Testimonials

From an archaeology tour on land to an expert-led gulet cruise, we like to think we offer the very finest cultural tours and holidays.

We are a 7-times winner of the UK’s Tour Operator of the Year Award: having received the Gold Award in spring 2023, 2018 and 2016 and the Silver Award in spring 2024, 2020, 2019 and 2017. But we are always trying to improve.

Our clients come from very different walks of life and age groups. We’re delighted that many come back to travel on our escorted historical tours and small group cruises again and again. We feel that their testimonials describe who we are and what we do far better than we ever could. Here’s a small selection, below. If you’d like to see more than 750 independent reviews of our tours, spanning 10 years, visit Peter Sommer Travels reviews.

Our Exploring Sicily trip combined extraordinary guides, a carefully organized itinerary, lovely accommodations and meals to make a very special trip. In addition, the small size and multi-national composition of the group enhanced the experience. We miss our travel family!

Harry and Anne Whitley, Washington, USA

Exploring Sicily

This was a superb tour... beautifully crafted, taking us through the long history of the island and travelling from the arid East to the green West. The accommodation was wonderful and the food/wine experiences truly memorable. The guides both went to great lengths to provide us with experiences much beyond expectations and I cannot thank them enough.

Ann Dewar, WA, Australia

Exploring Crete Tour: Archaeology, Nature and Food

This was the first time I had travelled with Peter Sommer Travels. The company specialises in expert-led cultural and gulet tours in Europe. Group numbers are small, accommodation comfortable and food excellent. The expert guide who accompanied us was outstanding - passionate, informative, engaging and entertaining. The itinerary was very well thought out, combining leisure time with activity and not-to-be-missed opportunities to swim in the Adriatic sea off the gulet. The client is obviously at the heart of the itinerary planning, and attention to detail is second to none. I would highly recommend this company to anyone wanting a fun, relaxed, educational holiday with fine food - they will deliver!

Patricia Partridge, Isle of Wight, UK

Cruising the Dalmatian Coast: from Dubrovnik to Split

When you sign up for a 'gulet tour' you have to understand that just by the very nature of the trip, on a Turkish Gulet, you will not be traveling on a 'luxurious' cruise by the behemoth tour ships' standards. But that is the true luxury of this type of trip. We went places where no cruise ship could go, and because the groups are small, you are not herded around like a flock of sheep. The vistas and archaeological sights were breathtaking, the clear blue waters mesmerizing and the people and culture, enchanting. Best of all, you have a choice of participating in an activity, or just lying back and reading a book, or swimming in crystal clear waters.

Lynne Redding, Pacific Palisades, CA, USA

A Gastronomic Gulet Cruise in Turkey

The combination of our beautiful gleaming gulet, a totally professional crew, a talented chef producing exquisite yet simple dishes, our lovely local guide and our scholar tour leader who led us into the magic of the ancient world with charm and humour was a rare privilege. We went to deserted bays to swim every day, when there was wind the sails went up and we gently sailed along the beautiful coastline. All the sites were fascinating… Every night one’s head was reeling with what one had seen and heard. What more can I say? I shall never forget it.

Katherine Wyld, West Sussex, UK

Cruising to Ephesus

This was the best vacation of my life (and I haven't been the least bit deprived!). I learned more in these two weeks in Turkey than in any year in college with the best professors, and I absorbed it in a way that will continue to inform my understanding of the world for the rest of my life.

Ann Senechal, Boston, USA

Cruising the Lycian Shore

Peter Sommer Travels provided us an unparalleled opportunity to explore Turkey from ancient to modern times. The tremendous beauty of the natural setting combined with the knowledge and expertise of the guide made for an unforgettable adventure! The gulet's accommodations and elegance - including the sumptuous meals and extraordinary opportunities to swim or explore on kayak or windsurfer - made a relaxing and reviving base, too. We will never forget this trip with Peter Sommer Travels...and are already planning for another one!

Beth Dusinberre, USA

Cruising the Carian Coast: From Mediterranean To Aegean

Peter Sommer runs a highly professional organization. From his brochure to drop off at the airport to fly home his attention to detail and his consideration for his clients is superb. The archaeologists he uses as guides are erudite but highly personable and have an ability to turn a pile of stones into a recreation of the lives of the people who lived there over two millennia ago. Excellent.

Adrien Gordon, Christchurch, New Zealand

Cruising the Dodecanese

We experienced so many aspects of this fascinating region of Northern Greece. Engrossing and stimulating. The trip was varied, well paced and brilliantly organised. It's the third time we've been with Peter Sommer, which says everything about their efficiency, friendliness and organisational skills.

Hilary Adamson, London, UK

Our Exploring Macedonia tour

This was our second experience with Peter Sommer Travels, following directly on their Exploring Wessex tour. As with the Wessex tour, we are delighted to give Peter Sommer Travels an unqualified "excellent" rating on this tour. From initial contact, to booking, to superb coordination by the tour organizers, the excellent knowledge and wonderful humor of our guides, and the selection of tour sites, the trip was organized and run smoothly and with the interests and comfort of the participants always kept in mind. They are by far the best tour operator we have traveled with.

