- Day trip from Istanbul to Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary
- Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where Mary spent her final days
- Explore the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
- See the Library of Celsus and the Great Theater
- Enjoy an authentic Turkish lunch (included)
- Round-trip flights from Istanbul to Izmir included
Recent Photos of this Tour
What You Can Expect
Continue your journey to the ancient city of Ephesus, an important center of early Christianity. According to the Book of Revelation, Ephesus was one of the seven churches addressed by Christ in a vision. When you arrive, follow your local guide and visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Great Theater and the Library of Celsus among other well-preserved ancient temples.
Next, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. As you sample Turkish delicacies, learn interesting details from Ephesus and its history from your local guide.
After lunch, continue your journey to the House of the Virgin Mary. This little cottage, said to be the place where she spent the last days of her life, has been a pilgrimage place for many centuries. Visit the house, then relax on your air-conditioned coach on the drive back to the Izmir airport, where you will take a plane back to Istanbul and finish your day trip back at your hotel.
Even with a 5.30 start and a 9.00pm return this was one of the best days of my life! The mechanics of pick up/flight/drop offs etc went like clockwork. Our guide at the Izmir end was fantastic - his knowledge was great, his English was perfect, he gave us the right amount of time at every point. There was only one other couple on the tour, so it felt very personal service.
First we visited the House of the Virgin Mary, surprisingly peaceful and moving. Ephesus, I have no words for, except 'WOW' - go there. Unparalleled, and a lifetime's ambition realised! Then we went to St John's Basilica - in really good condition, followed by a quick stop to what remains of the Temple of Artemis - my classics and mythology courses come flooding back!
Lunch was after all the sightseeing - a lovely meal at a Carpet weaving co-operative. That, of course, was the only downside - the attempt at hard sell - luckily, the Americans bough a carpet, so everyone came away happy. I just wish these tour companies wouldn;t try with these factory visits - how many people really want to spend a lot of money when on a day out - unless they are actively looking for the diamond, the pearl, the carpet, the piece of furniture.... we never have and find these interludes annoying.
However, this particular day, nothing could spoil my enjoyment and appreciation of onw of the most amazing places on the planet.
It was nice to get out of the city and see some of the countryside. The guide was great. The bus was great. The meal was great. Even the carpet weaving stop was great, very low pressure.