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Asia Minor Explorer TU

Visiting: Turkey
Tour Duration 15 Days
 
Reviews for Asia Minor Explorer 4.5 out of 5 based on 20 ratings.

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Asia Minor Explorer tour available at present.

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5 john, 23/05/15

Please review your overall experience and what your highlights were

This is a very enjoyable trip visiting many classical historical sites such as Olympus, Pamukkale Spa and Necropolis, Aphrodisias and the largest athletic stadium of the ancient world, Ephesus and its ongoing excavations, the site of Pergammun, and the ruins of Troy. There are visits to numerous museums associated with some of these sites where the finds are very tastefully presented,

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4.5 Zahra, 19/04/15

Please review your overall experience and what your highlights were

Really interesting tour of Western Turkey, we covered a lot of ground, and had a great tour leader. Too many highlights! Perhaps the balloon ride in Cappadocia and the stop at the Caravanserai.

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4 John Sturley, 04/11/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Turkey was amazing. If archaeological ruins are your thing, then this trip ticked all the right boxes. There were plenty of mosques also and sites to satisfy, particularly Aphrodisias, Hierapolis and the "jewel in the crown" Ephesus. Cappadocia was stunning with lots of different attractions that simply took my breath away. The food was pretty good also. The highlights include a dawn balloon flight over Cappadocia and, of course, a Turkish bath with steam room, body scrub and body wash and massage, followed by a full-body oil massage - lovely! We stayed in some beautiful towns, especially Kas and Selcuk.

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5 Peter Lague, 12/07/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

There was a new highlight every day from seeing the once in a lifetime Roman sites, to the beaches at Kas, to the sites and balloon ride at Cappadocia

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3.5 Matt, 19/02/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The whole thing was great.

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4 , 23/01/14

Name

Gill Atkinson

Tour Name

Asia Minor explorer

Tour Code

TU

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Pamukkale was amazing, loved the town of Kas, beautiful Dalyan river boat trip, swimming in the sea on hot days, the wonderful group of people on the trip (including the tour leader and driver), the red rose valley walk at Cappadoccia, very moving visit to Gallipoli, the harem at Topkapi palace, and the whirling dervishes. Not much I didn't love.

Tour Leader Name

Fatih

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Fatih seemed genuinely intent on ensuring that everyone enjoyed the trip. Nothing was too much trouble. His calm approach inspired great confidence and he was great fun to be with. Incredibly knowledgeable about Turkey. Ozkan our driver was wonderful too and very attentive to our comfort and well being.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Be prepared for long journeys. Don't drink the tap water. Learn a few words of Turkish - a little goes a long way. The first few days were chilly (it was October) - bring a couple of layers.

 
5 , 15/08/13

Name

Yeside Linney

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Aphrodisias, Cappadoccia & Hieropolis,traverstines at Pammukale

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Our tour leader, Zafer was exceptional - a mobile audio guide!! Not only was his knowledge of locations visited & cultural contemporary developments insightful but it was delivered with genuine passion in a user friendly manner: entertaining, factual and intelligent. He was well organised and sensitive to all our group requirements including one on crutches! We were given lots of practical advice with advance notice of activities so we could dress appropriately/ know where we could get value for money etc.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

"Stay in Istanbul at least a day or two before or after the trip or it is a rush to see key highlights e.g.Tokapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, the Aya Sofia & the Underground Cisterns which are surprising. There may be long queues for most of these so it does get tiring. Note the Grand Bazaar is closed on Sunday. Turkey will surprise you with its excellent good value transport & hotels in general. Research any transfer transport with care - some of our group arriving independently thought they had a prepaid service only to be charged more."

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

"We all felt that the itinerary was hectic, particularly at the beginning but we soon adapted to the pace but so worthwhile . We never felt 'ruined out' as we were constantly surprised by how different each visited ancient site proved to be. Main recommendation is that if you need to disembark after landing at Istanbul as quickly as you can at Istanbul to be processed through the Visa section, as this cannot be purchased in advance - queues are horrendous !"

 
5 , 15/08/13

Name

Louise Walters

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

"I didn’t know much about Turkey before going, so this tour was something of a revelation! There are a lot of visits to ancient sites and museums on this tour. I particularly enjoyed Aphrodisias and Ephesus, and the contrast that came with a wonderful walk through the Red Rose Valley in Cappadocia and a boat trip to Iztuzu beach where we saw turtles and swam in the sea."

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Zafer, our tour guide, was incredibly knowledgeable about his country, as others have said. He brought the sites we visited to life and kept us entertained on some long bus journeys with his (often hilarious) tales of Turkish family life.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

"Be prepared for early starts and heat (even in early May). Take something to do on long bus journeys. I listened to music and read. One member of our group got lots of knitting done!"

