A holy shrine to the supposed death place of St. Mary, the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus is a standing testament to the home of the beloved mother of Jesus. Many believe that the house was indeed the place where she spent her final days, and ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

Amazing tour!!! Our tour guide made the excursion really interesting and food was great.

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

Our tour guide was Phylis and she was wonderful! She was very helpful with arranging transportation for our early departure and she was filled with facts about everything from education to politics to urban legends. The tour was great and I would book with the company as well as with the tour guide again.

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

Superb tour guide, brand new bus, small group, even the carpet shop spiel wasn't annoying - we all ended up buying carpets!

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

Ephesus is one of the best ancient towns to visit. There are lot to see - nice theatres and other building ruins and of course nice views over valley between hills. Tour-guide of Neon - Cigdem Göktas - led our tour in very nice way. With nice presentations of sites and friendly manner, she made whole tour group to feel good and welcome. Very good work! Guide also helped me to continue my travel forward to Kusadasi. Five stars for tour! This is a site that must be visited!

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2015

Tour was great mostly because our guide, Guler, is very knowledgeable. She took us to a non-touristic restaurant (usually a bad buffet) which was awesome. We finished a bit early with the tour so she took us to a leather store fashion show and it was hilarious! Way to end a fantastic trip!

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

Excellent and very informative tour

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

Outstanding! Excellent guide. great experience

Doing what: Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
May 2015

I highly recommend this tour. You can spend two or three times the price for this trip with a private guide, but not get any better attention or service. Of course, Ephesus is a must see. All the arrangements worked like clockwork. We were picked up from our hotel exactly on time and driven to the airport where we were met by a tour representative who walked us through the arrival process. After a short flight to Izmir, we were met by a driver who took us on the 45 minute drive to meet the group at Ephesus, which consisted of the tour guide and two other couples from a cruise ship. The tour guide was fantastic, Ephesus was all we expected and more, and arrangements could not have been better. You must do this tour!

Doing what: Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul

4 star rating: Recommended
May 2015

I am rating this a 4 star only because we were able to visit the house of Blessed Mary.

Doing what: Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul

3 star rating: Worth doing
May 2015

This trip was a mixed bag. Ephesus is an amazing site and well worth a visit. It is tremendous. But the overall tour could have been a lot better.

First I was afraid of the logistics because of what others had written, but I had none of those issues. The tour operator did an amazing job with logistics. Pickup times were confirmed. Airline information was faxed to my hotel. My driver arrived on time at 5:30 AM and another person walked me from the car to the airline counter to acquire my boarding passes. After arriving in Izmir a driver was waiting with clearly marked signs. He handed me his phone and the tour guide explained that she was waiting for me in Ephesus about an hour away by car. Everything was moving along great, but then it went wrong...

As we moved through sites we seemed to be rushing. After visiting the site of the Virgin Mary's home, we went into Ephesus. Ephesus is amazing. After Ephesus we went to lunch at a carpet co-op. The lunch was very good and I enjoyed learning about how carpet is made. I experienced very low pressure sales which was fine. After this we went to St John's Basilica. Then after declining trips to additional factory shops I was basically done at 2:30 PM. The driver took me to the airport and I sat for 4 hours waiting for my 7:30 flight back to Istanbul we just missed the earlier 3:30 flight.

Had I known how the day was being paced for time, I would have asked for a couple of more hours in Ephesus. There is a huge building preserving mosaics which we didn't enter. I could have walked a road that extended toward the harbor. Instead we rushed along so that we could save time for factory tours that I didn't want to do. What a waste.

Doing what: Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

We had a great time. Our tour guide was Gokce Sky Tascilar was knowledgeable and we had a great time..

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

Our guide was really well informed. Picked us up on time and really delivered!!!

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
April 2015

Loved it!!! Well worth the money, professional and entertaining guide, lots to see and delicious lunch. Pack for any weather as I was freezing in the morning and then warm in the afternoon. Loved Ephesus!!

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

4 star rating: Recommended
April 2015

The tour itself was fantastic. It ended up being a private tour so we had a guide and driver to ourselves. The guide was very knowledgeable and maintained a good balance of spending time informing us while also allowing adequate alone time. The negative was the mandatory visit to the carpet cooperative not mentioned in the tour description with hard sales pitch. That left a bit of a sour taste in our mouth after an otherwise amazing experience.

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2015

It was fun and like a private tpur because it was only the two of us! We visited Mother Mary final resting place, Ephesus (we were lucky it was still in the morning, not much people!), learned about the carpet, had a nice lunch in the garden and the st John church. Our guide was also very nice

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

3 star rating: Worth doing
April 2015

Definitely worth seeing and the House of the Virgin Mary was the highlight of my entire trip! That being said, the visit to Ephesus and the House including lunch at an out-of-the-way, agrarian artisinal training facility took under 5 hours including from and to the airport and they dropped us off at the airport 4 hours before our departure flight. So it felt like a lot of wasted time on a trip that was entirely too short. I also felt that the tour guide could have provided more information on the current state of affairs of Istanbul, its people, its customs, its education, so that you get a better feel for the country and its relevance today.

Doing what: Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
April 2015

I almost never review anything, but felt that this trip needed an informational review for future travelers. We enjoyed the trip to Ephesus overall, but there were some trouble spots to watch for.

First, the fine print on your voucher says that you need to call the agency - Neon Travels - 24 hours ahead of time to confirm hotel pickup. The website and voucher says that pickup should be around 5AM, but for us it ended up actually around 4:30AM, so please be sure to check with the agency call the emergency number, the regular number is usually not picked up beforehand.

Second, the tour guide is well-informed and knowledgeable, but does tend to tell many textbook stories about mythology. The amount of free time you have to walk around and explore, or take pictures, is very little. We spent a total of only 2 hours at Ephesus, and had only maybe 30 min maximum of free time. The church of St. John and the Temple of Artemis are just pit stops.

Third, and most irritating, is that after lunch we were forced to listen to a presentation on Turkish carpet-making at a carpet collective, and this was not advertised as part of the program, nor did we want it. After the presentation, our group was broken up and each ushered into a high-pressure sales pitch with a carpet representative. We had to help bail out one of the couples on the trip who were subjected to particularly high pressure to buy a 4000 carpet.

Finally, on the way back to Izmir airport, we had no instructions on collecting our boarding passes to Istanbul in contrast, two people helped us check in during the morning flight, and our driver did not speak English. We eventually figured out that we were supposed to check ourselves into the Turkish airlines counter, which is no problem, but there was no indication of this beforehand. When we arrived in Istanbul, there was no one waiting to drop us off at our hotels, so we had to call the emergency number to find our driver.

Doing what: Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
March 2015

We were fortunate to have a very small group of three on this tour. The tour staff was punctual and our guide was very knowledgeable.

Doing what: Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2015

Overall, the tour was very professionally managed.

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2015

The guide was wonderful, very knowledgeable and friendly. It was a small group as it was off season. Well worth the money!

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

4 star rating: Recommended
March 2015

A very nice tour during a very cold day! Still Gokce (the guide) manage to make it a very enjoyable experience the visit to Virgin Mary house and Ephesus.

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2015

This tour was amazing!

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
February 2015

I loved my tour guide. Really good day.

Doing what: Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir

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