Welcome to İzmir
Turkey's third-largest city is proudly liberal and deeply cultured. Garlanded around the azure-blue Bay of İzmir, it has been an important Aegean port since ancient times, when it was the Greek city of Smyrna, and its seafront kordon (promenade) is as fetching and lively as any in the world.The city's rich and fascinating heritage reflects the fact that it has been the home of Greeks, Armenians, Jews, Levantines and... Read More
Top experiences in İzmir
Ephesus and St. Mary's House Day Trip from Izmir
On your way to Ephesus, you will stop at St Johns Basilica atop Ayasuluk Hill built in honor of the Saint who wrote his gospel on this very hill. See the 4th-century tomb where his remains are said to be housed. The ancient city of Ephesus was an important center for early Christianity. In the book of Revelation, Ephesus was one of the seven churches addressed by Christ in a vision. It is here that you will find the Temple of Artemis, considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Your guide will also show you the Great Theatre, the Library of Celsus and many temples. After enjoying some authentic Turkish cuisine at lunch, you will visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where she spent the last days of her life. Authenticated by Pope Paul VI in 1967, the cottage is a place of pilgrimage for many believers.
Small-Group Ephesus and the House of Virgin Mary Day Trip from Istanbul
Leave your centrally located Istanbul hotel in an air-conditioned coach and drive to Istanbul airport. Board your 45-minute flight to Izmir and on arrival, hop on to another air-conditioned coach to Ephesus.During your 1-hour journey, stop at St John’s Basilica, an ornate church at the top of Ayasuluk Hill. See its tomb of St John, who is believed to have written his gospel on the hill.Continue to Ephesus, the eastern Mediterranean’s best-preserved classical city. An important hub of early Christianity and thriving Greco-Roman port, this spectacular place boasts streets, shops and temples that make it easy to imagine those who lived here 2,000 years ago.Hear the history of the city as you explore with your guide. View the remains of the nearby, immense Temple of Artemis, once an Ancient Wonder of the World, and wander the streets that formed Ephesus’s heart. Marvel at the 25,000-seater Great Theatre, ogle the façade of the Library of Celsus, and see well-preserved shops and temples. On route, see captivating details such as the chariot wheel grooves and brothel signposts carved in the sidewalks.Leave Ephesus and after lunch at a local restaurant, visit the nearby House of Virgin Mary, said to be the last home of the Virgin Mary. See inside the tiny house, whose foundations may date from Mary’s time in the 1st century AD, as your guide explains why it’s believed to sit where her last residence stood.Then, return to your coach and Izmir airport. Fly back to Istanbul and enjoy a hotel drop-off at around 8:30pm.
Pamukkale and Hierapolis
In the morning you will leave Izmir behind and drive to Pamukkale. This amazing place is a beautiful and spectacular natural site, unique in the world with its fairylike, dazzling white, petrified lime cascades. There you will see the thermal spring water laden with calcareous salt, plunging down the mountain side which has created this natural formation of stalactites, cataracts and basins. The thermal water has been used since the Roman period for its therapeutic powers. Next you will visit the Roman city of Hierapolis, which is not located not on earth or rock, but on solid limestone layers formed by limestone water that flowed for centuries over this raised level plateau. The name means "sacred city", and according to Stephanus of Byzantium the city was given this name because of the large number of temples it contained. While here you will visit the Apollo Temple competing with Delphi, Monumental Nympheum (a 4th century Basicala) and the Theatre. After visiting the best preserved Necropolis, return to Izmir.
Day Trip to Pergamum and Asklepion from Izmir
Pergamum is one of the finest archaeological sites in Turkey. The city was a great center of culture and the capital of East Roman Empire. On the Acropolis there are numerous remains including the celebrated Library, the steepest Theatre of Anatolia, the Temples of Trojan and Dionysos, the place of the monumental Altar of Zeus famous with the relief of God and devils, the Sanctuary of Demeter, the Gymnasium situated on terraces and the lower Agora. After a delicious lunch with Turkish specialties, you will visit the Archaeological Museum of Bergama. Proceed to the Medical Center of the ancient world, Asklepion where the first psychological treatment had been used and which was dedicated to the God of Health, Asklepios.
Izmir Shore Excursion: Day Trip to Ephesus and House of Virgin Mary
Your Izmir shore excursion starts as you make your way from the Izmir cruise port to Ephesus, stopping along the way at St Johns Basilica, built in honor of the saint, who wrote his gospel atop Ayasuluk Hill where the basilica is located. See the 4th-century tomb where his remains are said to be housed.Continue to the ancient city of Ephesus, an important center for early Christianity. In the Book of Revelation, Ephesus was one of the seven churches addressed by Christ in a vision. It is here that you will find the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Your guide will also show you the Great Theatre, the Library of Celsus and many other temples during your Ephesus tour.Enjoy a lunch of authentic Turkish cuisine, and then visit the House of the Virgin Mary, where she spent the last days of her life. Authenticated by Pope Paul VI in 1967, St Mary’s house is a place of pilgrimage for many believers.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.
Izmir Shore Excursion: Izmir Half-Day Sightseeing Tour
Perfect for first-time visitors, this Izmir sightseeing shore excursion starts with the wonders of the ancient Agora, one of the best-preserved agoras in the world. It was once a bustling Roman bazaar, and today you can still see colonnades of Corinthian columns, vaulted chambers and a reconstructed arch. Then head to the Archaeology Museum, where you’ll see Greek and Roman artifacts and the head of a gigantic statue of Domitian that once stood at Ephesus. Continue to the clock tower located at the Konak Square, a symbol of Izmir. Decorated in Ottoman architecture, the tower features four fountains around the base in a circular pattern.Finally, wander around the Alsancak district and Pasaport Quai, a historic and beautiful area on the waterfront.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.