WESTERN TURKEY

A land of huge contrasts, from the minarets, markets and mosques of Istanbul, to the beaches of the Med, to the weird rock formations of Cappadocia. Click for Luxury, Mid-range or Budget. Here’s my Western Turkey blog post and here below is your travel plan:

Luxury
1 ✈Istanbul (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Four Seasons at Sultanahmet(Book >) See all hotels >
You’ll arrive in time to hear the last couple of muezzin calls to prayer – an evocative soundtrack for your visit. Get your bearings from the top of Galata Tower. It’s recommended that you obtain an e-visa for Turkey before you arrive. Apply here.
2 An action-packed day starting with a visit to the immense Aya Sofya. Just next to the mosque is the fascinating Basilica Cistern, the scene of many movies. Nearby is the unmissable (be sure to take in the Blue Mosque on the way) Topkapi Palace where you’ll find peaceful courtyards, a rich treasury and incredible views across the Bosphorus. You will need to dress modestly in order to visit the mosques. Bear in mind that you will also have to take your shoes off before entering.
3 At 10:35 embark on a ferry tour from Eminönü docks up the beautiful Bosphorus to Anadolu Kavağı where you can walk up to the ruined Yoros Kalesi fortress and look out over the Black Sea. You’ll be back in the city at 16:40 – plenty of time to see the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. The sights mentioned here are within easy reach if you’re on foot. Istanbul also has a good metro system, the journey planner can be found here.
4 🚌Istanbul to Çanakkale (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 11:55 🏨Artur Hotel (Book >) See all hotels >
Hop on the Metro to Otogar İstasyonu for your bus to Çanakkale. Join a tour to Troy at 13:00 – marvel at the excavatations and reproduction Trojan horse, then return at 17:00. There’s another Trojan horse model in town if you fancy another snap. Try to visit Troy mid-week to avoid it at its busiest.
5 🚌Çanakkale to Izmir (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:32 🏨Swissotel Buyuk Efes Izmir (Book >) See all hotels >
Izmir is over 5,000 years old and you’ll want to head straight for the buzz of Konak Square. Alternatively, catch a later bus and visit the Gallipoli battlefields from Çanakkale. In the evening explores the streets of Izmir’s Alsancak. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Spend the day on a tour visiting the breathtaking ruins at Ephesus and St Mary’s House. Avoid the dark and narrow alleys in Alsancak at night.
7 🚌Izmir to Fethiye(Book >) Dep: 10:01 Arr: 16:00 🏨Yacht Classic (Book >) See all hotels >
Today you’re on your way to the gorgeous coastline of Lycia. Look out for signpost number 6 and head up hill for a superb view from Ojstrica.
8-9 Fethiye not only is surrounded by beautiful beaches but also boasts ancient sarcophaguses in town as well as cave tombs in the cliffs. You may also wish to go on a thoroughly enjoyable 12 Island boat cruise or take a dolmuş to the Blue Lagoon. Consider renting a car in Fethiye for easy travel to and from the beaches.
10 🚌Fethiye to Kas
(Book >)
Dep: 09:45 Arr: 11:55 🏨Lukka Exclusive (Book >) See all hotels >
Join a diving or snorkelling or diving trip in Kas then, in the evening, soak up the atmosphere in the cute streets and main square. The old amphitheatre is safe to visit at night and looks amazing under spotlights.
11 🚌Kas to Antalya Dep: Every 1.15 hours Arr: About 4hrs later 🏨Hotel Barat Lara (Book >) See all hotels >
In Antalya visit the many sights of Kaleiçi (the old quarter), including the famous fluted minaret, the fortified Roman port and the ruins of Kesik Minare. Ask your hotel to call Bati Antalya on (242)-836-36-77 to book your bus ticket.
12 ✈Antalya to Kayseri
(Book >)
🚕Kayseri to Ürgüp (Book >)
Dep: Morning

