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1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

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409 posts
120 reviews
1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

Planning to go to turkey on 18 august for a 18 day vacation. My wife and I and parents will be going. Give me 3 destinations to spend time. Maybe 2 cities and 1 beach? Or any ideas? How should I divide my holiday? Where should I spend eid day (muslim festival)

Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
17,579 posts
3 reviews
1. Re: 1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

I guess you are sure to want to spend some time in Istanbul and certainly this will be the best place to celebrate the Bayram-in the tourist resorts of the coasts it passes hardly noticed :(

In addition you could visit Cappadocia a large central region of the country world famous for it's unique lunar landscape and 'fairy chimnies'.

For a beach destination August is the high season here so everywhere will be busy and the south coast extremely hot and humid.perhaps consider the Aegean coast.It will still be hot of course but less so than the south plus there is always a refreshing breeze along that coastline so it is less humid.

Kuşadası is quite a large resort with good beaches and accomodation of all types and is only 30 minutes from the ancient site of Ephesus so you could visit there too.

If you would prefer smaller more traditional places then take a look at the Çeşme peninsula which has several small resorts,some large hotels and many delightful smaller boutique hotels.

You can travel between Istanbul,Cappadocia and Izmir quickly and quite economically by domestic airlines.All the routes have several carriers and are frequent.For flights check this site,click on the UK flag for English menu.


How to split your time?Hmmm,Cappadocia deserves 4 days to see all there is to see there leisurely.Maybe a week for Istanbul using maybe taking day visits to Bursa and /or Edirne,both interesting cities and important Islamic sites too.

The remaining days can be spent at the beach relaxing :)

Level Contributor
409 posts
120 reviews
2. Re: 1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

thank you so much for such a detailed reply. sorry for taking so long to reply. we are planning to come there in august a day or 2 before eid. we are still researching turkey and deciding which 3 places to visit. i will have more questions as the time nears. Istanbul is our first choice. We're unsure between marmaris and antalya etc. which is the cleanest ,smartest beach?

Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
17,579 posts
3 reviews
3. Re: 1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

Antalya has the better beaches,especially Side just along the coast.

Not sure how observant you are but if you would prefer it,you can also find several of the more conservative hotels in that area too rather than the typical liberal tourism hotels.

Level Contributor
409 posts
120 reviews
4. Re: 1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

Ok I'm officially booked now. Will be arriving in istabul in the afternoon of sat 18 august (last day of fasting). Staying at hilton istanbul for 7 nights.hope to read eid prayer at blue mosque (what time is prayer? ) After that I still have 7 nights left. Still confused. I can't find ANY flights to cappadocia. Also I want a beach with soft sand...antalya seems to have stones. What about alanya? Or any other clean beaches with powder soft sand that have an airport?

Istanbul, Turkey
Level Contributor
17,579 posts
3 reviews
5. Re: 1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

Oh lovely,plans coming together :)

Bayram namaz in Istanbul this year will be at approx 07.10 .It is sure to be very busy so get there in plenty of time.

Just had quick look at flights on Aug.25th and there are several.Use the web site I gave you before(bulucak).Key in Ist.Ataturk airport as this will be more convenient for you than SAW on the Asian side.Then look first at flights into Nevşehir and then as a second choice into Kayseri.The former is closer to Goreme(35-40 minutes) but the latter(80 minutes) often has better timed/priced flights.

The beach at Side is predominantly sand rather than pebble.Alanya's beach is a bit mixed;if you stay in more eastern end of the town the beach is sandier there.

Another option instead is to fly into Dalaman airport and go to Dalyan or Sarıgerme.Both have very good sandy beaches.Indeed the beach at Dalyan,Iztüzü is a protected beach as it is an important breeding ground for the endangered Caretta caretta(Loggerhead) turtles.There is an excellent turtle rescue and rehabilitiation centre at one end of the beach which is well worth visiting.Dalyan and Sarıgerme are close together so you could stay in one and visit the other.They are also only 15-20 minutes from the airport.

Do a little research on these and see what you think to them.

Patara has probably the best beach in Turkey but it is a long way from the airport,2+ hours......

