House of Virgin Mary

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House of Virgin Mary: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

1. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

Discover the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis on this two-day trip from Istanbul. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus where you can see the Temple of Artemis. Experience the beauty of the natural white terraces created by mineral deposits at the hot springs in Pamukkale. Stay overnight in the town of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Treat yourself to breakfast at the hotel. Try authentic Turkish food with lunch at two local restaurants during your tours. Day 1: Be picked from your accommodation in Istanbul and relax on the drive to the airport. Enjoy a comfortable flight to the city of Izmir. Meet your guide at the airport and drive to the tour provider's office in the town of Selcuk. Take a break with lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the archeological site at Ephesus to start your guided tour. Walk through the ancient streets and see one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. View the façade of one of the largest libraries from Roman times at the Library of Celsus. Stop at the House of the Virgin Mary where the religious figure is said to have spend her last days. See the remains of an old Roman Amphitheater. Learn about these ruins from your local guide. Drive to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi where you can rest for the evening. Day 2: In the morning, be picked up by your guide from your hotel. Enjoy the scenic Turkish countryside on the drive to Pamukkale. Hear about area and culture from your guide. Have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before starting your tour of the ruins of Hierapolis. Stroll to the remains of a massive Roman amphitheater that once held an audience of 15,000. Admire the marble staircase at the Greek Temple of Apollo. Watch as your guide points out all the significant structures in the archeological site of Hierapolis. Take off your shoes and walk along the white terraces of Pamukkale. Dip your feet in the natural hot springs. Swim amid the ruins of a temple in Cleopatra's Pool. Have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Take it easy on the ride back to the airport where you can catch your flight back to Istanbul. Once you arrive in Istanbul, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your accommodation in Istanbul.

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From Istanbul: Ephesus & Şirince Day Trip w/ Wine Tasting

2. From Istanbul: Ephesus & Şirince Day Trip w/ Wine Tasting

Spend the day exploring the most memorable places in Ephesus and Şirince on this guided full-day tour from Istanbul, lunch included. Visit the House of Virgin Mary, see the Temple of Artemis, and taste local wine at a vineyard. Enjoy convenient round-trip transportation from Istanbul. Start your trip by getting picked up from your hotel in Istanbul and transferred to the Istanbul Airport for your flight from Istanbul to Izmir. Upon arrival at Izmir Airport, meet your driver to head to Ephesus to start the tour. First, stop at the House of Virgin Mary, the place where Mary may have spent her last days. This place was officially declared a shrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1986, and since then it has become a popular place of pilgrimage. The visit to the House of Virgin Mary takes about 45 minutes. After, take a 5-minute drive to Ephesus to continue the tour. Ephesus is an exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions of the Hellenistic, Roman Imperial, and early Christian periods. The city is an important site for Christianity as one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Walk along the city’s marble streets accompanied by a tour guide. See the Ephesus Odeon, Ephesus Prytaneion, State Agora, Memmius Monument, Temple of Domitian, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Temple of Hadrian, and Ephesus Latrines. Next, optionally visit The Private House (so-called “Terrace Houses” brothel). Afterward, carry on to the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, the great theater, and Arcadian Street (Harbor Road). Later, head to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Get a chance to take memorable photos of the Church of St. John and İsa Bey Mosque. Before the end of the tour, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afterward, head to Şirince, an old village of Rûm (Byzantine Greeks) situated on the hills of Selçuk, 7 km from Ephesus. The village is popular for beautiful traditional houses and fruit-flavored wine production. Complete your experience with free time for a wine tasting. At the end of your trip, get transferred back to the airport for your flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival in Istanbul, a driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you back to your hotel in the evening.

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From Izmir: Full-Day Small-Group Ephesus Tour

3. From Izmir: Full-Day Small-Group 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.

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

4. 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 the 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, market place 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.

