Request suggestions on itinerary below
Replies: 17 - Last Post: Jun 13, 2012 8:27 PM Last Post By: elcasaja
Jun 3, 2012 10:36 PM
Request suggestions on itinerary belowHello! This is my first time posting to this forum and am having a hard time filling in some gaps for my upcoming trip.
Sept 29- arrive in Istanbul- AM, Fly to Izmir
explore/visit clock tower, archeology museum, bazaar
Hotel - TBD HELP, can you recommend one price 100 euros/night
Sept 30 -visit Ephesus (AM) and Selcuk (have lunch and visit museum)
take local bus to locations
Oct 1 - Bus (AM) to Bodrum
explore, Castle of St Peter, Bazaar
Hotel - TBD overnight HELP, can you recommend one? aprox price 100 euros/night nothing fancy, quaint and clean is good
Oct 2 - Bus to Fethiye
Gulet mini cruise 3 days/4 nights HELP here-- can you recommend good and reliable cruise co? I saw one that was with Oceantravelagency.com ---> Fethiye to Olympos with nice itinerary (see below) Need to find out if available these dates and cost.
DAY 1 : Departure from Fethiye Harbour between 11 and 12 a.m to Samanlık bay for swimming & lunch Butterfly Valley (sea conditions permitting) is our next stop for a swim & to visit this naturel reserve, hosting 136 kinds of different butterflies and moths.Afterwards we cruise to Ölüdeniz (The Blue Lagoon) again sea conditions Permitting.Option for paragliding available.Last stop of the day is St Nicholas Island.Visit the Byzantine ruins, swim, dinner and 1 st night.
DAY 2 : Around sunrise departure to Aquarium or Fırnaz bay near Kalkan for breakfast & Swimming.Cruising to Kaş where we stop in the harbour for lunch & visit of this charming fishing village.Of ancient antiphellos, as Kas was once know, only Lycian Rock tombs & sarcophagi and the Roman theatre are left.But the charm of the town Remains!In a bay near Kakova we stop for swimming, diner & the 2 nd night.
DAY 3 : Breakfast. Departure to Sunken City of Kekova (this Lycian – Roman archaological Site is protected, so only looking!) Simena, a traditional Turkish fishing village with no car Access and Bytantine / Otaman Castle. In Gokkaya Bay watersports are available. Dinner, relax in this pirates haven or party the night away at the Smugglers Inn & 3 rd night.
DAY 4 : After breakfast we have a look at the Pirates Cave before cruising to Andriace Harbour.(lunch)Bus transfer to the archaeological site is Myra and to Derme for the St Nicholas Church, shopping and banking when requested.Bus transfer to all Tree Houses in Olympos where we arrive between 4 and 6 p.m
Oct 5 -overnight in Olympos /Demre assuming I take this minic ruise...HELP, can you recommend one price 100 euros/night
Oct 6 Bus to Urgup, Cappadocia HELP or do you recommend flying from Antalya Have read that this bus trip is nice.
Oct 7, 8 Cappadocia -
Do balloon tour, hire a private guide to take us to Gorem valley, underground city, keslik monastery
Hotel: Esbelli Evi Cave, Urgup
Oct 9 (PM) travel to Istanbul by plane
Oct 10, 11,12,13 = Istanbul explore calmly as much as we can, museums.
Hotel :TBD HELP, can you recommend one? what part of town do you recommend? nothing fancy, local flavor quaint and clean is good
Oct 14- return home
Would appreciate someone who has traveled this route to comment on this itinerary and make suggestions.
Edited by: elcasaja
Edited by: elcasaja
Edited by: elcasaja
Jun 3, 2012 11:18 PM
Jun 3, 2012 11:53 PM
2Welcome to the forum Elcasaja!
Your itinery needs a few adjustments here and there.You only allow 2 days for Cappadocia which is a huge area so you need at least another day there and you have jumped chunks of the south coast too.
The gulet cruise is fine in theory but in practice I would drop it for several reasons.This is your first time here and going by boat means you miss out a lot of nice places landside.Booking a cabin is fine if you are joined by like minded people.If you have nice fellow passengers and the boat and crew are good it can be great but if not....it will be 4 days of hell!In addition,whilst daytime will still be nice nights by October are starting to cool down after sunset and this is felt more so on the water and the boats start to feel damp.
Instead of this I would choose to do a couple of day cruises and use the other 2 days elsewhere(defo at least one of the days in Cappadocia)maybe the other one around Selçuk or Fethiye where there is a lot to see.
