Izmir Province
Nature & Adventure

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Our most recommended Izmir Province Nature & Adventure

From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

1. From Selcuk/Kusadasi/Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

Discover the stunning region of Pamukkale and its hot springs on a day trip from Selcuk, Kusadasi, or Izmir. Begin by meeting your driver/guide at the reception of your hotel in the morning and a transfer to Pamukkale. Explore the ancient city of Hierapolis, built on solid limestone layers formed by mineral-rich waters that flowed for millennia over a raised level plateau. See the most significant sites of the sacred city including the Theatre, the Temple of Apollo, and the Necropolis. Admire the Necropolis (Cemetery) of Hierapolis, one of the largest ancient burial sites in Anatolia. See a Roman bath, the Gate of Domitian, the main street of the ancient city, and the Byzantium Gate. Walk to the natural warm water terraces, formed by running warm water rich in calcium and temperatures of 35 Celsius all year-round. Get the chance to see the gleaming white travertine terraces of Pamukkale, located next to the ruins of Hierapolis. Enjoy optional free time to swim in Cleopatra’s Pool before ending the tour with a transfer back to your hotel.

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Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

2. Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

This full-day tour from Izmir, takes you to Ephesus in Selçuk to explore Turkey’s best preserved ruins from the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations. Visit the most important ruins in Ephesus, including the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World before it was destroyed in 401 AD. You will also see the Library of Celsus, built to hold 12,000 scrolls and at its time one of the largest libraries in the world. The nearby Great Theater, which was the largest outdoor theater in the world, was designed to hold 24,000 people – even its ruins are huge. After discovering the impressive monuments, you will visit the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus. The museum houses many important statues and relics including a preserved segment of the original Temple of Artemis. After enjoying a lunch of traditional Turkish cuisine, you will travel to the House of the Virgin Mary on Bulbul Mountain, where archeologists and historians believe the mother of Jesus lived at the end of her life.

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From Istanbul: Ephesus Full-Day Trip with Flight Tickets

3. From Istanbul: Ephesus Full-Day Trip with Flight Tickets

Start your tour with an early pick up from your hotel in Istanbul around 4:30AM, and transfer to the airport for your flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, your local tour operator will welcome you at the exit gate inside the domestic terminal in the Izmir Airport, where you will see the crew holding a sign with your name. From here your tour begins after meeting with the rest of your tour group., and you will drive for approximately one hour to Ephesus. Visit the Virgin Mary House, a Catholic and Muslim shrine located on Mt. Koressos. Catholic pilgrims visit the house based on the belief that the virgin mother was brought there by St. John, and lived there until her assumption. Following this you will have about 2 hours in the ancient city of Ephesus. Built in the 10th century B.C. on the site of the former Arzawan capital, it flourished after it came under the control of the Roman Republic in 129 B.C. Some of the main sites you will see are the Library of Celsus and the Temple of Hadrian. You will spend about an hour enjoying a typical local open buffet lunch, before heading to the İsabey Mosque, one of the oldest architectural works left from the Anatolian beyliks, with principalities that existed from the 11th to the 13th century. Afterwards, travel to the ruins of the Artemis Temple, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was completely rebuilt three times before its eventual destruction in 401 A.D. Following this you will have chance to stop and see local and traditional goods which are under control of the ministry of culture and tourism of the Turkish Republic. At the conclusion of your tour at around 4:00PM, you will make your way back to the airport and you will board your flight back to the Istanbul. When you arrive at the Istanbul Airport, you will be met at the exit gate inside the domestic terminal, before being transferred back to your Istanbul accommodation.

