Cultural Trails

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Exploring the ancient past and living cultures of the Aegean
 
My family just returned from a wonderful Thanksgiving week in Turkey thanks to Cultural Trails. Before identifying Cultural Trails I contacted several other travel service companies about a customized tour of Istanbul and western Turkey. None of these companies were able to offer me the flexibility and personal service that I was looking for. Cultural Trails, on the other hand, listened carefully to me as I described the kind of tour I wanted for my family. The first itinerary proposed was excellent. With a few modifications we agreed on the plan and a reasonable price estimate was provided.

 

Our tour guide was extraordinarily knowledgeable of Turkey and its rich history. A week with her was like a graduate course in Turkish history and culture. What I particularly enjoyed was her ability to put into context the different civilizations in Turkey from 3000 BC until contemporary times.

 

When we travel we seek to avoid tourist oriented hotels and restaurants. Rather, we like to get a feel for the daily lives of the local people. Cultural Trails gave us exactly what we were looking for. We stayed in small boutique hotels mostly converted Ottoman buildings. We ate at neighborhood cafes and restaurants and were usually the only tourists there. As a result, after a week in Turkey we feel like we know the people and the culture very well in addition to seeing historic sites.

 

The one thing we appreciated most about Cultural Trails was their willingness to modify and adjust our tour once we were in the country. We realized about half way through the week that we wanted to get back to Istanbul a day earlier than originally planned. Cultural Trails worked with the hotels to adjust our schedule at no additional cost.

 

I highly recommend Cultural Trails to anyone interested in seeing and learning about the fascinating country of Turkey. 22-30 November 2008
Philip Dutton

 

We toured Western Turkey with Sevil in 2004, starting in Istanbul then driving to Cappadoccia over the course of ten days. Sevil was an absolutely terrific guide, full of knowledge and extremely capable of managing the arrangements. Everything flowed perfectly, and we especially enjoyed Sevil's restaurant recommendations. Everywhere we went we dined at the best, most authentic places, avoiding the ordinary in favor of the extraordinary. We're looking forward to another trip soon, with Sevil as our guide.
Jim Draper and Brian St. Germain, Birmingham, Michigan, USA

 

We highly recommend Cultural Trails as a specialist Travel Designer and brillant organizer. We certainly will be on a large number of their tours. October 2003
A.B. and J.W.A. Evans London


During September 2004, The Swedish Trade Council in Istanbul organized a three day seminar for the major customers of Scandinavia’s renowned banks, Scandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB). Our Guests were the major CEO’s of the Scandinavian companies, with exceptional and demanding desires and wishes. During these days Cultural Trails organized a tourist tour activity in Istanbul. The activity included total customer responsibility in guiding, transfer and printed information booklets on Istanbul as well as other practical issues around the event for the Scandinavian ensemble. Our guests were very pleased with the venue; hence we are thankful for Cultural Trails’ organization. We highly recommend their services. September 2004
Exportradet/Swedish Trade Council Istanbul


Having arrived in Istanbul on business with only one day available to see the sights we were delighted with the personal tour which was well planned and organised by the highly professional and very pleasant staff from Cultural Trails. Their planning and organisation enabled us to ensure that we saw as many sights of key interest as possible and ensuring that we were both collected and returned to our hotel in complete safety. April 2005
Cheetham & Co /David Cheetham


In Istanbul our company recently held an extended management meeting with spouses invited for a social programme. We engaged Cultural Trails to organise this visit on our behalf and we are truly grateful and impressed with their competence and professionalism. Everything from reception to sightseeing and choice of restaurants and entertainment was perfectly organised. We were also very impressed with our guide’s deep knowledge of Turkish culture and history and we warmly recommend Cultural Trails and their services on the grounds of excellent quality. April 24, 2005
Magnus Lind / Director Business Unit Europe

 

Turkey is a wonderful place. It has far surpassed what I had imagined. The landscape, the history you bring the ancient past alive with your stories and your extensive knowledge. What a true pleasure it has been to travel in your country with you as our guide. The sea was a treat, the homestay a special time and the scenery just marvellous. Thank you.
C. Argyus, CA

