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How does this Turkey itinerary look?

Bothell, Washington
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25 posts
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How does this Turkey itinerary look?

I am visiting Turkey this October and would love some feedback on my current travel plan from anyone that has spent time there. My priorities are to (1) have a good portion of time in Istanbul, like 5-7 days, (2)see some diverse landscapes and (3)preference for history and culture over beaches and resorts. So with that in mind, here is the plan:

October 9: Arrive in Istanbul

October 10: Istanbul

October 11: Istanbul

October 12: Istanbul

October 13: Istanbul > Ankara (fly)

October 14: Ankara > Goreme (fly)

October 15: Goreme

October 16: Goreme > Konya (bus)

October 17: Konya > Antalya (bus)

October 18: Antalya > Kas (rental car)

October 19: Kas > Lycia Way > Fethiye (rental car)

October 20: Bodrum > Selcuk/Ephesus (rental car)

October 21: Izmir (rental car)

October 22: Bergama > Assos (rental car)

October 23: Bursa (rental car)

October 24: Bursa > Istanbul (ferry)

October 25: Istanbul

October 26: Depart Istanbul

Seventeen nights seems like a nice, long vacation, yet I still feel like I will be in a rush to see everything! This is a big reason I plan to rent a car; despite the cost, I think it would be great to have the flexibilty to jump around as I pleasel. The best suggestions I can get now are things like, "skip Place A, so you can spend more time in Place B". Teşekkür ederim!

Mentioned in this post
Turkey
Turkey
Europe
Ankara
Ankara
Ankara Province, Turkey
Goreme
Goreme
Cappadocia, Turkey
Konya
Konya
Konya Province, Turkey
Antalya
Antalya
Antalya Province, Turkey
Kas
Kas
Antalya Province, Turkey
Lycia Hotel
Lycia Hotel
97 Reviews
Kas, Turkey
Fethiye
Fethiye
Mugla Province, Turkey
Bodrum
Bodrum
Mugla Province, Turkey
Selcuk
Selcuk
Izmir Province, Turkey
Izmir
Izmir
Izmir Province, Turkey
Bergama
Bergama
Izmir Province, Turkey
Assos
Assos
Canakkale Province, Turkey
Bursa
Bursa
Bursa Province, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
17,579 posts
3 reviews
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1. Re: How does this Turkey itinerary look?

This isn't as rushed as it may feel,many would've packed in an awful lot more!

An error;you can't fly from Ankara to Görme,only by bus.

A suggestion;I personally would skip Bodrum.The castle with it's museum is excellent it's true,but there is nothing much else there to justify the fuel to take you so far off your route.

I would elect to go from Fethiye up to Pamukkale instead.There you can see not only the amazing white travertines but they are backed by the interesting site of Hierapolis.Only a couple of miles away is the important site of Laodecia.

When you leave to drive on to Selçuk you can break up that journey with a stop off at the lovely site of Aphrodisias,a good competitor for Ephesus-but without the crowds :)

This would give you better value for money from our expensive fuel than going to Bodrum.Btw,having a rental car will be wonderful for you.

One final and important point;October 15/16/17/18 will be Kurban Bayramı,the largest holiday of the year.These 4 days plus the 14th the day before will be incredibly busy on the roads and all transport methods,particularly those out of Istanbul and Ankara will be heaving.If you want to fly to Ankara I recommend you get that ticket booked asap.

Mentioned in this post
Ankara
Ankara
Ankara Province, Turkey
Bodrum
Bodrum
Mugla Province, Turkey
Fethiye
Fethiye
Mugla Province, Turkey
Pamukkale
Pamukkale
Denizli Province, Turkey
Aphrodisias
Aphrodisias
371 Reviews
Geyre, Turkey
Istanbul
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639 posts
2 reviews
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2. Re: How does this Turkey itinerary look?

I would omit Ankara and fly directly from Istanbul to Cappadoccia (either Nevsehir or Kayseri). Kindly heed the advice of sarikanarya to advance book for travel during Kurban Bayram.

Mentioned in this post
Ankara
Ankara
Ankara Province, Turkey
Nevsehir
Nevsehir
Nevsehir Province, Turkey
Kayseri
Kayseri
Kayseri Province, Turkey
Bothell, Washington
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25 posts
1 review
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3. Re: How does this Turkey itinerary look?

Thank you, sarikanarya! I had checked for holidays during my trip, but I must have been on the wrong Gregorian year. Are Cappadoccia, Konya, Antalya, Kas good places to visit during Kurban Bayramı? I am not Muslim but I like to learn about customs like this.

I appreciate the advice on Pamukkale and Aphrodisias. What I read of Laodicea sounds like a very interesting history.

Mentioned in this post
Konya
Konya
Konya Province, Turkey
Antalya
Antalya
Antalya Province, Turkey
Kas
Kas
Antalya Province, Turkey
Pamukkale
Pamukkale
Denizli Province, Turkey
Aphrodisias
Aphrodisias
371 Reviews
Geyre, Turkey
Laodicea
Laodicea
230 Reviews
Denizli, Turkey
Bothell, Washington
Level Contributor
25 posts
1 review
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4. Re: How does this Turkey itinerary look?

Thank your for your advice, cagcag! My Turkish coworker also suggested skipping Ankara. I would love to have an extra day for my trip, but when I read about it, I think there might be some things that I will like, such as all the historical museums.

When I go to Cappadoccia, do you think it is better to stay in Nevsehir, Kayseri, or Goreme? I think it would be very fun to stay in a cave house pansion! like this: tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g297983-d222331…

Yes, I am glad that you and sarikanarya are warning me about making travel plans in advance. You probably saved me a lot of time, money, and headache :)

Mentioned in this post
Ankara
Ankara
Ankara Province, Turkey
Nevsehir
Nevsehir
Nevsehir Province, Turkey
Kayseri
Kayseri
Kayseri Province, Turkey
Goreme
Goreme
Cappadocia, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
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17,579 posts
3 reviews
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5. Re: How does this Turkey itinerary look?