From Antalya to Urgup you will need to go by bus as flights finish in mid September on the Antalya to Kayseri route.I guess you could go via Istanbul but that would be time consuming and expensive.
So as an itinery consider this:-
29/30/1-Izmir and Selçuk.Travel mid morning on 1st to Fethiye.
Drop Bodrum,it isn't worth the big detour in such a busy itinery.
5/6-Olympos(or Kaş as a better base for visiting Demre,Myra,Kekova etc.)
10/11/12/13-Istanbul.Depending on your interests you could even take a day off Istanbul and add the the Olympos or Kaş section.
Take another look at your itinery again and then we can sort out some hotels for you,they're no problem....loads of them everywhere :)
Edited by: sarikanarya
Jun 4, 2012 9:56 AM
3Sarikanarya: Thk you for your thoughtful suggestions. Especially pointing out the dampness on a gulet.
I like your suggestions. Since I haven't paid for anything my itinerary is flexible.
We are not renting a car and like when recommended priv guides _ don't like the tour grps. We are not backpacking and each of us will have a small suitcase. So here are my questions.
1. How do you recommend we travel from Izmir to Fethiye / Fethiye to Kas / Kas to Urgup, Cappadocia(how long a bus ride)?
2. Do you recommend to tour the areas (Fethiye and Kas) hiring a local guide, can be done on our own, just taking local transportation (bus, taxi).
When in Kas, I would love to take a day cruise to the Simena and Kekova islands, is this possible?
3. I was told I can fly out of Nevsehir to Istanbul, do you know otherwise? train ride sound nice to, but I don't believe it reaches here.
Again thank you for your time and suggestions.
Edited by: elcasaja
Jun 4, 2012 8:58 PM
4Thank you again!
I have rearranged our trip to reflect your suggestions... 3n in Fethiye and 3n in Kas (include a boat ride hopefully to the islands).Definitely want to go to Izmir because my grandfather was born there in 1904 when it was called Smyrna. Literally one day travel :( by bus from Kas to Antalya to Urgup.
Have found on the following websites air travel: www.onetravel.com - Have prices and schedules to fly from IST- izmir and Nevsehir to IST.
I have tried to get the bulucak.com and the bus websites you mention but am unable to get them in English to see schedules, cost and reservation. Any suggestions or who i can contact for this or can I/ should I do this while there.
Do you have any hotel/B&B local place you recommend for us to stay in Fethiye and Kas?
Edited by: elcasaja
Jun 4, 2012 11:11 PM
5Ah,a bit of a heritage tour.Some other forum members were here recently doing a similar thing visiting Malatya where their grandparents came from.Well,you'll find only scant remains of Smyrna as you probably know but it will be interesting for you nevertheless.The Ethnography Museum would provide you with some early artifacts and pictures of old Smyrna too.
Ahhh..ah!I e mailed bulucak a week ago to alert them to this web site problem but it still isn't fixed!Okay so go onto the site..and start your first Turkish lesson :)
click tek yon(one way)
click on nereden(departure airport)tick the Istanbul airport you'll leave from.
click on nereye(destination)tick where you're going.
click on gidiş tarih(travel date)Eylül is September,Ekim is October.
click on bulucak...and a window will open with all flights that day.
kalkış is departure time and varış is arrival time,her şey dahil is fully inclusive price(all taxes etc.).
click on seç(choice)and a small window will open for that flights details.You can see the airline name,so you can now write down the company name and flight number and go on to that airlines own web site where you will DEFO find English and make your online booking.
For example I just did this and found a flight with Pegasus(PC2813) at 13.00 price 79TL on 29th Sept.
There is an earlier one at 10.30 with Onurair at 77TL (OHY152) and there are others depending on your arrival time here.
Tip;Onurair and Atlasjet provide a free transfer bus from the airport into Izmir.Otherwise you can take the Havaş transfer bus into the city and then a taxi from the otogar to your hotel.
Now you can repeat the process for flights Nev>>Ist and Kayseri>>Ist for comparison.Again once you find one go onto the airlines own web site to book.
Ist>>Izm -Turkish Airlines,Onurair,Pegasus,Atlasjet all operate.
Nev>>Ist- and Kays>>Ist-Turkish Airlines,Pegasus operate.
For the bus to Fethiye there is no need to book in advance just turn up at the otogar buy a ticket and get on.If you wish you could go and buy them as you arrive at the otogar from the airport.Bus tickets cannot be booked online outside the country I'm afraid and frankly it isn't really necessary here,buses are so frequent and regular.
