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Izmir Small group activities

Our most recommended Izmir Small group activities

From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

1. From Izmir: Full-Day Ephesus Tour

Start with a pickup from your hotel in Izmir. Then, the discovery of Ephesus begins with the House of the Virgin Mary and a 10-minute drive to the ancient city of Ephesus. Explore the city by walking on the marble streets, accompanied by a guide.  See the Odeon, State Agora, the Pretension, the Memmius Monument, the Domitian Temple, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Hadrian Temple, and the Latrines. Choose to take an optional visit to the terrace houses for an additional cost.  After the terrace houses, carry on with your exploration with the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, Great Theater, and Arcadian (harbor road). Enjoy a nice lunch served in a quaint local restaurant. Visit the Temple of Artemisa and take pictures of the church of St. John and the Mosque of İsa Bey. Enjoy free time in the old village of Sirince to discover the traditional houses, the fruit-flavored wine production, and enjoy some wine tasting.  End the day with a transfer back to Izmir airport or to your hotel in Izmir.

Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

2. Full-Day Tour of Ancient Ruins in Ephesus from Izmir

This full-day tour from Izmir, takes you to Ephesus in Selçuk to explore Turkey’s best preserved ruins from the ancient Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations. Visit the most important ruins in Ephesus, including the Temple of Artemis, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World before it was destroyed in 401 AD. You will also see the Library of Celsus, built to hold 12,000 scrolls and at its time one of the largest libraries in the world. The nearby Great Theater, which was the largest outdoor theater in the world, was designed to hold 24,000 people – even its ruins are huge. After discovering the impressive monuments, you will visit the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus. The museum houses many important statues and relics including a preserved segment of the original Temple of Artemis. After enjoying a lunch of traditional Turkish cuisine, you will travel to the House of the Virgin Mary on Bulbul Mountain, where archeologists and historians believe the mother of Jesus lived at the end of her life.

Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

3. Ephesus Entry Ticket with Mobile Phone Audio Tour

Founded by the Greeks and conquered by the Romans, Ephesus was once a city of proverbial wealth. It was a bustling port which over time developed into an important center for Christianity. On this self-guided tour, benefit from skip-the-line entry then explore using your smartphone to travel back in time to the city’s former life. The tour is the perfect way to experience the site in a fun and insightful way, and gain valuable insight into one of the most popular places in Turkey. The first stop of the day is to the State Agora, which was once the political heart of the city boasting a lavish square. Continue on to Bouleuterion, and discover the meeting point of the city council which perhaps was also a space for artistic performances. As you stroll around the colonnades, stoas, and other buildings, listen to fascinating stories about what life was like here for locals. Arrive at the Temple of Domitian and find out the rather unusual architectural layout of the U-shaped altar. Next, wander down the Curetes which connected the political and commercial hearts of Ephesus. Uncover the legend of the emperor’s fountain, then explore the large complex of baths at the Scolastica including the lavish marble latrines. Head to the grave of the Egyptian princess Arsinoe, then marvel at the mesmerizing Celsus Library, which is probably the most famous landmark of Ephesus. From here the road leads you to the gate of Mazeus and Mithridates, and onto at the Grand Theatre where performances and gladiatorial games took place. Last but not least, walk through the crossroads of the Arcadiane and follow a small path that leads you to the spectacular ruins of the enormous Church of Mary.

From Izmir: Pamukkale Guided Tour with Lunch

4. From Izmir: Pamukkale Guided Tour with Lunch

Discover the natural wonders of Pamukkale on this guided tour with lunch. Marvel at formations of travertine and explore Hierapolis to learn the history of the ancient city. Get the chance to also visit jewelry, leather, carpet, or ceramic centers. Begin at the ancient city of Hierapolis, established in 200 B.C. and one of the most important settlements during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Walk around the recently restored theater and the city’s majestic buildings and monuments. Later, see why Pamukkale means “cotton castle.” Step into a world of wonders as you witness spectacular formations of travertine and the natural hot spring pool. Learn more about the area and spend some relaxation time in the spring pool.

