Journey back in time to ancient Turkey during this spectacular, limited participation guided tour of the ruins of Ephesus.
Depart the pier for a drive by mini-coach to Ephesus, one of the most important and well-preserved ancient sites of Asia Minor. Ephesus dates back to the 3rd century B.C., and has always played a significant role in science, culture and the arts. In 1989, Ephesus Museum archaeologists focused on the ruins of Ephesus' earliest settlement. The enclosure for archaeological remains at Ephesus elegantly reconciles historic conservation with accessibility for visitors.
Upon arrival, you will be met by an expert archaeologist and together, you will discuss and explore the finds collected from Ephesus and the terrace houses. Next, a visit will be made to the Ephesus Museum's Hall of Artemis to view exhibits of works, statues and architectonic fragments found during the excavations of the Temple of Artemis and other locations in Ephesus. From here, you will continue on to see the ruins, including the grand amphitheater, one of Ephesus' most impressive buildings. You will then visit the 2nd century Library of Celsus before exploring the ruins of the Scholastic Baths, Odeon, Lower Agora and State Agora.
Continuing on, you will visit the terrace houses located on the slopes of Bulbul Mountain, and opposite the Hadrian Temple. Built for wealthy citizens, the homes' interiors were constructed with the highest standards of their day, and featured mosaics, frescoes and interior courtyards with open ceilings. Afterwards, you will be treated to lunch at a local restaurant in Selcuk before returning to Kusadasi.
Once back in Kusadasi, you will have the option of returning directly back to the ship, doing some shopping on your own, or taking part in a 45-minute carpet demonstration.
Please note: The order of the sites viewed or visited may vary and lunch will be provided either before or after the visit in Ephesus, dependent upon tour departure time. Although you will not visit newly-excavated areas, you will visit parts of Ephesus not located on the regular tourist route, nor seen during regular site visits. Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes for this tour, which involves mostly downhill, extensive walking on uneven surfaces, and many steps to climb inside the terrace houses area of Ephesus. This tour is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or guests who utilize a wheelchair. At the end of the tour, guests will be dropped off in town, as the buses are not allowed to return them to the Cruise Ship Terminal parking lot. There will be a short walk from the drop-off point in town back to the Kusadasi Cruise Ship Terminal Building.
***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.