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Hawkro July 27th, 2010 05:25 PM

Shore Excursions - Greek and Turkish Isles
Can anyone give me some recommendations on shore excursions for the Greek Isles of Patmos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Milos(Mylos) or the Turkish Isles of Kusadasi (Ephesus) or Dikili? Or perhaps you've rented a car with driver/guide on any of the above islands - I'd like to hear about it.

transbalkan October 27th, 2010 03:34 AM

It would be our pleasure to be in service to you in Kusadasi, Turkey.

Transbalkan has been providing private guided tours since 1963. Our license Number: A776

To get more information about ourselves please visit:

Paul Motter November 26th, 2010 06:12 PM

I think you will do better just sticking to the Seabourn cruise tours. This is a luxury cruise line that cares about hiring the best tour guides.

If you can afford Seabourn - you can afford their tours. Don't try to save money by skimping on tours - you paid all of that money just to get to Ephesus.

Iamboatman November 30th, 2010 09:37 PM

I just returned from a cruise on the Seabourn Odyssey which visited Patmos. It was my second time there. Other than visiting the Monastery where St. John is said to have written the Book of Revelations there is not much there. Having visited once before, on the Seabourn Spirit, and "done that" along with a walk through the village next to it, this time we just walked through the small town, stopped at a nice wine shop and then enjoyed the ship. Seabourn's tour works just fine and there is nothing special that a private tour can offer.

Mykonos is really dependent on what you want to do, but tours really are not necessary. If you go to the beach, grab a taxi. If you want to wander the town or sit in a taverna in the port and people watch, you don't even need that. (Credit cards are recommended, as Mykonos is expensive.)

Rhodes is a nice place to wander through the walled city and have a nice lunch. (I know a very nice restaurant hidden in there.) Or you can hit the beach in Lindos...just a taxi ride away.

Mylos is quiet, but it is usually a Marina Day for Seabourn so enjoy the toys!

Kusadasi is not an island. What Seabourn will treat you to is Ephesus at night - a private event with chamber music and cocktails. Very nice. During the day, a visit to Ephesus is a must. The city is fascinating. You can hire private guides (I know some good ones) or you can do it through the ship. Either way it will be crowded...but worth it. Want something different? Visit Sirince (pronounced Sur-in-gee) which is about 45 minutes away by taxi. No guide is needed.

Dikili is really best done with the Seabourn tour as a private tour will be pretty much the same thing.

Hope this helps!

Paul Motter December 1st, 2010 12:43 AM

Yes, I have heard about the Ephesus at night with Seabourn where they set up a chamber prchestra outsode the library for a chamber music concert. That sounds like a really cool idea.

That is the beauty of a small, luxury cruise line.

GrannyLorr December 1st, 2010 03:05 PM

When we arrived in Rhodes, there were a lot of local taxis on the dock offering tours...cant remember how much now, but it was a good way to get an overview of the island. We then spent half a day just wandering aound the town, shopping and stopping at a taverna or two.

Mykonos was the perfect place to just wander on your own. We walked along the beach, through the alleys, shopped and of course another taverna....

In Kusadasi we did the Seabourn tour to Ephesus during the day, then again the night time one which was wonderful. On the day tours be aware of the "obligatory viewing of rugs at my cousins shop". Most people on our tour just refused to go and went back to the ship....but Granny wanted to see NOT she did!! ;)

Paul Motter December 1st, 2010 03:30 PM

So - even Seabourn does the obligatory rug "education opportunity" eh?

I walked out on that one as well.

I am always amazed at the people who will but ANYTHING if they think it is a bargain.

Iamboatman December 1st, 2010 04:02 PM

You would be amazed at how many people LOVE the rug buying experience. Having been to Turkey over half a dozen times I more than get it. In fact, the rug guys used to come to my home in the States and put the same show on.

One thing about the Turkish people, they are very polite, so if you say "No Thank You" they are gracious about it. In some other countries the culture is much different.

GrannyLorr December 1st, 2010 08:48 PM

I quite enjoyed the rug demo, had great company while we sat through it. Those who have sailed with the Tallboys (he a lecturer, she a laugh a minute) would know what I mean.
Just spent ages trying out how to add this avatar thingy.....starting to get the "hang" of this new forum....

Katzenjammer December 2nd, 2010 11:04 AM


Well, I can't say you are wrong about the rug demo. After all it is Turkey and these are Turkish rugs.

It is a great demo - I just can't see trying to carry a 20-foot rug onto a plane from Istanbul to Los Angeles.

Iamboatman December 2nd, 2010 12:05 PM

Actually you cannot believe how small the rugs fold (seriously) and, of course, the Turks will ship it anywhere in the world.

Hawkro January 3rd, 2011 01:21 PM

Thank you, Eric, for the helpful post. What is the name of the little restaurant? If you don't wnat to post it, email me at, Thanks, Bob Hawkins

Iamboatman January 4th, 2011 01:04 PM

FYI I emailed Hawkro privately with a photo of the restaurant. I cannot remember the name.

diebroke January 4th, 2011 05:15 PM


Originally Posted by Iamboatman (Post 1331734)
You would be amazed at how many people LOVE the rug buying experience.

I HATED the rug buying experience (I am terrible at bargaining) but we LOVE the rugs we purchased. We made a relatively significant investment in carpets in Istanbul. I am certain that: they are beautiful, we enjoy looking at them frequently (they are more obvious than works of art on the wall); they are of good quality; they remind us of a wonderful trip to Turkey; and we paid more than we should have for them. I don't know how to compare what we paid to equivalent prices in the U.S. & at this point, I don't want to know.
I agree with Eric's comments about size. I once carried a fairly large carpet home from Saudi Arabia in the overhead compartment on the plane. The carpets we bought in Istanbul arrived home before we did and shipping was included in the "bargain" price. When we saw the size of the package, we were certain they had failed to ship at least half the carpets we bought. (They were all there.)

We did the Seabourn day tour of Ephesus that included the terrace houses. It was good & fairly expensive. If I were to go again, I might see if I could get a private guide for a reasonable cost to avoid the group thing on a bus.

GrannyLorr January 4th, 2011 05:54 PM

we dont like "bargaining" either....would rather just pay the price. I enjoyed the rug demo as I found it interesting, and I could "dream" of all the rugs I could day....I am quite able to resist the charms of pushy salesmen though....(was married to one once upon a time)
We also knew that we would be moving homes in the near future so had no idea what our "new" home would be out husband....Granny knows exactly what would work where now!!

paris296 May 29th, 2011 01:06 PM

I am traveling to these ports in October 2011 solo. looking for advise on shore excursion ( with seabourn or a private tour company) for milos, lesvos and patmos specifically? I am not interested in sitting on the beach all day, but would like unique experiences, such as cooking classes, wineary tours ect.. I have been unable to find any tours (not on seabourn) that I can join as a solo traveler. Any suggestions?

Paul Motter May 29th, 2011 03:56 PM

I am sure Seabourn allows you to join any tour they offer as a solo...

So, I assume you are saying Seabourn isn't offering any of the type of tours that you care to take?

paris296 May 30th, 2011 11:33 AM

Paul, sorry, what i was referring to were tour company in port not related to seabourn, can only find excursions if you are a group of people looking for a tour, maybe seabourn will add more excursions when it is closer to my sail date,october. Any feedback.

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