ABOUT INSIGHT TRAVEL AGENCY – TURKEY
Insight Travel Agency is an independent Turkish Tour Operator and travel agency specializing in private, small group and cultural tours in Turkey and is owned by Rina Svensson, a former retail manager and later a sales associate for Carlson Wagonlit Travel in the U.S. and Emre Bilge who has worked both in leisure and business branches of tourism in Turkey and has a major in Economics from Istanbul University.
Insight Travel Agency is licensed, bonded and a member of TURSAB (Association of Turkish Travel Agencies) License No: 4799 founded in 2002. We are proud to say that we are celebrating over fifteen great years conducting tours and making travel arrangements in Turkey for thousands of guests. We want to thank everyone who has been interested, participated and promoted us through the years.
Our personal approach, experience, attention to detail and specialization for tours exclusively in the country of Turkey makes us different. We are flexible and willing to work one on one with individuals, small or larger groups of people traveling to Turkey and also welcome agents.
Our Turkey tour and travel products are diverse and creative with many options to make your visit to Turkey an enjoyable experience that you will remember for a lifetime.
This photo of Kas was taken while Rina was paragliding! Kas and the Lycian Coast is is rich in natural beauty and has clear clean waters. Most of this part of the Turkish coast is graced with small agricultural towns, fishing villages and ancient ruins. The area is perfect for the Blue Cruise, diving, hiking, swimming and sports and much more. We have a visit to Kas included in our small group Grand Tour of Turkey.
We look forward to seeing you in our beautiful Mediterranean town if you are coming our way…
INSIGHT TRAVEL TOUR GUIDES
We work with only professional tour guides certified by the Turkish Ministry of Tourism, and prefer those who have high language fluency levels, extensive knowledge, experience and a sense of humor. They are eager to share their discoveries and insider tips, and will help to make your tour as enjoyable as possible. Our Insight tour guides are normally reserved well in advance and we recommend booking of your private tours and cruise excursions as early as possible in order to get the best guide available. Our Istanbul and Anatolian guide team consists of a group of enthusiastic individuals who really know their stuff. Here is an introduction to some of our best guides.
KEMAL (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – CULTURAL TOURS + GUIDE/DRIVER)
Kemal was born in Kayseri in the central area of Turkey not far from Cappadocia. He studied English Education at the University of Gazi in Ankara and later took a professional guiding license in 1985. He is very experienced, detail oriented and not only does cultural tours, but also adventure tours with diving, blue cruise and more. Kemal is a specialist on archaeology, biblical, flora and fauna of Turkey and acts as both a guide and driver for individuals. He currently resides in Istanbul but spends part of the year in Bodrum and is willing to tour all around Turkey. He has lead the majority of our small group cultural tours for some years now and teams up with Dursun Ali (see below) to make a dynamic duo for great cultural small group tours in Anatolia.
MUSTAFA (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – ISTANBUL SPECIALIST)
Mustafa was born in Uskudar, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Istanbul. After completing primary school in Belgium because his father worked in the Turkish Consulate in Brussells, he came back to Istanbul to continue his education at the Galatasaray High School. Later he passed the professional guiding course in 2002 in Gaziantep in southeast Turkey. He is also a graduate of the Sorbonne University majoring in economics and continues his studies currently at the Istanbul University. He is fluent in both English and French and is also a certified translator and prepared a manual for learning French and has also translated works about history and religion which are his main fields of interest. Mustafa is one of our main guides for Istanbul and environs, but can also guide in other areas of Turkey.
EROL (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – ISTANBUL + CULTURAL TOURS)
Erol has been working with us since 2005. He is a very flexible guide who gets along with everyone. Erol guides mostly in Istanbul but greatly enjoys being on the road for longer tours around Turkey and also does outgoing tours. He was born in Istanbul and studied at 9 May University in Samsun to be an English teacher. He taught in Anadolu High School in Istanbul but later took his guiding license in the same city in 1997 and became a free-lance guide.
