Top

Hey Guys,

Am back! This time I am here to help you plan a trip to one of my most favorite countries in the world. TURKEY!

I have been smitten by Turkey since the time I returned to India and cannot wait to go back..

Turkey has something to offer to every kind of a traveller.

  • Istanbul: City, history, shopping, sea side promenade you name it and this city has it all
  • Kas: Remote sea side village with beautiful Mediterranean views
  • Oludeniz (Fethiye) / Antalya : Beach, paragliding, day time excursions
  • Capadoccia: Mountains, Hot air balloon
  • Izmir / Ephesus: Historical ruins

Lets Begin!

Which month to Choose?

We went in the month of Sep as the flight tickets were relatively cheap (25000 INR for per person). Note: The ticket prices have recently gone up to approx. 35,000 INR per pax however the same is offset with the drop in lira.

Planning: We had only made bookings of the flight and hotels (booking.com)

Day 1: Istanbul

We were headed to our first destination Sultanahmet (old turkey).

Travel: 

By Metro & Tram :Cheaper option

Since we were on a budget trip we took the Metro (M1) which connected the Tram (T1). We bought an “Istanbul Kart” – Card that gives access to Metro, Tram, Buses.

Cost: 20TL

  • Go down the escalator or elevator/lift, and through the sliding glass doors—meaning that you have left the secure terminal and would have to pass through a full security check to re-enter it. You are now in a broad underground concourse beneath the parking garage which connects the Domestic and International terminals as well as the Metro station. Turn right and follow the Metro signs along the concourse to the Havalimanı (Airport) Metro station on the left at the end.
  • Place your Istanbulkart near the sensor on the turnstile, or insert your bilet (ticket), or insert a jeton, pass through the turnstile, descend the escalator (or elevator/lift) and board any Metro train for Aksaray  from either platform. The Havalimanı (Airport) station is the terminus of the M1 Metro line, so you can board any train—they all go to Aksaray. You can’t get on the wrong train.
  • Get out of the Metro at Zeytinburnu, the 6th Metro stop.
  • Use another jeton, or your new Istanbulkart or multi-ride ticket, to enter the tram turnstiles. Look for trams marked Eminönü or Kabataş (not Bağcılar). (Eminönü andKabataş are stations on the same line: Eminönü is part way along to the tram terminus at Kabataş.)
  • Ride the tram eastbound to Sultanahmet, the 16th stop. We got down on the 17th stop known as Gulhane. It took us one hour to reach. Our hotel was approx. 200 metres from the tram stop.

Taxi: More expensive option –  Its better to opt for a private taxi (50 TL) if you have bags with you.

Hotel: Raymond Hotel

Booking Link: https://www.booking.com/hotel/tr/raymond.en-gb.html?label=gen173nr-1FCAEoggI46AdIM1gEaGyIAQGYAQm4ARfIARTYAQHoAQH4AQuIAgGoAgM;sid=a1f4ea8b02440f9e10b587ab9a37f6f9;notif_id=6061282212;rurl=e63ddddd333bd565-main

Use this code and get a 10% off your next booking with booking.com 🙂

https://www.booking.com/s/57_6/jesal041

Cost per night : Approx 215 TL / day

We had dinner locally and called it a night.

Day 2 : Istanbul

We took a card that allows access to the following. We bought the pass at Hagia Sophia alternatively it can be purchased online

Pass Cost: 185 TL per person

Booking Link: https://www.muze.gov.tr/en/purchase?t=9

Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia

P1010677

Inside Hagia Sophia

Visit Hours: 9 a.m to 17.00 p.m during winters / 19.00 p.m. during summers

Practical Information: https://ayasofyamuzesi.gov.tr/en

Duration: 1-2 hours

Dress code: Strict. Cover your legs and shoulders.

Blue Mosque:

The blue mosque is within 5-10 mins walking distance of the Hagia Sophie. Its one of the most majestic mosques in Turkey. I instantly felt a calmness run through my body upon entering the mosque.

Note: Dress conservatively to gain access to the mosque. Alternately the mosque provides with scarf to cover up.

IMG_4541

P1010727.JPG

Duration: 1-2 hours

Topkapi Palace

The topkapi palace is within 10 mins walking from the Blue mosque. Since the same is up the hill its quite a walk. However once you enter the gate of the palace you can see few golf carts ferrying people to the main gate of the palace.