 

East-West
Ancient-Modern
Serious-Whimsich
Mind-Spirit
Turkey is a beautiful Discovery
And It is also you!
Thank you with all our heart,
M&Martin Stoller

 

I have had a wonderful, wonderful trip through Turkey and its multi-layered history. Thank you so much because you were so much a part of the trip. I will always remember so much-our tour of Hattusa, the marvels of Cappadocia, our tour of Catalhoyuk with Basak, and our lovely visit with Himmet and his family in Kumbet. And there were first the highlights everyday and was filled with wondrous things to learn and see, and your information was the key to it all. Thanks so much for all your work and preparation. I have learned so much. I am sure you will be a success-you are gifted,caring, thoughtful person.
Anne Higgins, Santa Rosa CA

 

I was very fortunate to have Sevil of Cultural Trails as my
tour guide. This journey, through varied regions of Turkey, far
exceeded my expectations and I would rate it first among my
many previous tours throughout the world.
Sevil's superb knowledge of Turkey's fascinating and complex cultural
and political history brought the past to life. Her engaging
personality, attention to the smallest detail and desire to please her
clients helped create an unforgettable experience.
I enthusiastically recommend Cultural Trails. In the near future I
plan to travel back to Turkey and take one of their Customized Tours
to places I was unable to see on my last trip.
S.L. San Francisco, CA

 

My husband and I traveled to Turkey with a group of friends and were extremely fortunate to have had Sevil as our tour guide. We had 15 people in our group and the arrangements were all handled so beautifully and professionally and everything was perfect. Sevil’s knowledge of the history, archaeology, and the geography of the area was so extensive and she delivered it always with her professionalism and wonderful smile. Also just the logistics of getting 15 people around were handled beautifully. I can’t wait to go back and will request her services!
Carol & Bob Hermes

 

The Best of Turkey – An Unforgettable Journey with Miss Sevil
With the help of Miss Sevil, we put together a specially designed twelve-day tour of Turkey in April 2007 for twelve of us from Hong Kong - we have never been to Turkey before. Sevil was also our guide on these twelve unforgettable days from Istanbul to Kayseri, Cappadocia, Konya, Beysehir, Eflatun Pinari, Pisidian Antioch, Pamukkale, Denizli, Aphrodisias, Sirince, Ephesus, Priene, Didyma, Miletos, Lake Bafa, Sardis, Birgi, Tire, and Izmir and then back to Istanbul.

All of us in our group found Sevil to be a very knowledgeable and first-rate guide – a true professional but at the same time very sincere, caring, thoughtful and a wonderful traveling companion. Together, we re-traced the footsteps of Anatolia’s ancient civilizations of the Hattian, Hitite, Phrygian, Iolian and Lydian peoples; we marveled at the most amazing archaeological remains of Classical Greek and Roman Anatolia; we relived the magnificence of great palaces, churches, mosques and minarets of Istanbul – the capital city successively of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires; we discovered the delights of modern Turkey’s people, cultures, languages and cuisine; and we learned and laughed a great deal throughout our journey.

Thank you, Sevil, for making Turkey such a wonderful and memorable experience for us all. We hope to come back again soon to explore other parts of Turkey with you.
Peggy Dee and Friends, Hong Kong

 

Becky and I spend three weeks traveling with Sevil. She is an absolutely wonderful guide. We went to special places. She was very knowledgeable of the history, culture and food. She understood, made appropriate recommendations and accommodations for the various levels of physical capabilities of our group. We cannot recommend her highly enough.
Carl and Becky Calvert, Albuquerque and Taos, New Mexico, USA.

 

Myron and I were just looking at our pictures of Turkey and reflecting upon what a truly wonderful experience we had. In large measure, the success of the trip was due to your knowledge and understanding of the history and culture of this most complex country. Prior to our trip, we had heard from friends that we were going to love Turkey. “Its people are friendly, the country is beautiful and diverse.”

