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“Much better than a cruiseship excursion!”

Ekol Travel - Day Tours
Ranked #24 of 107 Tours in Kusadasi
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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.
Reviewed August 14, 2013

We selected tour number 4 (like most of the other reviewers) and it was terrific. Yes you have to put up with the rug factory tour, but it was actually very interesting and informative. No high pressure selling and we learned some interesting things for future use if we ever do need to purchase a carpet! Lunch was delicious and a welcome break after trekking through Ephesus and the Terrace houses (first stop was the Virgin Mary's house). Our guide, Mithat, was knowledgeable and the Mercedes mini-van just for the 4 of us was amazing - so much better than being on a crowded tour bus from the cruise ship with 40 other people on a hot day! And the price was comparable to the cruise excursion with more personalized attention and you can set your own pace. Don't hesitate - they are a very professional operation and readily answer emails with any questions.

1  Thank eranie957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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52 - 56 of 112 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2013

My family of four took an Eastern Mediterranean cruise, and the Kusadasi Port was one of our stops. We were originally planning on booking an excursion to Ephesus with our cruise line, but after reading the reviews for Ekol Tours on Tripadvisor, we opted for a private tour - and we are glad we did!

We booked Kusadasi Tour 4 - seeing the Ruins, Virgin Mary's house, St Johns basilica, Temple of Artemis, and lunch+carpet factory. Our tour guide was Taylan, who was absolutely excellent and could not be better. He provided excellent commentary and really made the experience exciting. He knew everything there is to know, and encouraged us to ask questions, take pictures, etc. I would definitely recommend him as a tour guide. Valentina was also excellent in booking the trip. Very fast and efficient.

Overall, great experience with Ekol Tours.

1  Thank Strategy92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 11, 2013

I concur with other reviews that the Ekol tour of Ephesus, the Terrace houses, St. John's Basilica and the House of the Virgin Mary was a first-class tour. It was our favorite port on our Eastern Mediterranean cruise. Our family of 4, including our 2 teenagers, had Taylan Ugur as our tour guide on July 4, 2013. He was an excellent tour guide and kept our teens engaged and interested in all of the sites. In fact, my teens kept bugging me to make sure I wrote an online review for the tour because they enjoyed it so much. My 19 year old son remarked that it was a "first class tour". Although we did not necessarily want to go to the rug factory, it ended up being a pleasant experience. We were very hungry after our 4 hour tour so it was nice to sit outside and enjoy a Turkish lunch. My son who is a very picky eater thought it was delicious. The yarn making and rug making demonstration was interesting and the rug sale demonstration was no-pressure. We would definitely recommend this tour and Taylan as a guide.

2  Thank baseballmom94
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 7, 2013

Ekol came highly recommended by friends of ours who travel extensively. Booking the tour on line was very easy and their staff was easy to work with as well as being flexible to a possible adjustments to our tour. Just a little background, I had lived in Turkey in the 70's as a kid and toured Ephesus several times. Convincing my wife to tour there was another matter.
Tylan Ugur met us at the appointed time with a luxurious Mercedes Benz mini bus and after welcoming us to Turkey immediately began giving us an overview of our tour and information on the region we were visiting.
Our first stop was the house believed to have been lived in by Mary after she was brought or Ephesus by St. John. Tylan gave us lots of information about that. It was interesting to see all the changes there in 40 + years. The Turkish Tourism Ministry has done a good job of improving the site while maintaining the shrine like qualities. Nice clean public restrooms were one of the changes from the 70's.

On to Ephesus.. Though my several visits there were coming back to me , my wife, son and daughter in law had never been there. Tylan did a great job of helping us understand the social, economic and political climate of Ephesus while keeping it fun and interesting. He always gave us plenty of time for pictures and allowed us to enjoy the experience.
Something you absolutely can't miss is the Terrace Houses. Their existence was only rumored in the 70's but now they are excavated in all their grandure. Seeing first century mosaics and frescoes and getting a feel for how the wealthy of that time lived was the high point of my day.
I have to admit that after Ephesus, seeing the Basillica of St. John was a bit of a let down. If time is an issue you could skip that.
Next was lunch at the Culture Ministry center for carpet making. Some people don't like this part of the tour but we enjoyed the experience. Lunch is a very tasty sampling of Turkish cuisine. After lunch we were given a tour of the facility where young Turkish women are taught the art of carpet making. Of course there is a sales pitch to buy a carpet. They are exquisite and beautiful, though not cheap. We were treated to beautiful examples of the art but unfortunately were not able to reach a price we could justify at this time. There is no hard sell, just negotiation.
Traveling back to Kusadasi, Tylan gave us more information about Turkey and we discussed a wide range of subjects. It was a pleasant end to our visit.
Our day with Tylan from Ekol tours very fun and enjoyable. Remember me saying that my wife had some serious reservations about coming to Turkey. Of our two weeks in Italy, Greece and Turkey, she had to admit our day in Kusadasi was her favorite.

1  Thank Robert I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

1  Thank Jim704
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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