Smartours Turkey

Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 05:40 AM
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Smartours Turkey

I am interested in a tour to Turkey with Smartours. I would be interested in any feedback about the hotels, meals, guides, etc. Thank you so much.
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Old Oct 22nd, 2008, 09:18 AM
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I can't help with Smartours but took a tour to Turkey last year with Pacha Tours (pachatours.com) and it was fabulous! The guide was incredibly knowledgeable and we had lectures on culture, religion, history, political science w/o any reference to notes. I felt I was taking a college course on Turkey.

The hotels were good (what can you say about typical tourist hotels), the food was better than I thought it would be. Lots and lots of fresh vegetables, dried fruit, yogurt. I can't say enough about the wonderful vegetables!

We were on the tour for 14 days and everything was included (except tips). There were 4 optional tours (took all but the balloon ride). Of them all the Whirling Dervishes was the best.

I would recommend this tour group. They have lots of tours to choose from and many mix and match tours. I did the Western Turkey tour where you make a loop around Western Turkey, beginning and ending in Istanbul. Even though we covered a lot of ground I never felt that we had an overwhelming amount of bus time. We also didn't start early since the hotels were near the starting place each day.

We were only 19 on the bus as this tour runs every Saturday and they run the tour no matter how many people (or how few) have booked. Since all the meals were included and we ate together we got to know each other quickly.

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Old Mar 5th, 2009, 05:34 PM
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Have traveled many times with Smartours and have just booked their Turkey tour for Oct. 14, 2009. Also wondering if anyone has done this tour with them.Thanks.

Lorraine
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Old Apr 16th, 2009, 04:21 PM
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Hi, Lorraine! I'm also looking at SmarTours 'Treasures of Turkey,' but a little later than you, 10/28 to 11/10. I'll look forward to any responses. Since I haven't booked yet, I'm going to take a look at Pacha Tours, too.

I couldn't believe the price on this tour in the fall, $1699 for 2 weeks. Those are prices I paid for 2 week tours back in '00 and '01, but I haven't been able to find lately.

I've heard that Turkey is quite reasonably priced, has wonderful archaeological sites, and luxurious hotels.

I liked what Adrienne said about the guides with Pacha, as a tour guide who provides a lot of information is one of the things I look for.
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Old Apr 16th, 2009, 05:04 PM
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I would be interested in information regarding Smartours also. They have the best prices I have seen in years but I am not familiar with the company.
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Old Apr 16th, 2009, 05:37 PM
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I just looked at their Turkey tour also and was wowed by the price. Until I started reading the fine print. No lunches are included and only 7 dinners which means that there are 21 meals you have to buy yourself. Even eating moderately priced meals that could be another $300. Airfare is included but the taxes are not which is an additional $300 approximately. The $1699 price showing on their web site is really about $2300 for the 2 week trip.
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Old May 9th, 2009, 08:53 AM
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I've found that most companies do that; give you their lowball figure, but there is usually more $$ involved.
I called about the Turkey trip and the add'l taxes and fees are only $115. $300 is the non-refundable deposit that is required.

Only thing that bothers me about ST is that they have no roommate matching service. Their advice? Oh, go on the trip and when you get to the destination, you can see if anyone else wants to share. Like, I'm going to say then, when I'm in Queensland, New Zealand, or Istanbul, Turkey "This trip is unaffordable for me with the single supplement. Send me home!"

BTW, I didn't get one of their rude NYC staff, but the folks who did answer had slight accents, which tells me this is another company that has outsourced...
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