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Where on the Aegean coast?

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Jan 8th, 2013, 11:24 PM
  #1
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Where on the Aegean coast?

We are finally deciding on our Turkey itinerary, and I would love to have some input on where to go on one “empty” day on the Aegean coast. We (family of five) are travelling the first two weeks of May 2013:

Day 1 - Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk 16h35 – take subway to Sultanahmet area (does anyone advise against taking the subway?)

Day 2 - Istanbul

Day 3 – Istanbul

Day 4 - Onur Air Istanbul – Izmir, arrive midday, pick up rental car. This is where we would like to go to a town on the coast for one day, thinking maybe Cesme? Spend the night on the chosen location.

Day 5 - Spend the day in the coast town. In the afternoon/evening go to Selçuk

Day 6 - Ephesus ruins in the morning, Aphrodisias ruins in the afternoon, spend the night in Pamukkale (this is the tour proposed on Turkey Travel Planner)

Day 7 - Pamukkale in the morning, afternoon drive to airport in Izmir (4 hour drive), late flight with Sun Express Izmir – Kayseri. Shuttle to Goreme.

Day 8 – Cappadocia

Day 9 – Cappadocia

Day 10 - Cappadocia (ihlara valley)

Day 11 - Atlasjet Kayseri - Istanbul Ataturk (once again subway into town)

Day 12 – Istanbul

Day 13 - Flight home Istanbul Ataturk 6h30 (yes, very early flight, will need airport shuttle that takes 5 people)

Note that I have been playing around with different open-jaw alternatives, but for budget reasons we will have to fly in and out of Istanbul.

Thanks in advance for any comments
grendel is offline  
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Jan 9th, 2013, 01:13 AM
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Cesme is too far from Izmir airport for you to enjoy and also to combine with Ephesus the next day.

I suggest that you stay close to Selcuk and Ephesus and pick Kusadasi for your overnight.
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Jan 9th, 2013, 08:01 AM
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Thanks for your suggestion, Otherchelebi. Is there anything in particular you suggest we see/do/eat while in Kusadasi? When I look for info on the town I mostly get info on Ephesus, and that we already have planned for out of Selcuk.
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Jan 9th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Kusadasi has a good street market, an old caravanserai, converted to a hotel, Okuz Mehmet Pasa Kervansarayi, currently operating as Club Caravanserail, which has very good reviews, including one on Fodors, possibly by Ted Gale.

South of the town , there is Dilek National Park, where there is Zeus cave and possible hiking and biking routes.

Further South, you have the antique towns of Priene, Miletus, Didyma and Herakleia.

The coastal promenade is nice but very busy and also Kusadasi is a major cruise stop on the Med, so that you may need to time some of your walks and sightseeing accordingly.
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Jan 9th, 2013, 06:13 PM
  #5
kja
 
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> Day 6 - Ephesus ruins in the morning, Aphrodisias ruins in the afternoon, spend the night in Pamukkale (this is the tour proposed on Turkey Travel Planner)

I must admit that this day would have been too fast-paced for me. I spent about 4 hours at Ephesus (not counting the taxi ride to and from and a stop for a beverage afterwards). I spent about 3.5 hours at Hierapolis/Pamukkale. And that doesn't count the drive, which viamichelin estimates at about 3 hours.

But I took my time to savor those ruins, so maybe you and your family could manage.

Hope that helps.
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Jan 10th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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Hi Kja, thanks for taking the time to comment.

I know it looks hectic, but we will not actually visit both Ephesus and Pamukkale on the same day. The way it is proposed on Turkey Travel Planner it looks doable:

"Day 1 - Morning flight from Istanbul to Izmir (ADB), arrive by noon or earlier..... Pick up your reserved rental car at the airport and drive to Selçuk....Arrive in Selçuk or Şirince by 14:30 or 15:00....Visit Ephesus Museum, St. John Basilica, Isa Bey Mosque.

Day 2 - In the morning, explore the ruins of Ephesus (2 to 3 hours), then drive to Aphrodisias (143 km/89 miles, 2 hours); lunch either before leaving Selcuk or at Aphrodisias. Tour the ruins of Aphrodisias (1-1/2 to 2 hours), drive to Pamukkale (123 km/76 miles, 1-1/2 hours), arriving before dark. Settle in at a hotel in Pamukkale Town or Karahayıt.

