Ruffle backpack (Avoid strollers as main transport will be buses)
Camera and Equipments
This could be one of the finest routes of your travel goals. If you want to cover all, you need 6-10 weeks, but it would be a trip of a lifetime.
Istanbul --> Edirne ----> Canakkale ---> Troy (Truva) ---> Assos ---> Ayvalik ---> Pergamon ---> Izmir ---> Ephesus ---> Milet ---> Bodrum ---> Knidos/Datca ---> Phaselis ---> Antalya---> Alanya--> Anamur --> Adana--> Nemrut Dagi--> Sanliurfa --> Van--> Sivas --> Kayseri -->Goreme--> Konya --> Ankara--> Kastamonu --> Safranbolu --> Bursa --> Istanbul
Istanbul: The city of three names - Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul was under two empires - Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Witness this city with a rich cultural history and some magnificent architecture - Hagia Sophia, Topkapi's Sultan Palace, Blue Mosque to name a few. And how can I forget the "Grand Bazaar" !!
5-6 hours (230 km)
Edirne: The former capital of the Ottoman Empire, Edirne dates back to the Sultanate and has some picturesque wooden houses preserved since ages. Spend a day here and see the beautiful old town, Selimiye Camii Mosque and Sarkoy - the wine growing area.
30 min (27 km)
Truva: This is where the discovery of Homeric Troy was made in 1871. Interestingly, archaeologists are still at work today to verify if this is actually the same Troy of the epics. You may take a halt in the city to explore this and other exhibitions.
1 hour (65 km)
Assos: If you are driving, this coastal road takes you past the overgrown remains of a few ancient sites - a port town, temple walls, ruins of old Assos. At the foot of the mountain, there is a tiny picturesque port of Behramkale.
2-3 hours (100 km)
Hitchhike or Hire
Ayvalik: Enjoy this tourist destination with its seaside promenade, old town alleyways, diving resorts and islands just off the coast. You can also find some wine growing villages in the hills. Check out some old churches in the city and hop on to few islands. A day's stay is recommended.
Izmir: The largest city on the west coast, Izmir is an energetic cosmopolitan city. Enjoy the city life, parks, beaches, Ataturk Museum. Just at the hilltop is the Mount Kadifekale is the castle that is as old as 3rd century BC which oversees the city of Izmir. Spend 2 days to not miss anything!
2-2.5 hours (110 km)
3 hours of Scenic route
20 mins (4 km)
Ephesus: Often called as the city of ruins, Ephesus gives you the idea of the city long before the ancient Greek settlers. Archaeologists have been able to reconstruct more of temples, streets, baths and living quarters than any other city in Turkey. Ephesus is a must for history buffs!
Datca/Knidos: This fishing and holiday village of Datca will give be a re-energiser in the tiring journey so far. Can Yucel Home and Old Datca houses will be soothing to see. Take a boat to a nearby town of Knidos which is as old as 400 BC. Checkout the importance of this military town and the temples of Aphrodites and Demeter.
4 hours (200 km)
8-9 hours (overnight journey)
Antalya: This is the 'Smiling beauty of South Turkey'. The important tourist destination will give you loads of options to see - mountain landscapes, city beaches and bustling nightlife with lively bazaars.
Alanya: Beaches, Water Sports, Castle, a whopping 146 towers and an amazing romantic sunset view - This is what defines Alanya. A yet another important tourist destination of South Turkey, Alanya will keep you spirtied and energised. Spend at least 2 days here to enjoy the Turkish life.
2-2.5 hours (130 km)
8-9 hours (overnight journey)
Adana: This is the 4th largest city in Turkey. Dominated by the Taurus mountains, the city is a bustling metropolis with thousands of bazaars, Turkey's largest mosque and high rise buildings. Still preserving the feel of the old town, Adana is a must in your bucket list.
6-7 hours (fastest)
Nemrut Dagi: One of the many unique things that Turkey has to offer - Nemrut Dagi is all about the ruins of monumental heads of humans and eagles. Sitting at above 2100 m of sea level, these monumental figures are the face of an exotic adventurous journey in Turkey. It gives you history and iconic photography at the same time.
Sanilurfa: Founded by the soldiers of Alexander the great, Sanilurfa sits on the vast plains of Upper Mesopotamia. Museums, mosques and ruins of ancient temples, living quarters - The city is all about history and stories.
Lake Van: Located at 1600m above sea level and surrounded by 4000m mountains, it was the capital of the Urartu Kingdom fames for its metalworkers and grand fortifications. The American Church is the centre of attraction. The route to the next destination goes through some beautiful mountain landscapes.
Sivas: The main trade routes to and from Russia, Egypt, Syria and Iran was through the city of Sivas. The town's architecture is impressive with the decorated gates of the Gok Madrasah. The depiction of plants and birds, animal heads and palm fronds is beautiful and once shone very brightly.
12 hours (overnight)
Goreme/Nevsehir: The most photographed landscape in Turkey, Goreme will leave you enthralled by the picturesque landscape of Cappadocia. Though the hot air balloons can be a little expensive for few, but it is definitely a must thing to do. The scenic view will be worth the amount. Also, Seljuk castle and the mosque are other attractions to be seen.
Konya: Museums, sculptures, precious stone carvings on mosques and madarsahs and the likes - This defines the city of Konya. Visit the Huzuri Pir hall that is always crowded by visitors. Experience the history of the city and the natural landscape while driving to your next destination of Ankara.
4 hours (270 km)
Ankara: The capital city of Turkey, Ankara is a relatively new city which was founded on the basis of giving Turkey a modern inclination. Being more closer to Europe gives it an international outlook. Spend at least 4-6 days to see many things that the city has to offer - Museum of Antolian Civilization, excursion to Hattusas which has number of palaces and temples, Kocatepe Mosque to name a few.
Safranbolu: The Konak houses have been maintained and preserved for long and the old town is also designated as UNESCO World Hertiage, Safranbolu is a charming city. The old town can be explored on foot. There are many museums, art shops, team shops and bazaars. Spending about 2 days can be a good plan for this city.
3-3.5 hours (230 km)
8 hours (440 km)
Bursa: Towards the end of our journey and just a stop before Istanbul, we land up at Bursa. Formerly the capital of the Ottoman Empire, Bursa is now a large city with numerous offerings. Grand Mosque of Bursa, Green Mosque, Green Tomb, Uludag national park and many more. Sine the city is elevated, the climate is pleasing.
2 hours (160 km)
That brings us to the end of this amazing and life changing experience of Turkey. You may take flights to your respective city. Don't forget to take some authentic Turkish souvenirs!!!