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

"Arriving in Istanbul, I was surprised by how modern the city is and how European it feels. This was true of all the places we visited on the tour. The roads are good; the hotels have modern amenities including wi-fi, air con and hairdryers in the rooms (luxuries I’m not used to finding on Explore trips!) The Turkish people are friendly and welcoming. They speak good English (and appreciated our attempts at basic Turkish). The food is great. As a vegetarian, I found an array of dishes to try. Lentil soup, Pide (Turkish Pizza), Gozleme (pancakes) and salads were particularly good and I grew fond of the yogurt drink, Ayran (as well as Efes beer!)"

 
4 , 15/08/13

Name

Sylvia Fisher

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

The itinerary was as I expected and I was not disappointed. Highlights included: guided walk through The Red Rose Valley in Cappadocia. Optional visit to Whirling Dervish Ceremony and a wonderful meal at hotel at Dalyan watching the sunset with tremendous views of the ancient ruins.

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Both the guide AND the driver were knowledgeable and helpful at all times. The driver gave up his evenings off to drive us on 2 optional excursions and to take us for a Typical Turkish Meal in a restaurant not used by tourists.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Request a list of hotels from Explore before you book and look them up on trip advisor. That way you will make an informed decision.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

"The full day in Kas NEEDS to be extended to two days in Kas in order to enable all Explore travelers to do the full day boat trip to the sunken ruins of Kekova. Explore needs to review some of the hotels they are using. The hotels we stayed at in Ankara & Selcuk were in unsafe areas and were in very poor condition. The Monaco Hotel in Istanbul was impossible for the coach to access and we were allocated very poor rooms. This alone would make me think twice about using Explore again."

 
5 G Tuffnel, 15/09/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

This tour was  a fantastic insight into modern and ancient Turkey. My personal highights were Istanbul, the whirling dervishes,the Caravensarai, Caunos and Dalyan,Hierapolis and Aphrodisias. There is a lot of travelling involved in this tour but as usual with Explore tours they are exceedingly well thought out and stops are numerous and well timed.We were lucky to be with a really good group of people ages 16-74 who were all out to have a good holiday and tht's just exactly what we did !! Thank you Explore !

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5 Emily Louise Rowe, 15/09/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

This particular Turkey tour had so many highlights - hot air ballooning over Cappadocia, the hustle and bustle of Istanbul with its amazing coffee and turkish delight, the beautiful coastal town of Kas, along with Troy and Galipoli!

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5 Philippa (Explore Staff), 15/09/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Considering this was my 4th visit to Turkey, in this trip alone I saw so much more & learned such a lot about the ancient history & culture of this extremely diverse country!   Not one belly dancer in sight, this trip enabled us to explore the 'real' Turkey.  There were so many highlights, from the Balloon Ride over Cappadocia to the Whirling Dervishes ceremony.  I personally loved Istanbul & Kas and found the massoleum fascinating!  Every single day brought a new adventure and learning experience.  The group dynamics were incredible with a mix of ages from 17-74yrs including singles, couples and family combinations.  We all got on famously & are planning 2 reunions!   

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5 Vanessa , 28/08/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

This tour totally changed my view of ancient and modern Turkey and its people. I had no idea of the role Turkey played in ancient history and mythology. Each site and anecdote from our guide took me back to my school days, which thrilled me. I soaked up the history like a sponge (albeit a very hot one).It was interesting to go during Ramazan too, another bonus.For me it fulfilled why I travel: to make better sense of different cultures whilst having an absolute blast with like minded up for it travellers. This tour whetted my healthy appetite for cultural travel.

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5 Valerie, 28/08/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

This was a fantastic tour. Having never been to Turkey before I was amazed at the scenery, archeological sites, the friendliness of the people and the diversity of the country.  The itinerary of the tour was excellent, with a great variety of activities.  This meant that there were many highlights for me - including the frozen waterfall at Pamukkale, seeing flames coming out of the rock at Mount Olympos, the underground city at Kaymakli and the ruins at Ephesus.  Most memorable was spending two weeks with a group of seventeen fantastic people.  We had great fun together.  Thank you Explore for a wonderful holiday.

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5 Heather, 22/08/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

This tour is an extremely comprehensive tour of Western and Central Turkey. I had never visited Istanbul, Ankara and Cappadocia before. Istanbul is a true marvel as it must have been for centuries before, the city where East meets West. We got to see the volcanic landscape at Cappadocia close up on our 3 hour trek - amazing. Some of our group opted for the Hot Air Balloon flight over this mind-blowing landscape. The underground city was not for the claustrophobic but the first floor was accessible to all so I got to experience what it was like underground without crawling through the tunnel. A surprise came on Day 13 as we visited Pergamum. You have to travel by Cable Car to visit! So many highlights and so much history. A wonderful tour with a fabulous group of fellow explorers.

