My friend Kathy and I had the pleasure of doing the 14 day "Enchanting Turkey" trip with Neon Tours from 9/8/13 - 9/21/13. We booked our trip through Anatolia Tours which, I assume, is one of their distributors.
The tour was a big loop through the country starting and ending in Istanbul. We had 28 people in our group. I've taken several tours in various countries. Turkey was a bit more challenging as we were seeing so much of the country and sites were somewhat far apart. Most travel days involved a 4 hour bus trip but this wasn't as bad as it sounds. We would drive for an hour and have a bathroom break. Drive for an hour and have lunch. Drive for an hour and have a second break. Drive for an hour and we were at our destination. Neon's solution to the long drives was to schedule single overnight stays followed by a two night stay to help allievate some travel fatigue.
The sites were incredible - Gallipoli, Ephesus, and Perge were beautiful. Our hotel (The Charisma) in Kusadasi was right on the coast. We had a most relaxing afternoons sunning and swimming. We also had a free day in Antalya to relax on the Turkish Riveria (it's a pebble beach, not sand.)
Overall, the hotels were very nice. The only disappointing stay was the Hilton Garden Inn in Konya. It was a very hot day and we had all hoped for a refreshing swim. Alas, this hotel did not have a pool. Likewise, the majority of the food was decent although some of our best meals were at the rest stop places!
Our guide, Enis, was very passionate about his job and his country. His English was excellent and he was very knowledgable about all the sites we saw. The only problems we had on the tour was that our first bus blew a flat tire and our second bus got impounded for failure to have the correct emissions sticker. Neon was quick to make up for these situations by purchasing both lunch and then dinner with the Whirling Dervish show for our entire group. Excellent customer service!
My suggestions for travelers: 1) definitely get a Turkish Bath. We did ours at the Antalya Crown Plaza hamman. While it was a hotel hamman, it was still a great treatment and lower cost as they charged in lyria not euros. 2) definitely spend the extra money and do the sunrise balloon tour in Cappaadocia. It is absolutely magical and a once in a lifetime experience. 3) Bring a wide brim hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses! It was hot in September; I can't imagine what the temperatures are like in July and August. You are outside viewing ruins in the sun a good part of the trip. Also consider decent, supportive footwear. I wore my Keen sandals (with the bumper toe protection) the entire trip. Had great traction as well as air flow to keep my feet cool.
Mehs: 1) The Grand Bazaar - definitely see it just for the experience. But every other stall has the exact same trinkets. (Something you will find throughout Turkey. ie. there are really no 'local specialities' at any other markets) 2) The carpet/pottery/leather goods stops - it was interesting to learn how these goods were made but prices are still pretty hefty. 3) The Whirling Dervish show. Somewhat underwhelming after the first 5 minutes.
In summary, our trip was incredible and I would recommend Neon tours without hesitation.
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.