Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the 6-Day Small-Group Turkey Tour from Istanbul: Pamukkale, Cappadocia, Ephesus and Hierapolis. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
The tour guides were fabulous, professional and knowledgeable. Very service oriented. Logistics in Turkey were very well done. The cave hotel in Cappadocia (MDC) was a highlight of the trip. The manager, Mustapha, was super accommodating, from opening the restaurant early for our departure to arranging a balloon ride, everything was taken care of in a prompt, efficient, and kind manner. The food at MDC was excellent and staff were top notch. 5 star service!
The only downsides are:
1) The 4-star Grand Onder Hotel in Kusadasi was not up to 4 star standards. Buffet was not good, rooms worn down, maintenance sketchy, and swimming pool questionable. There were lots of much nicer places in town.
2) We wanted a balloon tour of Cappadocia. This was not included and we need to arrange this on our own.
3) Viatour was supposed to get us back to Istanbul. They couldn't find a connection to get us to the airport in time for our next flight. We needed to book this on our own and found a corresponding flight quite easily on the web. Not the full service one would expect for a tour of this price point.
For a small group tour, this did not meet my expectations. Really, it's your hotel accommodations and day trips with different groups of people. You are not traveling with the same small group, so you are essentially on your own. Day 1 went fine, pick up at hotel and travel to Ataturk Airport was good. Day at Ephesus was with two other people and our guide, which was nice and felt personalized. Day 2 went downhill. The day was for Pamukkale, which I was very excited about. I knew it was a long drive (I was told 3 hours) but it turned into an even longer event because there were 29 people in the group. The day did not have a personal feel and the almost 12 hour day was mostly spent driving and hanging out at a bus rest stop (on the return we actually spent extra time there so they could wash the large bus). The rest stops took longer and lunch the stop took longer because there were so many people, so we only actually had 2.5 hours at Pamukkale which felt rushed. Really, it would have been nice to have at least 4-5 hours there. Also, because there were so many people we detoured from the itinerary and did not visit the leather factory. Finally, our guide only spent about 30 minutes with us at Pamukkale and really didn't give us much information. Day 3- Flight to Cappadocia-I had to pay for extra baggage weight at the airport because only allowed for 15kg vs my flight to Izmar allowed 20Kg. I was not aware of the difference and it should have been communicated. When I arrived to the Kayseri airport there was no one to pick me up. I finally had to have a local person call Fez travel. The hotel was over an hour away. The day spent in Cappadocia was with 16 people, which was better than the 29 person group, but still more than the 14 max quoted. If you are looking for "small group" experience, be warned. The trip seemed unorganized and I never knew if I would be picked up or forgotten. The sights are worth seeing! but definitely travel organization needs work.
Note from Viator: Note from Viator: Thank you for your review. We are sorry to hear about this and apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced during your tour. We will make sure that your concerns are resolved and would like to thank you for helping us ensure the best quality of our tours. We've added a note about the weight of luggage to better communicate this possible additional expense. Also, due to an unforeseen situation, the number of passengers was increased on this particular trip; thus the passengers were refunded 50% of the tour cost.
I enjoyed the tour it was nice but I think that for the money you pay it could have been way better. Beware about the parts of the tour that say you will visit Leather, Pottery and Jewelry places. Your guide will pretty much disappear and they will tried to make you buy things. The sellers will follow you around and be overly pushy!. I did not like that I was rushed in some parts because we had to go to those places. I paid for the tour for a reason! I did enjoy the food and the hotels we stayed at, and the guide tours were nice.