Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey
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Approximately 4 Hours
Visit the house of the Virgin Mary, declared a place of pilgrimage in 1892 by the Archbishop of Smyrna. Archaeological evidence shows that the little house you will see today dates only from the 6th century, but that the foundations are indeed from the first century AD. From a distance, your guide will point out the location of the Great Theatre of Ephesus. A panoramic drive takes you from Ephesus' Upper Gate to the Isa Bey Mosque via St John's Basilica and Selçuk Castle. The Isabey Mosque was constructed in 1375 and is amazingly intact today. It is one of the oldest and most impressive works of architecture remaining from the Anatolian beyliks. View the beautiful courtyard and the ruins of the Temple of Artemis -- a Greek temple dedicated to the goddess who was Apollo's sister. When it was standing, the Temple of Artemis was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but in fact it was destroyed and completely rebuilt three times before its eventual demise in AD 401. Only the foundations and sculptural fragments of the latest of the temples remain at the site today. Light refreshments will be served at a local weaving village before you return to the ship.
Shade is limited; please dress accordingly. Bring a hat and wear sunscreen. Expect crowding at some locations. Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience. Wear comfortable, non-skid walking shoes.