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“Great day but hidden genders !”
Review of Tayf Tours

Tayf Tours
Ranked #11 of 105 Tours in Kusadasi
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Attraction details
Owner description: Tayf Tours is a specialist tour operator offering the best tour programs to Ephesus and all around Turkey. We have a unique and comprehensive itineraries of daily tours, private shore excursions, escorted tours, accommodation, tour programs across Turkey and Ephesus, all at great prices.
Reviewed October 23, 2013

Our day in Ephesus was great, our driver Havva was very knowledgeable and friendly. One thing is that i didn't really like spending so much time in the rug and leather factory shops as i am sure that there was a lot more interesting sights to be seen. The rug shop was a little hard sell for me Any ways there were 7 of us and we all thoroughly enjoyed out experience.
Thank you Tayf Tours

2  Thank PerthMissdaisy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 20, 2013

Booking our tour was the beginning of a great experience. Through some e-mail, the tour operators asked insightful questions about what we wanted in our experience rather than trying to sell us something from a standard list. Our tour guide Gokhan Baydur was an achaeological scholar that made he much more than a simple guide. We learned so much. Gokhan had a knack for keep us gracefully separated from the huge crowds and assuring that we did not miss the subtleties that make this such an extraordinary experience. Everything from pick -- we were early and he was waiting for us to accommodating our needs and questions during the day, the driver was excellent. Beyond Perfect!

2  Thank Sharon O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 17, 2013

We used Tayf tours and had Ilker as our private tour guide using a Mercedes van. Ilker was very friendly, knowledgeable and fun to be with. He skillfully navigated through the crowds. I have seen many ruins throughout Europe, but this blew me away especially the terrace houses. These would have been multimillion dollar homes now. The site was so large I didn't expect it. We also saw The Church of St John and Mary's Church which elicited great emotions in me. The wall of wishes at Mary's Church again brought up great emotions. Ilker managed to help us see these before the crowds so we could really appreciate the spiritual connection at this site. Ilker arranged for an amazing lunch outdoors that was especially made for us. The chef and his creations were heartfelt and delicious . We experienced how silk is spun which was very interesting. We also experienced a carpet demonstration and a leather factory with beautiful coats and jackets. Overall I would highly recommend Ilker and Tayf tours for the experience of a lifetime. Janet

1  Thank janet b
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Our guide did an outstanding job when we toured Ephesus. After visiting Ephesus we were taken to lunch, which was good. Our guide then asked if we would like to see a carpet making school. The six of us said yes. We were taken next door to the restaurant to the school and then came the high pressure sales tactics of trying to sell us carpets. We barely tolerated the visit. One of our tour group wanted to go to a leather store. We were taken to a leather store that was beyond any store we expected. There was a full blown fashion show with more high pressure sales tactics. We walked out of show with the fashion models prancing in leather garments. Tayf Tours must get huge kickbacks from those two companies.

