Turkey/Please comment on my itinerary
We are a group of 5 adults and 1 baby (2 years old), travelling to Turkey on April 20 and plan to stay for 2 weeks. I would really appreciate it if you look at my itinerary below and make any suggestions as needed. Thank you!
April 20 - Arrive in Istanbul
Night of 22, take a bus to Selcuk/Epheses
23 Spend day in Ephesus
24 Early morning bus to Bodrum
25 night /26 early morning Bus to Pammukale
26 night bus to Cappadocia
27, 28 Cappadocia
28 night bus to Istanbul
29, 30, 1, 2 Istanbul
3 Fly out from Istanbul
I would like to know where to stay in Ephesus. Are rooms easily available?
Should I take a night bus or an early morning bus from Bodrum to Pammukale? How many hours does it take?
Have a good day and thank you again for your help.
Bus trip costs about 50 to 80 lira ( 1$ U.S. is around 2.1 Lira as of april 2014 ) from Istanbul to Izmir - Kusadasi, or Ephesus ; lasting for about 10 hours. And another 3 hour add on to Bodrum trip for a fare I guess 30 - 40 lira. So these two bus rides are about 100 lira, with 13 - 15 hour in a bus , but with enough number of stops at clean rest stops.
At a cost like this one should fly from Istanbul to Bodrum ( or Izmir ) ; if you buy tickets enough in advance even about 10 days as in your case; inexpensive flights to cost maybe even less then total cost of bus ride can be found. I see an 8 pm flight to Bodrum as an instance for 59.99 Lira plus tax etc is 70.99 ; buy that price must be good for a purchase within turkey; in your case, I presume that rate will go up to 110 lira, still perfect deal. You may check these rates and flights at flypgs.com, the air carries's own site.
Now if you fly Bodrum, than you take a bus to Ephesus ( Selcuk town ) and then The following day another bus to Denizli. Now; between Bodrum and Kusdasi are 3 charming ancient Greek - Roman sites ; google Didyma Apollo Temple, Miletos and Priene. Miletos has gor a different lay out than Ephesus, sites are not as well preserved, but these sites all have their seperate charm. But in your group case, getting to these sites by public transport is a bit difficult.
So, if you fly to Bodrum , then you take a bus to ePHESUS AREA , STAY İN sELCUK AT an inexpensive hotel, Cenka Hotel is acceptible 2 star, good deal. Clean , basic, a bit old, some bathrooms could use a little repair, but acceptable if you are looking for an inexpensive stay. For a little more a better hotel, also in Kusadasi can be found; internet hotel booking sites do provide best available deals, do try, for any site. Then the following day head to Denizli ( pamukkale ) . a detour is to Aphrodisias between these two cities, and now; this is truly an impressive site, in some ways more impressive than Ephesus. If NYU is spending so many years to excavate it , there must be a reason. But again, transport to this site will be a little difficult, still possible.
Trip from Selcuk - Ephesus to Denizli is less distance and much more comfotable driveway than the one from Bodrum to Denizli ( a mountaneous curvy ride part of the time ) , one more reason why I preferred this route a number of times. But both are doable.
Hotels in Pamukkale area are closer to the site and less expensive than Denizli ( 16 km to the site , frequent busses ) . Pamukkale is also the name of the town right next tı the site. Google pansiyon ( stands for inexpensive small hotels, supposed to have a kitchen for you to cook which few make available ) AND THE TOWN name to find inexpensive lodging.
Denizli to Cappadocia is also a very long bus ride, ideal would be take a bus ticket to Konya to break the trip if you have time. Overnight busses are common.
Online bus tickets : Prefer kamil Koc : kamilkoc.com.tr then there is metro.com.tr , online seat purchase works flawless, reliable, they offer shuttle within most cities.
Likewise from cappadocia check the flights first is my advise: Flight can be a good deal; or it gives you a bonus 10 hours for site-seeing instead of a long tiring bus trip. 10 hour site-seeing is worth spending 30- 40$ a person extra as an add on to a bus fare. Also consider to take a bus from Cappadocia to Ankara ; 4 - 4.6 hour trip; do the sites there, and catch a plane from Ankara if there is a good deal from Ankara. ( Sites hard to fit in from Ankara : two ancient capitals are nearby Ankara, Hattusash of Hittites and Gordion of Phrigians. Hattusash on a private tour can be done departing from Cappadocia and ending in Ankara. It is about 230km away from Ankara. Gordion is 75 km outside Ankara, on the west. ). Staying a bnight in Ankara and get a feel for capital is a good experience. Haicbayram Mosque's brotherhood with the church leaning onto it, mausoleum and museum of Ataturk complex, walk in the old town the citadel, the ancient Arslanhane mosque, dine in Kizilay Square's Sakarya street, walking district makes a pleasant experience. Also a Walk or taxi ride in front of presidendial residence area.
Enjoy It - Oguz