Izmir (Ephesus), Turkey
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Approximatley 8½ Hours
Showcasing the religious history of Ancient Turkey, this tour begins with a pleasant drive through the countryside to visit the ruins of the city of Ephesus. The ruins date predominantly from the later Roman period and include the towering façade of the Celsus Library and Hadrian's Temple, as well as the Sacred Way, which was one of the main thoroughfares used by the Ancient Romans. Visit 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. Those on the upper slopes are reached via steps and situated on the slopes of Bulbul Mountain with the roof of one house forming the terrace of the one above it. Continuing from the library to the end of the marble street, you will take in Ephesus' impressive amphitheatre, where St Paul preached to the Ephesians. From Ephesus, you will drive towards town of Seljuk. Here 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 and the tomb of St John was placed under the central dome. Next, head to Mt Pagus—a setting that is a shrine to some and a curiosity to others. It is reputedly the home of Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ. Archaeological evidence shows that the little house here dates from the 6th century AD, but that its foundations are from the 1st century AD. This ties in with the commonly held belief that Mary moved to Turkey. Enjoy a lunch of Turkish specialties in a 5* deluxe hotel; then you’ll set out for the resort town of Kusadasi to see a demonstration of handmade Turkish carpets. At the end of your visits you will return to the port at Izmir.
It takes approximately two hours to walk through the ruins; the pace is slow and over uneven surfaces. Shade is limited; please dress accordingly. Bring a hat and wear sunscreen. The drive to Ephesus is approximately 75 minutes each way.