Turkey Turquoise Coast Decisions

Old Jan 9th, 2019, 11:20 AM
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Posts: 656
Turkey Turquoise Coast Decisions

So we're thinking of going back to Istanbul this autumn, coupling it with 4-5 days based in one town on the Turquoise Coast---mainly for the Lycian ruins and other ancient sites, but also so my husband can enjoy some nice water views. We will likely not rent a car if we can avoid it.

I think I've narrowed it down to Fethiye, which sounds like enough of a town so we can try to avoid souvenir shops and package tourists from big resorts a bit. Plus it's close enough to an airport, and yet has boat tours for my husband as well as agencies for visits to places like Tlos. Dalyan sounds charming, but I'd rather in by the coast than a river, and Tlos will fulfill my desire to see rock tombs.

I considered Antalya, mainly for Termessos and the like, but Fethiye boat trips seem...prettier? Maybe?

I'm also still considering Kas (mainly for Kekova), though my husband is balking at the 2+ hour distance from an airport, but I can sway him if any of you think it should absolutely be worth it.

Would love any opinions anyone has to finalize a decision. We are not interested in bars or nightlife, but are interested in good Turkish restaurants, perhaps some local boutiques to browse in, access to historical sites, museums, etc., and places where I actually feel I'm in Turkey and not just completely surrounded by fellow tourists.

PegS is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2019, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Hi PegS,

Fethiye is a good choice. You are close enough for the Kaunos rock tombs as well as those inside Fethiye and at Tlos. There is also Xanthos and Letoon of the frogs (inhabitants turned into frogs and have remained ever since)

On the other hand Kas has Myra with its rock tombs as well as Patara, Symena, Arycanda, et.al. also within reasonable reach to Tlos, Xanthos and Letoon.

Fethiye is a medium size totally Turkish town with a large British population which is scattered around and not at all intrusive. Has good restaurants.
Kas is smaller and more touristy but with Turkish tourists also and an artsy/bohemian crowd. Has decent restaurants and excellent cafes and bars

I prefer the day boat trip out of Kas to the one out of Fethiye,or doing it with a small boat from Ucagiz just for yourselves.

Antalya is a large city and it takes time to reach the sites which are on East, West and North, But it has access to two great complete cities, pristine Termessos and somewhat excavated Sagalassos in addition to Perge, Aspendos, Side, Olympos, Phaeselis, It is also the most expensive among the three.
Boat trips out of Antalya are quite dull.

Lycian cities maps and photos:


My trip reports:
Fabulous Family Fearlesly Meet Lykians (reprint of 2010 trip)
Another Trip of Discovery of Feminine Charm with DW and DD the Younger

Photo album :
Lycian Way October, 2010 of 2010 trip above.

If you can afford it, I strongly recommed personal guide with car. Will save you a great deal of time, let you rest when you wish, eat when and where you wish and not be bored with the tour or your companions. I am saying that because you say you do not wish to drive. Actually driving in the region is very easy, especially in autumn with most tourists gone home.

Your only problem will be late sunrise and early sunsets.
Ask for Digiturk/BeIn TV at your hotel. It has original language TV shows, films as well as BBC, CNN and Euronews in English.

Enjoy your planning.
otherchelebi is online now  
Old Jan 9th, 2019, 02:45 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 370
It's only a 100 mile round trip out of Fethiye to visit all 5 of these sites: Pinara, Letoon, Xanthos, Patara, Tlos - https://goo.gl/maps/kyJXg34M8DH2

Definitely easiest with your own car. But I reckon you could find a tailor-made trip from one of the agents in Fethiye.
Croesus is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2019, 05:29 PM
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Thanks to you both. It's such a hard choice! A private driver might not be a bad idea. I just remember in Iceland how the driver never really got to enjoy the scenery, and the older I get the less inclined I am to drive in unfamiliar places. Still, renting a car isn't completely outside the realm of possibility. Hm.

I am definitely looking forward to being back in Istanbul too. Our 2nd trip was in 2013, and the political situation then made me question if we'd ever be able to go back. My husband and I decided we missed the city, though. Thinking of further exploring the Asian site this time, and we only got as far as the military museum in Nisantasi last time.
PegS is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2019, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,767
You should see some wonderful things no matter what you choose!

With difficulty, I made the painful decisions to skip Fethiye and Dalyan, but truly enjoyed Antalya (and glorious Termessos!) and Kaş. I took a boat to Kekova through Üçağız, not Kaş (but Kaş would likely have been easier), and frankly, other than enjoying an hour on the water, I wasn’t all that impressed with the experience, as Kakova is generally off limit these days – you can just see little tiny bits from a distance. I was ready to move on long before the boat returned to harbor – but that’s just me.

I drove, and as a solo traveler, completely understand the frustrations of being unable to fully appreciate the scenery. Still, for me, driving gave me the chance to see a great deal that my time or budget wouldn’t have otherwise allowed.

You might find some useful info in my (old) trip report:
Some Observations on a Fantastic Journey through Western Turkey
kja is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2019, 07:12 PM
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Thanks Kja. I've actually read your report multiple times. (Didn't know you had a fan, huh?) Probably high time to re-read it. The rock tombs are what draw me to the Fethiye side, while pictures of Termesso make we wish for the Antalya side!

And thanks for your honest opinion of the Kekova boat tour. Maybe I won't regret skipping it. Honestly I'm not a sailing person, and I've been trying to find a Fethiye boat tour that's only half the day because I don't know if I can take an entire day of doing nothing but lounging and swimming.
PegS is offline  
Old Jan 9th, 2019, 07:48 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Oh, I'm so glad that old report is proving of continued use! Thanks for letting me know.

I'm not sure how much I said in that report about my trip to Kekova, as I'm sure many people would have enjoyed it far more than I -- and I had wanted to see it, and so had no regrets about doing so. But if you are making a number of difficult choices about what to include or skip, maybe my reaction is worth adding into the mix.

Termessos is among the most awesome ancient sites I've been privileged to visit. That setting is, IMO, truly stunning!

I can't speak to what I didn't see, but I can say that I thought the rock tombs of Myra impressive.
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Old Jan 10th, 2019, 08:25 AM
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Yeah, I really don't want to miss Termessos, but it's not like they can move it to the other side of the coast, huh? Maybe I can convince my husband we need to do a road trip, but I promised a mellow vacation this time!
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