Having lived in Turkey for over 20 years, mine is a true love story with Turkey’s art, culture & mostly its amazing and hospitable people. I take it to heart to share with you my experience and my knowledge of the country so as to offer the best holidays you can possible have. According to your particular wishes and needs, we’ll create together a tailor made program that suits you, your famil...
Having lived in Turkey for over 20 years, mine is a true love story with Turkey’s art, culture & mostly its amazing and hospitable people. I take it to heart to share with you my experience and my knowledge of the country so as to offer the best holidays you can possible have. According to your particular wishes and needs, we’ll create together a tailor made program that suits you, your family or your friends best.
6 years ago
Agency operating for:
Send a trip inquiry to this agency
Tovi’s team speaks English and specializes in tailor-made tours.
Browse their tour ideas
Browse Tovi’s customizable tour ideas.
These ideas are completely customizable: duration, pace, accommodation, activities...
The absolute best part of our trip to Turkey was meeting so many warm and friendly people. Without exception they were smiling and offering us a cup of tea. Istanbul is a lovely city and the view from the Bosphorus tour was enlightening. Cappadocia was awe-inspiring. The ruins at Ephesus were the most impressive we’ve yet seen.
The hotels met or exceeded our expectations with Sirkesi Mansion in Istanbul, Kale Konak in Uchisar, and Key hotel in Izmir being exceptional. I thoroughly enjoyed cocktails with Apo, our gracious and witty host at Kale Konak.
Our guides in Istanbul were perfect.
The food was tasty and the local wines surprisingly good. Two of our favorite meals were with Memhet Ejder, his wife and son in his tiny restaurant in Selcuk. We were treated like family and this is the ONLY restaurant we returned to in our entire trip.
Tovi, our amazing travel agent, was one of the best I’ve ever worked with. She listened to my idiosyncratic demands and satisfied them without complaint.
Cappadocia is a beautiful area, but I was very disappointed with our tour guide. Extracting any information about how the local people made a living, either currently or historically, was like pulling teeth; he simply repeated the same rote details about the paintings in the caves. His English was adequate, but either his knowledge or his attitude was wanting.
The Cappadocia Balloon ride was a disaster: we departed in a thick fog, and then made an unscheduled landing (crashed??) on a snow-covered hillside less than a half-hour into the trip where we waited another very cold thirty minutes for the ground crew to retrieve us.
After an hour the rental car had a couple of warning lights but no owner’s manual to decode them. After finding one online, we notified our travel agent, who spoke with the rental company and told us to simply ignore the warnings as they knew about them and they were of no concern.
Thank you for you for your feedback. Your photos look fabulous! Did you know that the Turks arriving from Central Asia could conquer Anatolia in the 11th century thanks to their camels th...Dear Don,
Thank you for you for your feedback. Your photos look fabulous! Did you know that the Turks arriving from Central Asia could conquer Anatolia in the 11th century thanks to their camels that could stand the Anatolian winters whereas the camels of the Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula couldn't, therefore they never succeeded (not for lack of trying)?
I'm glad you liked the istanbul guides, both are excellent and sorry it didn't go well with the Cappadocia guide. As warned, Turkey in winter in not easy, especially in Cappadocia that is at a hight altitude. The weather conditions were,as far as I am concerned, not suitable for a hot air balloon ride that day, I'm quite surprised that the Civil Aviaton Authority allowed the flights that morning at all! It should have been cancelled, as was the 2nd round that was supposed to take off just after yours. I'm sure you'd have a totally different impression had the weather been better.
Anyway, it was greaf fun working with you, I love your sense of humour! Please come back at a different season to get another look at Turkeys wonderful landscapes in a different light. You need to check out the south coast :o). June, for example, is a good time.
Keep in touch, warm regards,
January 10, 2019
First working with our agent in Istanbul, Tovi, was a great experience. We joined our friends trip after it had been planned and she was a great help to bring us up to speed and include us in all communication.
We liked Istanbul very much. The superior top floor rooms at Sirkeci Mansion were wonderful. It has an excellent location and wonderful staff. Our Istanbul guide, Ergul, was fantastic. She was very knowledgeable, friendly and spoke excellent English. She warned us that the Blue Mosque was under renovation and we wouldn't see it at its best, and in consideration of that she managed to get us inside without waiting in the long line. We expressed interest in Suleyman Mosque and she was excited to take us there. It was amazing. The food tour was fun since we got to try a lot of different uniquely local foods.
