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Turquoise Coast - to rent a car? to take a Gulet ride?

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Mar 4th, 2011, 02:55 PM
  #1
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Turquoise Coast - to rent a car? to take a Gulet ride?

Hello All,
My best friend and I (both in our late 20's) are taking a 2 week trip to Turkey the 1st 2 weeks of June.

We will spend time in Istanbul before heading down to the so called Turquoise Coast and I would love and appreciate any tips for getting around.

I have yet to decide where to base ourselves. The options of Marmais and Bodrum are not appealing to me, with the congestion and crowds...but we don't want to be anywhere too sleepy as we will likely dine and go out for drinks nightly looking to mingle with other travellers and locals.

My 2 big questions are:
1) Is car rental the best option for being able to explore towns, beaches and ruins?
2) I see mixed opinions of Gulet cruises. I LOVE the idea of taking 3 nights to explore the waters, but if they are dangerous or dirty I am not game for this. Do they ever dock in a town for the night so we can get on land for restaurants and exploration?

Thanks so much for any help given!
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Mar 5th, 2011, 06:15 AM
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I strongly recommend Kas (pronounced Kush, smaller and more scenic than either Marmaris or bodrum. More bohemian and artistic yet still touristy with good bars and restaurants.

Has possibility of excellent day tours by boat to the sunken ruins of Kekova where you can also kayak.

Lots of nearby ruins like Myra, arycanda, Xanthos, Letoon, Tlos, pinara to explore by rental car, and beaches like Patara as well as canyons like Saklikent. (please read my "Fumbling family......" trip report.

Although gulets are not known to be dirty and they are usually never dangerous, you cannot choose your companions and it could be miserable to be stuck for a number of days with people you would hate to be with.

They usually anchor during the day so that people can swim and then move part of the night or early morning to the next cove. They will anchor at some secluded bays with a restaurant which you can reach by a zodiac or a dinghy and be over-charged.
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Mar 7th, 2011, 04:20 PM
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Otherchelebi - really appreciate your thoughts! Kas does look fabulous, and what you describe is what I'm looking for. I agree with the possible pitfalls of who we end up with on the gulet

Going to read your trip report right now!
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Jan 18th, 2012, 08:22 AM
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So what did you end up doing? I am also struggling somewhat planning this portion of my hopeful Turkey 2012 trip.
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Jan 18th, 2012, 08:30 AM
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Jan 18th, 2012, 09:02 AM
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We drove from Antalya to Ephesus with overnites in Kas and Marmaris.
Great views over ocean, we tried to go to Olympos but time ranout.

Kas..my fav. Our hotel room overlooked ocean 20' away, no window just open space with stunning views, sounds. Nice small town, can do day long boat cruise to see underwater Lycean ruins, swim stops, included lunch.

Marmaris is busier, but we liked wandering centre of town
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Jan 18th, 2012, 09:38 AM
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Michel, did you also get to Kalkan? I was sort of thinking about basing my self here as the town is supposed to have great dining options + the Hotel Villa Mahal is supposed to be one of the top resorts in Turkey.
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Jan 18th, 2012, 11:00 AM
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Holly...good info, but does this contravene Fodor's no advertizing rule?
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Jan 18th, 2012, 12:07 PM
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I appreciate your concern, Michel. What I've written in response to the inquiry is advice based on decades of experience. The links go to additional practical info that can be applied to anyone's trip planning. Actually, most of the visitors to my website never contact me for any services. But if they read about aspects of Turkish culture while they are on my site and if that enriches their experience, and understanding of Turkey and the Middle East-- I'm thrilled.

When someone in these forums "recommends" a guide, restaurant, tour company, another Turkish travel planner, itinerary, or hotel-- and gives a link-- such mentions could also be termed "advertising." Meanwhile, none of us can know who the posting person really is. I'm being transparent: the links I provide take anyone who wants to follow them to a place that substantiates the advice and info I have freely offered here.

If I were simply scattering URLs across the forum, that would be a different matter!

My work has grown out of deep affection for Turkey. The better informed travellers are BEFORE they go to that fascinating, multicultural country, the better for them-- and for Turkey.
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Jan 18th, 2012, 12:20 PM
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Thanks for clarifying!
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Jan 18th, 2012, 12:42 PM
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Thank you, Michel.

If you look at the links to tour companies and travel planners (whose URLs are posted by you and others in asstd discussions here), many of them certainly lead to sites that are far more commercial than my own.

