first trip to turkey itinerary
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Feb 18, 2013 11:06 PM Last Post By: sarikanarya
Feb 16, 2013 4:05 PM
first trip to turkey itineraryHello again, thank you to all who have already replied to my prior posts in helping me plan my first trip to turkey. so this is what I have come up with so far and I am looking for anyone to give some advice on if I am taking too much time in places or not enough.
Day 1: Arrive Istanbul saturday aug 31 at 5pm. Fly to Nevsehir or kayseri if we can make a flight.
Day 2--4 Cappadocia. Overnight bus to Bodrum
Day 5: Arrive Bodrum around 8am. Castle.
Day 6: explore bodrum area, bus to denizli.
Day 7: Pamukale, hierapolis and then bus or train to Selcuk.
Day 8: Selcuk ephesus
Day 9: Selcuk area: ? kusadasi, other ruins such as priene. overnight bus to istanbul
Day 10-13 Istanbul
Day 14: depart
Feb 17, 2013 5:20 AM
1Okay,so,you know about domestic flights and that they are mostly reasonably priced and have indicated you are happy to use them to save time where needed.So based on this knowledge here is my idea for you.
I already pointed out the Pegasus flight to Kayseri on evening 31st which hopefully is good for you.
Kayseri>>Bodrum.I have looked for ways to save you this hideously long bus journey by flying and found this option.
Nevşehir >>Bodrum going via Istanbul is convenient but very expensive even booked now at 187TL.
Kayseri>>Bodrum going via Ankara-03/09/2013 Anadolujet flt.no.TK7163
TK7150 depart 21.30 arrive Bodrum 22.25.Price 113TL all inclusive.More expensive than the bus but much quicker.(cost vs time!)You can then take the Havaş shuttle bus for 18TL which meets every in coming flight and will drop you in Bodrum bus station in the town centre.
Arriving in the evening means you'll have all day in Bodrum next day and can move on to Denizli on the morning of 5th.
When you are ready to move on to Denizli from Bodrum bus station there are-
this one at 14.00 arrv.19.30,cost 35TL
and these at 07.00,09.00,12.00 and 13.00 arriving at 12.00,14.00,17.00 and 19.00 respectively.Cost 30TL.The 09.00 could be good for you or even the 07.00 to give you maximum time at Pamukkale.
Luckily it will still be light until early evening so you can make the most of your time at Pamukkale the day before(hence I suggested an early bus!).If you wanted to visit Aphrodisias you would need to allow another day here at the expense of another place.
On the morning of 6th to go on to Selçuk there is a train at 08.20 arriving Selçuk at 11.28-
There is also one at 05.45 arriving at 09.00 but ...I can hear you laughing at me from here!!
For buses there is this one direct from Pamukkale village rather than from Denizli at 09.30 arriving at 13.30 cost 25TL.
So the train would get you there a couple of hours earlier if you don't mind the early start.
So nights the 6th and 7th Sept. in Selçuk.It will be very hot walking around in Ephesus during the afternoon but it is open until 19.00 so you could wait until c.16.00 before going,still hot but better than early afternoon.
The next day if you want to go to Priene you can take the regular local bus into Kuşadası and then another one from there to Söke and from there to the site.It is easier than it sounds and is easily doable.If you want to also see Miletus and Didyma however then either rent a car or take a day excursion.Miletus in particular is very difficult to reach via bus alone.You would have the evenings to mooch around lovely Selçuk itself.
So on evening of 9th or morning of 10th it is back to Istanbul.There is little difference in price between bus or flight on this route but the difference is 9 hours vs 1 hour :)
Pegasus have one at 22.25 for 72TL flt.no. PC-2818
Turkish Airlines have one at 21.00 for 94TL flt.no.TK-2337.
Atlasjet have one at 10.40 for 114TL flt.no.KK-4021 and this includes free airport shuttle bus.
Atlasjet at 07.00 for 82TL flt.no.KK-4029 again free shuttle bus.
Some of these depend on how much you like getting up early I guess :-) some can and some can't.
If you want to do the overnight bus then direct from Selçuk rather than Izmir there are these at 22.00 and 00.30,arriving 07.00 and 08.30 ,cost 63TL
I guess with this at least you save a night's hotel fee!
As you leave Istanbul from SAW airport c.06.00 you will need to leave the European side very early.Is 06.00 take off time?If so you'll need to be there for 04.00 check in(OMG!)
The last Havataş bus from Taksim is at 01.00 arr.SAW 02.30.Rather early but cheap at 12TL-
The other option is a private transfer or taxi, which work out about the same price c.60€(c.120TL).
Here is a typical example (a bit cheaper actually)-
Unfortunately there are no cheap hotels near the airport either,only typical,large corporate hotels.Staying in Kadıköy for that final night wouldn't be much beneit either time or price wise.
