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This excursion was amazing. Visiting Ephesus wouldn't have been the same without our tour guide. She was able to give us so many insider bits that would have been overlooked otherwise. The lunch at the rug making school was incredible. Simply the best meal of our entire trip. The only negative would be after we watched the women work they took us into a room to sell us a rug. Showed us one for $450. My husband and I were really interested in purchasing one so one man took us to a back room showed us the one I was interested in and turned out to be $5000. Clearly out of our budget and not wanting to negotiate due to the simple fact that the rug was completely worth the money just out of our budget. So we tried to leave. The man kept trying to negotiate with us and wouldn't let us leave. Then he started getting hostile asking me why I was being so difficult etc. this put a slight damper on the whole experience, but as we were 1 of 3 other couples in the group it only happened to us so I'd assume this isn't common. Everything we saw made us want to go back. I'd definitely recommend this trip.
This tour was rushed, we had to pick up someone from the airport after being picked up at the cruise port. The House of the Virgin Mary was amazing to walk through. Bring coins to make a donation to get candles to light also bring a pen and paper to write your prayer request and place on the wall. We then headed to Ephesus which was huge with a lot of history! If you have difficulty walking this is not the tour for you! Our tour guide was very knowledgeable was very rushed and would often walk off without us! We then spent about 20 min at the burial site of John the Baptist then off to lunch at Carpet Factory. The lunch was very good, drinks not included, then spent probably an hour learning about how handmade carpets are made then taken in for the sales pitch and given free drinks then. Be prepared for the sales pitch and beautiful carpets that keep on coming. Leaving to go back to the cruise ship halfway there we dropped off our guide then dropped one of our people at the airport and continued on.
The Tour was excellent. The House of the Virgin Mary was impressive and Ephesus' ruins are really majestic. The guide was excellent in both places and very respectul of the first place, as she was not Catholic.
Forcing the tourists to go to the rugs' factory is of very poor taste. Even though it is called "voluntary" you are forced to go, hear the explanation and resist the factory's employees pressure to buy a rug.
The itinery was as advertised and there were only 4 of us on the tour. Our guide did an excellent job of explaining the sites. She was also informative about certain customs and nuances of Turkey and spoke very good English. Our lunch was also very good at our stopping place at Turkeman carpets ; however it was quite expensive because my wife Anne purshased handmade silk carpet !! Oh well, you can't take it with you!! All said, it was a greatly satisfying experience and we would definitely recommend it to anyone...Tom/Anne Winn
The best excursion we have done in a long time. The guide was amazing, food was great, and all of the spots visited were worth seeing...although I don't know how we were able to do so much in just one day!!! We arrived in port and 2 people did not show so we waited an extra 20 mins for them. Our guide felt very bad that we had to leave and then later received a call from them...she made the right choice. This left us with a virtually private tour of 7 people for a much lower price then Carnival. The next port we scheduled a Carnival excursion and it was cancelled due to low interest...the "only" had 12 or 14 people according to the Carnival Excursions desk...I think I will be booking all excursions with Viator from now on.
The tour itself was very good, but everything else was so-so. First of all, it took some time for our tour operator to pick up us from the port. She was not late, but all other tour operators arrived much earlier to greet their guests than she did. Second, this trip supposed to include lunch. We arrived to a farm (outdoor restaurant) where we were greeted by restaurant staff. Then, they started to bring family style dishes that we had to share with the rest of our group. During first 10 minutes or so, they asked what kind of drink we want with our lunch without bring us any menu, or explaining that drinks are not part of our lunch. Most of us asked for beer and wine. We had wine that was served in a small glass, and wine was not up to our taste. At the end of our lunch they requested 5 euro per each wine glass. It was outrages. First of all, they (restaurant staff or tour guide) had to tell us beforehand that wine and beer are not part of free lunch, secondary; they had to serve wine in real wine; show us wine bottle and allow testing of wine to at least one person. We all felt that both restaurant or tour operators ripped us off and our afternoon was somewhat spoiled.
Very good tour
The tour young woman who was our guide was outstanding
The mini bus we went on was spotlessly clean and with only ten people in the group it felt like were at times getting one to one explanations on any questions we had
Lunch was good
I would from my experience recommend this tour
My husband and I loved our guide Oya. I thought we would be on a large bus with many tourists but there were only 10 people on our tour. Oya is a wealth of information and she is beautiful and funny too. We had a delicious and healthy lunch in the middle of a grassy area at table under a canopy set with linens and dishes. We had a choice of wine and beer along with other drinks. Being inside the House of Mary was remarkable and Ephesus was breathtaking. I had never heard of it before my visit and now I know it was a magnificent Roman city visited by all the "Bible writers" John, Paul, Luke and Matthew. Cleopatra and Mark Anthony walked the same streets I did!!
This was a trip of a lifetime. Our guide had a way of presenting historical, archeological and social information in a wonderful weave so that we could understand the times and places visited. She answered any questions we posed. The traditional Turkish meal served at noon between sites was excellent. We are still there in our minds.