Credo Tours of Istanbul helped me to plan a fabulous three week trip to Turkey for May 2016. From the time I first emailed for information last September to the finish of our trip last week, Credo surpassed my expectations. Now is a wonderful time to visit Turkey – there are fewer crowds, and visible security at every sight. I can think of several US cities more dangerous than Istanbul!
After researching Turkey, my husband and I decided on our must-see sights in Istanbul, Bursa and Iznik, Cappadocia, Antalya, and Sirince (Ephesus area). Based on our preferences, Credo planned an itinerary for us which included hotels, transfers, guides, and domestic flights between our chosen destinations. They even arranged a day cruise for us on the Lycian coast. Using Credo was so much easier than trying to figure out all the logistics of how and when to get between destinations in the most efficient way. The hotels in which we stayed, all ideally located, were small and cozy with friendly staff and delicious breakfasts. We learned so much from our four private guides, all knowledgeable, professional, personable, and totally fluent in English. Every day, lunch was a new culinary adventure in local, less touristy places.
Much of our trip was spent hiking amid Greco-Roman ruins on the Mediterranean and in peaceful valleys and caves in Cappadocia, and admiring the beauty of 15th century mosques, but Credo Tours can design an itinerary based on your own interests. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Laura & Howard Barousse, Houston, Texas, USA

We thoroughly enjoyed every minute of the tour. It was our first trip to Turkey and we fell in love with the history, the people and the food. We have told several friends about it, and hope to return soon - perhaps to Bodrum, and of course - maybe to try to take the hot air balloon ride again!

Our guides - Aycia, Denis and the one in Cappadocia (Urup?) were outstanding. Denis was probably the best guide I have ever had on ANY vacation. They all worked so hard to educate us from the minute they met us.. and gave us just the right amount of information each day.

The restaurants selected, particularly in Cappadocia were the best we've ever had. The food there was outstanding. We liked the variety of walking / hiking on the trip and it was a perfect fit for us. The hotels were great and we enjoyed the unique Cave Hotel in Cappadocia - the staff there was outstanding. Loved the views from the hotel in Kusadasi they were spectacular.

The transportation and drivers were amazing - most enjoyable and professional. We have recommended your tour company to several people since our return and will continue to do so! I will stay in touch and make introductions should anyone decide to commit to a vacation.

Thank you again - it was very, very memorable!
Peggy & Craig Witthaus, Minnesota, USA

We traveled to Turkey despite the cautions of the Australian Government. We had been planning our trip, with 9 in our group of friends, for a long time. In 2004, I visited Turkey and met the guide, Nedime. On that occasion, our tour had been organised by a good Australian travel company. This time, I contacted Nedime, and she put us in contact with Credo. They exceeded our expectations in every possible way. Credo replied almost immediately to our every email, and helped me to design the most amazing itinerary. Compared to my previous trip( which was very good), I saw so much more, for a very, very, reasonable price. The guides kept a good eye out for our safety, and asked one or two people lurking close to our group, to please move away! We felt very safe in Credo's care. The guides were extremely professional, friendly, and good fun. Our hotels were very good- some were fantastic! We couldn't have asked for more. Come to Turkey! You'll love it! Book with Credo. They are unsurpassable! Maureen Fitzsimon, Brisbane, Australia

We are now home from our trip to Gallipoli and the Western Front (and other places as well). How nice it was to meet up with you in Paris at the Gare du Nord (of all places!) and have a quick chat. On behalf of the ‘Miffo Mob” I just want to tell you how great both the Gallipoli and Western Front tours were and in particular both of our guides, Bitsy and Jo.
Bitsy was just a gem with her knowledge, fun and laughter, and attentiveness to everyone’s needs – you could do no better than to keep her engaged for future tour groups. She left us with two memories of herself, her expressive use of the word “exactly” and her touch of her gambling side with the saying “oh........50/50” each time we asked of the weather prospects or some other question which required a “yes/no” type of answer (we laughed a lot about this).
Jo was the consummate tour guide on the Western Front and whilst she kept us on the move, she didn’t miss a beat with her facts and figures and detailed explanations (maps on the ground with her twig pointer stick). We thoroughly enjoyed her company and the detailed information she imparted to us all. Her organising skills were exemplary which more than showed just what a professional she really is. Again, keep hold of her as she is really great.
If you could pass on our appreciation in some form or another to both Bitsy and Jo we would really appreciate it as they are both worth their weight in gold!
Again, many thanks for your organisation of two great tours.
Much regards
Ian Miffling

Ron, Ian, Graeme, Brian & Shane Miffling, Western Australia

ISTANBUL IRRESISTIBLE INCREDIBLE INSPIRING

Being able to visit this wonderful city again last month was a gift. Flying in over the Sea of Marmara lifted my heart again, gave it that extra little beat that signified I was once more, almost in my second home.

Perhaps I had an ancestor who was a bad Crusader or a relative who came into the Bosphorus as a sailor, all I know is since my first visit here many years ago I have enjoyed an affinity with this city that makes me want to return year after year, even now when I am eighty two years old and should have, perhaps, settled down.