The Batıantlya buses along the coast can't be booked they are just a turn up pay get on service.I know this sounds hair raising but please believe me it works.Turkey must have one of the best bus systems in the world IMHO.I cannot recall ever being stranded anywhere here!
To look at the bus web sites you should be able to cope now with the words you learnt above but sing out if you struggle :)
For hotels and going on your mentioned budget range-
Yacht Classic Hotel,Hotel Mutlu,Han Hotel,Alesta Yacht Hotel all in good locations.
Sultan Park Hotel,Meltem Pension,Hotel Kekova again all good locations.
Did you find a hotel in Izmir yet?If not let me know.
Jun 5, 2012 5:16 PM
6Thank you again!
So this is how it looks. thoughts? We like to take it leisure, taking int he sites, enjoy walking but not into strenuous hiking.
Izmir 2 nights
Fethiye 3 nights
Kas 3 nights
Cappadocia 2 nights
Istanbul 4 nights
1. In Kas- The hotel Kekova seems like a good choice, it is 2 min from the bus station. I also read about Villa Rapsody and the Lukka Exclusive Hotel. Your thoughts? The other hotels seem very large and touristy, wanted something a bit smaller charming local flavor without being a hostel.
2. Fethiye - Hotel Mutlu and the Yacht Classic Hotel. While I found reviews on the Sultan Park Hotel I was never able to find a price nor the hotel website.
3. What hotel in Izmir do you suggest. I was seeing many are high rises and touristy so I guess one that is near the port and well located to walk
4.In Istanbul I was recommended the Hotel Empress Zoe (www.emzoe.com) Have emailed them but they have not responded. Any suggestions?
In looking at the airfares I found Turkish Airlines to be twice the price as Atlas Airlines. Why is this? Is this a reflection on the quality of the airline should I stick to Turkish Airlines?
I appreciate the first Turkish language lesson. I will tackle the bus station websites with this list tomorrow and report back. :)
Jun 6, 2012 4:52 AM
7Those days look good to me.Walking in all area's can be as short and gentle or as long and challenging as you choose to make them.Whether short or long there are some lovely walks in all area's but just do as much as you wish to.
I believe the Lukka Hotel is actually on the peninsula just outside the town as is Hideaway Hotel,another lovely place.So they could be a little isolated without a car.Forum member Hobbittr lives in Kaş so he would be able to confirm if this is true or not.
The only Villa Rhapsody I know of is in lovely Kaya Köyü near Fethiye and if you would rather be in a village than in Fethiye town(more peaceful and authentic)then V.R would be an excellent choice.This is a well known and highly recommended hotel.Indeed they have just been given a commendation award on Trip Advisor web site.
Here are the contact details for Sultans Park in Kaş-
For Izmir take a look at these-
The first and last ones are the closest you'll find to true boutique hotels in the city.Most tend to be nice but bigger buisness type hotels.But all are in convenient locations for most area's of the city,public transport etc.,.
Empress Zoe is wonderful.Atmospheric,quirky and charming.Some friends spent their honeymoon in the penthouse suite there :) Try sending another e mail,sometimes they get lost or perhaps they are just busy,give them the benefit of a second chance,but if still no reply perhaps they are booked for your dates and so look for another hotel.Hotel Nena would be a good option,similar in style.
THY as the nations flag ship carrier are often expensive,just occasionally have some special offers.I wouldn't worry that you'll get bad service from Atlasjet though,just more of a budget no frills flight(which is enough for a short 1 hour flight really isn't it?).I don't believe there are any bad carriers here,all seem to offer a good and similar standard of safety,service and care to customers.I've used,at various times,most of them over the years and have had no complaints with any of them.
Glad you are enjoying your Turkish lessons,tomorrow we'll start on transative verbs and past participles :D
Really I think you'll soon get the hang of the bus web sites but as I said,sing out if you need help.
Hope this moves your plans up a stage.
Jun 6, 2012 8:54 PM
8Great! I really liked the two boutique hotels you suggested in Izmir and will book one of them. Definitely prefer Fethiye. Now that my trip is more defined I can email the empress zoe hotel again. My inquiry about the airlines was I wanted to make sure that the lower price did not reflect lower quality/safety.
Tried the bus links and for the moment only the BatiAntalya worked for those dates...will try again in a couple of months, still need to find out about getting from Antalya to Urgup. But I read somewhere that I need to contact a travel agency to book this route. (?)
I can reserve the hotels directly. Is there any reservation you recommend I do through a travel agency...bus, air nevsehir -IST, balloon ride?
