9. Kusadasi and Selcuk: Small Group Ephesus Tour
You will be met at the harbor or at your hotel in Kusadasi or Selcuk. The guide will be holding up a sign with your name on it clearly so that you spot the correct pick-up service for you easily. It’s here you shall also meet your tour guide for the day who will give you some information of the plan for the day before heading off on your way to your destination.
Pass through the verdant and picturesque countryside before arriving at your first stop, the House of Virgin Mary and in accordance to the predominant Christian tradition, Mary was brought to Ephesus by the Apostle John after the Resurrection of Christ and lived out her final resting days here. This is based mainly on the traditional belief that John came to Ephesus combined with the biblical statement that Jesus consigned her to John's care (John 19:26-27).
After The House of Virgin Mary, you will then head on to the next destination which will be to the ancient city of Ephesus. From here, the tour shall be a walking tour and will take you through one of the most magnificent excavations in the entire world. You will be able to see the Odeon, The Fountain of Trajan, the stream baths of Scholastic, the Temple of Hadrian and of course lets not forget the impressive library of Ephesus. The library is adorned with columns and statues. The Grand Theater where Saint Paul preached is the largest theater in antiquity with a capacity of 24,000 seats. You will then return back to the bus through the Arcadian Way where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession.
After your 2-hour exploration around Ephesus, you will head for a lunch break for about an hour and then after the lunch break, you will continue on the tour and head for your next stop which is the Temple of Artemis (Diana). This outstanding Temple was built in honor of the Greek Goddess of hunting, wild nature and fertility, deemed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple of Artemis used to be the largest marble temple in the ancient Greek world since it was four times as the big as the Parthenon in Athens, Greece. The temple served as both a marketplace and religious institution. Offerings by thousands of pilgrims each year enabled the temple to grow so wealthy that it became the world's first bank. Today, little remains of the magnificent structure. Your guide will describe its importance, its wealth and tension that existed between the Romans and Christians that settled in the area over the centuries.
Once the tour comes to an end, you will head back to your bus and be driven back to your allocated drop-off points.
P.S: Please note that small group tours shall involve some shopping stops where you will have the chance to see presentations of traditional local handicrafts.