Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 7 Hours
Meals not included
"Located within what was once the estuary of the River Kaystros, Ephesus comprises successive Hellenistic and Roman settlements founded on new locations, which followed the coastline as it retreated westward. Excavations have revealed grand monuments of the Roman Imperial period including the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre. Little remains of the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World, which drew pilgrims from all around the Mediterranean. Since the 5th century, the House of the Virgin Mary, a domed cruciform chapel seven kilometers from Ephesus, became a major place of Christian pilgrimage. The Ancient City of Ephesus is an outstanding example of a Roman port city, with sea channel and harbor basin."
Showcasing the religious history of ancient Turkey, your day starts with a pleasant drive through the countryside to visit the city of Ephesus. The stunning structures here, dating predominantly from the later Roman period, include the façade of the Celsus Library and Hadrian's Temple. The Sacred Way was one of the main thoroughfares used by the Romans.
You will also visit the Terrace Houses located opposite Hadrian's Temple -- a newly-excavated residential section of Ephesus. The wealthy and important people of Ephesus used these houses, so they are finely decorated with mosaics and frescoes, giving a true impression of the ancient lifestyle. Those on the upper slopes of Bulbul Mountain are reached by steps, and the roof of one house forms the terrace of the one above it.
Continuing from the library to the end of the marble street, you can look up at Ephesus' impressive amphitheatre where St Paul preached to the Ephesians.
In the town of Seljuk, you will visit the ruins of the Basilica of St John. The Basilica had a cruciform plan with four domes along its longitudinal axis and a pair flanking the central dome to form the arm of the cross. The tomb of St John was placed under the central dome.
Visit Solmissos -- a setting that, to some, is a shrine; to others it is a mere curiosity. It is reputedly the home of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Archaeological evidence shows that the little house you will see here dates from the 6th century AD, but that its foundations are indeed from the 1st century AD. This ties in with the commonly held belief that Mary moved to Turkey after the crucifixion.
Enjoy a delicious and exclusive picnic-style lunch at the site of the Harbor Baths in the heart of Ephesus -- an amazing opportunity to rest and refuel among some of the most famous ruins in the world.
Returning to Kusadasi to enjoy a optional carpet demonstration and some time for shopping. Explore the town and return to the pier at your own pace.
Please note: Tour requires two hours of walking in Ephesus, mostly downhill at a slow pace; however, the Terrace Houses are on an incline and require some stair-climbing. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Shade is limited; to avoid sunburn, wear light, long clothing suitable for use as a cover-up. Bring a hat and sunglasses; wear biodegradable sunscreen. Bring bottled water.