The Wonders of the Black Sea Region & Istanbul
The Glory of East Byzantium, Georgian Art, Architecture and Culture
June 4th - June 22nd, 2017
"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."
Anatolia, Mesopotamia and Eastern Turkey
South African Archaeological Society
August 31st - September 18th, 2016
Dear Reinoud, Iffet and Bulent,I would like to thank you both for such a wonderful tour!It exceeding my expectations and this was not only due to the places we visited, but particularly the following factors that stood out for me:
The detail that went into organising the tour;
The quality of the accommodation that you organised for us;
The size and quality of the bus that was provided - it was comfortable, had enough space and the driver was very good;
Our Guide Bulent - he was so knowledgeable and shared his perspective and information in an interesting manner. He was never boring and his comments were always pertinent. In addition he knew local people and was able to communicate and adapt, as required;
Your contacts to be able to arrange for some of the lead archeologists to be on site when we visited their excavations;
The local dinners which allowed us to taste the local cooking.
Ensuring that we had adequate security when it was needed.
It could not have been an easy task to bring this all together in the trying conditions that existed in Turkey during our visit.Thank you so very much.
I know that you were upset at the missed flight near the end of our trip - that for me, that is just one of those unfortunate incidences and we all adapted well to it. Thank you for working so hard to recover the situation.Reinoud, you certainly squeezed a lot into our tour and now, in going though my pictures and trying to organise a presentation, I realise just how much we did!Iffet, I look forward to joining one of your other tours - my next one will be along the Black Sea and focusing on the Hittites.My main impressions of the tour were ones of the vast extent of history that has passed over and through and yet reside in Turkey. The critically important archeological sites and how they are being protected.The Fertile Crescent and Trade routes that cross the land [Silk Road].The high level of development within the country - excellent roads and museums.The concern about future development - may it all work out for your country.
I am now trying to make a presentation from all my slides, but also including a sense of history and development over the past 12 000!!I will sing your praises each time I show the presentation.
John RaimondoCape TownSouth Africa
PS please pass on my thanks to Bulent
Dear Iffet Ozgonul
Just to say a personal word of thanks for the work you did in organizing the recent tour of Turkey by the South African Archaeological Society. It was the first time I had visited Turkey, and I have to say the tour exceeded my expectations - in the variety of sites we visited, the landscapes we saw, the richness of the culture we experienced. And a special word of thanks to our guide, Bulent Sahan, who went out of his way to make sure that we were well looked after at all stages of the trip. I especially appreciated his talks to us on the bus about Turkish history and culture and public affairs: well-informed, insightful, thought-provoking. I felt we had a real professional at work here.I much hope to visit Turkey again before too long to see something of the parts we did not visit - including especially Istanbul. Something to look forward to.
Back home in South Africa and remembering daily our wonderful trip to your beautiful country!!I would like to thank you for making our trip so memorable and very full.Despite the problems at the very end, which by the way everyone involved handled with such calmness and efficiency.Thank you for making Bulent feel he was able to carry on and save the day.Please convey to the driver that I will forever remember his great courage in taking us half way through the country to get our flights. He was the hero of it all!!Once again thank you for your care and the whole country’s care (police and army), that were always in the background very discreetly.It was a trip I had always dreamed of as a young student of history and I got the chance to live it......
Warm regardsGinny Koumantarakis
I have travelled with Reinoud at least five times, but this was by far the most interesting, comprehensive and well-researched of all of them. I must congratulate you on the support you supplied, not only in the form of military or police protection, but when things went a bit awry at the end, you must have worked frantically to get us all aboard another plane, refreshed after a few hours in an airport hotel. All the hotels were excellent, except maybe one, which was ever so slightly run down, but not that our undaunted band of aged Archaeologists would care. They were all keen as mustard in spite of infirmities, chronic illnesses and the annoyances of old age. But the main purpose of this letter is to sing the praises of two very special people, our guide and driver. Both were exceptional in every respect, particularly when it was suddenly clear at 4pm that we had exactly 10 minutes to get to the airport in Kars to catch a flight to Ataturk Airport. I watched poor Bülent collapse into a melted heap. His body language was devastating to all of us and we felt for his pain. I know that if I was a guide, I would have had the time required to leave for the airport firmly fixed in my brain and would not have felt the need to check the tickets. There was too much else to do, just dealing with each and every question, describing sights, telling of the history and ensuring everyone on the bus was OK. It was completely understandable that he should assume that everything was as it had been in his tour papers. The fact that he had not been informed by phone of the change of the time of flight was the critical cause of the chaos that followed. But both driver and Bulent rose to the occasion and we were all delivered safely to our destination. They both deserve the highest praise. I will unreservedly recommend Peten Travels to anyone who wants to spend time in Turkey. I for one will certainly do so again. I would like to thank you too for the comprehensive notes you gave us at the start of the tour – completely unexpected, and all of the tour members spent plenty of time on the bus consulting the notes. I am sure when they all get home, your folder will be put to good use in compiling their own personal notes, diaries and captions to photographs.
