Welcome to Ephesus, Bodrum & the South Aegean


In summer the population swells as millions of tourists descend on Marmaris, Kuşadası and Bodrum. The latter is Turkey's most popular and chichi seaside getaway. This whitewashed town beneath a 15th-century castle somehow maintains an air of refinement through the nonstop partying, while new boutique hotels and elegant eateries spring up, both here and in the sophisticated coastal villages of the Bodrum Peninsula. On the remote Bozburun and Datça Peninsulas, more elemental pleasures wait in the rugged terrain and fishing villages.


Top experiences in Ephesus, Bodrum & the South Aegean

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Ephesus, Bodrum & the South Aegean activities

$85 Shore Excursions

Kusadasi Shore Excursion: Ephesus Sightseeing Tour

Ephesus is the highlight of any visit in Turkey, and you can see its top sights on this shore excursion from Kusadasi. With so many mythological stories and spectacular ruins, Ephesus will make you feel like you've gone back to the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans.See the famous Fountains of Trajan, built to honor the emperor of the same name, and the Polio Fountain, located opposite the Domitian Temple. Visit the Temple of Hadrian, the Private House (a brothel which was part of the scholastic baths), the Library of Celsius and the bouleuterion (a small theater used for the meetings of the Senate). Admire the Great Theater, which was completed by the Romans in 117 AD and has a capacity for 24,000 spectators.After enjoying a lunch of Turkish cuisine (included), you will visit the House of Virgin Mary, where she spent the last days of her life. Next, see the graceful columns and mosaics that remain of the Basilica of St John, built by the Emperor Justinian over the tomb of St John the Apostle, before returning to your ship at the Kusadasi port, where you tour concludes.Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Kusadasi 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.

$49 Day Trips & Excursions

5-Hour Small Group Shore Excursion to Ephesus from Kusadasi

Once you meet with your guide at the Kusadasi Port or hotel you can get ready for this small-group 5-hour shore excursion. After around 25 minutes drive we will reach The House of Virgin Mary. Virgin Mary was brought here by St John after the Crucifixion and lived her final years near the city of Ephesus on an isolated mountain-top. A lovely chapel is constructed on the site tended by Franciscans and open to visitors. It has been designated a pilgrimage site by the Pope. After we spend 30 to 45 minutes in The House of Virgin Mary we will drive to Visit the ancient city of Ephesus. We will spend several hours walking in the footsteps of Alexander the Great, Caesar, Cicero, Apostles Paul and John and many other familiar names. The recently opened Terrace Houses (entry included) where the wealthiest Romans lived are an excellent example of sensitive excavation and presentation. The mosaics and frescos are spectacular. Our last stop will be The Temple of Artemis to see the remains of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Then you will be taken back to Kusadasi, where you will have an option to finish your tour in the shopping area, where you can attend a Turkish carpet explanation and explore the shops filled with jewellery, carpets, leather-ware, and copper goods, or both. Kusadasi Port is located in city center. Cruise terminal is around 200 meters from the main shopping area. If you do not wish to attend the optional carpet-shopping you should walk back to the terminal or walk around the beautiful resort town and explore it on your own.

$40.43 Shore Excursions

Kusadasi Shore Excursion: Private Half-Day Ephesus Tour

When your cruise ship arrives in Kusadasi, meet your private guide at the port and set off in your air-conditioned minivan to begin your shore excursion. Absorb the views of the Aegean Sea as you travel north towards Ephesus.After about 30 minutes, arrive at Ephesus and enter this stunningly preserved Greco-Roman site via the Magnesia Gate. Then, walk with your knowledgeable guide around this once-bustling city, and hear how it was once the capital of the Roman Empire in Asia Minor, and enjoyed a golden age in around 2nd century BC.Follow the marble-paved streets past the shells of shops and Roman baths, and see the remains of the Odeon, Fountain of Trajan and Temple of Hadrian. Keep your camera ready, too, for two of the most celebrated landmarks: the Library of Celsus and the Great Theatre, a 25,000-seater stadium where spectators once gathered to hear the teachings of St Paul.Continue to the nearby site of the Temple of Artemis, built in around 550 BC and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. See the restored column that marks the site and hear how the temple was rebuilt three times before its destruction in 401 AD.Then, visit Şirince, a pretty hill village perched above Ephesus. This former Greek settlement is known for its wine and crafts, and offers a charming glimpse into rural Turkish life. Stroll the cobbled lanes past food and craft stalls, and sample some of the village's famous fruit wine at a winery.When the time comes, return to Kusadasi where your tour ends with a drop-off at the cruise port.Please note: the order of activities as described above may be subject to change on the day of your tour. Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to Kusadasi cruise 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.