The Kale Konak Hotel in Uchisar was atmospheric and the staff was lovely. They had a wonderful breakfast and a beautiful hammam. The underground city of Kaymakli was fabulous as were the Open Air Museum of Goreme, the village of Zelve and the fairy chimneys. We had a fun evening at Memories with an entertaining host and the best Testi Kebabi.
We absolutely loved Ephesus and enjoyed Sirence with a stab at trying Turkish coffee. The family-run Ejder Restaurant in Selcuk was so enjoyable we went twice. We thought Aphrodisias was fantastic and Pamukkale/Hierapolis was uniquely amazing. Enroute to Izmir we stopped at the phenomenal Gymnasium at Sardes.
The superior room at Izmir's Key Hotel was fabulous and the shower at Venus Suites was the best.
I've never taken a food tour but in the Turkish world of exotic spices I thought we might hear explanations of and try foods made with different spices for comparison.
I expected to like Cappadocia the most but we had one day too many here; specifically, day 2, in part perhaps because the snow and ice made the proposed walk in the countryside treacherous, but there wasn't much more on the agenda except one church on a cliff which we could have skipped or fit into another day. Overall, there were so many monasteries and churches that our guide seemed to repeat himself to fill in time. We anticipated the balloon ride to be the highlight but it was not 'a mind blowing experience' (as stated in our itinerary), and in fact not a very good experience at all. It was too foggy so we couldn't see much and we 'landed' precariously after 30 minutes in the air, not even close to an hour as they advertise. Our pilot was agitated upon touchdown and it took 20 minutes for a crew to find us. By the time we were dragged to a trailer and the basket was secure I guess that totaled an hour - not really the kind of hour one expects from a flight.
We were not impressed with the lunch selection on day 1 in the Cappadocia area. I felt our guide in Cappadocia gave more attention to some of our group, and didn't always answer the questions of others. He also repeated himself a lot and it was sometimes hard to understand his accent.
It was a stretch to say the Greek village of Mustafa Pasa had 'lovely houses'. Maybe a couple but not really worth a stop.
At Selcuk the St John Hotel cannot be recommended. We had no hot water in our bathroom either morning and after going without the first day (and telling the staff to no avail) we showered in our friends room on the 2nd day. The lobby, breakfast room and halls were cold because they wouldn't close the doors because of 'a bad smell'. The breakfast options didn't appeal to us.
The breakfast at the Venus Suites Pamukkale offered lots of choices but the quality was not great.
We were not impressed with our vehicle rental from Izmir. A warning light was on from the moment we picked it up. The car was pretty old, not very clean and the 'extra' GPS did not work properly so we used google maps on our iPhones. We don't recommend you use this company again.
Despite some of these issues, we had a great time on this itinerary (and recommend it). It was our friends who selected it and we were invited to join them after it was established so we had no say. T...Despite some of these issues, we had a great time on this itinerary (and recommend it). It was our friends who selected it and we were invited to join them after it was established so we had no say. The people of Turkey are incredibly welcoming and friendly and we enjoyed some of the rituals like the Hammam baths and Turkish coffee and clay pot cooking. It was interesting and special to see Cappadocia covered in snow but there were a few limitations getting around on foot due to icy conditions on streets and footpaths. Our travel agent, Tovi, was a dream and made it a point to meet us in Istanbul.
She was incredibly responsive to issues we had along the way. I recommend her highly.See more
Dear Mary, dear Joseph,
It was really fun meeting you all! It was a pleasure to look after you.
Thank you for your feedback, It’s always useful. We will try to improve the services you found lackin...Dear Mary, dear Joseph,
It was really fun meeting you all! It was a pleasure to look after you.
Thank you for your feedback, It’s always useful. We will try to improve the services you found lacking and I will transmit all your comments to the people concerned. Had you warned us about the hotels when you were there, we would have intervened immediately.
The snowy and icy weather conditions in Cappadocia of course didn’t help, difficult to enjoy the sites normally although I must admit the photo of the four of you with the snow in the background was fabulous! The most beautiful part of Cappadocia is walking in the fairy chimney valleys which obviously, was not possible during your stay.
We have taken up the matter with the hot air balloon company and have had satisfaction with their apology. Same weather difficulties goes to for the hot air balloon ride, the conditions were not favourable and I don’t see how civil aviation gave permission for the balloons to fly that day in the first place. As you know, they cancelled the 2nd round of flights that was to take place straight after. Anyway, you were not charged for the ride and finally neither were we.
You should come back at another time of the year, June is perfect for Cappadocia, September is good too.. Malta is not that far away! I’m quite sure you’ll love it more this time around.