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Murat Ornek

Thanks to my Turkish and Guatemalan family spread around the world, when I was younger traveling was all about visiting relatives in different countries. Since my early 20s I have been doing trips in search of the good food, history and hiking trails.

What places and activities do you specialize in?

"Specializing in adventure and experience-based travel, we do tours all around Turkey. We are the right address for those who want to pursue the less-taken paths and look for authentic experiences. Be it a lunch with the nomads after hiking, a road trip covering ancient cities as Troy and Pergamon, or simply get lost in Istanbul chasing the best street food."

How did you get involved in travel?

"Previously I had a job related to loyalty programs and direct marketing in travel industry. I used to spend long hours extracting and analyzing traveler data or working on travel promotions. Later realized that I definitely wanted to create travel experiences and spending more time out from the office. By the end of 2011, establishing a travel company specialized in active travel and elaborate cultural tours became my dream. Since 2013, I am lucky enough to have worked with some pioneer tour operators of the industry and designing customized tours for travelers around the world."

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"I still cannot forget the trip that I made to Morocco when I was 21 years old. It was a life changing road-trip with four other friends, where we slept in the desert, trekked and meditated in Dades Valley, discovered the amazing cities and got to know a climate of desert, snow and tropic in a single day."

Murat is part of the following groups: Turkey Travel Agents
Discover Turkey's Cappadocia
Highlights of Turkey - 14 Days

See the best of Turkey over two event-filled weeks in which you'll experience the defining characteristics of this bridge between Europe and Asia. It begins with excursions to the mystical valleys and "fairy chimneys" of Cappadocia before turning into a road trip along the gorgeous Mediterranean coast. After bathing in the thermal pools at Pamukkale, you'll finish the trip in Istanbul for a deep dive into a great global metropolis known for its rich culture and long historical legacy.

Mediterranean beaches near Kaş
Turkey Adventure: Cappadocia, Antalya, Kaş & Istanbul - 10 Days

Experience Turkey from east to west on this adventurous 10-day itinerary. Starting among the lunar landscapes of Cappadocia, you'll hike through rugged valleys and see the famous "fairy chimneys" by hot air balloon. Then it's on to the glittering Mediterranean coast to explore sandy beaches, ancient ruins, and coastal waterfalls. Your trip ends where Europe meets Asia in the vibrant capital of Istanbul, touring highlights like Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar.

Balloons in flight over Cappadocia
Turkey Family Adventure: Cappadocia & Lycian Way Hiking - 9 Days

Perfect for active families of all ages, this adventurous 9-day itinerary highlights some of Turkey's most stunning natural scenery. Beginning among the famous "fairy chimneys" of Cappadocia, you'll explore the valley with easy hikes and bike rides, discovering ancient fortresses and underground cities. After an unforgettable hot air balloon ride, it's time to transfer west to the Mediterranean coast, where you'll trek some inviting portions of the famous Lycian Way against a backdrop of fragrant pine forests, rugged coastline, and mythical mountains.

Sunrise over the lunar landscapes of Cappadocia
Cappadocia & Southeastern Turkey - 8 Days

Ancient culture and spectacular scenery are the highlights of this 8-day journey through southeastern and central Turkey. Marvel at the mosaics of Gaziantep, explore the sunken city of Halfeti by boat, and see the archaeological wonders of Sanlıurfa. After a visit to the UNESCO-listed Mount Nemrut, you'll set out across the rugged landscapes of Anatolia to reach the famous, fairytale landscapes of Cappadocia—where you'll tour underground cities and take to the skies in a hot air balloon.

Temple of Trajan in Pergamon
Ancient Greek & Christian Sites in Turkey - 5 Days

History buffs can experience well-preserved ancient Greek, Roman, and early Christian sites on this 6-day tour through western Turkey. You'll begin your trip with a dip in the hot springs of in the ancient Roman spa town of Pammukale, see Roman baths and sites of some of the early churches outside of Bergama, and continue on to the site of ancient Pergamon. Wrap it all up with a tour of the extensive and well-preserved ruins of Ephesus and a relaxing night in the village of Şirince.

Hikers on the Lycian Way
Hiking the Lycian Way in Turkey: Kas, Adrasan & Antalya - 9 Days

On this 9-day tour, you'll hike the famous Lycian Way, an ancient trade along Turkey's Mediterranean coast. You will be completing the trail from west to east, beginning in Kas, continuing to through Adrasan, and finally ending in Antalya. On the way, you will pass through ancient Lycian cities like Phellos,  Aperlai, Phaselis, and Cirali. You will also tour remote Mediterranean villages by boat, visit sites featured in Greek mythology, and enjoy some of southern Turkey's most beautiful scenery.

