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“Great Tour!”

Best of Ephesus Tours
Ranked #1 of 29 Tours in Selcuk
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Ephesus / Kusadasi shore excursions. Our tours are especially ideal for cruise passengers who come to Kusadasi ( Ephesus ) or Izmir Ports.
Geilenkirchen
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Great Tour!”
Reviewed May 5, 2014

We went on a Mediterranean cruise that stopped in Izmir, we booked the Best of Ephesus private tour through Daily Istanbul Tours. Daily Istanbul Tours arranged our transportation to and from the port in Izmir, the driver and van (very comfortable Mercedes van), and a private guide. The communication via email before we arrived was great, prompt responses, and we were quoted what we felt was a reasonable cost for a full day private tour. Our tour guide (Hasan) and our driver were waiting for us at the port, Hasan was personable and very knowledgeable while he accompanied us to each site, thoroughly sharing as much history as the day would allow. Unlike some other tour companies, entrance fees and lunch were NOT included, but Hasan had already purchased all of our tickets in advance so we didn't have to wait in ticket lines and we just reimbursed him. Our first stop was the House of the Virgin Mary where Hasan gave us some really interesting inside facts and tips about the candles and the holy spring water. After the House of the Virgin Mary, we stopped at the ancient City of Ephesus, the Terrace Houses, and the Temple of Artemis. All fascinating and not to be missed. Hasan allowed us to set our own pace, told us many very interesting facts, and showed us things we would not have known or noticed without him; we would highly recommend using a guide to get the most out of your visit. Hasan gave us some great picture ideas and was always willing to take our picture together which was nice. Hasan asked us where we would like to eat lunch, after making a few suggestions he brought us to a special place for a delicious Turkish lunch. While it was clear that Hasan gets a kick-back from the restaurant in the form of his lunch being free, we didn't care because it was more food than we could eat, tasted great, and it only cost us $10. We highly recommend Daily Istanbul Tours/Best of Ephesus.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank Jason K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Spokane, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Ephesus Tour-- Fantastic”
Reviewed May 5, 2014

My group of 4 had a most fantastic journey thorough Ephesus last week lead by Hakan. He was most respectful about our needs and desires. He gave a thorough historical review about the area and about the political issues in the country. Even the unplanned buying of the Turkish Carpet was great, following a delecious lunch!!. We arranged this tour through the on-line company Tours by Locals. We can't say enough about their programs. Give Hakan a try and enjoy. Mike Metcalf

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
Thank meikeymet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
Level Contributor
24 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Good tour, wish I could give it 5 stars”
Reviewed April 21, 2014

My husband and I recently spent a week in Turkey. We stayed in Istanbul and did a private tour of the city, a private day trip to Ephesus and a private day tour to Cappadocia. We used Best of Ephesus tours for Ephesus but another tour company for our tours of Istanbul and Cappadocia. We both agree that while Ephesus is a fascinating place and should not be missed, compared to our tour guides arranged by the other company, our tour guide arranged by Best of Ephesus tours left us wanting. We had Hasan and it pains me to give him less than five stars because he was personable, friendly and very likeable but there came a point in the day when we felt like he was done with us and was just going through the motions. Our other tour guides couldn't wait to accompany us to everything and show us as much as the day would allow. With Hasan, we got back to the airport an hour earlier than we planned and were left twiddling our thumbs when we were craving to see all that Ephesus could offer.

Here are the basics: I arranged our transfer from our hotel to the airport in Istanbul and our flights to and from Izmir so Best of Ephesus tours arranged our transportation to and from the airport in Izmir, the driver, car (actually a small very comfortable van) and the private guide. The communication before we arrived in Turkey via email was great. Prompt responses, very friendly, and we were quoted what we felt was a reasonable cost for a full day private tour. Unlike our tours with the other tour company, entrance fees and lunch were NOT included but Hasan was forward thinking enough to purchase tickets in advance so we didn't have to wait in ticket lines and we just reimbursed him. Hasan and the driver were waiting for us at the airport and were very friendly and professional.

Our first stop was the City of Ephesus and it's fascinating, not to be missed. Hasan told us some very interesting facts and showed us things we would not have known or noticed without him so I would highly recommend using a guide to get the most out of your visit. We spent a little too much time on our own and would have rather heard more facts and stories from Hasan when we were there. Hasan spent a lot of time taking us through the Terrace Houses and we really appreciated that. We both felt Hasan was the most attentive at this point during the tour. Hasan gave us some great picture ideas and was always willing to take our picture together which was nice.

