4.5 star rating: Recommended 58 Reviews

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  • Location:Istanbul, Turkey
  • Duration:15 hours (approx.)

Best Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul

Rewind 2,000 years on this day trip to incredible Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary from Istanbul, including round-trip flights. Fly to Izmir and drive to the eastern Mediterranean’s finest preserved ancient city for an enthralling tour. Walk pavements once strutted by toga-clad Romans; admire the spectacular Great Theatre and Library of Celsus, and see shops, streets, temples and more. View the remnants of the Temple of Artemis and after a complimentary lunch, visit the stone-built house standing on the site many believe to be Mary’s last home.


  • Full-day tour of spectacular Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary, with round-trip flights from Istanbul
  • Fly to Izmir and travel to Ephesus, the eastern Mediterranean’s best-preserved ancient city
  • Trace the steps of ancient Greeks and Romans on Ephesus’ semi-intact streets
  • See the staggering Great Theatre, Library of Celsus and shops, baths and temples
  • Explore the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where she may have spent her final days
  • Enjoy an included Turkish lunch at a local restaurant

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Best Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul

View the ancient buildings and streets of Ephesus on your day trip from Istanbul

Leave your centrally located Istanbul hotel in an air-conditioned coach and drive to Istanbul airport. Board your 45-minute flight to Izmir and on arrival, hop on to another air-conditioned coach to Ephesus.

During your 1-hour journey, stop at St John’s Basilica, an ornate church at the top of Ayasuluk Hill. See its tomb of St John, who is believed to have written his gospel on the hill.

Continue to Ephesus, the eastern Mediterranean’s best-preserved classical city. An important hub of early Christianity and thriving Greco-Roman port, this spectacular place boasts streets, shops and temples that make it easy to imagine those who lived here 2,000 years ago.

Hear the history of the city as you explore with your guide. View the remains of the nearby, immense Temple of Artemis, once an Ancient Wonder of the World, and wander the streets that formed Ephesus’s heart. Marvel at the 25,000-seater Great Theatre, ogle the façade of the Library of Celsus, and see well-preserved shops and temples. On route, see captivating details such as the chariot wheel grooves and brothel signposts carved in the sidewalks.

Leave Ephesus and after lunch at a local restaurant, visit the nearby House of Virgin Mary, said to be the last home of the Virgin Mary. See inside the tiny house, whose foundations may date from Mary’s time in the 1st century AD, as your guide explains why it’s believed to sit where her last residence stood.

Then, return to your coach and Izmir airport. Fly back to Istanbul and enjoy a hotel drop-off at around 8:30pm.

Customer Reviews

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015


5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

I loved Ephesus. The ruins were beautiful and our guide gave us plenty of time to take pictures. It was extremely hot in July! I bought two bottles of water just outside, one frozen and one cold. I drank them both by the time the tour ended 1.5 hours later. The ruins of the church of St John are smaller but nice. The house of Mary was very peaceful and in a bieautiful setting in the mountains. It also includes a stop at a turkish rug workshop.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2015

Viator is efficient at getting you out of town. We were picked up at 5:30 am and whisked to the airport for our flight to Izmir and Ephesus. On the drive to Ephesus from Izmir I was amazed by all the agriculture! Peach trees! Corn! We met our guide who bubbled with excitement talking about all the history in the area. She was really knowledgeable about all the history and side stories. And if she didn't know, she made up a story as to why it was. Ephesus is an amazing place to visit. The excavation of the ancient city is breathtaking. And so much of it is intact. The lunch was fabulous. Then, of course, you have to visit the Turkish rug store. This particular one showed us how they obtained the silk from the cocoons. I would highly recommend this tour. Be sure to wear your walking shoes!

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2015

Outstanding! Excellent guide. great experience

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!

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.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended February 2015

Great experience! Very professional and a very knowledgeable guide.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2015

was a wonderful experience...very long day but worth it all...covered alot of ground and excellent tour guide...really must see Ephesus, Virgin Mary House, and church and lunch great....Guide very good and all done efficiently and professionally. We had an almost 3-4 hour wait at airport on return as dropped off this early...this was perhaps unavoidable but tiring...

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

The one-day tour of Ephesus from Istanbul was not only perfectly arranged as to logistics but the guide provided a wonderful perspective from which to understand this ancient treasure.

5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2014

Wonderful service....all transfers on time...knowledgeable guide....would recommend tour and company to anyone

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Tour code: 3795IZM02AIR


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