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Essential Turkey

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ends on 22 Aug 2018
-52%
Days
9
Our saving
$613
From
$1,178
US $ 565
Cost/day $63
+ $204 Local Payment
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Essential Turkey - Travel Talk
Essential Turkey - Travel Talk
Xochie "It was not what I paid for. I am requesting my money back. My flight was red-eyed, booked an extra night at the hotel, got there couldn’t find my reservation. I had to pay again finally at 3 am I was given a room, at 8:30 am I got a call saying I had to move to another room. My sleepless night began there. There were 34 in our tour. Tour Rader guaranteed 10 to 15 people. It seems that Travel T..."
Excellent
28 reviews
Starts
Istanbul
+8 Destinations
Western Turkey
Ends
Istanbul
Map

Highlights

  • Visit the buzzing metropolis of Istanbul
  • Discover the famous Underground City
  • Explore Gallipoli’s war memorials
  • Experience the ancient city of Troy
Age range
18 to 39 year olds
Accommodation
Hotel
Transportation
Coach / Bus
Travel style
In-depth Cultural, Coach / Bus
Start and end in Istanbul! With the in-depth cultural tour Essential Turkey, you have a 9 day tour package taking you through Istanbul, Turkey and 8 other destinations in Turkey. Essential Turkey includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport.

28 Reviews

Excellent
71%
Good
21%
Average
7%
Rather Poor
0%
Bad
0%
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  • RG
    Written on June 26, 2018
    5.0 - Excellent

    The most amazing experience of my life. Would highly recommend! Yavuz made it so memorable!
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  • Essential Turkey reviewer 2
    Written on May 28, 2018
    3.5 - Good

    The Guide & Drivers: - Yavuz was a great guide; with buckets of enthusiasm, information, and badgering to get us sticking to the schedule. - The fruit salad song will forever be stuck in my head. - The drivers, who although did not speak English, were always cheery, friendly and very safe. Itinerary: - Overall got to see plenty of sights/sites along the way; the tour managed to get A LOT of sight seeing in across vast distances in such a short amount of space. For the most part bus journeys were broken up well and the bus was comfortable enough that it wasn't terrible to be in the bus for that long. - Yavuz timed his chats well - he knew when people wanted to be left alone to sleep/watch TV/read a book on the bus and when he could tell us about the culture, history and landscapes that we were passing. - Pamukkale and Cappadocia were the highlights and definitely made the entire trip worth it. The worst days of the itinerary were to Gallipoli, Troy and Pergamon. These days were a bit confused, uninteresting and too much bus time. Gallipoli and the Anzac monuments are a great place to visit for AU/NZ visitors but of less historic interest to other travelers who do not know about the history. This would be okay if not a whole day was dedicated to this and made the route and bus times unnecessarily long. - Too much time was spent going to shops/factories - in particular the carpet shop. It was such a shame to have to spend 2 HOURS inside of a carpet shop where 90% of the clients on the trip did not want to be or could afford the products whilst we could have been exploring the awesome Cappadocia landscapes. Because you have to wake up at 3 in the morning for the hot air balloon ride it means you actually have very little energy to enjoy Cappadocia during the day, which feels like a waste of the 11-12 hour bus journeys we had to take to get to and from there. - A lot of money could have been saved by travelers if they got the museum card at the start of the trip. You save about half on entry fees to the sites. - There was no down/free time on this trip to accommodate for the length of bus journeys we had to take. Also, we'd always arrive at the hotel too late to actually enjoy the heavily advertised facilities. Included meals and excluded meals: - Included meals were buffet breakfasts and dinners which were varied and catered to all tastes. - The lunch stops along the way were good and authentic, they all provided the opportunity to try an array of Turkish dishes you'd rarely get the chance to eat outside of Turkey. Hotels: - The hotels were all beautiful, well located and comfortable. The hot spring hotel was incredible, and great that the pool stayed open for so long. Optional Extras: - Pay for the hot air ballooning! It's worth it. - The Turkish bath may have been one of the worst massage/relaxation experiences of my life. We went to the baths very late in the evening - so we were rushed through the experience. Also the business that operated the baths and massages had accepted an additional 5 women to our already 22 women strong booking - meaning that we had 27 women to be massage by six women, for 15 minutes each in less than an hour. This meant that the majority of women had to watch other women getting massaged for 30-45 minutes whilst sitting wrapped up in a wet towel in a damp room, only to get a shorter massage, no pool time and no "relaxing tea time". Very disappointing as I was really looking forward to this. Travel Talk Communication: - Was overall very good, prompt to reply to emails with questions and always willing to help out. - Slight hiccup at the start of the trip as they would not accept my Scottish pound notes. They felt they had adequately clarified that British GBP was the accepted currency, which Scottish is, to quote Michael McIntyre it's definitely legal tender ;) but because Travel Talk would not be able to exchange the notes in Turkey they would not accept it. I do not feel this should be the clients problem, and definitely not at the start of the trip to be told you have to take out the value of the local payment again and you will not be able to spend the value that you've already put aside. In the end, after kicking up a fuss, Travel Talk accepted my money but I felt this was an unpleasant encounter and could have gone a lot smoother. If Travel Talk insists on not accepting Scottish pound notes they should have emailed travelers who are registered living in Scotland ahead of time to ensure that they're aware of this.
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  • A
    Written on May 26, 2018
    4.0 - Good

