Watch what people have to say about us:
Read what people have to say about us:
It was very interesting to meet Ozlem, a very confident female beekeeper who, despite the harsh conditions and everyone else packing it in this year with the honey, managed to get a really respectable amount of honey that was really quite delicious. And we were even ableto buy some, which was fantastic.
People were just so hospitable, I couldn’t believe it.
One thing that’s really unique is just how natural and untouched it is. You have these enormous meadows of wildflowers…The whole experience brought us to places we would have never seen on our own.
It’s a unique experience and I think the important thing is just to keep it that special. That’s what makes it really beautiful to visit.
I think it’s a really interesting way to get to know a country that you know nothing about. You really get embedded and get to know the people one-on-one in places that you would never go on your own or even in a larger group tour.
There were so many interesting things that were happening all at once. I really enjoyed being in some of the small villages. I really loved the hiking and I was a little worried that I would break down but it was really great.
To see the countryside and the villages much more in an area that’s not so tourist-frequented was just fantastic. We really loved that.
The most rewarding thing for me was seeing the views. The nature is really stunning. […] It somehow releases my mind very much. It was really relaxing… It was really a surprise for me that it was so beautiful.
Being a Turk, I like seeing places of my country and meeting people that come from very different traditions and cultures. Because in Turkey there’s nothing really Turkish that you can specify… we are like a kind of mosaic.
I really enjoyed the walking. I enjoyed the nature. I think that’s my favorite part. I enjoyed meeting the villagers along the way. The whole experience was just so amazing. [It was] on the one hand exhausting, and on the other hand restful. You just are so removed from the rest of the world. And all of the daily problems and things that need to be dealt with, you just forget about them and go on to enjoy where you are and enjoy the moment.
It shows, one, that each of the areas you go to – and these areas weren’t very far apart –were very different. That is true of Turkey. There are so many things to see. The nature is so incredible. And the Turks are always so welcoming everywhere. I mean, it’s just fantastic.A person who would enjoy Balyolu would be one that enjoys trekking, one who really enjoys being out in nature and in the open, and spending a lot of time outside. And also learning something about the local culture and local food.
I liked being up close and personal with the people. Mornings were beautiful. The light here is beautiful. I’m a photographer… To be up close and personal, watching daily life, milking the cows, herding the cows, was just great.
Every place I go from now on I’ll be looking for bees, looking for honey, because it was really an eye opening experience for me.
Just crossing a pass and then seeing how basically you’re in a different country. The houses change, the people change and it’s only a matter of 20 minutes. Then suddenly I’m transformed and transported into this completely different place.
This is the first time we’ve stayed in villages with villagers getting to know people up close and personal and eating food and to be able to cook with people in their homes.
All across Turkey are people living this way and you never get to see them as an average tourist. You never really get to go into a village and to be able to interact with them and to be able to break bread with them – I think that, to me, is the most important thing. It’s the biggest difference about the Balyolu tour.
Out here you get to meet people and see how they actually live. You pick up Turkish so much faster because everyone is talking to you all the time! It gives you more of a chance to see the real beauty of the country.
It was more beautiful and more diverse than I ever thought Turkey could be.We learned a lot about bees and beekeepers and I learned not to be afraid about bees. I learned that everywhere you go there is so much history. […] You’re learning a million things every day.
You’re slowly walking and you’re a little tired and you come over this crest and it’s just mountains and green grass!
I read a lot of guide books before I came here. I looked up stuff on the internet and so many of them are like “why would you go to Kars? There’s nothing out there. There’s no tourism, people don’t speak as much English. There’s not a place for travelers there.” And then after one week, not even, how could I go anywhere else? Obviously this is one of the most beautiful regions of Turkey. […] I’m surprised that there is so little tourism.
Warmed milk, fresh from the cow, at least 2 times daily; fresh and aged cheeses, baked with noodles and tucked into hot-from-the-tandir bread; freshly churned butter, cultured and not; appetite-rousing hikes (70+ kilometers over 5 days); forested mountain slopes, endless sea-of-green plateaus, wild steppes and a deep-blue lake; turquoise skies and towering thunderheads; cows and sheep and kangal dogs. Just a few of the highlights from this last week walking and eating in NE Turkey. Now to get started on a few posts.
Honey bees are fascinating! This we know from some time we spent last week with Turkish beekeepers and their hives, thanks to Balyolu.
Here’s a comment you need to see, rather than read: Bee Stings, Blisters, Bliss.- SkyBlueSky
…This was one of the top trips of my life. I will always remember the Balyolu.
.…I can’t think of a single person who would be as enthusiastic about other tours they have described to us, nor do any of our tours even approach the joy of Balyolu! I was so impressed with Cat’s professionalism, graciously trying (and as far as I know succeeding), in accommodating personal trekkers’ needs, all the while keeping her joy and infectious leadership and love of Balyolu at the top of her priority list.
…Thank you to you and to all the staff for your hard work to make the experience so memorable.
… What I loved was meeting the people and experiencing a different culture. I loved the beauty and history of the environs and the FOOD!