INSIGHT TRAVEL TURKEY – CLIENT REVIEWS 2013

Satya T.

Jan. 01, 2013
Itinerary: Classic Western Tour

Rina

The tour was great, I am hoping that even if I enjoy 50% of the sites I will be ok, turned out that I liked most of the sites.

Tour was well planned and guide was good and we enjoyed overall, can provide you some more feedback if you are interested.

Satya T.

Andrew and Tricia M.

Jan. 18, 2013
Itinerary: Istanbul Tour

Thanks Rina - Robbie really enjoyed the day tour and we really appreciate your going to the trouble of recommending it.

I think Istanbul was initially a bit daunting for a single, inexperienced traveller who is also prone to anxiety but after the first day he got a lot out of the visit.

Thanks again.

Andrew and Tricia M.

Tajul H.

Dear Rina,

It was a wonderful trip, thoroughly enjoyed by all three of us.

Firstly, the airport pickup, which was there waiting for us after a flight delay of 6 hours, gave us the confidence that you had made arrangements for us with reliable parties. In fact, all the airport transfers were good. The only small problem we had was when the driver who took us from Kayseri airport to Goreme didn't quite know the exact location of Pashahan Hotel and had to stop and ask for directions once we arrived in Goreme.

The choice of hotels were good. The staff at Hotel Tulip House were all pleasant, very friendly and helpful. The hotel building, location and environment gave us a good feel of the old Istanbul, which we might not experience in a 4 or 5 star hotel. We appreciated that the radiator and hot water heater were working, as it was cold in Istanbul that week even though it was supposed to be the first week of spring. The 24-hour access to the kitchen to make our own tea/coffee was very well utilized by my wife and I. My wife also loved the good selections we had for breakfast.

Tuba, our guide for the old city private walking tour was excellent. Despite the cold and the occasional rain, we enjoyed the tour very much. Lunch at the Baran Ottoman Kitchen was great. By the end of the tour, Tuba was like a long-time family friend. In fact, she and my daughter have since become facebook friends and will continue to be in touch.

tajulUfuk, our guide for the Golden Horn and Bosporus group tours was also very friendly and professional. It was almost a private tour in the morning as there was only one other person in the group, while the bigger group in the afternoon was not too big - so we didn't miss any of the guide's informative briefings or his jokes. We had lunch at the same restaurant again, but we didn't mind as they had more than enough inviting selections to choose from.

We stored most of our luggage at Hotel Tulip House as we flew to Cappadocia with just one check-in bag. Sergio, the proprietor of Pashahan Hotel, was a very gracious host. As he had low occupancy at the time, he showed us his two cave rooms and let us choose the one we preferred. Again, the rooftop terrace pantry was accessible to us to make tea/coffee in the middle of the night and we utilized it well, even when it was cold outside as he had a pot belly stove heater running during the night. Breakfast was adequate, but made a lot more 'entertaining' by Sergio who would tell us stories from his well-traveled and eventful life as well as jokes like a professional stand-up comedian.

Sergio helped us make arrangements to take a 1-hour hot air balloon flight on our second morning in Goreme, it was well worth it - watching the balloons being blown up, getting into the basket, rising up into the cool morning air, looking at the breathtaking views, not least breathtaking of which was the view of dozens of other balloons in the several square miles of space around us, gently landing onto the trailer which had followed us to the landing spot, and the celebration drinks after. We arrived back at Pashahan Hotel just as breakfast was being served, and more than ample time for us to refresh ourselves for the group tour.

The group tours in Cappadocia were also excellent. Our guide, my memory fails me now - his name has slipped my mind for now, was very friendly, personable, yet professional and very informative. As a hobbyist photographer, I could rely on him to take nice family photos of us using my camera, and I didn't need to tell him what adjustments to make in the dim light inside caves and in the underground city. The second day tour was really a private tour from lunchtime onwards. The same guide took us to lunch at a restaurant in a nice old building in his hometown, where everything was homemade, including the baklava. He claimed it was the best restaurant in the region, and after the meal we had no reason to dispute that claim. He took us for a walk around his hometown and even dropped by his Grandma's house to say hello. The old lady was very welcoming, not just to her favorite grandson, but also to us three aliens who couldn't speak her language. The five minutes we spent standing with her in her courtyard, listening to Grandma and grandson have that very brief chat, I would regard as one of the highlights of our tour!

At my request, our guide also took us to where he and his wife usually buy their household supplies. I bought some Turkish coffee beans for my espresso machine back home, and my wife bought some spices and some Turkish delights, packed in ordinary plastic bags and paper boxes, without the fancy, pricey packaging that you find at the touristy places. This was another experience I appreciated - shopping like a local.

It was good that we had a full day at leisure to shop for souvenirs at the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul. But one advice I'd give my friends is, if the taxi driver is not absolutely certain where your hotel is even after you show him the hotel business card and he can't speak English, take another taxi. We took one such taxi and he dropped us at a location that was unfamiliar to us, and I suspect unfamiliar to him as well, gesturing that our hotel was just a walk away around the corner. We took another taxi that had just dropped off passengers at a hotel, whose driver spoke English - he telephoned our hotel to clarify directions and got us there safely, quite a distance away from where the first taxi had dropped us! I guess you can't expect every taxi driver to know every little hotel in such an enormous city like Istanbul.

Anyway, the little problems are spices of life experience. Overall, as I said in my first sentence, the trip was thoroughly enjoyable. It was also a good reunion with our daughter whom we had not seen for 6 months since she began studying at Sheffield University. She's also not disappointed that we postponed her trip home to Malaysia till summer and decided to meet up in Turkey instead during her Easter break. Thank you for making the arrangements for us with reliable, professional, friendly and helpful people.

Best regards,
Tajul H.

Madeleine and Steve L.

Apr. 19, 2013
Itinerary: Private Turkey Tour and Gulet Cabin Cruise

Hello Rinamadeleine

So sorry I haven’t written before to tell you how absolutely FANTASTIC our trip was!!! We still talk about it and endlessly praise your communication, organisation, cooperation, attention to detail, knowledge – the list goes on and on!

