3 weeks in Turkey
Replies: 19 - Last Post: Oct 17, 2012 2:39 AM Last Post By: MattiMuj
Sep 18, 2012 5:34 AM
3 weeks in TurkeyG'day,
I will soon be arriving in Istanbul and have 3 weeks to spend in Turkey. I've been to Istanbul before, but never really ventured into greater Turkey.
I'm not massive on guidebooks, but it also leaves me with not a lot of knowledge on what to do. I do prefer to ask other travellers for their highlights and see if those ideas might suit me.
Am I going to spend too much time getting back and forward from Cappadocia?
As far as what I'm into....I like a good party, I like historical sites and captivating old cities, I like natural beauty....big foodie too! Wouldn't mind finding some cool Sufi hangouts too?
Any itinerary ideas or special must sees would be appreciated.
Sep 18, 2012 9:49 AM
1Had kunefe in Nablus earlier this year....they say that's where it's from originally from, unbelievable.
thanks for the tips.....i'm off to buy some darts!!!
Sep 18, 2012 12:01 PM
Sep 18, 2012 1:24 PM
3With 3 weeks you can see several very contrasting aspects of this amazing country.You can do your partying in Beyoğlu area of Istanbul.You can see totally unique landscapes in Cappadocia and walk in beautiful valleys there.To see captivating old cities(really old!)head south east from Cappadocia down to Şanlıurfa and Mardin both ancient,both exquisite.You can take a couple of hours out to visit 12,000 year old Gobeklitepe excavation whilst there and also the lovely old Hasankeyf which will tragically disappear under water next year :(
All of this can be done by bus in hops or by domestic flights which are cheap enough here.
Also for the area around Urfa check out Nomad Homestays where you can live with local people and experience real traditional Kurdish village life.
Do a bit of reading up and see if these sound like your type of places and then if they do try to put together a bit of an itinery and bring it back to the forum for us to take a look at.
Sep 19, 2012 3:14 AM
4MattMuj, All good advice above. However, why not tell the advisors your inclusive dates in Turkey? Seasonal differences in pricing, availability of accommodation and weather can make or break a holiday.
If you are coming between October and the end of November you might give the Lycian Coast a look since you mention ancient ruins. You can use Kaş as a base from which to explore and probably have a good time.
Sep 19, 2012 7:57 AM
5I will be in Turkey from the 16th of October until the 6th of November....when I fly out to commence my African adventures.
Having probably a week in Istanbul it gives me about a fortnight of exploring Turkey....I would prefer not to have to take any internal flights, so I would think a round trip down the coast to Kas......though I am tempted to just go all out and bus to Cappadocia, mess around in that area then head back.
Sep 19, 2012 8:02 AM
Sep 19, 2012 9:46 AM
8So you could take the bus from Istanbul down to Denizli(for Pamukkale)and then another shorter bus ride down on to the coast for Kaş.This lovely town is about half way along the Lycian Way which offers plenty of camping and hiking with great sea views too.
From there you can take an overnight bus up to Cappadocia where there are plenty of camping area's too.
Go onto Hobbit's profile page to find some of the many posts he has made about the Lycian Way.Of course this route could also be done in reverse depending on which you want to see first.
Sep 19, 2012 2:08 PM
Sep 20, 2012 5:10 AM
10Three weeks is enough time experience extraordinary diversety and to get bitten by the "Turkey Travel Bug". Provided you limit your destinations you can also have enough time to slow down, enjoy and even get a good idea of Turkish culture.
Given your stated interests and the time of year, I would suggest Istanbul, Cappadocia and either the south- or northeast. If you choose something like this I would however consider one cross-country flight as the time for such is measured in days when using public ground transportation.
Istanbul will give you your party fix. Cappadocia, while extremely touristed, is a natural wonder where you can be among the crowds just as easily as you can find places to explore in isolation.
Finally a trip to the east will give you an idea of not only the size, but the extraordinary cultural mix that is Anatolia. For the southeast, I would suggest a week mainly along the Syrian border (not, it is NOT dangerous!) from Hatay (or Gaziantep) to Mardin. For the northeast, I'd suggest Van, Dogubayazit and Kars. Again, one cross-country flight will maximize your time spent touring and booked early will not be expensive.
Note that my suggestion does NOT include much in the way of Roman ruins and no "holiday style" beaches. Nonetheless it IS filled with amazing things to see and do! Even a very attractive (if small) waterfall at the Northeast corner of lake Van but while just off the main highway it may be very time-consuming to visit via public transportation.
Sep 20, 2012 6:21 AM
11So....after some consideration of the info provided, I've got a tentative itinerary for y'all to look at...
Istanbul to Ephesus to Pammakule to Konya to Cappadocia to Urfa to Mardin to Dirybakir...
Thinking I would do all of this by buses....most likely overnight buses where possible....and then take a flight from Dirybakir to Istnabul?
What do you guys reckon?
(On a side note....I have been to Syria on 3 trips....I speak some intermediate Arabic and i'm a trained nurse....would there be work or volunteer options in the refugee camps along the border?)
Sep 20, 2012 7:22 AM
12This is a good itinery-and pretty much what I suggested in post no.4 :)
Diyarbakir certainly seems to have cheaper flights than Şanlıurfa and Mardin so that is a good idea too.
Regarding the volunteering it would probably be a good idea to contact Kızılay,the Turkish (like the Red Cross) and tell them your qualifications and abilities.Although there are various NGO's working in the area I don't know whether they would take you as an individual,but you can certainly approach them.Also maybe Medicenes Sans Frontiers organisation too.
Sep 20, 2012 7:59 AM
Oct 13, 2012 7:13 AM
I've gone back and done a bit more work on my Turkey itinerary...with the aim of not pushing as far east as Dirybakir and relying on night buses instead of an internal flight...
3 Days Istanbul....then night bus to Cappadocia
4 days in Cappadocia
2 days in Konya
2 days in Lake Egirdir
2 days Saklikent Gorge
3 days Pamukkale and Heirapolis
2 days Izmir
2 days Istanbul...maybe with a day trip to Edirne...
If anyone has any ideas....maybe change the allocation of days around a bit if I'm spending to much time in a place and then add in something extra.....I think i'd be pushing too far East to get Mardin or Urfa in.....
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