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“Jekyll and Hyde”

Ekol Travel - Day Tours
Ranked #22 of 102 Tours in Kusadasi
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Attraction details
Owner description: Feel the breeze of class! All our Tours are performed in First Class Comfort and Style!EKOL TRAVEL has been established since 1985. Our aim has always been to promote Turkish tourism, and to be a leading travel agent in providing handling services for international tour operators which are marketing Turkey & Greece in Europe and overseas. We also pride ourselves in the personal touch we give to our individual travelers. Our executives have over 30 years of experience in travel business but still bear the spirit of wonder which keeps them excited, creative and dynamic.
San Ramon, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Jekyll and Hyde”
Reviewed August 2, 2013

We booked EKOL Travel for a tour of Ephesus and Istanbul. The lady conducting the tour in Ephesus was superb.....very knowledgeable and accommodating. The tour was spectacular. Make sure you see the Terrace Houses. Istanbul was a totally different story. While our guide was competent, the tour was less than advertised. It was on a Friday and one of the highlights, the Blue Mosque, was closed for prayers, until 2:30. Our tour ended at 2:00. We had to be content with an overly-extensive tour of Topkapi Palace.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Jim704
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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112 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Southern Ontario
Level Contributor
22 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Great Tour….But”
Reviewed July 28, 2013

On a cruise stop in Kusadasi we booked a private tour with EKOL - KUS-TOUR 4 which consisted of Ancient Ephesus, including the Terrace Houses, the House of Virgin Mary, Temple of Artemis, the Basilica of Saint John, and then lunch.
We were met in the Kusadasi port by Taylan Uğur - Ty, our professional guide for the day. He led us on a short walk to our vehicle, which was a new 16 passenger mini bus – a treat for the eight of us on the private tour. We were driven out of the city toward ancient Ephesus for our first stop at the house where the Virgin Mary is believed to have lived the final years of her life. The house is a reconstruction, as little more than the foundation had survived. Since we had arranged our tour to start at 7:30 a.m. there were only 6-8 other tourists on site when we arrived.
Next, we went to ancient Ephesus which was the highlight of the tour. We spent approximately 2 ½ hours at the site and Ty provided excellent commentary and brought the city to life for us. We visited the Terrace Houses to see how the wealthy citizens lived – it is an extra $15 fee but I would recommend it.
The Basilica of St. John and a distant viewing of the Temple of Artemis of rounded out the historic part of our tour.
Now we come to the “….But” in the title. We had requested via email to EKOL that we skip any visit to a rug making facility and they had agreed. However we were brought to a rug making school for lunch, a demonstration of the art of making rugs and shown many different samples. The lunch was good, but I would have liked to skip the rug making. I took off one star in the rating for this, and would have reduced it further but there was no hard sell here and we were allowed to skip the leather factory.
Overall I would recommend this tour, the optional visit to the Terrace Houses and Ty for a guide.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank Cruiserrob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Union City, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Great guide and wonderful experience”
Reviewed July 27, 2013

booked the private city tour in Kusadasi. Ty was our guide and we were 8 people and got a big van. Visited the Ruins and house of Virgin Mary. Ty was wonderful in explaining in detail and took us to carpet factory/school. My friend wanted to eat authentic local food, so Ty took us to a local eatery away from the tourist spot and it was the best.

Valentina was helpful during booking and overall a smooth transaction.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank G K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Halifax, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Semi-private tour of Ephesus etc. was AMAZING!”
Reviewed July 23, 2013

Wow! What an amazing day we had in Kusadasi with our EKOL Travel guide, Serkan! A fabulous tour, extremely knowledgeable and friendly guide, and such a great price! The tour was semi-private (up to 12 people) but we lucked out and there were only 7 of us.

We just returned from a 7-night Eastern Mediterranean cruise and one of our stops was Kusadasi, Turkey. We decided to have a more intimate and affordable tour instead of going through the ship’s organized bus tours. I did some research and after looking over several reputable companies, I chose EKOL Travel because of the great itinerary, highly-rated reviews and the affordable price. I sent an email and set up was easy (we gave credit card to book, but could pay cash on site if preferred).

When our ship arrived in Turkey, we were greeted by Serkan who was holding the EKOL travel sign. He had our van waiting just for us (just 7 of us in our small, semi-private group).

We had the most amazing day with Serkan and our driver. We visited the House of the Virgin Mary, the ruins in Ephesus, and the Temple of Artemis. Serkan knew how to get around the crowds and gave us fascinating facts and information about all of the sites. There was also free time for us to explore on our own. All the sites were fascinating and so worth seeing! We were delighted that we had decided to explore these ancient sites.

After our tour, we went to a beautiful outdoor garden area for lunch (the setting was beautiful amongst the trees and the crisp white table linens etc. made it a 1st class feel). We were expecting snacks, so this was a nice surprise. It was a full meal (fresh salad, bread, rice, vegetables, and meat chicken, lamb, beef kabobs~ and more!!! Fresh fruit plate for dessert, too!!!) We were stuffed and it was delicious! Even my fussy son enjoyed the food!

Afterwards, we learned about the Turkish art of carpet weaving – it was a very interesting and impressive presentation. It is part of the local heritage & culture and we enjoyed it very much.You then have a chance to look through and purchase if you like, but we didn’t feel pressured. We weren't able to buy anything, but maybe one day, as the rugs were beautiful.

To sum it up, this tour was an AMAZING value – great website and communication via email, intimate tour of all the sites, great group size, fantastic guide, driver, & vehicle, and the lovely meal included was the icing on the cake!

I am SO happy we chose to book with EKOL and we LOVED our tour! The low price may seem too good to be true, but it isn’t! We HIGHLY recommend booking with them if you have ths unbelievable opportunity. Enjoy! We sure did!

Thanks again Serkan!


Visited July 18th 2013

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Dianne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A Memorable Experience”
Reviewed July 18, 2013

We booked Tour #3 with Ekol (House of Virgin Mary, Ephesus, Temple of Artemis) and had a great experience. It was my 7 year old nephew's birthday and I asked Ekol if they could do a little decoration for him. They went above and beyond. The bus had a Happy Birthday banner on it and there was cake and dessert later at the rug shop.

The tour was very well organized. All the fees were included. We went to the House of the Virgin Mary first and while the line was long, I think we beat the crowds. Next was Ephesus and our tour guide did a great job explaining the history while keeping us cool and away from the crowds. We were asked if we wanted to see the Temple Of Artemis and opted for a drive by. As others have noted it's not much to look at now but it's one of the 7 Ancient Wonders so you have to at least take a peek.

We finished up with a nice lunch (included) at a rug school, saw a weaving demonstration and then had the birthday celebration/rug exhibition. We didn't buy any rugs and it felt a bit awkward but we didn't really feel any "pressure" to buy.

My whole family was very pleased with the tour. I know my nephew will never forget it. From pickup to drop off the tour lasted about 6 hours. Highly recommended!

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank adams_north
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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