“No man can cross the same river twice, because neither the man nor the river are the same.”
by herakleitos from ephesus
Route of Health, History and Culture
Since ancient times the restorative and recreational value of natural springs has been recognised. The Spartan king Agamemon, for instance, is said to have sent his injured soldiers to waters near Izmir (modern Balcova) for healing at the time of the Trojan War. Today, increasing numbers of people are turning to this natural resource, some for specific ailments, many others for the relaxation and simple enjoyment immersion in the waters provides.
For this tour we have chosen 10 springs in the Aegean region of western Turkey. Beginning with the Agamenon baths in Izmir, we meander through this extraordinarily rich historical landscape, taking in along the way such important ancient cities as Ephesus, Sardis, Pergamun and Hierapolis. We believe this blend of natural and cultural sites offers a unique experience that will appeal both to travelers who have visited the country before and to those who would like to get a taste of this fascinating land.
Shane Brennan is an ancient historian and has been travelling in Anatolia for over 20 years. Since his first visit in 2000, he has had an enduring love of hot springs. Similarly, Cengiz Cakmak, a lecturer in Turkish language at Istanbul University, has decades of experience travelling in the country. Together they have visited more than 100 springs and for this tour they have selected some of the finest ones in the Aegean region.
Eastern Anatolia is rarely visited and has some of the country’s most outstanding scenery, with its impressive snow-capped mountains, massive lakes, gushing rivers and immense fields of wildflowers.
It is bordered by Iran, Nakhcıvan, Armenia and Georgia. The largest lake (Lake Van) and highest mountain (Mt.Ararat) of Turkey are located there. The average altitude is around 2500 mt.
I spent 4 days at the different altitude of Mt.Ararat (Ağrı Dağı) to reach the summit. It was a breathtaking experience to keep going on at my slow pace to the peak without my friends.
I started the journey with my dear friends, Cihan, Shane and Cengiz from the Iğdır Airport. We camped at two camps at the altitudes of 3200mt and 4200mt together. We started off the last phase of our trek for the summit at 1:00 AM, after a while I decided to stop because my harmony was not like the others, preferred to be left behind. While they were at the peak for the sunrise, I was still on way to the summit. At the end I accomplished the peak. What a wonderful achievement !. A great affection clenched between me and Mt.Ararat.
It is traditionally considered the resting place of Noah’s Ark, and, thus considered a biblical mountain. A Persian Legend refers to the Ararat as the cradle of the human race.
It is a snow-capped, dormant volcanic cone, Turkey’s highest peak. It has two peaks, Greater Ararat with an elevation of 5,137mt (16,854 ft) and Lesser Ararat with an elevation of 3,896mt ((12,782ft).
Do hope someday you will be interested in visiting Eastern Anatolia.
The region where Şanlıurfa is located acts as a bridge connecting the Middle East to Asia Minor (The Fertile Crescent).
It is a city with a history of approximately 12.000 years that hosted many civilizations because of its geopolitical location, historical & cultural background, and religious importance.
Its steppes host ancestors of grains and many endemic plants.
I was on the trails of the hunter-gatherers of Göbeklitepe and Karahan Tepe in May, 2022. I am ready to put together an unique itinerary for you for the spring and autumn of 2023. Let’s explore and discover together !
During the pandemic period we have been busy travelling to many unspoiled destinations in Turkey. We spent a fascinating time in Kars and its environs enabling us to now introduce to you new and unique experiences. Kars is located between Eastern and Northeastern Anatolia and is very close to the Armenian and Georgian borders. Kars’ altitude is 1650m and is surrounded by highlands of between 2500m and 2800m. The nearby wetlands, marshes, summer plateaus and meadows are a paradise for nature lovers and attract many birdwatchers and botanists.
We have designed an 8 night itinerary suitable for all four seasons and can also offer customized itineraries according to your interest.
This absorbing itinerary consists of activities and visits which include hiking, birdwatching, visits to beekeeping farms, carpet weaving ateliers and individual weaver visits, wildflower sites (many endemic geophytes), experiences of local rural life specific to this unique area and a full day strolling through the streets of Kars and of course a visit to the ancient city of Ani and more…
Please ask for the detailed suggestions at email@example.com.
I hiked on the Anabasis trail from Sardis which was the capital city of the Lydian Kingdom, to the hinterlands of the Phrygian Kingdom. History and nature led my feet as I crossed the Meander, Kaystros and Lycus Valleys in the Aegean region of Turkey. This ancient route offered breathtaking scenery, taking me through villages, orchards and ancient cities, settled in lyrical landscapes and spectacular geological formations. I hope you will enjoy this new travel project that I created during the pandemic. Please ask for a detailed itinerary – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another of our pandemic travel projects is to introduce you to the highest ski trails in Turkey, Palandöken mountain and ski resort. It is infrequently visited by people from outside of Turkey and so is a relatively undiscovered gem. Palandoken is located in the coldest region of Turkey where the winter snow quality is always good. Crisp powder snow skiing is available in glorious clean air sunshine. The snow depth at the resort is on average 2-3 meters with temperatures often falling to -40 °C (-40 F) at night.
