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!
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