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Help with 9 days in Turkey

Boston, MA
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Help with 9 days in Turkey

My husband and I are planning our very first trip to Turkey and we’re so excited! Our main interests are history and food.

We’re planning to start with 3 days in Istanbul and end with 3 days in Cappadocia.

For the middle 3 days, we really need some help!

We do want to get in some beach time and time to relax, so we were thinking of Kusadasi which means we could see Ephesus as well. If at all possible, we want to avoid renting a car because our natural tendency is to get lost (and not in a good, relaxing way!). If we went this route, would we have time to see Pammukale or would it be too hectic? Between Pammukale and Ephesus, if we had to choose one, which would you recommend?

Another option entirely – we were wondering about going to Bodrum or Antalya. Would you recommend this for 3 days instead of Kusadasi/Ephesus. Or something else entirely?

(We are thinking of flying between cities to save time and though we’re on a budget, it looks like it’s not too much more expensive than buses.)

We would appreciate any help at all. Thanks!!

Bostonian

Cirali / Antalya
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1. Re: Help with 9 days in Turkey

if you book flights early they are often as cheap as taking the bus and will save you a lot of time..I would much prefer a 1 hr flight over 12 hr bus ride any day

to get from Istanbul to cappadocia there are flights available with turkish airlines and atlas jet

for finding flights use

Aerobilet:

https://www.aerobilet.com/

<<<Another option entirely – we were wondering about going to Bodrum or Antalya. Would you recommend this for 3 days instead of Kusadasi/Ephesus. Or something else entirely?<<<

depends on what you want to see and what type of holdiay you are looking for...also which month do you plan to travel ? that can make some differences with climate and availbility of flight s etc

are you looking for a large booming resort ? or a quiet location for relaxation, beach , forests, scenery, nature etc ?

could you possibly take more time to visit turkey as 9 days is not very much..you need at least 2 weeks roughly

plenty of great beaches on the med.

www.turkeytravelplanner.com/special/beach/

bestbeachesinturkey.com/best-beaches-in-anta…

telegraph.co.uk/travel/bestbeaches/7634792/B…

a few places come to mind...perhaps Dalyan, Cirali, Patara and Side just to mention a few.

many beaches in Turkey are shingle beaches with mixes of sand and pebbles. There are only a few real sandy beaches..like Patara, Lara beach, Belek and Side..but for beautiful scenery and clear beaches many shingle beaches are better in my opinion.

some of the best beaches are from Antalya - Fethiye

telegraph.co.uk/travel/bestbeaches/7634792/B…

worldreviewer.com/info/best-beach-turkey.html

tripguideturkey.com/the-5-best-beaches-in-tu…

many factors will determine which resort you wish to visit first being which airport to fly into. Dalaman, Antalya, or Bodrum

if you prefer a quietish resort then have a look at Cirali..however you will not find any package holidays...transfer time 1.5 hrs from the Antalya airport...

Cirali ( Çıralı ) is a very lovely and unspoilt area...with Olimpos Roman ruins scattered in a pine forest, a secluded 4km non-touristy beach, fertile fields, and the Chimaera, the world's oldest and best-known natural "eternal flame". Also a natural nesting-ground for carretta carretta (loggerhead turtles).

Cirali tends to draw more families and mature toursits...the hotels and pensions are anywhere from 150m - 750 meters from the beach. All within a 5-10 minute walk.

Also the famous '' Chimaera '' burning mountain is located in the north end of the Cirali village...

This is the Chimaera or Yanartaş as it is know in Turkish .....Yanartaş - The mystical flames at the Chimaera. The Chimaera, a series of flames issuing out of cracks in the bare hillside, is one of the most unusual sites in the whole of Lycia.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yanarta%c5%9f

You won't find Cirali like any of the places normally mentioned in this forum. No mass tourism or 5 star hotels. Just nice family own hotels and pansiyons. Small shops, quiet bars, restaurants, and no discos. It is more of a place for nature lovers.

But Cirali may not be for everyone as it does not have the waterparks, horseback riding, parasailing etc etc but it is closeto the town of Kemer that has many of these types of activities. You can rent a jeep, quad bikes, bikes etc to explore the nature and there are even some organized tours available as well but not to the grand scale that they are in other places.

Boston, MA
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2. Re: Help with 9 days in Turkey

Canmom - thanks soooo much for your detailed reply!!

We will be going around the last week of May. I wish we could be there for more than 9 days but that's all I can do with work :(

We definitely enjoy more non-touristy places which is why I was having second thoughts after reading about Kusadasi. Cirali sounds really wonderful, as does Antalya. If we stayed in Antalya for 3 nights, is it easy to do a day trip to Cirali?

Cirali / Antalya
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3. Re: Help with 9 days in Turkey

Hi bostonian,

you have 2 options

If you fly from Cappadocia you can get direct flights to Izmir ( sunexpress airlines ) and then continue to Kusadasi...and then you are close to visit Ephesus..my choice for location would be Selcuk however..less touristy than Kusadasi and closer to Ephesus..2 nights in Selcuk is enough to visit this area.

If you fly from Cappadocia to antalya ( turkish airlines and pegasus airlines ) in may there are only indirect flights via Istanbul available to Antalya..If you choose to stay in Antalya you can visit the museum, Perge, Aspendos, Termessos, marina and local sites.

however dont forget that Antalya is a big city and the historical area is called the kaleiçi . If you stay inside the od city are you can walk around the area to visit the local sites..but drivign inside of the city is a pian and the parking inside the old city is not easy..the kaleiçi is a bit of a maze and finding your hotel can be a bit of a problem.

