I’m taking a trip to Turkey… any suggestions?

On a recent Aeroplan pricing error, I booked two passengers between Toronto to Istanbul on Turkish Airlines business for a total of 100,000 points. Since the pricing error was short lived, I didn’t do any research or make any plans prior to booking. Now that my trip is a month out, my travel companion and I sat down last night to figure out a plan.

I’ve been to Turkey twice before, and have “done” Istanbul. However, I have yet to leave Istanbul, so this trip will be about seeing a bit more of this vast country. Over the past couple months, I’ve created an ad-hoc itinerary by booking a number of deals that have come up. It wasn’t until last night that we formalized our plans.

I still haven’t done much research on what we’re doing. If you guys and gals have any suggestions for our itinerary, I’d much appreciate it!

Night 1: After we get into Istanbul, we have a 6 hour layover. We will be taking the free Turkish Airlines Istanbul tour. We then fly on Turkish Airlines (using some Miles&Smiles points I had) to Kayseri. We stay at the Ibis Kayseri, which I got for $13.22 on a $50 AMEX Gold coupon.

Night 2: We take a shuttle/taxi/bus to Urgüp, where we’re staying at a cave hotel (no real deal here… spent $111, but got 15% off using Venere).

Night 3-4: We then take a taxi to Goreme, and stay 2 nights at a cave hotel. I got this hotel for $240, however, on an AMEX-Air Canada promotion, I will get a $200 Air Canada gift card after my stay, making the cost effectively $40.

Night 5-6: We fly on Turkish Airlines (using Miles&Smiles) to Antalya. We are staying at a Marina B&B, which we got for $114, using a Travelocity $25-off mobile app coupon.

Day 7: We fly on OnurAir (18euros p/p) from Antalya to Istanbul to catch our flight back to Montreal on Turkish Airlines business.

Any suggestions, modifications, or other comments? I would really appreciate it!


    1. Agree to Raj – Royal Balloon – we went last August to Cappadocia and stayed at the Kayakapi Premium Caves – just fantastic.

      In Istanbul, stay at the Park Hyatt Macka Palace – fabulous!

  1. Ha, I’ll be in Turkey on same glitch in May
    I booked without any research also, just like Orbitz hotels too (I booked IST and Ankara ones for about $20-$30/night after $100 off coupon)

    But I may completely change my plans and forfeit some hotel bookings, oh well

    Crazy plan
    Istanbul – Safranbolu/Ankara – Pamukkale – Antalya

  2. Few quick thoughts for you. 1. There’s a direct IST-Nevsehir (NAV) flight on Turkish airlines. Nevsehir is actually in Cappadocia & is much more convenient than flying to Kayseri. 2. You’ll want a car in Cappadocia as the sites are quite spread out. Or better yet, motor scooters. You can rent either at a bunch of local places in Goreme and probably Urgup too. 3. I’d personally not want to stay in Antalya itself. Its a huge city, so not really getting your idyllic/peaceful beach holiday in the city proper.

  3. I agree with turgutbey on antalya. if you are looking for a little beach time before you head back to freezing Canada, this may not be the ideal spot. If you rather not change your flight, then try catching a ride from Antalya to Kemer or Belek, which are both smaller scale, cuter towns, or you could change flight to Bodrum or Dalaman(for Fethiye). For Canadians, february-march in Turkey will be balmy, but i wouldn’t be surprised if all services at such beach locations were not fully-functioning yet. It’s still the winter there.

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