Day 3 - Enjoy a swim in the mineral waters of Pamukkale (2 hours), and tour the ruins of the Roman spa of Hierapolis (1 hour). After lunch, drive to Izmir's Adnan Menderes Airport (252 km, 157 miles, 4 hours), turn in your rental car, and fly to Kayseri"

In our planning that would correspond to day 5, 6 and 7, only we would be driving to Selcuk from Kusadasi on day 5.

I read one trip report where the poster had visited Ephesus in the afternoon, around 4pm, to avoid the masses from the cruise ships. That could be an option for us also - visit Ephesus on the same afternoon we arrive in Selcuk.

The 4 hour drive from Pamukkale back to the airport feels a little long, but doable.
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Jan 10th, 2013, 04:59 PM
  #7
kja
 
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I can see how that might work. Again, I took much longer at each of location than Turkey Travel Planner is recommending, but that reflects my preferences. You will definitely see some wonderful things!
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Jan 17th, 2013, 05:19 AM
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As it looks now:

Day 4 arriving in Izmir from Istanbul we will drive to Kusadasi, spend afternoon and night.

Day 5 spend morning in Kusadasi then drive to Selcuk and spend one night there.

Day 6 visit Ephesus in the morning and Aphrodisias in the afternoon, spend one night near Pamukkale


Just a thought - does it make sense to stay in Selcuk for one night just to be a little bit closer to Ephesus, or should we stay two nights in Kusadasi, driving directly from there in the morning to Ephesus?

Alternative:

Day 4 - Istanbul – Izmir, arrive midday, pick up rental car. Drive to Kusadasi, spend the night.

Day 5 - Spend the day in Kusadasi. Spend the night in Kusadasi instead of going to Selcuk in the evening?

Day 6 - Ephesus ruins in the morning, Aphrodisias ruins in the afternoon, spend the night near Pamukkale

Day 7 - Pamukkale in the morning, afternoon drive to airport in Izmir (4 hour drive), late flight with to Goreme.


Is Selcuk nice as a town, apart from being closer to Ephesus?

Thanks in advance for any suggestions
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Jan 17th, 2013, 06:32 AM
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Kusadasi and Selcuk are less than 20 miles apart. There is absolutely no reason to move.

Kusadasi is quite a large city on the sea, and parts of it are over-developed with condos. Kusadasi has activity after dark.

Selcuk is a traditional inland Turkish small town. Selcuk does not have activity after dark.

No matter where you stay, you should visit Selcuk museum and possibly Saint John's Basilica.
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Jan 17th, 2013, 09:03 AM
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Consider an alternative. Stay two nights at Sirince instead of Kusadasi or Selcuk. The day you arrive and then the next day too. Its a charming small town near Selcuk and an easy 1.5 hour drive from Izmir airport. If you want to see the coast you would still have time your first day before you do Ephesus or the second day after. We stayed at Nisanyan House hotel, they have hotel rooms and cottages. We enjoyed it very much on our visit to Turkey. http://www.nisanyan.com/. Mr Nisanyan also wrote a guide book to small hotels across Turkey -- although I don't think he publishes it anymore -- so if you are still in need of booking suggestions elsewhere you might ask by emailing them.
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Jan 17th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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I also meant to include that to see the Aegean you might consider this national park south of Kusadasi:

http://www.kusadasi.biz/info/around/national-park

I saw it when I went to google maps to confirm that Sirence and Selcuk were as close to the sea as I thought.

We didn't go to the park but we often find in our travels that parks can be both a nice break from more intense sightseeing and also a great way to see how local families enjoy themselves.
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Jan 19th, 2013, 07:53 AM
  #12
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Thank you other and laurie-ann for your suggestions and for confirming that there is no need to change lodgings to see Ephesus.

I have sent a request to the Nisanyan House Hotel in Sirince and will decide to stay either two nights in Kusadasi or two nights in Sirince.

laurie-ann, I will put the Dilek National Park on our list of possible visits while in the area, and then play by ear. Thank you for the tip!
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