heyo! I'm planning a weekend trip to Istanbul, just 3days.
But i REALLY would love to see the white crystal pools of Pamukkale, and maybe the Herapolis ard that area. I know it takes an overnite train to get there from Istanbul but I might not have the time, does anyone have any idea like tours or cheap domestic flights that I can take? appreciate ur advice. thanks
Probably not what you want to hear, but I would say don't bother. Pammukale is a really depressing place to visit 'cause the pools are almost dried up by the spa town that was built above the cliff face - those photos of the stunning blue water pools in the white rock were taken years ago. It's still a pretty enough spot but not worth a detour across half the length of Turkey over a weekend!
Make the most of Istanbul instead, a fantastic city. If I was going to do one day trip to see an archaeolgical thingy I would go to Ephesus.
erm. ı can offer u blue lagoon.. its perfect.. ı ll go there on sunday.. and magykal1 says true.. ephesus is so great place for argheleoghy. ı been there.. and ı live in istanbul it is perfect. u can fınd everythıng whıch u want fınd..
hey thanks all! alrite then, ahh so depressing, yeh it is sad how human activities have ruined natural beauty. Ok i might make my way to Ephesus. Do you know how to get there from Istanbul, and recommend any cheap ways/tours?
Maryland, u were mentioning abt the Blue Lagoon? could u tell me more abt that?
Hi there ..
I am sure that a weekend won't be enough for Istanbul ! I have been there twice so far - and planning to go again and again and again. Istanbul is magic .. Stay there ... You can find plenty of Historical sites of great interest to see there. I am just suggesting not to loose time in counting kilometers but .. stay there, feel the city magic. Apart from all well known sites, don't miss the chance to go to Eyup and Pierre Lotti (excellent view, perfect place), and Ortakoy (my fav area - ecpecially this Mosque underneath Bosphorus Bridge). Have a coffee in the French (Armenian) area, and don't fly away without trying the sweets of "Saray" in Istiklal Caddesi. One of my fav also is a garden close to Beyazit Mosque where you can do some shopping and drink tea at the same time in Turkish way.
Have a route in the Bosphorus sea by boat .. and smell the history which is so simply laid in front of you.
This is Istanbul !
I believe that there are several buses going from Istanbul to Efesus though you might have to change buses in Izmir. Efesus definitely has much better preserved ruins than Hieropolis.
Another place of natural beauty worth checking out are the strange rock formations at Cappadocia. I think it may be a long train/bus ride to there from Istanbul but there are flights I believe to Goreme.
Having just come back from Istanbul and Goreme a few days ago, I can say that Cappadocia is well worth a visit, yet it would take at least a week to see both Istanbul and Goreme and you would still be rushed.
I'm not so sure about flights to Goreme, I guess it depends from where you fly into. Nearest airports are Kayseri and Nevsehir, served locally from Istanbul and by some charter airlines flying from France and from the UK. You might have to fly to Ankara, which is a few hours away. It still might be cheaper to fly to Istanbul and take the bus to Goreme or the train to Ankara/Kayseri. From Goreme to Istanbul it takes about 10-12 hours on the bus. Some hostels offer 2 or 3-day budget tours to Goreme from Istanbul, which might be worth the money if you are rushed for time.
Having been at Pamukkale in Dec 2004, I can say that what magykal1 wrote is true too. It got so bad that they closed down the spa town, so that only 3 hotels are left standing. Needless to say, they charge a premium for their services. You can still swim in the pool on top of the hill, but be prepared to take an overnight bus out of town to save travel time as well as money on acco.
The best flight connections within Turkey are from Turkish Airlines. Booked within Turkey, the tickets are reasonably cheap (around 50 EUR one-way including taxes and fees). Yet the only way to get at them from the outside of Turkey is to locate a Turkish travel agency in Istanbul, phone them, pay the ticket to them with your credit card or via paypal, and then collect the ticket from them once you are in Istanbul or have them mail it to you. (Alternatively use a good friend living in Turkey.) Domestic flights in Turkey booked from outside the country are ridicously expensive, unless they are connecting fligths from/to flights originating outside Turkey.
Other options are Onur Air and some charter flyers, but I don't know how to book flights with them. The above method with an Istanbul travel agent should work, though.
Another thing: if you intend to travel by train in Turkey, buy all your train tickets in Istanbul or use a train pass. It is very hard getting at tickets or to reserve a berth on a sleeping car if you are not in a town with a train station.
As for Ephesus: consider grabbing a return flight from the UK to Izmir instead of Istanbul, they might be cheaper. Beaches are nearer and nicer too, if that is a concern.
[ Edit: Edited at Sep 1, 2006 2:33 PM by t_maia ]
you can find everyday like 6 o'clock in the evening buses to Cappadocia from everwhere and the prices are around 40-50 ytl...