Ephesus

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Ephesus: Our most recommended tours and activities

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

1. 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 Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

2. 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 Artemis. Here, there will be a good chance to take gorgeous 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.

Private Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary Tour

3. Private Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary Tour

Your guide and driver will welcome you at the reception of the hotel or Kusadasi Port and drive early in the morning to beat the crowds and first drive to the Virgin Mary's House; afterwards, we visit Ephesus which was the second largets city of Roman Empire. Strolling through the streets of Ephesus, will visit the Fountain of Traian, the temple of Hadrian and the Library of Celsus . Visiting the Terrace Houses wil be the highlight of the day: A number of living units where the rich and the dignitary of Ephesus with the most beautiful ground mosaics, frescoes, terra cotta pipe lines and private baths. Later in the afternoon will visit St. John Basilica, believed to be the tomb of the Apostle John, Christ"s beloved disciple. The remaining of artemis Temple can be seen from the top of St. John.

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

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

A professional licenced tour guide will meet with you at Kusadasi port. After meeting your guide, you will drive to the House of Virgin Mary, located in the Aladag Mountains, 5 miles away from Ephesus. You will then visit one of the main highlights in Turkey, 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 wonderful public buildings, among them: the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Grand Theater. You will then 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 and port. Entrance fees are not included in this program; in total they are around 20 USD which can be paid to your guide at the end of the tour in cash. If you want to pay by visa or master card, your guide will stop for a few minutes in the office on your way back to Kusadasi town center.

Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

5. Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

This full-day tour from Izmir, takes you to Ephesus in Selçuk to explore Turkey’s best preserved ruins from the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations. Visit the most important ruins in Ephesus, including the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World before it was destroyed in 401 AD. You will also see the Library of Celsus, built to hold 12,000 scrolls and at its time one of the largest libraries in the world. The nearby Great Theater, which was the largest outdoor theater in the world, was designed to hold 24,000 people – even its ruins are huge. After discovering the impressive monuments, you will visit the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus. The museum houses many important statues and relics including a preserved segment of the original Temple of Artemis. After enjoying a lunch of traditional Turkish cuisine, you will travel to the House of the Virgin Mary on Bulbul Mountain, where archeologists and historians believe the mother of Jesus lived at the end of her life.

Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

6. 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.

Ephesus: Full-Day Archeological Site Tour with Lunch

7. Ephesus: Full-Day Archeological Site Tour with Lunch

Discover the wonders of the archaeological site of Ephesus on a tour that is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Turkey. You’ll begin the full-day tour with a visit to Isa Bey Mosque, one of the most spectacular examples of Anatolian architecture. Head into the ancient city of Ephesus, and take a guided walk to the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Trajan Fountain. Explore the historical marble street, and stop at the Great Theater, where St. Paul preached. Lunch will be an open buffet at a local Turkish restaurant. Afterwards you’ll visit a carpet cooperative to see how the Turkish carpets are made by hand. See the shrine of the Virgin Mary, at the site where it is believed she lived her final years. In the late afternoon you’ll visit the Temple Of Artemis (Diana), on the site of one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World.

Ephesus: Small-Group Shore Excursion with Terrace Houses

8. Ephesus: Small-Group Shore Excursion with Terrace Houses

Visit Ephesus and its attractions on a small-group excursion. See the Terrace Houses, the House of Virgin Mary, and Artemission Temple with entrance fees covered and a licensed tour guide. Meet your tour guide at Kusadasi Cruise Port at the pre-arranged time and begin your 20-minute drive to Ephesus. Once there, begin touring the city, which is one of the 12 cities of the Ionian League. As a port city, this was a major departure point for trade routes into Asia Minor. Walk through history along marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings, among them discover the Baths of Scholastica and the Library of Celsus. Encounter the Temple of Hadrian and The Grand Theater, which are 2 of the most impressive buildings in Ephesus. Visit the Terrace Houses, located on the skirt of Pion Mountain. See the 6 residential units which were built on 3 man-made terraces. These houses are decorated with wall frescoes and floor mosaics, settled by the wealthy citizens of Ephesus. See the House of Virgin Mary, located in the Aladag Mountains, 5 miles away from Ephesus, and learn about its connection to when Mary came to Ephesus in 431 A.D. and why this area became a place of pilgrimage in 1892. Stop at the Artemission Temple, where one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world used to be. This will be the final stop on your tour before your return drive to your point of origin.