From the moment we arrived in Istanbul and the name LINTON appeared on the card at the airport the holiday went off without a hitch. All the accommodation was first class and your tour guides were amazing! The personal approach was exactly what we wanted and the first time any of us had had a holiday in this manner – we would most certainly do it again.

We loved Istanbul and Cappadocia was quite amazing– I must say the balloon trip was the highlight for us all – what a diverse country you live in and we only scratched the surface! Our cave house was fabulous and we only wished we could have stayed there longer.

And then the boat trip – well what a great adventure that was! We were surrounded by delightful people of all ages and nationalities and the crew were first rate. There were 18 passengers in all and we all got on famously – Italian, Spanish, Turkish, German, American, Australian – what a great smorgasbord of new friends to travel with to discover the amazing coastline. The crew went out of their way to make us all comfortable and joined in with card games and lots of Backgammon - they were exceptionally good at that! One of them even came with us off the boat at the end of the trip at 3am to wait for our driver to pick us up to go the airport for the 6am flight. We were standing in the middle of Bodrum whilst people were still going home from bars and clubs and then along came the driver– what organisation – it never missed a beat!

And then our Turkish holiday was over and off we flew to Marseilles to our next adventure – no sign with our name at their airport – we felt quite unloved!

To think I organised this with you whilst sitting up in bed with my iPad at night whilst you were in the office in Turkey ! You always got back to me so quickly and were so accommodating to all our thoughts and ideas.

We have recommended you to all our friends and I hope that we will do another holiday through you.
With best wishes from us both
Madeleine and Steve L.

Peter O.

May 01, 2013
Itinerary: Self-Drive and private guide

Again, I too am sorry to have missed you in Kas... but we will definitely return to Turkey... and are passing your name along to several of our friends who are interested in your part of the world. It's certainly easy for us ( Prue and me ) to visit more in Marmarus with our friend there.... but we loved it so much that we would consider coming for a longer stretch.
Kemal was superb ; everyone liked him... for his personality as well as his professionalism !!

Thnk for everything Rina. We'll stay in touch.

Warmly
Peter O.

Robert M.

May 03, 2013
Itinerary: Self-Drive and private guide

Hi Rina- just logged onto internet. The guided tour was great. Kemal was excellent and very informative. no problems at all. I actually like tours like this more than my wife because I could listen to a history lesson all day long while walking. Saved me waiting time in lines. In my travels I hate waiting in lines so Imiss a lot of things. I would pay money not to wait in line. Istanbul was terrific. Spent the other days walking , Bosphorus cruise, Princess islands. Thank u so much for arranging things.

Robert M.

Patricia D.


May 14, 2013

Itinerary: Small group Cappadocia Tour

Hi Rina,

Everything went great, thank you. We really enjoyed the tour with Medine. She was very sweet and very informative.

Best,
Patricia D.

Marie T.

May 18, 2013
Itinerary: Istanbul accomodation

Hi Rina:
Istanbul was fantastic, what a wonderful city! The hotel was very comfortable and the staff were wonderful! The hotel was perfectly located for everything we wanted to do. Thank you so much for setting us up with such wonderful accommodations!
Maire T.

HYu Ming K. – Malaysia

May 30, 2013
Itinerary: Tailored Turkey Tour

Hi Rina!

I finally find some time to write you a feedback. Have been thrown right back into work since Monday!

My parents and I had a good trip. The tours and transfers were right on time, the people very friendly. Tour guides were very informative too. Breakfast at all the hotels were good with a wide variety of food. On most tours, we had a small group of 6-10 only which was fantastic! Ephesus and Gallipoli tours were the largest with around 25.

If I were to do it again or recommend family members and friends, I'd leave out Gallipoli (maybe even Troy) and the Soganli Valley tour in Cappadocia (if time is short) though the Kaymakli underground city was very interesting.

Our best part of the tour had to be Cappadocia. The hotel was great (except for the first night the extra bed was extremely soft and uncomfortable). Breakfast was the best here! Cappadocia is beautiful and the tour of the fairy chimneys and Open Air Museum was very enjoyable. The lunches provided in the 2 days were both delicious and generous in small, quaint restaurants.

On the first day we arrived in Istanbul, they allowed us to check into our rooms right after they told us to go down for breakfast! We are truly grateful for such hospitality. Historia Hotel is a quaint little place, close to the sights too. The walking tour of Istanbul was truly exhausting! Hahaha. I think we could have done without the Topkapi Palace.

Thank you again for organising such a beautiful holiday for my parents and I. It is much appreciated and my friends and family have heard from me about how reliable you are. I will not hesitate to recommend Insight Tours to them in the future. My dad may have thought the whole tour to be a little too tiring for him as he is not used to being out the whole day and walking so much! But my mum and I had a blast :) We are also very much darker now than when we first got into Turkey. Haha!

On our free days, we visited the Fatih Market (the morning we arrived in Istanbul) and took the Bosphorus Cruise. At the end of the tour, we went over to Kardikoy and visited the open market too. Then the Spice Market.

Thanks again, Rina!

Regards,
YuMing.

Sally and Bruce W. – New Zealand

May 31, 2013
Itinerary: Tailored Turkey Tour

Dear Rina,
Thank you for the lovely tour we have enjoyed it immensely. We had a long day yesterday but although sad, it was very important for us ANZACs.

Cheers Sally W.

Don and Ilissa K. – MO, USA

June 1, 2013
Itinerary: Highlights of Turkey Tour

Rina,
As first time visitors to Turkey we had a outstanding time. Kemal and the driver were both at the top of their game. The small group got along well which made for a very enjoyable tour. All I can say is once we return to the States (we are in Rome presently) we will recommend this tour to our friends and post a strong review on TripAdvisor. The only recommendation ... I'm observing that a number of tour companies are using a listening device and the guide has a microphone. It might help in certain situations and helps focus on the details. You offer great value, small groups, an outstanding guide and driver. Thanks so much ... and will be looking at some of your other offering next year.
All the best and thanks for a memorable tour!
Don and Ilissa

David K. – OH, USA

June 3, 2013
Itinerary: Highlights of Turkey Tour

Hi Rina
Jeannie will respond later with more detail. We were delighted with the tour. Our guide was excellent who was full of information which he shared. Our driver was always a delight to be around. As you might know I had some trouble with my ankle and the guide helped me in little ways that did not the bother the others on the tour which I was grateful . Everything was done from our initial contacts with you , picking us up at the airport, the tour itself, and getting us back to the airport to leave in a very professional way. Thanks for a great experience. Dave

PS You should consider getting a job at Delta Airlines. They need you.