$85 Cultural & Theme Tours

Ephesus Sightseeing Tour

Enjoy pickup from your Kusadasi hotel and relax on the drive to Ephesus. When you arrive, stop at St John's Basilica on the top of Ayasuluk Hill. Visit the basilica and see the 4th-century tomb where the remains of the saint are said to be housed.Next, travel to the ancient city of Ephesus, an important center of early Christianity. Ephesus was one of the seven churches addressed by Christ in a vision, according to the book of Revelation. With your guide, visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, then see the Great Theater, the Library of Celsus and many other well-preserved ancient temples.Take a break to enjoy a delicious lunch of Turkish cuisine at a local restaurant, while your local guide explains interesting facts about Ephesus and its surroundings. After lunch, visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where she spent the last days of her life. The cottage has been a pilgrimage place for many centuries, and was authenticated by Pope Paul VI in 1967. Next, relax on your comfortable coach on the drive back to your hotel.

$90.88 Shore Excursions

Kusadasi Port to Ephesus Private Sightseeing Shore Excursion

When you arrive in the port of Kusadasi, your private guide will be waiting to lead you to your own luxury vehicle, in which you can relax as your private shore excursion to Ephesus begins. Enter the magnificent city through the Magnesia Gate, and then stretch your legs during a walk with your guide into the ruins of this former Roman capital. The route will take you past the Odeon, the Celsus Library, the Temple of Hadrian, the Fountain of Trajan and the Great Theater. Your guide will tell you about the architectural importance of these sites, as well as historical Roman events that took place there. You will then visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where Mary spent the last days of her life. The house was discovered in the 19th century after the repeated visions of a Catholic nun, Anne Catherine Emmerich, were published in a book. When the ruins of the house were discovered, a small shrine dedicated to St Mary was found there.Next, see the graceful columns and mosaics that remain of the Basilica of St John, built by the Emperor Justinian over the tomb of St John the Apostle. Enjoy the panoramic views of the rural Selcuk countryside and the ruins of the Temple of Artemis. This temple, also known as the Temple of Diana (the Roman goddess equivalent), was first built during the Archaic period and is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World .Visit the Ephesus Museum, located near the entrance to the Basilica of St John, which displays excavations from the ancient city of Ephesus as well as frescoes and mosaics.Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Kusadasi 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.

$78.55 Shore Excursions

Ephesus Top Attractions Private Shore Excursion from Kusadasi

When you disembark your cruise ship at the Kusadasi port, meet your private guide and make your way to the ancient city of Ephesus. On arrival, you will find yourself in front of the Magnesia Gate, built to the side of the road that connected Ephesus with Magnesia. Enter Ephesus through this gate, which pedestrians and horses and chariots used to make their way into the city. Inside the city, tour the sites with your guide. You’ll see the Celsus Library, one of the most beautiful structures in Ephesus. It had capacity to hold more than 12,000 scrolls. The library is also a monumental tomb for Gaius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, the governor of the province of Asia, whose grave is located beneath the ground floor.Your guide will lead you to the Odeon, the Fountain of Trajan and the Great Theater and tell you historical facts and entertaining stories about these ancient sites. See the Temple of Hadrian, which holds three panels depicting the mythological foundation of Ephesus. You’ll also see one of the most popular sites in Ephesus, the ruins of the Temple of Artemis. First built during the Archaic period, the temple is one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World.Lastly, visit the House of the Virgin Mary. Recognized by the Vatican as the place where the Virgin Mary spent her last days, this small house is a typical Roman construction, completely made of stone. The original two-story house consisted of several rooms, but today only the central part of the house and a room on the right of the altar are open to visitors, giving it the look of a church rather than a house.Worry-free Shore Excursion:We will ensure your timely return to the Kusadasi 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.

Ephesus, Bodrum & the South Aegean in detail