Recent trip reviews for Murat

A memorable trip to amazing Turkey! Thank you kimkim for making it so special. · Turkey - Apr 15 - Apr 25, 2022

Traveler: Madhavi G. - Local specialist: Murat Ornek

A trip that was 2 year in the making due to Covid we had an absolutely amazing time in Turkey. Murat was very patient and considerate of all our questions and requests. The accomodation was special, namely Gil Konaklari in Cappadocia and Nisyanan house in Sirence. The Pan Thermal hotel in Pammakule was a bit disappointing.

Yunnus our guide in Cappadocia was excellent. He has so much knowledge to share and we enjoyed his stories of places and people. He is a good driver and made every effort... read more

A trip that was 2 year in the making due to Covid we had an absolutely amazing time in Turkey. Murat was very patient and considerate of all our questions and requests. The accomodation was special, namely Gil Konaklari in Cappadocia and Nisyanan house in Sirence. The Pan Thermal hotel in Pammakule was a bit disappointing.

Yunnus our guide in Cappadocia was excellent. He has so much knowledge to share and we enjoyed his stories of places and people. He is a good driver and made every effort to also take us to places that were not on the program. Thanks to him we were able to get a booking for the hot air balloon on our last morning after two cancellations on the first two days.

Our guide Ozan in Izmir was also great. He quickly understood what we were interested in and planned the day accordingly. He came across as a very genuine person. Both guides took us to some local places for meals and the food there was delicious.

Overall the trip was well organised and went without a hitch. We got to see everything we wanted. The only recommendation I would make of Kimkim is if they could also arrange car hire for tourists as we had a lot of trouble while picking up the car with Enterprise car hire.

Hotel Reviews

Gül Konakları

Nevsehir

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

It was like living in a time long ago. A beautifully restored mansion. Rooms were comfortable and the service was excellent. The meals were fine dining which we had not expected. Loved it. The town of Mustafa Pasha where it is situated is very charming. I had watched a Turkish serial and this hotel was chosen as a location in that show. When I arrived there it looked so familiar and the staff confirmed that it was the same place on the show.

Tips for future travelers

No tips - it’s great to be pleasantly surprised

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Murat was lovely and very attentive. We also got to meet Berat the owner.
Authenticity & Character

The decor and attention to detail
Location

It’s not close to commercial hotels

Nisanyan Houses

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

One of the most beautiful and scenic hotels we stayed in. It did not feel like a hotel but a home

Tips for future travelers

Tip is to absolutely stay here.

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Authenticity & Character

Location

Murat Ornek profile photo
Murat Ornek, local specialist, responded to this review:

Hi Madhavi,

Thanks for the review. I am so happy that you finally made it!
Hope to meet you the next time you come.

Bests,
Murat

The Best of Turkey in 9 Days · Turkey - Dec 28 - Jan 3, 2022

Traveler: Anna G. - Local specialist: Murat Ornek

The tour organized by Mr. Murat was enjoyable, interesting, and generally "smooth sailing". It was my first time in Turkey, but I now have good impressions of the country and its people. There are some other places I wanted to see and things that I wanted to do which did not fit my itinerary, but it will be a good reason for me to return.

The tour guides and drivers that were assigned to me - Mr. Aydin in Istanbul, Mr. Irfan in Cappadocia, and Mr. Onder in Izmir were very knowledgeable,... read more

The tour organized by Mr. Murat was enjoyable, interesting, and generally "smooth sailing". It was my first time in Turkey, but I now have good impressions of the country and its people. There are some other places I wanted to see and things that I wanted to do which did not fit my itinerary, but it will be a good reason for me to return.

The tour guides and drivers that were assigned to me - Mr. Aydin in Istanbul, Mr. Irfan in Cappadocia, and Mr. Onder in Izmir were very knowledgeable, patient, and kind. They introduced to me Turkey through its history, food, and people that we have met during the trip.

As regards the hotels, I especially liked the Nisanyan House in Izmir. It felt like "home" and was a serene and quiet place. The food that they served were also authentic and very good. The other hotels were also conveniently located and had good amenities.

Thank you, Trail Travel and Mr. Murat for the memorable and hassle-free vacation. I did not have much time planning it but it all went well, even better than what I expected.

I hope to be back soon.

Murat Ornek profile photo
Murat Ornek, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks for this wonderful feedback, Anna.
Hope to see you here again very soon.

First post pandemic trip to Turkey · Turkey - Oct 12 - Oct 18, 2021

Traveler: Sharmistha C. - Local specialist: Murat Ornek

Though an avid travelled, this was my first trip post the pandemic and I was a little nervous at first. However Murat was so helpful and cooperative, I ended up having a wonderful trip. There were 1-2 glitches that could have been avoided but Murat did his best to remedy the situation. The 2 guides I had in Istanbul and Cappadocia were wonderful - Ibrahim and Ramazan - very flexible and cooperative. Murat’s property in Cappadocia is a piece of heaven I would highly recommend. The logistics... read more

Though an avid travelled, this was my first trip post the pandemic and I was a little nervous at first. However Murat was so helpful and cooperative, I ended up having a wonderful trip. There were 1-2 glitches that could have been avoided but Murat did his best to remedy the situation. The 2 guides I had in Istanbul and Cappadocia were wonderful - Ibrahim and Ramazan - very flexible and cooperative. Murat’s property in Cappadocia is a piece of heaven I would highly recommend. The logistics including PCR testing were very well taken care of. I always felt safe because Murat kept track personally.

