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Ephesus

Ephesus: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

1. From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel in Izmir. Then, the discovery of Ephesus begins with the House of the Virgin Mary and a 10-minute drive to the ancient city of Ephesus. Explore the city by walking on the marble streets, accompanied by a guide.  See the Odeon, State Agora, the Pretension, the Memmius Monument, the Domitian Temple, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Hadrian Temple, and the Latrines. Choose to take an optional visit to the terrace houses for an additional cost.  After the terrace houses, carry on with your exploration with the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, Great Theater, and Arcadian (harbor road). Enjoy a nice lunch served in a quaint local restaurant. Visit the Temple of Artemisa and take pictures of the church of St. John and the Mosque of İsa Bey. Enjoy free time in the old village of Sirince to discover the traditional houses, the fruit-flavored wine production, and enjoy some wine tasting.  End the day with a transfer back to Izmir airport or to your hotel in Izmir.

From Izmir, Kusadasi, & Selcuk: Day Trip to Explore Ephesus

2. From Izmir, Kusadasi, & Selcuk: Day Trip to Explore Ephesus

Enjoy a memorable day seeing the historic sights in the ancient city of Ephesus on this day trip. Select from options to leave from your hotel in Izmir, Kusadasi, or Selcuk. Stop at highlights like Hercules Gate, the Temple of Hadrian, and Domitian Square. Be picked up from the comfort of your accommodation. Sit back and relax on the drive to Ephesus. Follow your local guide to the House of Virgin Mary, where the religious figure is thought to have spent her last days. Head to upper Agora which was the seat of political power in the past. Continue to the 2nd century A.D. Odeon theater. Head to Domitian Square and view the engravings on the old columns at the Temple of Domitian. Pass by the Fountain of Pollio. Admire the relief of Hercules at Hercules Gate before going to the temple and fountain of Emperor Trajan.  Marvel at the elaborately carved arch at the Temple of Hadrian. Stroll by the Roman baths, public latrine, marketplace, and brothel. See the stunning remains of the third-largest library in the Roman world at the Library of Celsus. Go to The Great Theater, a massive Hellenistic structure. Gaze upon one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. Return to your accommodation. During the tour, you'll have the chance to have a look at the traditional Turkish handcrafts.

From Kusadasi: Ephesus Guided Tour with Transfer

3. From Kusadasi: Ephesus Guided Tour with Transfer

According your pick-up time, meet with your guide and transfer to the first sight in ancient Ephesus, the best preserved classic city in the eastern Mediterranean and the largest open air museum in Turkey. Ephesus contains more then 30 buildings and structures linked together by streets that still have the marks of ancient chariot wheels. Visit the Great Theatre, where St. Paul preached against the pagans and the gladiators once engaged in battle. Originally holding 25,000 people, this theater was built in the Hellenistic period and was renovated by several Roman emperors. Designed for theatrical performances, later alterations allowed gladiatorial contests to be held here. The face of the Library of Celsus, which has been remarkably restored, is probably the most photographed place in Ephesus originally built in 115 to 125. You might also be able to see the Odeon Temple, Fountain of Trajan, Temple of Hadrian, the steam Scholastica Baths, marble road, agora and the Temple of Domitian. After visiting ancient Ephesus, continue to the Temple of Arthemis. Considered one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Artemis was dedicated to the Goddess of the Hunt. Only the foundation and one column remains of this temple which once measured 425 feet by 220 feet wide. St. Paul’s successful ministry in this city was considered a threat to this temple. The city reached its Golden Age and became a good model to the ancient world in culture and art. The tour finishes at around 1:00 PM, from here you will return to your hotel or cruise port.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

4. Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

Travel back in time on a guided tour from Istanbul to the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis. Spend a full day marveling at ancient, multi-cultural architecture and monuments without worrying about any of the details of traveling and organizing.  Start your day with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul in the early morning and transfer smoothly to the airport to catch your flight to Izmir. Be greeted upon your arrival and travel to Ephesus to meet with your guide. Explore this iconic former-Greek city, built in the 10th century, famed for its temples, monuments, and theaters. Known as the commercial, religious, and social center of antiquity, this is sure to be the highlight to your whole visit to Turkey. Discover the city’s combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine markers of civilization. Visit the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domition, and the Library of Celcius. Be awed by the the Great Theater with its capacity for 24,000 spectators, the Temple of Artemis, and the House of the Virgin Mary. Continue to Pamukkale which is known for its natural thermal spring waters.  Find out why this site is known as the cotton castle as you see how the chemical properties of the water have formed pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces that line the mountain’s slope, resembling piles of cotton. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of this site is be the Sacred Pool, which you can enter if you choose. There, shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient Roman ruins that lie beneath. Head to the Necropolis of Hierapolis which contains 1200 gravestones, including that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos. After your tour, transfer back to Denizli Airport for your evening flight back to Istanbul and be transferred back to your hotel.

