On a whim, friends and I decided to travel to Turkey. Since we had only 8 days available, we opted for a private tour which would cover as many places as possible. It proved that it was the best decision we had made.

Our trip in Turkey started in Istanbul where our guide Selcuk picked us up at Istanbul airport. In the first 3 days we visisted most of the “must-seesights of Istanbul such as Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkapi Palace, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Basilica cistern, Grand Bazaar, Dolmabahce Palace and Galata Tower. We also took a Bosphorus cruise during which we saw Galata Bridge, Golden Horn, Maiden Tower and Beylerbeyi Palace from afar. The shopping in Grand Bazaar was an interesting experience in terms of haggling.

On the 4th day we flew from Istanbul to Izmir in the morning, then arrived in Ephesus by car and started a full-day Ephesus tours. Our first stop was the House of Virgin Mary. We filled our water bottles with water from 3 fountains of wealth, health and fertility. Then we visited Ephesus which was so impressive and huge that we felt as if we had been back in the eras of the Old Greek and the Old Romans while our guide Selcuk explained to us the histories and the anecdotes. We took numerous pictures and one of my friends videoed the whole two-hour tour. We then had lunch at Aziziye restaurant where we tried all dishes and desserts. In the afternoon we had a sightseeing of St. John church, Isa bey mosque and the ruins of ancient aqueducts in the town of Selcuk (our guide Selcuk is named after this town!). We also visited a leather center called Kircilar Leather Art where we were so impressed by the quality and the styles of the leather jackets that we bought loads of jeackets even though we hadn’t planned that ! We had a great tour but that wasn’t just it. The evening we stayed in Kusadasi and attended a Turkish night belly dance show!

The following two days we visited the breathtaking natural travertine terrace formations in Pamukkale, and then Konya where we visited Mevlana Museum, the site of the tomb of Rumi and watched the performance of Whirling Dervishes. We were told that Konya’s pastry is famous so that we tried many different kinds and believed me we were literally stuffed ! Next, a 8-hr drive to Cappadocia.

We stayed in Kayseri and took a two-day excursion visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Goreme National Park, the Goreme Open Air Museum, the pottery twon of Avanos, the under ground city Kaymakli,Pasabagi and Pigeon Valley, near Uchisar. Two unforgettable experiences in cappadocia: a traditional Turkish bath where masseurs and masseuses using their heels and elbows massaged us and we felt like new born again after that; hot-air balloon ride in Goreme which enabled us to see the stunning volcanic lanscape and views of the Cappadocia. I have got to admit that my heart almost felt like it was gonna jump out from my throat because I have always been afraid of hights. But, what a thrilling experience. Wow! Flying back to Istanbul where my friends and I felt really sad because we had to leave Turkey for home.

I, on behalf of the rest of our group, want to thank this company which provided us the best private tour ever. Our excellenct guide, Selcuk, the transportation, the hospitality of Turkish people and the exotic magnificent landscapes will stay in our memory forever. Many thanks!

Judy Brush

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A private tour in Turkey that was worth every penny we spent!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 6 ratings