There are 22 tracks available with a total length of 28 km the longest track length is 12 km. there are blue, red, and black tracks in the facilities.
Tracks starting from about 2,200 meters go up to a height of 3,176 meters. Palandöken Ski Resort season starts usually in late October and you are able to ski its higher tracks until the first weeks of May.
There are direct flights between Istanbul and Erzurum. The Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey, is a unique destination with its natural beauty and history, with its soaring mountains and sweeping plains and ancient medresses, mosques, churches and castles. The Orient Express stops at Erzurum before its final destination of Kars. I can design unbeatable individual itineraries for you to this destination. Please contact – email@example.com for further information.
Why the Leleg Trail? The Lelegs were the natives of the Bodrum peninsula many centuries ago and founded the eight cities. The Leleg Trail can be explored throughout the seasons.
I took this route as one of my pandemic projects and covered a good distance in March. The wild flowers were blooming, the birds were singing, the azure Aegean Sea in distance was twinkling. I felt the healing power of nature in my bones after having been locked down in Istanbul for so long.
The Leleg Trail is a hike through the engagingly pastoral and rural Bodrum peninsula. The walk takes us through lush rural vegetation and farmsteads with abundant displays of wildflowers everywhere eventually leading us uphill to breathtaking panoramic view points.
Up in the mountains we find Pedasa which is 2,400 year old and one of the most important of the eight cities of the Leleg trail. These cities are strategically positioned so that they are visible to each other and can be visited on the route to modern Bodrum.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for the detailed information.
A “gulet” is a picturesque traditional wooden yacht modified to accommodate passengers. These boats are powered by a quiet engine as their sails are mostly for show. However our captains use the sails whenever possible. Our gulets are between 32 and 42-metre vessels with 4, 5 or 6 air-conditioned cabins beautifully finished with mahogany paneling. Each cabin has a private bathroom with a shower. There is plenty of room for relaxing and reading in the lounge or on the decks outside. A large kitchen and bar area is located towards the back of the gulet, and meals are served in a spacious open area at the stern. Canvas and sailcloth awnings cover the dining area and a portion of the foredeck providing shade for comfortable lounging. All of our boats carry emergency medical kits and also have a basic library offering both classical and modern literature for your reading pleasure.
Please see the Discover Turkey by Land and Sea Tour for a sample of a possible itinerary. Of course Peten Travels is open to any ideas you may have in regards to exploring the Turkish Mediterranean coast.
Please contact us at email@example.com.
Lammersen Family – Geneva
Cappadocia & Istanbul
Tour Date: Thursday, 17th – Monday, 21st June 2021
I hope you are well.
I have just spoken with the Lammersen’s and they had a wonderful holiday.
Istanbul & Cappadocia & Izmir & Pamukkale & Bodrum
Tour Date: Sunday, 27th June – Saturday, 10th July 2021
Thank you for such a wonderful memorable time. We love Turkey and it wouldn’t been the same if it wasn’t for you.
MR KHALED MURAD & MRS REEM SAIFI MURAD
Dear Iffet we have just arrived in Amman we can thank you enough for an amazing experience we all had a great time and look forward to seeing you soon. Take care. God bless
Thank you so much Iffet for another memorable trip. It was great seeing you again.
Cappadocia & Gocek & Istanbul
Tour Date: Sunday, 22nd August – Monday, 30th August 2021
MR IMAD MAHLAS & MRS BAYAN ZAKARIA MAHLAS
This is a great trip altogether and thanks to your meticulous eye for details dear
Thanks a lot dear for a wonderful trip and great organization, greatly appreciated.
Cappadocia & Gocek & Istanbul
Tour Date: Sunday, 22nd August – Monday, 30th August 2021
MR THAMER OBEIDAT & MRS REEM ABU HASSAN (IWF JORDAN)
Iffet, not sure how we can reciprocate your kindness. However, if you come to Amman in the spring I promise that we will do our best.
We appreciate all your hard efforts and facilitating our stay . Hope to see you in February in amman . You are a dear sister and true friend.
Cappadocia & Gocek & Istanbul
Tour Date: Sunday, 22nd August – Monday, 30th August 2021
THE ROSTAGNAT FAMILY / GENEVA
Tour Date: 14th -18th October 2021
Hope you are doing good
I had a long chat with Antoine Rostagnat this morning
They are very very happy about services, they really loved the guide, raffinated, cultivated, apparently the best guide that they ever had…(wow!) and the driver
They loved the hotel’s rooms, good service and cleaning…
Many thanks for your services, your professionality and your patience
Hope to work with you soon.