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From Istanbul: Ephesus Full-Day Trip with Flight Tickets

5. From Istanbul: Ephesus Full-Day Trip with Flight Tickets

Start your tour with an early pick up from your hotel in Istanbul around 4:30AM, and transfer to the airport for your flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, your local tour operator will welcome you at the exit gate inside the domestic terminal in the Izmir Airport, where you will see the crew holding a sign with your name. From here your tour begins after meeting with the rest of your tour group., and you will drive for approximately one hour to Ephesus. Visit the Virgin Mary House, a Catholic and Muslim shrine located on Mt. Koressos. Catholic pilgrims visit the house based on the belief that the virgin mother was brought there by St. John, and lived there until her assumption. Following this you will have about 2 hours in the ancient city of Ephesus. Built in the 10th century B.C. on the site of the former Arzawan capital, it flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 B.C. Some of the main sites you will see are the Library of Celsus and the Temple of Hadrian. You will spend about an hour enjoying a typical local open buffet lunch, before heading to the İsabey Mosque, one of the oldest architectural works left from the Anatolian beyliks, with principalities that existed from the 11th to the 13th century. Afterwards, travel to the ruins of the Artemis Temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was completely rebuilt three times before its eventual destruction in 401 A.D. Following this you will have chance to stop and see local and traditional goods which are under control of the ministry of culture and tourism of the Turkish Republic. At the conclusion of your tour at around 4:00PM, you will make your way back to the airport and you will board your flight back to the Istanbul. When you arrive at the Istanbul Airport, you will be met at the exit gate inside the domestic terminal, before being transferred back to your Istanbul accommodation.

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Selcuk: Full-Day Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary Tour

6. Selcuk: Full-Day Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary Tour

Following a pickup from your hotel in Selcuk, enjoy a short drive to Ephesus in a comfortable, air-conditioned minivan. Start by visiting the extensive ruins in the ancient city. Admire the fascinating ancient structures surrounding you, including the spectacular Temple of Hadrian, the stunning facade of the Library of Celsus, and the vast Great Theater.     Continue the tour to the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Then, stop by the house of Virgin Mary, a popular place of pilgrimage for Catholics, where it is believed the Virgin Mary spent the remainder of her life. Located on top of Bulbul Mountain, it offers visitors a panoramic view of the town.   Finally, explore the Isa Bey Mosque and marvel at its crown-like doors, a jewel of Seljukian architecture combined with decorative elements from the Ottoman Empire.

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Private Ephesus Tour

7. Private Ephesus Tour

Meet with your professional guide at Kusadasi Port or hotel. Drive to Ephesus-Selcuk. Ephesus is considered to one of the spectacular open-air museums in Turkey and in the world and one of the highlights of any visit to Turkey. During this privately guided tour, Ephesus city will come alive as you walk through 2,000 year-old marble streets to admire the Library of Celsius, Hadrians Temple, the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domitian, Vedious and Scholastic Baths, Bouloterion, and the Great Theater with a capacity of 24.000 spectators. Also visit the Terrace Houses which are located on the slopes of Bulbul Mountain, opposite the Hadrian Temple. The Terrace Houses, also called “the houses of rich”, were for the important and wealthy people with beautiful frescoes and mosaics inside. After visiting Ephesus, continue on to the House of Virgin Mary. The Vatican has recognized this small house in the Solmissos Mountains as the final resting place of the Virgin Mary. A small shrine dedicated to St. Mary was found when the ruins of the house were first discovered. Lastly, visit the Basilica of St. John. Built by the Emperor Justinian over the tomb of St. John the Apostle, the Basilica, now in ruins, once rivaled St. Sophia in size. At the end of the day you will return to Kusadasi Port or hotel  

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From Cappadocia: Ephesus and Pamukkale 3-Day Private Trip

8. From Cappadocia: Ephesus and Pamukkale 3-Day Private Trip

Explore the most iconic Roman archaeological sites in Turkey on an all-inclusive trip. Learn about the history of Ephesus and Hierapolis from an expert guide. Enjoy the natural hot springs and unique landscape at Pamukkale. Day 1: Meet your driver at your hotel reception for airport transfer. Catch a flight to Izmir. Be greeted by a representative upon your arrival at Izmir Airport. Be transferred to your hotel in Ephesus and get a good night's sleep. Day 2: Begin the day with a hearty breakfast at your hotel. Get ready for a day of exploring the ancient ruins of Ephesus with a hotel pickup. Visit the Library of Celsus, Temple of Hadrian, Open Air Theatre, Virgin Mary House, St. John Basilica, Isa Bey Mosque, and Artemis Temple. Stroll past massive Roman pillars, city walls, and towers. Conclude the tour at around 5 PM and be whisked away to your next destination. Spend the night in Pamukkale. Day 3: After having breakfast at your hotel, meet your guide for a guided tour of Pamukkale. Visit the cotton-colored White Travertines formed by warm spring water. Pamukkale is a UNESCO world heritage site owing to the Greco-Roman city of Hierapolis where you can see the Necropolis, Roman Bath, St. Philipe Martyrum, and Apollo Temple. Unwind in the natural baths with views of the city’s ruins. Conclude the day tour by 5 PM. Transfer to the airport to catch a flight back to Istanbul. Upon your arrival in Istanbul, meet your driver and be taken back your Istanbul hotel.

