Ancient Ephesus Tour: Highlights of the World's Best-Preserved Roman City
- Famed monuments: A guided tour of this open-air archeological site includes the Odeon, Fountain of Trajan, Temple of Hadrian, and famed Library of Celsus.
- Landmarks of daily life: Walk the ancient streets, see the baths and brothel, and take your seat in the massive 25,000-seat theater where citizens were entertained.
- Cittantica Ephesus Park: Stop at Turkey's newest theme park, designed to re-create life in ancient Ephesus and keep an authentic spirit of antiquity alive.
- Artisan center: Enjoy refreshments and a demonstration of traditional Turkish carpet, leather, or jewelry making techniques, followed by time for shopping.
About this Izmir tour
Stroll the stone streets of Ephesus – one of the most important cities of the Roman Empire – and the city's ancient life emerges from its spectacular ruins. You'll see the magnificent monuments and temples Ephesians dedicated to their emperors (keeping up good relations with Rome was vital). And you'll gain insights into everything from architectural genius to the minutiae of daily life. It's all in the details.
Like the ancients, you'll walk Curates Way, the main street once crowded with public buildings, statuary, and shops selling goods of every description. Look for initials carved into the street's marble paving blocks. They proved the builders had done their work and could collect their pay. And the hollows you see in the walls along the Way were for oil lamps that lit the street, perhaps illuminating an evening errand or romantic rendezvous.
When you arrive at the pillared facade of the Library of Celsus, you're on the doorstep of one of the city's most celebrated buildings. Constructed in 114 A.D. as a tomb and tribute to a 2nd-century governor of Asia Minor, it once held more than 12,000 scrolls. Study it closely and you'll see how this building was cleverly designed to look larger than it actually is. (Hint: compare the size of its columns and capitals.)
And don't miss your chance to test the acoustics at the 24,000-seat Great Theater, where St. Paul preached. It is another impressive architectural feat. It was designed with rows of seating that become more steeply pitched as they rise, so that even spectators at the very top saw all the sights and heard every word – or cry of anguish. There must have been plenty of those. A gladiators' cemetery recently discovered near the theater attests to that.
Murder and mystery at Ephesus
Queen Cleopatra feared her half-sister Arsinoe threatened her empire, so she exiled her to Ephesus. But this didn't quiet the Queen's mind and she had Arsinoe executed at the temple of Artemis in 41 B.C. She was lost to history until the 1990s, when historians theorized that a monument at Ephesus was actually her tomb. If so, Arsinoe would be the only member of Egypt's Ptolemaic dynasty to be recovered. Cleopatra's tomb remains elusive.
Arriving by cruise ship? A representative will meet you near the pier. Staying in hotel? Your guide will be waiting in the lobby. Make sure you specify the name of your cruise ship or hotel at check out. At the meeting time, look for our logo sign. Please bring a printed copy of your voucher. If you are arriving at Izmir International Domestic Terminal, pick-up will be at Baggage Claim. If arriving by International Arrivals, meet outside of Customs. Call the operator at the meeting point.
Please consider your mobility and physical fitness before selecting this tour. Participants must be able to walk continuously for approximately 1 mile over uneven terrain including cobblestone surfaces, inclines, and 10 to 30 steps.
Cultural, Scenic, Shopping, Walking Tour
Luxury air-conditioned bus
English, German, Spanish, French, Italian
Tour Participation Requirements
This experience is rated strenuous. Travelers must consider their physical fitness level and medical history when determining whether this tour is appropriate. Travelers with pre-existing neck, back, knee and/or shoulder injuries, cardiac conditions, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, other heart or respiratory conditions or any other medical condition must take particular caution when selecting a tour categorized as "strenuous". If you have concerns, you must consult with your personal physician before engaging in any activity that may be too strenuous for you.
Suitable for all ages.
Special Medical Restriction
This tour is not recommended for travelers with walking difficulties or who cannot manage steps. There is no maximum age restriction, but we ask travelers to be aware of their physical fitness, limitations, and understand this activity is rated strenuous.
Full refunds issued for cancellations made 7 full days prior to the date and time of requested services. Cancellations made within the 7-day and 72-hour window will receive a 50% refund of purchase total. Purchases are non-refundable inside of 72 hours.
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