Anton and Anthea Newbury
I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you for organising our Istanbul tour.
Koray was INCREDIBLE! His knowledge and enthusiasm are contagious! We loved every minute of out fascinating, informative day.
Koray truly brought the amazing history of Istanbul (and Turkey) to life. And his professionalism was outstanding.
We had a very special day, thank you!
William Richard GLUCK & Mrs. Margaret Elizabeth GLUCK
I am writing to share my latest travel adventure story.
In January 2019, I attended the Travel Show at the Jacob Javits center in NYC. My wife and I wandered up and down aisles filled with travel agents from around the globe. I collected brochures and spoke with many representatives from many countries.
Upon returning home, we began browsing this huge collection of places to visit with no real destination in mind. Little by little, based on our travel window, we settled on Turkey. This choice surprised nearly everyone I told. “Is it safe?” was the first question everyone asked. In short, yes!
At the travel show, we met a lovely woman, Iffet, who represents Peten Tours in Turkey. As soon as we started speaking with her, it felt like we’d won the lottery of travel agents. Iffet and I began planning our Turkish adventure. Iffet took the utmost care and dedicated a tremendous amount of time and consideration to each and every minute detail of this trip. From assistance with our international flights (Turkish Air was a great experience with a great price tag), domestic flights in Turkey, hotels, excursions with well-informed guides and even restaurant recommendations, Iffet was the best!
Every aspect of our trip was meticulously planned from start to finish. Iffet from Peten Tours is someone I’d recommend working with without a second of hesitation.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SOCIETY
THE ARCHAEOLOGY AND CULTURE OF HITTITE ANATOLIA AND TURKEY’S BLACK SEA REGION
11th – 23rd June 2022
Everyone enjoyed the tour greatly and told me how satisfied they were. I would like to thank you for your excellent arrangements and the care you took to make the tour a success. It is remarkable that you could replace the guide who was to take our tour at very short notice with Fonda Topcot. She is very good and knowledgeable, and was greatly liked by everyone. Our modern Mercedes coach was super comfortable.
All in all the tour was a great experience and I wish to thank you for this.
What else can we do in Turkey? We have done two major tours covering great distances and seen many wonderful sites and areas. Any ideas?
Wishing all the best,
Sanger and Barnette Family
We had such an incredible time in Turkey! We enjoyed every second, except maybe the traditional house 😉 although it turned out to be a wonderful night of chess, lounging by the fire and lots of laughs!
Dalim was exceptional! We loved our time with him, and have gained a new friend in Turkey. He ensured our every need was met, filled our minds with endless amounts of interesting history and captured all of our hearts. We look forward to the day when we can all reunite! He’s a scholar and a gentleman. You’re incredibly fortunate to have him on your team!
Thank you again for aiding in our Turkish adventure…one we’ll always cherish and never forget! ❤️
Guests: Sanger and Barnette Family
Tour Date: Friday, 16th – Thursday, 29th October 2020
Burgess Family – UK
Thank you we had a great time in Bodrum and a fantastic time in Istanbul – thanks to you – really nice that you met us from the plane and on the way back – We will for sure look you up if we come to Turkey again.
Guests: Burgess Family -UK
Tour Date: Istanbul- Bodrum (18th-29th September 2020)
The WALSH PARTY – UK
Thank you so much for your wonderful caring operation to our guests through this pandemic . The Walsh Party had a great time in Bodrum.
Thank you again !
Guests: The WALSH PARTY-UK
Tour Date: 09th -11th September 2020.
Mr. J-C GARDETTO & MR. R D SAMSON
You have an amazing operation. Mr. Gardetto was very happy overall so thank you very much again. He will definitely come back to Turkey!
Tour Date : 8th August-03rd September 2020
Tour Name : Private Tour – Discover Turkey by Land and Sea (Mr. J-C GARDETTO & MR. R D SAMSON)
SAILING THE SAPPHIRE SEAS OF AEGEAN AND MEDITERRANEAN
20th – 27th August 2022
The Salfiti Family
Dearest Iffet thank you for all the impeccable arrangements you have done. Everything went smoothly and we are back home remembering our time together as a family. The crew of Kaya Guneiri IV was great. They made the whole experience very enjoyable, extremely professional with a lot of warmth and sensitivity to the needs of everyone. To be certainly recommended to your clients. Lots of love and hope to see you soon in Amman.