Cheryl Masters, California, USA

Exploring Hadrian's Wall: Romans, Reivers and Romantics

Our gulet cruise in Greece from Kos to Patmos was everything and more than expected. It lived up to the Peter Sommer Travels' emphasis on culture, history, archaeology, comfort and camaraderie. Exceptional guides attended to each guest's interests and needs and were exceptional hosts. Very enjoyable were swimming in secluded bays, the wonderful food quality and selection and the sites visited on each island. It was all one could hope for and a strong inducement to do another PST adventure very soon.

Brian Thiel, Virginia, USA

Cruising the Aegean: From Kos to Patmos

What a wonderful experience! The two tour leaders who were archaeologists enthralled us with the history of the Islands. The food was bountiful. On the boat the meals were wholesome and delicious. We were treated to wonderful meals on the the Islands that let us sample each Island's speciality. There was free time on each of the Islands that allowed for shopping, exploring or sitting round watching island life sipping a drink! The accommodation on the gulet was more than adequate with rooms being serviced everyday. There was ample deck space to lounge, reading or talking. The staff on the Gulet were lovely and attentive. Excellent.

Janet Callaghan, WA, Australia

Our 2-week Cyclades cruise

I enjoyed the whole ambience of the gulet tour, thoroughly relaxing. The cruising was beautiful, as was the scenery. The historical sites were fascinating.

Helen Abell, Tewkesbury, UK

Cruising Western Lycia

This was our fourth trip with Peter Sommer Travels and it lived up to our very high expectations. It was a wonderfully organized trip with beautiful cruising and swimming spots, great hikes, and fascinating lectures on the region and history. The ship was beautiful, comfortable, and excellently crewed. The guide was wonderfully informed and participated enthusiastically in all the activities. A shout-out also to the local guides who each brought their own perspective. Excellent.

Jordana Wilson, DC, USA

Walking and Cruising Southern Dalmatia

This was our fifth tour with Peter Sommer Travels. We continually return to their offerings because we know the tours are ALWAYS superbly led and organized, and exceptional value for the money. We know that our guide(s) will be not only experts on local culture, food, and historical and archaeological sites, but have led many tours successfully, and have the kind of personalities that ensure they sync very well with each and every guest. Peter Sommer Travels is our "go to" travel company without question!! A gulet is the only way to visit the islands of the Dalmatian coast, talk about personalized service. Unpack once and spend your nights anchored in secluded coves with swimming and kayaking before dinner...or before breakfast if that appeals. Meals aboard the Croatia gulet were a gastronomical feat and treat in themselves...accompanied by exceptional local wines selected and described by our incomparable guide and host. We were led to locations not on typical tours...eating oysters and mussels aboard a floating restaurant nestled among aquatic oyster farms; cheeses, wines and olive oils at local establishments selected for their quality in relaxing and comfortable settings. Five-star treatment on a fully equipped and staffed vessel capable of the smallest ports and remote coves! GO!

Brian Thiel, Virginia, USA

A Gastronomic Gulet Cruise in Croatia

Excellent. Our booking was easy, the pre-information packet was timely and thorough. Interim questions were handled promptly and thoroughly, including going out of their way to help us with some hard to get reservations. The transfers were perfect and done with a high class Mercedes vehicle.

Steve Scheid, CA, USA

A Gastronomic Tour of Sicily

The combination of cruising, walking through fascinating archaeological sites, meeting friendly Turkish villagers, swimming in warm clear waters and being fed delicious healthy Turkish food in good company - is just a winner. It is the best holiday we have ever had. Many thanks for your meticulous attention to our comfort.

Suzie Allman, Roseville, NSW, Australia

Walking and Cruising the Carian Coast

We took the road less traveled and that made all the difference. The PST tour Exploring the Peloponnese, truly did explore. Most advertised tours don't include the wild Mani area,and don't include mountain bus trips through Central Arcadia, or a boat trip through a flooded magical cave where we were like visitors to Hades. We discovered Greek wild-flowers, and Greek wine, local Greek food-dishes (including wild boar). We stayed in delightful and unusual small hotels and visited all the usual sites such as Mycenae, and Olympia but with archaeologist tour leaders, fallen heaps of stones and massed museum displays came alive as buildings and lifestyles, and the history, icons, and wall paintings of Byzantine churches were explained to a group of travellers much more familiar with western art. They opened up a world that all the studying from books cannot give. The only trouble is "I want to go back for more"! A wonderful trip.