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Turkey Package Tour - 4 Days

4. Turkey Package Tour - 4 Days

Start your trip at 18:30 to transfer to the bus station for an 8:30 PM overnight bus to Cappadocia. When you arrive to the bus station we transfer your to the starting point of this tour. At 09:30 AM start the day by visiting Devrent Valley. Your next stop will be Pashabagi called also the Monks Valley. Proceed to Avanos (Venessa), the pottery centre of Cappadocia. This village is set on the banks of the Kizilirmak/Red River. The Göreme Open Air Museum is most important. Here Byzantine cave churches are found in these once remote valleys where monks and nuns pursued monastic life from the 3rd century on. From the panoramic view point Esentepe you will be able to experience a complete view of Goreme valley and Goreme village: fairy chimneys, rock formations and cave houses. End your day with a visit to Uchisar Castle. Afterwards you will be taken to your hotel. On this day Lunch is included. On the second day of this tour start with a hike along the Red & Rose Valley, the most breathtakingly and mysteriously beautiful valleys in the region. The hike will end in Cavusin Cave Village, where you will see a rock castle and troglodyte dwellings where people lived until the 20th century. Visit Kaymakli Underground City, one of the largest and deepest of Cappadocia’s many underground settlements. End the day with a visit to the Pigeon Valley where you will enjoy a spectacular view of dovecotes, old abandoned cave homes and old Greek houses of Uchisar. When the tour finishes you will be transferred to the bus station, where you can enjoy some free time until your overnight bus departure to Denizli. On this day breakfast and lunch are included. Upon arriving at Denizli in the morning, your will start your tour at 09.00 AM. Visit Pamukkale and Hierapolis, the Domitian Gate, the Colannaded Gate, a Cathedral, the Red Waters of Karahayit, Pamukkale Museum and the Travertines of Pamukkale. After the tour ends at 7:00 PM, enjoy a bus transfer to Selcuk or Kusadasi, where you will arrive around 7:30 PM at your hotel. On this day lunch is included. On your fourth and last day you will enjoy breakfast and then start your tour of Ephesus, one of the world's finest examples of an ancient classical city. Visit the Temple of Artemis (Diana), the site of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world; the house of the Virgin Mary, where she spent the final years of Her life; Isa Bey Mosque, an impressive mosque from XIV. Century A.D., unlike any other you will see in this country. At 5 PM our tour finishes and you are free until 21.00 PM, when your overnight bus departs for Istanbul. On this day breakfast and lunch are included.  

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Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

5. Ephesus and Pamukkale: Day Trip by Plane from Istanbul

Enjoy a full-day package trip that takes you on a guided tour from Istanbul to 2 of Turkey’s most fascinating attractions: 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. You’ll start your day with pickup from your hotel in Istanbul, bright and early at 5:15 AM for a transfer to the airport for your 7:30 AM flight to Izmir. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted and brought to Ephesus to meet with your guide and take your Ancient City Tour. Ephesus is an 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. Explore the city’s combination of Greek, Roman and Byzantine markers of civilization. Visit the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, the Temples of Hadrian and Domition, the Library of Celcius, the Great Theater (with capacity for 24,000 spectators), the Temple of Artemis, and the House of the Virgin Mary.   On the second half of your day, you’ll be taken to Pamukkale, known for its natural thermal spring waters. Pamukkale means “cotton castle” in Turkish—due to the chemical properties of the water, pure white colored travertines and stepped water terraces have been created on the mountain’s slope, resembling piles of cotton. Visit the ancient city of Hierapolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The highlight of this site will 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. You’ll also see its Necropolis, which contains 1200 gravestones, including that of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos.   After your tour, you’ll be transferred back to Denizli Airport for your 7:00 PM flight to Istanbul, and then taken back to your hotel.

