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Old 07-27-2011, 08:46 AM
Familyof5Traveler011 Familyof5Traveler011 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Default Booking a Private Tour in Turkey

We recently booked a private tour in Turkey with the firm Dos Plumas Travel. Initially we were a little axious about it due to some of less than stellar reviews it was receiving on TripAdvisor. This seems to be due to its relatively new status as a tour company in Turkey (started about 4 years ago). Our experience was nothing short of outstanding. Every detail was well considered by Jim Reynolds and his staff. The accommodations were wonderful, the hospitality of the innkeepers was excellent, the restaurants they took us to or recommended were first rate, and most importantly, the guides that had been arranged for us were knowledgeable, welcoming and fun to be around. Of special note, Elif and Rabia were particular standouts. Elif wasted no time in addressing the needs of our children and making us comfortable in adjusting to Turkey; she made us feel “at home”. Rabia went out of her way to accommodate us in the Ephesus area and graciously connecting us with some historical and religious places. Our driver Ali that assisted Rabia and drove us to Bodrum was also very kind and thoughtful to us.

I would highly recommend this venue to anyone interested in exploring Turkey.
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:41 PM
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fuscofamily5 fuscofamily5 is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Nixa, MO
Posts: 163

We used CTC Turkey ( http://www.ctcturkey.com/ ) and were extremely satisfied. Mary Bai was the agent and was very good at listening to our interests and making an itinerary that fit our very tight schedule--she booked the guide to travel with us and he was amazing. The hotels we stayed at were extremely memorable and unique.

The guide was Sezai Vardioglu (evardioglu@gmail.com ) who also books tours privately. He has a degree in History and was able to speak off the cuff on numerous topics--not just point out the preprogrammed stuff at the sites. We loved Turkey and no small part of that was the amazing guide and experience we had with the tour company.

Here's our Turkey Blog:

Ballooning Cappadocia 018 by efusco, on Flickr

Cappadocia Day 2 043 by efusco, on Flickr

Ephesus 010 by efusco, on Flickr
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:12 PM
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HostColleen HostColleen is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 481

So happy your family had a great visit to Turkey! Amazing photos, thanks for posting them

Sharing that tour info with our members is very kind of you (as always!) and I am sure will entice others to consider taking the same amazing journey your family has.

I think it is very significant that you highlighted the fact that the guide's historical knowledge made such a difference in the experience you all had. I think learning about a place with an history as rich as Turkey's adds so much to simply just being somewhere and seeing sights. This is when we all get to finally "feel" history and perhaps become more enriched by it than a certain history class may never have come quite as close as delivering. No offense to hard working history teachers!!! History classes are good but my knowledge of history has been SO enriched, and my understanding/interest has deepened thanks to so many amazing trips to see things with my own eyes and even "feel" things I never thought I'd feel before. Time and again, I've returned from travels with a yearning to learn more and so my library grew as I would purchase books to deepen my awareness in so many categories of history, art and culture.

Hence I think a trip like this (other types of trips are learning experiences too) can be wonderfully educational for children and adults alike when history suddenly becomes so very real and so much fun! Kids of all ages will surely enjoy learning history when it does not feel like school work while on a vacation with Mom, Dad and any other family along for the trip

Thanks so much for sharing the tips and photos!
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:28 PM
Familyof5Traveler011 Familyof5Traveler011 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2
Default Re: Trip to Turkey


Thank you for your kind reply. The trip was certainly educationally and spiritually enriching for all of us. Dos Plumas did a great job of connecting us with all the sites we asked to see and some we hadn't even considered.

I think western Turkey and the Cappadocia region are areas rarely visited by US citizens, but so rich in world and religious history for Muslim, Jewish and Christian people alike. It's a shame that more Americans don't consider it as a destination for travel. Perhaps its proximity to bordering countries that have or are experiencing hostilities and fighting make it appear risky. Several of the local people we met expressed pleasant surprise that we considered Turkey for our summer trip. We were made to feel very welcome and safe, and we are very grateful for our experiences. I have a much greater appreciation for Turkey and the Turkish people after having visited there.

Kind Regards,
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Old 08-16-2011, 11:15 PM
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HostColleen HostColleen is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: NYC
Posts: 481

Hi John,

I think that your previous post (w/Photos) and the one you just wrote will perhaps help to spread the word as to the idea of visiting Turkey to other members. I think that when folks read about new destinations and all of the wonders a particular country/countries holds, curiousity gets peaked!

Safety might very well be a concern for some, but honestly we live in a world where things happen unexpectedly, anywhere for all sorts of reasons. I know that Turkey has been a popular destination for a long time - I was actually invited to join European friends to the Turkish coast where they would be spending beach time in Antalya. They'd been there before, I'd seen photos and it sounded amazing but at the time, I could not make it.

However you pointed out some very pertinent facts about Turkey that do make it an alluring destination in that it is so very historic and carries with it such rich cultural and religious significance for just about everyone. A most appealing destination to consider indeed!

Lastly, I am glad (but not surprised) about the fact that the locals you met were so enthusiastic to have your family visiting Turkey. I think having great personal experience with residents of any country (or state, etc.) people visit goes a long way towards making any visit that much more special. One never just visits any place; one typically visits with people too and that can be a very lovely part of any family vacation. Feeling so very welcomed and wanted? Perfect!

Thanks for sharing a bit more about your Turkish adventure with us. I hope others feel inspired to consider Turkey for future trips someday.
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Old 08-20-2011, 12:01 PM
Host Lisa Host Lisa is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Posts: 205

We returned last evening from an Eastern Mediterranean cruise which spent two days in Istanbul and one day in Kusadasi. As our time was limited we opted to hire a guide for our first day in Istanbul and for the day in Kusadasi. We used EKOL Travel and were very happy with our guides. From what we saw of Turkey, it is a beautiful, family-friendly country and I look forward to returning to visit more of the countryside.

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