12 day Turkey itinerary - realistic?
Replies: 4 - Last Post: Dec 19, 2012 11:02 AM Last Post By: maenad
Dec 17, 2012 10:39 PM
12 day Turkey itinerary - realistic?We are planning our 12 day get away to Turkey in May 2013 to celebrate our 10th anniversary. There's so much to see, and the distances seem so large, we're not sure we'll be able to get it all in. We're looking for feedback from experts like you. Here's what we're thinking
Day 1 - Arrive Istanbul late afternoon
Day 2-4 - tour Istanbul
Day 5 - fly to Cappadocia (Nevsehir? Kayseri?). Overnight in Goreme? Avanos?
Day 6- balloon ride, etc. in Cappadocia
Day 7 - fly to coast (probably Fethiye?)
Day 8 - day cruise
Day 9 - drive to Selcuk
Day 10 - Ephesus
Day 11 - return to Istanbul
Day 12 - fly home to US
Any thoughts? Are we going to feel rushed? Any destinations we should substitute? Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
Dec 18, 2012 2:45 AM
1Welcome to the forum Seggie!This itinery is a bit full but if you are prepared to use domestic flights and maybe some overnight buses it is possible.
The first thing I would recommend is to move on from Istanbul immediately on arrival to the next destination -Izmir or Cappadocia depending on flights.I realise this means you'll be travelling for a bit longer and also it depends on your arrival time too but the advantages are a quiter place to rest and recover from jetlag.Istanbul is huge and seething and not a place for the half awake,just arrived visitor to be,too easy for someone to rip you off :(
Leaving all of your Istanbul days to the end means you'll arrive there with some Turkish experience under your belt and more ready to face that amazing city knowing how things work.
It also means you are near to the airport for your outbound flights rather than rushing back worried and having to organise accomodation twice and yet another trip out to the airport too.
Provided there are suitable flights,in whichever direction,this is a much better thing to do and most of us on here do recommend this to new visitors.
Perhaps leave the final 4 days for Istanbul,also give 2 full days to Cappadocia even 3 if you can fit it in.It is a big area with a great deal to see and do.This would then leave you 6 days for other places.
There are no flights from Cappadocia to the coast except for a daily flight from Kayseri to Antalya.This only operates in the summer and I'm not sure if it will have started by the time you arrive.You'll need to check this when the new schedules are published late to end of February,anything showing now is not reliable or guaranteed.
Other than that there are overnight buses from Göreme to Antalya and also to Fethiye(the latter being better for you).This would save you some important daytime hours.
Again allow 3 days around the coast to fit in all you wish to do.
You can then take a bus from Fethiye to Selçuk and from there fly back to Istanbul.
So consider Capp.3 days>>coast 3 days>>Selçuk 2 days>>Istanbul 4 days(one of these would be your departure day).
Or do this in reverse depending on flights as mentioned earlier.
Dec 18, 2012 7:17 AM
2I say your itinerary looks fine. Sans the coastal visit, I pulled off a similar itinerary when I first visited Turkey. The only exception was that my itinerary was in reverse; along with a few more days added to Istanbul. Learning from that experience, I have to agree with the post above when it comes to easing into a trip and slowly transitioning away from it. Maybe you could switch the itinerary in reverse? If not, again, it still looks more than manageable for a 12-day itinerary.
Dec 18, 2012 1:26 PM
3I do think that you will feel quite rushed--especially with a visit to the southern Mediterranean coast and on the occasion of an anniversary when you'd likely enjoy a leisurely couple days in the itinerary.
Immediately fly Istanbul - Cappadocia
Cappadocia for 3 nights.
Fly Cappadocia (Kayseri airport) to Izmir. You MUST time this properly as the flights are NOT daily!
1-2 nights Selçuk then 2-3 nights at a nice small hotel on the nearby Çeşme peninsula. You should have lovely beach weather even if the sea will probably be on the cool side. While not close to the sea there are also some wonderful lodges in the nearby Bafa Lake area.
Fly Izmir to Istanbul to spend the remainder of your time. "Quiet" and "relaxing" are two adjectives that do not describe Istanbul! You can find some accommodation that approaches "urban oasis" if you have an extremely high budget.
Edited by: swampeastmike
Dec 19, 2012 11:02 AM
4Airport distances -
First of all, most airports in Turkey are served by big comfortable buses which will take you quickly to the city centre for about 2-3 times the cost of public transport. (10-15 TL in most cases). The staff speak some English usually and are used to the areas that tourists want, so they are a good option unless you are on an extremely tight budget and also enjoy seeing local public transport. The big buses are usually called havas or havatas or something like that.
Istanbul has got two airports. They are about 70km apart. Do NOT try to do a transfer between them unless the airline takes full responsibility for moving you to-from. Both airports are well-connected by public transport to the city centre, but the Ataturk airport is closer and on the metro and also on the European side.
Cappedocia can be reached by going to Nevsehir airport via Turkish airlines from Ataturk airport. Nevsehir is only about 10-15km from Goreme - it's right in the heart of Cappedocia. The alternative is Kayseri airport, which is much further away (80-90km) but well-connected by minibuses to Cappedocia. Some airlines will even transfer you there for free. It's always worth asking about service buses. (servis in Turkish).
Antalya is worth remembering because its airport is big and the town itself is nice enough for a mediterranean visit, although most people do seem to prefer Fethiye or Kas. It's a good option, if you can't find a good flight to Fethiye, to arrive in Antalya and immediately take a bus to Olimpos or one of the other places around there - there are many.
Antalya's airport is about 45 minutes from the city centre by public bus, or by the havas.
Fethiye's airport is not really Fethiye - it's Dalman and it's 53 km from Fethiye - at least an hour when I took it last year. It's a small place with very few facilities, but there are plenty of minibuses around.
Selcuk doesn't have an airport - you use the Izmir airport to go there. Selcuk is about 60 km from the airport (which is fortunately south of Izmir). If you find someone who can speak English or if you're sharp it's very easy to pick up a bus on the highway direct to the airport (or from) but otherwise you'll find yourself having to go into the city centre to get a bus and backtracking en route to selcuk.
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