Stopping along the way to Pamukkale is just mandatory even if a little bit off the tracks.
From there, you can make your way back to Istanbul, stopping in Ankara of course. We had just 2 weeks. Because things were a bit rough in Istanbul when we went, we chose to stay in the South of the country.
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So our actual itinerary was the one on the map below. We took our time, enjoyed a few days in each destination.
I think you are likely to get better informed answers to this from your post on the Turkey forums. For sure you'll get better response in the Turkey forum. For sure add Kas to your trip - was highlight of our drive along the Turkish coast two years ago. I do think, though, that you're covering a lot of distance but probably do-able in the timeframe. The rock tombs near to Fethiye and Dalayan and Saklikent Gorge.
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As you say the choice is overwhelming. So I pose a question, is Cappadocia really a must see or can it be sacrificed to see more of the Aegean Coast? The reason why I ask is because its an 8 hour drive according to google from Antalya and only to see that one place I really loved Cappadocia area around Goreme as I did Pamukkale also as it is so different to any place I'd see before, or since really.
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But it is a hell of a way away from the coast, with not much on route I recall from Antalya by bus especially if you eat a dodgy kebab in Konya on the way!! I am planning to drive from Izmir to Alanya on the south coast of Turkey in August. As suggested to jj in the first reply, you are better asking your questions on the Turkey forums.
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Here's the link to the Izmir area forum. We drove, a few years ago now, from Izmir almost as far as Alanya, with a few detours inland along the way, over more than 2 weeks.
Where to Go
It's a long way but a mostly pretty drive, and you will pass a huge number of places, both sites of huge historic and archaeological interest as well as a number of just straight beach resorts. August will be incredibly crowded and hot in all parts of Turkey. The rental cars were pretty poor quality and the roads very variable.
All saved for another time so no worries, there. Since that time, the Terrace Houses have been excavated so we also wanted to see them. We even stumbled across the same pension so we stayed there again for nostalgia purposes.
A Complete Guide to a Road Trip in Turkey
Yes, we still had lots to see and do on the final day of our southwest Turkey road trip. This was a great day, if tiring, and as you can see from the list, lots of articles to come from this. A lovely meal by the lake before the long drive home. A note about our route: In an ideal world, we would have taken at least two more days to do this trip so we could take in more archaeological sites along the route. If you love a drive, however, 4 nights should do the trick. This town is just rammed with things to see and do. Lots of blog posts to come.
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The car is filled with diesel, the seat belts are on. Time to head off for our first stop; Kastellorizo. Ha ha, we avoided the tracks Alan. The mountain roads are in great condition now, though. Loved this road trip. Was your new favorite bar in Kas perchance the Mayor Bar? I love the vibe there and the owner always takes great care of me when there. Sounds like a perfect road trip, and when I am able, I would love to do the same! Hope you get to do the road trip — or similar — around southwest Turkey one day, Jeannine Lehman.
It was Dejavu that we happened across and just got settled. Both of us out on the road and ending in the same town. Will catch you again sometime.
Driving Southwest Turkey: A 5 Day, 4 Night Road Trip
Good to see you around Fethiye area again this year! My husband Dave loves to drive in Turkey too, and this September we tried and liked the Meltem Pension, and our first trip across to Kastellorizo, where we were amazed by the clearest of water and beautiful turtles. Our very first trip to Turkey was to Kusadasi around ,with our children.