After the city of Ephesus, we made stops at the House of the Virgin Mary and the Temple of Artemis where we were left on our own after Hasan gave us some explanation in the car on the way to each site. Hasan did give us some really interesting inside facts and tips about the candles and the spring water which many believe is holy water at the House of the Virgin Mary. I had also asked to see the Saint John Church because it was included in the description of the Best of Ephesus tour. Hasan wanted to see my paper where the tour was described to see what was "required" which was only a view of the church from the Temple of Artemis - it said the word "expression" which I guess I didn't understand when I booked. They were willing to drive by and let us take a picture from the car but that was somewhat disappointing. Again, as compared to the other private guides we had for our other tours, we were disappointed that it seemed Hasan only wanted to do what was required and not have to go the extra mile.

Another disappointment was lunch. Our other tour guides brought us to special places for delicious Turkish lunches, Hasan suggested we just grab sandwiches at the cafe located at The House of the Virgin Mary. The website says the tour should be about 7 hours but in reality, we were picked up at the airport in Izmir sometime between 10:30-11:00am and dropped off between 3:30-4:00pm even though our return flight wasn't until 6:15pm. It may be because we opted not to do the carpet making portion of the tour.

Bottom line, I think the company is good but a lot depends on the tour guide you get. As much as I liked Hasan, I just don't know if he's the best tour guide for the occasion so perhaps ask for one of the other guides that have been given great reviews here.

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank Andrea H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Stockbridge, Georgia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Private Ephesus Tour”
Reviewed January 24, 2014

While on a Mediterranean cruise, we booked a private tour to Ephesus with Daily Istanbul Tours. Soner responded quickly to arrange the tour with our guide and was amenable when we added 2 additional persons to our tour. We cannot say enough great things about Zeynep. She was very personable and knowledgeable and shared the history of the area very thoroughly. We visited the House of the Virgin Mary and the ancient city of Ephesus. Zeynep allowed us to set our own pace and she took us to locations to take excellent photos and gave us free time to explore on our own. After visiting Ephesus, she offered several options of other things to see in Selcuk including the Turkish school for carpet making where we saw demonstrations by students working in wool and silk. We enjoyed a wonderful Turkish lunch on the grounds. We also elected to visit Rossini leather and were treated to a fashion show and allowed a short time for shopping. We were very impressed with the professional way in which our correspondence was handled by Soner as well as with Zeynep who provided an excellent tour for our group of 4 We highly recommend contacting Daily Istanbul Tours/Ephesus. Thank you, Zeynep - we had a wonderful tour!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank bsalvatore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dixon, Illinois
Level Contributor
87 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 111 helpful votes
“A good experience, with some reservations”
Reviewed January 9, 2014

We used Best of Ephesus tours for our recent group tour of Ephesus, and we were assigned Hasan as our guide. On some issues, he was very knowledgeable and helpful, but there were times when I suspected that Hasan was "making it up as he went along."

When you pay for a professional guide, you want to have complete confidence in the trustworthiness of the guide. But with Hasan, I honestly didn't always feel that way. Others in my group later told me that they had similar feelings.

Hasan disclosed that he had only six months of tour-guide training, along with some college work in archaeology. Perhaps that is adequate, but I have since learned that other guides have several years of formal training.

Since there is a good amount of biblical data about Ephesus that is freely and widely available, I was astonished at how rarely Hasan mentioned the Apostle Paul's connections with Ephesus. For example, I asked him about the Hall of Tyrannus mentioned in Acts 19:9, and he didn't know what I was talking about.

When we got to the ancient Ephesus theatre, I was again surprised that no mention was made of the famous riot that occurred there (Acts 19:21-41). Yet, I should note that I didn't hear everything Hasan had to say at every location. It's possible that I missed certain comments.

On the positive side, there were areas where Hasan offered detailed helpful information, and he was personable and friendly. He took us to lunch to experience an authentic Turkish meal and gave us time to see a nearby Turkish rug-making business, and both of these were enjoyable experiences.

So, all in all, it was a good experience.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank TRW1952
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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