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Two Weeks in Turkey, December & January


I've got a couple of itineraries for two weeks in Turkey from Dec 26th - Jan 9th that I'm trying to decide on. Would love some input before booking accommodations. Both itineraries are heavy on archaeological sites, which is of primary interest. It's been difficult to find the right balance considering all of my interests, such as natural beauty/hiking, history/archaeology, art, food, and exploring cities and towns. I think both of these are solid itineraries but would love to know what you all think. Thanks!

Dec 26 - arrive in Istanbul; P.M. flight to Izmir. Pick up rental car and go to Selcuk
Dec 27 - Selcuk/Ephesus
Dec 28 - Parmukkale/Aphrodisias day trip
Dec 29 - Priene/Miletus/Didim day trip; evening flight from Izmir to Kayseri
Dec 30 - Cappadoccia (haven't decided on rental car or not; thinking of Kelebek or Artemis Cave Hotel)
Dec 31 - Cappadoccia
Jan 1st - Cappadoccia
Jan 2nd - Drive to Ankara - see Hattusa/Alaca Hoyuk en route; drop rental car in Ankara
Jan 3rd - Day in Ankara; evening train to Istanbul
Jan 4th - Istanbul (considering Witt Istanbul Suites in Cihangur district)
Jan 5th - Istanbul
Jan 6th - Istanbul
Jan 7th - Istanbul
Jan 8th - Istanbul
Jan 9th - Fly home via KLM from SAW

What I like about this itinerary is it's more diverse and I get a wider range of sites and get to see more of the country, and I get to see Hattusa and Ankara. I do love road trips, but a bit hesitant given the time of year to do too much overland travel.

Dec 26th - Arrive Istanbul; fly to Izmir, pick up rental car and drive to Selcuk
Dec 27th - Ephesus/Selcuk
Dec 28th - Parmukkale/Aphrodisias day trip
Dec 29th - Priene/Miletus/Didim day trip
Dec 30th - Cesme Peninsula/Alicoti; drop rental car off in Izmir and evening flight to Kayseri
Dec 31st - Cappadoccia
Jan 1st - Cappadoccia
Jan 2nd - Cappadoccia
Jan 3rd - Morning flight to Istanbul; explore Istanbul
Jan 4th - Istanbul (thinking of staying at Witt Istanbul Suites in Cihangir district)
Jan 5th - Istanbul
Jan 6th - Istanbul
Jan 7th - Istanbul or possible day trip to Bursa
Jan 8th - Istanbul
Jan 9th - Depart via KLM from SAW airport

The part of this itinerary I'm still unsure of is whether or not to invest a day in the Cesme area and visiting Alacati. I'm very interested in visiting this area, but wasn't sure if Alacati and the surrounding area shutters down for the winter or not. Knowing whether it's still worthwhile in winter months would go a long way in making this an easy decision. What I also like about this itinerary is there is less reliance on overland travel during winter, and more time in Aegean coast and Istanbul. I really wanted to see more of Istanbul besides just the main tourist sites and have some time to get off the beaten path there.

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Did you make the trip?

Which itinerary did you decided on?