Turkey is phenomenal - from the bustling streets of Istanbul to the ancient city Ephesus to the crystal waters surrounding the southwestern coast. This itinerary is nearly bursting at the seams, but it will definitely help you maximize your 10 days in Turkey. Here's a map to get your bearings.
Start in Istanbul (Days 1-2)
Take a stroll through the Grand Bazaar, visit Hagia Sophia and Sultanahmet, and experience a public bath at a local Hamam. Istanbul is a wonder of things to see and experience. It's a breeze to get around (either on foot, cab, or public transportation). You could easily spend months here. Be sure to bring clothing that covers your shoulders and knees if you intend to visit a mosque.
Visit Antalya, Olympos, & the Chimaera (Days 3-4)
Fly from Istanbul to Antayla and catch a public bus to Olympos. Enjoy a few days along the water exploring the ruins. Check out the curious anomaly of the flaming rocks of the chimaera, a short bus ride away in Cirali, where a dozen clusters of rocks are perpetually on fire. It is quite the sight after trekking up the 800 meter path in the darkness.
I recommend staying at Bayram’s in Olympos, with their tree houses set amidst an orange grove. It's a lovely place to stay and meet other travelers and is just a short walk to the sea.
Sail on a gulet from Olympos to Bodrum (Days 5-8)
A gulet is a traditional wooden sailing vessel and this trip will take you island hopping through the magnificently clear waters surrounding southwest Turkey. The cook on board prepares all of your meals - all you'll need to do is sit back and enjoy the sunshine with a local Efes beer.
Our gulet was booked by the cabin so we didn't have to rent out the whole gulet. Our traveling companions were a family from Australia and two guys from South Africa. (All were excellent travel companions).
Keep an eye out for:
The pancake lady! She travels from gulet to gulet in her little boat making tasty flat pancakes.
Pamukkale - UNESCO World Heritage Site (Days 8-9)
Take a bus or drive from Bodrum to Pamukkale to see the surreal terraces and spend the afternoon lounging in the hot spring pools.
Return to Istanbul (Day 10)
Fly from Denizli Cardak Airport (near Pamukkale) to Istanbul or take the 10 hour bus ride.
If you have more than ten days, tack on Izmir and Cappadocia
The ruins of the ancient Greek city Ephesus are just outside of Izmir. Capaddocia is an array of strange rock formations, "fairy chimneys", and cave dwellings much farther inland. Consider taking a hot air balloon ride over Capaddocia - it looks amazing.