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Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

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Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

Going in mid-September, I am a 65 yr. old solo woman traveler (so, alas, no car rentals) who likes to stay in a place for 3-4 days and vacation as well as adventure. Here's my itinerary and questions:

Istanbul. 5 days. I'm all set.

Flight to Izmir. Ephesus & Pamukkale - 3 days, Where should I make my home base? Is there a tour company you like?

A pretty, relaxing beach. 3 days. Feyithe? Cirali? Olympos? Other? I see lots of mixed opinions. Should I fly from Izmir?

Goreme and Cappadocia. I have a hotel in Goreme, 4 days. How should I travel from the beach? Into Kayseri or Neveshir? What are the best tours for seeing the landscape? Is it a difficult trek, and do I need hiking boots? Tours need a minimum number, and I'm concerned that some may not "go." Should I be concerned in late September? Is ballooning a must?

Back to Istanbul for a few nights.

The landscape is what I love, and so, is there anything else on this loop that I must see? Which agent or airlines can help with internal flights?

Thanks so much!

Mount Dora, Florida
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1. Re: Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

This is what I would do with this period of time. Five days in Istanbul, followed by a one hour flight to Izmir. I would arrange for private transfer from Izmir to Selcuk, but you can also take a bus or a dolmus. I would spend one full day in this area and another in Pamukkale. We hired a private guide, but there were five of us to split costs. You would be better either with a formal tour group or doing it on your own. I would opt for DYI were I to go again.

If you can fly from Izmir to Neveshir or Kayseri I would do that next. If not, I would return to Istanbul and fly to Neveshir. Either city will get you to Cappadocia but Neveshir is much closer to Goreme.

I would spend three days in Goreme, and if I were alone I would probably take a formal tour for at least one day. I would recommend a bit of hiking, but I think good walking shoes should be sufficient. I personally do not enjoy hiking alone so I would try to join a group of people. The folks at Heritage Travel in Goreme can help you with plans here. We liked the Kelebek Hotel in Goreme, but I guess you have already selected a hotel.

We did not do the balloon trip. It is exceptionally expensive.......something like $1.50/minute. We did get up early to get lots of photos of the balloons in the valley, but saved our money to spend on something more tangible.

We were in Cappadocia in mid-September and it was still very busy. I would not worry about tours not happening for lack of participation.

If possible I would then fly to Antalya. If air service is not available I would take a night bus to Antalya. There are some amazing ruins near Antalya, and it might make sense to take a full day tour of some of these areas. We like the Puding Suites in Antalya, and they can help you arrange for a tour.

From Antalya I would take the bus to Cirali. This is a lovely little village with a pristine beach, lots to see and not many tourists. I would visit Olympos and certainly go up the mountain at night to see the Chimera. We really enjoy staying at Hotel Canada in Cirali. I highly recommend you take the half-board option here because the meals are fantastic.

From Cirali I would take a bus to Kas. This is a charming little seaside community. I would spend an afternoon, two nights and one full day here. We enjoyed taking the boat to the little Greek island, walking around the small village and visiting the beach area where the all-inclusive resorts and luxury villas are located. In Kas we enjoy staying at the Hideaway Hotel.

From Kas I would take the bus to Feyithe. I likely would not stop in Feyithe. We enjoy staying at VIlla Rhapsody in Kaya Village. Take the half board option here as well. Jeanne is a fantastic chef. Read Birds Without Wings before you leave for Turkey. Spend an afternoon wandering the Greek village featured in the book. Spend another couple of days on the near-by beaches so you can restore yourself before returning from your Turkish vacation.

You can take a bus from Feyithe to Dalman and make a quick flight from there back to Istanbul.

You can make most of these arrangements for domestic transportation after you arrive in Istanbul. I would be unwilling to do that because I worry needlessly about things. I would recommend that you contact Rina at Insight Travel if you want someone to package the entire trip for you. We have been very pleased with her arrangements. There are many private bus companies and a number of domestic airlines that provide good transportation for excellent rates.

This itinerary will give you ample opportunity to see a variety of different landscapes.....from the urban center of enchanting Istanbul, to the magical dwellings of Cappadocia and then along the Lycean Way, which has to be some of the most spectacular coastline on the Mediterranean.

There are, of course, far too many things to absorb everything in 17 days, but I think this itinerary is our favorite for this time period. Others will have different suggestions. We all have our favorite locations in Turkey. It is difficult to make a mistake because almost every place you go will exceed your expectations.

To help you make up your mind I would purchase a good tour book. I like DK Eyewitness for Turkey. Read about various destinations and see which seem to appeal most to you.

Istanbul
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2. Re: Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

Hi juniemoonie,

You have a good travel plan. I suggest that you fly to Izmir for Ephesus (although I would spend at least a day at wonderful Izmir) and then move down to Selcuk for overnight for Ephesus. In fact including the visit to Virgin Mary you can spend 2 nights at Selcuk/Ephesus. Bella hotel at Selcuk has been recommended. You can also stay at the wonderful village of Sirince next to Selcuk. Kilisealti pannsiyon is a good place to stay. "www.smallhotels.com.tr/otl_view.asp…".