The palace is home to some religious relics and illuminated manuscripts

Visit Hours: 9 a.m to 16.00 p.m during winters / 18.45 p.m. during summers

Practical information : https://topkapisarayi.gov.tr/en/visit-information

Duration: 2-3 hours

Tip: Bask in the sun in the gardens of Hagia Spohia and Blue mosque and enjoy some local street food like the Nutella Buns that you can get for 2 TL 🙂

Bosphorous Night Cruise

Our hotel helped us with the booking of bosphorous night cruise with dinner option.

Cost: 500 TL approx for couple

The food was unlimited and the cruise also had entertainment like some traditional Turkish show & a belly dance show.

We wanted to try some “baklava” and which place better than the infamous “Hafiz Mustafa” . The shop has been in existence since 1864 and offers a variety of confectionaries. We had a gala time stuffing ourselves with the choicest of baklavas ranging from Chocolate , pistachio, rose etc.. YUMMM….

IMG_4410

Baklava at Hafiz Mustafa

IMG_4415

Turkish Delight

Day 3 : Istanbul

Travel: We ere headed to new Istanbul and took a cab to Taksim square as we wanted to enjoy the much talked about night life of Istiklal Street.

Cost : 20TL

Hotel : Taksim Santa Lucia

Booking Link:https://www.booking.com/hotel/tr/santa-lucia-suites.en-gb.html?aid=306395;label=in-KiMVZ4MmaCafgcBI90HKlwS107381436989%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap119100%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap1t1%3Aneg%3Afi%3Atiaud-146342138230%3Akwd-23623458944%3Alp9040245%3Ali%3Adec%3Adm;sid=e0db6e661beff2ce482fa535523c54ca;srpvid=d8cd621f434b0032&

Use this code and get a 10% off your next booking with booking.com 🙂

https://www.booking.com/s/57_6/jesal041

It was time for shopping and what better place to begin than the infamous “Istiklal Street”. Now Istanbul is home to some great fashion at extremely affordable prices. If you are a fan of brands then you would have noticed that a lot of them are “Made in Turkey”.

sdr

James Bond at Istiklal Street 😛

Some of the things that can be bought at Istiklal are as follows;

  • Turkish Towels: 15-20 TL per piece
  • Turkish Mugs : 40 TL per piece
  • Olive soaps: 20-30 TL per piece
  • Turkish Tea ranging from pomegranate, rose etc

Some big brand retail stores where you can get good clothes are Koton & Mavi

We stopped by the Galata Tower for some pictures and some food.

dav

Galata Tower

Some of the other places that can be visited in Istanbul are;

  • Grand Bazar
  • Spice Bazar
  • Bosphorous promenade
  • Basilica Cistern.
  • Suleymaniye Mosque
IMG_4578

At the spice bazar

IMG_4582

At the Grand Bazar

Day 4 : Kas

It was time to move on the next destination. Kas! Now a lot of people give Kas a miss but if  you want to enjoy the Mediterranean greek vibe than Kas is the place for you.

Travel: We took an early morning flight from Sabika Gocken airport to Dalaman airport. There are no direct flights to Kas. Accordingly, on reaching Dalaman airport we took a Havatas bus to Kas (30 TL per pax approx.). It was a beautiful journey with the last leg of the journey being a coastal route.

dav

Enroute Kas

 Hotel: Mavilim Hotel

Cost : Approx 300 TL per night

Booking link: https://www.booking.com/hotel/tr/mavilim.en-gb.html?aid=306395;label=in-KiMVZ4MmaCafgcBI90HKlwS107381436989%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap119100%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap1t1%3Aneg%3Afi%3Atiaud-146342138230%3Akwd-23623458944%3Alp9040245%3Ali%3Adec%3Adm;sid=e0db6e661beff2ce482fa535523c54ca;srpvid=d8cd621f434b0032&

P1010788

Use this code and get a 10% off your next booking with booking.com 🙂

https://www.booking.com/s/57_6/jesal041

This place was a hidden gem and we so regret now spending enough time at this place.

dav

View from our room

Since we just had half a day we decided to explore the area around the hotel.

