I know what you are thinking, why did we pick Turkey? The adventure started when our friend Peter sent an email to a bunch of us saying that he is in Sweden until June and might be moving to the UAE after.
I started to look at tickets to Stockholm and it passed through Turkey. The entire cost for our tickets was $510 with tax. I don’t think anyone could pass that price up.
Our adventure in Turkey can be summed up to the following: 2 girls, 5 cities, 6 plane rides in 7 days, limited carry-on, and jam-packed tours. I don’t think we have ever been on more planes than we did on this trip. We have no regrets of our time in Turkey and I am so glad we got to go.
I was so proud of us, we survived 4 days in 4 cities with just one backpack each!
Turkey has become one of my favorite places I have had the opportunity to visit. The mix of historic culture and modern innovations is extremely different compared to other places I have been.
Istanbul is an amazing city. I would recommend a visit to everyone. With the current situation in Turkey, it is riskier to go, but if you are alert and are mindful of your surroundings just like any other place you should be safe. More of the bombings, kidnapping and other riots are happening near the Southern portion of Turkey closer to the Syrian border, but Istanbul is not immune either.
Facts about Turkey:
- Most places take cash or Liras, credit cards are not used as often and Discover Card is rarely accepted.
- Turkey has been called the Republic of Turkey since 1923
- St. Nicholas or Santa Claus was born in Turkey
- Istanbul is not the capital of Turkey, it is actually Ankara
- Turkish men are extremely charming
- Time of Year Traveled: Feb/March 2016
- Total Cost per Person (Airline tickets, transportation, hotel, food, excursions, gas, etc…): $2,000
- How many days: 7 days
We booked our entire tour package through Kaletour Tourism. A big reason I did was because there was a phone number in the states that I could call and discuss what I wanted. We worked with Chevy in the states and Selim over in Turkey and they took care of our every need, the entire trip went smoothly from the time we landed to the time we left.
Lisa and I panicked a little bit about the recent travel warning in Turkey, Selim guaranteed our safety. He took care of us so well, I would recommend this tour company to anyone. They are so well-organized and the level of service is spectacular!
On the first night, Selim even met us at the airport, went over our itinerary and took us out to dinner with another guide.
What a nice way to get greeted in Turkey after a long flight?!?
Here is us at dinner.
Below is our list of all the things to see and do. Click on each link to see a detailed post on each area:
- Cappadocia: Hot Air Balloons, Evil Eye Trees, and Underground Cities
- Pamukkale, Hierpolis and Imagination Canyon
- Ephesus, House of Mary, and Temple of Artemis
- 25 Things to Do in Istanbul in 3 days
- Cappadocia: Ceramic Shop, Onyx Factory, and Turkish Nights
- List of Favorite Moments in Turkey
- In Istanbul, we stayed at Fehmibey Hotel, which is located in the Old City, which is called Sultanahmet area. It was the perfect location to all the major sites, we were literally a 5 minute walk from the Blue Mosque. The rooms were spacious and clean. Breakfast had a smaller selection than I expected, but it was still good.
- In Cappadocia, you have to stay in a Cave Hotel. They are famous for that. We stayed in Urgup Inn Cave Hotel. The size of the hotel was small, but the rooms were fairly large. I’m not sure why, but ours had a big pink bow on the outside. A small breakfast is provided each day.
- In Pamukkale, we stayed at Hotel Koray. This is one time that I would not recommend the hotel. The owner is extremely nice, but the hotel is very run down. There were holes in the walls where we could see the electrical wire and the shower did not work either. Luckily Lisa and I showered the day before so we could skip a day.
- In Kusadasi, we stayed at the Marina Hotel Suites and we loved it! It was very high-end, clean, roomy, and modern. It was in the perfect location to walk about 10 minutes to all the restaurants. The continental breakfast was amazing, it had everything you could imagine.
Hassle-Free Travel Tips:
- Check if the country needs a Visa. Turkey does require a visitor’s Visa.
- Check the date your passport expires. Most countries will not let you in if your expiration date is less than 6 months. We didn’t know this in time, so we had to do a rush order Lisa’s passport so that she could fly.
- Pack light. Lisa almost missed the flight due a delay from her flight from NYC to DC. She made the flight with 10 minutes to spare because she did not need to check in her bags. If she did not have a carry-on, she would have missed the flight.
- It’s worth paying extra for tours. They take care of everything and you never have to worry about a thing. Yes, maybe you won’t have as many “adventures” as if you ventured by yourself, but I’d rather be stress free than lost somewhere in Turkey.
- Most airlines give you 2 free checked bags. Instead of bringing 2 luggage’s, pack a duffle bag at the bottom of the luggage as your spare bag.
- In American hotels there are plenty of outlets, but in other countries, there isn’t that many outlets in each room and you have an issue with the converter. Bring a surge protector and it completes the job. This is the story of our life.