My wife and I are travelling to Turkey this August, to spend a week near Antalya. I would like to fly back to London from Istanbul, and see some of central Turkey on the way home. We need a relaxing summer holiday, but I need a couple of days to explore. We would be really grateful for some answers to our questions:
Are there buses from Kemer to Konya? If so, are they air-conditioned and comfortable?
How about the train from Konya to Istanbul? How clean and safe is it, and how attractive is the journey?
Is there a better way of getting from Antalya province to Istanbul?
Thank you very much in advance,
Sorry, Jon. I actually took a tourist bus and/or flew while traveling around Turkey. In Istanbul, there were a number of tour agencies which can arrange that for you. Very comfortable buses, I must say.
Last year I traveled the West coast from Marmaris up to Ayvalik. There is plenty to see there, and interesting places to visit, though there are also many (depressing) seaside places for charter tourism. You can find out the time needed on the turkeytravelplanner website, it has lots of information. You would have to give it a few days though, because the distances are quite large, unless you want to spend all the time on the bus. Bodrum has an interesting museum and the mausoleum, Ephesus is one of the best preserved Roman cities, Izmir is a great city to explore, for me that was the best part of the trip. From Izmir you can take a train to Istanbul. The buses we took were on the longer distances (more than 2-3 hours) very comfortable, for shorter distances we had to take minibus which wasn't very comfortable although OK. Road network in the southwest was fine, further north towards Ayvalik quite rudimentary, but you probably don't want to go there anyway. Didn't take the train, so don't know. There is really no need for using an agency, because traveling is very easy and people are friendly and helpful, and you get around quite well with some English.
Thank you Inga, that's really helpful! What makes Izmir so fun to explore?
Izmir is quite big, somewhere around 3 million people. there aren't a lot to see for sightseeing though there are a few museums, the ancient agora, the bazaar. But what I liked was the waterfront, which is where people in Izmir go to meet their friends, or just stroll or hang out. Several kilometers of park area, with coffee shops and tea houses. Very few tourists come to Izmir so there is no hassle from hawkers and touts. Alsancak is an area which has plenty of restaurants and cafes, with a young and trendy feeling to it. Probably there are bars and the like in this area, but we didn't go out in the evening. I also would have liked to take one of the ferries to one of the suburbs, but we didn't get round to do it. This is supposedly the most secular city in Turkey, maybe that adds to the relaxed mood. And, you can go to Ephesus easily on a day trip, by minibus from the otogar takes 45min to 1 hour to Selcuk and then walk or take a taxi to Ephesus archaelogical site.
[Edited: 2011 Jun 07 16:50 - greek gal:86561 ]
If you need comfortable traveling you don't have to use public transport. It is better to book a private transportation if your budget can allow you. There are websites like <snip> where you can book these types of services online. If you decide on private transfer you can also spot and visit what you want on your way.
[Edited: 2011 Sep 02 10:56 - Jabe:6222 - No advertising on forums, please]