6  Thank HarveyG1839
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 14, 2013

Without a doubt Tayf Tours is THE BEST!! Personal attention to all details is the best description. We received top notch service, attentive service, and an attitude of "your wish is our command"
Me and my 2 adult children (20's) toured Turkey. We went to 3 areas - Istanbul, Cappadocia and Kusadasi. We used a different tour company for each phase. What a difference between companies. Tayf tours was over the top. What amazing service. Here is our experience with the 3 tour companies:
The reviews below might be a bit long because it's all 3 experiences but I hope someone can gain from it.
Stop 1: Istanbul - we used Curio Travel/Ephesus Shuttle. (Private Tours) Grade F (Failing) (No stars) What a disaster. The tour guide was on his phone constantly (apparently some beginning of school issues with his child and supplies needed that he had to discuss with his wife as he explained). After touring one mosque, we stopped outside to a place to have tea at his suggestion. He walked away to talk on the phone and disappeared for quite a while, so there we sat waiting for him until we got on to the next stop. Lunches were not included with my tour. When we stopped for lunch, the tour guide ordered with us, ate his lunch and then walked away. We were left paying for his meal. The tour guide wasn't that great. Nice enough guy, but I would not recommend him. And leaving us with the lunch bill without so much of a mention (good thing we ate a local stand and wasn't the expensive sit down lunch we were originally planning.) was rather rude. He was more interested in his phone than us. We were also not happy with how we were rushed through. He would say “let me explain everything and then I will give you time to take pictures”, but he didn't give us time. We were just rushed through and it was like he wanted to explain everything and then go sit down. And with a private tour, I should have been allowed to stop and take pictures as we were going through, and I thought about just stopping to take photo’s as we went, but he would forge ahead without us. I mean really??? we were a private tour with just the 3 of us. Who was he talking to???
The tour was so bad, we cancelled the next day's tour and went on our own.
Stop 2: Cappadocia and Rock Valley Tour company (Small Group Tours). Grade C+ / B- (2 1/2 stars out of 5) I think the front office is very nice. However, I made it perfectly clear I did not want a shopping tour. Apparently there is no escaping it. Let's face it, there are souvenir places everywhere, which is fine, however, I don't like being rushed out of an attraction or site so I can spend 20 minutes or so in a souvenir shop. I wanted to choose where to spend the time. I had no issue with others shopping, but I wanted to linger at the sites which is why I came to Turkey. I have no idea why we couldn't be told that the time to be back on the bus is "x" and then let us decide if we want to linger longer in the underground city rather than be rushed up just to spend time shopping. I even asked our guide privately. So instead of answering me privately, she gets on the bus, waits for everyone to arrive and says to me in front of everyone, “So your telling me you don't like the tour because there was shopping.” Which my reply (now in front of everyone) was "No, that is not what I said. What I said was, if there's going to be shopping why don't you give us the option of spending the extra time in the site we came to see and just let us know what time to be back." She was very rude and was so angry about my comment which was meant to be private, that she cancelled the last stop (I think because there was shopping there). Also, she rushed everything at the sites, like she just wanted to get home. She stayed back and let other tour groups go in front and our group just waited. And yes, the areas in some underground sites and caves are small so you have to wait, however, we were always letting groups go ahead even when I felt it was our turn. It was like she didn't really have much to say so this was her way of wasting time. I went ahead of our group when in one of the cave church areas and I had the pleasure of listening to another guide go on and on about the great history and murals on the walls and learned quite a bit. Then she led our group into the same area, she was in and out in a flash, like the only thing we wanted to do in Turkey was take a picture so we could say we were there without getting information. It was clear she was lacking on anything pertaining to the Christian side and she sure wasn't interested in making certain we got everything out of it. I even asked her a question about one thing the other guide spoke of and she didn't know. I had to point it out to her on the wall. Unfortunately we were stuck with her for 2 of the 3 days of tours we booked. The first day however we did the Red Tour with a different tour guide. He was good. The lunches were included on this tour. Lunch in one place was very good and only acceptable on the other two. Also, we booked with them for Turkish Nights. DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!!! First because they cater to the big ships, you can only have a seat way in the back because you're not with a big group. The entire row in front of us was empty, but we had the last row and weren't allowed to move down. The entertainment is purely second rate at best. Yes, I have expensive tastes and see world reknown entertainment venues, but I also will attend small community theater. This was the worst of the worst. They also claim all you can eat and drink, but it was difficult finding anyone and it wasn't good quality either though. The very oldest retirees from the ship seemed to enjoy the belly dancer, but that wasn't our age group. Most of the photos I took were full of heads from everyone in front of us.
The Rock Valley tour buses are in great condition and comfortable and they did supply bottled water, but the guide made it so unpleasant, I just do not feel I got my money's worth. If you are going to travel there to see these sights, chances are you may never get back again. It's so important to have a guide that really shows you everything, and pays attention to detail and explains it and cares if you get a good photo. Anytime we wanted to stop and take a photo, we were left behind. And it wasn't as if we dawdling or taking long. The guide never pointed out good places to stop and take a photo or even bother to wait. We wanted to explore all different places in the underground city and I'm not talking about places that were off limits and blocked off areas, just some of the extra rooms. The guide however, wanted to take us just to the main highlights and get out as quick as possible. We would have been left behind a number of times except for the fact that there was a lot of wait time, waiting for other groups to go ahead while we were just supposed to stand and wait. Also, I was very specific in my emails asking for a list of items I wanted to see, asking if the Red, Green and Blue tours covered these specific spots and I can tell you that we definitely did not see all the items I was told we would see and which they emailed me confirming I would see. So I was very unhappy about that
Stop 3: Kusadasi/Ephesus/Pamukkale/Sirince - Tayf Tours. (Private Tours) Grade A++ (5 out of 5 stars). After my first 2 stops and disasters I was not a "happy camper". So when our driver picked us up for our private tour from the airport to go to Sirince, and when we arrived and it wasn't what I expected, I started to balk at the driver. His English wasn't so good. There was a little bit of a misunderstanding. He got on the phone immediately and then he handed the phone to me and I spoke directly with one of the owners, Volkan, who promptly told me that our happiness was his primary concern and that he would be there in 15 minutes and take over the tour. He took us to the highlights of the Sirince area. Showed us the best views to get photos. We got a private tour of a winery (not a scheduled stop). It was an amazing place. Got to meet the owner of the winery. Volkan was wonderful. He personally reviewed our tour with us. He recommended restaurants and when we arrived back at our hotel, he waited until we checked in and changed and came back down and then personally showed us places he recommended for dinner, told us he would arrange our reservations so that we would receive the best table and then took us to a restaurant with a table right by the Aegean and a fantastic view of the water. Next 2 days our tour guide, Gokhan was the best. He attended to our every detail and answered every question and then some. He was chock full of details on the history, art, architecture, etc.; you name it, he could talk about it. He keyed in on things that he could see were of interest to us. He made sure to let us know where the best views were to get a photo. He took our photo for us so that we were all in it together. He never rushed us and always asked if we were ready to move on. The driver picked up souvenir post cards for us at one stop (this was a surprise) and he had chilled grapes waiting for us in the vehicle after a hot day on another tour. Lunch was included with these tours and the food and locations were great. One of the lunches (near the carpet factory) wound up being some of the best foods we ate our entire trip. We were picked up and dropped us off wherever we wanted to go (and I don't just mean as part of the tour), we had a driver at our disposal to drop us off for dinner and pick us up afterwards. And it's not like it was much more expensive than our other tours. The value was exceptional!!! For the little extra cost of private vs. group tour it was so much more worth it. We got to stop and savor instead of being rushed.
The owner, Volkan, dropped by at the dinner he had made reservations for us at our request to make sure everything was going well. His food recommendations let us experience a great dinner that we may not have known about. The fish served flaming at Cinar was amazing. He really cared that our experience with Tayf Tours was the best. Afterward he also showed us a great nightclub for late night.
In addition to all the attentive service, the vehicles they use are great. In great condition and very comfortable. Bottled water was supplied for us at no additional cost for all the tours and you can get very hot and thirsty so it was a pleasure having ample bottled water available.
So these are my 3 experiences.

5  Thank Andrea W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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