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“Very well organized tour”

Castle Travel Day Tours
Book In Advance
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$66.07*
and up
Ancient Ephesus House of the Virgin Mary Temple of Artemis and Sirince Village...
Ranked #33 of 103 Tours in Kusadasi
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Attraction details
Owner description: Castle Travel
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Very well organized tour”
Reviewed July 22, 2014

We took a day trip to Ephesus and house of Virgin Mary with Castle Travel organized through our hotel. The trip was amazing - our guide Yeliz was exceptional. Not only was she knowledgeable, but she was patient, friendly and took us to this amazing authentic Turkish local place for lunch.
She also helped us buy Turkish carpets by providing expert tips and her honest opinion. If you go on a tour with this company, ask for Yeliz. Our driver was excellent too - very patient and friendly even though it was super hot that day.

Visited July 2014
Helpful?
Thank Nyc_dj2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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55 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Our worst experience in Turkey”
Reviewed April 17, 2014

My fiancé and I loved Turkey with our terrible tour of Ephesus being the only black mark. In short, Castle tours cares more about shop kick backs than sharing amazing historical sites with tourist. 25% of tour time was spent at Zirve Rug and Popular leather which is crazy when you thing of the ancient ruins in the area. Try another tour company, but do your research as visiting shops seems to be tour company policy given the amount of tour vans that arrived whilst we waited out the front of these shops. So disappointing!

Visited April 2014
Helpful?
9 Thank Ian v
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mehmet A, Manager at Castle Travel Day Tours, responded to this review, June 26, 2014
Dear Mr Lan,
You didn't not mention how was Ephesus Trip (Guiding/Vehicle/Lunch) you only complain about shopping! but be honest that the guide asked you if you would like to see carpet and leather shopping so you said yes then you were there with your wish so what's that all complain about! Is some one push you wrote bad things about our agency?
One more thing ;Shopping is include our Group tour but however guide asked you as being polite to join or not!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kolkata (Calcutta), India
Level Contributor
26 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“could have been better”
Reviewed January 29, 2014

Booked through our hotel we went to Ephesus and Pamukkale with them. The first trip was better because our guide was very witty and humorous and gave a very thorough tour of Ephesus. He let us take pictures at our leisure and didn't hustle us along, though some more time would have been better.Our Pamukkale guide was a decent and polite gentleman named Mehmet who was however a bit lackadaisical.We spent an hour in an onyx factory then had lunch at a big restaurant where most of the tour companies come for lunch. The food was not good and the guy at the kebab counter was downright rude if you asked for a second helping , most of us disliked the place. The restaurant at Ephesus was much better place ambience & food wise .Mehmet gave us brief information about the Hierapolis ruins and pointed out some while walking along the path to the hot springs.He didn't take us near the sites as was done in Ephesus but seemed only interested in showing us the hot springs, which are spectacular , no doubt. I don't know whether this is part of the normal agenda, if it is, please cut out the onyx factory sales promotional tour & include the sites because they are very interesting. My son , who had explored these on his own showed us some wonderful pictures of the ruins. Hot springs are not the only attraction of Pamukkale. The seats of the minibus were not comfortable for such a long journey.All in all Pamukkale trip was not of the same standard as the Ephesus tour.

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank tawgori
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geneva, Switzerland
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Turkish Guide and Educated Service”
Reviewed November 12, 2013

Feyzula was a well educated tour guide who added considerable value to our day tour. The driver Hassan was amiable and very helpful.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Manobile
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Avoid Castle Tours”
Reviewed November 3, 2013

If you book a trip through an agency in Istanbul, make sure they don't hook you up with Castle Tours for Ephesus and Pamukkele.

Our "day" in Ephesus -- which is an absolutely AMAZING place -- was only 2 hours. The day was spent mostly in a leather manufacturer where we watched a pathetic fashion show, a carpet manufacturer (which was the only place people were actually surly to us in Turkey), and waiting for lunch. The lunch (supposed to have guaranteed vegetarian options but didn't) took over an hour before we were served / given drinks, and the drinks were heavily watered-down. Because the guide (never got his name) feigned ignorance about the drinks, and was not open about where we were going until we got there (i.e., leather and carpets) AND because he rushed us through Ephesus missing the frescoes and mosaics -- I also hold him responsible for the whole crummy day. Although he may have been knowledgeable about Ephesus I think we would have gotten more info from the audioguide. And if you're staying in Kusadesi you can take the 5 TL bus to the site and bring a picnic lunch.

About Pamukkele. It is a 3 hour drive from Kusadesi. They tell you that you will have 4 hours at Pamukkele but it's actually 1 hour lunch looking at it from below, 3 hours at the site. At Pammukkele there is much to see: the travertines, the Cleopatra baths, the ruins. Impossible to see/do all in 3 hours so you have to choose and rush.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
9 Thank Julia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mehmet A, Manager at Castle Travel Day Tours, responded to this review, November 7, 2013
Mrs.Julie S
I would like to tell you something about the your unfair criticism .First off all you can ask anyone who has been at the Ephesus before and they may tell you that they been there maximum 2 hrs not more,even the costumer from Daily cruise they visit maximum 45 minutes and they loved very much and you have spent nearly 2 hours time at Ephesus archeological site itself however you complain about the duration of the tour is not much.

Secondly when you book this tour; you never check details of the tour itenary and Terraced Houses are not the part of regular tour programme.But as my advise for you on your next visit you may book private tour and you may design your tour timing as long as you wish.

And also when you book your tour you never mentioned about vegetarian food you desire for your daughter but right about to be served your lunch you mentioned about vegetarian food for your daughter.However the food was almost vegetarian (seasonal salad,cheese and potato pancake,fried eggplant pepper zukini with yoghurt) except Turkish ravioli rolled with meat .

As you know the participiant of the tour were 15 people including you.And our Agency contacted every single other member about how they enjoyed their tour after we received your complain but any how rest of group members were never agree about what you complained.

About shopping oportunities on the tour programme; as you know on regular tour programmes these culturel atractions are highly desired by people to have great oportunity for group members to buy local things.As far as we know right after you saw the fashion Show at leather outlet you spent most of your time at the garden while enjoying your coffee with sitting your guide.

About the Pamukkale tour: duration of the journey is 3 hours for one way.About 12 o’clock at noon time is lunch time and after 3 hours time you spend at Hierapolis site.And on regular Tours the tour participant should back to their hotel around 7 pm for dinner and relax.And also some of the tour participants may need to catch their flights or bus to depart.But again I highly recommend you on your next time book private tour and no need to blame people and tour company for non-essential things.

The tour guide (Yigit) told his name a few times during the tour but I guess you we not able to keep his name in your mind.
Actualy you are right about one thing you mentioned is : public minibüs service is 5 TL from Kusadasi to Selcuk town  not to the Ephesus site entrance.Next time do your advise and enjoy your picnic.  Please do not inform other people about your non-essential recommendations.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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