Insta Q&A: Turquoise Coast Is a Turkish Delight
My only regret after spending 10 fantastic days in Turkey last fall is that I didn't experience it by sea. Between the mosques and mystery of Istanbul and the country's spectacularly beautiful interior, I just ran out of time. Reader Carol Stern, on the other hand, is planning a visit with a friend for next fall and has wisely allotted a couple of days for a cruise. Smart move, Carol. She writes:
We would like to take a short two- or three-day cruise along one of the coasts. Can you make a recommendation? Also, we do not want to travel with a tour. Any suggestions for how to get around and where to go? So far we have Istanbul, Izmir and Cappadocia on our itinerary.
Carol, you've picked the perfect bases for a two-week visit. Istanbul, of course, is a must-see, and your timing is great, since the city's spiffing up for its reign as Europe's City of Culture in 2010, with hip new hotels, galleries and more. Izmir is the gateway to Ephesus, one of the most spectacular Roman ruins in the world. And Cappadocia has an otherworldly landscape that will leave you gasping in awe, no exaggeration.
For getting around, I recommend taking internal flights between your bases -- the distances are relatively vast. I flew from Istanbul to Cappadocia to Izmir. You can also rent a car (only for the brave), hire a car and driver (expensive) or take buses (time-consuming). There are no trains to speak of.
For your cruise segment, there are tons of options for a gulet (wooden boat) trip along the Aegean or Mediterranean coasts -- I'd choose the latter (how can you resist something called the Turquoise Coast?). You'll have to get yourself to one of the port cities like Bodrum, Marmaris or Fethiye. I recommend working this out in advance with a good travel agent or online company, because the choices are overwhelming once you get there. Tom Brosnahan's Turkish Travel Planner -- which is just about the best site I've found on visiting Turkey -- is a great place to get started, and has a good section on cruising.
Anyone out there taken a gulet cruise and have recommendations for Carol?
By Christina Talcott |
February 19, 2009; 1:26 PM ET
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