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agree on visiting the black sea region/trabzon near the georgia border. spent 3 days there about 5 years ago - the highlight of our trip. very few tourists,, other than turks, little english but still makeable. tea plantations in the low mountains and you will think that you are in switzerland once you get up higher. go stopped by herds of horses, cattle and sheep several times.

another addition might be cyprus. we stayed for a week. rented a condo and 4 wheeler and spend time wandering the wonderful coastal villages and castles in the mountains. also spent a day in greek nicosa/
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Apr 24th, 2015, 04:23 AM
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How about a road trip out of Antalya along the Silk Road to Cappadocia?

Here's a trip I did in 2011 by car, it took me 17 days, but I spent a week in Cappadocia and 4 nights in Side:
http://www.herostratics.com/Stuff/2011Turkeytrip.jpg
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Apr 24th, 2015, 06:40 AM
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Croesus, your trip must have been terrific but can it be duplicated by car? Some of the routes you took and the Hans you visited would surely were possible because you were on a bike?

A similar one, although not visiting another country, but visiting the lesser known yet still majestic antique cities, the caverns, sink holes, and the mountains but possibly not concentrating on the Hans would also be quite rewarding. Late September would be lemon and tangerine season in the area, maybe also bananas, in addition to fresh walnuts.
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Apr 24th, 2015, 06:50 AM
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toletod, unfortunately I have never been to Cyprus, possibly because our family had a 300 year foundation which somehow disappeared in the Greek-Turkish issue in the 1960s. I remembered that it consisted of some shops, an office building and a small hotel which were supposedly built to maintain a mosque but as was usual at the time in the 18th Century, was a good way of owning private property. My grandmother (father's side) would visit Cyprus every year and there would be some revenue.

Somehow, there apparently was another foundation with similar dates in Crete, which went up in smoke in early 20th Century. I guess I must have some Greek ancestors in addition to those from other cultures and civilizations of the region.
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Apr 24th, 2015, 07:25 AM
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OC, that was the first trip I'd done by car in Turkey. All sites easily accessible (although some hans closed). Slightly over-the-top han visiting, 8 of them in 1 day between Eğirdir and Cappadocia, 17 altogether.

Plenty of other interesting sites along the way.
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Apr 24th, 2015, 06:43 PM
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There is so much to do in Turkey, why take the time to fly to another place and lose time going through customs, etc. We were just in Turkey for 20 days in Istanbul, Cappadocia and the Mediterranean coast. There were a great number of things we didn't have time to see such as Pammukkale and many of the ruins on the way between Izmir and Antalya. Also lovely places we had read about such as Cesme and Bodrum which we didn't have time for. We did however take a 20 min. ferry from Kas to the Greek Island of Meis which was nice. I like your idea of one country at a time so I wouldn't dilute it by going outside of Turkey. Btw, The Temple of Apollo was amazing as was of course Ephesus. One thing I wish I had known before I left was that there is virtually no decaf coffee in Turkey and I would have brought a little bottle for myself if I had known.
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Apr 30th, 2015, 04:46 AM
  #11
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Thank you very much for all your replies. These will truly help us map-out our itinerary for Turkey. Any suggestions for a reliable local tour company for Ephesus and Pamukkale?

We intend to fly from a Istanbul to Izmir for Ephesus, etc.. We are still really groping with our itinerary but with all your inputs, we are slowly getting there. We plan to visit Antalya, Cappadocia, Ephesus and. Pamukkale all within 18 days. Upon our arrival in Istanbul, we plan to immediately take a connecting flight to Izmir for Ephesus and Pamukkale... (leaving Istanbul for our last leg before we fly back home) from Izmir, we plan to take the bus to Antalya where we will stay for 3 more days...

After which we fly to. Cappadocia and stay there for 3 to 4 days before we head back to Istanbul for our last 5 to 6 days.

Are we in the right track? Would appreciate your comments and suggestions.

Thank you very much.
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Apr 30th, 2015, 05:04 PM
  #12
kja
 
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Sound like a good plan!

I don't think you will need a guide for Pamukkale.
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May 3rd, 2015, 11:47 PM
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Thank you @kja...

With the current political situation in Turkey, will these NOT pose any threat to the security and safety of tourists?

Some write-ups on have reported high threat of terrorism around Turkey which could indiscriminate and affect places visited by tourists. ;-(

from www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/turkey :
"There is a high threat from terrorism in Turkey and there are active terrorist groups throughout the country. These include domestic religious extremist and ideological groups, and international groups involved in the conflict in Syria. Attacks could be indiscriminate and could affect places visited by foreigners.

The Turkish Government has highlighted the increased risk of attacks in the run-up to the Turkish General Election on 7 June. The terrorist group DHKP-C (Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front) has launched a series of attacks in Istanbul in 2015 targeting the Turkish police and judiciary.

Border crossings into Syria and nearby locations have also been targeted. On 16 September 2014, there was a car bomb explosion near a garage in Al-Salameh, Syria, 1km south of the Bab Al-Salameh border crossing point between Turkey and Syria . See Terrorism and the FCO’s travel advice for Syria."

The site also noted on natural disasters/calamities:
"Many parts of Turkey are subject to earthquakes. An earthquake of magnitude 6.5 occurred on 24 May 2014 in the Sea of Marmara."


Is there some merit on this and should we seriously consider these matter as we work on our planned visit in September?

Thank you very much.
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May 4th, 2015, 01:44 AM
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Please check my year long running thread on this subject.

I am a risk manager and a political and social scientist and follow the situation as well as I can through national and international sources.

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ration.cfm?171

Things change rather quickly in this part of the world. So get refundable tickets and make refundable reservations if possible.

Part of what you have written has no relation to places you will visit. It is like saying be careful visiting New York because there are problems in border crossings between Mexico and the United States and there were bombings in Mexico.

As far as things are, Turkey has better relations with ISIL than any European country or the United States and there is less risk from that direction in Turkey than in any Western capital.

The small Turkish terrorist group DHKPC is thoroughly infiltrated by various intelligence agencies, foreign and Turkish and their attacks are usually based on different agendas than tourists and tourism.

So, follow the above thread for any new developments and not worry needlessly.
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May 4th, 2015, 03:28 AM
  #15
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Thank you very much @otherchelebi for your reassuring inputs. Will surely follow the thread on this subject.
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