From Izmir: Ephesus and The House of Virgin Mary Day Trip

9. From Izmir: Ephesus and The House of Virgin Mary Day Trip

Depart from Izmir for a site and history-filled day in Ephesus with a private guide and vehicle. Visit the House of Virgin Mary, the Temple of Artemis, and the Ephesus ruins. Get a real feel for this unique area and its history. Get picked up at the Izmir Harbor, Izmir airport, or your hotel in Izmir and head off to Ephesus on an approximately 1 hour and 20-minute drive. En route, hear about the locations you'll visit. Arrive at the House Of Virgin Mary and tour the fascinating and spiritual location. Head on to the next destination which will be the Ancient City of Ephesus. Take a walking tour through one of the most magnificent archaeological sites in the world. Marvel at the Odeon, The Fountain of Trajan, Scholastica Baths, the Temple of Hadrian, and of course the very impressive library of Ephesus. Return to the van through the Arcadian Way where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession. After your 2-hour exploration around Ephesus, take an hour for lunch. Continue to the next stop, the Temple of Artemis (Diana), built in honor of the Greek Goddess and deemed one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Your guide will describe the significance of this massive structure, which was the largest marble temple in the Ancient Greek world and of which today little remains. After your full-day private tour of Ephesus, relax on a comfortable drive back to your preferred drop-off location in Izmir.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

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

Enjoy a full-day package trip that takes you on a guided tour from Istanbul to 2 of Turkey’s most fascinating attractions: 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. You’ll start your day with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul, bright and early at 5:15 AM for a transfer to the airport for your 7:30 AM flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted and brought to Ephesus to meet with your guide and take your Ancient City Tour. Ephesus is an 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. Explore the city’s combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine markers of civilization. Visit the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domition, the Library of Celcius, the Great Theater (with capacity for 24,000 spectators), the Temple of Artemis, and the House of the Virgin Mary.   On the second half of your day, you’ll be taken to Pamukkale, known for its natural thermal spring waters. Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish—due to the chemical properties of the water, pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces have been created on the mountain’s slope, resembling piles of cotton. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of this site will 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. You’ll also see its Necropolis, which contains 1200 gravestones, including that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos.   After your tour, you’ll be transferred back to Denizli Airport for your 7:00 PM flight to Istanbul, and then taken back to your hotel.

Frequently asked questions about Ephesus

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To enter Ephesus, you need to have a ticket or be part of a guided tour.

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What people are saying about Ephesus

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 431 reviews

Not wanting to spend my whole evening explaining how great this tour was, I'll summarize. Full disclosure, this a very long day, and the tour guides will get the most out of it making it definitely feel very worth while. We took the plane from Istanbul to Izmir and was greeted by a driver and only one other traveller - making our group 3 for the day. After we picked up our amazing guide, Nizam, we went to everywhere that was listed in the description. However, we beat the crowds to every single place. So as we were leaving, the places filled up. On top of that, we had an extremely knowledgeable and fun local guide, who took us onto a lot of things that aren't in the description. We all had a fabulous day together, finished off with some wine tasting. As someone that never likes guided tours, I highly, highly recommend this.

Pick up from my hotel in Istanbul was on time, and was greeted at Izmir airport then traveled by van to Selchuk. Pacing was OK, maybe this was because we were just 6 and with some senior citizens. Finished the tour early, about 3 pm, then was driven straight back to Izmir airport. Unfortunately the tour to Sirince didn't proceed, probably because I was the only one among the 6 who booked it.

Excellent trip and well worth the effort. Could have spent more time at Ephesus but did not realise it was a walkthrough. Ismail was a great guide.

Nizam was a wonderful guide and a great sense of humour. Also very knowledgeable. Highly recommended!

Beautiful places. The hardworking guide to speak Spanish. Very nice