Mario Garret made a 19 days Turkey tour with us in June 2013
“Yusuf Karaca at Efendi Bakcpacking Travel is brilliant!”
Yusuf Karaca from Effendi & Backpackers Travel Agency replied the next morning. He had a full five-page, nineteen-day itinerary all laid out with tours, bus routes, hotels and transfers, at a price that I could afford. Effendi & Backpackers Travel Agency was the fifth agency I contacted in Istanbul. I had a straightforward request. I will be in Istanbul for three months on work but have three weeks to tour the country. I wanted to see as much variety of Turkey as possible and I cannot spend more than $100 a day. That was my budget and my goal. Yusuf was the only one to reply. I had no clue where most of the places on the itinerary where, what there was to see, what was significant or not. I also had no clue about distances. I do not speak Turkish, never been to Turkey and I knew no one in Turkey. I thought that Turkey was a little colorful city amid a desert punctuated by beach towns on the Mediterranean.
The tour was excellent. Yusuf selected some very unique hotels. All excellent, mostly right in the center of towns. Clean, spacious and very comfortable. Using the public buses for the first time I was a little apprehensive, but the transfers were smooth. I was usually picked up at the station and driven to the hotel and when I did not show up (I found someone on the bus to drop me off) he would email me (I was travelling without a phone) and ask if I was OK. The tour took me to the enchanted hills and valleys of Cappadocia to the tourist resorts of Bodrom and Antalya. But what I treasure most is that I learned and visited some of the old ruins. With over 500 Greek ruins, Turkey has more and to me, better sites to explore. Effendi & Backpackers Travel Agency later arranged for other short trips and Yusuf’s knowledge is indispensable. So when I asked Yusuf which part of Turkey he thinks I liked the best, he said I haven’t been yet. I booked a short weekend break to Gokceada, one o two Aegean Islands run by Turkey. He was right.
Turkey is a large country. Verdant, rich in agriculture with excellent roads Turkey is an amazing country. Istanbul is a bustling, beautiful city of over 22 million (more than the official statistics) since people from all over the region are attracted to this ancient metropolis. The people are friendly and trustworthy despite our lack of linguistic similarity. Now whenever I have an idea for a short jaunt to explore further I always contact Yusuf and benefit from his extensive experience o this utterly enchanting country.
Juan and Margarita made a private tour with us
Dear Tahsin Unsal,
We are now back in Argentina and I just want to thank you for a most remarkable stay in Turkey.
The attention to detail and the service received by yourself and your staff were 100%.
Furthermore, the hotel change away from Taksim Square proved a blessing in disguise! Hope the situation there ends peacefully and soon.
Once again, many thanks for a great time in Turkey.
Juan and Margarita
Virginia Hyatt and Carol Backus made a private tour with us in December 2011
Dear Mr. Eskimzambak,
Thank you so very much for a beautiful tour of your fascinating city! Our tour guide was genuinely friendly and spoke English very well. He demonstrated a thorough knowledge of Istanbul’s famous sites and history. We really enjoyed our tour! We were only in Istanbul for a short time and having the guide made it possible for us to see much more than we could have covered on our own. The drivers to and from the airport were all also very friendly and helpful.
The accommodations at Deniz House were very nice. We enjoyed the lovely view from our room which was quite comfortable. The breakfast was wonderful. The woman serving breakfast was quite helpful and even had coffee ready for us early on the date of our departure. We were also very happy with the value for the price of the rooms.
Everyone at Backpackers made us feel very welcome. We enjoyed Istanbul so much that we hope to come back again. When we do we will be sure and stay with you again. Thank you again for your hospitality. I plan to write a very favorable review for Backpacker’s on Tripadvisor.com.
If you are ever in Chicago in the United States please give us a chance to return the hospitality!
Adarsh & Shilpa Shenoy attended to Istanbul and Cappadocia Tours with us in November 2011
Me & My wife Shilpa, had been to Turkey from Nov 11th to Nov 16th, We had availed your services for the Full day Walking tour of the Old City of Istanbul, & we had the best time walking admist some wonderful heritage sights of Istanbul, We were picked up sharply at 815 AM & were taken through to the tour, The nicest part was the fact that the group had a maximum of 8-10 persons which ensured that we did not find ourselves lost in between a huge crowd, Your guide for the day Dilek Camurcu, was so impressive, she got around the places & also took sufficient time to explain in detail the history & importance of each place.