Denise Young, Victoria, Australia

Exploring the Peloponnese

How can one do justice to what comprises the experience of a Peter Sommer holiday in a few words? Imagine a holiday that combines cruising through sublime waters in a Turkish gulet, engaging in discussions (not just hearing a lecture!) with your expert guides who provide both context, imagination and interpretation for what you are seeing, walking along ancient roads through the still extant remains of millennia old civilisations and every day sharing freshly-prepared meals made with local produce with your guides and fellow guests. Add to this the opportunities you have to simply relax and enjoy the facilities onboard - and on the water - and getting to know the convivial group of like-minded people who comprise your fellow guests and you have some flavour of the 'magic' that is a Peter Sommer holiday. Unforgettable and a reminder of what travel is meant to be about.

Alan & Wendy Smith, Australia (4th trip with PST)

Walking and Cruising the Lycian Shore

A superb week exploring Rome. This was my first visit to Rome, and it was wonderful. We had a tour manager, an expert guide and a local guide to take us round & show us the sites. The hotel was excellent, full of character, quiet & secluded. The itinerary was a great mix - awe-inspiring Imperial sites, and some more recent buildings, all presented in context with details of their long stories, some truly superb museums, and some more day-to-day places, such as Ostia, all drawn together to provide a fascinating mosaic of Rome. We visited good restaurants, where we were guided & encouraged to sample local specialities. There was free time for us to see some essential sites independently, and there was guidance on how to use the free time we had. All in all a great week. Peter Sommer Travel are a provider who take small groups on holidays that are primarily based on seeing archaeology, but also look to ensure that you enjoy a place as much as possible: you always stay in hotels with character, and eat the finest of local foods. I have now taken 14 holidays with them.

Jim Cleary, London, UK

Exploring Rome

This was our second PST tour (first one was to Crete). Both tours have been excellent. PST tour leaders are not only experts in their academic fields but are also masters at making the tours work smoothly and efficiently. The itineraries are excellent, both in terms of venues and in terms of the pace of the tour. The choices of accommodations and the dining locales never disappoint. My wife and I have done many tours with a variety of tour companies. PST is definitely the best.

William Iams, Newfoundland, Canada

Exploring Wessex

We've been to the southern coast of Turkey on an archaeological family cruise aboard a Turkish gulet with Peter Sommer Travels three times now. Our very first, way back in 2006, was along the beautiful Lycian shore, from Gocek to Fethiye. It perfectly married the freedom and relaxation that one requires from a holiday. If your idea of escorted tours conjures up images of dry lectures and ageing crowds, then think again! Our lively trip along Turkey's turquoise coast inspired both the younger and slightly older members on board. With an archaeologist-cum-guide who was a dab hand at bringing stories to life, we visited ancient burial sites riddled with 2,500 year old tombs, Byzantine and Ottoman castles and monumental Patara - the birthplace of St. Nicholas (Santa Claus/Father Christmas)... All in all, the perfect family trip.

Andrew Wilson, London, UK

Cruising the Carian Coast - Family Tour

My experience, a week-long tour of Athens, was superb. We saw not only the usual tourist sites, but several that were certainly off the beaten track. The visits to the National Archaeological Museum and the Acropolis Museum, as well as several smaller ones, were fascinating. Museums can be overwhelming, but our guides pointed out the most significant items and explained their context and meaning. The organization of the tour and the accommodations were excellent and the meals, superb. Our 2 guides, both archaeologists, were enormously knowledgeable, did a wonderful job of sharing their knowledge, and were charming companions, as well.

Carol Clausen, USA

Exploring Athens

The holiday of a life time - our gulet adventure in the Dodecanese Greek Islands was without a doubt our favourite family trip. The comfort and beauty of the gulet, the incredibly caring crew, the delicious food, the history we learned from our competent and friendly leader, along with the stunning beauty of the islands. Swimming in the most gorgeous coves, kayaking on crystal blue waters, hiking around ruins and into small remote villages and relaxing on the boat... it was the best trip ever.

Suzy Lautze, Oregon, USA

Private Gulet Charter in Greece

We had the most remarkable family tour with Peter Sommer Travels. Not only everything was perfect, but we felt, in every instance, that our guides and our gulet crew truly cared about us, both the kids and adults, and did their best to make this trip memorable. For our well-traveled children (aged 9 and 6) this definitely has become the most eye-opening, adventurous, and stunning journey of their life - something they will remember, draw upon, and cherish for many years to come. For adults, we were pleasantly surprised by the diversity of our trip: from neolithic archaeological sites to medieval castles, from swimming to get obsidian to talks on board of our wonderful gulet, from ever-changing and filled with surprises meals offered on board to culinary experiences on the shore, every island and every new activity offered new experiences. We definitely will be back!

Ilya Strebulaev, CA, USA

Cruising the Aegean: A Family Adventure

Accreditations

AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2015 Gold Award AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2017 Gold Award AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2018 Silver Award AITO Tour Operator of the Year 2019 Silver Award Best Travel Company for Arts and Culture Holidays Silver British Travel Award 2022 Member of AITO The Specialist Travel Association Member of ABTA the Association of British Travel Agents Member of ASTA The American Society of Travel Advisors Member of ABTOI the Association of British Travel Organisers to Italy

Rated as Excellent on Aito Reviews with over 500 reviews