I am glad I used him and Kimkim 👍🏽

I will probably use both again.

Hotel Review

Gül Konakları

Nevsehir

Overall Rating
Hotel Review

This is far from your regular hotel / B&B experience . You stay in either of 2 heritage properties that transport you to another world. The ambience is extremely well maintained by the owners and they spend a lot of time with you explaining the history of the location. Wonderful people! Cappadocia is a place from your dreams and it’s best experienced from a place like this, unless you want to experience staying at a rock / cave hotel.

Tips for future travelers

The rooms are very different from one another but all details are available online - so it’s best you look up and book a particular room before heading there.

Location

Cleanliness & Comfort

Staff

Probably due to Covid, there were a bit understaffed at the time we went ….
Authenticity & Character

Murat Ornek profile photo
Murat Ornek, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks Sharmy, it was a pleasure to have you and Nivi here.

alai

Highest recommendation for Murat and Team: Magical Whirlwind tour of Turkey · Turkey - Jun 29 - Jul 12, 2021

Traveler: alai a. - Local specialist: Murat Ornek

I have only very high and excellent praises for Murat and KimKim.

Murat has organized a well-tailored trip with must-do highlights of Turkey. He even helped arrange scuba diving at a couple of our destinations. His attention to the details are impeccable, and his communication is always timely.

I can't rave enough about how much of a gift to travelers KimKim is, especially with Murat's role in our much-needed vacation. He has been easily accessible for last-minute changes, and would go... read more

I have only very high and excellent praises for Murat and KimKim.

Murat has organized a well-tailored trip with must-do highlights of Turkey. He even helped arrange scuba diving at a couple of our destinations. His attention to the details are impeccable, and his communication is always timely.

I can't rave enough about how much of a gift to travelers KimKim is, especially with Murat's role in our much-needed vacation. He has been easily accessible for last-minute changes, and would go above and beyond to check in with us throughout our trip.

Our local guide, Önder, is also highly recommended. He is passionate, informative, adaptive and an overall fun human being.

Argus hotel in Cappadocia is a must! The hot air balloon!

The staff at Alley Prime Hotel in Kas are amazing. This was one of our highlights for sure, thanks to Berg (hote manager) and Salman (maitre d). The masseuse, Pelin. The dive group, Dragoman.

All in all... The superb accommodations, the well-thought-out activities, the many white-glove service additions all speak highly to the priceless value of his KimKim and Murat's work. Thank you, Murat and KimKim!

Murat Ornek profile photo
Murat Ornek, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thanks a lot for your words, Al'ai. I enjoyed designing and managing your trip. It was definitely unconventional and fun!
Hope to have you here again.

Richard

Turkey Road Trip · Turkey - Apr 20 - May 3, 2021

Traveler: Richard P. - Local specialist: Murat Ornek

Considering traveling during a pandemic, my trip organizer, Murat Ornek and guides Rdivan Uyanik and Alp Sancar were amazing. They knew how to deal with new covid restrictions while I was there to make the trip as seamless as possible. I highly recommend working with Murat in organizing your Turkish experience. Very accommodating person and I had the privilege in meeting his lovely, warm family. I have to as much as I loved Istanbul with its astounding mosques, beautiful landscape, and... read more

Considering traveling during a pandemic, my trip organizer, Murat Ornek and guides Rdivan Uyanik and Alp Sancar were amazing. They knew how to deal with new covid restrictions while I was there to make the trip as seamless as possible. I highly recommend working with Murat in organizing your Turkish experience. Very accommodating person and I had the privilege in meeting his lovely, warm family. I have to as much as I loved Istanbul with its astounding mosques, beautiful landscape, and wonderful food, I need to return to see the city in its full vibrancy after the pandemic is over. The highlights of the trip was being in Cappadocia. Seeing the incredible rock formations high above in a hot air balloon was wonderful. Additionally, I highly recommend visiting the Kaymakli Underground City near Cappadocia. Nearly a hundred tunnels built over a thousand years ago when it was used for protection from Muslim Arab raids. It literally is an underground cave city (something out of the 1960's Flintstones TV cartoon show). The most memorable moments was spending time with Murat and his family having wonderful conversation, being in their beautiful historic hotel and enjoying meals with them. Will revisit!

Murat Ornek profile photo
Murat Ornek, local specialist, responded to this review:

Thank you, Richard. It was a pleasure spending time with you!