Just saw some 2020 tours are out, specifically the Turkey tours. This will be our first RS tour and I am beyond excited. We are looking at September. Has anyone gone on this tour in September? Any thoughts? tips?
I went in October 2018, weather was great. We loved our guide. I liked the tour the most when we left Istanbul, not my favorite city. For example, I’m glad I saw Istanbul but i don’t long to go back whereas I always long to see Paris again. That’s just me and I know my opinion is in the minority on this forum. You will likely love the tour, RS tours are very well organized and your tour mates are friendly and interesting. I’ve been on 6 and will take my 7th in December.
We arrived 4 days before the tour so we were well over any jet lag. Arriving 2 days early, if you can, helps you get oriented to your hotel neighborhood and allows you to do some sightseeing that’s not covered by the tour. Do the optional hot air balloon ride, totally worth it! Also I went to the Hamam or Turkish Bath - it’s a combination massage and steam bath and regular bath, really fun!
Check out the scrapbook my friend did, it won 3rd place for 2018. It will entertain you and give you a good idea of the tour and help you make a decision.
Thank you for the info. I will look for the scrapbook and will definitely get there a day or two earlier to get over jet lag. I know what you mean about not loving a city when others rave. We didn’t like Copenhagen but I know others do. Which airline did you take?
We flew Turkish Air direct from Atlanta to Istanbul, about 12 hours. Very good service on the flight. We paid extra for the bulkhead seats and it was so worth it! We paid $1,127 per ticket inclusive of the extra legroom.
They do not fly on Thursdays from Atlanta maybe for religious reasons? You may have more choices of airlines from NY. I was very happy with direct flights!
You said you didn't like Copenhagen - I wonder why? I plan to sign up for the Scandinavia tour in 2020 and was thinking of flying into Copenhagen pre-tour and spending a couple days there and taking a train to Stockholm for the tour. I would spend a couple days pre-tour in Stockholm as well.
Just curious what your impressions were of Copenhagen. I have never been and thought the tour only spends 2 nights there so why not fly in early and visit some places not listed in the tour.
This is the thing with travel, like art it is very subjective. Sometimes it is hard to put into words why you don’t like a certain place. Sometimes it is the city combinations which adds to the disappointment. When we were in Copenhagen and we had just gotten off a cruise which went to Tallin and St. petersburg. Loved those two cities and Copenhagen fell short. We were a group of ten adults, all family. I know you move slower when in a pack and you don’t have a set itinerary like with a group tour. Also we weren’t thrilled with the food, and the bike riders were more aggresive then in other cities. We just didn’t get a good vibe. But, that is us, dosen’t mean you won’t like it. Norway is on our list of places to see so we haven’t written off Scandinavia completely.
Thanks for your thoughtful reply about Copenhagen. I had a similar experience with Istanbul, we were two women walking down the street and men would not leave us alone running after us to sell us a rug. They were relentless. We didn’t have that problem when we were with the tour. And, it was only in Istanbul, nowhere else in Turkey. The Turkish people were so gracious and kind. Truly a lovely experience.
I wish RS would do a Russia tour with Leningrad-Moscow.
I'm considering taking the Istanbul trip at Christmas. Can anyone tell me whether I should expect rainy weather? I don't mind the cold, but cold AND rain are kind of a deterrent.
Also, do you know if the balloon rides are available in December?