From Istanbul: Ephesus Full-Day Tour

5. From Istanbul: Ephesus Full-Day Tour

Spend a full day among the famous ruins of Ephesus, flying from Istanbul to Izmir and back. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel early in the morning and transfer you to Istanbul's Ataturk Airport for your flight to Izmir. Upon arrival at Izmir, you will meet with your tour guide and drive the 40 minutes to Ephesus. Visit the vast and rich archeological site of Ephesus, imagining life in Roman times as you pass through the ancient city gates. See the ruins of State Agora, a marketplace from Roman times. Admire Marble Road, dating back to 1 A.D. Then view the beautiful architecture of Celsus Library, the 3rd largest in the ancient world. Your guide will also show you Ephesus Theatre, which once held 15,000 spectators, and many other ancient landmarks of Ephesus' Greek and Roman pasts. After lunch visit the Virgin Mary’s House archeological site, where it is said Mary spent her last years with St. John. After visiting Virgin Mary’s House, head back to the Izmir Airport for your return flight to Istanbul. Be dropped off at your hotel at the end of the tour.

Ephesus Day Tour with Return Flights From Istanbul

6. Ephesus Day Tour with Return Flights From Istanbul

Explore a historical gem of the eastern Mediterranean on a full-day tour of Ephesus from Istanbul, with round-trip flights, and walk in the footsteps of Cleopatra, Mark Antony, the Virgin Mary, and John the Apostle. The largest open-air museum in Turkey, Ephesus contains more than 30 buildings and structures linked together by streets that still bear the marks of chariot wheels. Your guide will show you the awe-inspiring Great Theater, where St. Paul preached against the pagans and gladiators once engaged in battle. Walk along Marble Street to the Library of Celsus and be dazzled by its restored façade. Visit the Temple of Hadrian, Roman baths, and other remarkable ruins. Continue to the Church of the Virgin Mary. According to Christian tradition, Mary was brought to Ephesus by the Apostle John after the Resurrection of Christ. The church was erected on the foundation of the house where she spent her final days, as authenticated by Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II. End your day at the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Today there are only a series of columns and scattered ruins of this marvelous Hellenistic construction, though the grandeur of the colossal structure once exceeded that of the Parthenon.

Ephesus: Small Group Tour with House of the Virgin Mary

7. Ephesus: Small Group Tour with House of the Virgin Mary

Ephesus is the second biggest open-air museum in the world after Pompeii. Explore the public parts of its grounds accompanied by a licensed guide in a small group. Enjoy pick-up from your hotel in Kusadasi or Selcuk or from the cruise ship port. Your driver will take you to several important sights of the area while your guide will help you immerse yourself in Greco-Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman history. The tour includes lunch. Apart from the city of ancient Ephesus, also explore one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - the Artemis Temple, as well as the temples of Hadrian and Domitian, the Fountains of Trojan, Polio, the Library of Celsus, and the Great Theater, which was once the center point of entertainment for up to 24,000 people. You will also get to see the House where Virgin Mary is believed to have spent her last years in life. The tour ends at approximately 4:00 PM, at which point you'll be taken back to your hotel or cruise ship.

Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

8. Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

Founded by the Greeks and conquered by the Romans, Ephesus was once a city of proverbial wealth. It was a bustling port which over time developed into an important center for Christianity. On this self-guided tour, benefit from skip-the-line entry then explore using your smartphone to travel back in time to the city’s former life. The tour is the perfect way to experience the site in a fun and insightful way, and gain valuable insight into one of the most popular places in Turkey. The first stop of the day is to the State Agora, which was once the political heart of the city boasting a lavish square. Continue on to Bouleuterion, and discover the meeting point of the city council which perhaps was also a space for artistic performances. As you stroll around the colonnades, stoas, and other buildings, listen to fascinating stories about what life was like here for locals. Arrive at the Temple of Domitian and find out the rather unusual architectural layout of the U-shaped altar. Next, wander down the Curetes which connected the political and commercial hearts of Ephesus. Uncover the legend of the emperor’s fountain, then explore the large complex of baths at the Scolastica including the lavish marble latrines. Head to the grave of the Egyptian princess Arsinoe, then marvel at the mesmerizing Celsus Library, which is probably the most famous landmark of Ephesus. From here the road leads you to the gate of Mazeus and Mithridates, and onto at the Grand Theatre where performances and gladiatorial games took place. Last but not least, walk through the crossroads of the Arcadiane and follow a small path that leads you to the spectacular ruins of the enormous Church of Mary.

Ruins of Ephesus & The Temple of Artemis Small Group Tour

9. Ruins of Ephesus & The Temple of Artemis Small Group Tour

Start your tour by being picked up either at your hotel in Kusadasi or at the Kusadasi port. Drive 20 mins to Ephesus, one of 12 cities of the Ionian League, the ancient Greek district on the western coast of Asia Minor. This city thrived centuries ago as a Greek colony and then as a part of ancient Rome. In its heyday, the cities bustling port was a major departure point for trade routes into Asia Minor. Today, the city is still filled with well-preserved ruins from this era.  Take a journey back in time as you walk down marble streets adorned with wonderful public buildings. See the ruins of the Baths of Scholastica, a bathing complex dating back to the 1st century. Admire the facade of the Library of Celsus. Once one of the largest libraries of the ancient world, this Roman structure was devasted when it was rocked by an earthquake, and burned by invading Goths in the same year. Despite its lack of luck, it’s magnificent façade still stands. Admire the massive collonade of the Temple of Hadrian. Explore the Grand Theater. This impressive structure housed 24,000 spectators and was where Emperors once saw plays, concerts, and gladiatorial fights. Marvel at the ruins of the Artmisission Temple, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Dedicated to the ancient Greek goddess of the hunt, pilgrims from all over the ancient world used to travel to this temple to seek the Goddess’s favor. After touring the temple, enjoy the convenience of being dropped off back at your hotel or the Kusadasi town center and port.

Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, & Artemis Temple Group Tour

10. Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary, & Artemis Temple Group Tour

Discover Ephesus, The House of Virgin Mary, and Artemission Temple on a guided tour. Your guide will have your name sign at the Kusadasi Cruise terminal exit just after you pass customs. Hotel guests (with the private option only) will be picked up from their hotel lobby. After meeting your guide, drive to the House of the Virgin Mary, located in the Aladag Mountains, 5 miles away from Ephesus. Visit Ephesus, one of the 12 cities of the Ionian League, an ancient Greek district on the western coast of Asia Minor, located near Izmir. As a port city, it was a major departure point for trade routes into Asia Minor. Walk through its historic marble streets lined with historic public buildings like the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Grand Theater. Stop at Artemission Temple, which used to be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as your last stop before driving back to Kusadasi town center.

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What people are saying about Ephesus

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 579 reviews

The trip was one of the best planned trips I have ever been on, in the 12+ countries I've visited. Excellent planning, time management, hotels, professional service and food across cities. I'd especially like to say special thanks to our professional tour guides, Gurkan Nakipoglu and Layla Yasar who made the experience extremely memorable. In particular, Gurkan was with us from Izmir through Cappadocia and really provided most valuable information about the history, culture, and curated the type of places we visited. It opened our minds beyond the basic info we had about Turkiye. Similarly Layla's insights on Istanbul and the history of the country was quite enriching. A trip to a country with such great history and culture, is incomplete without gaining such insight and knowledge. Thank you again!! Cheers, Neeraja

The tour was excellent! We were picked up on time at our hotel (they contacted us earlier to confirm). Nisam, our guide joined us in Selcuk. He gave excellent explanations and the tour was really well organised. We visited Selcuk, Epehsos and Sirince. We also had time for shopping. Lunch was also offered and very nice.

The tour guide Nizam was excellent and so was our driver. The pick up was exactly on time and everything was very well arranged. I highly recommend this tour company and the trip to Ephesus!

Well organised tour. Lunch was included and it was very nice. Both the driver and tour guide were good. The tour guide gave a lot of information which was great

Very good guide ! Volkan is very knowledgeable person and very pleasant to be around . Ephesus is a must see experience