She shared artifacts of her own personal experiences with a good sense of humor, We were very comfortable with her & her polite expressions, Her patience made her very popular amongst the group also.
We also took the Cappadocia Tour from the 12th to the 15th of Nov & it was very well organised & well co-ordinated with your local organiser.
I would most definitely recommend Backpackers to all my friends & relatives who would visit Istanbul in future & needless to say - the next time we are in Istanbul, we would surely avail your services.
My regards to the whole team of Backpakers & specially to Ms. Dilek who bared the cold weather & drizzle & did a fantastic job of showing us around with a smile.
Thank you very much.
ADARSH & SHILPA
Kathy&Ron Wigal and their friends made prive Istanbul tours with us on October 2011
“Great private tours with Backpackers Travel”
We just returned from a "Holy Land Cruise" with an extra three days spent in Istanbul, and we used Backpackers Travel extensively while we were there. They arranged airport shuttle service for us to our hotel in Sultanamet that was efficient and reasonably priced as well as 4 other days of private tours for us and the 6 other people travelling with us. We actually had made arrangements with another tour company months before that had "fallen through" the last month before we were to arrive, and Backpackers Travel was quick to respond to my e-mail request for information. They did a great job of accommodating all of our requests--and ultimately allowed us to see virtually everything on our "to do" list for Istanbul. The "mini-bus" they used for our transportation was very comfortable, even for 8 of us with all of our luggage, and the drivers were all incredibly skilled navigating the narrow streets in many of the areas we visited. We were lucky enough to have the same guide all of the days that we were there--"Dilek"--a delightful young woman with a great sense of humor and amazing knowledge of the complex history of Istanbul. She was able to make recommendations of the best way to see as much as possible and saved us an incredible amount of time by purchasing all of our admission tickets for attractions and thus saved us from standing in long lines. We have done many private tours in places that we've visited, and Dilek is one of our favorites guides. Backpackers Travel was reliable, responsive to our requests, and reasonably priced for the services we received . We wouldn't hesitate to use their services again if we are able to return to Istanbul.
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Kathy and Ron Wigal, Patricia and Ron Proctor, Kathy and Kenneth Watkins, Marilyn and Roger Shick attended to our Istanbul city tour on October.
We were truly delighted with all of the services that we received from Backpackers Travel on our recent visit to Turkey. We heard about Backpackers Travel from "TurkeyTravel Planner" and actually made our plans with your company on rather short notice when our original plans with another company didn't work out. You replied so quickly to our requests and seemed to understand what we wanted to see and do while we were in Istanbul--so all of the people in our group agreed that we were very happy with your services and the way things worked out!
Our group all had independent flight plans arriving in Istanbul but we all used Backpackers Travel for our Airport Transfer services and were very pleased with the service. Your drivers were prompt, professional, and skilled in Istanbul traffic. One of the couples in our group missed their flight into Istanbul due to a delay in one of their connecting flights--but were so grateful to see someone from Backpackers Travel there waiting for them when they arrived at the airport anyway. With the narrow streets in Sultanamet, your drivers are amazing! And the vehicles you use for large groups were comfortable and VERY nice.
We were lucky enough to get Delek for our guide on all three of the days with Backpackers Travel--and she was probably our favorite guide of all that we had throughout our entire trip. She was truly delightful, had great English skills, was flexible with helping us to see as much as possible while we were in Istanbul, and gave us just the right amount of "detail" about the places we visited.
We would definitely give Backpackers Travel a "10" out of "10" in overall quality, reliability, and services received--and will plan to write a review for TripAdvisor.com as well.
The only policy of Backpackers Travel that gave us any concern was paying 50% of the total cost of our tours at the time that we reserved your services. It made us a little uneasy to pay such a large portion "up front"--although I'm sure that many people make reservations without being totally committed to their tours when a smaller amount of money is involved.
