Reviewer: Sandra Doncaster
Our guide normally escorts a higher level of tour. He was extremely knowledgeable, suggested best spots for photos, tried to make sure we were in the shade when he was giving us extra information, and was personable. Ephesus is a must see, and he made it worth our while.
We did the afternoon tour and it was perfect. Ephesus was not crowded, our tour guide was fantastic and the weather was lovely. A wonderful way to see a magnificent place.
Reviewer: Donald Wilt
One of the best surprises and best excursions of our 10-day cruise. The guide was very informative and personable. Turkey is one of the best kept secrets of the middle east!
Not knowing what to expect in Turkey given it's instability, our tour and guide exceeded expectation! His training as an archaeologist combined with his passion for sharing so much about Turkey's history and culture made our bus ride and Ephesus tour fantastic! We learned so much, our brains may have been hurting at the end of the tour, but the shop near the port our guide took us to relieved the brain pressure while we learned the intricate details of handmade beautiful silk carpets!
The trip to Ancient Ephesus was extremely interesting and fascinating. The guide was knowledgeable and professional. We had ample time to view Ephesus and take pictures. I would take the same excursion again.
Reviewer: Arthur and Linda Viramontes
We participated in several excursions through the Celebrity cruise ship, but none compared with the experience we had with George in Turkey! His pleasant and humorous personality combined with his vast knowledge of the country and the city of Ephesus made our experience even better than we had expected! When the day was over we felt like we were saying goodbye to an old friend. We would most definitely use Shore Excursions again.
Reviewer: Rene Pichette
Small group of 23, guide was excellent very knowledgeable, kept in the shade Asa much as possible and ahead of the throngs of people visiting. Didn't do the carpet demo but heard good reviews..
Very Good Tour, John was an excellent guide. Learned a lot about not only Ephesus but Turkey overall
Reviewer: Bob DuFosee
One of the best shore tours we ever were on. Small group, great guide. Overall an awesome experience. Our guide was very knowledgeable, spoke perfect English and was able to show us the key Ephesuss sites while still avoiding the crowds.
Reviewer: Nina Wynn
John, our tour guide was engaging and very helpful in understanding the Turkish culture and the history of Ephesus.
Tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and had a quick wit. Ephesus is an amazing place! It's unfortunate that recent events will limit tourism in Turkey as it was one of my favourite tours!
Reviewer: George Sim
Very well organised tour. Excellent tour guide. Very informative.
Reviewer: P.J. (Patricia) Reilly
An absolutely awesome tour and must say the same about the tour guide as well. He was so knowledgable and personable...and easy to understand...which was a hardship with some of the tour guids. He not only imparted a great deal of information on the excavation and city, but about Turkey as well. I would recommend this tour to all...especially with the same tour guide!
Reviewer: Sumeet Chhibber
This was a great excursion. The guide was knowledgeable and explained the sights very well. Ephesus is a wonderful historical site to visit.
Reviewer: Helen Templin
John was a gifted tour guide, being able to tell us about the history and geography and people of the area, but also to joke with us. An unforgettable experience.
Reviewer: Cheryl Sweezey
Enjoyed the tour again the heat was intense but the tour guide skirted us from shade to shade. Very knowledgeable guide. Wasted time at the carpet demo as we clearly didn't go to buy a carpet and note the guide gets a kickback from the carpet co-op. Not excessively aggressive but some unnecessary pressure which we didn't like.
Reviewer: Jeremy Scully
Ephesus is beautiful. There was microphone issues that prevented our guide from being able to speak much during our ride to Ephesus but the bus driver fixed that by the time we were headed back to the Pier area. While we didn't know this while we signed up, the tour concludes with a stop at a silk rug store. Those at the store treated you well and we enjoyed our lesson but they are VERY aggressive with getting you to buy their product. It would have been nice to get a heads up about the hard sell but overall, it was a good tour.
Reviewer: Paul Angel
Everything was great except sales people from the carpet and jewelry place were insisting to buy their stuff making us uncomfortable
Enjoyed the knowledgeable guide, and the fact that the group is fairly small. Ir rained the day we were on this excursion,so we didn't get the full experience that we would have in good weather,but it was still amazing!
