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Friday, May 7th 2021

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YOW." - Chris Myden

Ottawa to Istanbul, Turkey - from $693 roundtrip after taxes!

I've been waiting a long time for this! Turkey has always been near the top of my list of places on this planet that I want to check out (and it's a long list). Fares are *never* cheap though, and usually hover around a minimum of $1100-$1200 roundtrip after taxes.

But then KLM decided to have a contest, and thanks to a little assistance from YOW Deals followers, well, here we are. I can't emphasize enough how rare an opportunity this is. If you've ever wanted to visit Turkey at an insane price, this is your chance.

At the time of this writing they haven't officially announced the winner, but I can see that they've already loaded the cheap fares to Istanbul into the system on KLM.com. In fact, I just bought my tickets. The bottom price looks to be $693 roundtrip after taxes, but the majority are in the range of $750 roundtrip after taxes (as KLM promised they would be), depending on the dates.

To find them, you can just go to http://www.klm.com and search for flights from Ottawa to Istanbul.

The cheap fare period is from mid October 2012 to May 5th of 2013 ! So it's a pretty wide date range that you can choose from. KLM has stated that the cheap fares will be in the system for 48 hours.

Personally, I would aim for October 2012 or late April 2013. Both would be great times to visit Turkey, with good weather and less tourists. Here's a link to historical weather for Istanbul.

Update: People have also reported booking with a multiple-night stopover in Amsterdam for pretty much the same price. 2 trips in one! For those that don't know how to do this, it's really easy. I've created a short tutorial, which you can find in the forums.

screenshot from KLM.com

I've already created a Google Map to outline the places in Turkey I want to check out:


Istanbul, Turkey

Cappadocia, Turkey

Pamukkale, Turkey

If you can't tell, I'm pretty excited about this deal! If anyone has any recommendations on places to check out in Turkey, please leave a comment.

See you in Turkey!

(NOTE: If you're interested in visiting Amsterdam, give it a try, you'll find it's a lot cheaper than usual as well, although not as good a deal as Istanbul.)

HEADS UP: Looks like Air Canada is matching the prices to Amsterdam and Istanbul...


HEADS UP 2: Now it looks like every airline is matching the insanity to Istanbul !

Air France (should be possible to get a free stopover in Paris)

Example search on Kayak: https://www.kayak.com/flights/#/YOW-IST/2012-10-17-flexible/2012-10-31-flexible

If anyone needs help on planning their trip to Turkey, there is a great resource from the guy who literally wrote the book on Turkey (for Lonely Planet and others) - http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/

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10 Responses to "Ottawa to Istanbul, Turkey - from $693 roundtrip after taxes!"

    Has Connie been here?
       Connie on June 12th, 2012

    Hi Chris,

    I was JUST in Turkey this past April, and you're right, fares were definitely nowhere near $700-$750. People should absolutely take advantage of this deal and April was definitely the perfect time to go.

    I went to all the places you pictured above - Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Pamukkale - and then some - Konya, Antalya, Kas, Kayakoy/Fetiye, and Selcuk. Turkey has such a diverse landscape - I think you'll really enjoy it! :)

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on June 12th, 2012

    Awesome, thanks Connie! Any particular favorites out of Konya, Antalya, Kas, Kayakoy/Fetiye, and Selcuk ?

    I'm thinking of also taking a side-trip to the island country of Cyprus.

    Has Connie been here?
       Connie on June 13th, 2012

    Out of all those other cities, Konya might be the only one I recommend skipping. Unless you have strong interest in learning about the Whirling Dervishes, the teachings of Mevlana, or tile-work, it's skippable.

    Antalya - lovely seaside city, quite touristy with lots of Russians and Germans apparently. A good base for visiting ruins....the outdoor theatres of Aspendos and Termessos, the city of Perge, or Duden Falls. So if you really want to see old Roman ruins, this would be a great location.

    Kas - wonderful seaside town, less touristy, and therefore has a more relaxed feeling to it. Food was great, many opportunities to go out to sea via boat, kayaking, etc. And they have street vendors who sell stuff mussels - a must try! Probably one of my favourite places in Turkey.

    Kayakoy/Fetiye - I stayed in Kayakoy, but ventured out to nearby Fetiye for a visit. If you love to hike, there's a somewhat challenging trail along the Lycian Way. Fetiye has a cool fish market, and some good local shopping opportunities as well.

    Selcuk - the big selling points of Selcuk (for me at least), was 1) it's proximity to Ephesus; 2) the very cool Saturday market where they sell everything from clothes to fresh vegetables to housewares and much more; and 3) Sirince, the quaint little town nearby which also has its own Wednesday market and local wines to try.

    Hope I've given you some food for thought!

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on June 13th, 2012

    That's perfect, thanks Connie! Definitely appreciate the advice.

    Has Walsh Tallson been here?
       Walsh Tallson on June 13th, 2012

    Thanks Chris,

    I've been following your blogs for a while now and am consistently impressed with the quality of the deals you find. The Turkey flight is the first one I’ve bought and am thoroughly excited. It really seems like a great mix of western and eastern cultures, with a fantastic landscape and great people.

    Thanks again!

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on June 13th, 2012

    No problem Walsh, I'm glad people enjoy them and take advantage! Have fun in Turkey, I'm pretty excited for it as well!

    Has crystal been here?
       crystal on June 13th, 2012

    Agree with Connie's suggestions( as well as your list) !! Its been ...wow...i just realized ...14 years. Loved Ephesus, Antayla and Kas! Instanbul was fabulous too but more so because we became friends with one of the locals who took us over to the island, dove for mussels and we cooked them out of a tire hubcap....with some cold beer!!! So much to see and do! Make friends, go into the hostels and have a blast.

    Has Lisa been here?
       Lisa on June 14th, 2012

    This offer has made my day, week, month!!! I'm beyond thrilled because this is a destination that has been on our list of places visit for a long time but due to price, we've been waiting to accumulate enough points to go. We made the decision in 5min to book them and do the stopover in Amsterdam but now, with the other airlines offering the same deal, we're torn! Skip out on Amsterdam to get the points through Star Alliance (and save about $220) or forget the points and savings and go to Amsterdam?!? We'll be going for a full three weeks regardless (April/May 2013)... Any thoughts? Have you been to Amsterdam? Or is there any stopover possibility using Lufthansa or United (doesn't have to be Amsterdam - anything new is exciting!)? Thanks again for the notice on this amazing deal!

    Has Chris_Myden been here?
       Chris_Myden on June 14th, 2012

    I've been to Amsterdam a few times, and it's certainly a great place to visit. I don't know if I want to decide for you, but if you don't think you'll have another chance to visit Amsterdam I would say go for it. :)

    The only other stopover possibility I'm aware of might be through Air France. They usually let you stopover in Paris for free.

    Has Lisa been here?
       Lisa on June 14th, 2012

    May have found the winner - Star Alliance flights through Paris. Points, savings and an extra stop. Thanks again for eyeing the deal. Can't believe our luck!

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