Dep: 12:30

Arr: Morning

Arr: 14:20

🏨Kayakapi Premium Caves (Book >) See all hotels >
Ürgüp is the perfect base from which to explore this part of Cappadocia. This is also considered one of the best places in which to enjoy a hot air balloon ride, especially at sunset. Book your transfer to Antalya airport here.
13 A full day in which to explore the trails along the surrounding valleys. This site will help you to plan them out. Be sure to take plenty of water with you on hikes, especially in summer, and aware that lone women have in the past been attacked.
14 🚕Ürgüp to Kayseri
✈Kayseri to Istanbul (Book >)
✈Istanbul to Home
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: 08:50
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Evening
What did you think of this Western Turkey itinerary? Leave your feedback below
Book a transfer to Kayseri airport.
Mid-range
1 ✈Istanbul (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨White House Hotel (Book >) See all hotels >
You’ll arrive in time to hear the last couple of muezzin calls to prayer – an evocative soundtrack for your visit. Get your bearings from the top of Galata Tower. It’s recommended that you obtain an e-visa for Turkey before you arrive. Apply here.
2 An action-packed day starting with a visit to the immense Aya Sofya. Just next to the mosque is the fascinating Basilica Cistern, the scene of many movies. Nearby is the unmissable (be sure to take in the Blue Mosque on the way) Topkapi Palace where you’ll find peaceful courtyards, a rich treasury and incredible views across the Bosphorus. You will need to dress modestly in order to visit the mosques. Bear in mind that you will also have to take your shoes off before entering.
3 At 10:35 embark on a ferry tour from Eminönü docks up the beautiful Bosphorus to Anadolu Kavağı where you can walk up to the ruined Yoros Kalesi fortress and look out over the Black Sea. You’ll be back in the city at 16:40 – plenty of time to see the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. The sights mentioned here are within easy reach if you’re on foot. Istanbul also has a good metro system, the journey planner can be found here.
4 🚌Istanbul to Çanakkale (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 11:55 🏨Artur Hotel (Book >) See all hotels >
Hop on the Metro to Otogar İstasyonu for your bus to Çanakkale. Join a tour to Troy at 13:00 – marvel at the excavatations and reproduction Trojan horse, then return at 17:00. There’s another Trojan horse model in town if you fancy another snap. Try to visit Troy mid-week to avoid it at its busiest.
5 🚌Çanakkale to Izmir (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:32 🏨Renaissance Izmir (Book >) See all hotels >
Izmir is over 5,000 years old and you’ll want to head straight for the buzz of Konak Square. Alternatively, catch a later bus and visit the Gallipoli battlefields from Çanakkale. In the evening explores the streets of Izmir’s Alsancak. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Spend the day on a tour visiting the breathtaking ruins at Ephesus and St Mary’s House. Avoid the dark and narrow alleys in Alsancak at night.
7 🚌Izmir to Fethiye(Book >) Dep: 10:01 Arr: 16:00 🏨Jiva Beach Resort (Book >) See all hotels >
Today you’re on your way to the gorgeous coastline of Lycia. Look out for signpost number 6 and head up hill for a superb view from Ojstrica.
8-9 Fethiye not only is surrounded by beautiful beaches but also boasts ancient sarcophaguses in town as well as cave tombs in the cliffs. You may also wish to go on a thoroughly enjoyable 12 Island boat cruise or take a dolmuş to the Blue Lagoon. Consider renting a car in Fethiye for easy travel to and from the beaches.
10 🚌Fethiye to Kas
(Book >)
Dep: 09:45 Arr: 11:55 🏨Hotel Sonne (Book >) See all hotels >
Join a diving or snorkelling or diving trip in Kas then, in the evening, soak up the atmosphere in the cute streets and main square. You may want to invest in your own snorkelling kit to visit Kucuk Cakil or Buyuk Cakil beach for free
11 🚌Kas to Antalya Dep: Every 1.15 hours Arr: About 4hrs later 🏨Dogan Hotel (Book >) See all hotels >
In Antalya visit the many sights of Kaleiçi (the old quarter), including the famous fluted minaret, the fortified Roman port and the ruins of Kesik Minare. Ask your hotel to call Bati Antalya on (242)-836-36-77 to book your bus ticket.
12 ✈Antalya to Kayseri
(Book >)
🚕Kayseri to Ürgüp (Book >)
Dep: Morning

