After meeting your professional guide at the Kusadasi pier, your Ephesus excursion will depart for the House of the Virgin Mary. It is known with certainty that the Virgin Mary went to Ephesus and lived there for some time. Whether she died in Ephesus is not confirmed, and her final resting place is still contested. In the late 1800s, a stigmatized German nun who had never been to Ephesus, Anne Catherine Emmerich, had a vision of the House of the Virgin Mary and described it in detail to German writer Clemens Brentano, who later published a book about it. In 1891 Paul, Superior of the Lazarists from Izmir, read about her vision and found a little building which corresponded with Emmerich's descriptions. Although the foundations were from the 1st Century A.D., the house itself dates only back to the 5th century A.D. The site was officially declared a shrine of the Roman Catholic Church in 1896, and since then it has become a popular place of pilgrimage. Popes visited the shrine in 1967 and again in 2006.
In the ancient site of Ephesus, the greatest port city in Asia Minor during the years of the Roman Empire, you will walk with your guide as they bring to life the many famous sites of Ephesus including the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, and the Thermal Baths of Scolastika. You will also view the remains of the main Agora and the Great Theater, which was built in the Greek era and reconstructed in the Roman period.
Returning to the town of Kusadasi, guests will have the option to end their tour in the shopping area, where they can attend a Turkish carpet explanation and shop, explore the shops filled with jewelry, carpets, leather ware, and copper goods, or both. Turkish salespeople expect you to haggle and quite often you can get 10-15% off the listed price. Treat it as an adventure. The cruise pier is a 5-10 minute walk from the main shopping area.
Guests not wishing to attend the optional carpet shopping should advise their guide and they will be taken directly back to the pier.
Reviewer: Karen Lewis
Excursion was excellent. Excellent gude. Great time. Only thing I would recommend is that people are told they do not need to go to rug demonstration at the end.
My wife and I were very surprised at this excellent tour. We were the only two and our guide was excellent. She was both knowledgeable and pleasant. We had ample time at both sites and were given any private time we wanted. We also were brought in to see how the silk is extracted from cocoons to make rugs. Highly recommend for all!
Reviewer: Louis Suarez
My wife and I had a tour with only the two of us and our guide was not only knowledgeable, but kept us interested in all the history. The Virgin Mary house was a spark of ""energy"" for us and Ephesus was amazing. Go on this tour!
Tour guide was amazing, had a great time.
Reviewer: Netha Bennett
Our guide was very knowledgeable and kind. There was no microphone/ headset and it was difficult to hear. Transportation was very good, very comfortable. We did were expected by our guide to visit a Turkish rug demonstration but we declined.