31 Jan

Turkey Itinerary

Our plan is to start our holiday in Turkey toward the end of September and stay until the end of October – should be almost 6 weeks.

One of our goals is to not be in any one place during the ‘busy’ season, and I think Turkey in October meets that goal (hee hee…’Turkey in October’ makes me giggle as we obviously will not be having turkey that October!). We will be there just at the end of Ramadan, so we will have to read up on the customs and meanings around that, and learn how to be a gracious guest of the country during such a religious time.

We’ll start in Istanbul, but only stay in the city long enough to get our bearings and plan the bus trip east. We’re concerned about the weather in Turkey at this time of year and so have decided to travel east and south, where the heat will be retained longer, and then will return to Istanbul at the end to fully explore.

Ankara is the first destination where the Museum of Anatolian Civilization is said to be a must see.  We’ll spend a few days here before continuing further east to Goreme, or the Valley of the Fairy Chimneys.  I remember seeing pictures of this landscape when friends returned from Turkey a few years ago and thinking that it was like an alien landscape – I’m looking forward to seeing it myself and spending some time hiking around the area.

Then we’ll head southwest to Konya to see the famed whirling dervishes before heading further southwest to Antalya to explore this city, it’s beaches and do some hiking along the Lycian Way. I’ve read that it’s possible to do day trips along this route and that it is stunning.

We’ll leave the coast then and head northwest to Pamukkale to visit the Travertine Pools. I’ve read conflicting reports on whether this is a worthwhile trip or a tourist trap – we’ll have to decide if it’s worth it or not.

Ephesus is the next stop where we will learn the history of this ancient site and the surrounding area before we head further north to other historical sites, Troy and Gallipolli. 

Then it’s back to Istanbul for the remainder of our time in Turkey. We’ll seek out a longer term rental here – maybe an apartment – and settle in for 10-14 days.  It’s now that we’ll really explore the city, it’s neighborhoods, mosques and markets. We won’t be so concerned about the weather when we have a home base.

This itinerary really only shows us only the western portion of Turkey for a few reasons.  Number one; I’m not sure how far we can travel given the time we have, and number two; I’m not sure how easy it is to travel farther east. I have heard that the Black Sea coast and Van Lake are beautiful with great hiking and fabulous scenery. Certainly I can see that, once we are there and have our ‘travel legs’, we could decide to travel further east.

I know though, that wherever we go in Turkey will be magical – it is one of the destinations that I am most looking forward to.

14 thoughts on “Turkey Itinerary

  1. Traveling East is no problem even during Ramadan.

    If you can make it to Amasya it is a truly beautiful little town, my favorite.

    Konya is wonderful, excellent food, if you can make it on the weekend, Friday and Saturday night is the free dervish dance, only.

    Pumukkale is worth it, but the pools are empty, walking on the calcium slab and the warm stream is nice. They built a tourist pool for everyone. The theater at Helioplois is well worth the stop. You can also, take a day trip to Aphrodises, that is well worth it.

    Troy is awesome, great detail

    I would avoid Goreme, but some people like the tourist town, everything is available. I loved Urgip, though.

  2. I think I’ll be in Italy in October, but I’d love to see if there’s a time when we’ll be *sorta* close to each other. Maybe we can meet you somewhere in between Germany and Turkey!

    • @Shawn: Thanks for the tips!

      @Geoff: Funny you should mention ClearlyEnlights blog as I have followed his journey through Turkey, and because it is Shawn from above who writes that blog. He certainly shows a ‘road less traveled’ approach to travel that I appreciate.

      @Pam: As we both seem to have flexible itineraries, I can see a time where we might be closer to each other than it looks right now. It would be fabulous to meet up with someone that I’ve connected on-line with (especially a fellow Canadian!)

  3. Hi Gillian! Was really nice to hear from you – you were my first comment and it was a triumphant moment hehe! Once i started reading your blog I couldn’t stop as I get the impression we’re doing a similar thing to you – I look forward to your first blog entry after 3 months and 24 days have past!!

    I’ve been to Turkey and it is a beautiful country, although sometimes the men can be a little leery!

    Really looking forward to more of your itinterary breakdowns!! Jen x

  4. Goreme is beautiful. Pamukkale too. At least the calcium deposits area. I found Istanbul to be enjoyable. Ankara not as much so. Ephesus is a must see. Gallipoli is worthwhile though there isn’t much to see at Troy. That being said, I love the Illiad and Odyssey so it was worth it. Fethiye is a nice beach town. Consider checking out the underground cities of Cappadocia too.


  5. We spent 3 weeks in Turkey in 2007. In my opinion, Capadoccia is not to be missed! Amazing other-worldly scenery, so much to see and do. And the pace (of the locals) is very relaxing.

  6. My then-boyfriend, now-husband and I spent late Sep/ early Oct in Turkey in 2007, and we LOVED it. There’s one thing that you don’t have on your itinerary that is a definite MUST DO in Turkey- when you are on the south coast, near Fethiye- look into staying on a Turkish Gulet (sailboat) for a few nights- sailing and swimming during the day and enjoying the peace of being on the water at night. It’s still HOT in Turkey in October, at least it was when we were there….enjoy!

  7. Hey, now that we are here, feel free to pump us for info if you need to on accomodations etc. We are in Goreme right now. So worth coming, food is very good here also. Also, do you have a Turkey guide book? We leave Istanbul Sep 24 and thought we could drop guide and turkish phrase book off at where you are staying there.

  8. oh what memories….still vivid. it’s about 1 week shy of a year since I first met you and jason yet it seems like only a few weeks ago,

    • @Eric: I know, doesn’t it? Sometimes it all seems so far away…and then other times it’s just like yesterday!

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