Pacha Tours or Smartours??

Jul 23rd, 1999, 03:03 AM
lois gordon
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Pacha Tours or Smartours??

Does anyone have experience with Smartours or Pacha (Pasha?)Tours in Turkey. How big are the groups/ well located the hotels/ well organized? Particularly interested in Cappadocia area/
Jul 23rd, 1999, 05:11 AM
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I am currently working in Turkey at the moment, Pacha Tours are an extreamly large and reputable organisation, and I have heard no complaints about them, I work in a hotel, so I deal with many tourists, some are from Pacha, and we have found them to be an excellent company, a little bit expensive though. Many hotels are able to organise tours around Turkey for guests, and 90% of the times it is alot cheaper than Pacha. Best of luck with your holiday, email me, I'd loveto hear all about it....Go Nads
Oct 22nd, 2008, 07:24 PM
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My husband and I have just returned from a Globus tour of Turkey which we chose because of its timing. We had considered SmarTours, because we took their Croatia/slovenia tour last September. We were quite impressed with the company and many of the 40 people on that tour had taken from 2-6 SmarTours. One thing we liked about it was that, as long as we let the TD know what we were going to do and were at the meeting point on time, we could often do our own thing.

A friend and I are signed up to take the SmarTours "Amazing Thailand" + Angkor Wat in February. People on last year's tour raved about this one and many had taken it more than once. We shall see--since some of the area could be a bit "3rd Worldish."

Friends of ours took a Pacha Tour about 10 years ago and seemed satisfied. I think that the Tour director and the tour participants are what make a great tour. In some areas of Turkey, it is not possible to be choosy about the hotel locations, tho. The Globus Hotels were fine and breakfasts and dinners (usually buffet) were well stocked and mostly quite tasty. Ciao! mhm

mercy is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2008, 08:29 PM
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Lois Gordon,
I did not take either Pasha Tour or Smarttours, but I considered them both when I planned my Turkey trip. A lot of my friends took Pasha tour to Turkey. We took the Smarttours to Thailand, but not Turkey. Both companies are OK, I would probably prefer the Smarttours, they seem to have better hotels and food. I am not sure which Pasha tour you are considering (they have multiple ones), but if you are considering their standard 'Turkish Delight' or similar, then it is just like the Smartours, or Globus, or any other companies. I would NOT recommend any of them, not because of organization, but because of itenerires. First, they all spend only 1 day in Cappadoccia, which is not even near to be enough. Second, you will be always on the bus. It is way too much riding, and too little time at sites. Third, there will be many other huge buses following the same route, and you will be always sightseeing with the crowds. IMO, it is not enjoyable way to see Turkey. We actually took a small group local tour with (they organize tours for Globus too), plus we had some time on our own. Still, if I did it again, I would only do a private tour or go on my own.
helen63 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2008, 08:57 PM
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Just realized that the original question was posted in 1999!!! Mercy, why did you bring this ancient thread to the top?
helen63 is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 07:28 AM
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I'm sorry--but I didn't realize it either. It showed up one morning and I probably was not looking at dates. I've noticed that this is happening now and then--a glitch in the system?

I note that you took SmarTours to Thailand. Do you have any comments about it? Ciao!! mhm

mercy is offline  
Oct 23rd, 2008, 12:00 PM
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Mercy, the tour was VERY GOOD(and normally, I don't like tours). Highly recommended!
helen63 is offline  
Nov 13th, 2008, 02:05 AM
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TAKE THE if you want to be happy after your trip...

have a nice days
aral is offline  
Nov 13th, 2008, 08:22 PM
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I have not done a tour in Turkey with Smartours but have taken 5 other tours with them. I think they are the best value for the money. The group size varied from 40 people in China to 5 in South Africa. They put on a great program with great guides. Some tours were fully escorted by their own US person, others have been local guides. The hotels all have been very good, centrally located so you can do some independent travel as well. All tours were well organized. We have never been disappointed with any of the tours we took with them and it is common to meet folks on the tours that have taken multiple tours with them. We have recommended them to our friends and family and they have come home with similar opinions.
We are interested in Turkey but want to do that country on our own using frequent flyer miles. Otherwise, we would have signed up with Smartours. i have not done any tours with Pasha to make a comparison.
torimooney is offline  
Nov 14th, 2008, 05:54 PM
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I like Smartours, and would take most of their tours, if I wanted to travel with the group. However, I don't like their Turkey tour, and don't think that it is good value for the money (I am talking just this specific one).
First, this tour follows exactly the same standard route as all other big bus tours - too much on the bus, too little time in all places, skipping the prettiest part of Turkey - the Med. Coast. Second, for the same price (or even cheaper) we took a small group (up to 20 people) tour with Neontours, with much better itineraries. This is just an example. An independent trip would be even better!
helen63 is offline  
Nov 15th, 2008, 07:57 AM
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My wife and I took a fourteen day tour of Turkey with Pacha in 2006. The itenirary covered the entire western portion of Turkey in a loop clockwise from Istanbul and ended up back in Istanbul. During the tour we saw Ankara, Antalya. Epeheses Pammukle, Cannakle, Cappadochia, etc. The tour was by mini bus as the group was only nine people and Pacha has a guaranteed departure policy regardless of group size. On the loop I estimete we drove about two thousand miles and mant days we were in the van for six or more hours.This was very tedious but the scenery was fascinating.The hotels Pacha uses are three star at best but passable and the food was plain and boring. At no time did I feel that I was experiencing Turkish cuisine. In a nutshell Pacha is a budget company and their prices are hard to beat as they go to the same sites as more expensive companies. However, if you want nicer hotels and better food I would spend a bit more.Look into Intrepid or FloUSA.
twelveoaks is offline  
Nov 15th, 2008, 08:51 AM
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One further word about Pacha: when we went in 2006 they did not accept credit cards. I don't know if that has chenged.
twelveoaks is offline  
Nov 15th, 2008, 10:04 PM
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FloUSA and Interpid do exactly the same loop as Smartours or Pasha or most of the companies. And it is not the best route. So, it will be the same long boring hours on the bus, and little time at all those amazing places. While hotels and food would better - still, the experience would not be much different.
helen63 is offline  
Oct 31st, 2009, 08:53 AM
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We have traveled with Pacha several times. We did the Turkish Delight Tour and also had a private tour. A car, driver and guide took us through the area of Bodrum, on to Ephesus. It was wonderful. In May Pacha will again do a tour for our small group. I know the quality is great. They are a very good value because of the guides and expertise they exhibit. They are easy to work with and in fact very reasonable.
cellingson is offline  

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