Dep: 12:30

Arr: Morning

Arr: 14:20

🏨Perimasali Cave Hotel (Book >) See all hotels >
Ürgüp is the perfect base from which to explore this part of Cappadocia. This is also considered one of the best places in which to enjoy a hot air balloon ride, especially at sunset. Book your transfer to Antalya airport here.
13 A full day in which to explore the trails along the surrounding valleys. This site will help you to plan them out. Be sure to take plenty of water with you on hikes, especially in summer, and aware that lone women have in the past been attacked.
14 🚕Ürgüp to Kayseri
✈Kayseri to Istanbul (Book >)
✈Istanbul to Home
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: 08:50
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Evening
What did you think of this Western Turkey itinerary? Leave your feedback below
Book a transfer to Kayseri airport.
Budget
1 ✈Istanbul (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Second Home Hostel(Book >) See all hotels >
You’ll arrive in time to hear the last couple of muezzin calls to prayer – an evocative soundtrack for your visit. Get your bearings from the top of Galata Tower. It’s recommended that you obtain an e-visa for Turkey before you arrive. Apply here.
2 An action-packed day starting with a visit to the immense Aya Sofya. Just next to the mosque is the fascinating Basilica Cistern, the scene of many movies. Nearby is the unmissable (be sure to take in the Blue Mosque on the way) Topkapi Palace where you’ll find peaceful courtyards, a rich treasury and incredible views across the Bosphorus. You will need to dress modestly in order to visit the mosques. Bear in mind that you will also have to take your shoes off before entering.
3 At 10:35 embark on a ferry tour from Eminönü docks up the beautiful Bosphorus to Anadolu Kavağı where you can walk up to the ruined Yoros Kalesi fortress and look out over the Black Sea. You’ll be back in the city at 16:40 – plenty of time to see the Grand Bazaar and Spice Market. The sights mentioned here are within easy reach if you’re on foot. Istanbul also has a good metro system, the journey planner can be found here.
4 🚌Istanbul to Çanakkale (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 11:55 🏨Güven otel (Book >) See all hotels >
Hop on the Metro to Otogar İstasyonu for your bus to Çanakkale. Dolmuses leave Çanakkale for Troy every hour on the hour, with the last one returning at 17:30. There’s another Trojan horse model in town if you fancy another snap. Try to visit Troy mid-week to avoid it at its busiest.
5 🚌Çanakkale to Izmir (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:32 🏨Piano Hotel (Book >) See all hotels >
Izmir is over 5,000 years old and you’ll want to head straight for the buzz of Konak Square. Alternatively, catch a later bus and visit the Gallipoli battlefields from Çanakkale. In the evening explores the streets of Izmir’s Alsancak. Kumru is a delicious warm sandwich made of sesame bread, Turkish sausage (veggie options also available), grilled cheese and tomatoes.
6 Take a dolmus to Selcuk bus station and then another to the breathtaking ruins at Ephesus and St Mary’s House. Avoid the dark and narrow alleys in Alsancak at night.
7 🚌Izmir to Fethiye(Book >) Dep: 10:01 Arr: 16:00 🏨Sakura Hostel (Book >) See all hotels >
Today you’re on your way to the gorgeous coastline of Lycia. Look out for signpost number 6 and head up hill for a superb view from Ojstrica.
8-9 Fethiye not only is surrounded by beautiful beaches but also boasts ancient sarcophaguses in town as well as cave tombs in the cliffs. You may also wish to go on a thoroughly enjoyable 12 Island boat cruise or take a dolmuş to the Blue Lagoon. Either dolmus or regular buses can take you to and from the beaches.
10 🚌Fethiye to Kas
(Book >)
Dep: 09:45 Arr: 11:55 🏨Meltem Guesthouse (Book >) See all hotels >
Join a diving or snorkelling or diving trip in Kas then, in the evening, soak up the atmosphere in the cute streets and main square. You may want to invest in your own snorkelling kit to visit Kucuk Cakil or Buyuk Cakil beach for free.
11 🚌Kas to Antalya Dep: Every 1.15 hours Arr: About 4hrs later 🏨Role Street Hostel (Book >) See all hotels >
In Antalya visit the many sights of Kaleiçi (the old quarter), including the famous fluted minaret, the fortified Roman port and the ruins of Kesik Minare. Ask your hotel to call Bati Antalya on (242)-836-36-77 to book your bus ticket.
12 🚌Antalya to Göreme
(Book >)
Dep: 22:00 🏨Night bus
Chill out on Konyaalti Beach or visit the Düdenb waterfalls before your night bus. Take ear plugs and a sleeping mask for the bus.
13 🚌Antalya to Göreme Arr: 07:15 🏨Sato Cave Hostel (Book >) See all hotels >
Göreme is the perfect base from which to explore this part of Cappadocia. This site will help you to plan out some hikes. Be sure to take plenty of water with you on hikes, especially in summer, and aware that lone women have in the past been attacked.
14 🚌Göreme to Kayseri (Book >)
✈Kayseri to Istanbul (Book >)
✈Istanbul to Home
Dep: 06:15
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: 07:30
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Evening
What did you think of this Western Turkey itinerary? Leave your feedback below
Book a transfer to Kayseri airport.

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