6. From Kusadasi Port: Ephesus Full-Day Private Trip
Rich in Greek, Roman, and Biblical history, Ephesus boasts an extraordinary number of superbly preserved monuments. This guided, full-day tour from Kusadasi takes you to explore its many amazing sites, including the revered House of the Virgin Mary.
Ephesus is the best-preserved classical city on the Mediterranean, and perhaps the best place in the world to get a feeling of what life was like in Roman times. Walk along its remarkably well-preserved marble streets, flanked by columns, temples, and fountains. See fascinating ancient structures such as the Temple of Hadrian, the stunning facade of the Library of Celsus, and the Great Theater. Your expert guide will provide information about the many remarkable sites you encounter throughout the day.
The House of the Virgin Mary lies just beyond Ephesus. According to Christian tradition, Mary was brought here by the Apostle John after the Resurrection of Christ and lived her final days in this house. A small shrine dedicated to St. Mary was found when the ruins of the house were first discovered. The Vatican has since recognized the site as the final resting place of the Virgin.
The Best of Ephesus
Begin your day with a visit to the house where Jesus’ mother is said to have lived the last years of her life. The site, called the House of Virgin Mary, is a Catholic shrine and was visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967, Pope John Paul II in 1979, and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006. Visit ancient Ephesus, one of the most magnificent and best-preserved archaeological sites in the world. See the Odeon Theatre, the Market Basilica, Curetes Street, the Baths, the Celsus Library, Marble Street, and the Great Theatre. The latter has a seating capacity of 25,000 people and is still used for concerts today. Don’t miss the Terrace Houses located opposite Hadrian's Temple -- a newly excavated section. The wealthy and important people of Ephesus used these houses, which are finely decorated with mosaics and frescoes giving a true impression of the ancient lifestyle. Also of interest is the Basilica of St John. Back in Kusadasi, you can choose to shop in town, watch a Turkish carpet demonstration, or return directly to the ship.
The private excursions on V.I.P standards are cheaper than cruise companies' excursion rates which are designed for the big crowded groups.