Ancient Ephesus & the Virgin Mary's House
Begin your tour with a visit to the house where Jesus' mother is said to have lived the last years of her life. The site, called the Virgin Mary's House, has been officially declared a Catholic shrine and was visited by Pope Paul VI in 1967, Pope John Paul II in 1979, and Pope Benedict XVI in 2006.
In Ephesus, visit the Great Theatre, which dates back to the Hellenistic period. In the 1st century AD, the theatre was reconstructed and expanded by the Romans to a seating capacity of 25,000. This is also the place where St Paul preached to the Ephesians. It is still used for performances today, and the acoustics are excellent.
The Marble Road, which runs between the theatre and the Celsus Library, is part of a sacred walkway that leads you to the Celsus Library and Hadrian's Temple. The temple was dedicated in AD 118 to Hadrian, Artemis and the people of Ephesus. This impressive Corinthian-style temple has beautiful reliefs on the porch, and the Ephesians believed that the Medusa head on the porch would protect the city from its enemies.
Next enjoy a short stop at Cittantica Ephesus Park -- a themed re-creation of Ancient Ephesus, with shopping and restaurants galore.
Return to Kusadasi to enjoy the traditional Turkish experience of sipping apple tea while watching a myriad of colors unfold before your eyes during a carpet demonstration. Those interested in purchasing a carpet can do so with confidence. Those who prefer not to view the carpet demonstration can stay in town to shop or explore independently or make their own way back to the ship on foot.
Although this tour is designed not to involve uphill walking, there is extensive walking required at Ephesus. Ancient Ephesus is not wheelchair accessible. Wear comfortable, non-skid walking shoes. The use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience.