Travel plans Eastern Turkey
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Apr 11, 2013 5:01 PM Last Post By: Kasane
Apr 8, 2013 4:27 PM
Travel plans Eastern TurkeyHi, have been scanning the forum for information and ideas and have come up with an itenary as follows. Would really appreciate any comments /potential improvements. We are 2 couples who have travelled together in the past thru Africa.
Fly from Australia. To istabul (22hr flight), had intended on staying first 3 nights Istanbul,
The fly to Erzurum, pick up rental car, drive Barhal, stay 2 nights
Onto Kars, 2 nights, visiting Ani and Kars
Onto Dogubayazit , one night visiting palace,
Then Van , 2 nights
Bitlis, 1 night, visit Hasenkeyf on way to next stop
Savur, 1 night, go to Mardin, etc on way to Urfa
Urfa, 2 nights
Kahta and mt nimrod
Halfeti 2 nights
Then long drive to goreme, 4 nights
Rtn car Kayseri, back to Istanbul 3 nights then home.
Am trying to make it reasonably relaxed with stops on the way, missed out Gazientep , due to time, is this an error? Should I do a day trip to Nemrut Dagi so cut out a night there instead?
I read one forum that suggested not using Istanbul as a stop over for jet lag, any suggestions. we are limited to 24 nights, with a possible extra night at most. Ar so much to do, so little time.
Appreciate any input, thanks in advance
Apr 8, 2013 6:37 PM
1Excellent itinerary that you should greatly enjoy!
Since you have the benefit of private transportation, truly no need to spend two nights near Mt. Nemrut. Yes, it's a long drive from Nemrut to Göreme, but you will have no problem getting there before dark after a sunrise visit to Nemrut--even some time to take the "scenic route" to just west of Malatya where the only reasonable route to Göreme is by excellent roads across through perhaps the ugliest scenery in Turkey.
If your group has any liking for museums, you truly should go to the Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep! The museum is new and extremely well designed to showcase an awesome collection! Believe-it-or-not, the route to Nemrut is only about 40 km longer from Gaziantep than from Urfa!
Apr 8, 2013 10:40 PM
2Nothing to add to that,good itinery.Gazi>>Nemrut isn't so very much longer yet it may be just as quick because you won't have to wait for the Siverek>>Kahta ferry.Malatya to Kayseri isn't too bad,you can do this in c.6 hours.
BTW,yes you're right on here we often recommend moving on from Istanbul on arrival but that 22 hour flight is a total brain drain so I can understand that on arrival the nearest bed will be the only thing you'll want.My bruv lives in Australia and when he and SIL arrive here they are like zombies for 24 hours :)
Apr 9, 2013 7:38 AM
Apr 9, 2013 4:31 PM
4Thanks for your replies.
Am interested in my reading that Bradts guide suggests missing out Urfa altogether and makes no mention of Gobelteke, and encourages Gazientep. I also discovered the extra distance to the summit, in my ignorance I had been timing drives to Kahta, assuming it wasn't far from there. A windy road is not quite my cup of tea, I do get very car sick. Would it be worth considering leaving out this part and spending the time in Gazientep? Or is it a wonder I really should not miss?
The journey back I had plotted to do via Adana as distamap had seemed to show a shorter and more direct route.
If one had a choice, which way would you go,
Gazientep to Adana for a night then on to goreme
Gazientep to Darende for a night then Goreme
Straight from Gazientep to goreme, using the spare day on something else.
Is one way more scenic? Or has one way got more interesting things to do on the way?
I seem to be constantly revising the trip the more information I get.
Edited by: Kasane
Apr 9, 2013 10:52 PM
5Skip Şanlıurfa?Doesn't mention such a significant site as Göbeklitepe?I'm sorry but I really could not trust any guide book that told me that!Either the writer hasn't actually been there or was drunk when they passed through.
I cannot imagine anyone who has been to both Urfa and Antep giving this advice.The latter is...okay but the only thing of truly great importance is the Mosaic Museum.The former however is a wonderful city with history and interest on every street corner.If I only had time to visit one of them I would choose Urfa every time.The mosaics are amazing yes,but after that there's nothing so very wonderful IMHO and you can only eat so much baklava :)
"should we consider leaving that part out...or is it a wonder not to miss?"
Do you mean to leave out Nemrut?Hmm,for some people this is a highlight of their trip but others are not too concerned about seeing it.I guess this is a bit like the Antep issue-it depends on where your interests most lie.Would seeing these ancient stone heads be more or less thrilling for you than seeing the mosaics?Only you can answer this.....
If you do skip it and go to Gaziantep then only spend the 1 night there and use the extra time elsewhere either before or after.
From Antep to Kayseri via Kahramanmaras or Adana both involve some pretty mountainous roads but nothing too hideous,not too tiny twisty but if you don't travel well then you still maybe need to take soem travel sickness tablets as you have some long drives to cover.
Going via Adana would take you through Kozan which is rather lovely and if you choose to go this way there are some nice little hotels there to spend the night before going on to Cappadocia.
Apr 9, 2013 11:05 PM
Apr 9, 2013 11:46 PM
Apr 10, 2013 4:04 AM
8I'd like to agreed that Urfa is much more interesting than Gaziantep. As regards the museum there, it depends on you to some extent. Really good roman mosaics are fantastic the first time you see them, but you could visit pretty much every country in the Med if you were to tour everywhere that claims to have 'the best mosaics in the world'. If you've seen mosaics before, or plan to go somewhere like Tunisia or Italy in the future, then there's no real reason to go out of your way to visit Gaziantep. Its a nice city with very friendly people which is worth a stop if you're on a slow tour of the area, but its not mind blowing.
I really liked Nemrut. The landscape on the way up is fantastic and the stone heads are truely unique. It would definately be a priority for me.
Apr 10, 2013 8:12 AM
9Bedknobs nailed it: Nemrut is an exellent hike and a sight unlike anything else. Do not miss it if you are in the area. I went out of my way to see it and it was a highlight. If you go first thing, you will miss the tour buses and have the mountain to yourself. On your way down, share a cay the lovely man at the souvenier shop near the parking lot.
Edited by: SilverXerk
Apr 10, 2013 9:14 AM
10The road up to Nemrut isn't terribly windy. While you'll pay a bit more, I really do suggest staying at one of the hotels very near the site. Nemrut Kervansari was OK and we appreciated the half board option (dinner and breakfast) as the food was very good and such proved to be a fine value.
Given the car sickness problem I wouldn't though recommend the scenic route out as there are some extremely twisty sections.
The route taken by the tour busses Nemrut - Cappadocia is:
From Kahta take the D360 west through Adiyman until Gölbaşı where you turn NE (right) on the D850. Continue on the D850 until you hit the D300 west of Malatya. Turn northwest (left) on the D300 which you follow all the way to Kayseri. Keep following the signs to Kayseri as there are a couple turnoffs even though you are staying on the D300.
Apr 10, 2013 3:13 PM
11Great, really appreciate the help everyone, will keep it on the trip list. It does sound a must do and it's good to hear personal experiences rather then just following guide books? Staying close to the top sounds a good idea too for a good start in the morning.
On another note, any personal experiences with accomodation in Van? Have seen trip advisor hotels but does anyone know of any family run B&B type places?
Edited by: Kasane
Apr 10, 2013 5:28 PM
12We stayed at Garden Hotel in the center of the city of Van. A business-type place with a perfect location for evening explorations (by foot). Since you have the luxury of private transporation all I can say about the Van area is to be willing to burn some fuel following brown signs both to the south and east of the city.
Bitlis is an odd place that I very much enjoyed and will likely return for a longer visit. The only decent-looking hotel we could find (although we arrived at night) is on the left just as you enter the city center down a long hill arriving from the north. Be certain to buy some çiçek balı (flower honey) and walnuts! Both are excellent!
Apr 11, 2013 5:01 PM
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