Need help choosing Aegean hotels/transportation in Turkey
April 7, 2013 5:55 PM   Subscribe

My partner and I will be in Turkey later this month and will have three days in and around Izmir. We plan to visit Ephesus, the Dilek park, as well as maybe Samos and/or Chios. We need some help making decisions about how to get around and where in the area to stay for a few nights.

We are also very open to taking suggestions of other nearby places to visit, if you have those.

1. We're open to renting a car in Izmir (where we fly in) and driving, if it's safe to do that. We are both good drivers and both drive stick. We are also open to taking buses if that's a better option--neither of us knows enough about the area to be sure which is better. So, what's the best way for us to get around?

2. We need to figure out where to stay. We're not locked in to any place in particular, but we'd prefer to be out near the water as opposed to Izmir (unless there's a really great, compelling reason to stay in Izmir). We're looking at hotels now in Kusadasi, Cesme, Seferihisar...etc. But this is where we really need good suggestions. We would like a boutique hotel if we can find one (it's my partner's 40th, so he wants to stay somewhere nice), even though for me, clean and bedbug-free is about all I must have. So, given the freedom to stay anywhere in the area, what do you recommend?

3. Any other must-see or must-eat things to do in the area?
posted by yellowcandy to Travel & Transportation around Izmir, Turkey (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I've been to Izmir and Cesme and Ephesus. I don't have hotel recommendations since I was staying with my ex-wife's family.

That said: rent a car.

Cesme and other places on the Aegean are beautiful.

Izmir is boring and much more muggy than the coast.
posted by dfriedman at 6:02 PM on April 7, 2013

Best answer: I stayed at Hotel Kalehan in Selçuk once and it was really lovely. The rooms are very boutiquey, with beautiful antique furniture and rugs and the most comfortable bed I slept in in Turkey. The pool area is really nice and feels very secluded, with roses everywhere. The restaurant was pretty good and had a huge wine list.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:05 PM on April 7, 2013

Best answer: Another vote for Selçuk. It's a pretty nice laid back little town (though not right on the water). The Basilica of St. John is worth seeing, too. Easy enough to bus from Izmier and around Ephesus, Kusadasi, etc. I stayed at the Hotel Urkmez which was fine but not fancy - although the 2 very charming brothers who run the place were a highlight of the trip!
posted by tinymojo at 6:20 PM on April 7, 2013

I stayed in town in Selçuk and it was nice enough and Ephesus and the museum are excellent but beyond that there wasn't very much to do.
posted by mskyle at 7:01 AM on April 8, 2013

Best answer: Rent a Car. Easy driving.

You might want to consider Sirince. I've stayed here. I'd recommend it. Has the added benefit of allowing you to be in the town once the tourist hordes have left.

After Ephesus we spent a day driving and checking out ruins before ending up in Datça for some beach time. It was nice.

I heartily recommend this guide book for that area

ETA: Re: Beachyness - my impression is that the beaches were much nicer further south. Kusadasi's beach was not so super cool.
posted by JPD at 7:41 AM on April 8, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks so far, everyone. Just a follow-up to the driving: Do we need one of the International Driving Permit documents, or will a US driver's license suffice?
posted by yellowcandy at 7:56 PM on April 8, 2013

Best answer: US is fine. I feel like lots of things say you need one, and I even went through getting one, but I've never ever been asked for it.
posted by JPD at 7:02 AM on April 9, 2013

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