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5 Gemma, 09/08/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

The whole tour was an educational and memorable experience. There were 17 people in our group and I could not have wished for better people.  We all got on brilliantly and had lots of laughter and fun.  There are too many memorable moments but some include, Pamukkale (the frozen waterfall), Ephesus (a beautiful place) Gallipoli ( a very moving experience) Hot Air balloon over Cappadocia ( a must) to name but a few. Istanbul is a busy vibrant place and the spice market was a great experience. We saw lots of museum's and old ruins.  Turkey is a fabulous place with lots of history.

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4 Anita Jones, 15/06/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Apart from all the sights we see, knowledge and experiences gained, our best experiences of an Explore holiday are the guaranteed relationships formed from travelling with small groups of mixed nationalities who have similar interests.  Our 'Explore' family extends with every trip we do regardless of age.  We always return wanting more. There were several highlights of our last trip, including The frozen waterfall,The conservation area of Dalyon and Ephesis but the most memorable and thrilling one was sea kayaking, even if we did capsize we still enjoyed the experience.

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0 Nicky Moore, 19/12/11
I had no idea how jam packed full of fascinating history, both ancient and modern, Turkey is. This is an amazing tour of all the best parts of western Turkey. But particularly for me my absolute favourite place was Aphrodesias. The stadium is stunning and gets a group ‘wow!’ as we go over the top into it!  I much preferred it to Ephesus, it was so deserted and so you had the place to yourselves and it was peaceful and quiet allowing you to reflect on what it must have been like in ancient times.  Ephesus on the other hand, although fascinating,  has been hugely reconstructed and because it’s on the coast is crammed full of cruise shippers. A lot of other tours/companies miss out Aphrodesias in favour of Ephesus and I’m so glad we didn’t on this tour.  I also loved seeing the Ataturk mausoleum in Ankara, again not hugely touristy as this place also gets missed a lot. Ataturk is the modern day hero of Turkey and hugely turned his country around – I had read all about it before I went - fascinating.  The tour seemed to me to be very well balanced with travel time, history, nice coastal resorts, and the free day spent lounging on a boat trip all day was a very nice touch. Then there are the famous parts such as Troy and Gallipoli, Istanbul, the modern and the ancient history.  Finally - a word for our tour guide Firat who was outstanding. He combined his extensive knowledge of his country with good humour, wit and excellent guiding skills, he seemed to know intuitively how much information to give us at any one time never overloading us with too much. He even stopped off at lesser known sites in addition to the tour that he thought we would like – he was always spot on.  An excellent tour and I highly recommend it. (TU - 17th September 2011)
 
0 Mark Trow, 20/10/10
Mark Trow
I don't go anywhere without a bit of preparation and, this trip in particular, required an extensive reading list but what I'd read in the pages of books by Michael Wood, Betanny Hughes and Barry Strauss on the subject of Troy didn't prepare me for the impact of the site. In many ways, its relatively remote location means that it remains largely as described by Homer and, without much difficulty, you are able to stand on the ramparts, gaze about you and insert the Greek warships offshore, the clash of chariot encounters on the more immediate foreground of the plain and feel the drama of the siege of these walls. Within easy view, flags flutter in the breeze on the nearby Gallipoli Peninsula, commemorating the dead of a more recent but equally bloody conflict and emphasising Turkey's deeply layered historical legacy. (TU - 6th June 2010)
 
0 Esther Brand, 21/09/10
Where do I begin... This tour had been recommended to me on a previous Explore holiday, I was told that it would match up to my expectations with regards to historical interests and culturally it would be very diverse and they weren't wrong. Oz was a fantastic Tour Leader, he showed real passion for his country and fellow countrymen. He was keen to hear what we thought of the places we visited as the trip progressed and ensured that everyone had a good time. Turkey itself was fantastic, we visited so many magical places, the Churches at Goreme, the Library at Ephesus but for me seeing the Stadium at Aphrodisias was breathtaking, I actually felt as though I were there 2000 years ago. The itinerary, like most Explore Trips, is full on but this only helps to make this an unforgettable trip. I took over 500 photos and struggled to choose which ones would go in my album. For a short-haul holiday this is a must, there are no negative sides to this tour, don't miss out on the opportunity to visit such a wonderful country. So what are you waiting for BOOK IT NOW! (TU- 24th July 2010)
 
 
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