If you dont rent a car you will need to take an organized tour to some of the historical areas around antalya.

a day trip to Cirali is not worth it as you need to spend at least an overnight..one night only in Cirali is hard pressed and very rushed to try and see all the sights...you are better with a minimum of 2 nights ..you will need time to visit the ruins of Olympos along the beach and as well possibly time to visit the Chimaera in the evening...to do all of this within one nights stay is very rushed and tiring. You would benefit by staying a bit longer in Cirali if your plans allow.

yes you can take a bus to Cirali..

For Bus Service to Cirali - From Antalya you can take “ Bati Antalya “, "Antalya tur", "Cicek tour" or " Kumluca Seyhat" FROM THE Antalya BUS STATION ( otogar )

Cost is about 10 TL ( turkish liras ) per person and run from 6am until 8pm about every 1/2 hour. Make sure you tell the driver to drop you off at the Cirali ( CHIR-ALI ) junction and NOT the Olympos junction.

Once you are at the Cirali junction there should be no problem to get the mini-bus service to the village center about 7 kms. Cost of mini-bus is around 5-6 TL per person. You may have to wait a little bit for more passengers to arrive to take this mini-bus ( dolmus ). They will not go into the village unless there are at least 4 or more passengers..

you could do one night in Antalya and then 2 nights in Cirali ? or vice versa

Its hard to decide which places are the one you want to visit as there is so much to see and do.

on another note..If you take the bus from Cappadocia to Antalya you will lose 1 full day or you can take the overnight bus ( 9hrs )

The Turkey Travel planner has some good suggestions

www.turkeytravelplanner.com/

Bus travel for long haul

http://www.varan.com.tr

http://www.ulusoy.com.tr

http://www.metroturizm.com.tr

http://www.kamilkoc.com.tr/

www.pamukkale.com.tr/

www.guneyakdeniz.com/

for shorter distances Turkey has vast system of inter city coaches. ...There are minibuses called dolmus, and you can find out the bus times at the otogar ( bus stations )

Domestic airline carriers in Turkey

http://www.onurair.com.tr/default_eng.aspx

http://www.thy.com/

www.atlasjet.com/AtlasjetWeb/atlasjet.kk…

http://www.flypgs.com/en/default.aspx

www.anadolujet.com/

www.sunexpress.com/tr

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Help with 9 days in Turkey

Bostonian! My husband and I are going for 9 days as well at the end of may. We are looking to do about 4 days in Istanbul. Then I really want to go to cappadocia and fethiye. Friends of ours went paragliding in fethiye-which is a beach town by the eastern coast- and said its a must. My husband hates bus rides so I was looking into flying as well. But I'm reading mixed reviews about the final cost. Also, being international our suitcases will be 50 pounds each, and from what I read domestic flights are like 20 pounds and will charge excess baggage fees. If you find a good deal flying to cappadocia, please let me know!

Thanks!!!

Cirali / Antalya
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5. Re: Help with 9 days in Turkey

hi MagicAli,

domestic airlines in turkey usually have a free baggage limit of 15kgs to 20kgs..however turkish airlines also has 30 kgs available for business travellers

most international flights are 23 kgs..so if you can get 20kgs you will be fine..they dont really charge if it is one or 2 kgs above..but depends on the person at the desk

we have flown from the US with just at 23kgs full and when we arrived in Istanbul we of course were over out limit of 15kgs..but they did not charge us the actual over baggage amount but less.

they were much more flexible in the antalya airport where we have flown out to Istanbul but on the way back Istanbul airport and turkish air was more strict.

Cirali / Antalya
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6. Re: Help with 9 days in Turkey

also if you are interested there is paragliding available off Mt. Tahtali ( also know as Mt Olympos )

olymposteleferik.com/en/…

which is near to Cirali.

www.escape2olympos.com/Sayfa.aspx…

Edited: 29 April 2013, 07:30
Boston, MA
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7. Re: Help with 9 days in Turkey

Hi MagicAli - we just decided to fly - so we're going from Antalya, back through Istanbul and to Cappadochia. The more we looked into it and asked around, the more we thought we'd just be too tired from a bus or car journey. I never even considered the whole baggage allowance thing! But here's what I do - I just put the excess weight in my carry-on (I find that airlines seem to be less strict with that) OR I always carry an extra big cloth bag (like those ginormous Steve Madden shopping bags!) which I use as my hand baggage - stuff whatever excess you have in that. Usually works out fine. Have fun - just one month to go!!

Boston, MA
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8. Re: Help with 9 days in Turkey

CanMom - Had never thought of paragliding there! Can't wait to get to Olympos!

Los Angeles...
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9. Re: Help with 9 days in Turkey

Thanks Canmom and Bostonian!

Yeah my husband literally wants to just lay at a beach so asking him to sit in a bus for 6-7 hours, uh, he may just leave me behind in Turkey lol. And that's a great idea... Steve Madden! I just bought a pair of boots and totally have one of those humongo bags. My cousin gave me a good tip too. She said to always price everything in liras, never dollars. And to make it easier so it doesn't look like you are a first timer, on a small piece of paper you carry in your wallet, write out the Lira value of $5, $10, $25, $50, etc so you always have a rough idea of what range there prices fall in. So you don't sit there converting in front of them which then gives you away=no room for bargaining and tourist rip off price.

If you find an airline with a good price, please let me know, I'll do the same.

I want to start packing now. My husband rolled his eyes... Haha!

The New Forest, UK
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10. Re: Help with 9 days in Turkey

That's a higher jump than Babadag, I'll have to try it one day. I see you land by an old Dakota on the beach at Tekirova - http://goo.gl/maps/zRyg0