No words explain the awesomeness of touring Ephasis. Our tour guide was Christian and open to many questions about the current Middle East problems. Our bus took us by many sites we had no time to visit just so we had a better overview of history. It was very helpful. We ended the tour with a very wonderful silk harvesting and rug making demonstration. The dealer was very respectful of those who did not wish to buy a rug. There were horror stories back on the ship of people actually having to run away from pushy carpet sellers. Our tour guide made sure everything was perfect. There was no dining on the tour but our guide sent us to an excellent restaurant near the ship so we could experience the local fare before reboarding. A GREAT day and the most memorable of our 24-day cruise.
The guide was very experienced and spoke excellent English. He also had a very good sense of humor and mixed all things well with his insights into ancient Ephesus. I would have liked a bit more time to view more areas and to see the terrace patio homes of the wealthy, because we walked right by them.(They're actually under a permanent canopy to protect them). It was my understanding that this might be a different tour but I think it could have been combined with the main one. Very fascinating how developed a society they were in that day, although they had lots of the same problems we do! There is much more to be excavated at Ephesus and this is a tour that could be repeated easily.
The tour guide was excellent. It was pitched at just the right level and not too overwhelming
Truly enjoyed this and all the history we learned. The rugs were beautiful and still amazed how they're put together.
a little mixed up on pick up. after that,everything was great because the tour guide was fun, knowledge and speak perfect English.
N'est guide se ever had
Reviewer: John and Carole
Tour went well. guide was very good
We loved Turkey! Our group consisted of 16, and our guide, Cohn (pronounced John), was experienced and gave great historical talks. He knows Ephesus well and showed real pride in what his country is doing there. We started our tour from the upper gate and walked down, rather than doing the tour as most do from the bottom up. Seeing the theatre was a highlight, and we were given time to explore and take plenty of pictures. Back in town, we attended the carpet demonstration and found it to be wonderfully educational. The weavers' work is extraordinary! We did not feel pressured to buy, contrary to what we'd heard beforehand. Afterward, the group was free to go or stay before shopping their way back to the ship.
I love visiting ancient civilization sites, rather than modern cities. The excavated ruins of Ephesus are extensive to give present day visitors a good idea/experience of how the residents lived during the era.
We read other reviews of this excursion before booking it and hoped that we would get the tour guide Can (John) who got good reviews from others. We didn't really expect that to happen but we did get him for our tour guide and thoroughly enjoyed the day. I mentioned the online reviews to him and he was glad to hear of the good reviews. Can was educated to be an archaeologist but, after one summer spent excavating in the hot sun, decided to be a tour guide instead and has been one for the past 20+ years. He was very knowledgeable, taught us a bit about the Turkish alphabet and how to say thank you which I used a few times. My accent or mispronunciation brought a smile to a couple of people. The tour itself was very interesting and informative. Restoration of the city of Ephesus is very well done. At the forum it was interesting to think back to when St. Paul spoke there. The acoustics are still very good. Two young women were singing a little and I was up high in the seats and they sounded as good as if they were right next to me. The tour guide had an assistant who took photos along the way. The tour guide informed us of this ahead of time and said that was one of his jobs early in his career. The photos would be for sale but totally optional. The price was very reasonable, though, and we purchased one of us in front of the Library of Celsus. The only negative about the tour is the carpet sales demonstration at the end but that seems to be unavoidable. Our guide told us that there was no obligation and, true to his word, it was very low pressure and pleasant. We were served a beverage and shown many carpets after a brief demonstration of the rug making process. I don't know how many they sell but it seemed like a lot of work to toss out the carpets while explaining them and then roll them all back up to show the next group. Apparently it works for the Turks. Most of the tours we looked at had a rug demonstration.
Reviewer: Happy retiree
Our guide (0z, not sure of spelling for his name) was excellent. He provided whisperer radio units for each of us so we could hear him very clearly. He was very professional, informative and entertaining as well as speaking excellent English. It was a very hot day when we were there and he was very aware of the heat making the tour more challenging. We only had a small group of about 12-14 which makes a tour like this much more pleasant. Clean bus, comfortable seats. Our guide was waiting as was indicated on the voucher. We were returned to the ship with plenty of time before sailing.
