Our MCS cruise stopped at two turkish ports: Izmir and Istanbul. Since we are not fans of taking the ships’ tours, I searched for a local guide who could give as a private tour. After looking at several options, I decided to go with Ertunga. What a great decision!!
First of all, I need to say that we were a party of 18 (extended family) and Ertunga found two buses fully air conditioned with great drivers. Ertunga himself met us at Izmir and gave us the tour in perfect english. We visited Virgin Mary’s House, which is not a great deal, and Ephesus, one of the best well-preserved greek cities I have visited. I would point out that visiting this places with a highly educated local person makes all the difference. Everyone loved the site, including our teenage children and younger nephews.
Then we reached Istanbul, where another great guide met us at the exact scheduled time. This one spoke perfect spanish (we are mexicans and, even though must of us understand english, my folks preferred spanish). Needless to say, our guide spoke 5 languages and held a degree in history equivalent to Ertunga’s. Again, all the tour was a great experience. We were only disappointed to have so little time to explore a city as rich as Istanbul. Nevertheless our guide managed to make as much as possible for us to get a taste of this amazing place. Even though the food was good, we could have skipped lunch in order to see more of Istanbul. The marketplace is nice, but you should not waste much time thus everything they sell is a cheap copy of what you normally find anywhere else.
If someone is visiting Turkey and wants to experience its culture in depth Ertunga is the right guide to contact.