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TURKEY IN SEPTEMBER

We are a couple in our early 60's going to Turkey for our first time. We have been to Greece a couple of times and love it. I'd like suggestions about our itinerary. We arrive in IST Sept 2, 2010. Four dys in Istanbul, fly to Izmir - 5 days Seljuk with a car. Drive the rest of the way. Three days Pamukkale, Four days Olundeiz, three days Antalya, One day Konya, Five days Goreme, One day Ankara, Two days Istanbul. Thanks for any help, Dennis

Posted by
3259 posts

Hi Dennis,

We were in Turkey in May and had a fabulous time. I think that your itinerary sounds pretty good. Here are some thoughts:

  • I'd add one day to Istanbul on the front end (5 nights rather than 4).

  • Except for Ephesus and a visit to the village of Sirince there isn't a lot to see near Selcuk. We found that 2 days was enough--3 would be o.k.

*We liked Goreme alot--especially if you like hiking. I'd suggest getting a car and driver to tour the villages in Cappadocia.

*If you wanted another option and you could consider skipping Konya and Ankara and flying back to Istanbul from Nevsehir.

Sharon

Posted by
3 posts

Thank You!!! I will look at those suggestions. Dennis

Posted by
1568 posts

You maybe interested in this site. It has 360 degree virtual tours of many places of interest in Turkey.

Posted by
990 posts

I agree that more time in Istanbul at the beginning of the trip would be good. There is so much to see, and you will be getting over jetlag and acclimatizing to Turkey, so take your time. Selcuk is probably only worth four days maximum--you can use it as a base for Didyma and Miletus on the coast for a day trip, as well as to Sirence. Three days is almost certainly too many for Pamukkale--I would allocate a day for a leisurely drive there from Selcuk--stopping off at Afrodisias for a less touristed group of ruins to compare with Ephesus. (You may find goats grazing on the weeds sprouting in their forum!) Pamukkale itself and Hieropolis are worth a full day of sightseeing the next day, then I would head down to the Mediterranean coast. You might consider a night in Fethiye before going to Oludeniz. Take you time exploring the coast--there are lots of lovely villages, Lycean tomb ruins, the ruined church of St. Nicholas (yes, the original "Santa Claus", a stunning sandy beach at Patara, etc. Also consider making Cirali your base rather than Oludeniz--Oludeniz is more of a backpackers destination with a lot of partying young people, whereas Cirali is legally barred from development to protect the spawning sea turtles, so it has a quieter feel to it. In Antalya, you can either stay at a resort on the pebble beach or in a small pension in the old walled section of the city--it's up to your taste and budget. Lots of good side trips from there, too--Perge, Aspendos, the Upper and Lower Duden Waterfalls, for example. Konya is worth a day visit--the Mevlana Muse and the historic mosques are unforgettable. On the way there and on the way to Cappadocia, be sure to stop and explore an old caravanserai or two--the old "hotels" for Silk Road travelers.

I would recommend leaving your car in Cappadocia and hiring a car and driver or taking minibus tours. Getting around to see all the sights is surprisingly hard. (more next post...)

Posted by
417 posts

That looks great, but I agree with the others about adding another day in Istanbul, and taking two off of Seljuk. Maybe add the other day to Ankara for a side trip to Hattusa, the ancient capital of the Hittites, if that interests you. Quite a few companies do day trips there if you don't want to do it on your own, after all that driving!

Posted by
417 posts

This is not really related to an itinerary, but the music of Loreena McKennitt is perfectly composed for a trip to Turkey. Consider her albums "The Book of Secrets" and "An Ancient Muse" both of which have songs related to Turkey.

She calls her compositions "A musical travel log." I agree completely!

Posted by
990 posts

(continued)

The first trip we took there we spent many hours on wild goose chases getting lost and having to ask for directions--and keep in mind that I speak a fair amount of Turkish and still found it a problem! Cappadocia is a phenomenal place--if you can afford it, a hot air balloon trip there is well worth it, and there are loads of hikes ranging from strolls to serious work-outs. Amazing geology, fascinating history, charming village life. Goreme is a good base for Cappadocia, though some of the nicer cave hotels are in Urgup. Wherever you pick as a base, you can leave Cappadocia by bus from Nevsehir and easily get to Ankara. The Museum of Anatolian History is a world-class destination, as is the Anitkabir--Ataturk's mausoleum and museum of modern Turkish history. You will have a better understanding of the uniqueness of Turkey and its pride in its secular culture when you visit. From there, you can fly back to Istanbul or for a more romantic trip, take the night train back and arrive in Istanbul in the morning. Frankly, I don't sleep well on night trains but I still take them between Istanbul and Ankara just for the bygone-era feel of them.

Have a wonderful trip--hope these suggestions help in your planning.