Reviewer: Travelin' Nate
We had an excellent tour guide. Helped us ""feel"" the historical significance of Ephesus.
Don't miss it, very amazing
Reviewer: Spending the kids' inheritance
A Highlight of our cruise and EXCELLENT value! Our Turkish guide Can (John) was outstanding...entertaining, very knowledgeable and experienced. Perfect amount of time walking Ephesus - as compared to the over-priced and very tedious Royal/C tour (our friends'comment). We also enjoyed a wonderful ""class"" in turkish rug-making and a sampling of local ""beverages"". There was enough time alloted to walk the market/shops. Shore Excursions ROCKS!
Jon the tourguide was the best- a lifetime resident and expert guide who knows his history like no other. Who thought Turkey was such a fascinating place!
Reviewer: Gloria the traveler
Very good value
Lack of French-speaking guide
Reviewer: The Family 60th
Our Tour Guide Was Fantastic. His Name was John (not american spelling). He is highly recommended by Rick Steves also. Ask for him. He was professional, informative, accomdating and simply the best.
This is our 3rd time to Ephesus, and this seems to be the best.
The guide was excellent - very informative without giving out too much information. He took us to an excellent carpet shop and the whole experience left us wanting more!!
Reviewer: world explorer
Loved the history and the work being done to restore the past. Breathtaking scenery
Our guide John was excellent. As there were only two of us we were able to be given a lot of information and avoid the crowds when possible. Very impressed.
This day was another great adventure. It wasn't too long or too short. The weather was really hot, but our guide took good care to keep us in the shade as much as possible. The tour operator provided a free bottle of water that we refilled often during our visit. Again, an interesting guide that was well-versed on the history of the city and able to easily answer all our questions. We purchased this tour as part of a six-day package which made this an even better value.
Reviewer: Iwona Kania
Excellent, excellent, excellent!!!Thank you for the enjoyable excursion of Ephesus.We loved the history that the guide provided. He was very knowledgeable and interesting.Small group, well organized.Just came back home. Polecamy ta wycieczke z pelnym zaufaniem. Bylo po prostu swietnie(to the polish tuorists)
This tour was a thrill; Pompeii used to be my favourite historical site but it has now been surpassed by Ephesus. Having an experienced guide helps with a tour in high heat and busy with other tourists. He was very informative and also flexible in what he showed us to accommodate those with religious interests. Excellent day!
Reviewer: Mary G
This excursion was better than I expected. The ruins were just as good as in Pompeii. Our guide was Fermi (George). He was educational and fun at the same time. The best part was the photographer that followed and took a few pictures for purchase as you boarded the bus. Only 3 euros each. Much better than on the ship. The walk wasn't too bad, even though it is a little over an hour. We didn't do the carpet demonstration.
Reviewer: retired teacher
Tour guide personalize tour by telling of his family. Enjoyed much. I would like to have had handout but could have bought for myself from the site ... because I like most people am a visual learner.
This was a wonderful stop. We had no idea what to expect and we were pleasantly surprised. The guide was nice, positive and very knowledgable. The ruins were amazing and there was so much to see! Very short ride from the port to the ruins. Followed by a few minutes to walk around the shops. Then into the ruins. Guide knew her way around and gave fascinating history of each site. Very informative and historical. After the ruins, a few more minutes at the shops. Then back to town for a carpet demonstration and leaisure time. I would highly recommend this excursion to anyone wanting to learn more about Ephesus.
Reviewer: Mother of cats
I cannot remember all of the details, but I liked walking through this special place. I need to read more after the tour to make it stick in my mind.
Reviewer: Retired Miami
The guide was not only knowledgable but also very entertaining and protective. The bus was top notch and the day was great. Quite a savings over the ship's tour.
This tour is perfect for time lines and variety of what you get to see. Our tour guide Fehme was great. Very knowledgeable and involving. Thanks for a great experience.
Enjoyed the excursion of Ephesus with great experienced guide. The Turkish rug your at the end was interested, but we did NOT enjoy feeling trapped in the rug place while they tried selling their rugs...very uncomfortable and put us in a very awkward situation.
Reviewer: Ms Terry
I really loved the history that the guide provided. He was very knowledgeable and interesting.
