Our 2 Week Turkey & Greece Itinerary

Monday, September 29

I've gotten loads of emails lately asking if I could share our itinerary from Turkey and Greece. I totally get it! Sometimes it can be confusing trying to figure out how far apart different cities are, what the best modes of transportation are between destinations, and of course what places are worth visiting.

Kevin and I were completely happy with this itinerary! It made sense, it was intuitive,  it hit up some incredible sites of interest, and it was a blast! If you are considering traveling to either country, hopefully this itinerary will be helpful for you! This itinerary is based on a 14 day trip, but could absolutely be altered for different time frames:


We started our adventure in the pulse of modern day Turkey, Istanbul. It is brimming with life and there are no shortages of exciting things to do and see!

Days needed: We spent a solid 2 and 1/2 days here. I would venture to say that you need at least 2 full days, and if you have more time, could absolutely extend your time here.

Where to say: Istanbul is pricey for accommodations. Because of this, we used Air BnB and found the most incredible place in the heart of the city! {To see where we stayed, click here .... If that link doesn't work, type "SALE! Taksim City Center/View!" into the Istanbul accommodations on Airbnb}. I couldn't recommend this place more. First of all, it's only $37 a night, and has it's own room, living room, and balcony overlooking the Bosphorus! You can see the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Galata tower, new Mosque, and pretty much all the attractions from your window!

To read more about what I recommend to do and see in Istanbul, check out my posts below:
Istanbul Day 1 {the old city!}
Istanbul Day 2 {the grand bazaar, spice market, and turkish baths}
Istanbul Day 3 {Istiklal Street}
Top 7 Things to Do in Istanbul


I beg you, if you go to Turkey, make sure Cappadocia is included on your itinerary. Yes, on a map it looks way the heck out of the way. And that's because it is. It's literally in the center of the country. However, it was really easy to get to! And this magical land will exceed your expectations, I promise:)

Getting to Cappadocia: Kevin and I bought plane tickets from Istanbul to Kayseri. Remember, Cappadocia is a region, not a city. You'll want to fly to Kayseri, and then stay in the town of Goreme, Uchisar, or others that you may find in your research! Your hotel will arrange to pick you up at the airport, and they will drive you the hour into Goreme.  We stayed in Cappadocia 2 full days, and the second full day, caught an overnight bus to Pamukkale.

Days Needed: We spent 2 1/2 days here! I honestly think you need at least two days…but you could stay weeks here and never run out of hikes or things to see!

Where to stay: We stayed in the charming little town of Goreme, and honestly, it was a perfect home base. It's small enough that you can walk the whole town, but big enough to have everything you need at your fingertips! Whatever you do, stay in a cave hotel! They are amazing!! We stayed at the Arch Palace Hotel, and it was phenomenal. Economical, nicely decorated, and extremely hospitable and welcoming! We felt like family! To check out the Arch Palace, click here. 

To read more about what I recommend to do and see in Cappadocia, check out my posts below:
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Greet Line Tour {exploring the surrounding area!} 
Goreme {our home base in Cappadocia} 
Uchisar {a hike and a castle} 


Pamukkale was quite possibly my favorite day of the trip, and certainly one of the most unique sites i've ever seen or experienced! Pamukkale is a hill of calcium deposited travertine pools bubbling with hot springs! For a fee, you can explore these pools, even swim and lounge in them all day if you so desire {which we did!! haha!}.

Getting to Pamukkale: From Cappadocia, we actually took a night bus to Pamukkale. You can catch a bus from downtown Goreme quite easily! You can just purchase your bus tickets that day, as so many buses travel at night, that you don't need to book in advance!

Days Needed: Here's the thing about Pamukkale, you only need one day here. There's not much else to do or see, so a full day is perfect.

Where to stay: We read a TON of reviews on Trip Advisor that told us to stay at a hotel called the Melrose Guesthouse! We LOVED this place! It had a stunning patio, pool, lounge chairs, and restaurant. We loved the ambiance and the family that ran it was so delightful!

To see more of my pictures from Pamukkale, click here. 


You can't go to Turkey without seeing Ephesus. It is such a crown jewel. It's the most well persevered ancient city in the world, and truly gives you a breathtaking insight into the lives of the ancient Ephesians. If you are a Bible history lover, this place is for you. It brings the book of Ephesians to life! From Pamukkale, we took a bus to the city of Selcuk. Selcuk is the modern day city next to the ancient city of Ephesus. And truly, Selcuk in it's own right is a beautiful, quaint and charming little get-away.

Getting to Ephesus: From Pamukkale, we took an early bus to Selcuk. The bus was pretty cheap, and it was only a few hours.

Days Needed: We only stayed one day in Selcuk. We would have liked to stay more, with a day in Sincire, but only could manage one!

Where to Stay: We stayed at the adorable and charming Homeros Pension and Guesthouse. This place is the real deal. The building is really old and each room has some serious antiques going on it it! We felt swept away in time! On the top floor is an incredible little terrace restaurant run by the owners! And speaking of the owners, they were like family! Such precious people! This pension is in the perfect location in the heart of Selcuk, just steps away from the bus station so you can walk there!

