Turkey- Nov 17 to Nov 26
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Nov 20, 2012 12:37 AM Last Post By: SoloHobo
Oct 13, 2012 4:15 PM
Turkey- Nov 17 to Nov 26I am so excited to be visiting Turkey. We found great airfares yesterday from Chicago to Turkey for $525 R/T PP, Swiss Air via Zurich on way and Luthansa via Munich on the way back.
Is there a particular area in Istanbul that is preferred? We would like to budget $75-$100 night for this area, and figuring 4-5 days there, then head to some other areas like below suggestions I would like some feedback.
Thinking to spend three days in Cappadocia. Stay at the Kelebek Hotel. Arrange for a tour through Heritage Travel at the Kelebek, and also make arrangaements through them for the hot air balloon ride.
Spend five days in Istanbul. This will give us time to see the "must sees". I would also also have time to take a ferry trip on the Bosphorus to the Black Sea? I can cross the Bosphorus to the Asian side of the city and spend a day exploring Kadikoy?
Spend two days and one night in Ephesus, visiting the ruins as well as Mary's Place. Spend the night in Selcuk, Jimmy's Place? The following day go up the mountain and visit the little Greek village Sirince. Then return to Izmir and catch your flight back to Istanbul?
Fly to Cappadocia and Ephesus from Istanbul. Domestic flights are very inexpensive it appears, Flights are not more than one hour long it seems.
What about car rentals and driving about in the more rural areas outside of istanbul? We love to drive, and the last time in region we rented a car from Fez to Marakech Morocco 4 days and loved it.
What should we expect weather wise, cool and sunny?
Thanks a ton...
Oct 13, 2012 5:45 PM
I love Istanbul. You guys will have a great time.
Opinions vary, but I really enjoy staying in Sultanahmet. It's a great neighborhood in a central, convenient location.
Take a look at both Hotel Peninsula and it's sister hotel Grand Peninsula. I stayed at the Grand; very good value for the money.
I used to recommend Backpackers Tours but they've been spamming here a lot so business must be bad and I no longer think they are worth the money.
Have a great trip.
Oct 13, 2012 6:22 PM
Oct 15, 2012 12:09 AM
3I stayed in Sultanahmet and right near the Galata Tower. Fab apartment I found on airbnb for Galata. I preferred the latter but Sultanahmet is much closer to most of the sights. The metro is good but always packed.
I really really recommend the hot air balloon in Cappadocia. I've been ballooning in three places and this was by far the best.
At Ephesus, it is worth paying the extra to see the terrace houses.
I drove for a couple of days. You should be fine if you've driven in Morocco. Just need to understand that Turkish drivers are suicidal. I hired a car with a GPS but it was a bit redundant and out of date. The maps function on my tablet was far more useful.
Oct 15, 2012 5:02 PM
4Ah yes, I'd better warn you that (some) Turkish drivers:-
1) Exceed speed limits frequently by 30+ kms/hour
2) Don't always keep to the side of the road when you overtake them
3) Drive down one-way streets (rural and urban) in the wrong direction
4) Toot their horns excessively, mostly it seems for amusement
5) Drive at night without their lights on.
Reiterating #4's words I strongly recommend that you have an up to date GPS and definitely avoid driving in Istanbul or near the airport surrounds. On the GPS I used in 2010 I was frequently sent on circular routes around the airport.
If you remain alert and drive defensively driving in rural Turkey is very rewarding and has that flexibility that a guided tour or public transport lacks.
The only other warning is to be aware that Turkisk petrol is expensive: there is a thread already here with fuel costs but if I remember correctly for a car returning a fuel consumption of 7litres/100kms (eg. a diesel Ford Mondeo) the cost is about USD$0.18 per kilometre.
Oct 31, 2012 7:18 AM
Oct 31, 2012 8:20 AM
6Generally it is better to book in advance for the best price.Sometimes you can get last minute bargains but not always and with your itinery you can't afford to get stuck with no suitable flight.
If you are booking online then carriers such as Pegasus and Atlasjet require you to enter the amount in Euro's not Turkish Lira as you will be booking with a foreign bank card.This is an online booking problem many people stumble over :)
Oct 31, 2012 8:49 AM
Nov 19, 2012 1:52 PM
8So an update, we have been in Istanbul 4 days and have decided to not even bother with going elsewhere, there is way too much cool stuff to explore in this vibrant city, so 7 more days of fun, food and exploring...
Nov 19, 2012 2:48 PM
9That's great . I love Istanbul.
Have a great trip.
Nov 19, 2012 10:43 PM
10Haa haa,this is why I laugh when people say "we've allowed 3 days to see the city".You're right there is sooo much to see and do.Enjoy!
If you do decide to get out of the city for a day then you could still do a day trip down to Ephesus easily.That would give you a nice contrast to the heaving metropolis.
Nov 20, 2012 12:37 AM
11I am guilty of spending to many vacations going here and there and not taking time to sink into the local life and dig thru the multi layers of a given culture. This is one easy city to attack on my terms and enjoy smelling the sights and sounds at every turn. The locals are so friendly and the transport options to easy to just breeze thru. Lazy days of getting lost in a new culture is just the vacation we decided to take. Yea, maybe go the weekend to Selchuk or something...decisions decisions...
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