From Selcuk you can take a bus to Denizli/Pamukkale and stay 2 nights there. From TA you can get some recommended hotels for Pamukkale. From there you can take a bus to Fethiye and stay at Hisarönü/Oludeniz area next to Fethiye. "http://www.hisaronu.co.uk/". Hisaronu/Oludeniz has got the most wonderful beaches of the Mediterranean that are sandy and not pebbly. You can consult "tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g609055-Hisaronu_Mugl…" for hotels there. From Hisaronu/Fethiye you can take a bus to Antalya with a stopover at Kas, a wonderful little town on the Mediterranean. You can spend two nights at Kas and move on to Antalya by bus again. You can spend two nights at Antalya, visiting the city, the Beach park, Kaleici, Antalya museum, etc. and afterwards I suggest that you fly to Cappadocia(Kayseri airport). Pegasus Airlines flies to Kayseri from Antalya: "http://www.flypgs.com/en/". And finally after spending 3 days at Cappadocia (Balloon ride is not a must but highly recommended), you can fly back to Istanbul, again by using Pegasus or Turkish Airlines. "http://www.thy.com/en-INT/index.aspx". Originally, to fly to Izmir from Istanbul, you can also use Atlas Jet: "www.atlasjet.com/AtlasjetWeb/atlasjet.kk…".

"http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/", with its 5,000 pages, is also a very useful website for your Turkey travels.

good luck,

enigma...

Edited: 03 May 2010, 08:33
Cirali / Antalya
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3. Re: Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

Hi juniemoonie,

And welcome to the fourms. If I was to do this trip ı would follow this direction so you are not double back over a previous route.

From Istanbul fly to Izmir..stay in Selcuk for 2 nights..then take the bus to Pamukkale ( Denizli ) for 1 night...you can easily get a bus at the Selcuk bus station

then from Pamukkale ( denizli ) take the bus to Antalya and then continue on to Cirali.

here are the approximate bus times from Pamukkale ( Denizli ) to Antalya and Cirali

Antalya

07:30_08:30_09:30_11:30_13:15_15:00_16:30_19:15_20:30_04:30

Olympos 09:30 6 hrs

Denizli to Antalya by bus is 4 hours ( approx )

the price of the ticket is about 22-25 liras per person

call 444 35 35 ( in Turkey )

PAMUKKALE Turizm

there are buses almost every hour..you dont really need to book so far in advance..either 1 or 2 days before..or just show up at the bus station ( otogar ) of Denizli and you can find a bus to antalya..not all buses have internet web pages

bus service starts at 08:00 am til 01:30 ..but can vary from day to day..

once there at the Antalya bus station ( otogar) transfer to a smaller bus ( Antalya Tur, Bati Antalya, Cicek tur ) for the continual part of your journey.. there are buses leaving about every 15-20 minutes to the Cirali junction

Cost is about 8 - 10 TL ( turkish liras ) per person and run from 6am until 8pm about every 1/2 hour. In the summer months they will run more frequently. Make sure you tell the driver to drop you off at the Cirali ( CHIR-ALI ) 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 YTL 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..

this is where I would spend your beach days...Kas itself really does not have a beach..but there are jettys for swimming.

Then from Cirali make your way back to Antalya to catch the overnight bus from Antalya to Goreme or Nevsehir.. - takes 9 hours and cost is about 40 liras roughly..

instead of the 9 hour bus from Antalya to Cappadocia take the 1 hour from Kayseri to Antalya

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

there are flights listed for late Sept...Pegasus Airlines will start a direct flight from Antalya to Kayseri or Kayseri to Antalya with flights beginning on June 01 ( 01.06.2010) - until the end of October ( 29.10.2010 )..flights are on Tuesday and Fridays ( twice a week ) .cost is 48.99 TL..so not much difference in cost from the overnight bus ticket cost.

also read these previous posts;

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293974-i368-k3589…

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293969-i367-k3584…

and also my photos of various areas in Turkey ;

http://www.flickr.com/photos/canmom/sets

Cirali / Antalya
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4. Re: Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

bumping up for the member ach2010

5. Re: Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

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Removed on: 17 May 2010, 17:35
Cirali / Antalya
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6. Re: Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

bumping up

Virginia
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7. Re: Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

I will be interested to hear about your trip when you return. I am thinking of going to Turkey but am figuring on having to take my kids and their SO's, just to have company. I would like to be able to travel alone before the week in a villa with them, but am hesitant to do it by myself.

I hope that you will give a trip report and touch on how it is over there traveling alone as an older solo woman.

I may follow your travel itinerary somewhat using your experiences.

New York
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8. Re: Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

I'd be happy to share my itinerary and other experiences if you remind me when I return in early October. Here's my plan so far.

Sunday, September 12 - Friday, September 17

Istanbul

Darussaade Hotel

Friday, September 17 – Sunday, September 20

Kusadasi/Ephesus/Pamukkale tour with Fez Travel

Tuesday, September 21 – Friday, September 24

Will figure out when I get there.

Friday, September 24 – Tuesday morning September 28

Kelebek Hotel, ali@kelebekhotel.com

Goreme

Tuesday, September 28 – Friday, October 1.

Istanbul

White House Hotel

As you see, I like to spend a number of days in one place rather than move around. For the past 12 years, I've done one major trip a year by myself and have always been comfortable. I like the adventure, the ease of making my own decisions, and I travel light. As I get older, this may change.

Looking forward to staying in touch,

juniemoonie

Istanbul
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9. Re: Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

juniemoonie, very nice itinerary. The right locations and hotels and as you say you want to spend some good time at each destination.

enigma...

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10. Re: Help with 17-day Turkey Itinerary, please

juniemoonie,I am glad to see you are not afraid of striking out on your own! so many people live in fear of doing so and miss so much by not being adventurous. I travel alone all the time and have had wonderful vacation experiences because I have. please let us know how your trip was when you are home again.