you can spend about three
weeks (16 to 23 days) in Turkey,
you can see quite a lot.
Here's a loose TripKit™ itinerary for a 21-day
trip through Aegean, Mediterranean and central Turkey with suggestions for where
you can add or omit a few days.
Another idea: spend about 10 days doing a circuit of the untouristed Black Sea coast and eastern Turkey. More...
Days 1 to 4
Consider flying right through to
your next destination, because
you'll probably have to be back
in Istanbul at the end of your
trip to fly home, so plan to save Istanbul for the end of your trip.
If you're coming from a long distance
(say, California or Australia),
you may want to stay a few days in the city to
regain your land legs.
—Here are sightseeing programs for 2
to 5 days in Istanbul.
are Istanbul hotel recommendations.
Days 5 to 7
Travel to Cappadocia by
plane or bus. Here
are details on getting to Cappadocia.
you plan to take a hot-air
balloon flight in Cappadocia, reserve your
place(s) for the first morning you'll
be there so that you'll have fall-back
days in case of bad weather. More...
info on Cappadocia
Highlights of Cappadocia are Göreme
Open Air Museum, Uçhisar, underground
Valley, Soğanlı Valleys,
and Avanos. More...
Drive along the ancient Silk
Cappadocia to Konya, admiring the
Turkish caravansarays along
the way. Stop at the Sultan
Hanı for tea or a meal, and to see the
grandest caravanserai of them all.
Spend the rest of the day and part
of the next morning visiting the Mevlana
Museum (Tomb of Rumi), and admiring
Konya's other fine medieval
Seljuk buildings. More...
Drive from Konya to the Mediterranean
coast, perhaps stopping in Beyşehir to
see the unusual Eşrefoğlu
to have a lunch of lake fish. The drive
is through dramatic mountains, ending
on the coastal highway. Choose your beach
destination: go east to Alanya,
west and south to Side, or west to Antalya. More...
Days 10 & 11
Stay at least two nights on the coast
more if you want time at the beach
and/or to take excursions to Termessos
and Karain; Perge, Side and Aspendos; Köprülü
Kanyon for rafting; or Phaselis and
(For a shorter trip, spend all your
"Mediterranean days" here,
then drive northwest to Denizli and Pamukkale,
stay there one night, then continue
west along the Meander River valley via
Aphrodisias to Ephesus.)
Days 12 to 14
Drive south from Antalya, then
west along the coast, stopping for one
or more nights at Kaş,
Kalkan, Patara, Fethiye, Ölüdeniz or
has its charm and appeal. More...
Days 15 & 16
you don't want to miss Aphrodisias & Pamukkale you
can head west, then north from Dalyan to
then northeast to Pamukkale.
Or if the siren call of Bodrum,
Turkey's most chic resort, beckons
to you, go west to Bodrum. More...
Otherwise, from Muğla speed
north along the highway to Aydın,
then Selçuk (Ephesus),
Şirince or Kuşadası.
Days 17 to 19
Spend at least two nights near Ephesus, visiting
that great city, taking my day-trip
to Priene, Miletus and Didyma, and tasting the wines in Şirince.
Depending on how you've planned your time, you can
easily fly from İzmir's Adnan
Menderes Airport back
to Istanbul, or continue your journey north along the Aegean coast to Foça, Dikili, Bergama (Pergamum), Ayvalık, Mount Ida, Assos, Troy, Çanakkale, Gallipoli, and Edirne. More...
Days 20 & 21
You should be back in Istanbul the day before
your flight, just to be sure. Now's the time to do
the shopping you didn't do before because you didn't
want to carry your purchases all the way through Turkey.
—by Tom Brosnahan