We couldn't have been happier with the services that we received from Backpackers Travel and wouldn't hesitate to use your services again or to recommend them to others.
Please relay our thanks to Delek and any others of your "team" who were involved with our recent trip to Istanbul--they were great!
Kathy and Ron Wigal
Patricia and Ron Proctor
Kathy and Kenneth Watkins
Marilyn and Roger Shick
Alison Hunter attended to our Istanbul city tour on Nov 08th-10th.
We had a wonderful time in Istanbul and we found everyone pleasant and helpful.
The tours were extremely good and our guide quite excellent, we had Dilek with us on our three tours. We found her so pleasant and very interesting, just a lovely person and her English is very good, we also liked her sense of humour. We also felt that the tours were good value and the transport was very comfortable. I heard about Backpackers Travel from a friend.
Many thanks for making our stay so enjoyable.
Dr.Donald and Mrs. Paterson attended to our Istanbul city tour on May 19th for Istanbul cruise travellers.
Ahmed gave us an all day walking tour of Istanbul. He was charming, informative, easy to understand and he was able to answer any of our questions about the country or history. We found each of the sites fascinating and with our smaller group we were able to move to each place of interest quickly. We appreciated the pick up by your van at the start of the tour and Ahmed was very clear with the instructions and stations to use on our return using the tram. When we returned to our ship we found from others that we had had by far the most pleasant and informative tour and for so much less than the bus tours. Highly recommend Ahmed and your tour group.
Mr Vincent Richer and his friends made an Istanbul Tour in French with our company on May 18th, 2011.
The local tour with the french speaking guide was great. It was a real benefit to visit your city with an historian. There are so many interesting information that we can´t find in a written guide. We definitely recommend this person. Also, I had booked an airport tranfer when I arrived in Istanbul, and that was arranged perfectly. I am satisfied with Backpackers Travel services. You have always replied to my requests, in due time and in the right way. I appreciated that Overall I would rate the trip 9/10 (nobody´s perfect !)
Mr. Kami Arnold attended to our Istanbul walking tour on May 21st, 2011
My friend and I were 100% thrilled with your services. We would both book with you again, should we be lucky enough to return to Istanbul. We loved our guide. She was friendly, knowledgeable and fun. The small group allowed us to feel like we were actually experiencing the sites and not just being led through like cattle. (We both HATE giant tour groups.) Later that night at our hotel, we read through your brochure and wished that we had more time! I had no problems getting questions answered and wasn´t pressured to book things that I asked about but decided not to do. I appreciated that. I was also highly satisfied with the airport pick up we arranged through you. It got our trip off to a great start. Both the tour and pick up were great services for the amount spent. I felt like both helped us to enjoy our time in Istanbul without breaking the bank. I originally went to your website to read more about the airport pick up. After looking at the tours booked, I decided that we should do one - even though we originally planned to just explore on our own.
Apinya Pengchue attanded our Cappadocia Tour between 10th - 16th April 2011
I was very pleased to find your service from searching Google. It was a great week in Turkey and with your professional and caretaking arrangements you did excel my experience of first time in Turkey even more awesome. The transfer vehicles were nice and clean. All service arrangements were mostly right on time. The tour guides were friendly and tried their best to share interesting information and provide convenience and good experience to tourists including myself. The hotel in Cappadocia was nice and well located. The bus trips were comfortable enough. I would rate my trip to Turkey during 10 - 16 April 2011 as one of the best I have done so far.
Backpackers Travel is definitely my top of choices if I decide to travel to your beautiful country again and, certainly, I will strongly recommend your service to my friends and acquaintances. Thank you very much once again for the great service and hospitality. I´m totally impressed. You really help making one of the best experiences in visiting this 2-continents country.
Oleg Poddubniy attented to our Chora Church & Golden Horn Tour on May 17th
I liked the everything very much. Specifically, I would like to thank our guide, Admad, who was doing the guidance professionally and really added useful information to what we were seeing. The trip was very valuable and I saw what I really wanted to see (and what was described in the advertisment). Also, no time was lost or wasted for things like "carpet shops", the route was well planned, etc. - I read about your agency in Internet. The way you advertize yourself is, in my opinion, very effecient, because I was actually looking for information about Istanbul and your site does give this information. In fact, I especially liked the fair way of descriptions, like: "you can get there by train, by taxi, etc. OR your can book our private tour". Very smart approach!
