Pacha is main player in eastern Turkey

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ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Pacha Tours' Black Sea and eastern Turkey tour requires plenty of overland travel, for distances are long between destinations, but the route is varied and interesting, and the mountain vistas are spectacular.

The small motorcoach for our group of 10 couldn't have been more comfortable.

Whether clients travel on an organized tour or FIT basis, itineraries must be planned around accommodations, and there are not many hotels. Catering to business travelers, hotels in eastern Turkey lack charm and style, but not comfort like having private baths.

traveling to Trabzon A couple of nights we stayed in hotels on a main and noisy thoroughfare, and the tour escort did his best to secure high-floor, back-of-the-hotel rooms. At certain places, there was not much to be done about disco noise.

All meals were included, with tasty lunches in good local restaurants and buffet dinners at hotels. No matter where you eat, Turkish food is just plain good, and there is always a selection of fruit and salads.

Should clients take a tour? My answer: "Yes."

Take a tour or book a trip by private car, but travel with a good guide, for this is cultural touring, and the history and sites are multilayered and complicated -- particularly in central and eastern Anatolia. (Example: In central Anatolia, Cappadocia can be a nightmare for unguided clients; there isn't even a good map available of this popular area.)

Additionally, there is little English spoken here. And when traveling, advance hotel reservations are essential.

In 1999, Pacha Tours will offer at least one monthly departure April through September on its 11-night Black Sea and eastern Turkey tour.

The price per person, double occupancy, is $1,195. The land-only cost includes accommodations at first class hotels; almost all meals; overland travel by air-conditioned bus with water, tea and coffee service; the services of a professional escort/guide; all transfers; admission fees and service charges.
Pacha Tours
Phone: (800) 722-4288 or (212) 764-4080
Web: www.pachatours.com

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