Michele D. – MA, USA

June 3, 2013-07-03
Itinerary: Tailored Turkey Tour

Hi Rina,
The tours were excellent thank you & I loved our cave hotel, I had a wonderful time in Turkey.
The only thing I would suggest to tell tourists about Istanbul is to be careful of the cobblestone streets and not to wear flip flops like I did, sneakers or real shoes are a must in Turkey.

Thank you again for a amazing trip, I love Turkey and will probably return one day but until then I will recommend your company for tours to all my friends.

Best Regards,
Michele

Julia T. – TX, USA

June 4, 2013
Itinerary: Istanbul Tours

Hi Rina,

The tours were excellent. We loved our tour guide...thanks for arranging everything!

Julia

Keith and Elizabeth C. – New Zealand

June 5, 2013
Itinerary: Tailored Turkey Tour

Hello Rina. We are now in Singapore. I was not able to access my e-mail during our time in Turkey so have not replied to your e-mails. We had a great time, everything was well organised and went smoothly, thanks for setting it all up.
Regards - Keith and Elizabeth.

Robert M and Vivienne L. – Australia

June 5, 2013
Itinerary: Highlights of Turkey Tour

Hello Rina
Vivienne and I have only just arrived back in Australia yesterday but wanted to say how much we enjoyed our Turkey tour. Our guide (and driver) was excellent and very informative and our 8 American travelling companions were pleasant company. We expect to return to Turkey in the future.

Regards
Robert M & Vivienne L

Tom H. – CA, USA

June 10, 2013
Itinerary: Grand Tour of Western Turkey

Rina:may-13-grand-tour

I have committed the modern people’s most serious crime by taking off for 3 wonderful weeks. Now is the payback time. I am buried by works.

I found Turkey a lovely country, with friendly people, nice food, abound of history and many sites to visit. The big cities are vibrant and the country side are beautiful.

With your good planning and arrangement, we can fully enjoy this lovely country. I won’t tell you everything was perfect, but I would say that the trip was above and beyond my expectation. We cannot thank you more.

I do have a little request. The day we arrived Kas, we went the end of the harbor (pass Smiley’s) and has tea and juice at this little water-side place. We took a picture of the owner and her granddaughter. She gave us a flyer fro she store and want us to send her the picture. When we came back, we found that there is no street address. We are wondering if you can do us a favor by sending her the attached picture. We appreciate you help.

Best, Tom

PS: The only regret of the trip was that we don’t get a chance to thank you in person.

See Tom’s photo album on Facebook

Jan O – WA, USA

June 11, 2013
Itinerary: Highlights of Turkey Tour

Hi Rina,
Yes, i did enjoy the trip very much; all the sights we saw gave a very good impression of the country, and I was thankful for the nice weather. I would like to see more of the rest of Turkey! The pace of the tour was just right & well balanced for free time.
I would have enjoyed more unscheduled brief stops for photo ops.
The group got along very well, and I was very happy with my roommate, we had a lot in common, both nurses, etc. Thank you for your excellent help in organizing,
and in facilitating my payments through your mother.
It was a pleasure working with your company.
Jan

Glenda and Andy S – NSW, Australia

June 11, 2013
Itinerary: Grand Tour of Western Turkey

Hi Rina

Arrived home last night after an absolutely fabulous trip. Due to your meticulous organisation, everything came together like clockwork, with not one hitch in our whole holiday. Our little group bonded well right from the start and, in fact, we clicked so well with Cathy and Dan, that they ended up coming on the Black Sea cruise with us.

We cannot speak highly enough of Erkan and Dursun. Erkon was a treasure chest of information and we were privileged for him to share his love of his country and its history with us. He guided us with light-hearted respect and we saw places that I know we wouldn't have otherwise seen. We had great fun, with lots of laughter and all of us felt we came away much fitter after exploring your fabulous ancient ruins. This despite the fact that we were so well fed! All our hotels were great - clean and comfortable and in good locations to see all the sights. Especially liked the Daphne Hotel in Istanbul where we spent a lot of time on the roof enjoying the fabulous seascape and listening to the sounds of Istanbul all around us - will miss the daily prayers, but maybe not so much the dawn ones. Dursun was an extremely safe and reliable driver and a thorough gentleman, and took great pride in our trusty bus.

We would have no hesitation in recommending you to all our friends.

With kind regards
Glenda and Andy

Cathy and Dan S. – Ontario, Canada

June 12, 2013
Itinerary: Grand Tour of Western Turkey

Hi Rina,
We are not home from our travels yet. The short answer is that we really enjoyed the Grand Tour. We'll give more detailed feedback when we get back home at the end of June.
Thanks, Rina.
Cathy & Da

Jean and David K. – OH, USA

June 14, 2013
Itinerary: Highlights of Turkey Tour

Oh, Rina,

We have been singing our praises of your Insight Travel Turkey company. We are recalling our wonderful visit to Turkey May 12-23 daily as we sift through our photos and scan the Internet to fill in our understanding of what we saw and experienced. (Thanks, Kemal for sharing all the historical background information everywhere we went. It set the stage for helping us as visitors to understand how the changing cultures over the centuries have shape the modern culture!) We truly appreciated the attention to detail your tour and our friendly, experienced guide and driver delivered as promised to make the whole experience from start to finish a five star experience. You all made travel appear effortless, allowing us immerse ourselves in the culture, historical sites, natural beauty of the countryside, warmth of the people and the delicious cuisine we found everywhere. I can tell you we are now active ambassadors to our for a part of the world that we did not know much about before deciding to visit. Turkey becomes more than a location on the globe when you know someone who has been there and brings back stories and pictures.

Our thoughts and best wishes are with you.

Jean and Dave K
Clinton, Ohio

Robert and Karen G. – NSW, Australia

June 17, 2013
Itinerary: Grand Tour of Western Turkeykaren-g

Hello Rina.