You will have 4 full days in Istanbul and this is plenty to see all the major sites.Those located in Sultanahmet are gathered together within a 500 yard radius making life easy and reaching other places is cheap and easy either walking or using the tram and ferry system.
To help with your Cappadocia itinery I'm sure this excellent post by Swampeastmike will be a great help to you.You'll have 3 full days and again planned well you can see and do a lot.
If you want to do a balloon ride then book it for the first morning(yeah I know right after you get there!)that way if there is a wind problem-wrong direction,too much/not enough- and they don't fly then you have chance the second or third morning.This doesn't often happen but it happens.
I don't enquire too much about budgets,thats private,but hopefully the information I've given you gives you enough to be able to work things out to suit yours and your available time.
The days 5-7 are pretty tight and,if now you've looked at the logistics, you see this then perhaps consider leaving out Bodrum.The castle is very interesting but other than that and a walk around the marina there isn't a great deal.It wouldn't ruin your trip to skip it IMHO.Can you justify the time and expense to get there for only one day?Could you use more relaxation at other places?Just a thought....
Feb 17, 2013 8:50 PM
2Thanks for your advice. It is alot of information and some of it I find confusing. I will look into the information you gave me and I may ask for additional advice. I am not interested in late night flights or transfers. My budget is not an issue. convenience and enjoying our trip is. I will look at what you have given me to work on. Thanks again!!!
Feb 17, 2013 10:25 PM
3LOL Jackie,yes,it was a lot of info!Made more as I tried to give you the different options where there were more than one choice and point out the pro's and con's for each.Anyway wade through it and come back with any questions you may have.
One thing to consider(more info!)if your budget allows then maybe take the Nevşehir flight to Bodrum rather than the Kayseri one.Nevşehir is quicker and easier to get to than Kayseri.
Feb 18, 2013 10:32 AM
4So how much time do you think we need to give ourselves at the airport on our day of arrival in istanbul if we were to fly to nevsehir or kayser that nighti? will we need to go through customs? my husband and I only carry a backpack onto plane, no checked bags. this will help me to choose a flight out to cappadocia.
Feb 18, 2013 11:47 AM
5You will need to buy your visa on arrival and go through passport control.Hopefully this should only take a maximum of 40 minutes but could be as quick as 20.It is generally quicker than Ataturk airport.Not having to wait for bags is a good help too.Then you need to add on the need to check in 1 hour before take off for domestic flights.
Feb 18, 2013 1:12 PM
6So we won't have to go through customs from our air france flight from paris in ataturk? so our flight should arrive at 455pm and we only need one hour and then can get flight to cappadocia? I just want to make sure I have that correctly. will we have to go through security again to check in for the domestic flight or can we check in at the gate?
Feb 18, 2013 1:49 PM
7Hang on...you implied earlier you were flying into SAW,hence I wrote about that.If you are arriving at Ataturk airport then the procedure is just the same on arrival...buy visa...passport control etc.then go to domestic terminal(10-15 minutes walk)and check in.Yes,you will go through security again to enter the domestic terminal.
If you arrive at Ataturk then only look for connecting flights from there,not from SAW as the two airports are very distant from each other.
For any connection from international to domestic you need to allow a minimum of 1½ hours and ideally 2 hours.Ataturk is much bigger and a busier airport than SAW so I would aim for the min.2 hours window there.
Feb 18, 2013 2:36 PM
8thats ok. I just checked flights and cant find any on the 31 from ataturk to nevsehir or kayseri. so we will take a day or two in istanbul then fly there. I found cheap flights on skyscanner with atlas jet for $88USD for both flights. flights are cheaper to kayseri than nevsehir probably because it is farther away, but that is ok. we can still get transport into goreme from either airport.
Feb 18, 2013 4:20 PM
9So you mentioned in your prior post about using the bus to get from bodrum to denizli. on this day of travel if we left early 9am from bodrum and arrived in denizli would we have time to really do anything? should we stay in denizi or bus further to pamukale town and then be closer to ruins for the next day tour? is is possible to do pamukale tour (start 8:30 and finish at 1630) and get to bus station to take us to sulcek that night or should we stay overnight and then bus to selcuk the next day? I think we will spend 2 or 3 days in selcuk so we could do a full day at efes, maybe explore kudasi and maybe do a another day tour of priene, didyma, melitus. and then bus to istanbul or fly from izmir to istanbul. what do you think?
Feb 18, 2013 5:36 PM
10Ok, sorry to keep sending you messages but this is what I have come up with for an itineray and I think I still have some space to see or do other things.
Day 1: arrive 5pm at Ataturk airport. Overnight in sultanahmet.
Day 2: Full day in istanbul: Aya sophia, galata bridge and great horn area. city wall. dervish show. monastery.
Day 3: Morning in Istanbul: hippodrome, blue mosque, cistern. Leave for aiport at 1200 to take a 1400 flight to Kayseri via atlas jets from ataturk airport. Arrive at 1515 in Kayseri. Dolmus/taxi to goreme. Overnight in goreme.
