See the best sights of Ephesus on this full-day tour with private guide. Marvel at monuments from the Ephesus Ancient City, Temple of Artemis, Temple of Hadrian, Library of Celsus, 24.000-seat Great Theater and the Home of Virgin Mary.
What to Expect
In the morning take a flight from Istanbul to Izmir. Arrive at Izmir Airport at 09.00 a.m. Met by your tour guide you drive to Ephesus (45 minutes). First visit the Artemission Temple where is one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. Continue to Ephesus. Visit Ephesus, one of the 12 cities of Ionia (an ancient Greek district on the western coast of Asia Minor) that is located near Izmir. As a port city at the mouth of the Cayster (modern Küçükmenderes) River, it was a major departure point for trade routes into Asia Minor. Known in antiquity for its sacred shrines, notably a famous temple (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) to the goddess Artemis, or Diana, the city was also an important center of early Christianity.
Already a great trading and religious center during the time of the Greeks, Ephesus grew in importance after the Romans assumed control, becoming a provincial capital with traders and Christian pilgrims coming from all parts of the known world. One of the major sites at Ephesus is the beautiful Celsus Library; it was built in the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. by Gaius Julius Aquila to be a memorial to his father Gaius Julius Celsus Polemanus, the proconsul of Province of Asia. The columns at the sides of the facade are shorter than those at the center, giving the illusion of the building being greater in size.
Between 1973 and 1977, an earthquake proof reconstruction of the facade was completed. The Grand Theater is one of the most impressive buildings in Ephesus. Built in the 6th century B.C. it was later expanded in the 1st century A.D. by the Romans to hold a capacity of 24,000 people. The theater was the place where St. Paul preached. Opposite is the Temple of Hadrian built in the 2nd century A.D. and renovated in the 4th century in the name of Emperor Hadrian.
After Ephesus, lunch will be served in the garden of a local handicrafts center. Here you can see some of the traditional carpet weaving techniques used and enjoy viewing some splendid displays of beautiful carpets. Afterwards, visit the House of Virgin Mary. This house is located on the Aladag Mountains 5 miles from Ephesus. At the third Ecumenical Council of 431 in Ephesus, it was claimed that Mary came to Ephesus with St. John in 37 A.D. and lived there until her death in 48 A.D. After the discovery of the house, the Archbishop of Izmir declared it a place of pilgrimage in 1892. On July 26, 1967, Pope Paul VI visited this place and prayed here. At 5 pm, drive to Izmir airport for your flight back to Istanbul at 19.00. After 1 hour flight arrival in Istanbul at 20.00 and the end of the services.
- Airfare Istanbul/Izmir/Istanbul
- A/C Minivan
- Private guide
- Hotel pick up and drop off
- Entrance fees
- All local taxes
What's Not Included
- Personal expenses
- Tips for guide and driver