I, too, could cry foul, but I think most of them, like my links, were included because they may actually help the people who asked the questions.

It would nice if you (?) and/or Fodor's would unflag and respectfully allow a reposting of the 3 responses to queries I wrote earlier today. That way, the participants to whom I offered some advice can actually use the info I tried to provide.

I'd greatly appreciate that consideration.

As we say in Turkish, cok tesekkur ederim.

Holly Chase
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Jan 20th, 2012, 10:16 AM
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So my latest thoughts for this 4 day portion of my trip are to:

-Based myself in Fethiye
-Spend one day touring Fethyie (Telemesos, the town itself, shopping, etc)
-One day at Patara (ruins and beach)
-One day at Kas, including a boat tour to the sunken ruins at Kekova
-One day leaning toward Tlos and Saklikent Gorge

How doable is all of this by dolmus and in certain instances, pre-arranged tour (Tlos, Salikent, Kekova)? I really don't want to have to deal with a car-mostly because I'll be traveling alone and don't want 100% of the hassle on me re. directions, breakdowns, etc. Have I captured at least some of the most critical things to see and do on the Turkish Riveria? I am looking for a mix of ruins, sun, a bit of beach time and one partial day on the water. Thanks for any and all input.
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Jan 20th, 2012, 10:57 AM
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The Kas and kekova day is the tough one.

Kas may be too far for a dolmus, so you will most probably need to take a bus. About two hours from fethiye.

You can then take a dolmus from kas to ucagiz and take the boat tour from Ucagiz, thus reducing time spent in getting to Kekova.

If you get a rental car for that day, you can actually include Myra and even Patara that day without the beach.

You can then get your beach time nearby at Calis or Olu Deniz on the day you reserve for Fethiye and even part of the Tlos day.

I must remind you that catching and/or waiting for a dolmus and possibly walking before and after will eat into your limited time.

Remember you'll have the evenings for discovering the city where the shops will stay open very late.

By the way, Villa Mahal is not a resort. It is a small boutique hutel with very private nicely designed rooms and baths, most of which have very good views. However this would be more suitable for a romantic getaway rather than a single.
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Jan 22nd, 2012, 02:38 PM
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Otherchelebi, thanks very much for your comments. I suspected that the Villa Mahal was more of a romantic getaway type place. Good to have that confirmation from you as that will now save me A LOT of money by not booking there.

Oludeniz is starting to intrigue me as I see that paragliding is very popular there and there are many people of Trip Advisor who had never done it before and gave it rave reviews after trying.

I'm now thinking:

-base in Fethiye
-one day Fethiye, Telmessos; Oludeniz (paraglide?)
-one day Tlos and Saklikent
-one day Patara
-one day still to be determined

Options for that fourth day include a 12-island day boat tour out of Fethiye; the Kekova boat tour (although it's probably 3 hours of travel time each way by the time I get to Ucagiz); or maybe just for the heck of it, a same day catamaran trip to Rhodes.
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Jan 23rd, 2012, 12:16 AM
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MinnBeef, Sounds All Good.

We liked Ece Saray Hotel at Fethiye Marina (sea view room)
Its rooms are good sized, good breakfast at nice terrace, not very far from Fethiye town center for walking or a short taxi ride to the location for dolmus. (tours would probably pick you up from your hotel) If Martha is at the reception say hello from me and my wife.

Another option but one that will probably require a rental car is Villa Rhapsody at Kayakoy. It is a simpler small hotel with lovely grounds and excellent food. Again say Hi from us to the owners, Jean and Atilla.

Staying at Fethiye eat the pide restaurant at Paspatur and at Mosaic Garden.
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Jan 24th, 2012, 09:54 AM
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Thank you Otherchelebi. As I get more in the detailed planning of my (hopefully) September trip, I'm going to check back with you on other details like recommended hotels in Istanbul. Last Sept. I stayed in Sultanahmet which was wonderful, but this time, I have visions of staying in Galata or Beyoglu in a hotel with a wonderful view of the Old City skyline.
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Jan 24th, 2012, 10:20 AM
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Have a look at this :

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2012...-live-in-world

you may change your mind about Galata or Beyoglu
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Jan 24th, 2012, 11:52 AM
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Yes, I saw you mention Cihangir earlier and it sounds very cool. Isn't it a ways off of the tram line though? What hotels do you recommend there that would give me a drop dead view of Old City?
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Jan 24th, 2012, 12:23 PM
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great article. thanks for sharing, otherchelebi!
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