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Turkey Tour Company/Itinerary - any advice?

Turkey Tour Company/Itinerary - any advice?

Old Oct 5th, 2005, 06:35 PM
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Turkey Tour Company/Itinerary - any advice?

We like longer trips, nice but not 5-star hotels, smaller groups, active but not hectic, more art and ruins than shopping. Thanks for any suggestions.
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Old Oct 5th, 2005, 07:21 PM
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This is a very helpful board, with tons of information available. If you will give some idea of when you are going, for how long, and whether you have a rough budget in mind, it will produce as much input as you can handle. You might also try the turkeytravelplanner.com website.

My husband and I just spent 4 days in Kusadasi and 5 days in Istanbul, but we did all the planning with the help of people here and on the ttp board. We had a wonderful time!
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 05:07 AM
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Hi NGail

If you write how many days are you going to stay in Turkey then I can design a tour for your here.

Have a nice trip in Turkey
Sinan
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 04:40 PM
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This is one trip we'd like to do with a tour group. We've got 2-3 weeks available and want to see Istanbul, of course, Cappadocia, Kusadasi, perhaps a few days on one of those small turkish yachts (gulats?), etc.
As I said above, we like nice but not 5-star hotels and smaller groups.
Hope to go in the spring in April or May. How's the weather then?
May combine this with a week on our own in Israel.
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Old Oct 6th, 2005, 10:32 PM
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NGail, Heres how we did it. I generally don't like tours, but knew I needed some for Turkey so, we made our own plane reservations, and booked our own hotels for the most part. I Istanbul we signed on for a day tour of the mosques, which was a good thing to do. This also included Topkapi. Most hotels can hook you up with adat tour or you can probably find an experienced guide on this board. We took taxis to the Bosphorus and got our own boat for a day trip. It was cheap and really fun. We also toured some other spots on our own. Most sites had a tour in place. We flew to Ankara and I had hired Gate1 travel before we left for a 2 day, 1 night in Cappadocia, car, transfer to Cappadocia from Ankaras airport and hotel plus guide for about $200.00. It was fine, except we stayed at an American style 5 star hotel called the Dedeman, and I would have rather stayed in a cave hotel. We then flew to Antalya, again I had made all the flight reservations at home and hired Pachatours for a 1 night hotel and the a transfer to a gulet for a 4 day excursion along the Meditteranean. The hotel was just fair and I would have rather stayed at a traditional Turkiosh hotel, but live and learn! The gulet was incredible, we will do it again one day. Do Not miss doing this. I think they run May thru September. We flew on to Izmir, where we had again hired Gate1 for tourguide and car to Ephesus and a hotel and transfer from the airport. It worked out very well. We had drivers and tours at the historic sites, but were on our own in Istanbul and Antalya, where we didn't need a guide or schedule. And the only group was for the daytrip in Istanbul. We met a couple travelling around the world on the Bosphorus cruise and have kept in touch with their travels by email. Coincidently we met many Israelis in Antalya. Its cheap, fun and close for them. Even though you aren't into shopping you should try to see Orkotoy while you are in Istanbul. Its a small district, great little side walk cafes and galleries and a cool pavillion that is the best for people watching. I wish I could go next year. Someday, thats for sure. Have a great time.
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Old Oct 7th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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Zwho, sounds like a fabulous trip.
Thanks for all the good advice!
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Old Oct 18th, 2005, 10:47 AM
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I hope that you are still checking for replies. My husband and I recently arrived from a two week vacation in Turkey. We had an amazing time and a very worry-free vacation thanks to our wonderful tour agent, Ilgin Kilnic from Credo Tours. Credo is based out of Istanbul and I found them after searching on the web and contacting various agencies. Ilgin replied promtly and was very helpful. We visited Bodrum, Ephesus, the Capadoccia region and Istanbul. She was always available for us and customized the trip to our taste and budget, which was
much like your own. I know that Credo has several pre-arranged tours but their forte is customizing trips for their customers. In our case, she arranged for all travel within the country (plane trips and cars with guides and drivers), guides for the regions we requested (Ephesus and Capadoccia), hotels (we favored boutique hotels that were incredibly nice but affordable for US standards) and she even arranged reservations and restaurants and took me shopping. I believe their website is www.credo.com. I hope this is helpful and I am sure that you will enjoy Turkey.