I have to agree with Cağcağ about Ankara.I imagine it was particularly the Museum of Anatolian Civilisations you were wanting to see but this is partly closed at the moment for renovations so some of the exhibits aren't on show and those parts of the museum currently open are pretty mixed up.Not the best time to see it.

So yes search for flights direct to either Nevşehir or Kayseri.There are flights from both Istanbul airports with those from SAW airport generally being cheaper and those going into Kayseri also being cheaper-and more frequent.Again,worth booking asap!

Both Nevşehir and Kayseri are provincial capital cities,pleasant enough but nothing startling to stay in,you'll be better placed in Göreme or Urgup where you are amongst the 'fairy chimnies' and central for visiting pretty much everything,especially from Göreme.

In Antalya and Kaş you'll probably hardly be aware it is Bayram,in fact no where will you see anything obvious to mark it put as such.Generally this is a family time,the only thing you may notice is the heavier trafffic-including a lot of pick up trucks with worried looking livestock on the back!-and children running around showing off their best new Bayram clothes.

If anything smaller villages are the nicer places to be at Bayram and where you are more likely to pick up on anything that may be happening or included in anything,including anything at the hotel you are staying in.

If you wished to witness a sacrifice(not sure why you would but never mind!)you could ask the hotel you're staying in on 14/15 if they are making a sacrifice and if you may attend.

It is usually performed early morning after breakfast on the first or second day of Bayram.It isn't the appalling violent thing people often believe it to be but neither is it a pleasant sight,esp.for anyone who doesn't like the sight of blood.It is over however,very quickly.

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Ankara
Ankara
Ankara Province, Turkey
Kayseri
Kayseri
Kayseri Province, Turkey
Urgup
Urgup
Cappadocia, Turkey
Antalya
Antalya
Antalya Province, Turkey
Bothell, Washington
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25 posts
1 review
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6. Re: How does this Turkey itinerary look?

Too bad about the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations being partially closed. Maybe I will take your advice about skipping Ankara. If I did, it would probably mean adding an extra day in

-Istanbul

-Konya

-Antalya or

-Bursa

I currently have about 6 days scheduled for Istanbul, and just one for the other 3. I could also have another day somewhere between Antalya and Bursa, but that would mean paying for another day of the car rental. Suggestions?

I don't much care to see any sacrifices. I grew up on a farm and it holds no appeal for me. But is fun to see celebrations, music, dance, special foods during holidays.

Mentioned in this post
Ankara
Ankara
Ankara Province, Turkey
Konya
Konya
Konya Province, Turkey
Antalya
Antalya
Antalya Province, Turkey
Bursa
Bursa
Bursa Province, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
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17,579 posts
3 reviews
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7. Re: How does this Turkey itinerary look?

No,the sacrifice is not a pleasant thing to see but some are curious about it,hence I mentioned it.

If you will have an extra day you could use it after Bursa to save increasing your car loan period.Take a local bus from Bursa to Iznik,not far away and spend a day in this rather nice,historical little town which has some interesting artifacts to see and is pleasantly untouristy,it is also set beside a pretty lake too.It certainly wouldn't be a wasted day.You can find friendly comfortable accomodation there if you stay overnight.

From there you can then take the ferry back to Istanbul from Yalova or take the bus whichever you prefer.

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Bursa
Bursa
Bursa Province, Turkey
Iznik
Iznik
200 Reviews
Bursa, Turkey
Yalova
Yalova
Yalova Province, Turkey
Selcuk, Turkey
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3,279 posts
2 reviews
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8. Re: How does this Turkey itinerary look?

Hi. Not sure about your plan for Oct 21 (Izmir) but I would suggest 2 nights here in Selcuk before going on to Bergama. The motorway takes you right past Izmir - no need to go into the city.

It looks like you should rent a car at Nevsehir Airport with return to ?Bursa centre?

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Izmir
Izmir
Izmir Province, Turkey
Selcuk
Selcuk
Izmir Province, Turkey
Bergama
Bergama
Izmir Province, Turkey
Nevsehir
Nevsehir
Nevsehir Province, Turkey
Bursa
Bursa
Bursa Province, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
17,579 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: How does this Turkey itinerary look?

Why in Nevşehir?That would extend the rental period even further.If the OP is travelling solo then it will be more cost effective to pick the car up in Antalya.Around Capp.and from there to Konya and onwards to Antalya the bus connections work well enough for a car not to be a huge advantage.If you have an open budget that's a little different of course,but who does these days? :)

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Antalya
Antalya
Antalya Province, Turkey
Konya
Konya
Konya Province, Turkey
Bothell, Washington
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10. Re: How does this Turkey itinerary look?

Thanks for the advice, Robert. Aside from seeing Ephesus, what do you recommend in Selcuk? I kind of do want to spend the night in Izmir, so I have at least a night and a morning to visit that city.

I've looked at so many permutations of my car rental and am settling on Antalya to Bursa. My logic is that there are many little towns and places between Antalya and Bursa where I might like to skip and jump around. But I think I will take the bus from Goreme to Konya, and Konya to Antalya, because there is less I want to see between those stops. (I am sure there are a lot of good things to seen in between, but I have to draw the line somewhere!)

Mentioned in this post
Selcuk
Selcuk
Izmir Province, Turkey
Izmir
Izmir
Izmir Province, Turkey
Antalya
Antalya
Antalya Province, Turkey
Bursa
Bursa
Bursa Province, Turkey
Goreme
Goreme
Cappadocia, Turkey
Konya
Konya
Konya Province, Turkey