After months of talking about it, my girlfriend and I booked tickets to visit Turkey. We were nervous because we were visiting in January but we were enthusiastic about our trip, during which we would be in Istanbul (where my uncle lives).
We decided fairly last minute that we wanted to spend a night or two somewhere else and settled on visiting Izmir and seeing Ephesus. I was overwhelmed with planning another 12-day international trip I was staffing before, so it was up to her to take care of all the details. She reached out to several groups and Best of Ephesus got back to us right away and were exceptionally professional and prompt in their communications. The cost of a 5-6 hour tour, door-to-door, with a car, driver, and personal tour guide?? - $150 for both of us! We booked it right away and were very excited.
After leaving Istanbul early in the morning for the short flight, we were promptly met at the airport by Hakan and our driver. They were friendly, the car was new and gorgeous (and spotless!), and we headed off straight to our first stop (the House of Mary). Throughout the rest of the day (visiting Ephesus, the Temple of Artemis, and getting a personal tour through a carpet factory) we were consistently impressed with Hakan's knowledge and thoughtfulness at every point.
I myself work as a tour guide (and run a small tourism company) in Washington DC and I know that the best tours are ones that are thought out thoroughly in advance and that are adaptable to the wants and needs of those on the tour. Hakan laid out all of our options for extra stuff to see at every turn and he it was very clear that he enjoyed giving the tour as much as we enjoyed taking it.
This tour was all-around incredible - not just the sites, but how we were led through them and taken care of all day. We were treated right from the start and had high expectations, all of which were met or exceeded. It was the perfect way to see the sites (within 36 hours in Izmir) outside and really made our trip.