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Air travel to Turkey and other sites to visit

Our question is two-fold. We are flying to Istanbul from Bologna, Italy, does anyone know airlines to recommend.
Second part is, does anyone recommend other sites/towns to visit in Turkey. Time won't be an issue or length of stay. Thank you for any and all info, suggestions, ideas or comments!

Posted by
1803 posts

Use skyscanner.com to look up flights. Since you didn't say when you were traveling, I used June 10 and was surprised to find that there really are flights from Bologna to Istanbul ($117 one way on Pegasus)!

Turkey is huge, with many worthwhile stops. You could easily spend a month or more. Aside from Istanbul, highly recommended are Cappadocia (for the incredible landscape and hot air balloons) and Ephesus (an amazing archeological site). The Mediterranean coast has a string of lovely towns, ranging from large (Bodrum & Antalya) to small (Patara & Dalyan). You can take a "gulet cruise" along the coast, or hike the Lycian Way. You can take a day trip from Kas to the lovely Greek island of Kastellorizo. It depends on what you enjoy doing and seeing. We spent almost 3 weeks there last September; go to the "Trip Report" section of this forum to see my detailed report.

Tom Brosnahan's Turkey planning website has lots of useful information.

Posted by
1147 posts

Ditto every place Charlene said. We were also in Turkey last September for about 4 weeks and were there in 2011. We'd also recommend Cirali to see the Chimera and the ancient town of Olympos; Pamukkale for the hot springs and travertine terraces as well as the ruins of Hierapolis; Saklikent Gorge - great walk; and Fethiye, where you can walk up to some rock tombs. If time is not an issue, you might also take the ferry to Rhodes, Greece. We spent 6 nights in Rhodes visiting the old town and renting a car for 2 days to see the island. You could easily spend 5 weeks between Turkey and Rhodes, if you desire, and it's certainly worth the time!

Posted by
22 posts

Thanks charlene and Carol. We're not interested in driving in Turkey, so was further thinking on flying from Bologna to Izmir, then go to Cappadocia, Ephesus and then back to Istanbul. Do you have any suggestions on how to travel?

Posted by
1803 posts

If you can fly from Bologna to Izmir (I didn't check that) , it would make a lot more sense to visit Ephesus first, as it is very near Izmir. Depending on time of year and airline whims, you may be able to fly directly from Izmir to Cappadocia (look for Kayseri or Nevsehir airports). If direct flights aren't available, your options would be to take the bus, or to fly from Izmir to Istanbul and then to Kayseri/Nevsehir. After visiting Cappadocia, you will likely want to fly back to Istanbul.

We didn't drive in Turkey, but the flights can be relatively cheap if purchased far in advance, and the buses are very comfortable.

Posted by
813 posts

We like going to Olu Deniz beach. Lots of things to see and do in the area. Lots of Brit tourists, so English isn't a problem. You can get condos for longer stays and there's great resorts in the area, too.

Posted by
833 posts

I haven't flown out of Bologna but I took Pegasus to Istanbul from Rome. It was great! Although it is a "budget" airline, you still get a checked bag allowance, the seats are very comfy (compared to good ol' Ryanair at least). If you find a good deal through them, go for it! You'll land at the SAW (S. Gokcen) airport, 50km from the city center. There is a Havatas shuttle bus that my husband and I took to Taksim Square (and then took public transport to our hotel). That is the cheapest method, otherwise you can take a taxi.