From Izmir: 7 Churches of Asia Minor 5 Days/4 Nights Tour

5. From Izmir: 7 Churches of Asia Minor 5 Days/4 Nights Tour

Set off a Bible-oriented multi-day trip to the 7 churches of Asia Minor, including Pergamum, Sardis, and Laodicea. Immerse yourself in the history of Christianity as you explore Greek and Roman ruins. Stay in 4-star hotels during your tour and enjoy breakfast, dinner, and transportation included. Day 1: Arrival in Izmir Enjoy the convenience of being picked up at Izmir airport and driven directly to your hotel. Relax for the evening with dinner at your hotel. Day 2: Izmir, Pergamon, Thyatira, Izmir After breakfast, drive to Pergamum, mentioned in the New Testament as one of the 7 Churches of Asia Minor. Visit the Acropolis of Pergamum, an amphitheater perched dramatically atop a steep hill. Stop at the Asklepion, a famous medical center during the classical era. See the Altar of Zeus, which John the Apostle referred to as the “Throne of Satan.” Walk among the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan. Continue to Thyatira, another of the Seven Churches of Asia. Known in ancient times for its purple dyes, Thyatira is also the city where St. Lydia once lived. As you make your way through the city, you’ll have the chance to see ruins from Roman times. Enjoy a panoramic ride through Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia. Return to the hotel for dinner and some rest. Day 3: Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Hierapolis Depart to Sardis, now known as Sart was portrayed in the Book of Revelations as a dying church. Visit the Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele. Continue to Philadelphia, now known as Alasehir, another of the Churches of Asia and the only church not censured. Visit Laodicea the last of the seven churches. Drive to Hierapolis, a city known for its therapeutic springs. See the Pamukkale or 'Cotton Fortress', the travertines, and the terraces. Stay overnight in a Thermal Hotel in Pamukkale. Day 4: Pamukkale, Ephesus, Kusadasi Drive to Kusadasi and visit the ancient city of Ephesus. See the Basilica of St. John, which received an epistle from the apostle Paul who lived in Ephesus for 3 years. Tour the spectacular ruins where excavations still continue in this once great and important city founded over 2 millennia ago. Take a trip back in time as your walk along the marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings such as the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Theatre. See the Temple of Artemis, one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, a house said to have been the Virgin Mary’s home in her final years. Afterward, enjoy dinner at your hotel in Kusadasi. Day 5: Kusadasi , Izmir Your tour comes to a close as you are picked up from your hotel in Kusadasi and then transferred to the Izmir airport.

From Istanbul: Ephesus & Şirince Day Trip w/ Wine Tasting

6. From Istanbul: Ephesus & Şirince Day Trip w/ Wine Tasting

Spend the day exploring the most memorable places in Ephesus and Şirince on this guided full-day tour from Istanbul, lunch included. Visit the House of Virgin Mary, see the Temple of Artemis, and taste local wine at a vineyard. Enjoy convenient round-trip transportation from Istanbul. Start your trip by getting picked up from your hotel in Istanbul and transferred to the Istanbul Airport for your flight from Istanbul to Izmir. Upon arrival at Izmir Airport, meet your driver to head to Ephesus to start the tour. First, stop at the House of Virgin Mary, the place where Mary may have spent her last days. This place was officially declared a shrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1986, and since then it has become a popular place of pilgrimage. The visit to the House of Virgin Mary takes about 45 minutes. After, take a 5-minute drive to Ephesus to continue the tour. Ephesus is an exceptional testimony to the cultural traditions of the Hellenistic, Roman Imperial, and early Christian periods. The city is an important site for Christianity as one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. Walk along the city’s marble streets accompanied by a tour guide. See the Ephesus Odeon, Ephesus Prytaneion, State Agora, Memmius Monument, Temple of Domitian, Hercules Gate, Curetes Street, Temple of Hadrian, and Ephesus Latrines. Next, optionally visit The Private House (so-called “Terrace Houses” brothel). Afterward, carry on to the Celsus Library, Marble Road, Commercial Agora, the great theater, and Arcadian Street (Harbor Road). Later, head to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Get a chance to take memorable photos of the Church of St. John and İsa Bey Mosque. Before the end of the tour, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afterward, head to Şirince, an old village of Rûm (Byzantine Greeks) situated on the hills of Selçuk, 7 km from Ephesus. The village is popular for beautiful traditional houses and fruit-flavored wine production. Complete your experience with free time for a wine tasting. At the end of your trip, get transferred back to the airport for your flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival in Istanbul, a driver will pick you up at the airport and transfer you back to your hotel in the evening.