I would have liked to visit the home of Mary.
Our guide was a trained archaeologist who actually worked in Ancient Ephesus. He was very knowledgeable and spoke very good English although it wasn't his native language.The site is located on a gently sloping hill. We started at the top and walked down less than a mile. Footing was sometimes coarse. The walk was very leisurely. Although these are ruins, very large portions of the buildings are still intact making it easy to understand how the Roman citizens lived. The guide did a very good job of explaining everyday life here.
Very informative and interesting.
Reviewer: Caz the tourer
Tour guide was excellent . Picked up at ship as scheduled.
Reviewer: Mo Better Tourist
Great tour guide who had enthusiasm for the subject.
We had a great tour guide, Famie. He was very informative about the history of the area and also on the best places to purchase local products. Shore excursions tours were great because the busses were not crowded for the tours.
Reviewer: History buff
Extremely pleasant + knowledgeable guide. Would definitely recommend this tour
Cam was a good, knowledgeable guide; the tour was interesting and the site unique, worth a one time visit. The value was enhanced because the tour was not purchased directly thru the cruise line.
Reviewer: Traveler Tam
It is not every day you get to visit and explore an ancient city like Ephesus. It is amazing! Our guide was great, knew his history! Towards the end of the tour, he arranged for us to visit a Turkish carpet showroom in Kusadasi and see how the carpets are made. Yes, I bought one, how can you resist? They are beautiful!
Reviewer: Po the gold
It was a good experience on this trip. We learned a lot from this historical site
One of the seven wonders of the ancient world, who wouldn't enjoy it! Outstanding guide nice transport. One tip the trip meets before you get outside the secured area. We went too far and were turned around and had a moment. They were where they should be we weren't.
Our guide was knowledgeable and quite entertaining! Would highly recommend this Company.
Reviewer: Kim Globetrots
Our guide Can (pronounced John)studied archeology- fantastic guide. Our small group of about 12 or so were treated to a FANTASTIC tour of Ephesus. (I waited too long to book and didn't get the House of the Virgin Mary- as it was already sold out) I wasn't really enthused about ""Turkey"" but once experienced- it turns out to be THE BEST PORT of the 14nt cruise! Very well organized. Take a hat and sunscreen, not much shade. Can had us up there before the masses of cruise ship folks and we were able to enjoy the area much better than being in a huge crowd.
The guide was very knowledgeable and added much to the experience.
The tour of Ephesus was one of the highlights of our land tours, fascinating in every respect. The guide was very knowledgeable, and was very proud of this ancient city, and its continued restoration to this very day. Don't miss this tour! The only complaint I have is with the carpet demonstration -- we had already seen one the previous day in Istanbul. This one in Kusadasi evolved into a sales job. Even the tour guide stood at the exit and suggested that we might want to purchase a rug. That's the only reason I gave this tour 4 stars instead of 5.
We loved this tour! We were in a small group, the price was great, the guide was very knowledgeable, and Ephesus was amazing! I would absolutely do this again!
Our ship was the only one in Kusadasi that June day, and nobody else had booked this tour. My wife and I were so very fortunate to get a private tour of Ephesus from our guide Emre, and Ali, our driver. Emre is from Kusadasi (originally from Izmir), and is extremely knowledgeable about the Ephesus ruins. He quickly sensed what we knew (or didn't know) about Roman history and architecture, and led us to the most interesting points of the Ephesus site. We spent much of our time in the Terrace Houses, which is an exquisite archaeological site. We expressed our reservations about the rug stop (we had been bombarded by rug hucksters at every major site in Istanbul), but Emre assured us that the experience at Bulbul Mountain Looms in Selcuk would be different. He was right. The people at Bulbul Looms were gracious, welcoming, and generous with tea and snacks. Yes, they rolled out many rugs like the Istanbul hucksters. But they really wanted us to experience the quality of their wares. I made it clear that I wasn't going to buy that day, but they answered my questions about pricing with refreshing honesty. I told them that we would definitely return to the shop if we ever want a real Turkish rug (and I meant it). Even if you aren't so lucky to get a private tour, I highly recommend this excursion. I don't think any cruise line's excursion to Ephesus could be better than this one.
