It’s with some justification that Istanbul-based Peten bills its cultural tours as extraordinary; a glance at their website’s tour itineraries suggests a depth of knowledge and coverage that no British operator is likely to match. Peten goes deep into fascinating and forgotten backwaters to discover the unique fauna of the legendarily beautiful Mount Ida near Troy, the forgotten Urartian culture of Erzincan and Van, surviving Armenian communities close to Syria and much else besides. The company is run by Iffet Özgönül, an erudite archaeologist and an impressive traveller in her own right. Iffet has been known to sleep rough in her researches, but her clients can expect the best available accommodation, transport and guiding. Peten tours are legendarily expensive. They are also unique.