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Make a beeline for UNESCO-listed Ephesus with this private 6-hour shore excursion from Izmir and marvel over one of Turkey’s most remarkably preserved ancient cities. Enjoy the undivided attention of your private guide as you discover highlights like the Celsus Library, the Great Theater and the Odeon. Then, visit the House of Virgin Mary and see the remains of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Best of all: this tour is covered by Viator's worry-free policy, ensuring on-time return to your cruise ship.


  • Private shore excursion from Izmir to Ephesus
  • Tour the ancient city of Ephesus
  • Visit the House of the Virgin Mary
  • Visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
  • Transport by a private luxury car
  • Private licensed tour guide for a more personalized experience
  • Covered by Viator's worry-free policy: guaranteed on-time return to your ship

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Izmir Shore Excursion: Private Tour to Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary and Temple of Artemis

Izmir Shore Excursion: Private Tour to Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary and Temple of Artemis

When your ship arrives in Izmir, your private tour guide will meet you at the port and your shore excursion to Ephesus will begin. Relax in a luxurious, air-conditioned private car as you head south to the town of Selcuk. Pass cotton fields, vineyards and pine woods as you make your way along the blue Aegean Sea.

When you arrive in Ephesus, enter the ancient city through the Magnesia Gate -- a marvelous example of architecture. Begin a slow downhill walk with your guide into the ruins of this former Roman provincial capital. As you walk, you will see the Odeon, the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Great Theater. This theater, one of the best-preserved monuments, it is still used today for the local spring festival. In its glory days, it held 24,000 people, and it is believed to be the site where St Paul preached to the Ephesians.

You will then visit the House of the Virgin Mary in the Solmissos Mountains. This small house is of extraordinary importance to Christians as the place where the Virgin Mary spent her final days. A small shrine dedicated to St Mary was found there when the ruins of the house were first discovered.

Finally, you'll visit the site of the Temple of Artemis, first built during the Archaic period. One of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World, the temple was completely rebuilt three times and was eventually destroyed in 401 AD. The site is marked by a single column made from various pieces of the temple found on site.

Worry-free Shore Excursion:

We will ensure your timely return to the Izmir port for this activity. In the rare event your ship has departed, we will arrange for transportation to the next port-of-call. If your ship is delayed and you are unable to attend this activity, your money will be refunded. See our terms and conditions for full details.

Customer Reviews

David Paulson P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

Really informative tour. The tour guide and the driver were very friendly and helpful.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2015

We had a wonderful day! Emre was a fabulous tour guide! Thank you!


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2014

This was a wonderful excursion. Our driver was informative and knowledgeable. We opted to stop at a rug showroom and enjoyed the experience. We were with another couple who were interested in getting a rug, if you are not interested in getting a rug, I would not recommend the rug tour. The town was fun to shop in and the people were very friendly.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended January 2014

When they say private..they mean private! It was me, my guide Inan and the driver in a Mercedes mini-van. I have to admit that I was blown away with the scenery on the drive friom the port to the Ephesus area. Reminded me of the Colorado Rockies in certain areas. First stop was to the House of the Virgin Mary to avoid the crowds. Very interesting place in a beautiful setting, Then we heading to the Ephesus site itself which is right down the road. Once you enter, it is a down hill walk through the area and the amazing thing is that only a small part has been excavated so far. I must have taken 300 photos in this site alone. It was also nice having Inan as my private guide getting a locals perspective of the area and the site. We also toured a turkish rug making factory and a pottery shop in which you can get some great deals. A full day of fun that is highly recommended

Dennis P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2013

This tour got a 5 star rating due to our guide, Oscar. He was very knowledgeable about what to see, how to tour away from the crowds but still see everything and gave us a history lesson we will never forget. We we asked where we wanted to go and what we wanted to see on our own time. He was patient with us and made sure we had plenty of time to see what we wanted to see. I would definitely recommend Oscar.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2012

Our guide was outstanding and the tour was the best . Loved the area and the people .

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