wandererjacque, If I were you I would definitely spend the first three days in Istanbul, and fly to Cappadocia and spend another 3 days there, and finally fly to Izmir/Kusadasi and spend 2 more days there at Aquafantasy Hotel and spend time at the wonderful Aquapark with the kids, and finally fly back to Istanbul for 1 more final day before you depart. The domestic flights are very cheap and you can see what is available from "www.skyscanner.com.tr" and make your bookings from the airlines own websites.
I do not think you can enjoy Cappadocia with three young children. It is a very challenging place with canyons, underground cities and cave settlements. Instead, you can split your time into two cities. Beside Istanbul, you can do Antalya or Kuşadası both of which offer loads for beach fun for your kids. For the kid friendly activities in Istanbul, check out the Top Questions section which you can find on the right of this forum page.
Turkey is a beautiful country and I am sure you will have a great time here.
Hi you should visit other sites too.
İstanbul has much to see but you have enough fays to see cappadocia and ephesus.
Dont waste all in istanbul !!!
Do you seriously suggest Cappadocia to a traveler with three very young children? Last May, I was there with my seven year old son and it was a real challenge for both of us. He fell down from the cliff on the Selime Monestary and got seriously injured. He hated the balloon ride because he was not tall enough to see the sceneries out of the basket. I lost him in the Derinkuyu underground city because it was horrendously crowded and difficult to move inside. Do you want me to go on? I do not think Capadocia is a place for families with small children. Period!
I have to agree with Borus that I would not enjoy Cappadoocia much if I were traveling with young children. I have always worried about my children falling, and there are many opportunities for children to fall in the Cappadocia area. While they might be perfectly safe, I would not enjoy a minute of my time because I would spend all of it watching for a potential accident with every step. The geological structure might interest them, but only for a few minutes. They would not comprehend the historical significance. I think it is a good way to ruin Cappadocia for the traveling adults.
We travel with the philosophy that if the children are happy the parents are happy, and using that I would be much more inclined to take the children to a water park, as recommended by Enigma than take them to Cappadocia.
wandererjacque, you could fly from Istanbul to Izmir rent a car from the airport doing a 5-6 day loop visiting Selçuk (Efes), Kusadasi, Didim, Fethiye, Kalkan, Kas, Finike, Antalya, Pamukkale, Aphrodisias then return to Izmir.
The car will give you the freedom & flexibility of travelling when you want at your own pace rather than following someone elses timetable.
Here is the map route http://goo.gl/maps/OTIfj
If you want more from Antalya you could proceed to Side to visit the ruins there and then drive across to Manavgat aswell.
If you want to continue driving you could extend the drive by going to Beysehir visiting the beautiful Esrefoglu mosque before making your way back to Izmir through Isparta, Afyon & Denizli.
There is plenty to do see in Antalya itself as well as visiting the nearby historical sights.
The kids & yourselves should find Duden waterfalls in Antalya interesting
I've hardly come across any tourists with kids in the Cappadocia region apart from the local kids which due to the geology & landscape of the region is for a reason.
Ok, so Cappadocia is out of the equation now. :)
If your kids like exploring the hills and mountains around where you live no doubt they will also love Cappadoccia. The only concern I would have is the hotels. I stayed in the Kelbek cave hotel and I would be concerned with the little ones as its high up and does have some sharp drops. Research your hotels if you go there with the kids.
enigma, I really would want you to experience Cappadocia with a young child. Believe me, it is very difficult. The OP has three young children with the ages of 3, 6 and 8. Watching out all of them and enjoying the place is merely impossible. I , too, saw some families with small children in Capadocia, but when we exchanged our experiences, we learnt that they skipped most of the real gems like (Derinkuyu, Uçhisar, Selime Monestary and ballon ride) just because they were not easy to do with their children. They chose to go to Göreme open air museum, Avanos for pottery making and did some basic sightseeing round the area.
Is it recommended to spend a night in the Asian side? Or, a day trip would be enough to explore that side of the country?