To see more of my pictures from Ephesus, click here. 


We only were in Bodrum for half a day because we were just catching a ferry to Santorini from Bodrum, however it was quite charming!  If you are looking for a little beach vacation in Turkey, Bodrum is the place to go! A very fun medieval city, with a castle, cobblestones, and a gorgeous harbor!

Getting to Bodrum: We caught a morning bus to Bodrum from Ephesus. Really easy and painless!

To see more of my pictures from Bodrum, click here. 

Santorini {Greece}

Santorini has always been high on my travel bucket list! And it did not disappoint. The magical white buildings and blue domes on the cliff beckoned us to another era, as did the donkey rides up the cobblestone streets. The whole time we were there, I felt within a dream! Absolutely worth going to:)

Getting to Santorini: Santorinin is NOT an easy place to get to. There's just no way around the hassle. Just remind yourself, when you're on that midnight ferry, "it's worth it! it's worth it!" because it totally is! As a result, we caught a ferry from Bodrum {Turkey} to Kos {Greece}, and then from Kos took another ferry to Santorinin {Kos is truly a beautiful island in it's own right! Pictures here to prove that!}

Days Needed: We only stayed a little over a day here {a crime, right?}, and WE WANTED MORE TIME! But, the ferry system in Greece is so tricky, that it was either stay 1 day or 4 days, so we opted for 1, which was still just as ethereal as can be!

Where to Stay: Honestly, the place we stayed was nothing to write home about. It was called the Kafieris Blue Apartments. On the positive side, it was economical, and had a really great view from the terrace! On the negative side, it consisted of 4 white walls, a bed, and a bathroom that was pretty much barren! But who cares when you can get outside and be amazed at the outdoors!!

To see my pictures and read more about Santorini, click here! 

Rhodes {Greece}

From Santorini, we took a ferry to the island of Rhodes. I was completely mesmerized by this island, and wish we could have stayed longer!! The waters hung the most gorgeous turquoise color i've ever seen, and the medieval town was one of the best in the world! Loved it!!

Getting to Rhodes: Rhodes is a lot easier to get to than Santorini! From Santorini, we caught a ferry to Rhodes. But you can also catch a ferry to Rhodes from Marmaris, Turkey!

Days Needed:  We stayed 2 full days in Rhodes, and it was perfect for getting a taste of the island. Once again, you could make Rhodes an entire week's vacation as the island is big and there is so much to see. But 2 days exploring the medieval city of Rhodes Town, and enjoying the beaches was perfect!

Where to Stay: We stayed at the tackiest place ever, the Europa Hotel (compliments of travel agent who booked it). However, it was like 50 feet from the beach (score!) and within walking distance to the old town (double score!!). There were lots of drunk European teenagers that stayed there, but it didn't bother us! We even had our own balcony that looked out onto the beach (triple score!!).

To see the beautiful waters and city of Rhodes, click here to see my pictures!

Marmaris, {Turkey}

I don't know if it was nostalgia for being our last destination in Turkey, but I still swoon over Marmaris.  This gorgeous destination was set in a cove, and hummed with energy and magic. If you are looking for the perfect beachy/relaxing get-away, go here!

Getting to Marmaris: We took the ferry from Rhodes to Marmaris. However, from anywhere in Turkey you can take a bus here!!

Days Needed: We stayed 1 1/2 days in Marmaris. It was enough time to relax, but of course, like most beaches, I could have sipped drinks and lounged here for dayssssss!!!

Where to Stay: We stayed at the Balim Hotel, which again, wasn't anything special. It was basic, but cheap and right on the beach. Plus, their breakfast was phenomenal!!

To see the lovely Marmaris, click here 

I hope this was helpful! A few tips when traveling in Turkey and Greece: 
1) Turkey has a GREAT transportation system! In Istanbul, they have trollies that run all around town that are cheap and fast! The whole country has the best bus system ever. It is both cheap and comfy. Even the domestic flights were economical! Take advantage of that!

2) The ferry system in Greece is nuts! Seriously, the ferries run at the most random of times (Like 1am at night!) and you can only take certain ferries to get to certain places. And of course the ferries only run on certain days (i.e.: you can only get to Santorini on certain days of the week!). So…moral of story…check out the ferry schedule at least a week ahead!!

3) Make sure to use Trip Advisor or Agoda to book all your accommodations! Reading reviews gave us the best insights into where we should stay! The only loser hotels we had were when we let a travel agent in Turkey book them for us!

If you are looking for tips on planning a trip, see my travel series here, and specially my post called "How to Plan a Trip" 

Happy Travels!!

a friday confessional…and give-away winners

Friday, September 26

Friends, have you noticed a trend here lately? Mostly, that because my brain is fried from being knee deep in graduate school, I tend to be pretty heavy on the image posts, and a tad light on the deeper more substantial lessons from life. It's not because I don't have much to say…I do. But this girl only has so much energy to exert in writing, and after a 12 page paper on social learning theory, I've got nothin' left to even attempt the semblance of a decent essay for this little space. It's like I use all my intelligent words to write papers, and then just run out. So if my vocabulary on recent posts looks like that of a first grader…don't judge. Looking over all my recent travel posts, i've noticed I way overuse the word "awesome". I also say the same thing on every travel post  {"this place was SO awesome!"}. Haha, oh man, what an awesome writer i've turned into.

