Turkey Travel Advice - Itinerary

Old Feb 24th, 2011, 10:08 AM
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Turkey Travel Advice - Itinerary

Hello - long time "lurker" , first time poster. I have appreciated all the information shared already by so many. We are traveling to Turkey for the first time in June. We will have 9 1/2 days in Turkey. We hope to do 3 days in Istanbul, 3 days away somewhere and then our final 3 days back in Istanbul.

For the 3 days outside Istanbul, we are trying to decide between (i) Cappadocia and (ii) a few areas in the central and southern Aegean coast/Greater Izmir area (including Pergamum, Ephesus, Pamukkale, maybe Cesme, at least) - wish we could do both areas but we don't want to short-change Istanbul any further (i hate just staying there 6 1/2 days).

Does anyone recommend one of the above areas over the other? Does anyone recommend the Turquoise and Mediterranean Coast areas OVER the above two areas? I know it depends on what one is interested in. We love the outdoors and natural beauty and thus are interested in Cappadocia, but are also very interested in the antiquities, history and coastal beauty of those places listed in the central and southern Aegean areas.

Finally, presuming we pick the Pergamum, Ephesus, Pamukkale and Aegean areas for our middle 3 days, can someone suggest the best structure and flow for traveling to those destinations and areas? For example, we had thought about renting a car and driving to them all but we fear that would eat up too much time in driving. Should we fly to Izmir and then rent a car? would this be better than the over-night ferry from Istanbul to Izmir. it seems that the bus would eat up too much time.

Do you think we would be able to, renting a car, drive around to the desired places WITHIN those 3 days. if so, starting from (flying into) where? and returning to (flying from) where?

Thanks for all of your thoughts and advice. I'm already planning the next trip to Turkey to see some of all we will miss.

Best...bellfam
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 10:30 AM
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We took the ferry from Bursa to Istanbul on our return from Ephesus.

For 3 days, I might fly to Cappadocia. It is unlike anything else I had ever seen.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 10:31 AM
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Don't think there is just natural attraction in Cappadocia--the underground cities, cave churches, and other carved dwellings are amazing feats of human ingenuity.
I chose Cappadocia, so I cannot compare it with Ephesus. Cappadocia just had an overwhelming attraction to me, and I have been to several Mediterranean coasts so it was something really different. I flew into Kayseri and out of Nevesehir, and I stayed in Goreme. We did not rent a car, but we had our hotel hire us a driver for an all-day excursion.
Though not ideal, I liked breaking up the Istanbul portion. When we returned, we had crossed off many of the "to-dos" so we leisurely enjoyed the life of the city on this second half visit.
The good news is you cannot go wrong!
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 11:01 AM
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I think i would prefer Cappadocia, in line with Yorkshire, above.

Three days will be fine for the area. You can fly in and out without wasting time, and you will see something not available anywhere else.

If you rent a car, you can also drive away from the regular tourist haunts and visit some interesting mountain villages to witness some local culture.

Do not forget the newly discovered neolithic village close to the entrance to Ihlara valley.

And then come back for a longer vacation to enjoy the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts for their antiquity and natural beauty and beaches and great wild salad greens and other fresh vegetables and fruit.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 01:32 PM
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thank you for all the suggestions. you have me leaning towards Cappadocia.

Yorkshire - didn't really mean just natural attractions, but lumped the cave and underground dwellings into that category. thanks though. did you stay at any place in particular that you liked especially? i've seen lots of options but personal recommendations are the best.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 01:42 PM
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Gotcha.
I loved the Kelebek hotel in Goreme for its friendly and helpful staff (in addition to the tour they arranged a ride to Nevsehir airport and offered advice on hikes), its fantastic breakfast spread and terrace with great views (sunset and the Rose Valley rocks)--and the rooms were pretty nice too!
Yes Goreme is a tourist town, but in this case I did not find that to be detrimental at all.
have a great trip! I will be fortunate to ever have a trip as great as my first visit to Turkey (I hope to return for sure)!
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 01:50 PM
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Welcome, bellfam.

Another vote here for Istanbul > Cappadocia > back to Istanbul. We did that last year, and found it utterly fascinating each step of the way. And like yorkshire, we found Goreme a very suitable town to stay in.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 01:50 PM
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Goreme was a nice small town, can walk everywhere, including Open Air Museum. There are cave hotels, restaurants, shops,etc.. We stayed at the Ottoman House recommended in a guidebook. Good hotel, breakfast room on top of hotel with views of countryside.
From there we drove to Ilhara valley and hiked to the cave churches.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 02:12 PM
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thank you so much for the valuable feedback! any more will also be appreciated.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 02:45 PM
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Respect your elders and be nice to children and animals. -
Also heed any advice from Aduchamp and Cold.
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 04:34 PM
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I'll chime in with another vote for Cappadocia. It's like no other area of the world. You can fly to and from Istanbul easily. We flew in and out of Nevsehir and stayed in an incredible cave hotel (Melekler Evi) in Urgup, which is a little smaller than Goreme. We spent 3 1/2 days in Cappadocia which we felt was enough to see many of the sites, first time around, anyway.

We visited Ephesus and drove down to the Turquoise Coast, but as wonderful as they were, I'd still vote for Cappadocia. I assume you've read trip reports on this forum? This is a link to mine and and many others are very informative, too. http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...-in-turkey.cfm

I don't think you could go wrong staying either in Urgup or Goreme. Yes, you could rent a car and see the area. We chose not to and took day trips through an agency which worked very well for us.

Good luck with your decision. As yorkshire says, you can't go wrong, whatever you choose!

Ellen
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 08:53 PM
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Ellen,

Thank you so much. Yes, I have read your report twice now. the section on Capaddocia was particularly helpful. In fact, I'm in the process of contacting the Meleker and I think we're leaning toasted not driving., though we usually like to drive when abroad The experiences you described with rock valley sound great.

Thanks again! We'll update during and after our trip but any further suggestions are appreciated.

becky
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Old Feb 24th, 2011, 10:11 PM
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You might want to take a look at my trip report; click on my name to find it.
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 10:29 AM
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michael, thank you so much. i actually read through it last week and again today. gave me some ideas. thanks for sharing.

becky
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Old Feb 25th, 2011, 04:40 PM
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Becky, you won't be disappointed with the Melekler Evi. Say hello to Arzu and Muammar for us if you stay there. Melekler Evi means "house of angels"; it's aptly named!
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