Read what other Viator.com travelers think about the Best 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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Great experience! Very professional and a very knowledgeable guide.
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...
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.
Wonderful service....all transfers on time...knowledgeable guide....would recommend tour and company to anyone
Excellent ... !!!!
Very well coordinated, superb guide, well planned and good food.... 7 stars
We had an informative and delightful trip to Ephesus. All drivers were on time and met us as expected. We especially enjoyed our guide for the day, Guler Aslan.
I was assigned to Neon Travel. I contacted them before I left home , I told them where to pick me up. And they were on time too pick us up.and the tour was excellent.The tour guide was knowledgeable.Emergeny number was a resident number where no one spoke English. I was not told when to be ready.
What a fantastic tour! The biblical history was great! Our guide was very knowledgable in archeology and biblical history. She was very detailed throughout the tour. There only one other couple on the tour, so I felt like she gave us her undivided attention! Although, I'm sure if it were one or one hundred people, I'm sure they would get the same treatment!
Loved it and I really recommend it to everyone!!! Especially if you are interested in biblical history!
As others have said, it is a long day but well worth the trip. My husband wasn't excited to go but was so happy that he did. Our guide was very knowledgeable and fun. The history is amazing. Truly would recommend to anyone interested in history - and for me it was doubly important for the religious significance. One of the highlights of two weeks in Greece and Turkey!
Great experience and our tour guide's English was awesome. Her knowledge of history was remarkable and very impressive. We learned so much due to her ability to communicate and her enthusiasm of the job at hand. The one draw back was the oriental rug pitch at the end of the day. Lousy way to end a perfectly good tour.
A nice tour. Even though it was slightly a hot day, we really enjoyed it. The tour guide was very adjustable and informative.
Oh lord these was amazing! I don't have words and the lady who was our guide was lovely. Very responsible and knowledgeable. Food out of this world! It requires a lot of walking but it is worth it.
This was an excellent tour. The guide had an extensive background on the history of this historical site. I was pleased thar there was someone who guided us through the airport that morning. I have one very negative comment. The tour company required you to contact them 24 hours before the tour to let them know if you wanted to be picked up for transportation to and from the airport. Since I was not going to arrive within the required time limit I called the company from my home. It cost a lot of money Upon arriving at my hotel in Istanbul, I ha the hotel contact the company to inquire what time was pick up. They couln't tell me. Since it was going to be early in the morning, it was important to know the time. I wasnot informed until 9PM .
Overall excellent. The organization by the tour company along with transfers were excellent. The driver and of course the tour guide for the day were excellent. This tour was superb. The equal if not better than the other great antiquity sites of the Mediterranean. The history of the Bible, the Greeks, and Rome all in one area. An early start and a late finish but of course well worth it. Great value for money. All very positive.
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.
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.