Travel Turkey in Two Weeks

David’s dad, mom, and two youngest brothers arrived a few days after we finished school in June. We had two weeks with them to travel Turkey. David grew up taking long family vacations across the States; this time it was our turn to plan the trip itinerary. We knew they wanted to see as much as humanly possible, and we crammed in a LOT into those 14 days!


Turkey is an amazing place to explore. We lived there for three years and loved it. This is the two week itinerary we used to show our family around the country.


We originally wanted them to fly into Ankara’s airport, but because of prices they flew into the Istanbul airport (IST). We purchased Pegasus tickets for $30 each from SAW to ESB (which saved them over $1600!) and David went with two friends to help them make the airport transfer. Unfortunately, a bag was lost/late, and they missed the Pegasus flight. They ended up renting a car and drove six hours from Istanbul to Ankara. I felt so bad; they had been traveling for over 30 hours by the time they got to our apartment. (And I felt even worse because our two friends took a night bus back because the car wasn’t big enough for them all!)

This post is a little dry. There will be lots of pictures to come, but I wanted to share it as a travel resource. Dad kept saying it was a once in a lifetime trip! If you’re looking to experience Turkey, this is a FULL schedule. It was tiring but so worth it. Also worth noting: we wouldn’t have seen half of this had we not rented a car.

If you travel to Turkey, you could probably bypass Ankara and spend more time on the southern coast, Black Sea, or check out the east (we loved Rize and Van). Ankara was home for us, so we wanted to show our family.

Click this link for a Google Map I made with our points of interest highlighted.


Our two week route in Turkey


Day 1
Arrived in Turkey
Drove from Istanbul to Ankara

Day 2: Ankara
Church in Ankara
Lunch at Arjantin Kebap
Shopped at the local pazar

Day 3: Ankara
Ulus (the castle, Temple of Augustus, shopped at Yöre for pottery)
Lunch at Certioğlu Konağı Kafeterya for manti and gözleme
Picked up the rental car

Day 4: Cappadocia
Drove to Göreme
Stopped at Tuz Gölü (Salt Lake) along the way
Stayed at the Vineyard Cave Hotel
Open Air Museum

Day 5: Cappadocia
Cave churches
Love Valley
Özler Onyx for onyx and zultanite
Kaymaklı Underground City
Avanos pottery shops

Day 6: Travel Day
Sunrise hot air balloon launch in Göreme
Long drive day south to the coast
Stayed at İkiz Pansiyon

Day 7: Çıralı
Ruins of Olympus (Lycia)
Beach Time
Evening walk to the flames of Chimera (Yanartaş)

Day 8: Travel Day to Denizli
Ruins of Laodicea
Walked up the limestone hill and soaked in the hot springs of Pamukkale
Ruins of Hierapolis
Stayed at Sergent Hotel in Kuşadası

Day 9: More Churches of Revelation
Ruins of Ephesus
Ruins of Pergamon
Stayed at the Efsane Hotel in Bergama

Day 10: Travel North
Ruins of Troy
Çanakkale War Memorial
Crossed the Marmara on a ferry
Stayed the night at Gallipoli Konukevi

Day 11: Istanbul
Drove to Istanbul and returned the car
Blue Mosque
Stayed at Antique Hostel

Day 12: Istanbul
Hagia Sophia
Grand Bazaar (Lunch at the Fes Cafe – love their avocado sandwich!)
Taksim (Shake Shack and Charly Temmel)

Day 13: Istanbul
Basilica Cisterns
Galata Bridge for fish sandwiches
Spice Bazaar
Galata Tower area

Day 14: Fly Home!
The B’s had a 6:00 am flight out of Istanbul. They took an airport shuttle at 3:00 am the night before. David and I went back to bed for a bit and headed to the other airport to catch our flight back to Ankara in the early afternoon.


Photos from the trip to come soon!


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