    The guide and drivers: - Yavuz was very good and I greatly admired his tireless enthusiasm, sarcasm, wealth of information and hustling to keep us on schedule. - the drivers were nice men, who although did not speak English were always friendly and very safe on the road. - although Yavuz was great, I imagine this was mainly due that we had him fresh at the start of 5-6 back to back tours. There is about half an hour down time for him in between tours and I can imagine that if you’re on tour number 4/5/6 the enthusiasm levels could be less. Itinerary: - Gallipoli was a beautiful area but for a non New Zealander/ Australian, it’s a long bus day with little to see that’s especially interesting. The Anzac campaign is not something people normally learn about in school outside of AU/NZ so there was little context unfortunately, but luckily Yavuz explained the history well and I learned something new. - Troy is not really worth the trip, neither was Pergamon. I feel we could have gone to more interesting sights. - Pamukkale was absolutely stunning (but I wish we had more time to relax.) - Ephesus was one of my favourite sites to visit, it was an immersive experience with enough time and good guiding on Yavuz’s part. - Cappadocia was incredible, especially the hot air balloon ride which was a 100% worth the early morning and extra money. - what you see in 9 days is excellent value, a good tour for seeing all the Turkey highlights! - The Istanbul tour felt a bit rushed, but the Bosporus cruise was excellent, relaxing and good views, also a great setting to get to know people. - I feel that we should have been encouraged to get the museum card for the trip as we could have saved a lot of money on entrance fees, about half! - why we were forced to go to a carpet shop in Cappadocia is beyond me, we wasted two hours inside and bored when we could have been exploring the magical landscape instead. The landscape we are spending a ridiculous amount of time in the bus to go see and instead we’re forced to go to a ridiculously expensive carpet shop where 95% of people did not want to be or could afford to buy a carpet. Biggest let down on the whole trip. - the ceramics shop on the other hand was cool and worth the trip. - no free time on the itinerary at all. - tour ended abruptly as Yavuz had to go and meet the next group and with no planned farewell meal. As we were split across 2 hotels it meant I did not get to say goodbye to half the people! They should have let us known that the last pee stop us essentially goodbye. - all lunch stops were well chosen with authentic Turkish food and plenty of choices. +++ Accommodation and included meals: - hotels were all good, well located and had good facilities. - for the most part rooms were comfortable with good beds and Aircon. - due to bad planning (?) and overbooking we were split across two hotels in Istanbul which was a shame. Also due to overbooking, our twin room on the last night was a double room with a king size bed for one person and a very uncomfortable spare bed/child’s cot in the corner for another person. Pretty rubbish. - included dinners were all hotel buffets which were okay. Not good, not bad. Catered to all tastes. - as we always arrived late in the hotels all the advertised amenities like spa and pool were closed. Optional activities: - the Turkish Bath was again badly organised and therefore just a bad experience if you’re a woman. The place where we had it had accepted our 20+ woman booking and another additional 5 women, meaning that in our 1.5 hour treatment 6 women had to massage 25+ women for 15 min each? I had to watch other women get massaged for 30 minutes, got massaged myself for less than 10 minutes and to rush through the pool and “relaxation tea time” as the place was closing. Very disappointed as I was really looking forward to this. - hot air balloon was once in a life time magical, excellent value and the best part of the trip. - the jewellery store is optional and worth the trip I think - I got some beautiful and unique stuff for not too much money.
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  • Essential Turkey reviewer 4
    Written on May 25, 2018
    4.5 - Excellent

