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Ephesus, House of Virgin Mary and Sirince Village Day Trip from Istanbul With Lunch and Round-Trip Flights

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    Stop At: Ancient City of Ephesus, Selcuk 35920 Turkey

    Start with an early morning pickup from your central Istanbul hotel and travel by air-conditioned coach to Istanbul airport. Relax on the 45-minute flight to Izmir and on arrival, continue on another air-conditioned coach to Ephesus.
    Admire rural Turkey on route and after roughly an hour, pull up at UNESCO-listed Ephesus. Then, before you start your tour, get a fascinating introduction to the 2,000-year-old site, one of the best-preserved ancient cities in the Mediterranean. At its height, Ephesus was a powerful Roman trading hub and may have been home to up to 50,000 people.
    With your appetite sated, set off with an expert guide for your approximately 2-hour guided walking tour of the main highlights. Stroll along the marble-paved streets past age-old shops, houses and other buildings, and listen spellbound as your guide describes how they were once used.
    See the bathhouse, Temple of Hadrian and other landmarks, and admire the façade of the Library of Celsus, once a repository for 12,000 scrolls. Marvel at the 24,000-seater Grand Theatre, where St Paul is said to have preached, and stride along the Arcadian Way where Cleopatra and Mark Anthony rode in procession in 31 BC.
    Continue to the nearby ruins of the Temple of Artemis, once one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and after lunch at a local restaurant, visit the nearby House of the Virgin Mary. Head inside the simple house built where Mary is thought to have spent her last days, and then head for the delightful hill village of Şirince, perched above Ephesus.
    Enjoy free time to stroll around this formerly Greek village, known for its fruit wines, olive oils and handicrafts. Sample some of the wines and perhaps buy some mementoes (own expense) of your day.
    When the time comes, drive back to Izmir for your return flight to Istanbul. Your tour then ends with a hotel drop-off.

    Duration: 13 hours
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    Reviewed 23 July 2018
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    Date of experience: July 2018
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