Explore the ancient cities of Turkey on a 5-day tour of Ephesus, Hierapolis and Aphrodisas, with overnight transfers from Istanbul. Visit the Home of the Virgin Mary, go to the thermal springs of Pamukkale, learn about the cult of Aphrodite, and more.
What to Expect
Discover the ancient cities of Anatiolia on a 3-day tour of Ephesus, Hierapolis, Priene, and Miletus, with round-trip overnight coach transfers from Istanbul. Travel through great empires and epochs as you explore the ruins of Ephesus, experience the spirituality of the house thought to be where the Virgin Mary spent her last days, and marvel at the white limestone deposits of the hot springs of Pamukkale. Your overnight accommodation will be in a 4-star hotel or boutique equivalent, with evenings free to explore at leisure.
Day 1: Overnight Transfer Istanbul - Ephesus
Transfer by overnight coach from Istanbul, departing from the operator’s central office at 20:00 for the 21:00 coach departure. Relax in air-conditioned comfort on the 10-hour journey.
Day 2: Ephesus
Following your overnight transfer from Istanbul, you will be taken to Selcuk, site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World. Continue to Ephesus, and explore the archaeological site’s main monuments, including the impressive amphitheater, the ruins of the Temple of Hadrian, and the extraordinary Library of Celsus, once able to store over 12,000 scrolls. To date, the largest collection of Roman ruins in the eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus was the religious and social center of antiquity, revealing layers of history that cover the archaic, classical, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras.
After lunch, go to the House of the Virgin Mary, thought to be where she spent the last years of her life. Experience the spiritual peace of the site before going to the impressive 14th-century Isa Bey Mosque on the outskirts of the Ayasluğ Hills. Transfer to your hotel accommodation in Kusadasi for an evening at leisure.
Day 3: Pamukkale - Hierapolis
Today you will visit the travertines (limestone deposits) of Pamukkale, and explore the neighboring ancient city of Hierapolis. Transfer to Pamukkale in the Büyük Menderes River valley, stopping for lunch and the chance to swim in the thermal waters en route. Get up-close to the limestone deposits known to locals as “cotton castles,” and learn how the chemical properties in the water create the white travertines and stepped water terraces of the mountain slopes. Next, explore the ancient city of Hierapolis to see the largest necropolis of Anatolia. Return to your hotel in Kusadasi for an evening at leisure.
Day 4: Priene - Miletus - Didyma
Drive to the former harbor city of Priene in the Mykale Mountains in the morning to see many fine examples of Hellenic art and architecture. The theater is considerd one of the most beautiful from the Hellenic World, but other highlights include the Athena Polias Temple, reconstructed by Alexander The Great as a gift to the city. Continue to Miletos, once one of the largest cities of Anatolia due to its strategic position on the trade routes. After lunch, continue to Didyma to see the ruins of the Temple of Apollo. Once one of the largest temples of the Hellenic World, it rivalled Delphi for the renown of its oracle. Transfer back to your hotel at around 17.00 for the 21:00 overnight bus departure to İstanbul.
Day 5: Departure
Your scheduled arrival in Istanbul is 07:00. Upon arrival, take the free shuttle service at the bus station to get to Sultanahmet Square, or catch the public transport links to Ataturk Airport for your onward flight.
- Accommodation in 3-star hotels or similar boutique hotels
- Meals throughout the tour as per the itinerary above
- Transportation by air-conditioned bus
- Licensed guides
- Entrance fees to museums as per itinerary
What's Not Included
- Tips (optional) and personal expenses
Know Before You Go
• Local tours may include some shopping opportunities, if time allows
• Please note that quoted price is per person, based on accommodation on a double/twin room basis. A single supplement of EUR 40 applies