Essential Turkey

I have had friends go on this turkey tours and highly recommend it, but I have to admit I didn’t know much about Turkey, so wasn’t sure what to expect at all, but thought why not give it a try, and as it now turns out this is one of the best trips I have ever done.

We started off  in Istanbul, and I have actually been here before, but just for one day, so my original first impression wasn’t that great. But going through Turkey with a local guide is completely different; not just for the history of each of the sites we visited, but also at night to have someone to recommend where to eat and what to order adds so much more to the experience.

The rest of the trip carried on along the same note. Visiting ancient sites such as Troy and Ephesus-which is by far one of my highlights for historical reasons, walking through a site which is said to have been host to likes as Cleopatra, the Virgin Mary,Saint Paul, and even Elton John is an experience you just can’t explain. Each location was a completely different side to Turkey; and I never realized just how vast and beautiful it is!

In my eyes the tour was laid out perfectly, having the first 3 days of quite full on sightseeing and traveling, then the next couple of days to relax by the coast, and even party a little was brilliant.

Having done other tours with different companies before, I can genuinely say that by far this was the best experience of an organized tour I have ever had. What I mean by this is that not once did we go any where “touristy ‘’ to eat or drink (unlike other tours where you can be taken to an Irish bar inItaly), everywhere we ate and drank was local, and Baris would always tell us what the best deal was. The accomodation we stayed in everywhere was just amazing, I can’t say I ever would have thought I would be staying in such gorgeous hotels on a group tour; each of them had beautiful views, service, facilities and food. The group itself was a great mixture of people, mostly 25 – 35, which makes a nice change from some of the tour groups where you can be with upto thirty 18year olds who just want to get drunk. And of course of tour leader Baris was fantastic, he was knowledgable, entertaining, and continually looking for ways for us to experience the Turkey culture.

Overall this trip has amounted to being one of my favourites after 2 years of traveling. I cannot fault one aspect of  it, other than I wish I was still on it. I highly recommend this to anyone, having come on the trip with no expectations; I leaveTurkeywith a new found appreciation of its history, landscape, culture and people.

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