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This private day tour of Ephesus promises to take you on a breathtaking historical journey back in time. In about 6 hours, travel through a city that was once regarded as a crucial trading center in the Mediterranean region, and among the most important cities in the Roman Empire.
A walkabout Ephesus is like time travel, taking you back to a period when men wore robes and discussed important topics like politics and religion. Have a look at the breath-taking sites like The Temple of Artemis, St. Mary’s House, St. Jean’s Basilica, the newly renovated Selcuk Museum, and Sirince Village.
The streets of Ephesus maintain the grandiose name it once held.
The paved roads have stood the test of time; you’d be forgiven to think they were built in this lifetime.
The glorious city of Ephesus, where once over 200,000 people lived for more than 3000 decades, is home to best-preserved marble ruins and the second-largest city in antiquity.
Strategically established and served as a port on the northwest of Cayster (Caystrus) River, it was one of the most important trade centers of Western Anatolia.
During your private Ephesus tour, you will get to see the Odeon, Celsus Library, Hadrian Temple, The Temples of Dea Roma and Divus Julius Caesar, Pollia and Trajan Fountains, more than thousand-year-old public latrines (lavatories), the Theater of Ephesus, Curetes Street, Marble Street, Harbor Street and many other highlights of the wondrous ancient site.
Characterized by thick walls, mosaic floor works, and hand-painted frescos, the Terrace Houses of Ephesus are your next stop. With ongoing restorations, there is always something new to marvel over.
On the walls are drawings of gladiators, animals, and caricatures. These magnificent houses were built for the then wealthy Romans. And if the elegant architecture is anything to go by, they must have been the suburbs of Ephesus.
They are six palatial residential villas, located on the northern slope of Bulbul hill. They were storied buildings, of which the top floors served as guest rooms and bedrooms, while the living rooms and dining rooms were on the ground floors. This perfect planning was complete with a heating system from clay pipes below the floors and behind the walls, which carried hot air through the houses.
With its pillars still erect as if waiting on its original owner’s return, the awe-inspiring ruins of Temple of Artemis (Artemision) is listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Even after being destroyed twice (once by a flood and another time by an act of arson), the Temple of Artemis still maintains its magnificence.
Well, if you thought The Temple of Artemis is incredible, you are going to love the Virgin Mary’s house as well, which is located on the Bulbul Hill about 9km from Ephesus.
You can tell you are in the presence of Holiness by just being at the site, which goes by the design looks more like a church than a house.
It is believed that the Virgin Mary came here in the company of the Apostle John. She lived her final years in this house, which is now used as a pilgrimage site for Christian sojourners. Some can be seen writing wishes or prayers on pieces of paper and sticking them on the walls of the site.
Only the central and the part next to the altar are open to the public.
From there, a short ride will get you to the St Jean’s basilica, which is believed to be the burial site of the Apostle John -characterized by substantial marble steps.
The basilica, which was built by the Emperor Justinian to resemble a cross, lies on the steep slopes of the Ayasuluk Hill.
The basilica boasts of rich religious history attracting pilgrims and even history buffs looking to learn more about these ancient ruins.
Pope Paul prayed in this basilica, earning it so much more fame. It has since been partially restored, and the tomb of St. Jean, which is the site’s major attraction, is still visible.
The basilica is open to the public between the hours of 8 am and 7 pm daily.
This modern built museum has undergone numerous renovations to achieve its current state, mainly because the previous rooms proved to be too small to house the artifacts on display.
It houses a collection of artifacts from nearby ruins like the Temple of Artemis and St Jean basilica. In it are stunning statues of Artemis, the head of Zeus, a statue of the goddess Aphrodite, the sea god Triton, the head of Socrates, the bust of Marcus Aurelius and so many others.
The newly excavated carvings from the terrace houses, breathe new life to the history of Ephesus. Other notable findings in the museum are the statue of an Egyptian priest and a Roman statue of Eros.
In about 2 hours, immerse yourself in this collection of items from a time gone from the Classical to the Hellenistic to Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman times.
With various stories available about how this enchanting village got its name, one thing is for sure; it is a place of beautiful scenery, and it strikes a perfect balance between Turkish- Greek history and culture.
Some of the houses are still used as residential properties, while others have been turned into boutique hotels. You can shop for beautiful hand-crafted lace, dresses, and beads from the local women.
Hard to believe that at one time, it was given the name, ”Cirkince” meaning ”ugly” as a way to keep visitors away. The name was later changed to, ”Sirince” as it is known now, meaning ”pleasant” in Turkish.
Sirince lies about 12km away from Ephesus and boasts of fertile soils and which give rise to olive orchids and vineyards. The local olive oil comes highly recommended. And the fruit wine is another specialty of the village.
Whether you are staying at Kusadasi, Izmir, Sirince, Alacati, or even in other destinations like Bodrum, our private guide and driver will be delighted to pick you up from your hotel and drop off at the end of the tour.
Once on the road, the trip can be stretched or shortened according to your preferences. Our experienced tour guide will be ready and willing to answer any questions you may have. And, of course, you can ask as many as you like.
If you’re coming from Istanbul, don’t fret. Our pick and drop services remain faultless. We still keep our promise of getting you to feast your eyes on the magical wonders of Ephesus.