With kind regards,
Dear Iffet and Bulent,
I have finally got back to my time zone here in Boston and so miss being in Turkey. Iffet thank you so very much for creating this jewel of a trip for us in Turkey which Bulent so wonderfully managed for you. Thank you both for taking such good care of us all through out the time we spent in Turkey and making sure we saw all the beauty that Turkey has to offer and ensuring that our safety was taken care of. It was done with such finesse we were largely unaware of just how much and what was being done to secure our safety and enjoyment. Words cannot describe how much I appreciate all that was offered to me in your country. It was done with generosity of spirit that has left a mark and will never be forgotten. You have a beautiful and wonderful country, with lovely people and I have been very lucky to experience it as I have.Bulent you were a wonderful person and guide that handled all so awesomely, especially all the various characters you had to deal with. So sorry you had to go through such angst in that final day. Yes we missed the plane but all was handled with such professionalism and amazingly you and our great driver got us safely across country. Iffet you got us flights (amazingly for so many of us) and between you all had us going on our ways to homes far away. Here I have to specially commend the awesome driver who not only drove fabulously the entire trip, managed to safely and quickly get us back cross country to where we started to catch those flights to Istanbul. Please let him know that he was greatly appreciated and what he did was above and beyond. What an adventure.This has been a memorable trip for me and I will certainly recommend Turkey, your company Iffet and Bulent if they can get you as a guide.
Many many thanks for all,
Mr Christopher Wheeler and Mrs Anna Wheeler , London / UK
April 28th - May 2nd, 2016
My wife and I recently visited Istanbul. It was our first trip to Istanbul and we found the city fascinating. However, Koray helped to bring it alive for us due to the depth of his knowledge and the way he explained the development of the city from the centre of the Byzantine Empire to the hub of the Ottoman world, to a Republic. On meeting us he very quickly established our level of knowledge and our interest and adapted his explanations accordingly. It is difficult to pick out a highlight as we saw so many fascinating places and experienced so many interesting things. However, in terms of a real surprise the Chora Church probably topped the bill. Given Koray was not bought up a Christian, as my wife and I were, his knowledge of the life of the Virgin Mary and Christ as depicted on the ceiling of the church was remarkable. He was also the perfect guide in terms of moving us around the city seamlessly and allowing us to enjoy being part of Istanbul. So often we have travelled around cities in a car, so it was a treat to walk around it and use the tram system. We also enjoyed being introduced to traditional Anatolian cuisine and the unbiquitous “Turkish bagel”. Finally, Koray was very quick to adapt the schedule to deal with our specific requests or other circumstances. The unexpected trip to the Patriach’s residence was a good example of this.
Thank you for all your help and please pass on these comments to Koray.
Christopher Wheeler FCA
US Bank Research
South African Archaeological Society
Dr. Judith van Heerden, Cape Town
April 4th, 2016
Can't believe that you made time for me during a short working stay in Cape Town. How come I was so lucky? The enthusiasm with which you described the details of 'our' trip to Turkey, was indeed infectious.Not only did you spend precious time with me, you also came bearing gifts. It took me by complete surprise.These lovely and shimmering items have been put in safe keeping to be brought out later this month when we gather to celebrate.My guests will be treated to real Turkish Delight with nuts! What more can one wish for?
It was a pleasure meeting you. Your kindness and generosity is much appreciated.
I wish you well.
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.
Istanbul & Cappadocia & Ephesus & Bodrum and Sailing from Aegean to Mediterranean Sea through the 12 Islands
Glen Bair & Mrs. Linda Bair & Norman Howard & Lucia Howard & Steve Stein & Mrs. Rebecca Stein, USA
September 14th - 28th, 2015
Once again thank you for planning a very memorable trip for a group. I hope to one day return to Turkey with my children.
Have a wonderful time in Boston at your conference.
Alexander LEVY and Sydney LEVY , New York
9th -15th July 2015
We're back in the US. I just wanted to thank you again for arranging everything in Turkey and for taking us to the airport. We had an incredible time! And all of our guides and drivers were fantastic. Hopefully we'll be back in Turkey sometime in the future. We'll be sure to let you know.
All the best,
Highlights of Turkey
Margo Suzan Provost & Edward Thaddeus Marshall, Salt Lake City
February 3rd - 18th, 2015
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.
Margo and Ed
Istanbul & Gallipoli Tour
David & Linda Storrie and Storrie Family, UK
July 3rd - 9th, 2015
My Dear Iffet,
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 .
David and Linda
Gayle Starr, Phoenix
September 16th - 19th, 2015
Thank you so much for a wonderful few days in Istanbul! As always, your planning for me was fantastic! I really enjoyed the short time I was able to spend with you and I hope your trip was good!
Filiz was a very good guide and I enjoyed exploring a part of the city I hadn't been to before. It's so fantastic to see new shops and restaurants opening up as well!
I look forward to coming back again and exploring more of Turkey outside Istanbul.
Take care and please keep in touch! I enjoy hearing about all of the international things you are involved with!
Imperial War Museums Trustees Battlefield Tour
Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas DBE & Christopher Jonas, London
September 17th - 21st, 2015
Thank you from Christopher and me for the wonderful holiday. It was magical. Christopher has over 400 photographs and when he has worked on them we will send you some via drop box. I am giving your name to lots of people as well. We will be in touch.
Lauren Rodes & Bruce Shapiro, USA
October 12th - 14th, 2015
Thank you for your thoughtfulness and making our trip so enjoyable we are leaving today but I hope our paths will cross again.
You beat me to it.
I wanted to write and thank you for organizing a perfectly executed and interesting introduction to Turkey. We all had a great time and learned a lot. The food, the sights the history and the people all contributed to making it a great holiday. We left Istanbul with a desire to come back sometime soon.
While we liked all the guides and choices of sights, everyone agreed having your expert commentary on the yacht ride was the best.
Kumar , Saj and I are in Vienna( beautiful but rainy) and will get home later in the week after a stop in London. Niki is already back in SF.
We very much appreciate your kindness in picking up ang walking Niki to her terminal and helping her check-in. Hope you had a good time on your surprise vacation.
We will keep in touch.
All the best