Tip : Though we couldn’t do any of these, we have these things on our Wishlist for the next time around 🙂

Catch a bus to the surrounding resorts of Olympos or Kalkan. Head a little bit further to explore the church of St Nicholas and the ruins of Myra in Demre. Lycian tombs and the small ampitheatre within Kas will also attract the attention of history lovers. Basically, the town will suit many.

When in Kas, you must visit the Kekova area – either by boat trip (depending on the weather and time of year though) or else you can drive to Ucagiz and maybe take a small boat from there.

Catch the Boat to Limanagzi and Chill at the Beach, From Kas harbour there are frequent boats over to Limanagzi, a little area of Kas with several beaches. It only takes a few minutes to get there. You can ask the boat’s captain to drop you at any of the beaches.  Delos Beach is a great place to relax and swim. 

Also do not miss on the Kaputas beach which is approx. 25 mins drive from Kas. It is known to be one of the best beaches of the world.

Day 6 : Kas & Fethiye

We woke up to this in the morning!

nfd

Early morning views like these 🙂

Travel: We took a havatas bus (15 TL per person) to Fethiye which is approx. 2 hours drive from Kas. You can catch the bus from Otogar.

Hotel: Liberty Hotels Oludeniz

Booking Link: https://www.booking.com/hotel/tr/asena-beach.en-gb.html?aid=311984&label=asena-beach-O2rm1cTZVv9e4m9YxxlnxwS86530589805%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap1%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap1t1%3Aneg%3Afi%3Atiaud-146342138710%3Akwd-315482843934%3Alp9040245%3Ali%3Adec%3Adm&sid=e0db6e661beff2ce482fa535523c54ca&srpvid=c69281358c1b015c&ucfs=1&srpvid=c69281358c1b015c&srepoch=1551205354&hpos=1&hapos=1&dest_id=900039659&dest_type=city&sr_order=popularity&from=searchresults;highlight_room=#hotelTmpl

Use this code and get a 10% off your next booking with booking.com 🙂

https://www.booking.com/s/57_6/jesal041

The hotel was lovely and it was right on the beach lane with 5 mins walk to the beach.

sdr

Belcekiz beach

Day 6 : Oludeniz

It was time to kick start the day with my most awaited activity of the trip. PARAGLYDING!

Mind you Olüdeniz is Turkey’s top destinations for tandem paragliding. It takes places from the highest mountain of Fethiye namely Babadag from 6550 ft!!!

The views were surreal

DCIM106GOPRO

Yup that’s me at Oludeniz

DCIM106GOPRO

View from the paragliding

Cost: 250 TL per person approx.

Company: Gravity (there are many good companies that provide tandem paragliding however I went ahead with Gravity based on my research)

Butterfly beach:

Next up on our schedule for butterfly beach. We hired a private boat to relax and unwind. The views were surreal and it was worth spending that extra buck for the experience. Butterfly beach, when we arrived, was remotely less crowded and the water was crystal clear.

Private boat Cost: 200 TL approx.

dav

butterfly beach

It was time to head back to the hotel and head to Cappadocia.

Travel: We took a shuttle to the bus stand of Fethiye town. The are two Overnight buses one that starts at 4.30 pm and next is 7.30 pm in the evening. Journey time approx. 15 hours

Cost: 75 TL per person approx

We arrived at Gerome Cappadocia the next day in the morning. The hotel arranged for a pick up from the bus stand.

Day 7 : Cappadocia

Hotel: Kelebek special cave hotel

Booking link: https://www.booking.com/hotel/tr/kelebek-cave.en-gb.html?aid=311984&label=kelebek-cave-NGa3jgp4kcxi2Zgf_IkNxgS258623890297%3Apl%3Ata%3Ap1%3Ap2%3Aac%3Aap1t1%3Aneg%3Afi%3Atiaud-146342138230%3Akwd-57990130763%3Alp9040245%3Ali%3Adec%3Adm&sid=e0db6e661beff2ce482fa535523c54ca&srpvid=b230852e10450227&ucfs=1&srpvid=b230852e10450227&srepoch=1551207389&hpos=1&hapos=1&dest_id=-750642&dest_type=city&sr_order=popularity&from=searchresults;highlight_room=#hotelTmpl

Use this code and get a 10% off your next booking with booking.com 🙂

https://www.booking.com/s/57_6/jesal041

Cost: 500 TL approx

Trust me when I say this.. This is the most beautiful exotic hotel I have stayed in. Each room is unique and has been converted into suites from caves. Right from the food, the views to the warm hospitality of the staff, Kelebek does you right 😀 Gerome is a beautiful town to just laze and walk around. We stumbled upon some very unique souvenirs for gifting here.

