First of all, when comparing to a big group tour it is a no brainier. We travelled In a Mercedes Benz with wifi the whole time, taking our time to stop however we wanted, we were never in a rush. We saw big tour groups came in and had to wait in line while we skipped the line and went right through. I cannot over emphasize the benefits of traveling with a private guide.
But not Just any tour guide, but Ertunga is the best! I had done months of research before our big trip and honestly felt like I was taking a risk in hiring someone based only on tripadvisor reviews but I decided to give it a try. I am sure glad I did!! All my worries were gone as soon as I got here. Ertunga is honest, down to earth, patient, and will tell you whatever you want to know about the area and sites.
I had thought about spending more and traveling with an archaeologist, but Ertunga is just as knowledgeable, if not more, than an archaeologist. We went to all the popular sites like Ephesus and Pergamum where it was more crowded but he also took us to sites like priene, Miletus, Didymid where it was not as crowded and there was so much to learn! Ertunga would always find a shady spot where he patiently explained the background and history of the site before we head in, and stopping in between to explain everything! My favorite was laodicea that was excavated only 10 years ago and it was fabulous and hardly anyone there because it was so new and yet he took us there and explained everything!
Ertunga was a history teacher in the past and my kids and I were in awe learning so much about Greek, Roman and Turkish history with live illustrations! He was never tired of explaining anything and went out of his way to make sure we got what we wanted. He even used the time in the van while we were traveling to explain Turkish history to us. He really went above and beyond what is required of him!
One day he took us to a local village where a lady cooked us lunch in her own house and brought veggies from her farm. Local cultural experience like this will be unthinkable on any other tour.
While Ertunga was not able to be with is in cappadocia he worked with an excellent tour guide Sibel who gave us the best time there and has become a great friend! We love her energy, patience and knowledge of all the sites in cappadocia and the landscapes there was amazing. The cave hotel that was selected there was phenomenal as well.
Overall I have only known Ertunga and Sibel during this trip but I felt like they have become lifelong friends. I have travelled all over the world but I will say this is the best trip ever! I cannot thank you more for making Turkey our favorite country and created such an unforgettable trip and we will be back!!
You will be fortunate to have Ertunga as your tour guide!
Visited June 2015