Barbara & John Connolly made a Turkey Tour with us in April 2011.
Greetings Yusuf, We were very pleased with our whole trip to Turkey. The hotels we stayed in were beautiful. Our hotel in Istanbul was very simple and a little out of the way but it was clean and the service was very good. We enjoyed our tours and found the guide in Ephesus to be very informative and friendly. We enjoyed the small groups that we toured with rather than the big crowds. It allowed you to hear what your guide was saying and get to know her a bit as well. The airport transfers were perfect and always on time. I found our communication through email when planning the trip to be very effective and I was very pleased with the quick responses I received. We got full value for our money on this trip. We heard about Backpackers Travel through friends here in Calgary who had used your services while they visited Turkey and they highly recommended you as I would do as well.
Tanya & Ayse Urso attended to Our Walking Istanbul Tours May 03rd, 2011
We very much enjoyed our trip to Turkey. It was great to be able to make some arrangements before even arriving! The Backpackers respresentative who helped us was able to book a tour, a evening event and train tickets for us. He made it very easy and when we arrived all we had to do was pick up the tickets!
We were very satisfied with our tour guide - she was funny and knowledgeable. We were very lucky to be the only two tourists for the morning tour and got a much more personalized service than we were expecting. The afternoon went just as well - only two other tourists were a part of our group. Our guide was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. For the price that we paid, we find the value to be excellent. We had very personalized service and saw things we would probably not have otherwise seen. Our guide was excellent and knew all her facts. She studied archeology and was able to give us more details because of it. A simple email and all of our questions answered and trips booked! Very hassle free! We will most definitely use Backpackers Travel again and will recommend your services to friends travelling to Turkey!
Dear Attila Yurtas,
Your e-mail came just at the moment I was going to write to you in order to express my full-hearted congratulations for the work your Agency is doing.
First, as regards procedural and administrative matters, you kept all your commitments and you were punctual with all appointments.
Secondly, your guide, Dilek Arman, was fully equipped for the job. She had full knowledge of the history and/or the artistic value of the sites of our tours (I have studied Byzantine history) and she took pains –even changed the schedule when possible- to address our wishes. She was both a guide and a friend.
Please convey to her our warm greetings.
Thanking you once again,
We provided 6 days of quick Turkey tour for Mr/Ms Altman from USA in March 2009 including Ephesus, Cappadocia, Istanbul and Jewish heritage tours
My husband and I, busy medical doctors, yet avid, adventurous and enthusiastic travelers, had recently an absolutely incredible trip to Turkey. My husband was most impress by the website, Turkeytravelplanner (http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/). After reading all the suggestions at that most helpful website, he contacted Backpackers Travel Agency (http://www.backpackerstravel.net/) for suggestions about how we could fit into our tight schedule all the wonders we wanted to see during our one-week vacation. He got a reply from Tahsin Unsal who not only had excellent suggestions what to see and how to get around within our time limitations, but who also made all possible customized accommodations to the itinerary according to our wishes. We ended flying to Ephesus, then traveling overnight to the unbelievable underground- and cave cities and valleys of Cappadocia, and finally taking a flight to explore Istanbul. Tahsin´s arrangements for us in Turkey proved to be amazing with details polished to perfection. We were picked up from hotels and airports without ever waiting even a minute. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and friendly and the accommodations were just what we wanted. Per our request, Tahsin made a individualized itinerary for a private half-day tour of Jewish Istanbul. What a unforgettable morning! In addition to the synagogues and The Jewish Museum, we made stops on our way to scenic overlooks, cemetery, an important Orthodox church even to have a peek into a very old, historic Turkish bath! Tahsin was a personification of what we experienced of the Turkish people: extremely friendly and helpful in a very unassuming and sincere manner. The country was modern, and very European, friendly and easy to get around, yet full of history, full of wonders, full of affable and welcoming people. I have only two questions remaining in my mind: why did I not go there already years ago, and when can I return there to explore it more! Thank you so much, Tahsin, for arranging us this unforgettable, wonderful experience ´ made to perfection!
