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

activities / Guided tours

Tour description provided by Viator

When your cruise ship arrives in Izmir, make the most of your time with this private shore excursion to Ephesus, where you'll see some of most famous sights in Turkey. With your private tour guide, walk around the ancient city, a former center of the ancient world and one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the eastern Mediterranean. Visit the House of Virgin Mary, where she spent the last days of her life, and try to imagine the beauty of the Temple of Artemis (also known as the Temple of Diana), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

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.

What's included

  • Transport by private vehicle
  • Professional guide
  • Entrance fees
  • All taxes, fees and handling charges
  • Worry-free shore excursion guarantee

What isn't included

  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Food and drinks, unless specified