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Ephesus: Full-Day Private Shore Excursion with Skip-the Line

9. Ephesus: Full-Day Private Shore Excursion with Skip-the Line

After pickup from the pier, start your tour with a 20-minute drive to Ephesus. Visit the ancient city of Ephesus for 1 hour 45 minutes. Ephesus is one of the most well-preserved Greco-Roman ancient cities in the world, famous for the Odeon home to music concerts; the Domitian Temple, one of the first temples in the history dedicated to humans; the Celcius Library,the third biggest library in the ancient world; the amphitheater, one of the biggest amphitheaters in the world with a 24000 person capacity, where St. Paul preached; Roman Baths; fountains; temples; Agora; and the Love House.  Visit the House of Virgin Mary, one of the pilgrimage centers of Christians and the site where Virgin Mary passed her time and died. Discover its history with the former Popes, and see the gifts they brought for this shrine. Next, stop at the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient age. Enjoy a local lunch before heading back to Kusadasi town center and port.

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From Kusadasi Port: Ephesus Full-Day Private Trip

10. From Kusadasi Port: Ephesus Full-Day Private Trip

Rich in Greek, Roman, and Biblical history, Ephesus boasts an extraordinary number of superbly preserved monuments. This guided, full-day tour from Kusadasi takes you to explore its many amazing sites, including the revered House of the Virgin Mary. Ephesus is the best-preserved classical city on the Mediterranean, and perhaps the best place in the world to get a feeling of what life was like in Roman times. Walk along its remarkably well-preserved marble streets, flanked by columns, temples, and fountains. See fascinating ancient structures such as the Temple of Hadrian, the stunning facade of the Library of Celsus, and the Great Theater. Your expert guide will provide information about the many remarkable sites you encounter throughout the day. The House of the Virgin Mary lies just beyond Ephesus. According to Christian tradition, Mary was brought here by the Apostle John after the Resurrection of Christ and lived her final days in this house. A small shrine dedicated to St. Mary was found when the ruins of the house were first discovered. The Vatican has since recognized the site as the final resting place of the Virgin. The Best of Ephesus Begin your day with a visit to the house where Jesus’ mother is said to have lived the last years of her life. The site, called the House of Virgin Mary, is a Catholic shrine and was visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967, Pope John Paul II in 1979, and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Visit ancient Ephesus, one of the most magnificent and best-preserved archaeological sites in the world. See the Odeon Theatre, the Market Basilica, Curetes Street, the Baths, the Celsus Library, Marble Street and the Great Theatre. The latter has a seating capacity of 25,000 people and is still used for concerts today. Don’t miss the Terrace Houses located opposite Hadrian's Temple -- a newly excavated section. The wealthy and important people of Ephesus used these houses, which are finely decorated with mosaics and frescoes giving a true impression of the ancient lifestyle. Also of interest is the Basilica of St John. Back in Kusadasi, you can choose to shop in town, watch a Turkish carpet demonstration, or return directly to the ship.  The private excursions on V.I.P standards are cheaper than cruise company's excursion rates which are designed for the big crowded groups.

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What people are saying about House of Virgin Mary

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 51 reviews

Very pleasant/relaxing tour to Ephesus - Nizam, the tour guide knew his material and was good at engaging all tour guests. If you're short on time or just want to understand a little more history, I would definitely recommend this tour. The only thing I would cut out would be the fashion show/factory tours.

We had a wonderful time with Nizam of Apasas Travel, who was knowledgeable and engaging. He put us at ease immediately with his warmth and great sense of humour. Highly recommend Nizam and this tour for anyone visiting Ephesus.

Excellent all around, Good communication, On time schedule, Friendly and professional services, Excellent drivers and a fantastic tour guide, Mr Nizam, Thank you for a great day of activity.

This tour was fascinating, we got to see so much in one day. Our guide Nizam was great craic and so knowledgeable about everything.

It was great, the guide Nizam was very friendly and had a lott of information about everything..highly recommend this to everyone