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  • Dalit Gliksman

10 Days in Turkey: A Travel Itinerary

Updated: Dec 8, 2019

Start your trip from Dalaman airport located on the shore of southern Turkey. Our first stop is a secret gem hotel built between olive and pomegranate trees in front of the ocean. This two hours drive will lead you to the breathtaking Dionysos hotel with the most scenic view I've seen. The perfect place to spend a relaxing weekend.

Discover the taste of delicious Turkish cuisine and visit one of the most beautiful countries in the Middle East. An only two-hour flight from Tel Aviv and yet feels miles away.
Dionysos Hotel

Dionysos Hotel

Dionysos Hotel

Mugla Province

Oludeniz is heaven for paragliding and beach lovers [one hour from Dalaman airport]. The city center is very touristic and crowded so I would recommend to stay in a distant hotel on the mountain or if you are into partying stay near the beach at Kessandra Boutique Hotel, a brand new Greek style hotel. For a fancy bungalows beach camp stay at Green Pine Beach & Bungalows.

Oludeniz has a lot to offer, here are some must see and do recommendations;

Paragliding with a guide costs 500TL and running daily depending on the weather. If jumping off a mountain is not your desire, you can take the bus to the takeoff point and

watch all those crazy people jumping off a cliff [departs daily at 14:00 from the bus station].

Paragliding in Oludeniz

Hop on a cruise to Butterfly Valley, we tried hiking down from the village and realized that reaching the beach requires using ropes and professional gear so we had to turn back.

Take 20 min bus to Kayakoy old city; an ancient Roman Greek city that was massacred by the Ottoman Empire and vanished by 1918. This historic site is one of the most unique place I visited, never seen something like that before. From Kayakoy follow the trail back to Oludeniz [7K] and gain the breathtaking view of Oludeniez turquoise bay. Or return by bus.

Don't miss the delicious Turkish pancake at Bulentin Yeri [located on the main road].

Butterfly Valley, Oludeniz

Kayakoy Old City

Fethia; take 20 min bus to visit Fethia Tuesday Market to experience the local vibes and Paspatur street to taste the best Turkish delight at Servet Sekerleme shop.

Kayak or sup at Blue Lagoon beach, a stunning turquoise lagoon between the mountains. Eat like local at this hidden delicious homemade restaurant Sema Gozleme, I recommend manti and stuffed grape leaves dish. From the moment we found this restaurant, we literally ate there everyday.

Manti at Seme Gozleme

Fethia Market

The most famous trail in Turkey starts from Oludeniz and goes on the coast line all the way to Anatalya; The Lycian Way. It's possible to hike the trail's second day route from Oludeniz to Faralya and return by bus, trailhead starts at Montana Pine Resort.

Turkish Pancake at Bulentin Yeri Kayakoy


From Oludeniz, catch a one hour flight to Nevashir, Cappadocia. There are many towns to stay in Cappadocia, we choose Goreme. I recommend Artemis Cave Suites or Sultan Cave Suites famous for it's outstanding view of Cappadocia's hot air balloon.

We booked our hot air balloon flight through the hotel after trying few agencies that were sold out. All flights starts only at sunrise [05:00 am] and depends on fragile weather. Also, it's a quit expensive experience [around 180$ per person] and watching the hot air balloon departure from the hotel balcony at sunrise is also unforgettable, exciting and free.

Artemis Cave Hotel, Gorme

Love Valley, Goreme

There are two options to explore Cappadocia, renting a car and visiting each site independently or joining a guided tour. We choose the Green tour booked through the hotel, costs 50$ per person [includes guide fees, lunch and all sights entrance fees].

The Red tour goes around Goreme and doesn't require a car. All trails are short easy to walk.

Selime Monastery, Cappadocia

Ihlara Valley, Cappadocia

The green tour goes to gorgeous Selime Monastery, a rock-cut construction from 8th century BC. with a rare view and well kept cathedral. The next stop is Ihlara Valley and Pidgin Valley.

The next day, catch a local bus to Love Valley start point and go all the way down through the valley back to Goreme. We hitchhiked a taxi on the way back.

We skipped the Open Air Museum since it was too crowded but the area surrounding it is absolutely gorgeous. I also recommend to walk across Goreme and find a hidden view points for sunset. Two very good restaurants you absolutely must try is; Sedef [book in advance] and Dibek. Another popular experience in Goreme is to visit the famous carpet shop Galerie Ikman and feel like a model for one day as you take a professional photo with the carpets setting.

Pidgin Valley. Cappadocia

Goreme, Cappadocia

Hot Air Balloon Cappadocia

Adana Kebab

Katmer Dessert

Istanbul; The capital of Turkish culinary, colorful and modern. There are so many neighborhoods to visit, my favorite ones are:

Kadikoy; book your stay at Kadikoy, a neighborhood with young vibes, night life and so many restaurants to try. Almost any dish you'll try will be delicious, but I choose one place we loved- Ciya Sofrasi famous for it's well know chef Musa Dağdeviren from Chef's Table. The restaurant offers oriental Turkish food in average prices, no need for reservations. For local sweets try Asi Kunefe or Beyaz Firin for local pastries. Visit the fish and vegetables market.

Eminonu; the next day take the ferry to visit the famous Hagia Sofia Cathedral that used to be a Greek church and converted to a mosque in the Ottoman Empire time. and spend the day at the endless market of Istanbul; Misir Carsisi, and Grand Bazzar. The market offers almost everything you can think of, I recommend buying wood products and crafted seagrass baskets which is sold in very low prices.

Galata, Istanbul

Kadikoy, Istanbul

Spend the next day at Galata and Karakoy neighborhoods; start walking towards Galata Tower, enjoy the shops and restaurants on Istiklal street all the way to Takasim Square. Take a bus or keep walking to Dolambahce Saray (palace) for an outstanding glimpse of the wealth of the Turkish emperors.

Hagia Sophia Cathedral, Istanbul

My favorite neighborhood in Istanbul was defiantly Kuzguncuk, bohemian and modern with livelihood Istanbul scene. The best way to get there is with a shared taxi from Takasim sq. or a bus from Kadikoy or a ferry that goes to Kuzguncuk. Then walk or take a two stops bus to Icadiye street. Follow the colorful narrow streets, enjoy the best coffee in the world and meet the locals. Try Cafe Mayadan for delicious home made baked goods and don't miss Kastamonu Koy Pazari; a local farmer with variety of fine must-have Turkish cooking ingredients such as hand crafted pomegranate syrup, special spices and more.

Kuzguncuk, Istanbul

Kuzguncuk, Istanbul

For advanced travelers, or if you got time take a ferry to Buyukada Island [90 min]. Away from the crowd, the island offers a magical trip to a place with historical beauty, colorful streets and art culture. In the summer days, visit the beach, rent a bike and ride to the top of the island. Eat breakfast at Bahçede Sinek Cafe or try Ada Kahvaltı. Eat like local and buy home made pickles from the peddlers vendors. Visit the historical mansions neighborhood- Nizam. Don't miss Aya Yorgi Church on the Aya Yorgi Hill with scenic view of the island. Eat lunch at Yücetepe Kır Gazinosu.

Misir Carsisi Market, Istanbul
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