Hello Ephesus

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403 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
I've read very good reviews of Hello Ephesus from people who have toured with them in past years, but I still have some questions. They state that lunch is included in some of the tours. Is the lunch location actually inside a carpet or leather or other factory as some have mentioned regarding other companies? Is there pressure to watch a demonstration or buy? We do not like to shop, and we do not want to be late getting back to our ship.
21,980 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
You are booking a private tour with them, right? (In other words, it is just your group?) If so, you should certainly ask for details from them and tell them when something doesn't meet with your approval. In my experience, most guides will try to steer you to places to shop where they get kickbacks, or restaurants where they get kickbacks and/or free food. However, on a private tour you have every right to tell them that you do not want to visit a carpet factory, not even for a free lunch.

They may very well come back and say that lunch will be an additional charge if you do this. (The reason they can say "lunch included" is because the carpet factory provides it, and likely free drinks -- wine, beer, raki -- as well.) However, to me it's well worth paying for my lunch!
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Wherever the wind takes me I travel as a visitor. (Horace)
New Cumberland,PA, USA
30,774 Posts
Joined May 2000
Assuming you are taking a half-day tour you might want to skip any lunch as part of that tour. You are paying for a guide so take advantage of his/her knowledge at the historical sites and don't waste time at lunch places that kick-back money to the guides and tour company. If you want to eat in Kusadasi there are many many restaurants and cafes located in town (right across the street from the port) in and around the huge shopping (bazaar) neighborhood. You will find that all these restaurants have some English-speaking skills and will also have menus in English. This port now gets more then 1000 cruise ships a year and they are very skilled at providing the services wanted by cruise ship passengers.

Queensland Australia
146 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
We used Hello Ephesus for a full day tour in November,it was brilliant! Got in early before the tour buses arrived and after 7 hours, were asked if we wanted to do anything else!! Did the whole lot, had a brilliant guide and driver and magnificent lunch. Lunch was at a carpet/silk place but we were not forced to go,we had stated at the beginning of the tour we didn't want shops. After lunch we decided to have a short look and were glad we did for the beautiful silk work. Had no pressure to buy, and left when we said so. Just tell the guide at the start of the tour you're not interested in carpets.

Queensland Australia
146 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
The lunch was a variety of different foods - salads, kebabs, something similar to spring rolls, mince balls, vegetables and fruit. Everything was very tasty and not spicy.
Be aware that you may not go to the same place as we did.
2,991 Posts
Joined Apr 2003
We did 2 tours with Hello Ephesus last November, one in Istanbul where lunch was NOT included, and one in Ephesus where lunch was SUPPOSED to be included. We opted NOT to have lunch, as we wanted a bit more time to visit. The guide followed our directions without any problems. He even suggested to switch restaurant thinking we didn't want to go because of the leather store. I was very pleased with their flexibility and it was our choice not to go. In retrospect, I regretted not going as I know we would not have been pressured into shopping or buying. And Turkish food is so good...

So just make sure to state what you want, and I would not miss the opportunity to have a nice meal while there, just state what type of restaurant you want, and that you are not interested in shopping!!

BTW, we're going back to Ephesus next November, and I have booked another tour with Hello Ephesus!!!

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