Day 4: Full day in cappadocia
Day 5: Full day in cappadocia. overnight bus to bodrum leaving at 1900hr.
Day 6: arrive in bodrum via bus at 800. See St. Peter's castle, archeology museum, shipwreck and mausoleum ruins. Bus to denizli. leaves at 1400-1930. Arrive in denizli and decide to stay overnight there or bus to pamukale.
Day 7: Palmukale and heiropolis ruins. overnight in pamukale.
Day 8: Bus or train to Selcuk leave between 820-930am. Arrive between 1330-1553 depending on transportation. If have time see museum, citadel, aqueduct.
Day 9: Full day to see Ephesus. Overnight in selcuk.
Day 13: Istanbul full day. Topkopki palace. Shopping at arasta bazaar by blue mosque or some other smaller shops.
Day 14: Depart.
so you see, I have some wiggle room in our plans. is there any other places along our path that we should take in?
Feb 18, 2013 11:06 PM
11They're decent prices so thats good.No mind about staying in Istanbul initially:the idea of moving on directly is good but of course it doesn't always work ,it depends on flight times.
Flights into Kayseri are almost invariably cheaper than Nevşehir because landing fee's at Kayseri are much cheaper than at Nevşehir airport.Getting into Göreme is no problem either,I think I gave you a shuttle company link earlier didn't I?
BTW;don't worry about the posts...it's what the forum is for!
You would get to Pamukkale c.13.00-13.30.You have to go to Denizli first as this is the main hub city there.Pamukkale is just a tiny village next to the travertines,there are some buses which go to and from there but very few,most go only into Denizli.So yes,stay in Pamukkale village that night.Many hotels have wonderful views of the white travertines.Trying to move on to Selçuk the same evening would cut your time too short and such a pace would be punishing.
You would have daylight until c.19.30-20.00 so this gives you several hours to wander around.You do not need to take a guided tour here.There are very good,clear information boards everywhere along the top of the travertines and also around the ruins of Hierapolis too.Both area's are pretty self explanatory.Some places using a guided tour makes sense but not here,not unless you want really finite details on Hierapolis.One or two hours is more than enough for the ruins and a similar amount of time for the travertines.
Daily tour buses from the south coast only give 3½ hours for the whole place but you'll have far more than that.BTw those same tours buses are mostly gone by15.00.
2 or 3 days in Selçuk will be time well spent.Aside from Ephesus the town has other points of interest and is just simply a very nice little town to stay in.
Kuşadası is a sprawling,bustling,commercial seaside resort where the cruise ships pull in for an Ephesus visit.If you want a swim and some beach time then there are 2 or 3 decent beaches there.
Late afternoon a trip up to Sirince village is very nice-after the tour buses have gone :)
Unless you hire a car then taking a day tour is the better way to visit Priene,Miletus and Didyma.It is a pleasant scenic tour and not expensive either.Miletus really is difficult to reach without transport yet this is probably the most impressive site of the three.
You could spend the whole day just moooching around in Ephesus but for most visitors 4 or 5 hours is adequate even for an in-depth look.
Do you know about the Terrace Houses complex within the main site?There is an extra entrance fee for this of 15TL but it is worth every single cent.A truly remarkable place to see!
Okay,just looking through your revised itinery now....
your first full day is Sunday...everything open except Grand Bazaar but you'll see that later on.
Day 6 ...Bodrum...stay there that night and go on to Denizli first thing the next morning.Trying to see Bodrum and go to Denizli on the same day is too much,not enough time for Bodrum,wouldn't be worth going.The castle,the mausoleum,the amphitheatre on the outskirts plus a mooch around the little back lanes and the marina...if you are going to go there then it deserves a full day.
Day 8...Selçuk...see museum...please be aware that Selçuk Museum is currently closed for renovation.By September it 'may' be open again but I rather think it may not be.Check this up nearer the time for current
So...your wiggle time :) .....you only have 2½ days in total for Istanbul so I would definately add 1 more day for there.Your first day will be a little slow as you recover from jet leg etc.so another day at the end will be good for you.
So that leaves 2 spare days.....you mention about extra time in Selçuk.If you want to visit PMD then yes,use one of these spare days there.
So now there is 1 spare day.....you have 2 days in Cappadocia.If you enjoy walking and natural beauty then you could use an extra day here very easily.Ideally this region deserves 4 full days but 3 would be good.
OR....if historical sites are more your thing then you could use this final spare day at Pamukkale,see the travertines and Hierapolis on the first afternoon and then the next day take a tour to beautiful Aphrodisias.
I have offered these different suggestions because only you know which features most appeal to you.The extra day for Istanbul really will benefit you but after that nature?history?beaches? what I would choose you may not but you can see the options.
Ultimately this is your first trip here,you cannot see everything in 2 weeks but you can always come back again.Few people only visit once!
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