Day 8: Cappadocia

We woke up in the wee hours of the morning for the hot air balloon ride. Our hotel helped make bookings for us through Butterfly agency. You generally start off at 4.30 am and the company comes and picks you up from your hotel.

Cost: 1000 TL for a couple approx. ( This was the approx. cost that I paid though I understand that the price has gone up to approx. 1500 TL for a couple).

Tip: You may want to also check if you want to be put in a small basket of approx. 10 people though you will have to shelve out more for the same.

The views were outstanding and we loved every bit of the experience. The balloon flew over apricot fields, gerome national park etc. and the ride lasted for approx. 1.5 hours

dav

Hot Air baloon ride it is.

With a beautiful start to the morning we ended the second half of the day strolling around Gerome and soaking in the amazing views.

Food:  Here are the few places where we had food:

  • Sedef: We had heard that food at “Sedef” was good and we weren’t disappointed. Being a vegetarian I had sufficient options and I decided to order a vegetable pot kebab.
  • Cappadocian Cuisine  restaurant: We were given a free basket of bread with some local yogurt mix with garlic and mint. We ended up going here twice. Do try out this place as the service is good and the food is excellent!
dav

Turkish food at Cappadocian Cuisine restaurant

  • Pumpkin Gerome Restaurant : This place was suggested by our hotel.
    Its a hit and miss place. If you don’t know what you are looking for you will miss it. Located at a corner of the street its a small restaurant but don’t go by its size. The hotel doesn’t have a fixed menu and the chef prepares a surprise menu every single day. Its a little expensive but they offer you any amount of bread that you wish for and a free fruit platter and tea / coffee. I ordered a vegetarian platter and I was blown away with the different flavors. The service is excellent, the chef personally visits each table and checks on you.

Day 9: Cappadocia

We woke up to a beautiful morning with the sun cascading its rays on the hot air balloons. Its was right out of a fairytale. Kelebek offers a wide breakfast spread ranging from dry fruits to cupcakes to pancakes to eggs etc. Needless to stay we stuffed ourselves till we dropped!

dav

I so miss this breakfast spread

Oh and did the mention the honey! Yup that’s raw honey..

dav

Gerome Museum: We rented an activa (TL 40 approx.)and headed to Gerome Open Air museum. Since we had the Turkish pass that gave us access to Hagia Sophia etc the same pass can be used for an entry here! The museum is approx. 15 mins drive from Gerome.

Pasabag: Next on our list were the fairy chimneys of Pasabag. Its located approx. 15-20 mins drive from Gerome Open Air museum. There is no entry fee.

P1010823

Pasabag

Some other attractions at Gerome:

  • Visit Kaymakli Underground City, believed to be the widest one, which consists of eight floors below, out of which only four are open to the public.
  • Watch Ottoman folk dance
  • Go for a Turkish Hamam

Day 10: ISTANBUL

It was time to bid adieu to Cappadocia and head to Istanbul for a connecting flight to Mumbai. We cherish the beautiful memories from our entire trip. Turkey has a special place in our hearts and I cannot wait to go back!

I hope this article has helped you in some way. Please feel free to write to me or leave a comment below. I would love to hear from you 🙂

Stay tuned for my next article. Until then see you…

(All costs mentioned are of 2016. In cases where I know the cost have increased I have mentioned the same)

(All rights reserved) The above mentioned article is subject to copyright ©

Hi Guys, I am Jes. A finance professional living in India but always dreaming of being someplace else at the moment. I was hit by the travel bug about 3 years back and since then my 2 happy feet haven't stopped exploring what the world has to offer. So why did I decide to start a travel blog when obviously there are so many out there already! The idea was to give you a peep into my actual travel steps. How I decided on a location, how I got about going there, how I decided to stay at a certain place, how I managed the expenses and so on. Most travel pages will give you super edited pics to woo you but I would like to display the actual facts for you to understand things better. I hope you enjoy reading my blog as much as I enjoyed jotting down the pointers for you.

Comments:

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: