Ephesus, Turkey Ephesus, Turkey Ephesus, Turkey

Shore Excursion – Ephesus

Sail down the beautiful rivers
Sail down the beautiful rivers

Explore the ancient city of Ephesus on an Exeter International Private Shore Excursion.  Enjoy behind the scenes access and expert guiding while you are in port. 

The following is just a suggested shore excursion itinerary.  

For custom luxury travel, tours and shore excursions to Ephesus and Turkey, please contact one of our travel experts.

Download a PDF itinerary here

ITINERARY

PRICING FROM

$400 per person, based on two guests traveling together. Please contact Exeter International for specific pricing and availability. 

Day 1
Classical Ephesus | Ephesus, Turkey

This morning, you will meet your guide on the pier for your tour to Ephesus. Ephesus was originally founded as a Greek colony in the 10th Century BC. It gradually prospered and became a major trading hub and an important religious center for the worship of the Mother Goddess Cybele. Ephesus was ruled for a period of time by the Macedonian general Lysimachus. After his death, the city came under Egyptian, and later under Roman and Byzantine rule. Ephesus was incorporated in the Ottoman Empire in the 14th Century.

Today’s visit will begin at the Ephesus Archaeological Museum located in Selcuk and just a few minutes’ drivefrom the site of Ephesus itself.

Many of the works of art excavated in Ephesus between 1867 and 1905 were transported to the British Museum; those excavated from 1905 to1923 were taken to Vienna. The Turkish Republic then forbade taking antiques out of the country and founded the museum. The present museum dates to 1983.

The Ephesus Museum is different from other many museums in that it is not designed according to chronological order but the rooms are laid out with a theme, e.g. The Hall of the Fountain, The Hall of Funerary Relics, the Hall of Artemis and so on.

Most of the structures surviving today at Ephesus are from the Roman period. The Library of Celsus was built in the 2nd Century to store some 12,000 scrolls and is one of the few remaining examples of ancient Roman libraries. After a massive restoration project, the front façade of the building was rebuilt and now serves as a prime example of Roman architecture. The statues in the niches of the façade are of Sophia – the goddess of wisdom; Arete – the goddess of virtue; Ennoia – the goddess of intelligence; and Episteme – the goddess of knowledge. Next to the library you will see the Gate of Augustus.

Your guide will show you the Temple of Hadrian, one of the best preserved and most beautiful structures onCuretes Street. It was built before 138 AD and was dedicated to the Emperor Hadrian, who came to visit the city from Athens in 128 AD.

You will also walk along the Arcadian Way, the main street in Ephesus and see the Temple of Domitian and visit the remains of the Hellenistic theater, which once had an estimated 44,000 seating capacity and is believed to have been the largest outdoor theater in the ancient world. Other sites included in the visit will be the Odeon, Temple of Hadrian and the Fountain of Trajan.

Your guide will also take you into the Ephesus terrace houses which are truly remarkable and provide a wonderful insight into family life during the Roman period. They were built according to the Hippodamian plan of the city in which roads transected each other at right angles.

This afternoon, your guide will accompany you to the home of the Virgin Mary. Ephesus was an important center of the early Christianity. The apostle Paul spent here more than two years on his third missionary journey and wrote the first letter to the Corinthians from Ephesus. The apostle and evangelist John also lived in Ephesus during the reign of the Roman Emperor Trajan. It is believed that he also brought Mary, the mother of Jesus, with him to Ephesus, where she spend the last years of her life in a modest stone house, which is today a popular place of pilgrimage.

If time allows, your guide will then take you to the Basilica of St. John. It is believed that the evangelist St. John had spent his last years in the region around Ephesus and buried in the southern slope of Ayosolug Hill. Three hundred years after the death of Saint Paul, a small chapel was constructed over the grave in the 4th century. The church was changed into a marvelous basilica during the region of Emperor Justinian (527 – 565). The monumental basilica was in the shape of a cross and was covered with six domes.

Raised by two steps and covered with marble, the tomb of St John was under the central dome that was once carried by the four columns at the corners. The columns in the courtyard reveal the monograms of Emperor Justinian and his wife Theodora.

With the invasion of Turks, the chapel was used as a mosque in the 14th century; unfortunately the ‘’Basilica of Saint John ‘’ became unusable due to the serious earthquake in the same century. Excavations around the basilica have been ongoing since 1973.

Return to your ship in time for its sailing.

Exeter Services: Vehicle, Driver & Guide (8 Hours)

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