Thank you for organising such a wonderful, happy, adventurous tour. We had so much fun due in large part to the wonderful guiding of Erkan.

There were so many highlights but if I can mention a few. Eating in family homes in the countryside, Anzac, Cappadocia, walking to Erkans secret spots in Istanbul, Kas, swimming in Pamukkale, Aphrodisias, Underground City, and fresh squeezed orange juice at so many sights. The list goes on with so many highlights every day. We enjoyed all the delights of Turkish food at so many different and surpising places.

We met so many lovely locals and Erkans love of the country shone through. We felt so safe with him and our driver, Durson. We loved the VW van for it's comfort and space.

We will never forget our trip.

Again, thank you for all your expertice and patience when organising the trip including transfers which were all flawless.

We will highly recommend you to all our friends.

Hope you enjoy the photos.

Best wishes from Robert and Karen

*See more of Robert and Karen’s photos on Facebook

Lena C. – IL, USA

June 18, 2013
Itinerary: Land Tour with Gulet Cruise

Hi Rina,

I left Turkey yesterday but I just wanted to let you know it was a really great trip and I enjoyed myself. Thanks again for helping with my arrangements. Everything went very smoothly and all my transfers were right on time. Definitely need more time to explore other parts of the country :).

If there's somewhere (e.g., trip advisor) that I can write a review or provide feedback, let me know.

Thanks,
Lena

Shashi and Bosco C. – Ontario, Canada

June 18, 2013
Itinerary: Grand Tour of Western Turkey

Hello Rina:
We enjoyed our trip through western Turkey immensely. Kemal our guide did a very good job of answering all our queries and sharing with us his views about Turkey and Islam. For us some key factors in choosing your trip were: 1) small group size, 2) the longest itinerary covering all the historic/archeological sites that we wished to see, and 3) during the trip there were 2 day stays three times with the possibility to get a feel for the country. Moreover, the driving distances on most days were quite reasonable with no brutal long drives.
The short cooking demonstration and home cooked meal were a real treat! Bosco was a little ambivalent about this when he first read about it but after the meal/Turkish hospitality … convert for sure. Overall, an excellent trip and we will surely recommend it to our friends.
Cheers
Shashi & Bosco

Mujeeb S. – Singapore

June 23, 2013
Itinerary: Istanbul Tours

Hi Rina,
We really our stay in Istanbul, so much to see. The trip to Princess Island was very enjoyable & quite relaxing. Topkapi Palace very impressive.
Thanks for your help. Will recommend to friends if they are planning a trip to Istanbul
Regards
Mujeeb

Marcie W. – MN, USA

June 26, 2013
Itinerary: Private Turkey Tour

YOU DID A SPLENDID JOB PUTTING OUR TURKEY TRIP TOGETHER. I LOVED ALL OF THE HOTELS - THEY MET ALL OF MY EXPECTATIONS. DURSUN WAS A WONDERFUL DRIVER. NEVER DID I FEEL ILL AT EASE WITH HIM AT THE WHEEL IN OUTRAGEOUS TRAFFIC. FOR MY FIRST TRIP TO TURKEY I LOVED IT. IF I RETURN I WILL TURN TO YOUR AGENCY FOR SERVICE.

THE ONLY UNPLEASANTNESS WAS THE CROWDS IN EPHESUS. I REALLY COULDN'T SEE ALL THAT I WANTED FOR NEEDING TO BE ON THE LOOK OUT FOR COBBLESTONES AND PEOPLE! THE TOWN OF ASSOS HAD TO BE ANOTHER HIGH LIGHT. IT WAS LESS DEVELOPED, MORE ETHNIC AND VERY QUAINT. I WOULD WANT TO RETURN THERE JUST FOR THE ATMOSPHERE.

MANY THANKS FOR YOUR ASSISTANCE ON MAKING THIS A WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE FOR ME. MARCIE W.

Linda R. – MN, USA

June 27, 2013
Itinerary: Private Turkey Tour

Hi Rina!linda-r

Wanted to thank you for a great visit to Turkey! I was with Laney S and Marci H et.al.. It was a delight to meet you and enjoy all you arranged. Your assisting Mary and I with a little more activity and the swim in Kas was greatly appreciated. Also your timely sending of the Turkish recipes was great--------since my return home I've been preparing more Mediterranean meals---------I loved the food!

I will definitely be returning to Turkey again and have a number of friends and acquaintances interested in doing so as well and you can bet I will give them you as a contact for arrangements. I'm also going to give your name and info to my archaeologist/ professor who will be leading a tour to Turkey I believe next year.

Thanks so much. Have a relaxing summer with many swims.

Warmest Wishes,
Linda R

Aviva G. – MD, USA

July 03, 2013
Itinerary: Self Drive and Private Cappadocia Tours

Feedback during their trip..

We had such a fantastic boat ride today in a small boat from Fethiye with
lots of swimming and jumping off rocks and ropes in coves.The Yacht Boutique Hotel is just perfect for us, thank you again for recommending it.
Also loved the restaurant Cin Bal which is a little ways out of Fethiye.  

We are in love with Kas, never want to leave here or the Hideaway hotel!

Cappadocia: Another outstanding leg of our trip! The hotel is perfect for us, local, interesting, not too posh, very comfortable, the area is just incredible, and our tour guide today, Gonca, was utterly fantastic, she had all the kids and adults completely engaged and entertained so there wasn't a dull moment. She also suggested a great local dinner place, Sofra, and we ran into her there with her mother. Everything has just been so smooth and exactly what we had wanted, we will be glad to refer all our friends who travel to Turkey to you--we tend to have a lot of friends who ask us for trip advice, so hopefully some more clients will come your way. Thanks so much for all your help.

Aviva

Martin S – Istanbul,Turkey

July 12, 2013
Itinerary: Private Gulet Cruise from Kas

Hi Rina,

We had a great trip. Eser was a fabulous captain, good locations to stop at, great food, friendly and accomodating. The boat was in great condition. Kayak on board and snorkling equipment was great to have. Thx for all of your help.