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Antonio Prado from Brazil had 3 days of trip through our agency for Cappadocia in June 2009
I made a trip to Cappadocia, visiting valleys and natural castle around the region. The 3 day trip that I found at http://www.backpackerstravel.net/ was really complete and great. You can learn a lot about history and see many beautiful places. The hot air ballon is the top atraction of the place and I really recomend it. I followed suggestions from the manager of the tour agency Gokay and I found everything very well organized.
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Raquel Melendez and her boyfriend Guillermo Salinas, a very friendly couple from El Salvador, made a tour for Istanbul, Cappadocia, Pamukkale and Ephesus in June 2009.
M y boyfriend and I just came back from an amazing trip! Turkey is beautiful! We´re definitely going back to see the rest of it and of course, to have a great time in Istanbul again! We were advice to go there with travel agency´s support, if we´ve never been there. Gladly we found Backpackers Travel (www.backpackerstravel.net), a unique agency from Istanbul which we´d like to recommend 100%... Manager, Tahsin Ünsal, is a very friendly and special guy who will make you feel like home! He arranged the whole trip for us and took care of every little detail´ We couldn´t have taken a better choice for our first time in Turkey: A cozy and warm hotel in Istanbul, a Cave hotel room in Cappadocia and a fancy room in Kusadasi´ Amazing places to see, so much history to discover, incredible landscapes´ If anyone´s planning something different for vacations, try Turkey´ and do not hesitate to contact Backpackers Travel, you won´t regret it!!!
Raquel Melendez and Guillermo Salinas
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I had planned my trip to Istanbul a couple of months ago and was wondering how to book the taxi transfer to and from Atatuk to Sabiha airport. Just a week before traveling I was getting desperate as I was not sure of waiting till I got to Turkey as I had read and heard of regular taxi´s trying to make a quick unfair buck from foreign tourists. I had been warned of taxis in Istanbul not being honest just like in all big cities. Just a few days prior to flying out to Turkey I found "Backpackers Travel Agency " website through a recommendation from another website I don´t remember now. I booked my first taxi transfer through their website which is so easy to use and then made a call to confirm same. All was so easy to set up. When I landed at Istanbul Atatuk airport and was in the long Immigration queue I heard an announcement asking me to report to information Desk. I was so relieved to know my driver was already waiting well before time for picking me up. As promised I had my name displayed by an efficient girl from Backpackers Travel. The pick up car was an excellent big van with a very smartly dressed and courteous driver. The car was clean and also got refreshment in the car a great thought for tired travelers. I was dropped at my hotel and was picked up for my second flight a few hours later. The driver again was very helpful on time and did his best to get to Sabiha airport in time though the drive was very stressful seeing the extremely long queues. The planning of pick up was so well planned considering the traffic jams enroute at peak hours. I was so impressed with their service that I re booked airport transfer service again for return trip from Sabiha to hotel and back to Atatuk. I also visited their office and spoke to their travel consultants as well as both were pleasant and helpful. To round up my experience with Backpackers Travel I would like to say that till today I haven´t had this excellent service even in United Kingdom. I would recommend any foreign traveler to use Backpackers transfer service seeing the professionalism/efficiency of their company and staff.
I had a wonderful time on the tour and our guide, Abdurrahman Yaramis from Backpackers Travel was more than we could have ever asked for- he is very intelligent, charming, professional, informative, and has very good English. The tour was around the old city/Sultanahmet in Istanbul and we saw 7 sites all together; sites more difficult to get to than the Aya Sofia and the Blue Mosque. I would recommend this tour highly to anyone. All of the places we visited were very worth it and showed you a lot about the city and history. The transportation was very good as well- I commend the very good driving in such difficult streets in the old city! They even brought us peach juice and a sweet bread for breakfast! Very good value for the price of 15 euro (about $20) for hotel pick-up in Sultanahmet at 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. Drop off at the Spice bazaar or back at hotel.
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