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Turkey (and Italy) in December

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Turkey (and Italy) in December

Due to work projects, we've decided the best time to visit (re-visit) Turkey & Italy is in late November - early December 2014. It'll be cold, of course, but the weather won't be a problem for us. It's more getting around and seeing all the sights and exploring Turkey for this leg of the trip. We'll be in Turkey two weeks.

Please comment or recommend other areas to visit. To date, the plan is to visit Istanbul for a week, then a half week in Selcuk/Ephesus (as I usually recommend), then a half week in Cappadocia. I want us to hit all the major sights.

Yet for me, the issue is that I've seen many of these spots 1-2-3 times and would like to see a different part of Turkey. I know that Bodrum & Antalya won't be great spots to visit in December, and Ankara doesn't hold much interest really. Marmaris might be a good place to see - any thoughts? Also, I've read many posts over the years where locals & visitors recommend more remote and atypical places to visit.

Any thoughts or suggestions for a visitor whose been to Turkey many times?

I've been to Mt. Nemrut, Harran, Mardin, Saniurfa, Karatayhan caravanserai, Atatürk dam, Birecik, Göbekli Tepe, Abrahim's cave, etc. I loved the area quite a lot, especially the food - and December would be a good time to visit since visitors need to be well-covered. When I was last there, it was hot and I wore a short-sleeved t-shirt, e.g. sleeves on my shoulders. It was 90F+ outside and women glared at me with ire & disgust. The men, behaving with appropriate conservative-Muslim constraint, took my lunch order looking at my neck or shoulder.

So, any thoughts or recommendations for a frequent visitor - or something you loved that you didn't expect, I'd be very grateful to hear about! Thanks so much!

- Globe

Edited: 25 March 2014, 01:46
Istanbul, Turkey
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1. Re: Turkey (and Italy) in December

Hi Globe,

It is really difficult to give suggestions to an experienced traveler like you:)

December is not the ideal time for the Med coast towns. So, I wouldn't recommend Marmaris. The places I have in mind are:

-Edirne (the former capital of the Ottoman Empire before Istanbul, full of grand buildings)

-Iznik (Nicea, home of the Iznik tiles and also an important place for Christianity)

-Trabzon (on the Black Sea, famous for its beautiful nature and also Sumela Monestary)

-Konya (home of Mevlana and the Whirling Dervishes)

-Bursa (another ex-capital city of the Ottomans, famous for its thermal spas, skiing resorts on Uludağ mountains and well preserved Ottoman villages)

Hope this helps,

Happy planning

Borus

Edited: 25 March 2014, 05:23
Istanbul, Turkey
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2. Re: Turkey (and Italy) in December

Hi Globe,

Nice to hear that you'll be visiting Turkey again. I dont agree your comment about Antalya region. In winter, most beautiful weather is in Antalya, shining sun is not a surprise. Second, there are many sites to visit besides beaches. Third, 5* very good hotels are cheap. Dont know if you've visited area before but on a winter day you can visit; Aspendos theatre, Manavgat, Düden, Kurşunlu falls, Perge ancient city, Alanya, Side Apollon Temple on east coast and Olympos, Çıralı (eternal fire), Myra ancient city, St. Nichola church, Phaselis, Kaş on west coast. Plus you can enjoy oranges from trees all way long :)

Btw, whats your plan for Italy? I may comment on it also :)

Alper

Edited: 25 March 2014, 08:28
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3. Re: Turkey (and Italy) in December

Borus has made some good suggestions, but I would agree with Alper about considering Antalya - the old part of the city is lovely and there are so many interesting sites in the area. Certainly forget Marmaris - especially in the winter.

Chicago
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4. Re: Turkey (and Italy) in December

Thanks for the great suggestions!! I now have several more options to explore in Turkey. I will buy an updated Lonely Planet TURKEY guidebook, as well. Mine is old & worn (and dated) sitting on the bookshelf.

For Italy, the plan is also to visit three general areas over two weeks: Rome, Florence, & Venice and will travel via train. Having a hard time deciding whether to fly to Turkey first then to Italy or vice versa. Think I'd rather be in Turkey during Christmas - TBD.

Edited: 25 March 2014, 12:56
Istanbul, Turkey
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5. Re: Turkey (and Italy) in December

Hi again,

This is most popular tour offered by travel agencies and I call it Turks pilgrimage route :) If you're planning to fly to/from Rome, I can advice Venice-Milano-Genova-Cinque Terre-Rome route in return which is less touristy. Trains are frequent and very efficient. If you're planning to fly from Venice, consider Siena also.

Alper

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6. Re: Turkey (and Italy) in December

More excellent ideas! Thanks, Alper!!

Aberdeen, Scotland
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7. Re: Turkey (and Italy) in December

Ooh, I forgot I'd met you on the Rome forum, Globe!

I don't think I have anything useful to add to this thread but it sounds like a great trip! I'm sure I read quite a lot of comments that Rome is a nice place to be at Xmas- might make sense with all the religious history there.

If you're using all those trains, look at trenitalia for tickets and Tiburtina stn in Rome, as well as Italotrain and Termini stn.

Edited: 26 March 2014, 20:14
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8. Re: Turkey (and Italy) in December

Thanks, Heido! Termini Station is how we'll arrive from the airport - and I appreciate the suggestion for getting train tickets!

9. Re: Turkey (and Italy) in December

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