Martin

Betsy K. NY, USA

July 14, 2013
Itinerary: Private Cappadocia Package

Thanks for everything Rina. Everything went without a hitch. Our guide in Cappadocia (Umit) was great and we really enjoyed his knowledge and easy going personality. Good guide!  Hotel was also lovely!  
Thanks Again
Betsy

Kathy and Dan S. Ontario, Canada

July 23, 2013
Itinerary: Grand Tour of Western Turkey

Hi Rina,
Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. After our Black Sea cruise, and our stints in Italy and the Alps, we came back to quite a lot of business we had to attend to. But we want you to know that we were very pleased with the service you provided, and we have already recommended Insight Travel to several of our friends. Specifically:

Erkan was a wonderful guide! He was knowledgeable, patient, casual but professional, and he had a great sense of humour. He shared a lot of himself, and we got to see the country through his eyes. He was sensitive to the feelings of the Aussies in Gallipoli, and he was most helpful to Cathy when she injured her wrist.

Speaking, of professional, we found you. rina, to be perfectly on top of things, from our initial contact through the final transfer. We learned that you were honest and trustworthy, two attributes that are most appreciated in a tour agent. You were also very flexible and helpful when it came to our changes in plans. And all ten of us commented on how thoughtful it was to phone us when you couldn't be in Kas to greet us personally.

The itinerary was excellent. I was worried that I'd be "ruined out" along the way, but there was good variety and pacing to our days, and Erkan kept things interesting. We're very happy you recommended the balloon ride -- it was a highlight. (Short ride was just fine.) Other highlights for us included the two meals (and even a cooking demonstration) with two families. Gave us a better sense of the lifestyles of some non-urban people.

Food arrangements were excellent. We were glad that virtually all meals were included. Erkan was helpful in explaining the different foods, and our choices..

Our driver was excellent. Cathy says he was a kind, sweet man.

Thank you for arranging a wonderful tour for us, Rina. It's clear that it was well planned, and with attention to detail. If you'd like any specific details that we've missed, please let us know.

Thanks,
Cathy and Dan S.

PS: Emre was very personable and helpful, although Cathy believes he's an impostor, with his ginger hair and freckles. She insists he must have some Celtic or Viking blood in him!

Sherry C. Victoria, Australia

July 29, 2013
Itinerary: Highlights of Turkey Tour

Hi Rina,
Just a short email to thank you very much for the tour you arranged for my husband and myself.  Both the driver Ali and Kemal the guide have been fantastic in every way.  The Hotels (both big and small) have been very comfortable and accommodating - all I can say is that we have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the tour - thank you very much!!!
Kind regards,  Sherry

Harold H. NJ, USA

July 30, 2013
Itinerary: Highlights of Turkey Tour

Kemal was a wonderful guide.  His English was very good.  His breadth of knowledge: history, religion, culture, social mores, geography, geology, botany, cuisine - remarkable.  Good thing, too, because all of us were fairly sophisticated travelers who wanted in-depth information.  He found a good balance of telling us and showing us.  His attitude was always upbeat and his demeanor friendly and calm, even when things occasionally got strained.  He was punctual and very helpful in all hotel, market, and meal transactions and offered good suggestions for free time activities.  Both Martha and I gained a lot of insight into Turkish social life from Kemal. I would certainly want to travel with him as our guide again.

Our driver, Ahmed, was always punctual, friendly, and calm.  We had confidence in his driving and his focus on safety.  He maintained the bus in good condition throughout our travels.  

All of the hotels were acceptable.  Top stay was at Pasapark in Konya, it was the the only hotel I would have rated 4-star. Hal-Tur in Pamukkale was charming with a great view and an excellent dinner outside. Yusuf Yigitolu was very romantic.  All of the lodging was clean and the bathrooms were also good to very good.  Hotel Carina had a beautiful setting and view in Kusadasi with a fine pool to cool off in after a long day, but the bedroom furnishings were threadbare (although the bathroom was just fine) and the breakfast and dinner were uninspiring and indifferently prepared.

The food on the trip ranged from acceptable to outstanding.  The breakfast at Pasapark and Yusuf Yogitolu were very good, and Hotel Carina was only passable.  Both restaurant dinners in Urgup were excellent, as was dinner in Canakkale.  Lunches were also generally good, with the lunch after Aphrodisias an excellent one.  Daphne breakfast was also good.

Highlights of the tour:

Topkapi Palace: would definitely go back to spend more time to explore exhibits we missed.
Assos: beautiful setting
Asclepion - very impressive in its expanse and completeness
Ephesus (although relatively crowded from cruise ships), especially the Terrace Houses
Visit to the carpet-weaving school near Kusadasi - educational and amazing
Aphrodisias - the ruins and the museum were astonishing
Pamukkale – breathtakingly beautiful and weird, with a relaxing spring to swim in
Konya Local Market - Martha and I explored this by ourselves for a couple of hours and met some  wonderful people selling produce and other wares.
First night dinner in Urgup - a delicious special veal stew
Extraordinary balloon ride at dawn in Cappadocia amongst the towers and cliffs
Goreme Village - mysterious churches and housing.
Kaleidoscope of the countryside: agriculture, geology, towns

Nothing I would recommend skipping: Troy is important, but unimpressive; Gallipoli was beautiful and learning the history was worthwhile, but it did not pack the emotional punch for us as Americans as it did for our Australian companions. And some of the ruins blended in to each other after a while.

Our travel "bucket list" is so long that Martha and I can only hope we get another chance to visit Turkey.  We would "go off the beaten path" in Istanbul and explore some of the neighborhoods there.  We would like to explore Bursa, Black Sea sites, and Izmir and - if it were safe - go further east from Cappodocia to explore ancient historical and religious sites. Maybe in a couple of years.

Rina - we deeply appreciate the work you did to insure our visit was memorable.  You were patient with my questions and always available to clarify issues and assuage my concerns.  Please feel free to use us as a reference and - if you need a testimonial - I would be happy to provide one.

Best regards - perhaps we will work together again.  Now I have to finish editing the 3200 photos I took.

