Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul. What they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved, it's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
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.
Excellent, our guide was wonderful, she likes what she was doing, and she live what she said, her name Cigdem Goktas, in Turkish. Kudos for that lady who transmit her passion for the history and her knowledge to us.
I was disappointed with the service for this tour. The Driver was 40 minutes late to pick me up in the hotel, we had to wait one hour and a half at Izmir airport because of the delay of other people´s flight, the van broke and we have to change cars, the Guide had a very difficult English to understand (I thought it was only me but I asked the others and they felt the same), lunch was in a place (very simple by the way) where they sell rugs and they were very pushy and when I got back in Istanbul they said my name was not on the list to take me back to the hotel.
There was also a lady who got sick and never made it to visit Ephesus (spent all time in the car) and when it was asked to drop her off first in her hotel they said they couldn´t because they had an itinerary to follow.
So Ephesus is great only the service has to get much much better.
Long day but worth every effort. I have seen many ruins throughout Greece, but none compare to Ephesus. Amazing place. Highly recommend this tour. Everything was executeled beautifully. Go!!
Fabulous guide. Knowledgable and friendly, made our tour a real learning experience.
It was a great day getting a taste of Turkey outside of Istanbul but a very long day.
While everything was very smooth with transfers etc I would have appreciated a little more information about the format of the day, for example, explaining that I would be picked up at the airport and then transferred to another bus etc.
This trip could be organized better. First I called the tour company for confirmation of my booking a few days before the trip. Nobody was taking the call. I had to call Viator to sort things out. Second, when a non-English speaking driver picked me up at my residence, he did not/could not tell me that nobody would met me at the Istanbul airport; I was suppose to just go in and take the plane myself to Ephesus. I would not mind that if somebody had informed me. Nobody did, and I was wondering during my entire plane journey if I was doing the right thing.
Ephesus itself is great. However the trip is actually too short; we got back to the airport at about 4:00 p.m., waiting for a scheduled plane back at after 6:00 p.m. The tour guide should have strongly recommended us to visit the Terraced Houses in Ephesus if she knew that was going to happen.
Ephesus itself was amazing a must see! BUT... Too long of a trip, says 11 hours but it took us 13 total hours. Tour ended with a sales pitch for leather and fur jackets, tour guide wasn't the best we've had. Too expensive could have done this ourselves for less than half easily...
Although we ejoyed seeing Ephesus, we were not happy with this tour. First of all, the gentleman who picked us up at our hotel had no idea what flight we were taking to Izmir. We were not given anything but a Viator voucher, so we didn't know either. He was annoyed that we didn't have detailed information and I suggested to him that it was his job to know. Since he didn't know which airline or flight number we were on, he had us stand in a long line at one airline check-in, only to learn we weren't booked with that airline. Then he hauled us to another airline and thankfully, they had us in our system and gave us boarding passes for the departure and return flight. When we arrived in Izmir, we were met at the airport, then put on a bus and waited about 30 minutes in the parking lot, in the heat and without air conditioning, until two other people got on the bus. Once underway to Ephesus, we stopped after awhile at the side of the road and the bus driver got out and walked away. Five minutes later another driver took over. When we thought we finally arrived, we were greeted by somebody who put us in a small van to take us to our tour meeting point. The tour itself was very good and we have no complains about that or the tour driver. When we returned to Istanbul, we were greeted by a representative who told us to sit in the waiting area while he waited for other passengers. We waited about 45 minutes and finally were gathered up, put in a van and returned to our hotel. It was a long day, made longer by ineffiency. My husband and I decided we will never take another Viator tour again.
The tour itself at Ephesus was good but not the time before, after and in between sites which were just sales opportunities for the tour company. When I phoned up 2 days before the tour I was originally informed by the local tour company that the pickup would be 0615 from my hotel and they would send flight details to hotel within 24 hours. They did not send details until 1159pm the day before and then informed me the time had been changed to 4.40am. Fortunately I was still up at midnight and managed to get up at 4am.On arrival in Izmir I then had to wait nearly an hour as another passenger did not arrive. The tour at Ephesus itself was good but the tour guide seemed intent on getting us to buy as much as possible from local shopkeepers. Lunch at a local carpet factory turned out to be a sales trip to buy rugs ranging from $2,000 to $40,000. I skipped the optional visit to the pottery. The driver then offered a visit to local shops before my flight. I declined. I would avoid this tour unless you want opportunities to go shopping.