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Old Oct 19th, 2005, 01:58 PM
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Hi NGail;
If you do not want to spent a lot of time on shopping, you better choose the group tour carefully. Art and ruins would be somewhat in the itinerary of big tour groups but not off the beaten track or less visited sites especially for art & culture and ruins.

One suggestion compare itineraries of the big tour companies. The other is get a tailored itinerary as suitable to your desires. Third and last, do it private and join tours where applicable so you can have best of both worlds....
Happy Travelling,

Murat
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Old Oct 26th, 2005, 02:57 PM
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You may also want to check out www.boraozkok.com Yes, they do the shopping stops, but I felt like overall I got good value for my money.
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Old Oct 27th, 2005, 11:13 AM
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We did not go on a group tour for our 2 weeks in Turkey but did us a tour company to reserve hotels, buy airline tickets, arrange guides. It was the perfect compromise.

We controlled our schedule but got the benefit of a native's expertise and saved considerable money on the in-country airlines.

Check out Suleyman Cahir at Cappadoccia Tours. He is based in Cappadoccia but can arrange travel all over Turkey.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 01:15 AM
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Check out Overseas Adventure Travel's Turkey trip. Goes everywhere you need to visit, small group (ours was fabulous) good tour guides, stayed in great hotels, reasonable price. It was a wonderful vacation. I have discount coupons and could get you a little bit off if you're interested.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 04:33 AM
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Check out intrepidtravel.com. I just came back from one of their India trips,and it was incredible.I think they might fit the bill for you.
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Old Jan 11th, 2006, 09:34 AM
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We're booked with OATS for April.
Mowmow- thanks for the coupon offer, but I think it's too late to use them- we're paid-up.
Did you do a break-away on your Turkey trip? If so, were you able to work it out with Turkish Air so you wouldn't get stuck havivg to return to Izmir for your return flight to NY?
Now if they can only contain the bird flu!
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Old Jan 29th, 2006, 08:26 PM
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First of all Sinan is right. First you have to tell people how long you plan to spend? Make your study, what areas sites,cities you would like to visit and see. Finally what kind of accomodation you are looking for.

Turkey is geared for tourism and it has flourished in the country since l990 and they are more and more becoming to value the industry.

You can travel on your own. Dominate your time and route. Public transportation between towns and cities are absolutely super. All you have to do is get to a bus terminal in every city. There are bus companies, a bit expensive but they do not stop along the way between their departing and arrival points. There are others, they stop along the way drop and pick up passengers. Try to avoid them. Varan, Uludag and Koc Companies run their buses between the cities they operate and they dont drop/pick up passengers but stop for tea/toilet stops only. Rental cars available in almost every town. Once you get out of the big cities, driving on the highways are very comfotable. Last summer, I drove three times along the basic tourist route. Istanbul, Cappadocia, Antalya, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Bergamum ,Bursa and back to Istanbul. I would not recomend driving at night. Not beacuse of bandits but some of the trucks hauling goods betweent the provinces still do not have proper lights. If you do your own travelling, you may end up paying more for the hotels. Proper travel is right, if you organize a tour with a travel agency, the trip will be much cheaper, but than the draw backs are they will dominate your time and sites and they will take you to their preferred SHOPPING spots where they get comission. I have met some Germans along the Mediterrenean Coast and they were telling me that if they come with a tour group through a travel agency, they dont shop in the shops they are taken. But, shop on their own after hours of sighseeing. I am personally against this too. The tour companies will sell you tour for 12 days, 15 days, even for less days and they get a very good rate from the hotels and therefore they will sell the tours very reasonably cheap. This is how it is almost in many countries all around the world. With a tour, if you are travelling in a limited budget and time, you dont have to worry looking for a hotel, taxi to and from sites, airports etc. Othewise, you end up spending too much time. If you are not travelling in a limited budget, make your study, you can make reservations in advance in every city, every place and when you arrive, you know where you going and where you are staying. Or, if you dont want to go with a tour group a travel agency can make the multiple reservations for hotels.

Lots of information available on the website about Turkey including the one by the Ministery Turism of Turkey. www.turizm.gov.tr
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