to plan your trip to Turkey? Here's
what you need to know to do
it yourself, or take
a guided tour, or a mixture
Turkey's top destinations for first-time visitors are Istanbul, Cappadocia (and perhaps Konya), the Ephesus area south of İzmir on the Aegean coast (perhaps including Pamukkale), and the western Mediterranean coast (probably Antalya). More...
You can visit the top destinations in as little as 8 days on a tour, or on your own if you get the transport just right. Of course, 9 or 10 days is better, and 2 weeks is comfortable.
Especially on a first trip to Turkey, and especially if your travel time is only around 7 to 10 days, it makes sense to consider joining a guided tour. All the tedious travel arrangements (flights, airport transfers, local transport, hotels, guides, admissions, meals) are taken care of, and you have the opportunity to share your travel experiences with like-minded travelers who are also visiting Turkey for the first time.
In many cases, an escorted tour costs no more than making your own arrangements. Tour companies buy travel services wholesale. You buy them retail.
Even if you don't plan to join a guided tour, I suggest that you look at some of the tours described here to learn about Turkey's top sights and how the professionals design visits to them. More...
Experienced travelers and small groups may want to make their own travel arrangements and design their own trips. My TripKits ™ are sample self-guided itineraries of various lengths that can help you to plan your own Turkey experience.
You should consider having one of my recommended Turkish travel agencies help you to make your travel reservations. I do. It may cost no more than doing it yourself, and when you work with an agency you'll always have a support team of local experts to help whenever changes are necessary, or unexpected events occur.
Not only that, a good agency will suggest possibilities that you wouldn't know about, and can influence travel service providers on your behalf. More...
You can hire a professional, licensed private guide to show you around a city, a region, or all of Turkey. My recommended guides are among the best in the country. Note that a private guide is required to work through a travel agency, and cannot be a driver as well. Driver and guide are two different professions in Turkey. More...
day in Istanbul to
a five-day Turkish
adventure, here are the TripKits you
can see all of Turkey's top sights
and enjoy its pleasures, too—even
cruise or hot-air
balloon flight—in six to
10 days. More...
time means more depth and more
fun: sidewalk cafes, beaches,
ancient ruins, and more. More...
is time enough for a Grand
including sights off the beaten
Kamondo Mansion & boaters on the Golden Horn,
whole country is yours, even
the adventurous East!
Here's how to make the best of
this generous amount of time. More...
Everybody's doing it: including both
Turkey and Greece in the same trip.
It's an excellent idea, but the transportation
is tricky! If you don't get
it right, you'll spend too much time
on the road and not enough enjoying
these two wonderful destinations. More...
Istanbul and Cairo are only
two hours apart by air, so it's easy to see both
of these top-ten destinations on the
same trip. Have lunch on the Bosphorus,
and dinner on the Nile! More...
Want to know what it's like to travel in Turkey?
Read my humorous travel memoir, Bright
Sun, Strong Tea.
—by Tom Brosnahan