HIGHLIGHTS OF ISTANBUL
10th – 15th September 2022
My dearest Iffet. No words are enough to tell you how pampered we felt during our stay in Istanbul. Everything you arranged for us was more than perfect and enjoying your company and care made it even more special. I am sure all of us had the best experience and we were lucky to have you to arrange this trip . I thank you again and I hope we will meet again in a future conference and why not in Turkey again. My beat wishes for you now and for the future. Warm regards Patricia
Carlos & Patricia ESTRADA (IWF ECUADOR)
Roberto & Ibeth Del Rocia ESTRADA
11th – 17th November 2022
Thanks Iffet. The Istanbul trip was most enjoyable and unforgettable, all because you were with us all the time, in addition to your thoughtful careful planning and its flawless execution by Dalım. You and Istanbul will always be in my heart.
Thanks Thanks so very very much again.
You can care of yourself and don’t work too hard all the time. Thanks for your patience and Dalım’s too.
Inshallah we will be in Istanbul again sooner than you think.
Annie Lee – IWF Singapore
UPPER MESOPOTAMIA – FERTILE CRESCENT
07th – 16th January, 2023
Thank you Iffet! for your fabulous care and encouragement to make this extraordinary trip possible! It has been a joy-filled adventure of a lifetime!
The trip has been marvelous! Dalim is brilliant and thoughtful, adapting to every need from the weather to my interests!
Iffet, I thank you for making this very special experience possible and productive!
BARBARA MC CONNELL BARRETT- Arizona-USA
David and Linda
First of all, a really big ‘Thank You’ for making our trip to Turkey and our Tour so memorable ! Again, thank you for all your kindness and hard work on our behalf . You gave up so much of your time and Linda and I are so grateful and I know that Richard and his Family will reflect on the tour and relish it.
ISTANBUL & CAPPADOCIA & ANTALYA & ISTANBUL
Sunday, 08th – Thursday, 19th January 2023
Dear Iffet… Again thank you so much for your superb service and a truly amazing time in Turkiye.
We will never forget this journey. Bye from Eko and Carina.
INDONESIA – BALI – Mr. & Mrs. YULANTO
We are having a wonderful time and have loved our guides and the itinerary. We are just finishing our cruise, which was definitely the highlight of our trip. Although it started out pretty rough (biggest storm and flooding they had in 100 years), it finished with a beautiful night sail tonight and an exceptional dinner. The crew are the most wonderful and accommodating people! We could not have wished for anything better. We would definitely recommend them to our friends.
Margo and Ed
We are having a wonderful time . Yunak Evleri is amazing and we are still in awe. On our first day we were a bit concerned about Turhan but he has been really good these past two days. He is very knowledgeable and has been flexible. We appreciate that.
Thank you so much for arranging this adventure for us.
Peten Travels is the complete package for any trip to Turkey! Programs are carefully planned by Iffet then discussed with the guide who is responsible for delivery to the clients. Guides are professional, knowledgeable and manage all the details.Having just completed my second trip with Peten, I know nothing is left to chance and I highly recommend this travel company.
It has taken me a couple of weeks to recover but I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed the tour. I thought the guide was excellent, patient, informative with a good personality in dealing with us, even when one was in a grumpy mood. The driver. He was good and someone I would hire myself if I needed a driver. They both worked well as a team. I do hope that you will convey my thoughts to them.
James Christy Wareham
Iffet has operated this travel company for something like 20 years (more, I think, but ask her). A friend of mine who has made his arrangements with her before has long relied on her expertise and attentiveness, and we booked our travels in Turkey to Ephesus, Cappadocia, and other regions for a quick week and a half before returning to depart from Istanbul.
Every guide Iffet placed us with knew thoroughly the places we visited, and they were just terrific, interesting people as well, giving us a personal sense of the culture we came to encounter. The hotels were great and the transportation seamless, all of it at very reasonable cost.
Meeting Iffet, it’s immediately evident that she, as well as her staff, take the care and support of their clients as a personal mission. We’re all different, each one of us travelers, and this agency makes sure to discover just who we are, what we care about and what we want from our journey. We both left fulfilled and delighted, and we’re grateful.
I first used Peten Tours in 2002 when I had the great opportunity to travel with Iffet, the owner of the company. I have had the good fortune to travel with Iffet and/or her staff perhaps 4 times since–including twice this year. They are the most knowledgeable, thorough and caring travel professionals that I have ever met. Further, the materials they provide, the guides and experts they organize and the access they have assure that the trip to Turkey provides in depth understanding of the country, its history, archaeology, plants and other features.
Peten Travels is the standard by which I measure all other travel professionals.
Iffet continues to do research and come up with interesting itineraries and the latest information to assure safe and fascinating travel.
Iffet (Peten Tours) wants visitors to experience and learn about her Turkey…we did just that! This was my second trip with Peten Tours to her country which is vast and diverse. Each trip is a complete package of learning…the people, floral, history, and the geology, which Iffet has personally visited and builds the itinerary around. The Guides are very accomplished and well chosen.