Ephesus, House of Mother Mary, Temple of Artemis, Isa Bey Mosque, St John Basilica or Sirince Greek Village.
You will be picked up from either your hotel, the airport ( there is extra transfer cost from airport ) or the cruise ship port and transferred to Selcuk where you will join a small group for your full day tour of Ephesus and the surrounding sites.
Tour extensively the ancient city of Ephesus. Very probably the largest archeological site in Turkey, it rises on the north slope of Mount Pion extending southward to the slope of Mount Koressos. First founded as a colony of Athens some 1000 years before Christ, it was rebuilt and fortified with city walls in the late part of the fourth century BC by Lysimachus, who had been left in charge of the city by Alexander the Great after his visit there in 334 BC. After Alexandria and Antiochia, during the Roman period, it was designated as the capital of Asia Minor. The apostle, Paul, came to Ephesus in the 1st century and it is believed to be the place from where he wrote his letter known as First Corinthians in the Holy Bible. Ephesus is also one of the seven churches, or communities of Christians, referred to in Revelations (Revelations 2:1-7). Explore the extensive site of this white marble ancient city and marvel at its spectacular monuments, such as the Library of Celsus, the Agora, the Odeon, the Trajan Fountain, the Domitianus Temple, the theater and the roman latrines, etc.
You will also visit the House of Mother Mary, located on the top of Bulbul Dag (the Mount of the Nightingale), seven kilometers south of the ancient city of Ephesus. Here the Blessed Virgin is said to have lived her last years on earth having been brought to the area under the care of St John, who also lived and preached here. It was reconstructed on the foundations unearthed in 1891 by Lazarist Fathers following the detailed description given to them by an infirmed German woman who claimed to have been shown this neighborhood in visions that she had of the Virgin Mother. Soon after, this place began to attract interest and is visited today by pilgrims from all over the world. Pope John XXIII visited this shrine many times during his stay as the Apostolic Delegate in Turkey while Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II came here as pilgrims in 1967 and 1979 respectively.
The tour will make a stop to see what remains of the Temple of Artemis. This famous temple is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and is also known as Artemission. It was first built in the lonian style during 560-550 BC by the Lydian King, Croesus. After being burned down in 356 BC, it was rebuilt on the same foundations, its height extended by 3 meters. This temple, which is also famous for its marble statues, is 55×115 meters in dimension and was the largest of all the ancient temples. It was discovered during excavations that were undertaken by the British Museum, in 1869-1874 under the supervision of J.T. Wood and in 1904-1905 under David G. Hogart. Many of the ruins were taken to the museum in England.
Isa Bey Mosque will be on the tour’s itinerary. It is one of the most important architectural works of the Turkish Aydin Emirate, who ruled in western Anatolia from 1308 until 1426. This mosque was conceived and constructed in 1374 by Aydinoglu Isa Bey (1360-1390) in his administrative capital of Selcuk, near Ephesus. It is the second example of twin minaret mosques in Anatolia from the period of pre-Ottoman principalities and is larger than most of the mosques built during the same time period. Its architect was Ali bin Mushimish, from Damascus. Repairs were made in 1934 and the mosque was fully restored later in the second half of twentieth century.
After the tour, we’ll transfer you to Izmir airport to catch the evening flight back to Istanbul. On arrival we’ll transfer you back to your hotel.
Please make note of the following: