My husband and I are just beginning to plan our trip to Turkey. We are considering the first 2 weeks of June 2013. We would like to fly into Istanbul and spend a number of days there (4? 5?), then head to the Aegean coast to explore, return to Istanbul to fly back.
I would LOVE suggestions for places to stop, how many days to stay in each...My preliminary idea was to fly to Izmir and go south from there, throw in a ferry ride to an island or two. We are somewhat budget travelers (don't need luxe accommodations), prefer not to be suffocated by tourists, but like a mix of history, nature, water, lots of food, and town life...We don't want to spend too much of our time on the road but do want to hop around a bit. I am having a hard time knowing where to focus. I definitely want to see Ephesus, but that's all I know for now! If we flew into Izmir, what would you suggest? We could consider flying back to Istanbul from a more southern airport.
Also, would you recommend renting a car, or taking buses to the various locations? If you have recommended rental agents/bus operators, that would be great (can also continue to explore forum in this regard). Are there bicycle rentals in any of these spots, if we don't drive?
I have read bad reviews for travel guides in Turkey, but if you think one is decent, please advise.
Thank you!!! So excited!