    Hot Air balloon ride in Cappadocia!
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  • Essential Turkey reviewer 5
    Written on May 21, 2018
    4.0 - Good

    Our guide Yavuz was an absolute highlight of the tour: super-informative, fun, and we all felt well-taken care of. We've also accomplished a lot in the 9 days we had, so chapeau for the very varied program. The tour definitely had a good price/quality ratio and the accommodation was definitely decent and both breakfast and dinner buffets - quite delicious! In retrospect, the only advise/improvement comment on optional cultural activities I would make: I wish it was mentioned to us that getting the MUSEUM CARD could potentially save us a lot of money (esp. if you're planning to visit all the optional museums and maybe also do your own sightseeing in Istanbul in case you arrive earlier). But, please, do your own research on which museums are included & if it's relevant for you. On a general note, be prepared that the tour does involve a lot of driving (which, however, is the only way to go if you want to accomplish that much in 9 days!), so bring a book and some 'onboard entertainment' for the long drives (mainly to and from Cappadocia). Another important note: do bear in mind, though, that there might be some hiccups with Internet connectivity in pretty much all the hotels on the way (usually the issue was speed, but also sometimes the Internet simply didn't work), so - if staying online is important - buying a local SIM card with Internet access or ensuring your roaming works might not be a bad idea. Regarding the places the group was taken to for lunch (for meals that weren't part of the package): as a pescatarian/vegetarian, I pretty much always felt that my options were very limited (only one of the places had fish and usually there was only 1 vegetarian option available, so not much choice at all...). But otherwise a well-balanced tour, with diverse experiences and a lovely informative guide, I definitely had a good time! Cheers!
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  • Essential Turkey reviewer 6
    Written on May 8, 2018
    5.0 - Excellent

    Excellent tour guide and loads to see!
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    Essential Turkey customer review photo 1
  • A
    Written on April 12, 2018
    5.0 - Excellent

    Sam was the best guide! He had great energy and was really compelling to listen to. Thank you Sam!
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  • Essential Turkey reviewer 8
    Written on April 8, 2018
    4.5 - Excellent

    Absolutely fantastic tour with and excellent guide. Highly recommend
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  • Essential Turkey reviewer 9
    Written on March 21, 2018
    4.5 - Excellent

    It was not what I paid for. I am requesting my money back. My flight was red-eyed, booked an extra night at the hotel, got there couldn’t find my reservation. I had to pay again finally at 3 am I was given a room, at 8:30 am I got a call saying I had to move to another room. My sleepless night began there. There were 34 in our tour. Tour Rader guaranteed 10 to 15 people. It seems that Travel Talk caters to New Zealanders and Australians living in London, most were between 20 to 30 years old. I wished I was told of the kind of tour it was going to be. Because I was in a time crunch I had to stay the entire tour. Was planning to book Israel and Jordan with Tour Radar however with the bad experience I had I am skeptical. The last night was horrible in Cappadocia, young individuals from our groups got drunk making loud noises waking us and the rest of the guess it was an embarrassment. Too tired to continue with all the unpleasantness, thankfully the tour guide Mustafa was very professional, made the tour bearable.
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  • K
    Written on January 3, 2018
    4.0 - Good

    Tour guide Mustafa was very knowledgeable, passionate, entertaining and an all round nice guy! I highly recommend the tour and Turkey is such a wonderful country!
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Itinerary

Download PDF Brochure
  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Istanbul
  2. Day 2: Istanbul City Tour
  3. Day 3: Gallipoli
  4. Day 4: Troy, Pergamum, Kusadasi
  5. Day 5: Ephesus, Pamukkale
  6. Day 6: Pamukkale, Cappadocia
  7. Day 7: Cappadocia
  8. Day 8: Cappadocia, Ihlara, Istanbul
  9. Day 9: Istanbul

What's included

Expand all
  • Accommodation

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Guide

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Meals

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Transport

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
Download PDF Brochure

Questions & Answers

Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions about this tour.