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7 Churches of Asia Minor: 5 Days/4 Nights in 4-Star Hotels

6. 7 Churches of Asia Minor: 5 Days/4 Nights in 4-Star Hotels

Day 1: Izmir Arrival Enjoy the convenience of being picked up at the Izmir airport and driven directly to your hotel where dinner will be served. Day 2: Pergamon, Thyatira, and Izmir After breakfast, drive to Pergamum, now known as Bergama, mentioned in the New Testament as one of the 7 Churches of Asia Minor [Rev. 1:11; 2:12]. Visit the Acropolis of Pergamum, an amphitheater perched dramatically atop a steep hill. Stop at the Asklepion, a famous medical center during the classical era. See the Altar of Zeus, which John the Apostle referred to as the “Throne of Satan.” Walk among the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan, which once housed a library of 200,000 texts, rivaling the Library of Alexandria. Admire the immense walls of the Red Basilica (St. John’s Church). Continue to Thyatira, now called Akhisar, another of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 2:18-24; Acts 16:14]. Known in ancient times for its purple dyes, Thyatira is also the city where St. Lydia once lived. As you make your way through the city, you’ll have the chance to see ruins from Roman times. Enjoy a panoramic ride through Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 2:12-17]. Ascend Mount Pagus and visit the Citadel of Lysimachos, commander of Alexander the Great. See the famous Izmir Clock. Return to the hotel for dinner and some rest. Day 3: Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, and Hierapolis Depart early in the morning to reach one of the most picturesque of the Seven Churches of Asia, Sardis [Rev. 1:11; 3:1-4]. Sardis, now known as Sart was portrayed in the Book of Revelations as a dying church. Visit the Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele, which became churches under the Byzantine empire. See the restored gymnasium and the reconstructed Synagogue. Walk the last several meters of the royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis built by Cyrus the Great. Lay your eyes on the "Golden" river Pactolus. Enjoy lunch en route. Your journey continues once you reach Philadelphia, now known as Alasehir, another of the Churches of Asia, and the only church not censured. Unlike the other 6 churches, they remained steadfast in their faith. Visit the remains of a Byzantine basilica that features 11th-century frescoes. Drive to Hierapolis, a city known for its therapeutic springs. See the Pamukkale, or “Cotton Fortress,” where hot mineral water bursts from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools, channels, and stalactites. Visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip where he was martyred during persecutions ordered by Domitian. Journey on to Laodicea (now called Denizil), another of the Seven Churches of Asia [Rev. 1:11; 3:14; Col. 2:1; 4:13-16]. See the ancient theatre, the remains of a basilica and ancient stone water pipes. Visit the Gate of Domitian, the Arcadian Way, a 2nd-century theatre, the Nymphaion, the Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium and the Necropolis. After a full day of site-seeing, check in at a Thermal hotel and enjoy dinner before having a good night’s rest. Day 4: Ephesus Drive to Kusadasi and visit the ancient city of Ephesus. See the Basilica of St. John, which received an epistle from the apostle Paul who lived in Ephesus for 3 years. Tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city founded over 2 millennia ago. Take a trip back in time as your walk along the marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings such as the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre. See the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, a house said to have been the Virgin Mary’s home in her final years. Afterward, enjoy dinner at your hotel in Kusadasi. Day 5: Izmir Your tour comes to a close, as you are picked up from your hotel in Kusadasi and then transferred to the Izmir airport.

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Ephesus Day Tour with Return Flights From Istanbul

7. Ephesus Day Tour with Return Flights From Istanbul

Explore an 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.

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From Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

8. From Izmir: Pamukkale Full-Day Tour

We will depart from Izmir in the morning and two and a half hours later arrive at Pamukkale which means the cotton castle in Turkish. These white rock formations, known as travertines, are world famous and have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The water of Pamukkale is famous for the benefits it gives to the eyes and skin. It is also said to cure illnesses such as asthma and rheumatism. It is possible to swim in certain areas, so be sure to bring your swimsuit. Many centuries ago the Romans, aware of the powers of Pamukkale’s water, decided to build a large spa city called Hierapolis nearby. We will visit Hierapolis after lunch, which will be provided. Hierapolis means Holy City in Turkish and despite not having been lived in for several centuries it remains a fascinating place to visit. Hierapolis has a well preserved 12,000 seat amphitheater and the massive Necropolis which is the largest ancient graveyard in Anatolia. You will also see the Temple of Apollo and the shrine of the nymphs at this beautiful ancient site. At the end of the day we will drive back to Izmir, where we can drop you off at your hotel or at the airport.

