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“Great Guide, Bit Very Disappointed in the Company”

Grand Wonders Travel - Day Tours
Ranked #14 of 29 Tours in Selcuk
Attraction details
Reviewed 25 July 2014

We were on a private tour through Turkey and Greece with Pasifik Travel. Once we left Istanbul, we found out we were getting handed off to other tour companies. When we reached the area of the office of this tour company, we went to their office and talked to the tour operator. We did not receive any vouchers; he said we would not need them. Surprise! Every subsequent hotel we went to and every subsequent transfer we had in Turkey and Greece asked for a voucher! Luckily, they had our names on their list and they were good about us not having vouchers. But this was a frustrating experience not only for us but the hotels and transfers providing their service.

Another frustrating experience was our itinerary clearly showed we were to have a full day private tour of Athens city, the Acropolis and surrounding monuments. Imagine our surprise when a man walked into our hotel promptly at 9, checked us off and with that he started walking thru the city with zero comments and took us to a huge tour bus loaded with some 25 other tourists. HELLO!! My itinerary clearly says a private tour. I show it to the guy who walked us to the bus and he says “Oh yeah, you will have your private tour and it will last 5 ½ hours and he disappears! Are you kidding me? So we get a ½ day group tour. Way to go Grand Wonders. Oh yeah, and the guy on the bus asked us for a, yup, you guessed it, a voucher! Dude, we are not supposed to be here anyway! Later, I emailed Kursat at Pasifix Tours asking for some sort of remuneration but he kept doing what he had been doing all during my attempts to contact him during and after the tour – he ignored us.

All that being said, the private tour in Turkey with our own driver and guide was excellent. The guide’s name was Mehmet and we thought he was wonderful! He made a lot of “unscheduled” stops at places we might enjoy, such as local markets, cheese farms, road side fruit/vegetable stands and even the apartment of our driver which was a thrill as we spent a good hour just visiting his family and taking in the local flavor. Additionally, we explained to Mehmet how we like to eat lunch (drop us off in town, give us a meeting time and place and let us loose). He had no problems with that. We found Mehmet to be funny, witty and very knowledgeable and his guided tours to Ephesus and the other areas were very enlightening. He and the driver were also willing to stop at gas stations and markets for us to get cheap drinks and snacks. And to top it off, without being told, he knew we did not want to visit any shops so he made no attempt to take us to any. We love this guy!

1  Thank nriemen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 14 June 2014

We did two tours with Grand wonders, both were booked through our selcuk stay so we just go with it. Nothing adverse, nothing to shout out as well.

100TL for Ephesus/House of Virgin Mary tour. Basically it was stopping at various points with some explanations then photo taking session, the whole visit to Ephesus took 2 hours. Then went to House of Virgin Mary where we were given short explanation then 45 minutes at the place, which I find it too long. Then I get to know we were supposed to go to the Ephesus Museum which the guide said it was closed due to renovation. I wonder if that is the case, why is the cost of the tour not reduced.

Personally I think I can just do the Ephesus tour on my own. I would suggest anyone to do the same unless you are sure to have a good guide/land tour.

120TL for Parmukkale tour. I think we paid this much because of the 3 hours bus journey, when we reached there we first had lunch before heading to Hieropolis for explanation here and there then were given 2 hours at Parmukkale. Then we headed back to Selcuk. Parmukkale is a beautiful place.

I guess it would be cheaper to catch a bus to Parmukkale on our own, from Selcuk bus station.

For our transfer to Kusadasi, we were charged 5 euro/pax. It was the same driver for both our tours, friendly and helpful man.

1  Thank PurposefulTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2014

My husband and I just returned from a two week trip in Turkey! The second week, we had been booked on a cruise that fell through. Panicking, I found Grand Wonders Travel in Selcuk and explained to the agent Albi our situation. He was so awesome, and was able to show us how we could still get to the Greek isles with the ferries. He booked us a trip for 5 nights, which included all the ferry tickets, bus tickets, and hotels. We were so grateful because if we had tried to do all of this it would have taken us days to book, and he was able to do it in an hour. Everything worked out great with picking up our tickets everywhere, and all the hotels were nice. He also worked within our budget which was really helpful. We are so grateful to Albi for his service!!

2  Thank Katie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 May 2014

We were booked on a day tour from Kusadasi with this company. In 11and a half hours we only had 3 and a quarter hours at Hieropolis and the terraces. The drive is 3 hours but with this company it took four and a half with multiple stops in two other towns to pick up more travellers and show them where to leave luggage etc. At one point the tour had 2 more passengers than there were seats in the van.
The tour of Hieropolis was a 15 minute walk along a path with pointing into the distance. More time was spent trying to persuade us to have our feet nibbled by fish (at outrageous cost)than giving historical information.
From a safety point of view my concerns were the over capacity van at some points, faulty passenger door that opened at times whilst driving, no seat belts and a driver that was on the mobile phone every few minutes.
Avoid this company

5  Thank TravellingSteve2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

We were pressured by our hostel to ask Alper (Albi) Zent at Grand Wonders a simple question about ferries to Greece. Before we knew it, he was being completely dishonest with us about every concern we had. He seems like a perfectly friendly guy, making jokes and earning our trust very quickly. I didn't expect he would rip us off as much as he did. He told us that even though it was low season all the ferries were filling up fast and we should book everything immediately. He told us he had no idea what the ferries would cost if we booked it ourselves (this would have to be a lie, he's a travel agent doing this for 10 years and he tells us he doesn't know how much the ferries cost?). He also promised us the accommodation was luxurious and a change of pace for us normally, very budget backpackers who sleep in dorms.

This tour agency was a blatant example of misinformation, with Albi saying anything he needed to in order to get our money from us. The accommodation at Bodrum was completely empty, looking nothing like the website he showed us in the travel agency. The pool was not full of water but rubbish and brown water, construction was going on everywhere leaving the place completely messy. We were left broken hearted and annoyed that we'd been scammed and it caused a lot of tension between me and my girlfriend.

Santorini was the exact same situation. Completely different than what he showed us, the staff were disinterested in us and offered us zero friendliness. The pool was empty again - which was the MAJOR selling point because we told him we wanted to swim in the pool so badly. Every time we called to complain he acted like he had no idea that this would happen, when in reality he would have made phone calls dozens of times to these partner companies. After all, HE SUGGESTED THIS ACCOMMODATION.

He also made clerical errors when booking, meaning he sent us to wrong travel agencies on the Greek Islands which wasted our time getting the ferry tickets. The reference number for one was also wrong resulting in another expensive phone call to Turkey to sort out Albi's mistakes.

Terribly unsatisfied with this travel agency and above all being ripped off and paying overall double the actual cost of tickets and accommodation. Believe me, nothing hurts worse than seeing the ferry tickets consistently costing half of what I paid to Grand Wonders to book it.

Thank you for a horror travel story to tell friends back home.

6  Thank Stu B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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