Turkey Itinerary Help

Nov 29th, 2011, 01:22 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 130
Turkey Itinerary Help

We are planning our first trip to Turkey next year in late Sept/early October. We will have 10 days but can add one more if needed. We definitely want to spend plenty of time in Istanbul. We also want to go to Ephesus. I would like some time to relax and go to the beach for at least a day. We love historic sites. Question should we try to include Antalya area in this trip to see places such as Side, Termesso, Perge, etc.? Or should we just stick to the Izmir area and see Ephesus, Didyma, Miletus, Priene and then spend a day or two at Alacati on the beach? Not sure how much the better the ruins or beach would be in Antalya over the Izmir area. We plan to fly between all of the major cities vs. driving. Thanks.
travel_princess is offline  
Nov 29th, 2011, 01:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I did ~10-12 day trip to Turkey. By city:

3 days in istanbul, rented car. Drove to Ankara, overnuigth and visted city in morning. Drove to Goreme, overnight, then visited city, hiked Ilhara valley+ lunch, visited very small underground city, overnighted in Konya.

Drove to Antalya, two days there. Drove along Med to Kas, one night there. Kept along Med to Marmaris, overnight there. Dorve to Ephesus, toured and spent night at Bursa. Next day ferry back to Istanbul.

Istanbul, Goreme, Kas and Ephesus were the best.

Drive along Med is truly memorable. I may not have gotten a great inpression of Antalya. We found it a bit too busy, with large resorts. Beaches were fine, we stayed at Sheraton and used their private beach and great pool..but $$$$

Kas was my favorite. Small fishing village, hotel right on wwater, easy walk to centre of town, boat cruises to Lycean ruins. I would ghave probably also liked to have spent a bit more time in Ephesus. We saw ruins, but not some of the ancillary sites. Bursa..well, good place for buying linens.

Driving not an issue. Only place we had trouble finding hotel was Antalya (went in August)

So much we did not see. Also could have used more time in Istanbul. We drove in Istanbul (staying in suburbs).
Michel_Paris is offline  
Nov 29th, 2011, 04:12 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,174
We did a very similar trip as above with four bases plus a repeat in Istanbul. We used the cheap airlines of Turkey to hop us around with two local car rentals. This worked well. You probably will want to stretch that 10 days a bit. We ate up 4 x 1/2 day in transit.

Do not miss Cappadocia! All of the places we saw along the way were wonderful - great ruins, beaches, cities - but Cappadocia is truly unique.

There are numerous Trip Reports that can help to steer you to the places & a style . . .

See mine posted on Foders in Trip Reports or with pictures:


Ian is offline  
Nov 29th, 2011, 11:36 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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1. Late September, early October is an excellent time for traveling in Turkey. Not so hot for sightseeing. Good for Southwestern and Southern beach resorts (Alacati may have become a bit too cool already by that time)

2. Unless you wish to go on private or group tours, you cannot see much without hiring a car at Ephesus or Antalya locations.

3. Flying between some of the major destinations will save time but will also restrict your exposure to local life and color.

4. There are a number of regions of the country which have antique sites in different types of geographic and geological settings. Some of them are more or less clumped together and can be visited within a few days and some will require more than that:

- Cappadocia, 2-3 days, +1 day if Hattusas included, + 2 days if nemrut is included.

- Mardin/Urfa/Gaziantep, 4-5 days including Hasankeyf and Gobeklitepe.

- Hatay, 3-4 days including St. Simeon, Iskenderun,

- Mersin/Silifke, 3 days

- Karaman/Mut/Ermenek/Anamur, 4 days including Manazan caves and Aydincik

- Alanya/Side/East of Antalya, 3 days including Manavgat, Perge, Aspendos

- Antalya/Burdur, 3 days including Sagalassos and Termessos.

- Eastern Lykia, East of Antalya to Kalkan, 4 days including Phaeselis, Chimaera, olympus, Arycanda, Myra, Simena, Kekova, saint Nicholas

- Western Lykia, 4 days including Patara, Xanthos, Letoon, Tlos, Pinara, Fethiye, Oludeniz.

- Phrygia, 3 days

- Inland Aegean, 3 days including Pamukkale, Birgi, Sardis,

- West Central Aegean, 4 days including Ephesus, Herakleia, Bodrum, Miletus, Priene, Carina,

- Bythinia and Northern Aegean, 4 days including Foca, Pergamon, Assos, Troy, Aizanoi, Nicea.

Some of the above regional trips would include leisurely driving between sites with possible beach time at small secluded coves and possible public beaches and/or short boat trips over sunken ruins and swimming from the boat.

It really depends on your wishes and desires whether you wish to visit the most number of places or enjoy a smaller number of places to their full potential.

In either case, I heartily recommend that you read about the places before choosing because many are different from each other and because trip reports of previous travelers are written from very personal perspectives and may not match yours.

I find that the geography and the natural formations of the area adds a great deal to the glamor of antique sites which we visit. So, something large great in the middle of the city like in Istanbul or Rome appears less beautiful to me than a few Roman tombs and an amphitheatre carved on a cliff face in a densely forested region. We preferred Sienna to Florence and Gutierrez to Malaga.

I believe that the more days you can add to your trip, the more satisfied you will be, and that you will not regret it.
otherchelebi is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 02:25 PM
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Posts: 130
Thanks for everyone's replies. My problem is I keep reading this site and others plus 4 different guide books on Turkey and I just can't decide on where to go. Cappadocia looks really cool but my husband just really isn't in to going there so that is why were focusing on the other 3 areas. I do agree adding more days for those 3 areas might be needed. Thanks.
travel_princess is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 05:24 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,402
Forgive me, travel_princess, for jumping into this thread, but I want to thank otherchelebi - your response is incredibly helpful to me as I begin to plan my journey to Turkey! I hope you'll provide input once I'm ready to post about my trip. Great info!
kja is offline  
Nov 30th, 2011, 07:50 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,174
I have to agree that OC is the best local resource we have on Fodor's. Ahmet & Eser have been almost everywhere & passionately love their country (and they are superb hosts). Trip reports can give you a traveler's viewpoint but weight them accordingly. Remember: Planning - after all - nis 1/3 of the fun.

Ian is offline  
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