Wonderfully friendly & educated guide..spoke excellent English and was super knowledgeable!! The ruins are amazing, hard to believe you are looking at a city that is thousands of years old..incredible! Could def pass on the tour of the carpet factor & I Did and went back to ship :)
Our tour guide picked us up with very clear indication of where to find us. She was absolutely fantastic. We ended up in a private tour although. Had not booked such. She was very knowledgable and personalized the tour extremely well. No complaints at all. Highlight of our entire cruise trip!
Reviewer: LINDA'S TRAVELS
A rainy day, but a worthwhile tour. The tour guide was fun and informative. The ruins were something to see. However, even though the carpet demo was a plus, the pressure to buy was awful! Also, the vendors in town were bad at pressuring you to come into their stores. Heard one couple was actually physically forced into their store!
Reviewer: EJ the traveler
Our guide was very knowlegeable and interesting. He went above and beyond our expetations in historical information.
This tour was more than we expected. We were amazed at the site and the guide was very good. I would recommend this tour to anyone who can do the walking. Quite the experience.
Reviewer: Young retiree
Good tour with very experienced tour guide.
Excellent fluent in English guide. Even the CARPET factory was great.
Found cruise excursion through this service. They had a very small group and excellent, knowledgeable guide!
Reviewer: Cool Gram
It was a difficult rough walk, but with my cane, I was safe and thrilled to visit this ancient site. Our lovely local lady tour guide was marvelous. She truly loves her job and made us feel so welcome and was very knowledgeable and delightful in her presentations. Was the highlight of my visit to Turkey and Greece.
This was an amazing tour made so enjoyable by our guide who was incredibly knowledgeable but with a great sense of humor. A real pleasure. The size of the tour, being smaller, was very good especially when trying to walk through the crowded areas. Made for a much better experience and being able to hear the guides commentary. The ride to Ephesus was very enjoyable but Ephesus is an amazing area to see and experience. The walking is not difficult but tricky. Many true photographic opportunities.
Guide was excellent. Made the tour fun. The tour seemed quite rushed without opportunity to take pictures. The carpet demo should be optional. We did not go anyway!
The guide was very helpful in adjusting to my wife's mobility problems and arranged for taxi transport back to ship when we indicated we had already visited a rug shop.
A THOROUGHLY ENJOYABLE EXPLORATION WITH A TOUR GUIDE MOST EDUCATED AND EASILY UNDERSTOOD
Reviewer: NO NAME
SMALL GROUP. INTIMATE, WELL INFORMED, HELPFUL GUIDE
JOHN WAS A WONDERFUL GUIDE. HE TIMED OUR VISIT TO AVOID THE LARGEST CROWDS AND KNEW ALL THE SHADY SPOTS. HE WAS GENEROUS WITH HIS VIEWS ON TURKEY, CULTURALLY AND POLITICALLY, AND HIS INSIGHTS ADDED TO THE VALUE OF THE TOUR.
A very knowledgeable guide provided a unforgettable glimpse into ancient history. His familiarity with multiple historical documents made the excursion much more valuable than just seeing sites greater than 2000 years old. We didn't stop at the rug dealer until we were back by the ship and could skip it if we wanted.
Reviewer: Don't remember guide's name
Great tour guide. He was very knowledgeable and helpful and fun to tour with. He had fun with the group and made the trip enjoyable for all who joined him.
Our guide was very informative and seemed to have a second sense about timing, so despite the crowds, I have some very good pictures. He gave us some very good information on Turkey in general on the bus ride there.
Reviewer: mother and daughter travellers
we loved it, the guide who is an archeologist, was the perfect person for this excursion. Our only complaint, is that chinese people who do not understand a world of english is a problem when the young crowd just don't listen and speaks at the same time of the guide. But other than that that was very educational.
Reviewer: Gail from usa
Wonderful tour!! Very knowledgable guide. Very interesting
This was an incredible experience - Arcadian Way walk with a real city that's been excavated. Temples, theaters, and everyday living arrangements from long ago. Unfortunately, our English guide had little/no information. We got our information from the English boards posted around the site and from listening in with other English guides from other tours.
Reviewer: Curious travellers
We hope to return, to spend more time.