ERKUT (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – CULTURAL TOURS + GUIDE/DRIVER + ADVENTURE)
Erkut was born on Imroz Island (Gokceada) in the north Aegean Sea in 1971 and attended primary school in Canakkale and then later studied in Izmir and then Istanbul. Erkut went to Hacettepe University and earned a BA Degree in American Studies in 1994 then took his professional guiding certificate from the Ministry of Tourism in 1995. He first started guiding in Kalkan and stayed there for 3 years, also working in travel agency management, then did his military service with the Air Force where he was positioned at HQ NATO 6th ATAF. Thereafter he moved to Cappadocia and worked there for 5 years. He has guided all over Turkey and knows nearly every area like the back of his hand. Erkut now resides in Ankara and he has also just completed training as an Emergency First Responder. Erkut has also traveled abroad to other countries, helped to train travel agents in the US, he took a horse riding course at the rider’s club in Izmir, is a sea kayaking paddler, has a Master Scuba Diver certificate and one of his greatest hobbies is cooking, which he takes very seriously. Erkut’s goal is to combine cultural sightseeing tours with outdoor activities (not necessarily meaning adventures and adrenaline) in a way that the ‘guide’ becomes also the rider, the paddler, the dive buddy and accompanies the guest in all aspects of the tour. 20 years from he still plans to guide and would also like to train other guides. He likes to define each itinerary according to the guests’ conditions, needs and requirements.
ARIF (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – ISTANBUL + CULTURAL TOURS + ADVENTURE)
Arif comes from the town of Erzurum in north-east Turkey and he says that while studying there he was fortunate enough to have lots of access to English books and loved Charles Dickens. His interest in Turkey was first piqued when he went with a friend on a cross country independent camping trip one summer. He said that he was very impressed with Termessos and the Lycian area of Turkey. We first met in Goreme, Cappadocia where we had our first travel agency and that time Arif was leading hiking tours and cultural tours around the area. Arif has now worked over a decade as a tour leader and guide and not only knows nearly every corner of Turkey, but also many places of interest in Syria, Jordan, Egypt and Morocco. Arif is a licensed professional tour guide who has studied Archaeology, Mythology, Art, History and religion with a BA degree in Tourism and Hotel Management.
ERDAL (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – ISTANBUL + CULTURAL TOUR + GUIDE/DRIVER + ADVENTURE)
Erdal is a graduate of Hacettepe University with a degree in English linguistics and also a certificate in tour operations and management from 6 September University, Izmir. He has worked as a driver and guide now for nearly 20 years and is very flexible and knowledgeable. He not only does tours in Istanbul where he lives but also all over Turkey including hiking, gulet cruise, cultural and religious tours and more. Erdal’s hobbies include photography and sailing.
ERKAN (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – ISTANBUL + CULTURAL TOURS)
Erkan is a wonderful guide who can really put his guests at ease. Not only is his knowledge extensive, but he has a great sense of humor as you can see from this photo in Pergamon. Erkan has a university degree in hotel, restaurant and catering management, and is also a professional certified tourist guide who has been doing professional guiding for over ten years. Erkan guides both in Istanbul and also for our private and small group cultural tours.
RAMAZAN (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – CAPPADOCIA SPECIALIST)
Ramazan is a native of Cappadocia and was born in the village of Mustafapasa near Urgup. His ancestors immigrated to Cappadocia from Thessaloniki during the population exchange nearly a century ago. He learned English in high school and later took his guiding certificate from Erciyes University. He started working as a volunteer in 1997 in the Tourist info office in his home town and showed visitors St Basil and St Helen churches and hiked them in Manastir Valley, Gibos Valley and Gomeda Valley all the time bettering his English. Ramazan worked in hotels in Cappadocia and later for Princess Cruise lines on US cruises. After returning from the US he worked as the manager of Esbelli Evi Hotel for six years. He knows every corner of Cappadocia but also guides in other areas of Turkey.
INAN (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – AEGEAN SPECIALIST)
Inan was born in Izmir in 1979. He is a graduate of Erciyes University. Inan has had his professional guiding license since 2001 and is an expert on the Aegean area including Izmir, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Sardes, Pergamon and more. He also knows Istanbul and Cappadocia very well and has guided for years all around Anatolia. He enjoys doing tours of the seven churches and is generally available if booked early for daily tours of the classic Aegean sites in the summer, and for all of Anatolia in the off season. He is a very enthusiastic guide and explains clearly, bringing you closer to the daily life of those who lived in the ancient cities.
KADIR (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – AEGEAN SPECIALIST AND ALL OVER TURKEY)
Kadir was born in 1969 in Denizli (near Pamukkale and Hierapolis). He guides in English, German and Spanish and is a valuable member of our team. Kadir also does outgoing tours and is a certified multi-language translator. He has been a professional guide since 1991 and in 1995 he was part of the “Faith Tourism Project” of the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. When Kadir was still in the university he founded a dance school and later taught ballroom and Latin American dances in the winter halves of the year. He graduated in 1998 from the Bosphorus University in Istanbul with a BA in translation.
