Originally created as a tour company that catered to a Japanese market, Gemini Turkey has been providing travelers with intimate tours of Turkey from an insiders’ point of view since 1988. Now with more than 30 itineraries, the company is beginning to share their focus with the North American market as well.
“We are very enthusiastic about the American market, as we believe too few Americans have had the chance to travel to this beautiful country, the birthplace of 12 civilizations,” says Itir Aykut, partner at Gemini Turkey.
And with two divisions, labeled Gemini Travel and Gemini MICE, it’s not just consumers that the company caters to. While Gemini Travel provides leisure and holiday destinations for independent and group travel, Gemini MICE works to assist the corporate and association market to help provide convention, congress and incentive programs in Turkey.
“Gemini Turkey is different from a lot of tour companies,” Aykut says. “We stand out because of our ‘No guest left behind’ principle that guides our aim to accommodate the specific needs of each guest as much as we can. We’re there for our disabled guests with wheelchair assistance; we’re there for our junior guests with child seats and strollers; we’re there for honeymooners, providing special gifts and doing everything we can to make sure they have the best trip of their lives together. We are flexible with ever-changing needs—after all, that’s why they trust us to take care of their travel details, isn’t it?
“Our country offers incredible cuisine, history, and a really hospitable culture,” Aykut adds. And as a company, Gemini Turkey caters to everyone.
“We have many different itineraries and programs to fit everyone’s needs, accommodating everyone from young adults and school groups to families, senior citizens and religious groups.”
Among those itineraries, Aykut recommends two in particular:
• The 12-day Golden Triangle of Turkey itinerary invites travelers to walk in Alexander the Great’s footsteps in Gordion, the ancient capital of the Phrygian Kingdom; visit such historic sites as the Hippodrome and the Hagia Sophia; and enjoy incredible shopping in markets including the Grand Covered Bazaar and the Silk Market. The Golden Triangle of Turkey itinerary spans eight cities, beginning and ending in Istanbul;
• And the 14-day In the Steps of St. Paul itinerary offers an expansive view of the religious sites of Turkey, spending full days in some locations to get in-depth experiences at the various monasteries and taking in the Biblical and Apocryphal frescoes they’re decorated in. Sites to be explored include St. Peter’s Grotto; a visit to Assos, the meeting place of St. Luke and St. Paul in his third missionary journey; and the church where St. Paul is believed to have delivered his first recorded sermon in Acts.
Rates for each itinerary vary based on season and choice of hotel accommodations, however Akyut confirms that packages can be priced as low as $250 pp dbl for a 2-night weekend package, up to $2,000 pp dbl and beyond for a longer 14-day tour, with prices including lunches, dinners, transfers and guided sightseeing. Additionally, tours booked and paid 12 months in advance are also eligible for a 10 percent discount.
And with new points of interest opening continually—such as new restaurants, museums and archaeological sites—the current 30-plus itineraries offered by Gemini Turkey are always being updated to showcase the most intriguing destinations in each area.
Getting to Turkey is pretty simple, too. “We have direct flights from New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington and Chicago through THY and American Airlines.”
“We know that the most important thing for our guests is trust, trust, trust,” Aykut says. “We never offer anything that we would not want for ourselves. As owners, we are always available to be reached on our mobile phones 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”
For more information, or to get rate quotes for specific tours, visit geminitourism.com.