Sudbury, United...
Level Contributor
431 posts
22 reviews
6. Re: 1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

Lovely sandy beach at Belek we were there for the New Year.

Amman, Jordan
Level Contributor
109 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: 1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

mmmm go to :



so nice area

Cirali / Antalya
Destination Expert
for Antalya, Cirali
Level Contributor
12,956 posts
36 reviews
8. Re: 1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

This is really a tough questions because 2 or 3 weeks in Turkey just the tip of the iceberg to see some of the great areas. My guess would be about 4 days to see some of the major sites but of course you can spend many more. Certainly the places of Ephesus ( Selcuk ) and Cappadocia are not to be missed and for some time on a beach and ancient history along the Lycian coastline check out the areas between Antalya and Fethiye.

As Turkey is such a large area before I can offer any real help I think you have to tell me where about you are planning to visit...

have a look at the Turkey travel Planner web site for helpful ideas..


You certainly cannot see all of Turkey within the time frames of 2 -3 weeks but a glimspes of the wonderful areas.

You might want to consider 2 ways to travel. As for the amount of days it is up to you. One can easily spend 10 days just exploring the Antalya coastal areas ( Lycian coastline ) with the vast amount of historical and rural villages with lovely beaches..The entire coastline of Antalya ranging from the city of Antalya to Fethiye is a wonderful way to spend a vacation. And some with spendid beaches and historical areas. Here are some great places to visit south west from Antalya - Phaselis, Cirali, Myra, Kekova, Kas, Kalkan, Xanthos, Patara, Telmessos, Fethiye, Oludeniz, and Kayakoy.

1. Istanbul - Cappadocia - Antalya ( Lycian coast ) up to Pamukkale then Ephesus/Selcuk and then back to Istanbul

2. Istanbul - Ephesus/Selcuk - Aegean coast - Pamukkale - Lycian coast line with highlights in Kaya Koyu and Cirali..- Antalya - Cappadocia and then Istanbul

3. Istanbul - Cappadocia - Antalya ( Lycian coast ) back to Istanbul

2. Istanbul - Ephesus/Selcuk - Aegean coast - Pamukkale

For transport between Istanbul - Cappadocia and Izmir I always recommend flying..

From Cappadocia to Antalya or vice versa either by bus or car..

Along the Antalya coastline..always a car is preferred..

Where ever you decide to go have a super trip. It will be one trip of a lifetime.

You can see my photos and the historicals sights in and around Antalya plus other places in Turkey at these pages;


hope this helps a bit to get you started in planning

There's a bit of a circuit most travelers do in Turkey. The circuit can be picked up/left off from wherever and can be done in about 2 weeks. Most people either fly into or out of Istanbul.

ISTANBUL - Blue Mosque, Aya Sofya, Basilica Cistern, Taksim, Topkapi Palace, Golden Horn, Grand Bazaar, Egyptian Spice Market. Stay in the Sultanahmet area – it’s close to everything.

SELCUK - Ephesus, Bascilica of St. John, House of Virgin Mary, Priene-Miletos-Didyma.


KOYCEGIZ / DALYAN- mud baths and Saklikent Gorge.


CIRALI / OLYMPOS – Olympos ruins, 4km beach Chimera Flame.

CAPPADOCCIA - fairy chimneys and underground cities.

back to ISTANBUL.

as you see this is a lot of moving around from place to place..so you will have to pick and choose the places that might interest you the most.

Do you plan to rent a car ?? or use the public bus transportation ?? this will make a bit of a difference as having your own car will give you more freedom...or flying from destination to destination will speed up the travel time between different area.

Level Contributor
409 posts
120 reviews
9. Re: 1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

thanks for all the help. I wanted to go to capadocia originally but my holiday tis only 14 nights. i decided to split it between istanbul and antalya (7 nights each). i will visit belek beach as it is only 40 minutes from antalya. Is there public transportation to do that? I wont hire a car because my country drives on the left side of the road... :) im sure there are other nearby places i can visit from antalya...up to an hour away...

10. Re: 1st time in turkey 18 days. help me choose 3 destinations

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