Ephesus Full Day Tour
In the morning you meet your private guide and driver for a full day tour of Ephesus, located just 1 hour away.
Ephesus, a UNESCO site and one of the largest and best-preserved ancient cities in the world, is a must for those who are interested in archaeology and culture. Ephesus, once the most important commercial center of the western Anatolia, is one of the top highlights of Turkey. Temple of Artemis, one of the “Seven Wonders of the World" has once been located here as well. Together with your guide you enter through the Magnesia Gate and begin a slow, downhill walk into the ruins of this Roman provincial capital. Your route takes you past the Odeon, the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Great Theater. The theater had seating for 25,000 spectators, which was the site where St. Paul preached to the Ephesians, and is used today for a local spring festival.
You stop for a traditional Turkish open-air lunch just outside of Ephesus (lunch is not included) before continuing the tour. After a break for lunch, you proceed to the Archeological Museum, where you are escorted through the nine exhibits tracing the religious and chronological history of the ancient city. Filled with attractively displayed mosaics, statuary, and other artefacts, the museum exhibits several marble statues of the Mother Goddess Artemis. The Open Air Museum and the Archeology Museum combined give you a very fulfilling idea of the city of Ephesus and its importance in the ancient times.
Today you also visit the House of the Virgin Mary, the place where Mary may have spent her last days. Indeed, she may have come in the area together with Saint John, who spent several years in the area to spread Christianity. Although this sights has never been officially recognised by the Catholic Church as the home of Mary, a lot of gestures made by the popes authenticated its history in the eyes of the faithful and House of the Virgin Mary became a major place of Christian pilgrimage.
Another sight on your list for today is the ruins of St. John’s Basilica. It is believed that the evangelist St. John spent his last years in this region and was buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. Three hundred years after the death of St. John, a small chapel was constructed over the grave in the 4th century. The church of St John was changed into a marvellous basilica during the region of Emperor Justinian.
Please note: The site requires stair climbing at the entrance and walking over uneven ground, stones and gravel walkways. The site has some fallen ruins and some light climbing will be required.
After the tour you are transferred to your hotel in Izmir.