Reviewer: Cal Bear Traveler
Our guide (Emre, I think)was exceptional: knowledgeable, humorous, sensitive to the interests and needs of the group. I rate him a 10 out of 10.
Seeing and standing Where Apostle Paul preached Christianity for the first time was amazing. To walk in footsteps of ancient times was very neat.
Will recommend it to friends
Our guide was the best ever--passionate about his country and his area, very knowledgeable about Ephesus, its history and structures, very interesting with lots of stories about what we were seeing. Everyone in our group was hanging on his words, as we didn't want to miss anything he had to say. This was the best tour we had on this trip. Don't miss it.
A professionally organised excursion with venue entry tickets provided and a very knowledgeable and entertaining guide.
Reviewer: Donald & Jeannine
Best tour we took
Reviewer: World Traveler
The drive to Ephesus was breathtaking. I was so impressed with the vegetation along the bus route. Stores were well priced and friendly. Ephesus was a highlight of my mediteraian cruise.
Reviewer: Cindy Lou
This tour of the ancient ruins of the city of Ephesus was incredible. Our tour guide Emre was exceptional and very friendly. He made our tour both educational and fun, he was so kind to help some of our group get situated when they couldn't walk any further. He truly cared and it showed. I would recommend this wonderful tour guide to anyone, he was great. I so enjoyed our time there!
This was a very interesting tour and well worth the money.
This was a great way to tour Ephesus - having such a small group made it much easier to get away from the many large tour groups. The tour guide was very knowledgeable, the bus was comfortable and clean, and even the carpet demonstration at the end was interesting and not a hard sell.
Very professional. George was a GREAT guide -- funny, knowledgeable, friendly, easy to understand. We had a great time and would definitely book another excursion through Shore Excursions
Reviewer: A. Di. P.
Very punctual and informative.
Overall a very exciting, educational tour.
Our tour guide George was very good and informative
What a wonderful experience. Great guide. Buses were nice. Very hot day. The 3-4 hr length of time was just enough in the heat.
Reviewer: The Aussie Travelers
Ephesus should be one of the 7 wonders of the world! I'd never heard about it before & it seems not too many people are aware of it. It has to be one of the best Greko/ROman city's ever discovered. It was abandoned when the harbour silted up & soon after buried by landslides / earthquakes & lay undisturbed for thousands of years until it was re-discovered in the late 1800's. Since then only 10% has been unearthed & it is absolutley stunning. The technology of the ancients is really amazing, they had indoor kitchens & bathrooms with running water! The western world only got that in the last few hundred years! It's really worth a look, you will be blown away. The Coach was very new & airconditioned, Our Guide (John) was fantastic! He spoke fluent English & was very Knowledgable. He told us that Turkey is not European or Arabic but is actualy part of Asia Minor. It is one of the most fertile county's in Europe & is not full of deserts & camels. It's a very modern country & is in good economic health. We really enjoyed this place. AT the end you will see an amzing hand made carpet display, well worth a look, but I would suggest you make a run for the hills at the end or you might feel pressured into buying a VERY expensive rug. Enjoy the free time shopping at the end (you will have to haggle) & then a short stroll back to the port (if you are on a cruise). This trip was well worth the money & was a lot cheaper than trips offered by our cruise line. I would highly recommend it!
This tour was fantastic! Our tour guide was really great and very knowledgeable. He also related well to his tour group and made us feel comfortable. It was also nice because it was a smaller tour group - about 20 people, as opposed to the HUGE tours offered by the ship. The tour was very convenient and at the end they drop you off right at the port and a huge market. Our guide was very helpful in helping us find a place for lunch and where to go shopping since we had a little free time before we had to get back on the ship. One note about Ephesus: it's HOT and there is little shade, so bring water and dress cool.
Guide was helpful but to many stops at places to buy from his friends. Can be a slightly challenging walk but well worth the effort.
The guide was a history professor and gave us so much informaiton on the history and present day facts of Turkey plus the life in Ephesus....a wonderful excursion of me and my 12 and 14 year old grandsons. The guide paced himself and us beautifully.
Reviewer: Mom and daughter
Great value for the money
Breathtaking!!! Absolutely beautiful
Reviewer: SG Traveler
It was exactly what we wanted and more. Very in depth and interesting.