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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 Kusadasi: Half-Day Small Group Ephesus Tour

2. From Kusadasi: Half-Day Small Group Ephesus Tour

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, House of Virgin Mary, & Artemis Temple Group Tour

3. 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.

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.

Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

5. 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: Guided Walking Tour

6. Ephesus: Guided Walking Tour

Join this shared or private walking tour of Ephesus with an expert guide. After you get some general information about this spectacular ancient city, enjoy walking in its marble streets. Visit the parliament building. You can even sit there and feel like a Roman senator. Walk in the upper agora and see the temple of the cruel Roman emperor Domitian. Walk through the Hercules gate and enjoy the magnificent view of the lower city. See the beautiful Roman shops with mosaics and enter the best preserved ancient library in the world. Visit the Grand Theater with a capacity of 25,000 seats.

From Istanbul: Ephesus & Pamukkale 2-Day Trip with Flights

7. From Istanbul: Ephesus & Pamukkale 2-Day Trip with Flights

Visit the ruins of Ephesus and the pools of Pamukkale on this 2-day tour from Istanbul. Fly from Istanbul and stay overnight in Kusadasi as you travel to Turkey's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Day 1 Begin your travels with a pickup from your hotel in Istanbul. Your driver will take you to the airport so you can board your 1.5-hour flight to Izmir. At your arrival, you wıll be greeted by your driver and safely taken to Selcuk to meet with your group participants and start your full-day tour. During the course of your day break for lunch. Head to the House of Virgin Mary, a church built on the top of the foundations of a structure thought to be the house where the Assumption happened and Mary spent her last days. Continue on to Ephesus, an archeological treasure and well-preserved classical city in the Eastern Mediterranean. See one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Temple of Artemis, and walk along ancient streets before you concluding your day with a drive to your hotel for a 1-night stay. Day 2 Enjoy your hotel breakfast and check out in the morning to start your full-day tour. Go to Pamukkale, also know as the Pools of Heaven on Earth. See why Pamukkale was a popular settlement and be mesmerized by its hot springs. Head to the ancient city of Hierapolis, home to the biggest necropolis in Anatolia, and see the Sacred Pool, a stunning site of thermal waters rippling over scattered ancient ruins. After your day tour, you will be driven to Cardak Airport for your return flight back to Istanbul. Upon arrival ın Istanbul you will be greeted by your driver and transferred safely back to your hotel.

Ephesus: Small Group Tour with House of the Virgin Mary

8. 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.

From Istanbul: Ephesus Full-Day Tour

9. 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.

Ruins of Ephesus & The Temple of Artemis Small Group Tour

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Ephesus

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 579 reviews

This was our first time in Turkey. We came on a Princess cruise and booked this tour in advance. This tour and our guide Nafia was amazing. Nafia met us right outside of the cruise terminal when we got outside. She is a local and extremely passionate about Turkey. She took us to see everything we wanted and more. Nafia went above and beyond, she has amazing knowledge about the history of each and every place we went to see. We highly recommend Nafia and this tour. We will definitely come back to Kusadaski again because of her and the amazingly warm friendly people of Turkey.

Although the pick up was a bit late, i thouroughly enjoyed the tour: Other than meal stlops and another rest stop, we only and one “stop” at a ceramics place which was interesting so that was okay. Generally I don’t like stopping at shops and other places and rather spend more time at the destination.

Five stars all around. We were picked up right on the dot. We were transported in a highly comfortable Mercedes van to the temple of Artemis and then to Ephesus. Our guide Metin was highly knowledgeable, very fluent in English and had a great sense of humour. Highly recommend

Our guide was fantastic and knowledgeable, knew a great deal about all of the sites. Would definitely recommend!

Gorky was very kind and very knowledgeable. Nice transportation, tour and on time.