    • When and where does the tour end?

      This tour ends after breakfast on the last day of the tour at Ottoman Hotel Imperial in Istanbul. It's now time to say goodbye to your new friends and check-out of the hotel at 11 am. Please be aware the hotel is subject to change until your final documents are released.

    • When and where does the tour start?

      The first day of the tour generally starts from the Ottoman Hotel Imperial in Istanbul. As the first day is just an arrivals day you can arrive at any time. At the terminal keep your eyes open for the Travel Talk sign, as they pick you up from the airport and take you to their Istanbul hotel. There is an informal meeting planned for the evening at approximately 6:00 pm so we recommend arriving beforehand so you can meet your group.

      Please note that the joining point is subject to change until your final documents are released.

    • What are the optional excursions?

      The optional excursions for this tour are:

      Group Dinner
      Bosphorus Cruise
      Turkish Bath
      Hot Air Ballooning
      Turkish Night

      Please note that this list is a guideline only and that pricing will be available with your finalised travel documents.

    Ask a question

    Guides who have led this tour

    • Sameh Makram
      "Hey every one. Iam Sameh or Sam as my friends call me. Am qualified egyptoligist tour guide who loves..."
    • Yavuz Kirikci

    What are people saying about TourRadar?

    • Carlos4th June 2018
      Was very pleased with the ease that I was able to understand, and navigate your website. Have actually been looking at several other tour companies, some have played phone tag with me. Others have not bothered to return calls. Their websites have been difficult, to work and understand. Am super excited to be working with you. Am now working on finding affordable airfare. Thanks again. Looking forward to a wonderful adventure. Have already been giving several friends your info.

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    About the countries

    Useful things to know before you go

    Currencies

    Lira
    Turkey

    Plugs & Adapters

    Turkey

    Visa

    Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

    Vaccinations

    These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
    Typhoid
    Recommended for Turkey. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
    Hepatitis A
    Recommended for Turkey. Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
    Hepatitis B
    Recommended for Turkey. Ideally 2 months before travel.

    Policies

    Location
    Start and end in Istanbul.
    Trusted
    Your money is safe with TourRadar, as we only pay the tour operator after your tour has departed.
    Deposit
    TourRadar only requires a deposit of $120 to confirm this Travel Talk booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 17 October 2018 the full payment of $565 is necessary.
    Cancellation policy
    No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $565 for Essential Turkey, but the deposit of $120 is non-refundable. If you cancel via TourRadar the standard cancellation policy applies.
    Availability
    Some departure dates and prices may vary and Travel Talk will contact you with any discrepancies before your booking is confirmed.
    Credit Cards
    The following cards are accepted for Travel Talk tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

    Destinations

    Covering a total distance of approx 1,822 km.
    • Istanbul (Turkey)
    • 205 km
    • Gallipoli (Turkey)
    • 68 km
    • Troy (Turkey)
    • 122 km
    • Pergamum (Turkey)
    • 140 km
    • Kusadasi (Turkey)
    • 14 km
    • Ephesus (Turkey)
    • 149 km
    • Pamukkale (Turkey)
    • 507 km
    • Cappadocia (Turkey)
    • 66 km
    • Ihlara (Turkey)
    • 550 km
    • Istanbul (Turkey)

    Why book with TourRadar

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    No Cancellation Fee
    TourRadar does not charge any additional cancellation fees. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date. If you cancel your booking for Essential Turkey via TourRadar the standard cancellation policy applies.
    26 Genuine Reviews
    All reviews are verified from travellers who went on Essential Turkey