Martha and Harold

Ingrid H. Australia

August 8, 2013
Itinerary: Highlights of Turkey Tour

Hi Rina, I'm back in Australia now..oh how I miss Turkey. You have a beautiful country and beautiful people. I will highly recommend your agency to any of my friends. Kemal was a very positive professional guide and Ali was wonderful as well. Thank you. Some of the group tell me you are originally from Norway. My mother is Norwegian. Thankyou again, everything was fantastic.

Ingrid

Mara R. NZ

August 9, 2013
Itinerary: Tailor-made Turkey tour

Hi Rina we are now in Australia on the last leg of our trip. We had a lovely visit to Turkey and thank you for your great organisation everything went very smoothly. Our accommodation in Istanbul was great and the staff at the Basileus were top notch and of course great location. Similarly our trip to Cappadocia the hotel was great and the family treated us as one of them nothing was too much trouble. We really enjoyed ourselves and lapped up the historical aspect with good guides especially at Ephesus and Gallipoli.

We would certainly recommend your company to visitors from New Zealand.

Mara

Maggie R. Christchurch, NZ

August 21, 2013
Itinerary: Tailor-made Turkey tour

Hi Rina, Thank you. reviewing my 1000s of photos I am very mindful of the great journey you designed for us.
I loved Turkey & am now saving up to return.

I would love to share some of your visit in Christchurch so please let me know of your plans & dates
when you have them organised.

Keep in touch,

In gratitude & fabulous memories, Maggie

Roland and Cindy L, OH, USA

August 27, 2013
Itinerary: Tailor-made Turkey tourRoland (1)

Rina, our trip was perfect in everyway and a good deal of that was due to your efforts, we appreciate that greatly.

We enjoyed your company in Turkey and would be great to meet up without you having to work.  Will look at Lonely planet and see if I can give you a great rating when I get a bit of time to think,   Thanks again for all your work in making our trip the greatest.  

Roland  L.

Bruce G. MA, USA

Sept. 2, 2013
Itinerary: Tailor-made Turkey tour

Hi Rina

We got home last night and i will write a lot more when we catch up on sleep. I did want you to know that your service was nothing less than spectacular. We had an incredible journey thanks to you. I'll have more to say later and I know yulia will be writing as well.

Very best from your Boston gang
Bruce

Karen B. Australia

Sept. 3, 2013
Itinerary: Cappadocia Package

Hi Rina
Now we're back in Australia I thought I would report back on the trip you organised for us.  Everything went exactly to plan from the time of pick up from our hotel,  the flights, transport out to the Cappadocia tours and the tours themselves. We enjoyed the trip very much. The Goreme Inn was an excellent hotel, accommodation of a high standard and the staff were friendly and very helpful and were pleased that it was in a position convenient to restaurants,etc. Our tour guide was knowledgeable and friendly and the driver.

We really enjoyed the hot air balloon trip with Goreme Balloons and will never forget the experience!

Thank you so much, Rina, the trip was everything we hoped for.
Karen

Mary Jo T. Canada

Sept. 5, 2013mary-jo-t
Itinerary: Self-drive and private Cappadocia Tours

We are a couple in our 40's, fairly adventurous, not the type to get on a tour bus. We decided to contact a local agent for a 12 day trip toTurkey in August because we were short on time and wanted to cover 3 different areas. I started by sending a prior itinerary that another Greek agent had done for us on a trip to Greece. I wanted the agents to be able to assess what kind of places we liked to stay in and our budget. Rina was the only one that responded with a personal, thoughtful response rather than a standard listing of the tours they offered. We ended up with an itinerary that included 2 nights in Cappadoccia, 2 nights in Antalya, 3 in Kas and 4 in Istanbul with accomodation, private driver and guide in Cappadoccia, car rental for Antalya/Kas portion. She was invaluable in providing information so that we could narrow down our choices, all arrangements were excellent and everything went off without a hitch. She was able to respond to all our needs and work within our budget. She responded to us daily when we were in the Antalya/Kas area and peppering her with questions re. restaurant and beach suggestions, our personal concierge almost. Would highly recommend booking with this agency!

What was outstanding:

The itinerary suggestions you made while we were in the Kas area.  We really appreciated your personal knowledge of the area.  The stop at Suluklu beach was great, we felt that we had found something a bit undiscovered except by the locals.  

The promptness and professionalism with which you dealt with all our queries.  By the end of the trip, we knew we were in great hands and I had stopped worrying about whether we were going to make the transfer, whether the driver would be there, etc.  

Guide in Urgup Ramazan.  

Olea Nova hotel, a little gem, our upgraded room was beautiful.

Basileus Hotel – reasonable 3 star, very clean.  What made it stand out from other 3 stars was the exceptional, caring service provided by the front desk.    

Thanks for a lovely trip.  Sending you a lovely souvenir photo from Suluklu Beach.  

Mary Jo and Richar

Sunny H.

September 9, 2013
Itinerary: Istanbul Tours

Hi Rina, the tours were really good.  thank you!

Sunny

John and Michelle G. USA

September 14, 2013
Itinerary: Private Western Turkey Tour

We really enjoyed everything.  The guides were excellent. It was a good idea to have one day in Istanbul to ourselves. Overall we highly recommend you and your team for future travel.  

Thanks.  John and Michelle

Annemarie S. Capetown, South Africa

September 15, 2013
Itinerary: Private Western Turkey Tour

Hello Rinaaphrodisias-1
We are back in Cape Town and want to just say thank you for an amazing tour and an even more amazing guide in Kemal.
What a lovely man and his knowledge had us gasping for breath.  We loved listening to all he had to tell us but it was impossible to take it all in.  Somehow when you are our age our brains don’t seem to function too well !!  But it was all fabulous.  We also loved all the various foods and traditions that Kemal introduced us to.

Chet and I feel very determined to make another trip to Turkey – perhaps to do a tour of the Seven Churches – but not for a couple of years. After two wonderful weeks in your incredibly interesting country with lovely blue skies and sunshine we are back in rainy cold Cape Town.

Nej was also a quiet constant presence and drove us around very safely.  We managed to get him to laugh a bit with us by the end of the tour so we hope he also enjoyed his time with us.

Very kind regards and many thanks again.
Please pass on our thanks and appreciation to Kemal.

