Day 1 – Welcome to Ephesus
You will be picked up from your Istanbul hotel at approximately 4.30am and driven to the airport for your 7am flight to Izmir. On arrival in Izmir, our driver will be waiting for you just outside the terminal doors, and will then drive you to Selcuk (approximately 50 minutes), where you will meet the rest of your tour group.
Your Ephesus tour commences with a visit to the magnificent ruins of Ephesus, an ancient Greek city, and later, a major Roman city near present day Selcuk. It was also one of the Seven Churches of Asia, cited in the Book of Revelation. Today it is the most visited ruins site in Turkey, and the best preserved site in the Mediterranean.
Excavations of Ephesus began in the 19th Century, and some of the buildings you will see today include gymnasiums, agoras, the Domitian Square, the Hadrian Temple, the Roman Bath, the Celsus Library and the biggest theatre in Anatolia with a seating capacity of 25,000. As you wander through these well-preserved ruins you will feel as if you have been transported back in time.
Next stop is a visit to the House of the Virgin Mary, which is believed to be the place she was taken to by St John to spend her last days.
After lunch we visit the Isa Bey Mosque – once used as a caravanserai, and famous for its architecture. Our final stop of the day is the site of the former Temple of Artemis which is one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. Here you will learn about why Artemis was so revered by the Ephesians and although just one column remains of the temple you will be able to imagine it in its former glory.
After the tour you will be dropped at the Selcuk Train Station for your train trip to Denizli (our staff will provide you with your ticket). Sit back and relax for your journey, which takes approximately 3 hours. We will meet you at Denizli train station and drive you the rest of the way (approximately 20 minutes) to Pamukkale where you will be dropped at your hotel.
Optional Activity Tours For Tomorrow:
Please note that you need to book at least two days earlier for any of the above optional tours.
Day 2 – Pamukkale
This morning we recommend that you take the unique opportunity take a hot air balloon flight over the ruins of Hierapolis and Pamukkale’s famous travertines.
You will be picked up at approximately 9.30am for your Pamukkale day tour which starts with a visit to the nearby village of Karahayit where you will visit the red springs, with waters coloured a rusty-red because of its high iron content.
We then drive to the North gate of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed ancient Roman spa town of Hierapolis, and start our tour. Hierapolis was an important place for healing in Roman times because of the believed therapeutic qualities of its waters.
As you wander the ruins with your tour guide, you will see highlights such as the necropolis (graveyard), one of the biggest in the region, with over 1500 graves, the Roman bath, the theatre and the Agora (ancient market). You’ll also hear stories of some of the famous characters from history who visited or lived here including Cleopatra and St Philip, whose tomb is on top of a hill outside the northeastern section of the city walls, and which you will be able to see from a distance.
We’ll then take a break at the Cleopatra Antique Pool where the water is a pleasant 36 degrees celsius and filled with invigorating minerals. Here, you have the chance to swim over Roman columns which believed to have fallen into the water during an earthquake. Please note that entrance to the swimming pool is an additional 50TL per person, payable at the site.
Your guide will give you free time to paddle in some of the pools as you wander down the hill to Pamukkale’s natural park and lake. You will then meet your tour guide for a late lunch.
The tour finishes at approximately 3.30-4.00pm, depending on the size of the group and its interests. You’ll have approximately 30 minutes of free time to wander around the village of Pamukkale before we take you back to the airport at approximately 16:30 for your 19:25 return flight to Istanbul. You will arrive back in Istanbul at approximately 20:40, and be transferred back to your hotel by our driver who will be waiting for you when you arrive. End of services.
- This is the itinerary of a typical Ephesus tour. Your tour guide may alter the itinerary slightly to maximise your time on the day and minimise your time spent in crowds / the heat.
- Make sure you wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a hat, sunglasses and sun cream as there is very little shade in Ephesus.
- If you plan on swimming in the Cleopatra Antique Pool in Hierapolis, make sure you pack your swim suit! Please note that entrance to this pool is an additional 50TL per person, payable directly at the site.