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Turkey Itinerary Help - Istanbul, Ephesus, Southwest Coast

Turkey Itinerary Help - Istanbul, Ephesus, Southwest Coast

Old Jul 9th, 2010, 06:41 AM
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Turkey Itinerary Help - Istanbul, Ephesus, Southwest Coast

My brother and I are planning a trip to Turkey for 12 days this September. We are both in our 20's (20 and 28) and have never been to Turkey before (Our parents usually post from this username but they suggested we give it a try because of how helpful everyone has been).

As of right now we are planning to spend 4 days in Istanbul, fly to Izmir and spend a couple nights in either Selcuk, Sirince or Kusadasi (advice?). From there we have a few options:

1. Begin traveling along the coast to Bodrum and eventually Fethiye*
2. Head to Pammukale first and then to Fethiye*
3. Fly to Fethiye and travel along the coast to Antayla*
*Should we rent a car or take a bus?

If you suggest option 1, should we do a couple nights in Bodrum, Marmari, and Fethiye to break it up? Is there anywhere else we should stay a night instead? If you suggest option 2, where would you recommend we stay and what would you recommend we see/do along the coast?

We would really appreciate any suggestions or input. Thank you!
RooseveltG is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2010, 07:02 AM
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We drove from Antalya to Marmaris, then headed north to Bursa.


We spent a couple of nights in Antalya. We stayed in the new town, and as such we only saw the modern city. The beach is quite good, though not sandy (like all the ones we went to).
I've read good things here about the Old Town, so I'll not hold to impression of modern place with lots of high price hotels. Our most expensive hotel was here: Sheraton. It was a treat though after our basic accomodations along the way.

Along the way we "tried" to get to Olympos. We were falling behind in time and returned to main road to carry on. There was a neat little town on the way to O, with treehouse accomodations and a hippy vibe to the place.

We stayed at Kas, my favorite stay along coast. Small fishing village, easy to walk everywhere. We did a day long boat tour ut to Lycean ruins, mixed in with swim stops from the boat. Our hotel room had no windows, just an expansive view over Med.

We stopped in Fethiye for shopping and lunch. Our overnight was in Marmaris. I liked this place. Definitely more busy than Kas, but nice harbour area, lots of restos and nightlife

We visited Ephesus and liked that a lot. We parked in the lower parking lot, then took a shuttle bus to the top. One of the catches for the free shuttel was a stop at a rug factory. Gogin to the top is a good idea, since you can then walk downwards to your car. We bought some guide books near the top and toured on our own.

Driving along Med was fantastic, some really great views. But we also found that our pace was a lot slower, due to the winding nature of the road

If you look here, there have been quite a few posts lately on the Turkish Med and places to see/stay
Michel_Paris is offline  
Old Jul 9th, 2010, 07:23 AM
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We took option 2, but continued driving beyond Fethiye through Kas to Antalya. We had a little more time, though. Kas was our favorite, too.

If you click on my name it will bring up the recent trip report, which I think you might find helpful.
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Old Jul 9th, 2010, 07:48 AM
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If you want to combine history with some fun and scenic beauty, Michel_Paris has excellent suggestions.

If you want a bit of history and more in terms of beach and partying, Fly to Izmir, rent car, drive to selcuk Ephesus for one or two nights, stay at Nazhan, next to Bella but cheaper and nice, drive to ilica/Alacati/Cesme area for beach and party with mostly locals your age, usually with good background.

If you are looking more for adventure, history, scenic beauty, rafting, spelunking, beach and undiscovered areas, fly to Adana, rent car and drive to Antalya, to fly back to Istanbul. Overnight at Kizkalesi/Silifke/Tasucu, Anamur and Side

If you want lots of partying, fly to Dalaman and drive to Olympos and then back to Olu Deniz/hisaronu/Fethiye or Icmeler/Marmaris for lots of Brits and lots of Bars, and parachuting. You can also get day cruises, jeep safaris, and hikes.

If you want to be around the upscale snobbish Turks, fly to Bodrum and stay at Golturkbuku or Yalikavak, where it will be better to use taxis or shared minibuses because you will be partying at night and DUI is definitely out legally and because of the narrow winding roads. (there is no prohibition to anyone above 18 for taking any alcohol)

Not recommended for you:

-staying in Kusadasi
-staying in antalya
-visiting Pamukkale
-staying within Marmaris
-staying within Bodrum (Gumbet, Bitez, Turgutreis are OK)

Special recommendation for fun and partying with no adventure and very little history and sightseeing:

- Club Med Kemer. Great fun, great sports, lots of friend potential of similar age. All inclusive, not very cheap,free cruise to phaeselis, and not free tours to some historic sites like aspendos/Perge and Termessos and Olympos/Chimera.

- Lots of hiking trekking, nature : fly to Antalya, drive to olympos to stay and do boat cruise to Demre, Kekova and trek up Tahtali and Goynuk canyons. Drive to dalaman airport visiting Patara, Xanthos, Letoon on the way, to return the car and fly back to istanbul.


One note: there are no direct flights between Dalaman, Izmir, Bodrum and antalya in any direction as far as i know.
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Old Jul 9th, 2010, 11:38 AM
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Thank you for the suggestions!

Michel and Fra_Diavolo - great information...I think we are going to spend an extra night in Kas now and definitely rent a car for our trip along the coast.

otherchelebi - your post was quite helpful...we are going to stay in Selcuk instead of Kusadasi and I was able to rule out a side trip to Pamukkale, Marmaris and Bodrum. We are now planning to drive directly from Selcuk to Fethiye, Fethiye to Kas, Kas to Cirali, then Cirali to Antalya...

The drive from Selcuk to Fethiye seems really long (4.5 hours) - any suggestions on where we could stop along the way for a couple hours?
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Old Jul 9th, 2010, 12:40 PM
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Akyaka on Gokova Bay, right from the highway just before you get to the plains from the mountain after Mugla is a very scenic village. Nice restaurants and cafes even on the highway or further to the West.

Another place is Koycegiz, after the Marmaris turnoff. It is a laid back and unspoiled little town with seaside cafes and restaurants, not too far from the highway.

you will find lovely restaurants and cafes at scenic spots throughout your route. Stop at any that strikes your fancy.

Have Gozleme that women make on the spot on what looks like a large bottom up convex tray with a fire underneath, a pastry with cheese, mashed potato or mixed. Try the "Ayran" which is a diluted yoghurt drink (not sweet) or "Vishnae Sooyou" which is an excellent sour cherry juice. And the best will be tomato and cucumber salad.
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