Chet and Annemarie

Robert F. USA

September 16, 2013
Itinerary: Private Western Turkey Tour

Rina, The trip was fantastic! Thanks for handling the logistics for us.

Robert

Charles B. VA, USA

September 16, 2013
Itinerary: Private Classic Western Turkey Tour

Rina,

Thoroughly enjoyed the trip.  All of the transfers from and to the airport and ship worked like a charm.  Our trip around Anatolia was wonderful.  Our guide Kenan did a a great job (he is probably the most knowledgeable guide we have ever had) and Dursin, our driver, kept us safe and sound throughout the trip.  In retrospect, we probably tried to pack too much in to the trip given the long distances between sights, but Joan and I knew that going in; trying to coordinate our calendar and those of all of our fellow travelers made a longer trip impossible. We thoroughly enjoyed Turkey.  

Charlie

James L.

September 16, 2013
Itinerary: Classic Western Turkey Tour

Hi Rina

Thanks to your insightful itininery, our trip was blast.
No major issues, My next year's FDI convention will be in New Delhi around the same time and I am also planning to visit a couple of Eastern European countries in spring.
Does Insight operate in these countries?

Regards n Thanks
James Loh

Joan and Nick S. MD, USA

September 16, 2013
Itinerary: Private Classic Western Turkey Tour

Dear Rina,
 
The tour of Turkey was a wonderful extension of our Black Sea vacation.  Our guide, Kenan, was very friendly, knowledgeable, and professional.  We learned a lot!!!  He has a very good English vocabulary, and used words with nuances of meaning that made clear our understanding of the Turkish landscape, history, and antiquities.  He was very thoughtful and considerate and attentive to our needs.  When I was under the weather on one of our excursions, he made arrangements for me to go back to the hotel for the afternoon without inconveniencing the rest of the group. This was at no additional charge for the transportation!  He also modified some of the walking/climbing parts of the trip to accommodate the needs of some folks in our group.  Kenan anticipated and took care of all of our needs, leaving us to enjoy the trip.
 
Our bus driver, Durson, was one of the best!  He drove carefully, competently, and cheerfully.  He paid attention to the road, paced the driving without speeding or taking chances and never gave us a reason to worry about our transportation safety.
 
Our hotels were clean, comfortable, and conveniently located.  The meals were delicious and the buffet set-up gave us all an opportunity to choose what we wanted to eat. The restaurant at Cappadocia is a wonderful example of this type of restaurant.  Even though it also accommodated tour groups, it had a feeling of a more intimate space, rather than a highway rest area.    
 
Thank you for personalizing our trip to make it possible to accomplish in 9 days as we requested.  That said, I think we all agree that it would have been a much less rigorous, more enjoyable trip if we could have spread out our travels over your recommended 13 days.  There was a lot of driving, early mornings, and single night stays.  The compressed trip also made it somewhat difficult to digest and retain all the historical and background information and to differentiate the impact of the ancient ruins.
 
Thank you for all your attention to detail.  We had a memorable trip and love Turkey!
 
Joan and Nick S

Sydney C. South Africa

September 25, 2013
Itinerary: Private Highlights of Turkey TourAesclepion-Sydney-C

Thanks Rina. We are happy for you to use the photos - and I have attached two others which you might find interesting, one of Kemal telling us about how the "healers" at the Asclepion used to use "psychotherapy" on their patients and the other of the Team after our balloon trip with our pilot.- I have reduced the size for email transmission but could send the original if you wanted to use them.

We particularly liked the way Kemal arranged the itinerary so we avoided the crowds (off the cruise ships),his excellent explanations in English, his obvious passion for his country, the local foods, and all the hotels were good, particularly the last one in Mustafapasa, Gul Konaklari - as we say in Afrikaans "kanieklanie" -which means "you cannot complain at all".

Often on guided tours you feel pressured to buy things when you are taken to carpet, jewelry or pottery shops - but both the carpet and pottery factories we visited were very interesting and we were not put under pressure - especially seeing the dexterity of the women making the carpets and how the silk is made from the silkworms. We will certainly recommend Insight Travel to any of our friends visiting Turkey
Kind regards
Sydney

Gina H. MO, USA

September 27, 2013
Itinerary:  Highlights of Aegean Turkey Tour

Good Morning Rina,
Words can not express how amazing this trip was for me. Each area we visited was so fascinating and full of history, I can’t pick a favorite. It was the first vacation that I have taken where I wasn’t ready to go home.

I loved our guide and driver, they were always helpful, insightful and truly looked out for our best interest. Please fill free to use any picture of me to promote this amazing tour.
Gina

Christina and Scott E.

Hi Rina, Hope you are well. Christina-and-Kemal
We are coming to the end of a fantastic holiday. Our first two weeks in Turkey contained many highlights. Our tour of Istanbul with Kemal was excellent. He was very knowledgeable and made the day special for us. In Cappadocia our balloon ride was one of the best tourist events we have ever had.  It was magical, memorable and when we are asked, what was the best thing we did on our holiday, the ballon ride will be the answer. Toran also looked after us. While we have different politics to Toran, he is a very competent tour guide and took us to some great places.

The rest of our holiday left us with many great memories. Peter and Christina had a paraglide in Pammakale, Gallipoli was fantastic and moving, Troy was fascinating.

Best wishes
Scott and Christina

Andrew S. NC, USA

October 2, 2013
Itinerary: Private Highlights of Turkey Tour

Rina,
First, it's been a wonderful tour - great group, great guide Arif, great country - I'll write more later. But, I did want to say that Sveta and I are safely back in Istanbul .

No worries at all.

Anyway, we both thank you very much for all your help. I bought a very stylish leather jacket in Cappdocia - we even got a fashion show before - this group just loved it! I actually need the jacket back here in Istanbul and I'll be in Ukraine for 2 days - it's chilly there.

Wish we could have met you!
Andrew

Tanj B. WA, USA

October 9, 2013
Itinerary: Highlights of Turkey Tour

Hi Rina,
We had a great time.  An interesting group of travelers.Arif was a patient and interesting guide with a pace that seemed ok for the group, and Ali seemed a safe driver.  Arif was impressively accurate with his history, we had fun since a few of us had some scraps of knowledge and no-one seemed to be in contradiction.