But you know what, i'm okay with it…for now. I'm realizing that every season in life requires you to have grace with yourself in certain areas. I look back on my blog from the early days, and get warm fuzzies in my heart when I read writing that was deep and rich and full of meaning and purpose. Now everything is all images and awesome. Oh well!

Every ounce of energy has been consumed by learning how to become a really good therapist, and i'm thinking that is a good thing. A great thing, actually. For I feel as though in this waiting season, where i'm impatiently bound to school and work and things that feel "grown up", I'm reminded of how small I am in the world. I'm reminded that God is really all about the humble of heart. He's all about looking to Him for dependence, and not trying to prove anything to the world. It's freeing to know that I don't have to prove anything here in this space. I am who I am, and I'm right in the season God has me.

So bear with me as my blog may seem shallow and redundant, and have "awesome" written all over it. I love this space and I love you readers, and I want to continue to foster and create a community that inspires one another. The good news is that, while I may not have crazy deep thoughts in every post, I do have some fun things coming up in the next few months. I hope you'll give me the grace I need to dig deeper into my calling, and maybe be a little more image heavy in the months to come!

A girl only have so much brain power to go around, or at least this girl:)

ps- the giveaway winners have been notified! Thank you so much for entering to win, and don't forget to consider giving to Shining LIght International, and using your life and resources for peace in the middle east!

pss- I just updated the FAQ's on the blog. Any other questions you want to know?!?!

Marmaris, our favorite beach town in Turkey

Wednesday, September 24

Marmaris was a bit of a last minute decision for us, and we were thanking our lucky starts we got to spend some time in this haven. Marmaris is situated in a cove, on the southern tip of the western coast, so that you are surrounded by mountains on every side. To me, it felt a bit like hawaii, lush and green, with warm water lapping at your feet. Like any touristy European beach town, the coast is swarming with beach clubs complete with chairs, umbrellas, and waiters. The nice part is that you didn't pay to use the umbrellas and chairs, you just had to buy a drink, which we probably would have done anyway! After a crazy 2 weeks tromping through Turkey and ferrying all over Greece, we were exhausted. I will never forget the morning in Marmaris when we woke up, ate a delicious breakfast overlooking the ocean, and then just sat at the beach doing nothing but reading and sipping cold drinks. It sure was a blessing. 

Here are a few of my favorite things to do in Marmaris: 
1. Walk the ocean front promenade: As I mentioned, Marmaris is in a cove. All along the beach front, there is a path that walks you all around the cove. There are interesting shops, hotels, restaurants, and beach clubs. It's a gorgeous stroll, and especially fun at night when all the lights come on! So magical! 

2. Swim and lounge at a beach club: There are a million beach clubs! Find one that suits your fancy and park yourself for the day! We picked one with chill music (think Frank Sinatra, instead of House music), a little away from the main downtown area so it was quieter, and of course one where the chairs looked clean and new! There really are some great choices to pick from. The chairs/umbrellas are free, you just pay for the drinks! 

3. Enjoy a dinner at night along the water: Marmaris had a slew of incredible restaurants dotting the shores. At night, all the lights come on, and the water lights up! Kevin and I had such a hard time choosing a restaurant, but in the end chose one callad Bono. It was right on the water, was super hip and swanky, and the prices weren't too bad! They totally accommodated my gluten/dairy allergy, and the food was yum!! 

Of the two beach towns we visited, Bodrum and Marmaris, I would have to say I enjoyed Marmaris a little more. But both are great options!! Happy Wednesday friends,

ps- If you want to giggle, read my friend Erika's post about online dating here. #icouldn'tstoplaughing 

The Island of Rhodes, Greece

Monday, September 22

Rhodes was a totally surprise of an island, in many ways! When we booked our trip to Greece (a day before we left) we were literally at the mercy of the ferries to decide what islands we went to. We knew we wanted to go to Santorini, but beyond that, we were totally open to any islands! (As I predicted, you cannot go wrong with a Greek island!) The travel agent found that there was a ferry from Santorini to Rhodes the day we needed, and promptly booked it. Usually Kevin and I do tons of research on the places we are traveling to, but seeing as we found out we were going to Rhodes 2 days before we arrived, we didn't have much time to learn about it.

We were immediately smitten with our destination. Rhodes is phenomenal island, and is a jewel for medieval history buffs! It actually has one of the most well preserved medieval cities in the world, with an old wall and a castle! Beyond the quint and charming history, it has some pretty incredible beaches! The water hung a heavy blue and turquoise, I couldn't get enough {as evidenced by my pictures, hehe}.  Kevin and I spent two days laying out on the beach reading/swimming and soaking in the sweet ambiance at local cafes! If you get a chance to visit Rhodes, do it! We could have stayed for weeks!

Happy Monday!

ps- If you are still interested in getting in on the give-away, there is still time! Click here to win one of 6 prizes!!