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Ephesus & Sirince Village Tour from İzmir

9. Ephesus & Sirince Village Tour from İzmir

Meet with your professional guide at the port in İzmir. Drive to Ephesus-Selcuk. Ephesus is considered to one of the spectacular open-air museums in Turkey and in the world - and one of the highlights of any visit to Turkey. During this privately guided tour, Ephesus city will come alive as you walk through 2,000 year-old marble streets to admire the Library of Celsius, Hadrian's Temple, the Fountains of Trajan, Polio, The Temples of Hadrian and Domitian, Vedious and Scholastic Baths, Bouloterion, and the Great Theatre with capacity of 24.000 spectators. Then it’s up into the mountains to the lovely little Turkish-Orthodox village of Sirince. Up here, far from the madding crowd, you can wander the narrow streets, where the women sell their handcrafts and oils. You can take a quiet drink in one of the small café’s and sample the local sweet fruity wine. At the end of your day you will return to İzmir port.

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Full-Day Pamukkale Tour from Kusadasi

10. Full-Day Pamukkale Tour from Kusadasi

The rock formations of Pamukkale (literally, "Cotton Castle") are a series of white terraces saturated with dissolved calcium bicarbonate, bubbling up from the feet of the mountains beyond. As the water flows over the edge of the plateau and cools, carbon dioxide is given off and calcium carbonate precipitates as hard chalk, or travertine. The spring emerges in the middle of the ancient resort city of Hierapolis (the ruins themselves are worthy of a stop as well). Sadly, the travertine that makes up the Pamukkale is gradually turning from white to yellow, and is even thought to be drying up. Thirsty hotels are blamed by the government, which has demolished many of them. This is good for the Pamukkale, but it makes finding a hotel increasingly difficult. Most stay in Pamukkale Koyu. The Hierapolis archaeological site lies west of Pamukkale Koyu. Its main features include a temple of Apollo and the adjacent Plutonium, a cavern emitting a deadly sulphur and carbon dioxide gas. East of here is a restored Roman ampitheatre, dating from the second century AD. Most of the stage buildings and their elaborate reliefs remain intact. An interesting part of the city is the colonnaded street, once extending almost 1km to a series of monumental portals. Today, only the most northerly, a triple arch flanked by towers and dedicated to the Emperor Domitian in 84 AD, still stands. Just south of the arch is the elaborate tomb of Flavius Zeuxis. This is only the first of more than a thousand tombs that constitute the full necropolis, the largest in Asia Minor.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Izmir Province

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What people are saying about Izmir Province

Booked a private tour of Ephesus for two people. The driver Oken arrived on time and was very friendly. He gave us a lot of detail and background on the area on our drive to Ephesus where we met our amazing tour guide Metin! The entire experience was amazing and tailored to exactly what we wanted to see. We also got to taste some local/traditional food which was really good. Overal Oken and Metin were an amazing combination and made our experience worth while! I recommend asking for them when you book

I really liked the trip, the experience and the cities through which I did the tour, all the people from the agency and hotel staff, guides, and buses, were very friendly, they tried to make me always comfortable and happy with the service I definitely recommend it. The only thing they must take into account is the waiting time at the bus terminals to travel to each city.

It was a great day. Josh our tour guide is awesome. He knows a lot about that region and tells the stories very detailed. He is very attended and shows everything and u have enogh time to explore a little on your own. My favorites: Paragliding and to swim in Cleopatra's pool.

Ephesus is awe inspiring, a great tour around the excavated parts with a friendly guide, The house of virgin Mary and the church of St. John, the gospel writer, is included. Not to be missed!

This is an excellent option to catch the spirit of Turkey, discovering the primary roots of its history and culture