Has anyone used Viator to book a tour outside of Istanbul? Just wanted confirmation of their reliability. Thank you. Maryann
Viator is just a booking intermediary, whereas the trips are conducted using local tour organizations they subcontract with. I've taken two tours booked via Viator in Croatia and everything went as expected.
Thank you Agnes! So I guess it will be better (and cheaper!) to go to the source?
If anyone can suggest possible local tour companies that they've used, it would be much appreciated. Thanks again!
I used Effendi Travel for both an airport transfer and a half day tour that included Chora Church and Suleymaniye Mosque and they were very good. The half day tour was 35 Euros and was a group of about 12 people who had used Effendi for other day tours as well. They picked us up at our hotel. Their website is www.efenditravel.com and they have quite a few tours listed there. We did some things on our on - like the Dolmabahce Palace, which was easy to get to via public transportation.
Rick Steves uses SMR travel (www.srmtravel.com/) on his tours. I did a Village Turkey tour with them (as part of a Rick Steves' tour) and was very satisfied. I don't know if they do day trips, but you can contact them and ask.
The reason that Viator exists is because local tour companies sometimes don't have a web presence or secure booking infrastructure that allows people to find them easily and to understand their offerings - the mature ones do, but some don't (they may be just as good, but they may find it easier to use Viator as a broker).
I'm curious about where in "outside of Istanbul" you are going. Lonely Planet is also an excellent resource for DIY trips. The bus and train system in Turkey links just about everywhere, especially the buses.
The places we are looking at going are Gallipoli, Troy, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Capadoccia and Ankara. We saw this tour offered on another site. Thanks everyone - you have been most helpful. All ideas welcome!!
Yes Vialator is trustful sure. Your welcome contact with me via our website too and we could prepare tailor made tour for you too. www.athenticholidays.com.tr
But if you want cheaper and versatile short tours, try neon tours . They are one of the best in Turkey!
Or you can do your tour on your own by renting a car with a driver.
You have many options to choose from.
It depends on how much you want to spend and how many days you will stay..
Don't have experience with Viator, but I can highly recommend Ertunga Ecir, who is a private guide. Here is his website which has contact info. http://ertungaecir.com.
y husband and I just returned from a 12 day vacation in l Turkey where we spent 4 days in Istanbul, 4 days in the Aegean region, and 4 days in the Cappadocia region. Ertunga put together the itinerary and travel arrangements for the Aegean and Cappadocia legs of this journey and was our private tour guide for the 4 days we were in the Aegean region. I could not have asked for a better experience. Here's why:
Pre Trip: I contacted Ertunga after reading all the glowing reviews about him on TripAdvisor. From my first email contact, it was obvious that I made a great choice. Within 24 hours Ertunga responded with a suggested itinerary and his availability to be our guide during the Aegean portion of the trip. During the weeks in which I was trying to cement down exactly what I wanted to see, Ertunga continued to respond right away, providing suggestions and customizing to accommodate our travel desires. I should also mention that his English is excellent. Once we settled on an itinerary, working with Ertunga continued to be a pleasure. His price for all private airport transfers, domestic flight tickets, private daily guiding, entrance fees, and a private daily driver was very reasonable. He required a small deposit, which was easily paid through paypal. With this deposit, he promptly purchased the tickets for our air travel within Turkey and even notified us right away after finding out that the time of one of our flights changed. He continued to maintain contact with us regularly, which gave me peace of mind.
The guiding experience - We were met at the airport by Ertunga and his private driver Mustafa (in a very comfortable spacious 12 seat Mercedes van with wifi!!!! ) From the minute we met him, we instantly felt rapport. Ertunga is bright, easy going, personable, friendly, kind, caring, interesting, enthusiastic, and he is passionate about providing an excellent tour experience. He also has a great sense of humor. Not only did he share his knowledge about Turkey, it’s history and culture, the ancient sites we visited, but also shared stories from his personal life, which to me were the most precious. We crammed a lot into 4 days but I never felt rushed. Day 1 we visited Pergamon and Asklepion. Day 2: Ephesus (including Virgin Mary’s house, Terrace Houses, St. John’s Basilica, and Temple of Artemis) Day 3: Aphrodisias, Hieropolis and Pamukkale. Day 4: Didyma (Apollo’s temple), Miletus, and Priene. The information Ertunga shared about the history of these ancient sites was so rich in detail that it provided a remarkable vivid and accurate picture of what life was like during these ancient times. Also during the tour, Ertunga provided a unique lunch experience at wonderful local restaurants.
Other tour services provided - Ertunga arranged private airport transfers which all showed up on time as promised. He booked our domestic air tickets. He made arrangements for a private guide while we were in Cappadocia who was delightful, knowledgeable and very accommodating. He also booked our hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia at a price much lower than we could have secured by ourselves. Ertunga checked in with us while we were in Cappadocia and after to ensure we were satisfied with the arrangements he made for us there.
I felt so strongly about recommending Ertunga, that I told him he can give my personal contact information out to anyone who wanted to reach out personally to me for additional information about our experience with him
Licensed Tour guides cost you 390 liras daily. If they charge you less than 390 liras, that means they got no license to be tour guide.
Secondly, Insider travel in Istanbul or 'she travel tours' are reliable companies and they are affordable.
We used Legend Ephesus (www.legendephesus.com) for our shore excursion in Kusadasi last March. They did really good job. I can suggest them if you think any visit to Ephesus.
I used Eye Witness Turkey for my local tours (Istanbul) and a day trip to Efes ( http://www.eyewitnessturkey.com/).
Everything was as described in the tours and we had no issues. I found their prices to be quite competitive.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences and travel guide details with me. I have a lot to work with. Appreciate your input!
We used Turkey tours by local guides and they did a terrific job. highly recommend them.