Selcuk Culture & history

Our most recommended Selcuk Culture & history

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.

Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

2. 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 Kusadasi: Half-Day Small Group Ephesus Tour

3. 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.

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 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: Full-Day Small Group Ephesus Tour

5. From Kusadasi: Full-Day Small Group Ephesus Tour

According to your tour pickup time, meet with your guide and start your day. First, visit the House of Virgin Mary. Located 6 km to the north of the ruins of Ephesus, this church was built in 6C AD on top of the foundations of a house from 1C AD. Next check out Ephesus, an archeological treasure and the best preserved classical city in the Eastern Mediterranean. During 1C AD, Ephesus was the second largest city on the planet after Rome with more than 250.000 citizens. It was in the center of the known world and played the role of a gateway between the East and the West. With its giant harbor, it was also the center of trading in antiquity. It is also home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis. Walking on the ancient streets among the beautiful monuments such as the third largest library of the ancient world or the largest roman theatre on the Asia continent gives you the feeling of a time traveler. After lunch, continue to the Temple of Artemis. Its ancient cult dedicated to Artemis was famous in antiquity and made Ephesus a much-visited pilgrimage place. At the end of the tour, head back to your hotel or the port.

Ephesus: Small Group Tour with House of the Virgin Mary

6. 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 Day Tour with Return Flights From Istanbul

7. 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 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.

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

9. 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.

From Istanbul: Day Trip to Ephesus with Flight and Lunch

10. From Istanbul: Day Trip to Ephesus with Flight and Lunch

See the highlights of Ancient Ephesus including the popular pilgrimage sites such as the Temple of Artemis and the House of the Virgin Mary. Get picked up from your hotel in Istanbul and arrive at the airport for a 1.5-hour flight to Izmir. Meet your local driver and enjoy the ride to Selcuk, where you will join other group participants and begin your tour. Start off with a visit to the House of the Virgin Mary, a popular Catholic pilgrimage site known as the house where Mary spent her final days. Contınue on to explore Ancient Ephesus, one of the best preserved classical cities in the Eastern Mediterranean and once considered the most important trading center in the region. Marvel at the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you walk along the streets of Ephesus and admire beautiful monuments such as the third largest library of the ancient world and the largest Roman theater on the Asian continent. Drive back to Izmir for your return flight to Istanbul where your driver will greet you and take you back to your hotel.

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Frequently asked questions about Selcuk

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What are the best day trips and excursions from Selcuk?

The best day trips and excursions from Selcuk are:

Ephesus

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What people are saying about Selcuk

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 210 reviews

Our guide, Gorkem, met us at the port on time and was very knowledgeable about Ephesus. I had a small travel scooter and he was able to accommodate this with no problems. We did visit a carpet shop afterwards which we hadn’t expected but it was very interesting watching the carpets being made and there was no pressure to buy. Altogether a great guide and tour.

Great tour! We had amazing guides and drivers, and felt like we had a good amount of time in each city and location. The tour never felt rushed and everything was organized in advance and ran very smoothly. Would recommend!

This was a fantastic 1-day trip that covered everything I wanted to see in Ephesus while removing all worries; it was completely stress-free from beginning to end.

Very well organized and a great trip. The guides are very knowledgable and know the best routes to see the locations.

Amazing! Nizam is the best everything explained perfectly! It was an incredible and funny tour ☺️