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HELP - Where to stay for Pergamon, Ephesus, etc.

I'm trying to see a few places on my trip in the matter of a few days:

Ephesus
Troy
Pergamon/Asklepion=
Pammakule/Aphrodisias
Hieropolis

For someone sightseeing in these areas, where would you recommend they base themselves out of? Is it possible to travel to these sites staying at one lodging or do I need to split it up into two? If so, which locations would be ideal?

I'd like to stay somewhere very scenic and relatively peaceful with quaint, cobble streets, old-style boutique hotels. I'm fitting this in between Istanbul and Cappadocia so some contrast would be nice and I would like to avoid cities and traffic, way-finding on busy streets etc.

I'd thought of Alacati, Assos, and Sirince but none of these seem well enough located to get to all these sights unless I'm looking at the map all wrong. And I don't want to have a bunch of 1-night stays on my schedule - 1 at most (and preferably none).

It'd be great to minimize time driving around so I have more time to sightsee and enjoy the area, and am wondering if someone can help me figure out how to do this?

A lot of people say to drop Troy but it's a big deal for me to see this area. Is there another area that I could safely drop and not miss out on much? I'm trying to see the very top sights.

Any help would be super. Thank you so much!

Posted by
16849 posts

I have consolidated two of your threads here, so that leaves just 3 threads about basically the same topic.

Heiropolis is the one that's right at Pammukale. You can drive from there to Aphrodisias in 1.5 hours per Google Maps. Ephesus and Aphrodisias are top sights and by most accounts Troy is not. Or are you looking for the military history at Cannakale?

Posted by
31 posts

Hi Laura - I'm only looking for Troy. I know it sounds diminutive according to others but I spent a lot of time studying up on Troy over the years. Thanks for asking - DK.

Posted by
31 posts

Hi Laura - I'm only looking for Troy. I know it sounds diminutive according to others but I spent a lot of time studying up on Troy over the years. Thanks for asking - DK.

Posted by
338 posts

It's been a while since I've been along the western coast, so I'm not going to make very specific recommendations, but here are my thoughts:

  1. You cannot see all of these sites from one home base. They are too far apart from each other (2 to 3 hours). It will take you 2-3 hours to drive from Bergama (Pergamom) to Selcuk (Ephesus) for example.

  2. This itinerary really fits a road trip type adventure, not a base camp. I suggest you rent a car and pick out a route that runs north/south and plan on shorter stays in different towns along your route (e.g. Bergama for Pergamom). If you do rent a car, please be aware that most cars are manual transmission and that gas is advertised in a price per liter.

  3. Pick up a copy of the Lonely Planet guide for Turkey. It will help you identify lodging options for just about anywhere you might stay. It also has a lot of information on interesting smaller sites that you'll pass by/near while you're driving between towns. These sites might only take 20 minutes to see and you'll likely have them to yourself.

These suggestions will minimize driving time, but will not give you the home base you want. The other option to pick a location north of Izmir to see Pergamom and Troy and one to the south of Izmir. The best lodging and services will be in locations with tourist sites, so I'd pick a couple of your sites as your bases and plan on long driving days to see the others. Maybe stay in Bergama for Troy and Pergamom and then see Ephesus/Selcuk area on your drive to base at one of your southern sites?

Good luck!

Posted by
31 posts

Hi Rob - thank you for your time and these great replies. Yes, I have been referring to Lonely Planet for Istanbul and for Turkey, plus I've been using the website a lot as well - I've found most of my hotel recommendations there.

If it were you for your 1st trip would you skip another of the areas I'm trying to see in order to get to the Patara/Oludeniz/Feithe/Myra area? And which part of Turkey is more rewarding for the first time visitor? This section of the Mediteranean (Patara and the area around Feithye, Demre etc. ) or the Aegean area that covers Ephesus?

What do you think of these options below? I've tried to split things up a bit in terms of lodging.

I might post these as a separate itinerary thread as well - do you have suggestions on how to make an itinerary that works?

OPTION 1 - TROY

Day 1 - arrival into Turkey - ON Ist. (arrive early am, afternoon tour, free evening or work evening)
Day 2 - arrival into Turkey - ON Ist. (working day - evening sightseeing)
Day 3 - pick up car at airport - drive to Eceabet and cross on car ferry to Canakkale, drive to Troy - ON Assos or Ayvalik
Day 4 - drive to Pergamon and area in am and drive onto lodging near to Ephesus and other areas in afternoon ON Selcuk, Siring or Alcati (I know Alcati is out of the way but I'm really wanting to work it in somehow)
Day 5 - to Pammakule and Aphrodisias day - time later to see village or hang out - ON Selcuk, Siring or Alcati
Day 6 - to Ephesus during the day - time to hang out and explore then - ON Selcuk, Siring or Alcati
Day 7 - morning air transfer to Cappadocia from Izmir and exploration of area for the day, horseback in the evening - ON Cappa.
Day 8 - exploration of Cappodicia all day and hang out in the evening - ON Cappa.
Day 9 - hot air balloon ride in Cappa. then transfer to Istanbul by air late am or early afternoon - afternoon/evening Istanbul - ON Istan.
Day 10 - Istanbul all day - tour in am followed by free afternoon and Dervish show in evening - ON Istan.
Day 11 - fly home in the am, international flight at 11

This gives 2 nights (I), 1 night (near Troy), 3 nights (near Ephe.), 2 in Cappo., and 2 in Istanbul.

Another option involves flying out from Izmir late in the day on the Ephesus day instead of turning back into the hotel - this would provide a two rather than a three night stay in the Ephesus area.

Since the flight I was on has been cancelled, the Troy portion really impacts the itinerary.

Another option is to leave out Troy completely and spend the extra day either in Istanbul, or Cappadocia or the Aegean. If I did this, I would fly directly to Izmir - much easier (but I did really want to see Troy).

OPTION 2 - NO TROY

Day 1 - arrival into Turkey, day in Istanbul etc. - ON Ist.
Day 2 - Istanbul all day - ON Ist. (working day - evening sightseeing)
Day 3 - to airport - fly to Izmir to pick up car - drive to back toward Pergamon area then back to lodging nearer to Ephesus a- ON Selcuk, Siring or Alcati (Alacati isn't much further from Pergamon than Selcuk and Sirince)
Day 4 - to Pammakule and Aphrodisias day - time later to see village or hang out - ON Selcuk, Siring or Alcati
Day 5 - to Ephesus during the day - time to hang out and explore then - ON Selcuk, Siring or Alcati
Day 6 - morning air transfer to Cappadocia from Izmir and exploration of area etc. - ON Cappa.
Day 7 - exploration of Cappodicia etc. - ON Cappa.
Day 8 - hot air balloon ride in Cappa. then transfer to Istanbul late in day - ON Istan.
Day 9 - Istanbul all day - etc. - ON Istan.
Day 10 - Istanbul all day - ON Istan.
Day 11 - fly home in the am

This plan adds an extra day in Istanbul at the end - but as an alternative, the extra day could fall at the end - what would work better?