Having a modern Muslim woman lead our group was a unique and remarkable experience of learning and discovery. We understood so much because of you: the complicated Turkish history, the birth of the Republic, the customs and traditions of the myriad of citizens, what it means to be a thoughtful, well educated woman in the midst of growth and change. Not to forget, the color and energy of the markets, the splendor of Cappadocia, the gorgeous blue of the Lycian Coast and of course, the splendid food.

Thank you for sharing your love of Turkey with us. The trip was far more than we ever imagined…it was enhanced and made more interesting and enjoyable by the services you provided.

Our best regards. Best of luck with cultural trails.
Fondly, Rina and Myron Katz

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testimonials

We toured Western Turkey...

We toured Western Turkey with Sevil in 2004, starting in Istanbul then driving to Cappadoccia over the course of ten days. Sevil was an absolutely terrific guide, full of knowledge and extremely capable of managing the arrangements. Everything flowed perfectly, and we especially enjoyed Sevil's restaurant recommendations. Everywhere we went we dined at the best, most authentic places, avoiding the ordinary in favor of the extraordinary. We're looking forward to another trip soon, with Sevil as our guide.

--Jim Draper and Brian St. Germain, Birmingham, Michigan, USA



Turkey is a wonderful place

Turkey is a wonderful place. It has far surpassed what I had imagined. The landscape, the history you bring the ancient past alive with your stories and your extensive knowledge. What a true pleasure it has been to travel in your country with you as our guide. The sea was a treat, the homestay a special time and the scenery just marvellous. Thank you.

C. Argyus, CA



Turkey is a beautiful Discovery

East-West
Ancient-Modern
Serious-Whimsich
Mind-Spirit
Turkey is a beautiful Discovery
And It is also you!
Thank you with all our heart,

M&Martin Stoller



Thanks so much for all your work and preparation

I have had a wonderful, wonderful trip through Turkey and its multi-layered history. Thank you so much because you were so much a part of the trip. I will always remember so much-our tour of Hattusa, the marvels of Cappadocia, our tour of Catalhoyuk with Basak, and our lovely visit with Himmet and his family in Kumbet. And there were first the highlights everyday and was filled with wondrous things to learn and see, and your information was the key to it all. Thanks so much for all your work and preparation. I have learned so much. I am sure you will be a success-you are gifted,caring, thoughtful person.

Anne Higgins, Santa Rosa CA



We are thankful for Cultural Trailsí organization. During September 2004, The Swedish Trade Council in Istanbul organized a three day seminar for the major customers of Scandinavia’s renowned banks, Scandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB). Our Guests were the major CEO’s of the Scandinavian companies, with exceptional and demanding desires and wishes. During these days Cultural Trails organized a tourist tour activity in Istanbul. The activity included total customer responsibility in guiding, transfer and printed information booklets on Istanbul as well as other practical issues around the event for the Scandinavian ensemble. Our guests were very pleased with the venue; hence we are thankful for Cultural Trails’ organization. We highly recommend their services.

Exportradet/Swedish Trade Council Istanbul


Highly professional and very pleasant staff... Having arrived in Istanbul on business with only one day available to see the sights we were delighted with the personal tour which was well planned and organised by the highly professional and very pleasant staff from Cultural Trails. Their planning and organisation enabled us to ensure that we saw as many sights of key interest as possible and ensuring that we were both collected and returned to our hotel in complete safety.

Cheetham & Co
David Cheetham



Highly professional and very pleasant staff... Having arrived in Istanbul on business with only one day available to see the sights we were delighted with the personal tour which was well planned and organised by the highly professional and very pleasant staff from Cultural Trails. Their planning and organisation enabled us to ensure that we saw as many sights of key interest as possible and ensuring that we were both collected and returned to our hotel in complete safety.

Cheetham & Co
David Cheetham

\n djc@cheethamandco.co.uk

We highly recommend... October 2003

We highly recommend Cultural Trails as a specialist Travel Designer and brillant organizer. We certainly will be on a large number of their tours.

A.B. and J.W.A. Evans London
Fax/Phone +44 1628 527825