BIRSEN (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE – AEGEAN SPECIALIST AND ALL OVER TURKEY)
Birsen was born in Izmir and studied to be a professional guide at Ege University. She was the hotel manager for Gamirasu Hotel in Cappadocia and worked as a local guide there, but has now returned to her native area and guides mostly in the Aegean area for cruise excursions and daily tours to Ephesus, Pamukkale, Pergamon and other sights. Birsen guides in both Spanish and English and has a lot to share for our guests who visit the Aegean or do a longer tour of Turkey.
YALCIN (PROFESSIONAL GUIDE/DRIVER – ALL OVER TURKEY)
Yalcin lives in Kirazli village near Ephesus. In the summer he guides and also is a guide/driver with a Hyundai minivan suitable for up to 5 passengers. In winter he tends his olive orchard and also makes olive oil. Yalcin graduated from Istanbul University in 1982 and went to the UK to study tourism management for 2 years. When he came back to Turkey he started working as a professional guide. He has always had a deep interest in Hellenic, Roman, Christian and Turkish history. He is very experienced and can guide in any area of Turkey.
See client reviews to see what our clients say about our guides and services.
OUR PROFESSIONAL DRIVERS AND VEHICLES
Insight Travel provides you with modern, comfortable non-smoking transportation for your tours and airport transfers. We use fully-insured late model, air-conditioned mini, midi or coach buses. A car may also be used for private tours and transfers of individuals. Your safety and comfort is a priority!
FEHMI (PROFESSIONAL DRIVER – ISTANBUL TRANSFERS – TOURS)
The latest addition to our fleet which will ensure your tour or transfer is done in comfort and style is our new luxurious minivan. The minibus seats a maximum of 17 people. It features reclining seats, individual lighting and A/C-Heating control, adjustable armrests, large luggage storage area and lots of legroom. It also has plenty of headroom so getting in and out of the van is easy. Fehmi is our main professional driver and he is likely to meet you for transfers at the Istanbul airport or to drive you in Istanbul. Fehmi was born in the city of Van in Eastern Turkey but has been working as a driver in Istanbul for years and he is very careful and skilled. Fehmi is the expert driver for Istanbul and surrounding areas such as Bursa, Edirne and Canakkale, but also knows most of Turkey quite well.
DURSUN ALI (PROFESSIONAL DRIVER – SMALL GROUP CULTURAL TOURS)
Dursun Ali is one of our most friendly drivers who has a new Volkswagen Crafter that is very comfortable. Dursun was born in Istanbul but his origin is from Giresun in the black sea. His father was a professional driver too. Dursun has been driving since 1986 and knows just about everywhere in Turkey. Dursun is now the main driver used for our Grand Tour of Turkey.
NECDET (PROFESSIONAL DRIVER – SMALL GROUP CULTURAL TOURS)
Necdet Kabakli was born in the Besiktas district of Istanbul. He started working for us many years ago for our Istanbul tours and transfers but now drives mostly for the cultural tours. Our guests have described his driving as being extremely safe and comfortable. His Mercedes minibus is top class and he treats everyone as a VIP, yet has a warm and natural personality with lots of humor.
MUSTAFA (PROFESSIONAL DRIVER – CAPPADOCIA AND ALL TURKEY)
We cannot say enough for the service that Mustafa Keles has given us throughout the years from the very beginning in 1998 with our first agency in Cappadocia. He has been nearly everywhere in Turkey and actually once did a private tour for just one guest starting in Eastern Turkey, all the way to the west, off and on the beaten track on his own for approximately a month!
OUR EXPERIENCE AND FOCUS
Our cultural Insight Tours are a product of research carried out over the years. We offer these unique cultural Turkey tours on demand and allow a maximum of ten passengers unless the tour is taken by a private group. We also offer a variety of regional tours to places like Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamon, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Antalya, Cappadocia, Mt Nemrut, Sanli Urfa and Harran, as well as our Istanbul specialties. In Istanbul, Izmir, Ephesus and Antalya we offer land excursions for cruise ship customers.
Insight Travel is also a specialist on private tours anywhere in Turkey, classic and tailored programs to fit every budget, driver and guide services, self-drive programs, car rental, gulet cruise and hotel reservations throughout Turkey. We can provide domestic and international flight tickets originating from Turkey.
Insight Travel’s focus has always been to serve our clients on a one-to-one basis. We provide quality and security in your Turkey travel arrangements from the moment you arrive in Istanbul if you have arranged a transfer with us.
