In October our group of four, 2 couples, toured the main sights of Istanbul with "Sammy" from Ekol Travel. With enthusiasm he showed us the Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, the Egyptian Spice Bazaar and the Grand Bazaar and found a cafe for lunch. This small group was a manageable way to get around the Old Town and the tour could be tailored to our interests. Most guides will take you to the obligatory carpet, leather or ceramic store. You can decline these visits or go and learn more. We opted for the ceramics and were given an informative pottery demo. (Often they have clean toilet facilities) We admired the quality of the ceramics but because we were just beginning our trip did not purchase anything. We can recommend this travel group as reliable, efficient and reasonably priced.
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