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.
This was my first trip to Turkey and having spent a week in Istanbul I was keen to try more and took the 6 day small group tour which was very successful and highly recommended. Organisation, including pickups, transfers, guides, and hotel selection worked very well. It was a really good way to get a snapshot of the highlights. Ephesus was a great start with well preserved Roman ruins, and Pamukkale was spectacular with it's salt cliffs, travertine pools and the sheer scale of the site which would have been enormous originally. Cappadocia was must-see and am glad we spent several days there - definitely worth it. The hike was different than advertised Love Valley just me and the guide, very easy and peaceful. The rock formations, the Open Museum in Goreme is an incredible experience as was The Underground City, and my guide was able to get me into the hot air ballooning at short notice and was a complete knockout, well worth the high price. If time is limited, you want to see the highlights well without a rush and very comfortably, you won't regret it.
Tour was good. Not much of a rush and we got to see many places within a short time which was very efficient. Idyla Hotel in Kusadisi was excellent and the miracle cave hotel in cappadocia was very good too...ask for room 3! 6 days was just right.
A great trip experience, well organized, from pickups to guides to selection of hotels. It was the best way to see so much in a short period of time, and we had a blast. Ephesus was a great introduction to Roman time, and Pamukkale impressive by its travertine turquoise pools but also by the size of the site - try picturing it when all buildings were up, it must have been gigantic! Cappadocia was must-see and am glad we spent several days there - definitely worth it. The hike around Red / Pink Valleys was a nice surprise and is very easy. You have a couple of up and down, but nothing hard, and we took our time to get there. My father-in-law was very glad he did it. The most surprising though were all these churches carved in the rock formation, and we were amazed by the beautiful and vivid painting we saw - some very basic, and some as beautiful as some you would see in middle age painting in Europe. The Open Museum in Goreme hosts some of the most amazing ones - don't miss the Dark Church! A top notch tour, totally recommended to get a great view of Turkey!
6 days very well done, each new day as full as the previous ones! All very diverse and interesting. The first day at Ephesus was tough though, mostly due to a very hot weather. All hotels were very comfortable, all transfers between hotels, airports and guided visits were very well organized. The guides were well served into their topics, very friendly and patient. The visit to Pamukkale with its huge white and turquoise pools was amazing, Cappadocia was incredible and was everything I had read and saw in movies - the fairy chimneys, the troglodyte villages, the numerous churches carved into the rocks, underground city, and more!
Trip well thought of and very well organized, from the transportation to the hotels and up to the cultural aspect. From the Turkey of older times (roman sites and ottoman attractions), to today with its natural parks and inhabitants, this trip allowed me to discover unique scenery like Ephesus, Pamukkale pools, Hierapolis, the extraordinary chimneys of Goreme and Cappadoce, troglodyte villages...
First personal experience in Turkey, discovering Ephesus and scenic Cappadocia. Hotels were excellent and the 2 guides, one in Kusadasi and one around Cappadocia had a good level of English and local knowledge. This was a great way to see major attractions in Turkey in a short time.
We were picked up at our hotel in Istanbul. We were given our flight information and picked up at the airport at our destination. The guides for each excursion were friendly, professional and knowledgeable. I enjoyed not having to plan each excursion and having to arrange transportation. The guides gave us some history on the cities we drove through and shared a lot of information at each destination. I enjoy these guided tours, and I highly recommend this one to anyone who wants to enjoy the scenery and destinations without having to plan everything .
Our hotel in Cappadocia, MDC, was absolutely fantastic! It is unique, clean and the staff are amazing! Overall a very good tour with very knowledgeable and friendly staff.
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.
Overall, the tour went well. Armand our guide at ephesus was pleasant, knew a lot, and spoke good english. The guide on our pamukkale leg had a heavy accent so it was a bit hard to understand her. We had quite a bad experience with regard to our pickup at the airport for our cappadocia leg.
We took this tour in May 2015 and were overall very pleased with the experience. The hotels were nice and airport pick up and drop off was efficient and on time. We really loved Pamukkale and Cappadocia. Our hotel Sunak boutique hotel in Urgup Cappadocia was lovely while the hotel in Kusadasi was very conveniently located. The tours were informative and guides were polite. We will recommend this trip to everyone.
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.