We prefer to work with smaller hotel properties and boutique hotels, local restaurants and other local partners in Turkey to bring support to the hard-working families and entrepreneurs who treat our guests with respect.
Insight Travel strives to offer good quality for price and personal service for whatever type of tour you choose. Most of our clients are looking not just for a tour, but for an experience of the flavor and culture of Turkey. We aim to please the needs of any guest, whether it is for business or pleasure.
Our goal is to give you an “Insight” into the culture, history and timeless beauty of a land, which is part of the heritage of Western Civilization and the world.
ABOUT INSIGHT TRAVEL TOURS AND SERVICES
PRIVATE TURKEY TOURS
For those of you who choose a private tour of Turkey, the limit is your time and imagination. We will help you plan something according to your particular needs and interests, such as classic Turkey itineraries, cultural experiences, Turkish cuisine, honeymoon, boutique and historical hotels, walking tours, photography, religion, folklore, village life and more.
INSIGHT SMALL GROUP TURKEY TOURS
These tours focus on in-depth experiences and opportunities for interaction with the Turkish people and cover Turkey, region by region giving enough time to really see the sights, including some that normal tour groups do not go to. We offer accommodation in quality four star and special category hotels, such as converted Ottoman houses, caravanserais, and stone/cave hotels. Where suitable hotel category is available we prefer hotels in central locations, so that our guests may have more immersion in the local culture.
CLASSIC TURKEY TOURS
These tours ideal are for those who want to see the main historic sights and major attractions of Turkey. Accommodation is in good 4* hotels. Group size may vary. Tours will be conducted by Insight Travel and partner agency.
TAILORED TURKEY TOURS – CITY PACKAGES
Tailored tours may be group or private tours that fit most any budget and time frame. You may take a short excursion from Istanbul to visit another city or area of Turkey or combine short ongoing and daily tours to make your own tailored group tour. Tailored tours are available year round and offer you the choice of hotel, where you would like to spend leisure days and which sights you want to see – so they are very flexible. Tailored tours are conducted by Insight Travel and partner agencies
ISTANBUL AIRPORT TRANSFERS
Private airport transfers from the Ataturk International Airport and Sabiha Gokcen Airport in Istanbul are reasonably priced and ensure your security and comfort. For individual airport transfers, our driver or representative meets you at the Istanbul airport after you have gone through customs. Please look for your name. It rarely happens, but if we are delayed by traffic, please make a phone call from the nearby post office in the airport. If you request it, our transfer person will assist you with your luggage, finding an ATM machine or currency exchange booth before you leave the airport. Airport transfers are normally included with Insight Cultural Tours and Classic Tours that we offer, but are NOT offered with tailored tours and hotel reservations alone. We offer airport transfers in Izmir, Kayseri (Cappadocia), Antalya, Ankara and other areas of Turkey.
BOOKING REQUIREMENTS FOR OUR TOURS
We recommend booking early for special Insight tours, as group size and the number of the rooms available in some hotel categories are limited. We reserve the right to substitute similar available hotels. We will need to have information such as your full names as on your passport, address, telephone/fax number and at minimum a credit card guarantee to begin the booking process. According to the tour or service required, you pay a minimum deposit and further payments as per agreement.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Deposit toward any Insight Travel service constitutes full knowledge and acceptance of all terms and conditions. Change and cancellation fees may apply. Cost of an escorted tour does NOT include air transportation, airport taxes, excess baggage, health, accident, baggage and trip cancellation insurance, port taxes, passport expenses, visas, laundry, beverages, tipping for personal service, gratuity to guide and driver or anything which is not specifically mentioned. Insurance: Insight Travel and its partners are not responsible or liable for loss, damage or theft of personal luggage and other belongings, nor personal injury, accident or illness. We reserve the right to decline to accept or to retain any person as a passenger should such person’s condition or action impede the operation of the tour or rights, welfare or enjoyment of other passengers. Insight Travel reserves the right without notice, to withdraw all or any part of the tour and make necessary changes. Insight Travel, with exception of tours conducted solely by Insight Travel, acts only as an agent in securing hotel; transportation and other travel services and shall not be liable for any failure by any person or company to render transportation, lodging or other tour services. All cancellations must be in writing and are per agreement regardless of the cause. No refunds of any amount will be paid less than 72 hours before arrival, for no show or while on tour.
Rina, Emre and the Insight team would like to thank our loyal clients for all of their support and friendship throughout the years. We are continuing with the same spirit and hope that those of you who have seen Istanbul, the Aegean and perhaps Cappadocia will consider another visit to Turkey to discover the unspoiled Mediterranean area with us!