After driving from the pier through the Turkish countryside, you will arrive at ancient Ephesus, a city that was built on a small hill. Once you enter the Open Air Archeological Museum of Ephesus and pass by the Magnesia gate, you will enter the administrative section of ancient Ephesus.
Here, the walking tour will take you through one of the world's most magnificent excavations. See the Odeon, Fountain of Trajan, steam baths of Scholastika, temple of Hadrian and the impressive library of Celsius, which is adorned with columns and statues. The Grand Theater, where St. Paul preached, is one of the largest theaters in antiquity with a capacity of 24,000 seats. You will return to the buses through the Arcadian way, where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession.
Next, you will travel to the ancient Ionian port of Miletus, the entrance of which was once guarded by two lion statues. The town's only remaining ancient monuments are impressive: the theater from the Roman period and the well-preserved Faustina Baths. Following your time in Miletus, you will then make your way to Didyma to admire the magnificent Temple of Apollo. Some of the 120 columns that remain standing allow you to visualize the full magnificence of the structure in its heyday.
Later, enjoy a lunch of traditional Turkish cuisine at a restaurant which overlooks the ruins of the Temple of Didyma. Following lunch, you'll drive back to Kusadasi and have the option of watching a 45-minute carpet presentation, or returning directly to the ship, which is within walking distance.
Please note: Guests must be able to walk approximately 3 miles over uneven and cobblestone surfaces, inclines and 50 or more steps. Visiting Ephesus includes walking approximately 1 mile over uneven and cobblestone surfaces with inclines and steps. Touring other venues will require continual standing and/or walking under the sun for approximately 2.5 hours. Comfortable walking shoes, comfortable clothing, a hat, sunscreen and insect repellent are recommended. The drive between Ephesus and Miletus is approximately 1 hour, and the drive between Didyma and Kusadasi is approximately 75 minutes, dependent upon traffic conditions. Due to the nature of this tour, it is not recommended for guests with walkers or wheelchairs and for persons who have difficulties in walking, climbing, and/or managing steps. Tour order may vary in order to avoid congestion at venues. Guests need to watch their step at all times in order to avoid injuries. Water, tea and coffee are included with lunch, however, soft and/or alcoholic drinks are only available at an additional cost.
***The Ephesus Archaeological Museum will be closed through the end of 2013 for renovations. It will be replaced with a visit to the St. John Basilica.