From Izmir: Seven Churches of Revelation Multi-Day Tour

7. From Izmir: Seven Churches of Revelation Multi-Day Tour

Day 1 (Pergamum, Thyatira, Smyrna) Upon your arrival at Izmir, meet your tour guide and drive to Pergamum. There you'll explore the impressive Acropolis, the actual ancient city and see the Altar of Zeus. Later continue to Asklepion, the famous medical center of classical times, you'll also visit the Red Basilica (St. John’s Church) then continue the drive to Thyatira, now called Akhisar. There you'll see the remains of a basilica and some architectural fragments from the Roman period. Upon driving back to Izmir you'll enjoy a panoramic ride of Smyrna, the third largest city in Turkey and one of the sites of the Seven Churches of Asia. Overnight in Izmir (Breakfast-Lunch) Day 2  (Izmir, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea, Hierapolis ) Today you'll depart early in the morning to  Sardis where you'll visit the great temple which became a Byzantine Church later. You will also visit the restored gymnasium and the Synagogue. Then you'll continue the journey to Philadelphia. There you'll see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of bricks, with a bit of high arch and some 11th-century frescoes. Afterward, you drive to the healing city of Hierapolis where hot mineral water bursts from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools. There you'll visit the Martyrium of the Apostle Philip. Then in Laodicea, you can walk the ancient streets of the city and see the ancient structures. Overnight in Pamukkale. (Breakfast-Lunch) Day 3 ( Ephesus, Kusadasi ) Drive to Ephesus and visit the ancient city of Ephesus. There you walk through history along marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings such as the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre. Later we drive to the House of Virgin Mary where she spent her last days and the assumption took place. After that, you visit the Basilica of St. John and Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Overnight in Kusadasi. (Breakfast-Lunch) Day 4: Departure Day Today is the end of the tour, According your flight time meet with your driver at the hotel and drive to Izmir Airport.  (Breakfast)

From Izmir: Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

8. From Izmir: Pamukkale Day Trip with Lunch

Depart from your hotel in Izmir in the morning and meet your guide. Travel to Pamukkale to see its dazzling sights and learn about its history and culture. The travertines are formed by a multifaceted chemical reaction and subsequent precipitation of various causes and environments. Water springs from ground with high level of Calcium Hydrocarbonate at a temperature of 35.6 degrees C; and this causes carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide to evaporate and leave calcium carbonate to precipitate and form the travertine. Hierapolis has been a settlement of different cults and cultures throughout history; and the city is believed to be founded by Eumenies II, the Attalid king of Pergamon at the end of 2nd Century BC; and to have been named after Hiera, the beautiful wife of Telephos, the legendary founder of Pergamon. We will explore Necropolis, Domitian Gate, Frontinus Street, Agora, North Byzantine Gate, Gymnasium, Fountain with Triton, Apollon Temple, Martyrium of St. Philip and bridge, Column Church, ruins of Plutonium, Latrina and Roman Baths. Get transferred back to your hotel in Izmir at the end of the day.

