🇹🇷WESTERN TURKEY

Istanbul, TurkeyA 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 Western Turkey itinerary:

Luxury Ephesus, Turkey
1 ✈Istanbul (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Four Seasons at Sultanahmet(Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 11:55 🏨Artur Hotel (Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:32 🏨Swissotel Buyuk Efes Izmir (Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 10:01 Arr: 16:00 🏨Yacht Classic (Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 09:45 Arr: 11:55 🏨Lukka Exclusive (Book >) 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 bus Dep: Every 1.15 hours Arr: About 4hrs later 🏨Hotel Barat Lara (Book >) 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 flight
(Book >)
🚕Kayseri to Ürgüp transfer (Book >)
Dep: Morning

Dep: 12:30

Arr: Morning

Arr: 14:20

🏨Kayakapi Premium Caves (Book >) 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 transfer
✈Kayseri to Istanbul flight (Book >)
✈Istanbul to Home
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: 08:50
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Evening
Connect this Western Turkey itinerary with the Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
Book a transfer to Kayseri airport.
Mid-range Fethiye, Turkey
1 ✈Istanbul (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨White House Hotel (Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 11:55 🏨Artur Hotel (Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:32 🏨Renaissance Izmir (Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 10:01 Arr: 16:00 🏨Jiva Beach Resort (Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 09:45 Arr: 11:55 🏨Hotel Sonne (Book >) 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 bus Dep: Every 1.15 hours Arr: About 4hrs later 🏨Dogan Hotel (Book >) 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 flight
(Book >)
🚕Kayseri to Ürgüp transfer (Book >)
Dep: Morning

Dep: 12:30

Arr: Morning

Arr: 14:20

🏨Perimasali Cave Hotel (Book >) 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 transfer
✈Kayseri to Istanbul flight (Book >)
✈Istanbul to Home
Dep: 07:00
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: 08:50
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Evening
Connect this Western Turkey itinerary with the Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
Book a transfer to Kayseri airport.
Budget Cappadocia, Turkey
1 ✈Istanbul (Book >) Dep: Morning Arr: Afternoon 🏨Second Home Hostel(Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 07:30 Arr: 11:55 🏨Güven Hotel (Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 09:00 Arr: 15:32 🏨Piano Hotel (Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 10:01 Arr: 16:00 🏨Sakura Hostel (Book >) 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 bus (Book >) Dep: 09:45 Arr: 11:55 🏨Meltem Guesthouse (Book >) 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 bus Dep: Every 1.15 hours Arr: About 4hrs later 🏨Role Street Hostel (Book >) 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 bus
(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 bus Arr: 07:15 🏨Sato Cave Hostel (Book >) 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 bus (Book >)
✈Kayseri to Istanbul flight (Book >)
✈Istanbul to Home
Dep: 06:15
Dep: Morning
Dep: Evening
Arr: 07:30
Arr: Afternoon
Arr: Evening
Connect this Western Turkey itinerary with the Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria itinerary
If you don’t want to get up so early you can book a transfer to Kayseri airport.

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