We are planning to travel first to Turkey and then to Italy in July (my husband, myself and our 12-year-old-son) with about a week in each place. Taking Rick's advice, we have no intention of renting a car and we will be traveling light with backpacks.
In Turkey, we want to see Istanbul on our own for a few days. Then we want to go to Pamukkale, Ephesus and perhaps a coastal town such as Marmaris, Bodrum or ??? (suggestions welcome). From there, we want to get to Rome. Okay, here are some questions:
A) What bus, train, minivan etc. connections can we make to get us to/from Pamukkale, Ephesus , the coast and either back to Istanbul or fly to Rome from (Izmir??), which ever seems cheaper.
B) I understand we can't reserve overnight sleeping berths on trains (in Turkey, anyway) until two months before the date of travel. This concerns me because we want to make our reservations now based on these travel plans and what if we can't get a sleeping berth when we need it. Does anyone know if a travel agent can book for us now?
c) In Italy, we will go from Rome to Florence to Venice by train. Can we buy one ticket (each) that will allow us to get off at a town in between these major cities and spend a night without having to spend extra money? I did this on the Alaska ferry and it was great. We want to get a little flavor of a smaller town between these cities. ANy ideas??
Lastly, any names of reliable travel agents for short in-country excursions are appreciated.
Thanks so much!!!!