Ephesus: Half-Day Tour from Kusadasi or İIzmir

9. Ephesus: Half-Day Tour from Kusadasi or İIzmir

Begin your half-day tour at your residence in either Kusadasi or Izmir, and enjoy a comfortable drive in air-conditioned luxury vehicle to the ancient city of Ephesus. Considered to be one of the most spectacular open-air museums in Turkey, Ephesus is a must-see on any visit to Turkey. Walk through its ancient marble streets and admire the stunning facade of the Library of Celsus. Walk past the Temple of Hadrian and the Temple of Artemis, as well as the Vedius and Scholastic Baths, and the Fountains of Trajan and Polio. Admire the staggering size of the Great Theatre, whose capacity exceeds 24,000 spectators, and then begin to make your way back to Kusadasi or Izmir to end the tour.

From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

10. From Istanbul: 2-Day Ephesus, Pamukkale, & Hierapolis Tour

Discover the ancient cities of Ephesus and Hierapolis on this two-day trip from Istanbul. Explore the ancient city of Ephesus where you can see the Temple of Artemis. Experience the beauty of the natural white terraces created by mineral deposits at the hot springs in Pamukkale. Stay overnight in the town of Selcuk or Kusadasi. Treat yourself to breakfast at the hotel. Try authentic Turkish food with lunch at two local restaurants during your tours. Day 1: Be picked from your accommodation in Istanbul and relax on the drive to the airport. Enjoy a comfortable flight to the city of Izmir. Meet your guide at the airport and drive to the tour provider's office in the town of Selcuk. Take a break with lunch in a local restaurant. Continue to the archeological site at Ephesus to start your guided tour. Walk through the ancient streets and see one of the wonders of the ancient world at the Temple of Artemis. View the façade of one of the largest libraries from Roman times at the Library of Celsus. Stop at the House of the Virgin Mary where the religious figure is said to have spend her last days. See the remains of an old Roman Amphitheater. Learn about these ruins from your local guide. Drive to your hotel in Selcuk or Kusadasi where you can rest for the evening. Day 2: In the morning, be picked up by your guide from your hotel. Enjoy the scenic Turkish countryside on the drive to Pamukkale. Hear about area and culture from your guide. Have a delicious lunch at a local restaurant before starting your tour of the ruins of Hierapolis. Stroll to the remains of a massive Roman amphitheater that once held an audience of 15,000. Admire the marble staircase at the Greek Temple of Apollo. Watch as your guide points out all the significant structures in the archeological site of Hierapolis. Take off your shoes and walk along the white terraces of Pamukkale. Dip your feet in the natural hot springs. Swim amid the ruins of a temple in Cleopatra's Pool. Have some free time in the afternoon to explore on your own. Take it easy on the ride back to the airport where you can catch your flight back to Istanbul. Once you arrive in Istanbul, your driver will be waiting to transfer you back to your accommodation in Istanbul.

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Ephesus

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What people are saying about Izmir

A really wonderful tour, where the first point to highlight was the fantastic guide Nizam, who all the time was very fun, informative, knowledgeable, polite and very attentive. Our first stop was to visit the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World! Then we visited the house where the Virgin Mary, mother of Jesus Christ, lived her last days, with the privilege of getting some holy water. Then we went to visit the main attraction of the fantastic ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus. This amazing site is really huge and very much impressive from what has been excavated so far, taking us back to the time when it was inhabited and the magnitude of this historic marvel of civilization. To finish, we visit the picturesque town of Şirince, which included a local wine tasting.

The tour was excellent! We were picked up on time at our hotel (they contacted us earlier to confirm). Nisam, our guide joined us in Selcuk. He gave excellent explanations and the tour was really well organised. We visited Selcuk, Epehsos and Sirince. We also had time for shopping. Lunch was also offered and very nice.

Well organised tour. Lunch was included and it was very nice. Both the driver and tour guide were good. The tour guide gave a lot of information which was great

The tour was well organised. The guide was knowledgeable both about the sites and the Biblical context. Rey good value for money

Very good guide ! Volkan is very knowledgeable person and very pleasant to be around . Ephesus is a must see experience