Should the Forum member Hobbittr that lives in Kaş be available we would enjoy meeting for tea perhaps once there. If you are located in any of the places we will be visiting we would enjoy meeting you too...thanking you for all the invaluable suggestions.
Jun 7, 2012 11:17 PM
9The Hobbit has returned, to the dismay of some I am sure...
KayaKoyuWalker - not nice :-(
sarıkanarya you deserve another good samaritan medal from yours truly. (Uh, what is transitive?)
elcasaja, please take a look at some of these accommodation suggestions and a local Kaş map. That should get you started, then go back up to the top and see what things about Kaş there are that interest you.
Always glad to meet up with a Thorntree traveller, two of the many I met decided to stay on for several months they liked it so well. PM me when you know your dates and we can meet and swap lies...
By the way, if you use Google Chrome as a web browser it has an excellent translation bar at the top when you hit a foreign language web site and asks you if you want to translate it. For routine travel sites it does a more than good enough job to keep you from punching your credit card number in and finding out you bought a travel company instead of a trip... (Disclaimer: I wish I did have many shares of Google stock but alas the Hobbit is a poor retiree)
p.s. I speak two languages fairly well, profanity and broken English, Turkish I get by...
Jun 10, 2012 10:01 PM
10Thank you Hobbitt for your suggestions, Google Chrome and have spent the weekend reading up and fine tuning the itinerary. So far we will be there second week of October, dates still in flux. Once I make make hotel reservations and buy the air tix will email you so we can plan to meet.
One almost last question ... How much time should I allocate to clear customs and immigration? we arrive in Istanbul at 10:15 AM and plan to fly again within a couple of hours to Izmir. So I don't know if to schedule our next flight on Pegasus at noon, 1PM or later.
Jun 10, 2012 10:06 PM
11I am sorry we will miss meeting you this trip, but I know there will be other trips to Turkey. Thank you again for your ideas and suggestions!
Jun 10, 2012 10:51 PM
12Hmmm,in theory you should be able to clear through entry by 11.15 but......mornings are a busy time at Ataturk airport so allow a safety margin plus of course you need an hour before take off for the domestic flight.So maybe look for flights from 12.45-13.00 onwards.If you clear through super quick it gives you time to freshener up,change up a little money into local currency,grab a coffee etc.
As well as Pegasus also check out flights with Turkish Airlines,Atlasjet and Onurair.The last two are usually competetively priced and also include free shuttle bus from the airport into Izmir-save a bit of money :) If Pegasus offer the best price/times then you can take the Havaş shuttle bus for around 10TL.It runs every 30 minutes and departs from just outside the arrivals door.
Hopefully on another trip here we'll get the chance to meet up which would be lovely but in the meantime have a great trip this time around!
Hobbittr you really are scarily techno savvy aren't you?(Google Chrome etc.)I still haven't worked out how to put up those links labelled in blue writing yet.I have nicely sussed out cut and paste so that will have to do me LOL!
Jun 11, 2012 10:07 PM
13elcasaja writes "How much time should I allocate to clear customs and immigration? we arrive in Istanbul at 10:15 AM and plan to fly again within a couple of hours to Izmir. So I don't know if to schedule our next flight on Pegasus at noon, 1PM or later. "
I came through Atatürk airport about 3 weeks ago and then on to Dalaman. I did not have to buy a visa so you should add about 20 minutes to your time to get through passport control. When you come off your international flight you will see the "madding" crowd soon enough. Look to the right to buy your visa, it used to be on the left next to passport control, now it is opposite. They only take euros or dollars not credit card. Then get in the passport control line. The line I was in snaked all the way out to the corridor but I was through in about 15 minutes much to my surprise! I would plan on a minimum of 30 minutes, if all goes well to buy your visa and get through PP control but allow more time if possible. My bags were checked clear through to Dalaman so I had no more delays once through PP control. You will have to find your baggage carousel number from the electronic signs waiting in the terminal and then check in, check baggage, freshen up, say whew!! Etc.
Always listen to sarıkanarya, great advisor...
Jun 12, 2012 4:59 PM
14When hiking in the areas we are visiting, my husband wants to know if him wearing shorts is inappropriate.
Thank you both for your wonderful ideas, suggestions and humor.:)
Hobbittr, Will touch base with you as we get closer with confirmed hotel dates so we can meet you and your wife for a cup of coffee.
(4 star Hotel)
From US$177.32 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$132.38 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$2426.55 per night