On arrival at Ataturk Airport I knew I would be met by the superb people at CREDO TRAVEL so just put myself in their safe hands. Yes, the airport is noisy, crowded, the traffic is bumper to bumper yet all good natured. The driver who collected me took me to the Blue House, on the way I received a call from Sirma of CREDO to ensure all was well with me. With my good accommodation assured I set out to walk the streets and reacquaint myself with the city. I have never felt afraid of walking around Istanbul on my own.

Seeing the city again as a friend enabled me to go sit on a park bench when I felt tired and just enjoy the world walking past. So much to see, so much to enjoy. I used the trams frequently, walked many thousands of steps each day and gave myself over to the magic of a city that opens its arms to all those who are willing to embrace what Istanbul has to offer.

Who could stand in Hagia Sophia and not marvel at what must be the most beautiful building in the world? If you make a visit there quite early in the morning you will be able to wander and appreciate the work of builders many centuries ago. At the Blue Mosque I want to be a complete vandal and to rob the walls of the glorious tiles. I am full of respect for those who made the original mosaics in the Chora Church and those who are working on the restoration. Topkapi and the Cistern are musts as well as just sitting on a wall and enjoying watching life being played out on a large scale. I know many tours do not allow extra time however just by arriving a day early or leaving a day later you can get to see the city in the early morning or late afternoon when the tour parties are not around.

All the Bazaars fascinate me, I think of the many feet that trod the streets and wondered what their lives would have been like. On every visit I (and when my husband has been able to accompany me) have walked down the long back street from the Grand Bazaar to the Spice Market, wandering off to the Hans on the side. It has always been fun, all you need is a smile and respect for the locals going about their daily business. One can feel the vibrancy in this area, just watch your feet for all the many carts being used to deliver goods up and down the street. The varied facial features of the locals show how many different societies have passed through this country and left their genes behind. In all my visits I have only met courtesy and friendliness from the many Istanbulus I met along the way.

A Bosphorus cruise is a must, if you have time when right up the Black Sea is good but even a short cruise can show how busy this international waterway is. Being of a curious mind I think about all the cargos being transported and where these cargos will end up.

Food, well now, with all the walking I did I should have come home kilos lighter, not possible…I enjoyed superb Ottoman cuisine, dinner on the roof of the Blue House and much street food. Never once did I opt for what I could get at home.

My seven days went in the blink of an eye, it was time to do yet another walk around to store up memories. As I have said to my younger rellies,” I will never be rich, I bank memories not money” As I was being taken to the airport I said goodbye to the city walls , telling them that if the bones hold out I will try and come to see them again. Many years ago QANTAS Airlines had a radio ad…over the sound of an aircraft taking off a very seductive voice purred “Now when your heart says go”. That applies to me and the city I love.
Gwen Armstrong, Canberra, Australia

Finally I sit down to write this email to you. My husband Basheer and I both wanted to thank you for the nice arrangements you made for us and made our trip very comfortable and easy to cover. This is a beautiful country but one can have difficulty without good help. We covered quite a bit and did not feel the stress at all. Thank you again.

We enjoyed all the guides we met here, especially Lale was special and took care of us very well. I will write to her but also please thank her on our behalf.

Thank you again and I will be sure to convey your contact for tours to our friends in the US who wish to visit this beautiful city and country.

It was indeed nice of you to join us for lunch and we got to meet you. I have attached a picture we took in the spice market.

Best regards,
Radhika & Ahmed Basheer, Boston, USA

The Columbia contingent arrived back in Columbia safely on Sunday evening our flights and connections all went well . I think that Janelle also arrived home safely on Monday.

We all had a wonderful and memorable trip and want to thank you, especially, and Credo Tours for all that you did to make that possible. From the beginning, when we were planning the trip, while we were in Turkey, and until we arrived home, you were responsive and attentive to our needs. You made wonderful suggestions to enhance our trip such as the visit to the hamam on the first day and the balloon ride in Cappadoccia. All of our hotels were excellent providing a comfortable stay in unique accommodations. You checked with us at every location to ensure that everything was going well. You responded quickly and efficiently to our needs.

The four guides that Credo selected to lead us, Abdullah in Istanbul, Eyup in Cappadocia, Yesim in Ephesus, and Canan in Bodrum, along with the drivers, were outstanding. They each provided us extensive knowledge about and insight into the history, politics, and archaeology of the sites we visited and the people of Turkey through the ages. The restaurants that they selected for lunch gave us a taste for the fabulous food in Turkey. And, each of them went above and beyond to ensure that our stay was memorable by making excellent recommendations about how we might modify the planned itinerary to add additional/different sites that would be important to see. They provided a broad understanding and appreciation for Turkey and its people in both the urban and rural areas. They also extended each day as needed to accommodate our needs. We can't thank them enough for making our trip special.

In closing, on behalf of Vicky, Barbara, Aaron, and Janelle, I want to thank you for everything. You helped plan and execute a trip that will provide lifetime memories of Turkey and has us yearning for a return. You are the best!

I will provide a similar review on Trip Advisor. If there is anything else we can do to help you, please let me know.

Best regards,
Natalie & Aaron Krawitz, Barbara Fairman, Victoria Wilson, Janelle McCammon, Columbia, USA

We had a wonderful time in Turkey! Thank you so much for all your help. The arrangements that you made for us were excellent in every respect. We will definitely contact you next time our travels bring us to Turkey and recommend you to all of our traveling friends.

All the best,
Renee & Larry Stevens, USA