After early pickup at your Istanbul hotel, transfer to the airport and relax during your short flight to Izmir.
On arrival, meet your professional local guide and others in your tour group for your journey to Ephesus. Settle aboard your air-conditioned vehicle and absorb the views of rural Turkey as you travel south to the stunning UNESCO World Heritage site.
After roughly an hour, stop at the House of the Mary, a stone cottage believed to mark where the Virgin Mary spent her last years. Peek inside the atmospheric house-turned-chapel, and learn why the site is so heavily linked to Mary and St John.
Continue to Ephesus, an ancient Greek city that rose to prominence as a Roman seaport from the 2nd century AD. With your guide, stroll around the semi-intact streets past the shells of long-ago shops and houses, and learn fascinating facts about life in the city during its Roman golden age.
Awe at highlights such as the façade of the Library of Celsus and Hadrian’s Temple and gaze at the massive Great Theater, where St Paul once preached.
Having explored the main Ephesus ruins, move on to the nearby remains of the Basilica of St. John, a 6th-century church built on the apostle’s believed burial site. Then, after a tasty buffet lunch at a local restaurant, pay a visit to the Isabey Mosque, a lovely example of medieval Anatolian religious architecture.
Lastly, stop by at the site of the Temple of Artemis, once one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. As you inspect the temple’s remnants, learn how it was rebuilt three times before its final destruction in 401 AD.
At around 4pm, transfer to Izmir airport for your return flight to Istanbul or enjoy a drop-off at your hotel in Kusadasi or Selcuk (if option selected).