Bergama Theatre Bergama Trajan Temple Dalyan Lycian Tombs Kaprulu Kanyon Afrodisias Tetrapylon Demre Beach Ortahisar Volcanic Plug Goreme Sunset View Yoruk Turquoise Treasures and Volcanic Vistas draw Travellers to Turkey
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Turkey Itinerary

Where to go to Turkey, Best places to see in Turkey, Best time to go to Turkey, best Itinerary for Turkey, Turkey Itinerary Recommendations, Destinations Our Recommended Turkey Itinerary

This page gives the best places to go, in our opinion, on a 31-day trip.  For shorter trips, it is recommended that you focus on one geographic area reducing the number of places as well as travel time.  You may be able to see some of the places we left out that are in that area.  To view the first, western part of our trip, see Itinerary Map 1.

Mt. Edith Cavell, Jasper National Park
Mt. Edith Cavell, Jasper National Park

It started with doing our first ten-month trip to Europe and then by moving to the gorgeous turquoise lakes of , our weekend playground.  Turkey is not the only place with turquoise water!  The travel bug took root very firmly.   Then we did a three-year round the world (RTW) trip and worked seven years in Europe. 
All of our trips are planned using a computerized itinerary — yes, including our 3-year RTW trip — which calculates dates and distances.  Our stopovers below are shown in bold italics.  The places in brackets are visited on the way or as day trips from the stopover.  Hyperlinks will take you to the post for more details. 
We have also attached stars to each destination to give a sense of what is most worthwhile seeing.  Our ratings take into account the many places we have seen around the world.  All the places we visited in Turkey were good choices and they will all be described in more detail as we blog the days of our trip.


Where has all the water gone?
There were only a few places that were disappointing.  The Pamukkale Terraces were very disheartening with hardly any water in the "thermal pools".  They are not worth the price of admission.  Most of the water goes into pools that visitors can walk into.  I'm sure this appeals to many tourists but it is not what a thermal area should look like.  If you want thermal areas then go to Whakarewarewa (Rotorua), Orakei Korako (New Zealand) or Yellowstone National Park (USA).  However, Pamukkale also includes Hierapolis Ruins, which were a pleasant surprise.

Afrodisias and Dalyan

If you have a car you can also visit nearby Afrodisias, one of the nicest archaeological sites with some actual buildings still standing or reconstructed!  Its' fairly compact size gives a very good idea what an Ancient Roman city looked like.  Dalyan was the one place that would deserve more time -- not for the laid-back town but for the places nearby. 

Antalya and Area

Antalya is dissed by many travellers as just a big city but staying in an old Ottoman house in Kaleiçi (the old city) is worthwhile and it makes a useful base for Termessos ruins, Aspendos Theatre, and Koprulu CanyonÇıralı itself could be skipped but we had a great stay on a farm B&B. 
There are also many other places in our original planning that we had to skip due to lack of time.  We have listed these in a separate page More Places

To view the first part of our trip, see Itinerary Map 1. 
  1. Bursa ** 2 nights (Green Mosque & Tomb ***, Cumalikizik **)
  2. Bergama ** 1 night (Pergamum Acropolis **)
  3. Selçuk 3 nights (Ephesus***, Şirince *, Priene *, Miletas *, Didyma)
  4. Pamukkale 2 nights (Afrodisias ***, Terraces, Hierapolis Ruins ** especially the theatre ***)
  5. Dalyan ** 1 night (Iztuzu Beach **, Kaunos Lycian Tombs ***)
  6. Kaş ** 2 nights (Ölüdeniz, Patara ***, Kaputaş Beach *, Kekova Sound ***)
  7. Çıralı 1 night
  8. Kızkalesi 1 night (via Demre to Finike for beautiful turquoise coastal views **)
  9. Goreme **** 4 nights (hikes and hoodoos ***, Sunset Point***, Uchisar*, Çavuşin, Avanos, Urgup, Ortahisar **, Mustafapaşa *, Soganli **)
  10. Safranbolu *** 2 nights (don't miss
    Yörük ** 10 km away: both are Ottoman towns)
  11. Istanbul **** 4 nights

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