Reviewed May 2, 2019
◦ I so enjoyed traveling with a private tour guide. Tuğrul Sokmen of Trips in Turkey. We ventured off the touristy routes and
were privileged to see a Turkey most will never know. Our days were planned to appear unplanned and we could stop and take pictures of the incredible views at our leisure. We met the people and were welcomed for tea. We ate at local restaurants and the food was fresh and delicious. Thanks to Trips in Turkey for an unforgettable adventure.
Date of experience: April 2019
Outstanding Tour of Ephesus
Reviewed July 2, 2016
Having been to Ephesus now for the third time, I didn't look forward much to this return visit but, at the last minute, joined a tour arranged by a fellow traveler on our cruise. I was very pleasantly surprised to be completely satisfied with our outstanding tour led by "Toro" our guide (and company owner, I believe). His extensive knowledge of the historical details of this landmark site made Ephesus "come alive" once more! The tour included the Terrace Houses which had been restored and expanded since my last visit and this "extra" is a highly recommended add-on to the basic admission ticket. We also had an informative lunch stop at a local (and truly authentic) Turkish carpet manufacturer's facility. The food was a locally homemade Turkish spread and delicious. The owner of the facility gave us an informative tour describing all the stages of authentic double knot Turkish rug fabrication and there was absolutely NO pressure to buy any of his rugs but, for anyone in the market, this would have been a wonderful place to pick up an amazing carpet.
According to Toro, Turkish tourism is down by 90% due to world conditions (and not helped by the recent bombing in Istanbul). The one bright spot for Turkey seems to still be the cruise ship tourist from Kusadasi. We felt completely safe while there. Additionally, in my opinion, the price for our tour was very reasonable for our small group. All in all, we had a wonderful day with our guide and I would HIGHLY recommend his company for any kind of tour in this area.
Great tour; great tour guide
Reviewed May 31, 2016
Four of us toured Ephesus with Tugrul as our guide in May 2016 . My wife and I had done this tour 5 years ago as a tour scheduled with our cruise ship: motor coach and 45 people meeting other motor coaches each with 40 or so people at the tour site. Wow, what a difference with the private tour. Our very knowledgable and personable guide, Tugrul, started our tour at the back entrance of Ephesus near the theater, and we had covered over half of the tour before we encountered the hoards of people from the cruse lines. We could actually hear everything Tugrul said. Being able to view the current excavations, not available when we toured in 2009, was a nice surprise. No only was this tour superior to that sponsored by the cruise line, it was also in line with the cost of the cruise line tour. You can't beat that. We all highly recommend this tour.
Our day spent with Tugrul was great!
Reviewed November 17, 2015
Not knowing what to expect, we were met at our ship by Tugrul. On the drive from the port to Ephesus, Tugrul took the time to familiarize us with what to expect and some of the history as it pertained to the site. Not only was the time at the site informative, the time spent after at lunch, some shopping and the museum all worthwhile and enjoyable.
Our visit to Ephesus with Tugrul Sokmen
Reviewed November 15, 2015
After reading very positive reviews for Tugrul, I decided to book our tour of Ephesus with him. Tugrul was very responsive to my initial contact and to later contacts with questions. He always responded within the day. Tugrul met us just outside the port gate. He had a large, comfortable van for our group of 8. Tugrul provided a very informative tour of Ephesus starting at the lower end of the site and working our way in the reverse order that most groups do. This allowed us to avoid most of the crowds that come early in the morning. For about half the tour it seemed like we were the only ones at Ephesus! After visiting Ephesus, we visited St. John's Basilica. The tour took about six hours, which was perfect for us. Tugrul was very knowledgeable of the history of both sites. I enjoyed his sense of humor too. Tugrul spoke English very well.
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