Ilios Travel is a part of the Visions Holiday Group, a UK company based in Bolney, West Sussex. Jane Baxter Gerçeksöz, Turkey Destination Manager is based on the Bodrum Peninsula and in this article she tells us a little bit about Ilios Travel.
Ilios Travel has been operating a small programme in Turkey since way back in 1985. In those early days we were in Akyaka and were one of the first operators in Turkey offering villa holidays. I started with Ilios Travel in 1989 and would travel down to Akyaka from my Bodrum Peninsula home 3 days a week. In 1991 we expanded the programme to include the Bodrum Peninsula; that meant a lot less travel time for me!
In 2000 we added properties in Datça to the programme and in 2010 we started to include one or two Kalkan villas, but with no permanent representation in Kalkan our Bodrum properties proved more popular. But fate has its ways. In 2014 an enterprising young business man from Kalkan – Ridvan Zeybek of Kalkan Experience Property – contacted us and suggested that we start to work together. Ridvan or Rudi as he is known to many Kalkan locals gave us the means to operate a larger programme in Kalkan.
It was a surprise to us all when we heard the Exclusive Escapes news back in August 2015 and Michael from our UK office jumped on a plane to Dalaman met up with Ridvan and between them they were able to contact property owners who had worked with Exclusive Escapes. So we now have added some of Kalkan’s finest properties to our programme and along with the properties we also have Ridvan! I personally have worked in the tourism sector in Turkey for nearly 30 years and a more motivated and able young man would be hard to find. We are delighted to work with him.
The Kalkan faithful
Of course looking at the world/Turkey situation at present we enter this season with a little concern; however Kalkan does have a following and I suspect, tends to hold its own. When I think back to previous years, I recall 1991 – Gulf War year – we all expected a terrible season – in fact we had a drop of just 6% on the previous year. The tourists may be put off but the travellers still come and it is that type of client that we hope to appeal to.
Ilios Travel is a strange name for a company selling Turkey you may comment! In those very early days Ilios Travel’s first programme was to the Greek Islands, we then expanded into Turkey and Italy. Later on as the original owners of Ilios Travel retired and we became a part of the Visions Group we added a few more countries to the fold. Out of our beautiful Bolney offices (an old restored mansion house with a Capability Brown garden) we run: Visions of Africa, Islands of Greece, Ilios Travel comprising Ilios Italy and Ilios Turkey and IAG Sports.
Most of our super team in the UK have squeezed in quick visits to Kalkan over the past few months ….they are all in love with Kalkan. It’s natural that the UK team love it but I’m a “Bodrumite” and have plenty to compare it with and guess what….I too adore Kalkan!
It is geographically stunning, I love the choice of restaurants and the different menu options available and very importantly the season is long. I was there in October and it was just as nice – possibly nicer – than high season; the weather was of course glorious, there was still a buzz, all the restaurants and bars were open and busy. In fact I think I would choose early and late in the season to visit Kalkan.
It’s with great excitement and a little nervousness that we enter the 2016 season – in the face of everything let’s make it a good one for Kalkan.
Have a look at our stunning properties in Kalkan and in Islamlar as well as those on the Bodrum and Datca Peninsulas at www.iliostravel.com
Kalkan Turkish Local News - your window on Kalkan Turkey.
Independent. Comprehensive. Reliable.
Love KTLN. Love Kalkan.