Hotels were mostly good.  The ones in Konya and Kappadokia were outstanding, although none of them had food as good as was found outside.  The two lunches near Ephesis, one with Nektar and the other at the hilltop near the philosophers’ outpost, were just perfect.  And the riverside at Kappadokia was great even if the wasps were pests.

WiFi was good in Istanbul (Aprilis) and Konya, ranged from sporadic to non-existent in other hotels.  Mostly the beds were ok and bathrooms ranged from luxurious to adequate.  Staff everywhere were helpful.  Aprilisstaff were quite friendly and helpful.

I’ve already recommended Insight to someone.

Thanks!
Tanj

Nigel and Shirly M. South Africa

October 10, 2013
Itinerary: Private Highlights of Turkey Tour

Dear Rina,
We are slowly getting back to routine after our wonderful 5 weeks away, including a most memorable tour with Insight Travel of Turkey. The other members of our group are away cycling somewhere and so we have not seen them since our return home on Saturday but I know they have been in contact withyou. Shirley and I will certainly be recommending this tour to our friends: it was compact but so informative of the history of the country, its culture and its talents. It was most comfortable both accommodation and activity-wise - the Mina Hotel in particular was very good. Kemal wasexcellent.Please pass on our thanks and best wishes to himtoo.

Thank you for putting together such a wonderful tour for us. Love to returnone day.

Best wishes.
Nigel & Shirley

Laura T. TX, USA

October 17, 2013
Itinerary:  Private Istanbul Tours

Hi Rina,
Erol was an excellent guide!  He was informative, open, and flexible with the schedule.  We also felt Erol was especially respectful of our safety and cautioned us when necessary.  Erol provided us with exceptional tours and good reputable stores for the items we specifically were interested in purchasing.  Overall, we were all very pleased with the quality of service Erol provided and we enjoyed getting to know him.  

Thanks so much to you and Erol for making our first trip to Istanbul so enjoyable!

Best regards,
Laura

Lorraine H. Australia

October 19, 2013
Itinerary:
Tailored Western Turkey Tour

Hello Rina
Finally replying to your earlier email since our return.

We really enjoyed our time in Turkey and particularly want to say thanks for the well put together sectors. Everything went extremely well, and drivers were particularly punctual with pick-ups from hotels and drop offs at hotels or airports. We found it easy and enjoyable knowing that we could rely on this aspect of our holiday and we found the Turkish people so nice and hospitable. We loved the 8.30am pick-ups knowing that some tours can be very early starters, but this timing gave us sufficient time to enjoy breakfast without the rush and be waiting for the drivers. The bus drivers also were safety conscious on the roads for which we were thankful.

We will look forward to returning one day and many thanks again for your professional service.

Kind regards
Lorraine & Rob H.

Titus M. Calgary, Canada

October 23, 2013
Itinerary: BA08 Classic Western Turkey Tour with connection to Greeece

Dear Rina:
We have just returned to Calgary after our visit to Turkey and Greece.  

All the arrangements you made worked well and we enjoyed our trip.  Overall, we were quite happy with our visit.  Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Titus M.

Yvonne H

October 23, 2013
Itinerary:  Group Istanbul Tours

Hi Rina, Thank you for checking in. Istanbul was lovely. Free (I can't say his name in turkish bit he told us it means freedom) was awesome. Despite the rainy weather he was patient and extremely professional. He gave very detailed information on all the sites we visited.

The second tour with Tuba wasn't as great. She was nice but I think Free is twice the guide she is.
The tours were well organized and had a nice pace. Driver was punctual and safe.
Yvonne

Lynette and John K, New Zealand

October 28, 2013
Itinerary: Turkey Hotel Reservations

Lynette-and-John

Jana D, Greecec

November 8, 2013
Itinerary: Istanbul Package

Dear Rina,
Thank you so much for everything, I still haven't had a chance to write a proper email as I immediately continued my holidays in Crete...

Everything was perfectly arranged and we enjoyed our stay in Istanbul; the hotel had upgraded us to a sea view room and the staff was very helpful. Great breakfast buffet!

The tours and guides were also interesting and we got to see the most important sites, although the walking tour was quite exhausting, given the fact we went everywhere on foot - perhaps the tour could be improved if there was a bus between the sites (eg. Grand Bazaar and the rest) or if the tour was half day instead of full day .

Also, crossing over to the Asian side of Istanbul (during Bosphorus Tour) was amazing!!! Loved this side of the city!

We will definitely be returning to Istanbul and Turkey in the future!

Thank you again for all your assistance,
Have a great day!!!

Best Regards,
Jana D.

Toby S.PA, USA

November 12, 2013
Itinerary: 
Highlights of Turkey Tour

We all had such an incredible journey thru Turkey.

Arif was an incredible tour guide he was so knowledgeable and patient. My only regret is that we didn't book a longer tour with you.   So looking forward to returning and exploring more of turkeys coast and Anatolia.   Thanks again for all your help and making it a memory filled vacation.   

Regards Toby

Craig and Colleen T.

November 27, 2013
Itinerary: Private Cappadocia Tours and Self-drive in Aegean area

Hello Rina,
We just got back from our Turkey and Israel trip.  Things went without a hitch.  Thanks so much!!  The driving was fine, the car trunk was big enough, the hotels worked out, and we got to see all the sites we wanted to.  Thank you so very, very much.  Our Cappadocia experience was awesome.  We ended up doing the balloon ride and it was amazing.  Indiscribable.  We went with Royal Balloon and we were impressed with all they did -- the breakfast, the expert piloting, the small group in the balloon.  We had a wonderful guide in Cappadocia (set up by you) --Medina--we highly recommend her.  She was personable and knowledgeable.  We're so glad we booked the private tour.  It was perfect for us.  Thanks for all your help.
Colleen T.

David, W Jersey

December 4, 2013
Itinerary: Private Istanbul Tours

Dear Rina,
Yes, we were very satisfied. Erol was an excellent guide, full of information. I was impressed with your personal efficiency and that of the driver who always appeared on time. We had an excellent time in Istanbul.

Best regards
David